Dr. Reality Steve
The Dr. is definitely in session this week. Our biggest “Dr. Reality Steve” column I can remember. Last week was the biggest with twelve, and this week we have fourteen. I’m telling you, I should start charging for this mind blowing brilliance I’m passing along to those in need.
Dear Dr Steve,
I am turning 30 this year. I’m not ugly. I’m not fat. I’m a nice person. I put myself out there but not too much. I have a great career. Why am I still single?
Comment: Pretty much impossible to answer since there’s very little detail behind it. There could be a million reasons why you’re single. Here’s my question: What’s wrong with being single and 30? I understand that maybe you feel your biological clock is ticking, or maybe a bunch of your friends are in relationships and you feel left out, but it’s not that big of deal. When it happens, it happens. No need to force it, which it sounds like that’s what you’re trying to do.
Wanted to let you know that I heard that story about the guy connecting with his old college friend on a radio show. It was the female college friend that called in, and I remember her saying that her sister and brother-in-law got involved. They wanted her to tell the wife-to-be about her and the sexting and emails and stuff, but she didn’t want to. The sister and BIL somehow intercepted some emails and tried to get a hold of the wife. Anyway, I’m POSITIVE it was almost the exact same story. It was on The Bert Show, Q-100 in Atlanta. I went through some of their archives but could not find it. So, if someone is making it up, they were on a radio show talking about the same thing. Just thought you’d like to know.
Comment: Thanks. It was not made up, nor was it the person who called the radio station.
Dear Dr. Reality Steve,
I figured I would excite you by sending you a high school question! So the background with my story is that I am a senior in high school. My best friend is 2 years older than me, so he is already in college. He goes to college on the West Coast and I’m from the East Coast. We 1st became best friends when I was a 7th grader. We realized that we had feelings for each other when I was in 8th grade. I freaked out after not long together, like a month, and ended things with him. It took him years to admit it, but he admitted that it crushed him. Towards the end of 8th grade he asked me out on a date and I admit I led him on by flirting with him, but then said no. He went to a different high school then I did so we had a friendship based off of texting and hanging out on the weekends. We hooked up (made out) a year later as a friends with benefits thing. I didn’t tell him my freshman year but I had feelings for him. He then dated a girl for 2 years and I dated other people, so we stayed just best friends. When he went away to college, he was still dating the other girl (who went to school about a 6 hour drive away) and since we were both busy we didn’t talk much the first semester. When he came home from winter break, he confided in me that he and his girlfriend were having problems and he thought they were going to break up. I advised him that he should do what was right for him. They ended up breaking up about a month later. When I first heard I immediately texted him asking how he was doing. But after that initial text I didn’t mention his break up again because I thought it would hurt more. He was drunk later in that second semester and we were texting about me drinking and he told me that he felt something. I ignored it because he was drunk. But then he brought it up again and told me that he was into me. I finally admitted my feelings to him that I thought we would be perfect together and he agreed that we would be, but that he still felt hurt over his break-up. He came home from school and we hung out and he tried to make a move on me. I rejected it because I was scared of getting hurt but then a few times later I invited him over to my house because my parents were out of town. We were just hanging out in my hot tub and then he kissed me. I realized that it was summer so I decided to have fun. We hooked up. We kept flirting but also talking like best friends. Later that week my parents were still gone so he came over and we started drinking. We hooked up again and he ended up spending the night and we slept in the same bed. I don’t believe in sex before marriage and he respects me so he didn’t push his luck. We would hook up whenever we hung out and he was so sweet. We ended up hanging out the day before he went back to school and he was so sweet. He then posted something on twitter saying that leaving our hometown was harder than he thought it would be. We talk a lot but since I am very busy in my school, it’s not as much as we would like. We both agreed that it was my senior year and he was in college so we wanted to live our lives.
Sorry the background was so long, it’s quite a confusing story. But my question is that I think I really care about him and should I tell him? I’m not applying to any schools on the West Coast so it seems unreasonable, but everyone who knows us thinks we are going to get married. Should I just leave it be and see where it goes naturally or admit my feelings even though I don’t want to deal with a long distance relationship? Or should I just let it be a FOB thing even though I don’t like the idea of him with other girls?
