Reality Steve

Dr. Reality Steve

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

It’s back! I’m excited to announce that I’ve teamed with Crowdcast to now hold the weekly live video chats on Thursday nights. It works similar to Spreecast, but it has more functions on my end that will help make it a better experience. One thing that is a tad different is that you have to create an account there to view the show. Doesn’t cost anything, but you can’t just show up to my site tonight at 9:00EST/6:00PST and start viewing. It’ll ask you for your email address and to create a password. If you want to do it now, you can. Go to and set up an account. About 10 minutes after this column is posted, I will post the video for tonight’s chat. Just like on Spreecast, you can begin asking your questions early. But I’m able to add a poll question that you can all vote on during the broadcast, which I’ll probably add tonight once the show starts. All in all I’m glad I found a service that’s similar but an improved version of what Spreecast offered. The best part will be that once the show is over, when you’re watching it in the archives, you’ll be able to see every question that I answered in the chat and with the click of a button, it’ll bring you right to that answer since, well, I know all of you don’t want to stick around for the whole hour and don’t know when I talk about certain things I did. So bear with me tonight, there may be a few kinks since this is just as new to me as it is to you (been doing tutorials for the last couple days), but hopefully it goes smoothly. See you tonight, and go register so you can watch and participate in tonight’s chat.

A couple people have emailed me in the last few days inquiring about the Vegas party saying you were interested, I responded right back, and I haven’t heard back from you. So hopefully you’re reading this. We’re getting closer to the end and I want to start finalizing the confirmed list. We’re getting close to the maximum amount, so if you emailed me about coming, please email me back about if you’re in or out. Just want to make sure everything is covered for Friday the 29th. If you received an email back from me regarding it, please respond immediately and let me know what’s going on. Thanks.

For those who tuned in to “Any Given Wednesday” last night on HBO to see Bill Simmons’ interview with Aaron Rodgers, you were probably a tad disappointed. The topic of Jordan was never brought up. Now, considering Bill is a huge “Bachelor” fan, I have to imagine the reason he never asked him anything about the show or Jordan is because he was told not to. There’s no way Bill wouldn’t want to bring that up to him, so I gotta believe it was because he wasn’t allowed. So I guess we’ll just have to be fine with this cryptic tweet he sent out from the other day:

We got 9 “Dr. Reality Steve” emails today. Yippee! Thanks for coming through. Enjoy…


Hi Steve! I love reading your posts. Thanks and congrats on having your family closer. I have two wild boys currently fighting over a candy bar, so I get it.

My cousin “LC” is like a sister to me. She grew up next door and we spent our childhood together. I’m older and very protective. She dated lots of jackasses through college. Finally she met “OJ.” I thought he was a bit controlling but seemed to love her. When they got married, I saw him manipulate her in some aspects of the planning. But my (actual) sister, cousins and I joked about it.

While OJ was making his way through medical school, sweet, gorgeous LC and her parents financial supported him. His family contributed also but not nearly to the same extent. When they had kids, LC left her teaching job to raise them.

Two f ing weeks before Xmas, OJ left LC, their 5 and 3 year old! Everyone was completely shocked, none more than LC. He claimed they fought too much and wouldn’t try to fix things. He was done. We all immediately knew something was fishy. I mean! They just put a humongous deposit on land to build an even more enormous house than they already had and just decided not to try for a third child. After some detective work, we found that there was a girl at the last conference he returned from on Thanksgiving. He admitted to “confiding” in someone. Whatever.

This girl eventually dumped him. We’ll call her Heather. Heather is a cute, young professional who seems to have a lot going for her. I’m thrilled she dodged the bullet. FYI we’ve never met and live across the country from each other.

OJ and Heather will both be at a big event in Rio in a month (any guesses?). I know she was fed a lot of lies. I’d really like to send her a very brief message to say that basically she dodged a bullet and call OJ out on the lies so she doesn’t get into a comfortable hook up and waste her time on this asshat. Maybe she reads your blog and will get it!!!

My husband would say to keep my Italian mouth shut and stay out of it. But I really want to tell her the truth! What do you think? I’d love to tell his family the truth too, but I’ll wait till the divorce is finalized.

If you lived near me, LC would be the perfect girl for you.

