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Dr. Reality Steve

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Dr. Reality Steve,

Normally I would not write in about something like this but I thought I would get a non biased male opinion. I am a 22 year old girl and I live in a college town. I work at a place where a lot of other college age kids work. It is a very social workplace and it is common for coworkers to date. At the beginning of last summer I met a new guy at work (he is 24). We sat near each other and worked very similar hours as each other. We hit it off immediately. We had a lot in common and always had a great time at work together. From the beginning I was never attracted to him and always thought of him as a friend. We started becoming even closer and shared personal things with each other (family stuff, past relationships, etc.). I would tell him about guys I was currently interested in and he would give me advice. He would also tell me about girls he was interested in, most of whom we worked with. We started hanging out outside of work. We would never go on dates – it was always just hanging out. People at work started to ask me if we were dating which really bothered me. Can a guy and girl not just be friends??

Anyway, school started in August and everyones schedules changed. I never ever saw him at work anymore. He would text me all the time. Snapchat me all the time. He started saying things to me about how he was jealous of the guys I was going out with. I always shot that down immediately when he would say things like that to me. He would say weird things to me quite frequently and he knew I was not interested. This started to really bother me. I felt like he was suffocating me. He would not take no for an answer. he would show up at my apartment with no notice. One day he said, “I have no interest in being just friends with you.” I was sad that he said that to me (this was around the end of September). I was sad that he wanted to throw away our friendship because I did not want to date him. We stopped talking after that.

Then after a few weeks he started texting and snap chatting me again. He was acting like nothing happened and like he had never said he did not want to be my friend anymore. I was annoyed of his immature behavior so I would not respond to his texts/snapchats (yes, that was also immature of me too). I would just get really annoyed when I saw his name pop up on my phone and I had no interest in being part of the dramatic situation that he had created. I was also going through a really hard personal time. He knew a little bit about it and was always bugging me with questions and was always wanting to know the details – that bothered me a lot. I kept getting texts saying, what’s wrong?! What happened?! (idiot). At the beginning of January, it had been about 3 months since we had talked (well since I had responded to him). I was worried about seeing him at work (our schedules had changed again to accomodate the new semester). I knew I would run into him and I did not know how he would act, nor how I should act. It turns out he was going to avoid me and not make eye contact with me. I don’t blame him for this because I had been avoiding his texts for months. It was very awkward. People at work were noticing that we were not talking and asking me what had happened. I was seeing him enough at work that I was uncomfortable and quite honestly, it was immature the way we were both acting. I wanted to be able to be civil at work with him though I did not want to hang out outside of work with him.

I contacted him after a few weeks of awkward tension and let him know that I wanted us to be able to be cordial at work with one another. He agreed with me. When we would run into each other at work we would talk for a moment and be on our way. It was nice. Then he started texting me again – quite frequently. He kept asking me to hang out. I had no interest in hanging out with him and knew it would only lead to trouble (and lots of drama). I kindly came up with an excuse when he would ask me. After a while of this he started acting really cold towards me. He would not talk to me for a week and then the next week would act like everything was fine. It was totally hot and cold with him. Part of me wonders if I should ask him if something is wrong. Another part of me wonders if I should just let him act like a baby and not worry about it. The only thing is…. there is a small possibility that he could become my supervisor at some point. That is the only reason I am worried about what is going on with our friendship (or lack thereof?). I know I was not perfect and could have handled things better but I feel like he is acting very immature. Is he still upset that I do not want to date him? Because of the supervisor issue, should I try and mend whatever is going on? For the record, I do not care to be his friend and only put on a friendly face at work so there is not an awkward situation for either of us.

Sorry, this is a bit of a jumbled mess. I’m writing when I have a few minutes here and there at work. I would just like your opinion on the situation.


Aggravated in Arizona

Comment: A jumbled mess indeed. He sounds like a 24 year old dweeb who’s bummed he can’t get in your pants, but keeps trying in hopes that you change your mind.

Yes, he’s acting very immature. However, if he does become your supervisor and holds it against you in some way, I would suggest maybe looking for other work. Only because there would be no way to prove he’s purposely holding something against you at work, or not promoting you or whatever. Has he said something about that? Is he hinting that he’d make your life miserable or something? I would just wait it out and see how things go IF he becomes your supervisor. If not, then there’s really nothing to worry about because you can just carry on like you have been. Other than that, he’s just being a spoiled baby because he can’t get what he wants. Let him. Be the bigger person and don’t give him the time of day.

