Reality Steve

Dr. Reality Steve

“Dr. Reality Steve” & Live Video Chat Returns Tonight at 9:00pm EST/6:00pm PST

So I’ve made the decision that I will return tonight to do the live video chats at 9:00pm EST/6:00pm PST. Sure it won’t be easy at first, but once I get going I think it’ll be fine. If there’s one thing I ask any of you who are going to email in with a question, it would be that we just keep the Maddie talk to a minimum. Most of you who view the video chats every week I know have seen Maddie in them over the years, and you probably took the time to email me sometime in the last week offering your condolences. I appreciate all of those sentiments. I’m just asking politely that you don’t need to mention it again before you get to your questions tonight. Just something I would hope you’d respect. And by you not saying anything, it’s not that I think you aren’t sorry or anything like that, far from it. Just that the constant reminder that she’s gone is what is toughest at this point. It’s still very hard to accept. I keep thinking that she’s temporarily on vacation, or that she’s at the doggy resort and I just haven’t picked her up yet. I guess that would be the first step in the grieving process, right? Denial. I mean, I’m not stupid enough to actually think she’s coming back, but it’s just hard to accept that she isn’t. And I have no idea how long that feeling will last. Probably a while I’m guessing. Anyway, back to normal tonight. Ask away with your “Bachelor” questions and we’ll get through it tonight as it gets better and better by the day.

Hi Dr. RS,

I am a freshman at a big state university. Last semester, I had an intro class with only 15 people and became close to everyone in the class. I became friendly with a pretty quiet guy but nothing more than just hanging out in group settings. We’re in the same program so we have three classes together this semester and those class are fairly small. Over break we never hung out but we snapchatted a lot. He’s never asked for my number but we talk on snapchat pretty often. He never asked me to hang out over break even though we’re from towns next to each other. The other night he snapchatted me and asked if I wanted to go to the movies with him and his friend. I said yes and went with them. I expected to just be going as friends but then he paid for my movie ticket which was super nice. I didn’t expect anything else to happen because his friend was there (and nothing else did happen), but it kind of felt like a date because he paid for my ticket and only invited me and not other people from our usual social group. I’m worried to make a move because maybe he only likes me as a friend and it would be awkward in all of the classes (and future classes) we have together. I’m not sure where to go from here. He still hasn’t even asked for my number but we talk on snapchat a lot and have classes together. Do I try to make a move? Do I wait for him? Do I blow it off and move on? Thanks for your help!!

Confused in Cali

Comment: I think he likes you and is interested, but seeing that you’re only freshman in college, and not knowing his dating history, maybe he’s just nervous. I wouldn’t blow him off at all since he’s still showing interest in you. Yeah, it is a bit weird he hasn’t gotten your number yet, but at least you’re different than a lot of the emails I get where women are trying to convince themselves that a guy who isn’t blowing up their phone anymore still has an interest in them. I think your situation is a bit different. Could just chalk it up to him being shy or nervous, but he didn’t have to pay for your movie ticket, so that was nice. Just keep talking to him and doing what you guys are doing. If in a month or two he still hasn’t asked for your number, then I’d say move on.

What was the vibe at the movie? You sat next to him, right? Did he ever do the yawning trick? Did he push off against your leg trying to get up from his seat declaring his love for you like Ben did to Olivia? Did he maybe sneak in the ol’ popcorn trick? Or was it just a normal movie setting where you stared at the screen for two hours and that was it? Just pay closer attention to how he acts around you and take it from there. His signs will give you your answer.


I have a question for you in regards to my son. He is in his 1st year of college and is having difficulty meeting friends and finding stuff to do. He is not living in a dorm but he is living on campus in housing it’s called affiliated housing. He has a roommate that he choose (it was kinda like a matchmaking site for college students based on their common interests, and study habits, etc.). His roommate and him get along well and talk but just while in the room together. They met other kids on the floor and hung out the 1st couple days but then exchanged phone numbers and send out group text on what to do on a weekend and where to meet. When the kids go to their room they are nice and civil with my son but never extend an invite anywhere else. He feels it has something to do with kids not hanging out with their roommates. My son has a variety of interest all sports, Xbox, photography, tv, movies, etc. He had a good group of friends all through high school. After high school all his friends went to different colleges. He doesn’t feel accepted and doesn’t want to keep trying to be accepted by this group of guys. I have told him to try to ask questions like what’s everyone doing this weekend or telling them he’s bored looking for something to do. He says it’s not cool and I’m crazy. I have told him to look into joining clubs. Photography club meets on day and time he has a class. He didn’t get to join the lacrosse team. He has gone out to the common areas where they have a TV and couches and turned on the football games and nobody but security guard comes over to watch or talk. So finally my question is How do I help him or what do I tell him to help him make friends? He is contacting me almost every weekend wanting to come home. I love him dearly but he chose against my advice to go away to college. He is living about 1.5 hours away from home. We spent the first semester picking him up every weekend he wanted to come home and driving him home on Sunday nights before we go to bed. I am worried he will get depressed and not do well in school. Any advice for a young college kid would be appreciated.