Comment: I got really confused with all the “we hooked up, we talked, we liked each other, I said something, I didn’t say something,” etc.
I thought you said you did admit to him that you liked him? What was his response. I mean, if you haven’t then you probably should, but knowing you’re on the East Coast and he’s on the West Coast, and it doesn’t look like either of you are moving, you should probably temper your expectations. Not saying it’s impossible, but it already sounds like you’re even resigned to the fact that this is probably a long shot. Especially since you admitted yourself you don’t want to deal with a long distance relationship. And if you don’t like the idea of him with other girls, yet you don’t want to do the long distance thing, well, there’s not really much you can do about it. It’s going to happen whether you like it or not. He has no allegiance to you since you’re not his girlfriend. The decision is yours but it sounds to me like you already know your answer.
Dear Dr. Reality Steve,
LOVE your blog, I’ve been following you for awhile now and look forward to your posts. Thanks!
Here is my situation. I’m 40, divorced, and have dated my share of both losers and of nice guys who just weren’t the one for me. About a year ago, I was on the verge of giving up the entire dating thing when I (re)met a guy I have worked with for years but we had never spoke. He is 48, good looking, mature, has his own home, responsible, respectful…(I can go on and on, he is a GREAT guy and finally a match for me). I really think I am the right match for him too but there is one deal breaker that we can’t get past.
Due to his bad dating experiences in the past (he’s got some horror stories), he is gun shy from the whole “love” thing. He isn’t a mushy verbal kind of guy to start off with but its been about ten months of us being together and he won’t go anywhere near talking about “love”. He says he cares a lot for me and enjoys our time together but that’s the most he has said. I definitely do love him and even though I wouldn’t need to hear it constantly, I need to know that the man I’m in love with, loves me back. He has had love in the past and has confirmed that he is capable of feeling love for someone, just won’t say it to me yet. My thoughts are that at this point, he knows me inside and out, if he doesn’t love me, it most likely isn’t something that is going to happen. You can’t force the heart to feel something that it doesn’t. Even though he is so amazing, I feel like I will always be longing for something that is missing if I don’t have reciprocal love in my relationship.
My friends and family all tell me to just appreciate how awesome he is and know that his behavior towards me must mean that he loves me even though he cant express it. I think that’s a cop out and think he is just choosing not to love me.
Am I being an idiot for contemplating letting this relationship go over this? I know that in every other area, he is exactly what I want and need.
Thanks for your advice
Comment: Ten months with a guy and he hasn’t said he loves you? Ouch. I think it’s a cop out. I’m sure he’s had heartbreak in the past, we all have. And maybe he even is emotionally scarred from an ex. But if he then has committed himself to you for ten months, which I assume is more than just casual hookups here and there, yet he’s still closed off when it comes to love, it’s just a red flag.. Some people can move past it, others can’t. If it’s a problem in your eyes, then it’s a problem. You’re obviously bothered by it, and if he just keeps standing by his past and he can’t move on from it, then he’s got a bit of an issue. The question then becomes how you think you’ll be able to deal with it. You’ve already said he isn’t a mushy verbal kind of guy to start out with, so, is that something you need? If it is, then I can see this being a bigger problem down the road.
I would definitely be a little leery of a guy who can’t say he loves you after 10 months. That’s kind of a big deal. So what do you do about the guy who’s perfect for you in every way yet has this one major stumbling block that bothers you? Tough call. Because at this point, what if he says it tomorrow or next week? Then I think you’ll always be thinking, “Did he just say it because he knows I want him to say it because it’s been ten months, or, does he really mean it?” Even after he says it once, I think it’s something he’ll need to continuously say over time for you to actually believe it. He pinned himself in a corner by not saying it for ten months.
I discovered your site during Ben’s season because I needed to know if that brat Courtney won. Anyways, I come to you for the first time for a little relationship advice. I will try to not be as long winded as some others.