Overprotective Cousin in Pittsburgh

Comment: When you said OJ was a bit controlling, all I could think of was the Juice. That OJ. I thought maybe that’s where the story was headed. Not necessarily murder, but that it was something of verbal of physical abuse. Good thing it wasn’t that.

So OJ and this girl Heather that obviously seems to be the reason he ended his marriage to your cousin have broken up, but they are going to Rio together for the Olympics? Or separate? Does Heather know he’s still technically married or no? If you’ve never met and don’t know Heather at all, I don’t know what warning her about OJ will do honestly. If you were her friend, it’s be more of a decision to make. Just seems like something that doesn’t concern you. Let her figure out what an idiot he is.

Dr. Reality Steve,

I have a beautiful, sweet, two-year-old Lab and I’m a huge dog lover. He is super attached to me – the kind of attached where he won’t go to sleep at night until he can curl up at my feet and put his head over my ankles. He is friendly and happy-go-lucky. He actually just got certified as a therapy dog and I take him to work with children struggling to read, on hospital visits, etc. We just finished a year of intense dog training to make this happen, which has made us even more attached to each other.

I’m not in a relationship right now, but people ask me frequently what I would do if I met a guy who either didn’t like dogs or was allergic to them. My normal response is that I couldn’t date someone who didn’t like dogs. And if he was allergic, I’d expect him to invest in Claritin for the duration of my dog’s life. 🙂

The response I get has been surprising. People act like it’s shallow to not date someone just because he doesn’t like dogs. Or they say, “You just might fall in love anyway.” I don’t see this happening.

The other thing friends ask is what would I do if my dog didn’t like someone I date. I don’t see that ever happening because he is such a friendly guy, but he is protective of me and has demonstrated this occasionally with men. Nothing serious…just basically positioning himself between us and staying alert if a guy he has never met gives me a hug.

What do you think? If my dog didn’t like someone I’m dating even after that person has tried to win his affection, should I keep dating him? What would you do in that situation?


Paw Patrol

Comment: Maddie liked every girl she ever met. It was any males that she took longer to warm up to. So it’s tough to say. I think most dogs warm up if that other person is visiting frequently enough.

I think your bigger issue is whether or not the next guy you date is a dog person. I always thought that was silly before I had Maddie. I wasn’t a dog person at that time, had never owned one, never was really around one, and didn’t understand it. Now I do. When I had Maddie, there was no way I could ever be with someone who wasn’t a dog person. Either you are, or you aren’t. I knew right away with people I dated whether or not they were. It was pretty revealing. So no, it’s not shallow at all to choose not to date someone who doesn’t like dogs. And anyone who tells you otherwise isn’t a dog person. Trust me, I never understood it until I had one. Now I don’t think there’s any way I could have a successful relationship with someone who didn’t get along with a dog I may have.

For those asking, I still haven’t gotten another dog. I’m sure I will at some point, I just have no idea when. If I was actively looking on adopting one, and visited Humane Societys, I would have one by now. I’m just keeping my distance. I’m still not ready. I will be. I hope. But I’m clueless as to when that’ll be.

Hi, Dr. Reality Steve—

I connected with someone named “Bob” on an online dating site in San Antonio. We exchanged messages, and I learned that Bob is from San Antonio, but lives in DC and was only in town to visit family. We weren’t able to meet up during his trip to San Antonio, which I was cool with. We occasionally kept in touch via text. During his next trip to SA a few months later, I invited Bob out to the bars with my friends, he accepted, and flaked. About nine months after, he visited SA for the holidays, and we finally met each other. I had no expectations, but we got along well over drinks. We ended up fooling around but not sleeping with each other. After he got his jollies, I didn’t linger and left on a road trip I previously scheduled. I thanked him for a fun evening.

Bob texted me later than evening to thank me and suggested we do it again when we were in the same city again. I agreed. We did not keep in contact afterwards, which I was cool with.

About 3 months later, I let Bob know that I would be in DC for a work trip. He enthusiastically responded that he would look forward to us finally hooking up. We both made it clear that we were only looking to hook up with each other, and we find each other lots of fun.

