Dr. Reality Steve
Dear Dr. RS,
First off, you’re awesome. Thank you for bringing joy into my otherwise boring school-week. You are appreciated, and just an all-around fantastic guy!
The finale hasn’t aired yet, but I will say since I am so confident in you: congrats on another great season!! I made a bet with my boyfriend that if you’re right (which you will be), that he has to read spoilers for the next Bachelorette season, which he’ll hate because he does not like spoilers (he doesn’t know what he’s missing).
Okay, so this is probably an issue that you haven’t been brought before, but I’d like to see your input, since, well, you’re a guy who has a good judgment of character from what I’ve seen throughout the years.
I’m a college senior, as is the best friend that I will be referring to (this really is my friend and not just me masking anything, as you’ll see). We’ve known each other for over ten years, too. I’ll call her Lacy.
Lacy started dating her now-fiance last January, and only a few months after that time, she said they were going to get married. Granted, they had known each other all of college and were best friends, but thought dating wasn’t an option because he’s from another country and is only in America for college (he’s from Asia). He proposed in September and they were hoping to get married this upcoming September, but her parents didn’t want them to get married just so he could have a reason to stay in the country, and it was a huge point of contention with them, causing numerous fights and such.
Lacy’s fiance comes from an extremely wealthy background, so finances aren’t really an issue here and he has said that if they weren’t getting married, that he wouldn’t have a reason to stay in the country.
I’ve been one of the only friends that Lacy has confided to about her upcoming nuptials because all of her other friends didn’t know why she couldn’t wait another year or two. My own parents got married at 22, and I’m in a very committed relationship myself and looking to get married within the next few years as well, so she felt that she could come to me without judgment, and that I could relate to her on some level.
Long story short, the fiance has had to find a way to stay in the country (even though he told her he’d wait two years), so he’s going to get an internship, if he finds one. As I just found out today, Lacy (going against her parent’s wishes, which I’ll get to in a minute), was able to find a booking for this November at our church, which is only two months after when she originally wanted to get married, and she has expressed that she should get married when she wants since it’s her day.
Today, I get a text message from Lacy’s mother out-of-the-blue asking if she could call me and talk to me about something (which has never happened before). I was thinking that this was something about the bridal shower or something of that sort, since I’m one of the bridesmaids. Well, Lacy’s mother put me in an awkward position, which is the reason why I’m writing to you (sorry it took so long to get here). She basically put me on the spot, asking if there’s a reason why they’re rushing the nuptials, that Lacy doesn’t even care about having a wedding, that she would go to a justice of the peace, have a simple lunch, etc. which is all very different than what she’s said for her whole life about what she wanted for a wedding. I talked to Lacy’s mother and asked her if she’s worried, and she told me that she’s “beyond worried,” and that “he could take her and we could never see her again.” So basically, from what I ascertained since she never explicitly said it, they’re worried that he’s a con man who could take her out of the country and never let her come back here. Keep in mind, some of my other friends’ parents have expressed the same concern, one of whom was in the FBI, but nothing has been expressed to Lacy explicitly, because she’s dissuaded other views, saying he has enough money to not need anything from her, and that they’re genuinely in love.
Also, Lacy’s mom said that I can’t say anything to Lacy about the phone call, but that I should be “a good influence” on her and see if she would want to postpone things for a few months longer and report back to her if I hear anything. I know that Lacy and her mom have had conflicts on wedding dates and such, but I didn’t know it was this bad. Lacy’s mom sounded nothing like her normal self- she sounded emotionally drained and just genuinely fearful, which naturally freaked me out. I should add that Lacy had gone behind her mother’s back to go through the church to get possible dates earlier than next year, too, and that the church is making an exception for Lacy (normally have to reserve a year in advance at least).
I will just add that I have met the fiance once and he does seem to be a really nice guy, showering Lacy with gifts and fancy dinners, and overall making her very happy. He’s also been welcomed on numerous occasions into Lacy’s home and they have said they liked him to Lacy.
So my question to you is, should I tell Lacy: A. that her mother contacted me, because I think it could make things worse? Or B. just keep acting the way that I’ve been acting, supporting her wishes? I feel like I’ve been put in a really tough spot, and I can see both sides, so I’m stuck.