Comment: Hmmmmmm…there could be a myriad of factors he’s not telling you, but if there’s one thing I will always stand by, is that I think as long as it makes financial sense, kids should go away and experience college life. Doesn’t have to mean another state, and doesn’t mean if you don’t and stay home that you’ll be some failure or something, but having experienced living on a college campus for 4 years, you really learn a lot about yourself and life and I think it’s something that all kids should do.

As for what’s going on with your son, there could be a lot of different factors in play in regards to maybe how he’s viewed by them, what he’s doing to alienate himself, etc but I don’t know so I won’t get into it. I will say that it’s still his freshman year. He’s got plenty of time. I know it took me a full semester to settle in my freshman year before I felt like I was even enjoying myself as well. He’s homesick. Happens to a lot of kids. I honestly wouldn’t worry too much. If he goes his whole freshman year and still hates it, then maybe next year he just moves in to a different building, or even the dorms on campus, and I guarantee he’ll meet people.

Hi Steve,

I just wanted to start off by saying I’m very sorry to hear about Maddie. I still remember you showing us on your live videos of feeding her treats in your apartment with that one wine bottle on the rack.

I started working at a company as a manager this past November. I met a fellow manager there (he’s 28 and I`m 24) and we clicked really well. It was last minute, but he had asked me to go to a Christmas party that his friend was hosting, where I was introduced to all of his high school friends – but, who introduces a random girl to your closest friends? Later on that night his girlfriend came to the party and he introduced me to her. I had NO IDEA that he had a girlfriend – when I brought that to his attention he said he thought I knew.

Some background info on their relationship – she’s 25, they’ve been together for four years and he claims that they’re serious. However, he hasn’t proposed to her, and he claims that its because he does not have a bachelor’s degree yet and he is still working at our company. When they go to bars, they split up and so she goes and flirts with guys for drinks and he dances with other girls – he says that this builds trust. I personally find it strange for such a long relationship. I think there might be a missing piece to their relationship that he’s not telling me.

I went bowling with his friends and I ended up at his house since I had to use the bathroom and he told me to spend the night there since I wasn’t completely sober. He offered his bed to me and that he’d take the floor. I don’t think he probably didn’t mean anything sexual but if my boyfriend offered a girl to stay the night, I would be so pissed.

On Saturday when we hung out, we went to a restaurant and we split all the food (this isn’t the first time we’ve done that). He took me to the beach after where we just sat on a concrete wall and talked for three hours until 2 am. During this entire time, he kept his phone in the car which is strange, considering how glued to our phones we are today. He didn’t contact his girlfriend at all.

My question is – is he interested in me? Or is he interested in the attention that he’s getting from me? Is he looking for an “escape” from his girlfriend? He used to text me every night, sometimes we’d text to like 5 am, but he hasn’t texted me since we hung out at the beach (Saturday).

I know that its dangerous because he’s talking to me like this, even when he has a girlfriend, so he could easily do the same to me in a relationship. It complicates everything even more since we work in the same company, but I just can’t help it and I get the butterflies around him.

What should I do?

Comment: You’re right, he does have a bizarre relationship with his girlfriend. No other way to explain that. Not because they’ve been together for four years and he hasn’t proposed. People have plenty of different reasons for how long they take to propose. More so in how he told you his relationship with his girlfriend is. They go to bars and split up and she flirts to get free drinks while he dances with other girls? Yeah, they aren’t that serious. Especially if he’s texting/talking/hanging out at the beach with you.

I’m sure you are something different to him and maybe present a challenge, and maybe he does give you butterflies, but you answered your own question. He can easily do the same to you in a relationship. Why would you want to be with a guy like him? Would you want a guy who described his relationship with his current girlfriend to you to be YOUR boyfriend and do that to you as well? Has he overtly hit on you either at work or outside of work? Is he making sexual advances? Any of those things and not is it inappropriate since he has a girlfriend, but also goes to show that it’s someone you shouldn’t want to be with either. I’m sure you’re enjoying the attention he’s giving you – I get it. You’re 24, an older guy with a girlfriend is paying attention to you, etc. But don’t fool yourself into thinking this is someone you’d want to be with. He seems like a Grade A douche nozzle. Stay away.

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  1. rob22

    February 4, 2016 at 11:51 AM

    Loser in Alabama: So, you met someone on social media, she is tempting you with sex, she wants something (“help”) from you, you’ve never met and you’re thinking about moving in with her. Really? Why aren’t warning bells going off in your head? I realize sex is probably sounding really good if you haven’t had it in a while, but you really need to use your other head.