I got to DC, Bob came to my hotel, and we did the deed. I enjoyed it, and he surprisingly started to cuddle with me. He asked if he could sleep over, and I agreed. I didn’t mind the cuddling or pillow talk, but sleeping over after a hookup isn’t my M.O.

The next morning, Bob woke up, and I walked him to the door. On his way out, he said several different times on his own accord (I didn’t even ask him what he was doing for the day) that he would call me later that day.

I went to work meetings, and before I headed to dinner around 7 PM, I invited Bob to join me over text. I received no response. He texted me around midnight saying he missed my text because he was at a dinner. I responded a few minutes later very casually, “hope you had fun, enjoy the rest of your week.” We did not keep in contact afterwards, which was a little disappointing since I wanted to hook up one last time I was in town, but not unexpected.

Over the next two months, we do not make any contact. I figure that we both got our hookup curiosity out of the way, and I wouldn’t expect to hear from him again. I was cool with that.

After the second month, I notice he blocked my profile on the dating site and all social media on which we were connected. I was a bit miffed, but I quickly brushed it off and took it as confirmation that he wasn’t interested.

Fast forward another two months after he blocked me (this week), and I receive a generic “whats up” text from Bob. I was cordial, and we made G-rated small talk over text about how each other is spending our summer in our respective cities. A few days later I receive a text from him in the middle of the workday asking when we would hook up again. I replied that I thought he was no longer interested in hooking up. He responds that he is eagerly interested. I politely told him that we didn’t keep in touch (I didn’t mention the social media and dating blocking), so that I moved on (didn’t specify how. I’m not involved with anyone else, but I’ve mentally checked out from Bob). He took it well and said he understood.

My question to you is why do guys like to pop up at their convenience after they’ve pretty much given women the cold shoulder? I don’t mind when I hear every now and then from a guy who never responded to my text asking me for a booty call, but to block me on social media and then ask me to hook up? I’ve never been one to be a stage 5 (nor 4 or 3) clinger, and I’m not looking for anything serious either. I think it’s odd to explicitly reject someone and then sniff around a few months later. Whenever I’ve rejected someone or deliberately not returned their texts, I never proposition them again. Why bother? Do guys have horrible memory, no manners, or just no pride? I’ve seen this happen on several occasions with men.

Thanks, Steve! Please keep up the hard work.

Puzzled About Men

Comment: Because guys think with their penises most of the time. That’s all he was doing. He knew you wanted nothing serious, you both knew it was just sex, he was probably horny, so he contacted you. I don’t think it was any more than that. Trying to dig through Bob’s brain for a clear answer is pretty impossible. I wouldn’t lump Bob in with every guy. If this happens to you 3, 4, 5 more times, then you’re just having sh***y luck. Most guys aren’t like that, even ones just after booty calls. Bob just seems like horny guy looking for fun who probably didn’t even remember blocking your profile.

Dear Dr. Realitysteve

I never thought I’d have to write you to ask for relationship advice and yet, here I am. Never say never, huh?

I’ve been in a relationship for a bit over four years now. My boyfriend and I went through a lot of long distance (we both studied abroad for some time) and yet we always stayed together and were faithful. Trust was always something huge in our relationship, as neither of us are the jealous type. So I was never jealous when he had nights out with his friends or of his female colleagues and vice versa.

Now he had “a talk” where he essentially said he wanted to be single again and find himself. The way he said it was, that he wanted to enter a new phase of his life, where he’d be free and meet new people and where he can also hit on girls on nights out and see how far it could go. And then after that phase was over he’d be ready to settle with so. (if that’s me, he doesn’t know) and since he had “lived it all”, he wouldn’t have any regrets. He said he wanted to talk to me now (we’re both 25) because if he bottled it up, he’d suddenly be 40 and realize he never really LIVED during his single life (side note: we were both each other’s first real, grown-up relationship, so we were single until we both were 20).

Now, at this point I was totally confused because I thought he was gonna break up with me. However, I think what he expected from me was that I would say that I totally felt the same and he could have a free pass for a certain amount of time and do whatever the heck he wanted and so could I. But he also said that he wasn’t sure if he wanted to come back to me, IF we did that.