Dr. Reality Steve,

I’m the girl who wrote you last week about meeting up with an ex I hadn’t seen in 10 years and was wondering if he was meeting up with me to see if there was a way where we could be together again. Well, I think he maybe was. He didn’t come out and say it, but I could tell he was trying to kiss me or something. Want to know what he did? I thought he was just walking me back to my car, but he got in my car and sat in the passenger side and talked to me for an hour. It was odd. When he was getting in, I thought, “what are you doing”. I kept on saying how much I love being single so that way he won’t think there is anything. Anyway, I didn’t get the Asian chicken salad that you thought I would get. We met at a local farmers market and I had a hot dog and fries, but he did pay for it.

Anyway, I need your help with something else now. Back in high school I worked with this guy at a movie theater and I had a big crush on him. I’m not sure if he knew or not. Anyway, he saw me on plenty of fish and sent me a message. In his first message to me, he said he liked my profile and seemed like a nice girl or something like that. Anyway, I knew who he was, and I thought does he not remember me? I was relieved and kind of scared at the same time he didn’t. Anyway, then he sent me another message telling me, “oh now I remember you. We used to work together back in the day.”. And I just played dumb. I said, “oh I thought you looked familiar”. Maybe he did think he knew me and thought maybe if we talked for a bit he could figure it out. I never gave any hint that we knew each other.

I told him how they’re turning the old theater we used to work at into an iMax and he didn’t know and asked if I have been to the theater that was built about a year ago that was turned into a dinner and a movie. I told him know and he said we should go one day. My question is, is he asking me out on a date or not? I really liked him back in the day. I don’t want to get my hopes up. I mean me and him were never really friends when we worked together. Does he see me as a potential girlfriend? Any help would be great! Thanks so much!

Comment: You seem to be meeting up with a bunch of your ex’s from high school. If I’m not mistaken, the ex from last week was your HS boyfriend as well. Or maybe college.

I mean, you met this guy on a dating site and then he asked you to go to a dinner and a movie place. Sounds like a date to me. I think you’ll be able to tell more as you talk to him heading into the date. As for if he sees you as a potential girlfriend? Hell if I know. He hasn’t even gone on a date with you yet. Lets not put the cart before the horse. That’s what he’s asking you out for. To see if there’s potential as a girlfriend. So don’t overdo it and don’t come across as super giddy because you’re dating a guy you thought was the bees knees in high school. A lot has happened since then. He may be a complete douche now, you never know.


I have a doctor Reality Steve question that I would like a males perspective on.

I am a successful mature woman who can take care of herself. I have been single by choice for about 10 years. I am not really looking for someone, but have dated some. I am not against having another serious relationship if the right person came along, but not really actively pursuing one.

My question to you is why are men intimidated, turned off by a successful non needy woman. I cannot figure that one out.

Love your articles,
Stumped and Clueless

Comment: This is not nearly detailed enough for me to answer. You say you’ve been single for 10 years by choice, would be interested in a serious relationship but not really pursuing one, then saying men are intimidated by successful non needy women. It’s a pretty blanket statement to throw out there regarding all men. Maybe it’s just the ones that you’re dating? It sounds like you’ve dated a lot of duds and you’re not in the greatest frame of mind right now when it comes to the opposite sex. You need to change that. Sounds like you already have a negative attitude going in, and my guess is it’s showing. Kinda hard to say though because you didn’t provide much info, but I’ll go with that for the time being because I’m a genius. Good luck.

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  1. amyrn22

    March 5, 2015 at 10:12 AM

    Good news for Painfully Pregnant… I just had my first child a few months ago…. At first, I had horrible morning (all day) sickness) and didn’t want my husband anywhere near me. Sometime in the second trimester, things got better, and I felt better, more energetic, etc. I have never wanted sex more in my life. We did it every day and it was great. It was like I finally accepted my pregnant body and my husband thought I was sexier than ever. Now after baby, that’s another story. Steve hit it head on…. after baby, you’re so tired, and so sick of taking care of someone else 24 hours a day that at the end of the day, the last thing you feel like doing is having sex. The “no sex for 6 weeks rule” was great, but now we’re past that, and I have just have to suck it up and do it sometimes. Wine helps. So do date nights in which we both take a shot of vodka before we even leave the house. 🙂 Things do change, but different doesn’t always mean worse. Good luck on your pregnancy!