    Most people who use their brains, when they meet someone on social media, meet for coffee or drinks because they want to assess the other person and see what they really think. about them before even going out on a real date. She’s in another state, so you might have to travel out there to meet, or something, but limit it to a one date meeting and don’t go home with her. Stay in a hotel.

    The reason I say this is that there is a fairly good chance that she’s after something besides your awesome 70 year old body. You mentioned “help with her family” so maybe she’s needing some serious help with some nutbags and figures you’ll do. Worse, she might have designs on your money. Worst, maybe she wants to bury you under one of those out buildings of hers and collect your social security. checks. Bottom line: this doesn’t add up. She wants something from you, she’s willing to use the idea of sex with you to get it and you’ve never met. Do normal people act this way? Do normal people act this way with men who are 20 years older? No, they think of sex with older guys as creepy. That’s normal. If it were me, I’d probably cut off contact right now and never meet. That’s how serious you should take this.

  2. rob22

    February 4, 2016 at 12:08 PM

    To the Mom with the Freshman son. I have a son in college who has trouble meeting people too. He’s very personable, likes sports, etc. but that’s not the problem. He’s just an introvert and finds it hard to extend himself in new situations. So, he has trouble meeting new people. Eventually he got a job, joined a frat and met people.

    Now before I go any further, Mom, this is not your problem to solve. Your son is an adult. Adults grow up and mature by solving their own problems, not by Mom rushing in and saving them. Please get this …. really get this. If you attempt to help him, you’re really hurting his development as an adult. REALLY HURTING HIM. Get it? I kind of got a view into you when you mentioned that you didn’t want him to go away to college. OK, Mom’s don’t like to let go, but stop it. He NEEDS to get away from you to grow, and I suspect he went away to do exactly that. In fact, if you’ve been over involved in his life, he might already be somewhat stunted in solving his own problems, which is why he’s struggling a bit right now. So, he’ll figure it out. It’s not too late. Maybe it might take him a while, but left to his own devices, something will come to him. Don’t you dare suggest anything like his coming back home. Seriously. I hear stuff like this all the time from parents. They treat their adult children like incompetent little babies, and then wonder why they struggle. I talked with a Mom just last week who was telling me how she had to call her son and go over the instructions for coming home for Christmas. Fill you tank with gas, turn off the heat, gather up your bills and so “I can pay them”…. I was like, “so do you want your kid to grow up and learn to be an adult, or not?” If he runs out of gas, next time he’ll remember to fill up. Sitting outside waiting for AAA or hiking a mile or two in the cold to find gas has a way of becoming a learning experience. If he forgets to pay his bills and gets assessed a penalty or gets his electricity shut off, that will make an impression. It’s unlikely to happen again.

    Anyway, moving on. It is in bounds to suggest he join some sort of group to meet people based on his interests. But if you’ve done that, then there is no reason to repeat it. At some point, he’ll need to figure it out. Leave him be. The best thing to do is bite your tongue and be clear that it’s up to him to figure these things out. If he wants to come home, tell him no. He’s welcome to transfer to another college if he wants to work through that process (on his own), but no. He can’t come home. In fact, if he wants to talk about it, just say, “well, I already suggested joining a group. I’ve really got nothing else for you. I’m sure YOU’LL figure it out”. Then change the subject. He will figure it out.

  3. angelfish

    February 4, 2016 at 12:18 PM

    Wow, we get “He’s Just Not That Into You, A Catfish situation and Helicopter Parenting all in one column.

  4. walker

    February 4, 2016 at 1:21 PM

    1)Re: Confused in Cali: I realize the LW is young, but in this situation I do not understand why she doesn’t approach the subject directly with the young man that she has some sort of friendship with. I remember some very sweet shy boys freshman year who I had marvelous friendships with and on a couple of occasions it did rest on me to open the door to something more than friendship. (one time the conversation led to a beautiful relationship and we are still friends to this day, and another time it led to finding out that my young friend was gay; a conversation that inspired him to start thinking about living his life for the first time authentically) I recommend saying something like: I am enjoying getting to know you as a friend and I enjoy our time together in class, at the movie, and on snapchat, and I just want to let you know that if you ever think that you would be interested in exploring a relationship beyond merely friendship, I would be open to that; however, I am also very happy to be just friends and get to know you in that way only – either way is nice- just wanted to let you know what I am available for. Then see what happens. I suppose that this type of directness can maybe “scare” the boy away if he is the type that can’t deal with having someone be attracted to him if he doesn’t reciprocate, but more often than not, this will come as a big relief to the boy and open up doors to something more. But most importantly, gives the LW the opportunity to know what may or may not be available in the future. If the young man explains that he enjoys the LW’s companionship in chat and the occasional social event but that he is not interested in any possible romantic involvement, that is as freeing in a new friendship as in finding out that he is secretly interested in more but just too shy or inexperienced to know how to approach dating. Good luck! This scenario can come up at different times throughout life, and open communication is often the key to beautiful friendships.