Thanks and sorry this message was so long! You are the king!!!
Bride’s BFF (you’re welcome)
Comment: Yeah, her mom did put you in a tough spot. Here’s what I’d do. Tell the mother to contact her daughter and speak to her herself with her concerns. What good does it do to go through you? She can’t have a talk to her own daughter? Or she has and she hasn’t been able to get through to her?
Either way, I think the mother could be getting a little paranoid. I kinda don’t get why she thinks he’s just gonna take her away. Wouldn’t Lacy have a say in that? If she thought she was being taken away, and that’s not what she wants, she’d stop it from happening.
The mother needs to be more open with Lacy and express her concerns. Not to you.
This is “confused in Miami” I wrote to you the other week about my affair with the married man. Well I took your advice (and the advice of the listeners in the comments) and quit it cold turkey. It was not an easy thing to do because he claimed to love me blah blah blah and even proposed to me. Well I didn’t give in and I blocked his number, email, and I blocked him on all social media sites so there is no way of us contacting each other anymore.
Thank you for your advice I know its for the best however, I am really struggling with this heartache. I cannot eat, sleep, and constantly feel sick to my stomach. I was wondering if there is anything I can do that will ease the heartache or is time really the only thing that can heal this.
Still messed up in Miami
Comment: You will get over it. You need to stop feeling sorry for yourself and think that this was actually something real. It was never going to happen. You loved the fantasy of it, but think of it this way: If he would’ve left his wife for you, what’s to say he wouldn’t have done the exact same thing to you down the line? It’s right there in front of your face. If he did it for you, he obviously could do it to you. Be happy it’s over because it was never gonna work.
So I’ve got a sort of off topic relationship question- a friendship related one. I invited a few friends down to my place in a few weeks to hang out because I haven’t seen them in a while. Started making plans about where we were going to go out for dinner, out for drinks, etc. Then suddenly one of them starts talking about what her and her 3 young kids are going to do while they are down here. I had no idea. Obviously I know she has kids, but it was never brought up that they would be coming. I have a small home, with little space for people to be undisturbed so I was very thrown off with her assuming we would be okay with the kids staying at our place for the entire weekend. It just never occurred to me that kids would be brought along for a weekend we discussed going out at night.
My question is, am I wrong for not assuming her kids would come along with her? Or should she have asked us if it was okay before deciding by herself that they were coming. I’m also still confused how these kids are coming and we’re going to be going out at night, but that’s another issue.
Comment: No, you weren’t in the wrong. But now that you know they’re coming, you need to make it clear that it wasn’t in the plans. Just tell her, “Hey, I noticed you said you were bringing your kids. I’m sorry if you misunderstood, but this was supposed to be just us girls this weekend. Is there any way you can NOT bring them?” And if she says she’s already made plans, they’re coming, etc. then you have to work out the logistics of that. Maybe once she realizes the logistics don’t work, she changes her plans and doesn’t end up coming, or has someone else take the kids.
Dear Dr. Steve,
Over the course of the past several years, I’ve lost a lot of weight. Like a hundred pounds a lot. In the end, it was simple (healthy eating, exercise and self-discipline), but not easy. I went through a few cycles of re-gaining and then re-losing. There’s plenty more to say, but the important part now is that I’m happy and at a healthy weight.
I was really overweight, and my size has fluctuated a lot. That kind of thing takes a toll on your body, and all the dieting and exercising in the world won’t give me a Sports Illustrated body. I have loose skin and stretch marks. My breasts look like they belong to a middle-aged mother who breastfed four kids. I’m very happy with myself as a person and would venture to say that I have higher self confidence than most, but of course I’m self-conscious about my body. Some days I think I was more comfortable with my naked body when I was one hundred pounds heavier, but I work hard to remind myself that I should love my body for exactly what it is and that my stretch marks tell the story of my journey to health. I’m smart, funny, charming, successful, and kind. I’m a catch, but I understand that humans are visually motivated and that I would not be sexually or romantically compatible with people who place a high value physical appearance. My challenge is identifying and weeding those people out (considering they are probably the majority).
