Dear Dr. Reality Steve,
So I am in grad school and live with a girl that is in my program. We just have a two bedroom apartment near campus with living room and kitchen. She is from out of state and her boyfriend and parents come to visit once in a while. When they do visit, they stay at our apartment. This annoys me because we have tight living quarters and it is a little uncomfortable when the parents are on an air mattress in the living room and I’m trying to live in the apartment that I pay for. Is it wrong that I am annoyed with this or should I just suck it up and deal with this? Luckily my parents don’t live too far away and when my roommate’s parents come I usually just make a weekend trip to my parents place. But still, it feels like I’m being forced out of my apartment. She never asks if I’m leaving if they come here, but it’s just uncomfortable and I want to leave, you know? I feel like if my parents visited me they would just shell out the money to get a hotel for the weekend so whoever my roommate was could have some space. It’s not like they can’t afford it either, I feel like they’re just being cheap. Am I being unreasonable about feeling this way? Is this normal that they do this? If it is not normal, how can I or should I even address this with her? Thanks RS!
Annoyed in Ohio
Comment: Sounds like somebody’s parents are having trouble letting go of their little girl. Yes it’s normal they come visit her. No it’s not close to normal that they sleep on an air mattress in a small apartment with you there, and their daughter banging her boyfriend in the room (I assume that’s what happens when he comes over).
I guess the big question is, how often does this happen? If it’s once or twice a semester, as odd as it is they stay and you have every right to be annoyed, I think you can deal with once or twice. But if it’s bi-monthly or something like that? Then yeah, I’d say something. I just wouldn’t want to be there if I were you because yeah, it’s awkward. I’d just keep going to your parents house when it happens. Kinda rude she doesn’t ask if you’re ok with them sleeping on the air mattress. I just hope this isn’t a frequent thing. Parents, it’s ok to let your kids have a life. Really? You have to sleep on an air mattress? For pete’s sake, go get a hotel.
My friend was married for 29 years when her husband walked out on her for someone 20 years younger. Ex and newbie got engaged, but 1 month before the wedding he died suddenly of a massive heart attack. As newbie has been embraced by some of his family members, she and my friend may actually meet at a family wedding coming up this year. Bride is niece of my friend and her ex. Should my friend approach newbie and ask to speak to her privately, or just ignore her. Friend still has unresolved issues regarding how this all happened and I feel she should air this with newbie, but not at the wedding or reception, possibly ask to speak to her outside. They both live in different states, so this may be the only chance that they will be anywhere near each other. I am not suggesting a knock down drag out fight, but just a chance for my friend to get answers to why newbie felt it was acceptable to have an affair with a married man. What do you think?
Trying to help a friend
Comment: Meh. Definitely don’t do it at the wedding. No point. That’ll only bring attention to them on a day when it’s not supposed to. Tacky.
And if they’re in different states, and these two would never normally not see each other, I don’t see the point of bringing it up at all. I’m guessing both are still hurting. Your friend for being ditched for a younger woman and the fact he died, and the newbie for recently suffering the loss of her fiancé. I really don’t see much good coming out of it. If she really needs answers, maybe she should wait a little longer before contacting the newbie. But she’s probably not gonna get a whole lot out of it when she does. Think the newbie is really gonna say anything that’s gonna make your friend feel better? Probably not. If anything, will probably just open up old wounds, and she’ll probably also end up finding some stuff out she didn’t know beforehand that won’t be good. I’d leave it alone.
I love your site, and love getting the spoilers before the season starts, this way I know who to root for! (The competitive side in me always wants to win….even when I have absolutely no attachment to the situation).
So I recently had a strange experience with a guy and wanted a man’s input. A few months ago, my cousin called and said a friend of his was going to be in my town and needed someone to show him around. I said sure, no problem. I had no expectations of anything romantic, but we ended up doing everything together the whole week, even staying up until 1am talking. Did I fall in love? No, it was one week, who am I, Ben? But I was interested, so naturally I was excited when he asked for my email before going home to Europe.
