Reality Steve

Dr. Reality Steve

Podcast #7 with Special Guest the “Possessionista” Dana Weiss Along with “Dr. Reality Steve” Emails

Hey there,

Long time reader and now my time of need for Dr. Reality Steve. I’ve been with my (now ex) boyfriend for nearly five years. He’s a professional football coach and I work in education. With his gig he moves nearly every season which I was on board for Up until last season when I got transported somewhere I hated and had an awful job. After nearly five years of dating he said he’s still not ready for marriage where as I’m chomping at the bit. I feel like it’s time to sh*t or get off the pot. So I told him how I felt and that I wasn’t too sure about moving a lot after this seasons experience, which resulted in me dumping him and moving back home. I really love him, but felt I needed to put myself first. Now that I’ve broken up with him, he’s become a whole new person, saying he will only take coaching gigs that have opportunity for me as well and will even get married even though he’s not ready. I’m a bit hesitant knowing he’s not ready for marriage….but then again is anyone ever truly ready? Thoughts on what I should do?

Insert fake name here

Comment: Oh wow. It’s almost like Coach Eric and Tami Taylor from “Friday Night Lights.” Except he was coaching for almost 18 years before she put her foot down. And he was high school, not pro. And it was a TV show and yours is real life. But hey, other than that, totally the same!

I find it curious that the guy after getting dumped all the sudden made the change and now says he wants to get married. Sounds great and all, but I guess actions speak louder than words. And in the coaching profession, he can say all he wants about only taking coaching gigs that have an opportunity for you as well, but something tells me he’s just telling you what you want to hear. He doesn’t know what future jobs are coming his way right now. Say there’s an offer 3, 5, 7 years down the line which offers him more financial stability than any previous one he’s ever had, better perks, and all the good stuff. He’s going to turn it down for you? I mean, I guess he could, but I’d say it’s unlikely. Most coaches are like the players. They chase the money. Not saying you couldn’t go with him at that point, I’m just saying his line he’s feeding you now is kinda ridiculous to say since he has no idea what the future holds.

And what’s the deal with him doing a 180 on the marriage thing? Could it be possible that he realizes what he’s missing and wants to change? Sure. But I just find the timing awfully suspicious. Who says he’ll get married even though he’s not ready? Sounds like he’d just be settling to me. I think his priorities are a little out of whack right now. With all that said, being married to a coach is never easy. You know what you signed up for, and that’s constant moving, never really laying any roots anywhere unless you’re lucky, and probably having your kids in and out of schools (assuming you eventually have some). So I think it’s also a choice you need to make knowing his profession if this is the life you want to lead. It’s not for everyone, that’s for sure. Only you can make that determination. Good luck.

Hey, RS! Hope you and your family are doing well + enjoyed the holidays!

(If this is long, I apologize in advance!)

I’ve been in the dating game for about 5 years now. My last “real” relationship was when I was 18 and a freshman in college. I’ve graduated now, and all my friends are in long term relationships or engaged. I’m that unfortunate friend who is showing up to all the functions dateless, getting asked when I’ll settle down.

I’ve been on some good dates lately, but usually the guy tends to be more into me than I’m into him. However, my last first date was pretty good, but perplexing to me. I met this guy through social media, but he seems like a really great guy. We’re both fairly young (he’s 24, I’m 23), and recent graduates. It took him a while to ask for my number — he said he wasn’t sure if I was actually interested. When we initially began texting our conversations flowed super easily. We talked about what we were looking for dating wise (both of us are looking for something long term; I tend to ask this before first dates because I’m not really the hooking up type, and I would prefer a guy to not take me out expecting that I’ll put out). After that, we texted for two weeks basically non-stop. I’d wake up to a text and I’d fall asleep to a text. He then asked me out on a date shortly before Christmas. We went to see a movie (Rogue One) and dinner (he thoughtfully picked a place with plenty of options, because I’m a vegetarian). He offered to pick me up, and I told him I appreciated the gesture, but I usually drive on first dates.