My fiancé and I have been together for almost 9 years. We started dated when I was a senior in high school and he was a freshman in college. We are now 26 and 27. We didn’t stay together the whole time. We were on and off a lot during the first 5 or 6 years I would say. College life will do that to you I guess. We have both dated others before and in between during our “breaks”. We finally moved in together last July and he proposed to me last December, so 6 months or so after we moved in together. I also went to college. Stayed a 5th year, then went straight on to get my master’s the year after. So I am pretty much done with school for now. I have a decent job where I make enough to survive plus a little extra. He ended up quitting school a couple years after we first got together. He moved back home and was in school and then not and just really undecided with what he wanted to do. He finally found what he wanted to do and is currently finishing up his bachelor’s. He will be done by Christmas. He is planning to go on to graduate school to get his doctorate. His doctorate program is a 3 year program. He has always maintained that he wants to wait to get married until after we are both done with school. Well I went and took care of business but he didn’t. SO now we are waiting on him being done. I never understood why it mattered so much that he was done with school. It’s not like I’m a distraction any more than I would be if we were married. We are already living together. After I dug a little deeper I realized it was an ego thing. He doesn’t want to get married if he is not able to support me financially. He works very little since he has to do volunteer hours at a clinic and get good grades. I pretty much financially support both of us. It sucks sometimes but I know it’s only temporary. He is good househusband. Our gender roles are very much switched. He has said in the past that it doesn’t matter to him if we get married but if that’s what I want that’s what he’ll do. Not ideal right? But I guess he must not hate the idea since he did propose. Anywho, my question is. Am I a fool for letting him drag me along this much and for this long? Am I being stupid by thinking that he will marry me after he is done with school or that he will just come up with another excuse? I think that you two have a similar sense of humor and are brutally honest so I am hoping you can offer me some insight. Thanks!
Comment: I can see where he’s coming from. When I was 27, I wasn’t financially ready to be married and couldn’t possibly support someone, so I kinda just didn’t get involved with people because I knew it wasn’t going anywhere in the financial state I was in. And yes, it is an ego thing. Guys do feel the need to contribute financially.
But unless he’s a complete jerkoff, I can’t imagine a guy would back out of a proposal. So he’s basically telling you that don’t start thinking about wedding plans for three years when he’s done with grad school? The thing that kinda worries me is him saying it doesn’t matter to him if you guys get married, but if that’s what you want to do he’ll do it. Who says that? Sounds like he doesn’t care either way and you should ask yourself is that really the guy you want to marry.
Because of your long history together, it kinda sounds like this relationship is kind of out of convenience. You guys know each other so well, you’ve basically been dating since high school, and you’re just both there. I don’t know enough about the details of your relationship to expand further, but it kinda sounds like maybe you just don’t feel like venturing out into the dating world again. Yeah, he proposed and you’re engaged, but it sure doesn’t sound like he’s all that thrilled with marrying you. If you want to wait three years for marriage until he finishes school, then do it. But I’d talk to him in the meantime and make sure it’s something he actually wants to do, and he’s not just doing it because he feels that he has to based on your long history.
Those emails could’ve been sent from one person using three fake accounts. They sound too interrelated to be real.
Comment: The emails last week were not three different emails from the same person and they weren’t fake accounts.
First of all, just wanted to say that I’m definitely a fan of yours. Bet you haven’t heard that a million times. Really though, I started watching the Bachelor/Bachelorette in middle school with my mom (wow, that sounds so sad). It’s kind of been our bonding time/guilty pleasure (hey, some people “keep up with the Kardashians”, we watch the Bachelor/Bachelorette). Glad I found your site a while back because it is basically the only reason I keep watching the show (still with my mom, occasionally :)). I look forward to visiting your site each week. I love your sense of humor and how you’re honest and seem to have a good head on your shoulders. Anyways, never thought I would end up writing to you but you seemed to answer a lot of Dr. Reality Steve questions this week. Got a situation of my own that I could use some insight on.