Two months go by and I don’t hear anything from him. Not one word. Ok, cool, I can take a hint, he’s not that into me. Then, out of the blue, he friends me on instagram. Well, technically speaking, he created an instagram account, friends me and 4 other people (who only knows 5 people to follow? ), and then posts absolutely nothing and still says nothing to me. It’s been over a month now and still silence.
So I’m just curious, what the heck? Any insight? Thanks
Comment: He basically doesn’t care enough about you to keep talking to you. Out of sight, out of mind. He probably sees nothing worthwhile there to keep in touch with you when he’s in Europe and you’re in the states, regardless of how good of a time you guys had. I wouldn’t think much of it.
I really hope you are able to answer my question this week. I really appreciate reading all your recaps and spoilers about The Bachelor and The Bachelorette because then when I watch the show it is so much more entertaining.
I am a mom to a 17 year old daughter and our relationship is pretty terrible much to my dismay. I am not going to get into that part because so many people have so much more they are dealing with but suffice it to say it is a heated and contentious relationship currently. Here (finally) is my question: my daughter is going to the prom for the first time. Her boyfriend’s mom, who may or may not know much about the relationship my daughter and I have (but actually knows my daughter’s version only) has asked my daughter to go prom dress shopping. Not to “treat” my daughter to a dress, but to take her shopping and I will pay for the dress. I have asked my daughter for the last 2 months when she would like to go and where, but she has put me off so I figured she would go with friends—not her boyfriends’ mom. I have asked my own friends what they think about this, and every single one has said that the mom is either clueless or is plain overstepping–that as a mom she knows this important and special.
What should I do? Every friend has said I should tell the mom how I feel. My daughter already knows I am incredible hurt by this, but she said she felt put on the spot and felt she couldn’t say no when her BF’s mom asked her.
Comment: If your daughter is only doing it because she felt she couldn’t say no, that’s easy to get out of. You tell her you want to take her, her boyfriend’s mom will understand, and that’s that. But if your daughter really doesn’t want to go with you and would rather go with her boyfriend’s mom, well, then that sucks and you have an issue.
I don’t think that mom is overstepping her bounds since you said she knows through your daughters version of your relationship with her. So I’m guessing the mom just feels bad and wanted to help her out. I highly doubt she’s intentionally doing this to rub it into your face or whatever. However, your relationship with your daughter is more important than her boyfriend’s mother’s relationship with her, so you do come first. I mean, she’s a 17 year old teenager, so sometimes it’s kinda hard to get through to someone like that. I can only imagine the lip you’re getting from her. Obviously I don’t know details of your relationship and why it’s deteriorated to the point it has, but I can imagine this is tough on you. And now that she has a “family” to lean on so to speak with her boyfriend and his family, you’re probably feeling even more left out.
I would just tell her you want to make things better between the two of you, and you wanting to take her dress shopping is just the start of it. Then go from there. She needs to know that despite whatever negativity you guys have had, you’re still her mother and you always care. Probably still won’t sink in right away, but at least she needs to hear it. Good luck.
I enjoy reading your Dr. Reality Steve posts and Bachelor posts, keep up the good work!
So, if they do choose Caila for the Bachelorette, there will likely be a greater focus on different races and culture.
I was just wondering what your thoughts were on inter-racial dating and what advice you would give to people who wanted to date inter-racially but had trouble getting dates?
Specifically, do you have any advice for non-white men (Black, Asian, Indian, Middle-Eastern) who wanted to date white women, but had trouble getting dates?
Or even on the show, we’ve seen Black women have some difficulty dating white men.
Does American society still have problems accepting inter-racial couples?
Is it too controversial for TV (besides Shonda-shows)?
I think that besides Race, dating really just comes down to compatibility in lifestyles, religion, or culture; along with having an attractive and enjoyable personality.