I’m just extremely confused right now because I don’t know what to do. We said that we would not be in touch for a week (literally the longest time we haven’t spoken to each other) and then we’d meet up again and see if we’d come to a solution. I see one of the following things happening:

1) He realizes in this week what he has with me isn’t something he’ll find again and he wants to be with me as much as I want to be with him.

2) He realizes that he still wants to find himself but wants to be with me anyway. And I could totally be by his side for that and give him all the freedom he wants except for sleeping and making out with other women (duh, I have some self-respect).

3) He realizes he wants to break up with me for good and be single for a certain amount of time. And maybe come crawling back to me.

I just don’t get why you’d throw away a four-year relationship just to be single again. And suddenly I feel like some of the contestants of these stupid shows, where I know what I want but I don’t know how he feels and what he wants. The weirdest thing is that I said I loved him and he said he loved me too. I just don’t get why that isn’t enough?

I hope I could give you enough information to tell me what you think of the situation (it was like an hour long talk with a lot of crying) and what I should do. I’m also talking to other friends but I mainly have girlfriends so I thought a male perspective might help.

Thank you ever so much.

Too sad and confused to come up with a good name.

Comment: There is a simple answer to this one. He wants to have sex with other people, but doesn’t want you to. He’s 25. He’s horny. And he’s been having sex with the same girl for 4 years and feels he’s missing out. Your boyfriend of 4 years just told you he wanted to be single. That’s as clear as day to me. Forget justifying the reasons around it or where this came from, he just changed the whole dynamic of your relationship by saying that. Yeah, it sucks. Yeah, it probably hurts like hell to hear that. But this is what young and in love is. This is what you have to go through in life at some point. Very few of us in this world are with one person our whole lives. Unfortunately, someone you’ve been with for 4 years wants to go out and sow his wild oats and it’s at your expense.

Spend your week without him and see what happens, but I guarantee he won’t be coming back to you after a week and say, “Ok, I explored what’s out there. I’m done. I’m ready to be back with you.” And if on the teenie tiny chance he does, that’s where you tell him to kick rocks. The guy just sh** on 4 years of you guys together because he wants to try something else from the menu. At 25, I get it. I hate it that it happened to you, but he’s not the first 25 year old to do this and won’t be the last. Your relationship with him will never be the same after he pulled this. He can come begging and pleading for you, but now he’s laid down the gauntlet that you’ll constantly be thinking about. At any time he might just up and up leave because he wants to “find himself.” That’s code for “Yeah, I want to find myself. In other women.” Tell him if that’s what he really wants, you won’t be there for him when he gets back. Won’t be easy to do, and probably not something you will probably listen to, but that’s the best course of action.

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  1. xnuzboss

    July 14, 2016 at 9:24 AM

    To the gal who took the Uber home instead of letting her “date” give her a ride, bad call. Very bad call, especially if he likes you. Total rejection. No wonder he hasn’t contacted you. You’re the one who said goodbye with that gesture.

  2. rob22

    July 14, 2016 at 2:15 PM

    Too sad and confused: I’ve actually been on both sides of this one. When I was 21, I had the “talk” with my girlfriend. She wanted to progress to marriage, I did not. So we thought we’d separate for a while, see what’s out there, & possibly get back together later. We separated, saw each other (I think) once. She ended up getting married and I fooled around for a few years. I was never so immature that I thought she’d wait for me and not find another guy, nor did I ask her to. Honestly, it worked out for both of us. No regrets on either side.

    When I was in my late 20s and I wanted marriage, my girlfriend had the “talk” with me. Of course, it was a lot tougher being on that side. But ultimately I concluded that I had to move on since it was likely we’d never get back together & waiting was stupid. I did get a few counseling sessions to deal with it. It was really tough at first. I’d recommend moving on as quickly as possible (not easy) because sitting there waiting for a call that’s not coming is very painful. Oddly, a few months later, she contacted me and wanted back in. I pushed back since I had moved on. But after a few conversations, we did start dating again. We ended yo marrying and it’s been great.

    So, it can go either way. But sitting by the phone desperately waiting for him to grow up and return will make you look and feel pathetic. Get counseling if you need it… it is a grieving process… and as soon as you’re able, start dating. I’m not saying this will be easy, painless or quick.