I had been hanging out with a guy that I met back in the beginning of March. The only reason I say this in past tense is because he moved about 10 hours away a couple weeks ago to attend grad school. We went out on a date two days after meeting and after that we have kept in frequent contact and spent a lot of time together while he was still living here. I was initially hesitant about starting anything with anyone since I was just about to finish school at the time and had given up hope of finding a guy that I could see myself getting serious about. Besides, I wasn’t sure where I would look for a job after school and he was going to further his education in a different state after the summer. After hanging out with this guy for a few weeks, I found out that he was a lot older than he looked. I’m 23 and he is 11 years older. Let’s just say that I was pretty skeptical. I figured that the age difference pretty much spoke for itself. What would I have in common with someone over 10 years older than me? Apparently a lot. I love that he makes me laugh and has my weird sense of humor, and he is just the most caring and genuine person that I have met in a long time. My closest of friends have even commented on the fact that I’m always happy and more importantly, always myself, around him and that they can see why I’ve kept him around.
Here’s the thing though, neither of us are the type that have the natural ability of being able to comfortably tell each other how we are feeling…romantically, I guess? I’m completely certain that he cares about me and that he enjoys my company. However, in the time that we have spent together we haven’t really ever discussed our relationship status at all. We definitely have a spark (or some sh**?) that I’ve never experienced before and I just feel like we have a really good thing going even though we aren’t “official”. I think it’s safe to say that the feeling is mutual and I also know that he isn’t seeing anyone else nor does he have any interest in doing so. To me, I don’t necessarily need to call him my “boyfriend” to feel significant satisfaction about where we stand but I have to admit that it is a little uncomfortable when my family/friends ask about our relationship. We had never even discussed the possibility of what would happen once he moved until two week prior of it happening. When we finally got to talking about things, we decided that we still wanted to continue talking, which has been daily ever since. I want to avoid a long distance relationship, especially if it’s for a significant amount of time, but I know that if it were the only option I would inevitably want to continue to speak to him daily and try to put in my best effort into seeing what could happen.
He’s made certain references to the future that make me feel like he sees me being a part of it. He has told me that there would be more job opportunities for me down where he’s currently living. He has also expressed concerns about not knowing what to expect school-wise, whether or not he’s going to have a lot of free time, doesn’t want me to move there and feel lonely, so on and so forth. We talked about the possibility of me moving down there in a few months. I would love to, especially since even seeing the guy once or twice a week would be great vs. seeing him once every couple months if I were living in another state. I also completely understand that once school starts he is going to have a huge workload every week. I’m always keeping busy myself. I want school to be his #1 focus. He has so much potential and so many dreams that were there before I ever came into the picture. I’m really so proud of him and I know that he is going to do great things
So, my questions for you are:
1) Is an 11 year age difference too much? Am I crazy? Even though things are great now, do you think that eventually it could create a problem?
2) My degree allows me to find the same work basically anywhere (pretty general) so I figure why not at least consider taking a chance and moving closer to him. I really don’t want to be the one to encourage the move though. Do you think that it’s smart to avoid the topic or wait for him to further any conversations about it? Or do you think that I should keep job hunting in different places even though I’ll probably have to sign a lease on an apartment?
3) Is 6 months of knowing each other/hanging out/talking…too soon to even be considering any of this? I mean, the dude isn’t even technically my boyfriend.
Thoughts? Sorry for the novel. Just a little scatterbrained. I appreciate it if you at least took the time to read this. Thanks!
Comment: 1) 10 years is my age limit, but that varies for everybody.
2) Why would you want to move closer to someone who really hasn’t bothered discussing what you two are? Definitely don’t move until he says you guys are an item and that he wants you to move. That’d just be dumb. To me, it sounds like he’s just enjoying hooking up with you and nothing more.
3) Six months with him and neither one of you has really ever bothered to delve into anything more serious about what you guys are? Maybe neither of you want anything serious. If you’re really that into him, wouldn’t you want to know this stuff? Six months of hooking up and it’s never really come up what your relationship is? Sounds like he’s getting everything he wants. A younger woman that he doesn’t have to call his girlfriend, and one who isn’t constantly asking about your “status.” He’s loving life right now.
The fact that you haven’t asked, or really seemed to care to ask what’s going on makes me think you aren’t all that serious about him either. You guys enjoy each others company, you enjoy talking and hanging out, and that’s the extent of it. If you wanted him to yourself bad enough, you would’ve said something by this point.
You know what’s amazing? The amount of “Dr. Reality Steve” emails I get where grad school comes into play. Seems like it’s coming up more and more frequently.