Love to hear your thoughts,
Comment: You pretty much said it. Everyone’s different. Some people feel comfortable dating outside their race, some don’t. It’s a case by case basis. There’s no universal answer that makes it easy. Is it accepted by a majority of the population? My guess would be no. But that doesn’t mean it can’t/shouldn’t happen. Like you said, it all comes down to compatibility with someone else. And within compatibility comes lifestyles, religion, culture, etc. Impossible to give advice on such a broad subject, but you seem to have the right idea. For it to work, the two people have to both be ok with the interracial aspect. And it’s hard if the couple is, but family members and/or friends maybe aren’t.
Dear Dr. Reality Steve,
I’m sorry for the length of the mail, but if you still have the time to read it and answer my questions, I’d be very grateful 🙂
So, this is about a guy I used to know. Big surprise. We first met during senior high when we had some classes together. I can still remember the very first time I saw him, I felt an instant attraction to him. But although (or because of) being of the somewhat mysterious and aloof type, he was one of the cool kids and popular with the ladies, so I quickly realized he would anyway be out of my league. We were assigned to work on some projects together, and he also started asking me to do homework together after school. I had the impression he enjoyed my company, but knowing he hooked up with other girls at parties, I knew I was friend-zoned. I think I was very much in love with him though, and I was secretly madly jealous whenever I heard of him with other girls. Although the whole situation caused me a lot of pain, I enjoyed his company so much that I kept the platonic relationship. To be honest I think I fooled myself and hoped that in the end it would be a story of a slow burn instead of the case of instant-attraction fireworks. Of course that didn’t happen. I think I liked him so very much because he brought out a side of me that I liked and that no one else still has, and we talked about things I’ve never talked to anyone else about (not since either) in a way that made me feel like he understood me and saw a side of me that noone else has.
After high school I was tempted to “accidentally” follow him to the same college, but realized that since we weren’t even dating and probably never would be, I had to make my own choices and leave him out of the equation. So I went across the country and he left for a neighbouring state, but he insisted we keep in touch and write to each other. I was hoping he would be the first to write, but he didn’t. In hindsight, the best for me might have been to let the friendship die then and there as the many distractions of college-life made it easier not to think of him. But after a month, I succumbed to my weaknesses and wrote him an e-mail. He answered, and so we kept writing to each other about once a month for the next four years. During that time, I dated other guys and was even in a 9-month relationship that ended when I was dumped for another girl. I think I crave the love and closeness of relationships that most humans do, but I am not desperate about having a boyfriend, I’m okay with being alone too. To tie this back to the Bachelor world, as Emily Maynard once said, it is better to be home alone than to be home and wish you were alone.
After graduating, I got a job in another city in my home state, and it turned out he had moved to a neighbouring city about a two hours’ drive away. I couldn’t believe my luck. Had I been religious or believed in fate, I might have seen it as a sign or something. After a few weeks, he suggested that we meet the following week-end. Needless to say, I was a nervous wreck, and I think I also slightly worried that we both might have changed and lost the connection we once had. Despite having kept in touch, college years can change you, and a mail exchange can’t really compare to meeting in person. Unfortunately, he had become even more handsome than he used to be in my eyes, and after 5 min we were talking as if no time had passed at all. The following week I found a letter in my mail box. Who sends paper letters anymore? Well, apparently he does. He wrote how lovely it had been to see me, how much he enjoyed our conversations, and how I had “turned into a beautiful woman”. (Does that just mean he used to find me ugly?). I didn’t really know what to make of it, so I just sent him a text and said thank you for a kind letter. The next time we met he said he wished we could keep writing to each other since we could not meet that often and because he “loved my writing”. So we wrote to each other about once a week and met a few more times (frequency about once a month). Silly as I am, I just liked him more each time, but I tried to hide it as best I could and seem cool. It didn’t go anywhere though obviously as the tone just stayed as friendly the sixth time we met again (sad that I kept counting, I know) as it was the first time. The following week, he sent me an email, writing that he felt that he “at this point had to tell [me] that [he] has a girlfriend”. I was devastated. I had tried to subtly fish about his romantic life but he hadn’t said anything. I wrote back that I was happy for him but didn’t understand why he had been so secretive about it, after all we had shared some rather personal stuff. He answered that it was because he was “attracted to me” and thought that if we spent more time together he would become “even more attracted” to me. I was not too happy about this confessional happening by mail, but maybe we had been friends for so long it had become almost impossible to talk about this face to face. Bad decision maybe looking back. I thought he meant that he was attracted to me in a romantic way (which will lead to my question later) , so I felt that, by his admission, our friendship was ruined. I therefore figured I might just say it as it was. So I wrote back that, “if you have a girlfriend, I like you much more than I should”. I omitted of course that my feelings for him were five years old. I then didn’t hear from him for about two weeks, but I didn’t dare contact him. Then he answered back that he wished we could stay in touch and stay friends. I believed that would have been torture to me so I called him and said i couldn’t be his friend when we both had said what we had. It was a short conversation and his tone sounded at first warm but then became very clipped. So we said goodbye.