  3. rob22

    July 14, 2016 at 2:30 PM

    Refuses to be Ghosted: Why don’t guys call after what seemed like a fun date? That seems like the biggest thing that confuses women. First, he DID probably have fun. For a girl, that usually means a second date. For a guy, it doesn’t mean that. If he’s playing the field, as many guys do, he was probably seeing if he could get you into bed. Having seen that he couldn’t, he may have just mentally moved on. Which is fine, because if you had slept with him, he probably still wouldn’t have called you. Or, who knows? He could have 1,001 mostly superficial reasons for not wanting a second date & the possibility of a relationship. But he definitely wasn’t feeling it.

    The reasons don’t really matter. Since he didn’t get right back with you, it’s the whole “he’s not that into you” thing. The way he was slow to contact you said, for whatever reason, this isn’t going anywhere. It’s frustrating. But it just is. Move on & don’t stress about it.

  4. cjscjs711

    July 14, 2016 at 2:32 PM

    Wanting “more space” etc. Is usually code word for ‘I met someone sexually very attractive and want to have without guilt of cheating.’ Usually death knell for your relationship. Also yes, they usually come back begging but it still does not progress past same point as before.

    Friend date – you sent signal to him you wanted it to be more. Then you sent mixed signal want public transportation instead. People feel jerked around, toyed with, with these yoyo treatments. You must learn to be direct and upfront. When feeling mutual want more than friends, that is time to speak. Now probably too late but you could call and be Frank. Did you get scared by your feelings? Is also possible he picked up on yours and got scared, not wanting dating relationship. Sounds like some block to communication. Nothing to lose by seeking him out

  5. LM111

    July 14, 2016 at 8:51 PM

    Re: guy acting angry and frustrated when you’re not in the mood.

    In my experience, this is a huge red flag. Understand that it’s perfectly normal for a man to be “disappointed” if you’re not in the mood, but any decent man that truly loves you won’t react to that disappointment with “anger”. He’s either he’s really immature (at best). Or a misogynist that objectifies women (at worst). Men that objectify women tend to get super angry when a woman doesn’t do the “only thing women are good for”. Google “signs of a misogynist” and see if he fits the description. I bet he does.

    My advice – ditch this crybaby and find a real man that treats you with the respect and kindness you deserve.

  6. sochi

    July 15, 2016 at 6:57 PM

    Hi “Too sad…”
    I thought I would chime in, too. I’m glad you’re getting some support from your girlfriends; that’s super important. Really sucks that this is happening to you.
    I’m close to your age and have had a good deal of relationship experience, and for a couple of my past guys I was their first serious relationship. Like Steve said, unfortunately you’re probably going to experience some real hurt from this. Having this happen for the first time really feels devastating.
    I’ll start off by saying that when you’re with the right person, you are able to grow *with* each other. If you need to separate in order to experience growth, then obviously something in the relationship is hindering that, which isn’t healthy. But judging from what you have written it sounds a lot more like he is looking to get new experiences with different women. It’s likely he has someone in mind that he has felt a connection with, or maybe had several instances where he met girls that made him think to himself, “Man, if only I were single, then I could see where this goes…”
    He says he hasn’t gotten to really “LIVE.” And you strongly imply that this is in the context of relationships… for him, “living” means having a couple more women under his belt before settling down. Hurtful, but pretty common for people. In fact, my best friend’s mom has openly admitted to wishing she had dated around more before settling down with her husband (although she says she’s still happily married). I understand being curious, but it’s pointless to dwell on that in an otherwise happy relationship. The thrill of the chase always wears off eventually.
    Speaking of that, 4 years usually marks the stage in a relationship where the thrill (and sometimes the passion) ebbs. It is scary for couples to experience this and natural for you to be concerned about things changing a bit (you’ll have those moments where you’ll feel more like friends than in a relationship). So I would suggest seriously talking with him so that he is sure about what he’s doing. Which brings me to my final point…

