I met Michael six months after I left my previous relationship and was, I think, understandably not eager to get into anything super-committed. It turned out I had good reason to be wary: I was still trying to figure out my sense of what “myself” or “Rebecca” was as an individual after being in a relationship that required me to defer to being one-half of a couple, not one whole person in a partnership with another whole person. The baggage weighed on me and made me scared of what the relationship would ask of me. Michael and I broke up twice. Keep reading »
I’ve been dating this guy for a while now and last night he called me while he was with his friends. Our conversation was normal until he suddenly asked, “Did you hook up with one of my friends?” I tried to deny it, but after he asked me several times, I just finally said “Yes.” It happened a long time ago before I even met my boyfriend. I didn’t tell him because I even forgot I had hooked up with his friend. It was that meaningless and suck-ish. He was completely upset, especially since he was out with that specific friend. He kept telling me he had a right to know about it and that he was so hurt. All I want to know is, should I have told him about it? And will he eventually get over it? – J.
Oh, the fragile male ego.
First things first. You were under no obligation to tell this guy you hooked up with his friend, unless you were asked point-blank. The “prior relationships” conversation is an emotional minefield, and if either (or both) of you have avoided that whole subject during your relationship, I 100 percent support that choice. Of course, he’s freaking out and being a bit ridiculous. Keep reading »
Part of the fun of starting a relationship is the shared discovery of the things that make you tick as a unit. Establishing a Sunday routine, dedicating a night to each other to stay in and watch shitty movies on Netflix — this is what keeps the engine of your coupledom running smoothly. The more comfortable you get, the more likely you are to fall into established, cozy patterns. Take the pet name, one of the more revealing aspects of your life together. What you decide to call your person in public or in private speaks volumes about your relationship, but there are so many to choose from, it’s hard to say what works and what doesn’t. I used to call my ex-boyfriend “boo,” and was fine with it until one Christmas at his parents house, when I discovered that that was what his mother called him — suddenly, “boo” was weirdly inappropriate. You want to choose the right pet name, one that’s appropriate for the place your relationship is at. I’m here to help. Read on for a field guide to relationship pet names. Keep reading »
I’m confused about whether or not I should move in with my boyfriend of about a year. We are both in our twenties. For the past year, I’ve been living with roommates. During that time, he would frequently invite me over to his place, a house with a big yard, and then invite me to stay the night. He would do this almost every night and feel very happy about it, even proudly joking he had successfully “stolen” me from my roommates once again. He always talked about me moving in. Even when I tried to find other roommates, he would always insist I just move in with him.
But when my roommates moved out a month before the lease expired, his story changed. Now that it’s just me, he never “steals” me, and if I go to his place he is sure to bring me back to my place so we can sleep separately. Now he says he’d prefer for us both to have our own separate places. I can’t afford to live on my own in this city without roommates, plus I very much prefer to live with other people. Living alone feels unnatural, uncomfortable and unsafe to me.
My lease expires soon, and I wasn’t searching for other roommates very seriously as I was spending most of my time with him, and up until a few weeks ago, he was insisting I live with him. Why did he only want me when I was living with other people? What is going on in his head? I feel trapped. – S.
It boils down to this: there’s a difference between what people say, and what people do. Keep reading »
I’ve been dating a guy for seven months. He’s in the middle of an easy divorce (no kids, no assets). I’m going through a divorce too (I have kids). We were head over heels for each other in the first few months. He had no issues with me having kids. He would always ask to see me, and we did tons of fun stuff together. I had a toothbrush at his house, and even had dinners with his parents. Great, right? But in the past few weeks, he’s distant, not making an effort to see me. He makes excuses about work, and when I ask him about it he says I’m overreacting, that sometimes life gets in the way and there’s nothing wrong with our relationship. I’ve been making all the effort, rearranging my schedule to spend time with him, and he doesn’t seem to appreciate it. He has a very lax, “ehhh I’ll see you when I see you” attitude. He says he’s not looking to remarry any time soon and I’m honestly not either, but there has to be an in-between phase, right? We can be in a relationship and take it easy, but I don’t get the 180-degree change in behavior. Why is he so in-between? – Danielle
It could be a lot of things. He could be dealing with a lot of pain. Maybe he’s not that into you anymore. Or he could in truth, be really busy with work and life and all that complicated stuff. But here’s the point: IT DOESN’T MATTER. His deal is his deal. Focus on yourself. Keep reading »
I am an attractive writer, divorced for almost four years. For as long as I can remember, I have never been at a loss for male attention. Since my separation, I have dated plenty of guys. But, the only guys I seem to attract who are not paralyzed by the idea of even commitment-lite are already married to someone else!
For my entire dating life, I have shied away from appearing needy, bitter, or desperate because those three qualities make my skin crawl. I have had a good number of great first dates where we seem to click on many levels. Yet, at some point, same guy will shift to texts and phone calls, evading a second or maybe third meet.
I am not ready to give up. I enjoy the company of men. And I do really want to be in a loving relationship with someone available. Especially since I had a 15 year marriage of convenience — for timing and “appropriateness” more than affection, sex, or love.
So, am I destined to be Kryptonite for commitment? Or can I change my game plan of appearing independent? – Beth
Beth, your email contains equal parts heartbreak and hope. In that order.
Commitment is the tragic ambition of all humans. We seek it constantly. We yearn for unconditional love. But when the wrong person asks it of US? Eww. Gross. Go away. Why the fuck do we do this to each other? Why do we take the risk of breaking our hearts, and those of others, over and over again, looking for this ineffable thing called commitment? Keep reading »