  2. dfall

    March 5, 2015 at 10:37 AM

    Have to agree with stumped and clueless as I had the same experince. Men are intimidated by a successful woman. The right man will think that your success is an asset. Believe he is out there and be yourself. Mine came, albiet a little later in life. Been hapily married almost 10 years now.

  3. fcew

    March 5, 2015 at 10:39 AM

    Everyone is different. Sex was a complete no for me during pregnancy, so we went 9+ months without it. Our daughter slept in our room until she was about 3 months old, which is when sex started up again. But it’s been relatively back to normal since then.

  4. keddo

    March 5, 2015 at 11:03 AM

    Painfully Pregnant,
    I’ll add to what amryn22 says: When the baby no longer gets you up to be fed, etc. at all hours it will get easier. Also, when the kid gets to an age when she wants to sleep with you, allow it occasionally, but most of the time insist she sleeps in her own bed.

    Forsaken Friend,
    Get in touch with whichever of your friend’s parents or siblings you know the best, explain what’s happening, and ask them what to do. Hopefully they can offer insight, and possibly on their own initiative (not at your request), get in your friend’s face about their crappiness.

    Aggravated in Arizona,
    You, and any other woman of any age who is getting unwanted boundary-crossing attention should read the book “The Gift of Fear” by Gavin De Becker. Look it up and read the reviews if you like, or just risk the $10 or less and buy it right away. You won’t regret the read. Even if you aren’t fearful of your coworker, De Becker offers excellent advise concerning people who won’t take “no” for an answer.

    Movie theatre girl,
    If a guy says you should do something together “one day”, that is NOT asking you out. Asking you out consists of actual solid plans. Don’t waste mental/emotional energy on this guy until he actually asks you out. He knows you’re interested and will do something about it if he is more than just curious about you.

    Stumped and Clueless,
    Men worthy of you are NOT turned off by successful, non-needy women. Worthy men, however, may need to know you’re interested in them in order to get the courage to ask you out, and some men are not tuned in to subtle clues.

  5. V1Man

    March 5, 2015 at 12:17 PM

    Is there anything sexier than a woman who knows who she is and what she wants? I think not. This Alpha Male stuff is greatly overrated — even for big-time players like Arie. There are a lot of us who are also comfortable in who he are, have healthy egos and have achieved success prefer women with whom we can be full and complete partners.
    If you are having problems with a coworker who makes you uncomfortable through his unwanted advances, save those email, texts, etc. Should he or she become your supervisor later, your future lawyer will be delighted that you made his or her work so much easier.

  6. arod

    March 5, 2015 at 12:55 PM

    Stumped and Clueless,

    Guys tend to have a sixth sense when it comes to how much the woman wants a relationship. I’m guessing they get the feeling from you that you either are ready to settle down or that you want it to be on your terms. You’ve got to focus on EVERYTHING and anything else but finding a man, and then the guys will come to you. When the time comes, you simply have to choose one.

  7. vessel

    March 5, 2015 at 3:05 PM

    To the pregnant emailer-the answer is everyone is different. When I was pregnant (all 3 times) I never wanted sex more, and I didn’t have any decline afterward in how interested I was. We resumed relations 2 weeks after delivery (the OB/Gyn I worked for at the time assured me it was fine, IE: I wasn’t bleeding, didn’t have stitches, etc.) and yeah frequency changed just because the baby slept in bed with us and nursing took up a lot of time, etc. But it wasn’t for lack of desire.

    That said I have known plenty of women who just didn’t have ANY sex drive for quite a long time after having the baby. However you feel, and how you manage for yourself is perfectly normal, don’t force yourself to do something until you’re feeling it. Pregnancy and new Motherhood is a big deal, and I’m sure your husband will be as understanding as he can about that. It’s a big deal for him, as well! Congrats, and be kind to yourself!

  8. bostoncpa

    March 5, 2015 at 3:28 PM

    About pregnancy- I’m towards the end of my 2nd trimester and while it’s gotten better, I don’t have much of a sex drive. However, that is a vast improvement over my 1st trimester were I didn’t want sex (now I’m just indifferent). As your belly gets bigger, it will take some adjusting to get into a comfortable position (and I feel like a turtle), but that hasn’t been a huge deal. Everyone is different, but we definitely have less sex than we did before.