    2)Re: The LW with the lonely son in college. Has the son ever tried instigating a social event directly to his floor-mates? Such as emailing everyone: the big game is on in the lounge at 1pm, I will be providing chips and salsa if anyone would like to join me. Or him asking one or 2 flat-mates to go hiking or to a movie or go out for pizza rather than sitting around waiting to be invited by others. People may find him stand-offish or seemingly uninterested when he is merely shy. If he asks people to join him on specific outings/activities and everyone is constantly unavailable, then this may indicate that the son has a behavior trait that he is unaware of that is alienating him – parents are often blind to this when it happens. Such as always being a downer/complaining/bad talking others/acting superior/ etc. Other problems the son may have that perpetuates alienation may be clinical depression or closeted drug use… both these issues may be hidden from parents. The son may benefit from gently being encouraged to seek out free counseling services offered at most colleges/universities to assist figuring out any possible underlying factors and help come up with an action plan to make college life more enjoyable.

    3)RE: LW with Las Vegas guys week boyfriend: First off, LW was clear that the annual guys trip to vegas is more than a short week-end, but rather 4-5 days – Steve’s answers were based on assuming that the trip was just 2 nights away with the guys – not so. The problem I have is it is always Las Vegas for a week. Not one year LV, the next river-rafting, the next hiking Yosemite, the next NewYork etc – the every year in Las Vegas for a week with high school/college buddies who find it acceptable to cheat on their committed relationships left at home while acting as single 20 year old frat boys going out to pool parties and dance/strip clubs at night is definitely a red flag. If the guys week was primarily an opportunity to have a week with old friends, that would be a lovely thing to support every year; however this seems by the LW’s description to be an excuse for the boys to get together and party/play together as if they were all single and in college again. Most likely there is a lot of drinking, possible drug use, spending a lot of money, and yes, casually hooking up with ladies who they meet at the pool parties/clubs – that is what a lot of people go to Vegas to do – both men and women. The thing is, this is the letter writer’s boyfriend, not husband, she has the opportunity to decide whether this is the type of man she wants as a life partner. He has made it clear that this is something that he will do every year – she gets to decide if that is what she wants to sign up for, especially if she wants to have children. He has told her directly that they party and club hop and that some of his friends hook up while there. They are not merely going to Vegas to check out the amazing new food scene, catch up on incredible Cirque du soleil acts, fish at near-by lake Powell, watch sports in huge sports clubs, gamble etc. – they go to party like they did in college without accountability to anyone – this is a “type”. I do not see that this behavior is likely to change just because the LW is uncomfortable with it. She should assume that it is likely that her boyfriend is engaging in some sort of intimate activity with other women during these weeks, and then decide if the relationship the rest of the year together makes up for this week of behavior. My mom married a serial Cheater and chose to stay with him because the rest of the relationship met her needs; she was always depressed….She drove herself crazy never knowing if he was where he said he was or when he was lying – hard for us kids too to live in that toxic environment. He had yearly Las Vegas trips with his buddies all my life; truth was he was meeting an old college girlfriend who lived cross country and who was also married for a once a year blow out fling…. Just saying.

  5. rob22

    February 4, 2016 at 2:25 PM

    @Angelfish, I laughed. You’re so much more concise than I am. But yep. You got it right. We need a drop down list and just headline the response. Question 1: Catfish. Question 2: He’s not that into you, etc. I didn’t say “Catfish” in my answer, but I was thinking it. The thing with Catfish is that they’ll never actually meet you. But that may be the case when “Alabama” starts making plans to move in. Or, she’ll look nothing like the pics she sent him. Both are quite likely. Hopefully more likely than it being a serial killer.

  6. kelllsi

    February 4, 2016 at 3:50 PM

    I don’t usually comment on any of these blogs. But I wanna comment in reply to the girl concerned about her man in the Vegas trips. All I can say is RUN!!! I’ve been in a similar situation and let’s just say it didn’t end well. He should at least be telling you EXACTLY what he’s doing there, with details. Also, you have every right to be concerned and to voice that with him. Don’t sugarcoat it. Tell him straight up. If he doesn’t care, and doesn’t see your view or change then he’s probably doing exactly what you’re afraid he’s doing in Vegas. Honestly, if nothing changes then break up with the guy. You don’t want to be in a long term relationship like that. I know I wouldn’t.

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