With clothes on, I look amazing. I have a pretty face and a lovely shape and I generally get hit on by good-looking dudes, but (and I’m really trying to get better about this) I can’t help but feel like I’m engaging in some sort of false advertising. When I start dating someone and things are about to get physical, I don’t really know how to approach it. Sometimes I don’t say anything and just force myself to believe they like me for me while I use everything in me to will myself to project self-confidence, but it’s very, very difficult not to let self-conscious thoughts creep in, like I’m disappointing to my partner. I hate that feeling, so I’ve also tried openly discussing my weight loss before the clothes come off and letting them know that my body reflects my journey, but I don’t really feel like they “get” it, and I also think it’s a little unfair to the guy since it wouldn’t really be easy for him to admit if it were going to be a problem without looking/feeling like an asshole (even though I would absolutely appreciate the honesty – less of a sting than finding out later). Also, it’s just awkward. “So I know you THINK I’m an 8, but really I’m about a 4. Hope that’s cool lol k thanks byeeeee!”
So, Dr. Steve, man who entertains me week after week while asking nothing of me in return, I would appreciate your advice. I respect your opinion as someone who is intelligent, realistic, male, and has completed a degree in internet psychology. You’re always impeccably honest, but give it to me straight, doc.
Much love, and keep on rockin’ in the free world.
– Former Fat Friend and Two-Hand Waver 4 Lyfe
Comment: First off, congratulations on that much weight loss. No pills, wraps, fad diets, or anything like that can make someone lose that much weight. That’s strict eating and working out, which takes a ton of self-discipline. I commend you for that.
But if you’re still self conscious about your naked body, I don’t think it’s wrong to throw it out there before anything physical happens. Your weight loss is part of who you are, so you can’t hide from it. It’s not like he’d never not know that. But yeah, it’s tough situation because every guy is gonna react different. There’s not gonna be a universal answer to how he will react. You kinda have to wade through it and see, but at least by telling them all upfront, they know what to expect. If they ditch you, then they weren’t for you anyway. I think you’ll be surprised that some won’t be affected by it at all.
Dr. Reality Steve,
I wanted to get your opinion on something. My ex and I dated for 4 years, broke up several years ago, and are now friends. A little background, we worked together and were friends before we dated, and although the breakup was painful, it was mutual and as amicable as breakups can be. He was moving to another state to finish his PhD and my career was taking off in California. We did not see a future together as a couple so we decided to end things. About a year and a half ago he reached out to me and we resumed our friendship, emailing and talking a few times a month. He is still in another state, so we have not seen each other.
I ran into a former colleague last week and we were catching up, talking about who we kept in touch with from our former job. She asked me if I went to my ex’s wedding!? She recently “friended” him on Facebook (I should add I’m not on Facebook, I know one of the few, and he knows that) and saw he is married. I used a friend’s Facebook account to check out his profile. He has been married for two years, presumably happily form the photos, but we all know that means nothing. I just think that it is odd that he has been married the entire time we have been talking and he never told me. Our conversations are purely platonic, but are far from trivial and he mentioned he considers me to be one of his closest friends. Clearly we are not that close since he failed to mention he is married! I have no problem that he is married, and he knows me well enough to know that I would be happy for him and it would not hurt my feelings at all. Why do you think he has not told me? Of course the only way to find out is to ask him, which I plan to do, but I respect your opinion and am curious what you think.
I’m a big fan of your blog – thank you for all that you do.
Confused in California
Comment: A married man failed to mention he was married? No way!
Definitely ask him. You’ll get your answer as to why. I really don’t know. You’ve been talking a few times a month for the last 18 months and relationship stuff has never come up with this guy? He’s never had a story that involved his wife? What do you guys talk about? If any of your talks revolve around your past relationship, etc then he’s purposely hiding it because he wants to see if there’s some sort of chance with you.
If you just started talking to the guy a week ago, it’d make sense. 18 months and he’s never once mentioned his wife? Guy is shady. I’m sure his wife would be thrilled about that. Just ask him next time you talk to him, and say a mutual friend saw that you were married, I’m surprised you never brought that up. Everything ok? Then see how much he squirms.
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