  9. justforfun

    March 5, 2015 at 9:21 PM

    Forsaken Friend- it sounds like your friend is breaking up with you. Granted, she is doing it in a very immature way, like a guy that just stops answering your calls. 🙁 You may never know why, some people are not comfortable ending a friendship so they take the easy way out. I wouldn’t contact her again, move on with your life. Sadly, not all friendships are forever.

  10. katieottawa

    March 6, 2015 at 4:36 AM

    This is for the forsaken friend- I know too well how you are feeling. Same thing happened to me last year with my best friend of 15+years. I had moved away too but still kept in touch daily. I got really sick all of a sudden and after having tests done I was told that I needed to have my gallbladder removed. There were complications from stone blockage that had caused me to have liver and pancreatic damage. Honestly 2 weeks after I told her I was really sick and was waiting to have surgery for my gallbladder, she stopped answering my calls, wasnt calling me back. When I mentioned trying to have surgery quicker in her city, she told me to not count on her to take me to the hospital because she was too busy with work. To say I was shocked was an understatement. I did call her out for being a crappy friend and not being there for me during this difficult time and she took that opportunity to disappear. I never heard back from her after that. It was very hard going through the ordeal on my own without her support. No question, difficult ordeals like this can make or break a friendship. Just like in my situation, your friend has shown her true colors and how little she truly is invested in your friendship. Even if you hear back from her and she gives you some BS excuse, best to cut your loses and move on, as you will never be able to forget, forgive or even trust her in the future.

  11. jlj02

    March 6, 2015 at 11:55 AM

    Painfully Pregnant,
    This definitely will vary by person and relationship, but here’s my take. I would talk to your husband about how you feel and get his take. My husband didn’t want me to be uncomfortable during sex while I was pregnant and I didn’t want him to have unfulfilled needs, so we figured out what worked for us. Sometimes he served me by just not getting any action and other times I would serve him by finding ways to fill those needs. Communication is the most important thing there!

    As for after, newborns are tough and sex after baby can be painful (it was only temporary for me though). Just keep communicating and you’ll figure out what works for you. My 2 kids are 6 and 8 now…we have sex at least 4 times a week and it’s great. So, it does get better!!

  12. rob22

    March 6, 2015 at 3:19 PM

    “I have been single by choice for about 10 years. I am not really looking for someone”…. “not really actively pursuing one (a relationship)”. “My question to you is why are men intimidated, turned off by a successful non needy woman.”

    Your comments speak for themselves. By your own words, you are happy being single and not really looking for a relationship. So, somehow then you think guys are somehow intimidated by you?

    No, they’re picking up the vibe… or you may be telling them directly that you’re not interested in what anyone is selling. Guys aren’t going to bother with someone who don’t seem to be on the market. I guarantee that it’s not that you’re successful or that they’re intimidated. Some guys love that.

  13. rob22

    March 7, 2015 at 11:11 AM

    Just to add: I often see high powered career women with less than high powered guys. Often, those guys are not terribly ambitious & have basic, non demanding jobs. Some are even “house husbands”. Not always, but I can see the logic. If both of are you high powered, then why would you need one another. In fact, you’ll probably annoy one another. Balance is good & high powered people need someone different than they are to help balance out their lives. On the flip side, non ambitious people realize they need balance too. If they marry a non ambitious person, then they’ll live a more modest life than they might like.

  14. erolyn

    March 8, 2015 at 10:36 PM

    Forsaken Friend:

    I was diagnosed with cancer in college, and my best friend at the time acted almost exactly the same way as your friend. We had been friends since grade school and I took a trip down to her college so I could tell her in person that I was sick. My first surgery happened right before Thanksgiving break and she said she’d come see me when she was home visiting her parents. After that, I didn’t hear from her for six months – after my treatment was pretty much over.

    She tried to contact me several times over the next few months and I ignored them all. She tried to tell me she had been “scared”; never mind the fact that I and my family were just as scared, and she obviously didn’t care much about our feelings…just her own.

    Selfish people will always be selfish. There’s nothing you can do about it and you’re better off without them in your life. I know that’s not what you want to hear, and believe me, I know exactly how much it hurts when people you love abandon you when you need them most. But several years later, I’m cancer-free, doing great, and next month I’ll be the maid of honor at the wedding of my current and forever BFF, who brought me Disney movies in the hospital and sat with me at home on my 21st birthday when I was too sick from radiation treatments to go out. Because that’s what real friends do…and your real friends will do the same. I promise.

    Good luck. Stay strong.

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