This was last summer, and I have not heard from him or seen him since, nor tried to contact him myself. I think I endured the friendship for so long because I believed the joy it caused me outweighted the pain of unrequited love, and I fooled myself to think he maybe liked me too but didn’t dare tell me either. So once I had then said that I liked him “more than i should”, staying in the friendship would have been awkard and humiliating. That’s why I don’t regret I said goodbye, but I miss him every single day. Much more than when I went to college and I managed not to think of him for weeks. I’ve been to a couple of dates, but for each one I just miss him more. I don’t follow him on social media or have any visible memories of him, so there is nothing that reminds me of him other than my silly mind.
So, my questions are:
1. When a guy tells a girl he is attracted to her, what does he usually actually mean by that? That he thinks you’re an attractive individual physically. If you’re overanalyzing someone saying they’re attracted to you, you’re gonna drive yourself nuts.
2. In your opinion, was I wrong to think he meant it as a romantic or physical attraction? No, I don’t think you were wrong, because that’s probably what he meant by it. Unless he was just using it as a cop out since he had a new girlfriend.
3. Why did he write to me by post mail and told me he thought I had “turned into a beautiful woman”? I have no idea.
3. If he really wanted to keep the friendship as he claimed, why did he tell me he was attracted to me? Because maybe he thought that wouldn’t ruin the friendship. Doesn’t necessarily have to. At that point, he had no idea you were interested in him, so why would he think that’d ruin a friendship?
4. Since he said he had a girlfriend, if you want to stay in the relationship you are in, shouldn’t you try to eliminate any other attractions that may come around and not keep them as friends? You can be in a relationship and find other women attractive. That’s normal. Every guy in America does. But thinking someone is attractive and actively pursuing her while you have a girlfriend is two different things. I can have a girlfriend and find other women attractive, just like I expect my girlfriend to find other guys attractive. As long as you’re not constantly throwing that in their face, that’s just normal.
5. Why in your opinion did he wait so long to tell me about his girlfriend? Not sure. Maybe he didn’t know how to tell you? Maybe he was waiting to see if it was gonna become “official” with that girl, then once it did, he told you? Maybe you were set to be a back up option for him if that girl didn’t work out?
6. What did I do wrong or what should I have done differently in your opinion? Did I ruin anything or wouldn’t it have happened anyway? I think your biggest mistake was never telling him about your crush for five years. However, if you guys emailed that much over that course of time, and he never asked you out, or never made a move, or never inquired about the two of you, unfortunately it doesn’t look like he ever saw a future between you guys.
If you have any other comments/views on what his thoughts/feelings/intentions were, I’d be happy to hear them too. I understand of course you can’t know for sure, but I would just really like to hear what your guesses are. I hardly understood anything of it as it happened and it has been eating me up inside ever since. I don’t have any guys as true friends, so I don’t have anyone to ask for a guy’s point of view. I think it would be easier to forget him in time if I understood more.
Thank you so much for your time 🙂
Comment: I think you just need to move past this and not spend so much time thinking about it. This is a guy you’ve never been on a date with, never been physical with, and never really did anything with other than write letters to. And you haven’t heard from the guy in a year. This shouldn’t still be bothering you. Get out, date more, and I guarantee once you meet someone and get in a relationship, you’ll realize that this guy wasn’t anything more than a simple crush.