    Do not go through this hoping he comes back to you. If he decides to seriously take this break, then -at best- he thinks it’s okay to put your life on hold while he “figures things out.” And that’s simply selfish. He wants the chance to fraternize with someone new, but is leaving himself a way to come back to you whenever he wants. NOT okay. In each of the 3 options you listed, every one emitted the hope you have that you’ll stay together. That may not happen. It is painful to admit now, but will save you from agonizing over this for years. Pretend you are your future self, looking back on what you do now… how would you feel if you saw yourself waiting around for someone who cares less for you? If you put time and hope into things working out while he’s out with new girls? And say he does come back to you after you wait for him… he will always remember what you allowed him to get away with and will take advantage of that whenever he feels like the relationship is fizzling. Do yourself a favor and take this seriously. If he leaves, tell him he doesn’t get a freebie to come back. He either wants you, or wants someone else, but he cannot expect you to wait while he figures it out. If you do this and follow through, he will have -at the very least- more respect for you, because you’re respecting yourself… and -if you stay together- he will have more respect for the relationship.

  7. walker

    July 16, 2016 at 11:31 AM

    To Sad and confused: You say you see one of the “following things happening” and then didn’t list #4 which is the one you probably should see happening the most and that is:

    #4: I am sad about his wanting to move on to explore other women, but this is where he is in life and he is not ready to commit to a more permanent relationship even though I think that I am. We may reconnect someday in the future if we both once again find ourselves single at the same time, but for now, I am going to let him go, be grateful for the beautiful memories I have of my first adult relationship, and hopefully take what I learned about myself and relationships, and find another man who is more at the same place as I am right now. I will not wait for him. I will say goodbye because he wants to be let go; I will not wait for him to tell me his decision, this is my decision; he has told me what he wants/plans to do and it is not what I am available for, him exploring intimate relations with other women. He has made it clear; he does not want to merely date other women as platonic friends, he wants to have sex with other women. I am going to let him go. I will grieve, and move on. We may or may not remain friends, time will tell. It will be a loss and a void because I have grown accustom to his presence in my life even though much of it has been over great distance; I will find new ways/people to fill that space. I will not expect him to ever come back, and even if he does, I will look at my life at that time and honestly assess if he is who I would want to spend my life with after experiencing what else is out there. The only thing I know for certain is that I am walking away now, it will be hard, and I will be ok.

    PS: In my experience, when a guy/gal who you have been dating for years all of sudden comes to you and says that they want a “break” to explore what else may be out there before perhaps deciding to settle down, more often then not they have already found the person that they want to do the “exploring” with. Do not be surprised if your soon to be ex-boyfriend starts dating someone else seriously immediately – most likely he has met someone who lives in his city and the relationship has already begun and he wants it to appear that he is doing the right thing by breaking up with you before starting something new. Happens all the time. Have no illusions. It hurts. But you will feel better in time and move on yourself. Sucks. sorry for your loss.

  8. walker

    July 16, 2016 at 1:44 PM

    PPS: I just reread the letter from Sad and Confused. It seems that you are caught up on him telling you he wants time to “find himself” rather than hearing and taking note about the part of him wanting the freedom to date and have sex with other women. One does not need to be single and available to sleep around in order to “find himself”. I have done my best personal growth within loving relationship with another person who was also learning and growing throughout life with us by each other’s sides supporting each other and cheering each other on with each new discovery/passion that crossed our path as the years have gone by and by. One does not need to be available to hit on whoever they please at a bar and take it as far as it can go before the age of 40 in order to “find themselves”. See it for what it is, he wants out of your relationship to guilt free date other women and be available to possibly start a new relationship with someone else who he may or may not already have in mind. He does not need a week to think about it. If he magically comes back after a week of contemplation and wants to stay together long distance, be wary; he has let you glimpse his inner truth, he wants to experience other women.

  9. rob22

    July 16, 2016 at 3:08 PM

    To finish the thought…. he wants to “find himself” but not with you. Emphasis on the “not with you” part. You should be hurt and angry at that. If he was a more manly guy, he’d just break up with you & be honest that he doesn’t want to continue the relationship. He’s also being a wimp by trying to leave his options open in case he falls on his face. It’s a pretty wimpy attitude to say, on one hand, I want to play the field…. but I want to be able to come back if I have a tough time out there. Don’t give him that out. Sounds like you dodged a bullet. Insecure wimpy guys are not exactly great catches that make great husbands. Being a good husband and a father requires strength and courage. It requires a single mindedness that you’re 100% there for them no matter what. This little boy you’re dating hasn’t got that in him.

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