When we first “met” it was a little stilted, but once we warmed up a little, we talked all the way up into the previews. I can usually tell when a guy is interested in me, but I could not get a reading on him at all! He was super cute and super nerdy (which is definitely my type), but it also meant he was little awkward, so I couldn’t tell if that was the only thing affecting his demeanor. He was super polite, opened my doors, and paid for everything. Thus, I generally interpreted his demeanor to be due to one of two reasons: either he WAS interested in me, and I was so attractive (haha) I was making him a little nervous or he WASN’T interested in me, and was holding back because he was a nice guy and didn’t want to be rude even if he didn’t find me attractive. So, I decided to give him an “easy out” if the latter was the case and after the movie when he asked if I was still wanted dinner, I told him it was totally up to him — so, if he wasn’t interested he could just tell me he was too tired or something, because he had just gotten off of work earlier. No harm, no foul. To my surprise, he said yes, so I thought maybe he was interested and I was just overanalyzing. We went to this cute little diner spot, had nice conversation and some laughs (he teased me about being a vegetarian, we talked sports, we talked about our colleges and his job, we talked about family, and the upcoming holidays). When we left, we talked as we walked to our cars and I was hoping for that first date kiss and….nothing! I returned to my previous thought that maybe he wasn’t interested. After I left though, he sent a text telling me he hoped I had fun, and told me to text him when I made it home safe, and to let him know when I’m back in town (I left for the holidays to visit family) if I wanted to go out again. Of course, I responded eagerly.

After that though, our conversations became basically non-existent. Like before we were hitting each other up every single day, & it dwindled to maybe one text a day. Even though I’m one of those freaking annoying people who love texting, I’m understanding because everyone isn’t like that and I know he does work throughout the week. However, we haven’t texted since I told him Happy New Year (he at least said it back), but since that…radio silence. Since we literally just met, I don’t want to sound like a stage 5 clinger or nag, and hit him up like, “why aren’t you texting me anymore?” Plus, it WAS just a first date after all, but I also haven’t met such a cute, nerdy guy (with an actual job and a car) in a long time! So, Steve, should I even tell him when I get back in town, or should I take all of this as confirmation that he’s just not that into me?

Sincerely, Adrift in Ambiguity.

Comment: Great alliteration. Seems like a pretty simple case that we get a lot here on Dr. Reality Steve and it goes back to what I always say a lot. If he’s into you, he’ll contact you. He’s already proven he can do it by non-stop back and forth for two weeks. So the fact he isn’t doing it now is a pretty big red flag. I wouldn’t beat yourself up trying to figure out why. Remember, you did meet him over a social media (I’m assuming you meant a dating app or no?). If it was, you should always temper your expectations since most people are going out with more than one person if they meet online. I take it that you’re still out of town, right? I don’t think there’s much hope here and it looks like you’re just an option to him, but if you wanna try, it wouldn’t hurt to text him once you’re back in town, maybe make a playful suggestion about going out again and see where he goes with it. With that said, I’d say just not to expect much and hope for the best. His actions so far after a first date aren’t that of someone who seems eager to go out again. You may never get your answer why, or what went wrong, and you could overanalyze it to death, but that’ll only drive you nuts. Don’t do that. If he doesn’t text and basically ghosts you from this point, just move on. It’s for the best.

Dr. Reality Steve,

I am in a fairly new relationship and both of us had been single for quite a while (years) before meeting one another. The relationship is great. There is no drama, we truly enjoy spending time together and it has been the best start to a relationship that I have ever had. When I stay at his place, I have noticed that any time I wake up even to roll over, he is always awake. I asked him if he always doesn’t sleep well or just when I am over. He replied that it just takes some time to get used to sharing a bed with someone and we moved on. Just over a week ago I was staying over and I heard him get up in the middle of the night. I asked if he was okay and he just said that he was going to move down to the couch and to go back to sleep. I felt bad so I went downstairs as well thinking something was wrong and we both ended up sleeping on opposite couches. The next time I stayed over he snuck down to the couch again so I mentioned that maybe I shouldn’t stay over because I know he isn’t sleeping well and don’t want him to have to keep sleeping on the couch. He told me that is not what he wants and that it will get better the more he gets used to it. I know that some couples sleep in separate bedrooms for a variety of reasons but I never thought that I would be in a relationship like that. I enjoy cuddling up and waking up next to my partner. Since the second night when he went downstairs to the couch and I talked to him about it, he hasn’t gone down to the couch again, however, I know he is still not sleeping well. I feel bad because I know that he’s trying because he knows it means a lot to me but do you think he will ever get used to it? Like I said, it is still a new relationship (3 months) so I’m not sure what to do. It seems ridiculous to end an awesome relationship just because we can’t sleep in the same bed together but we need sleep. Help!

Comment: When you say sleep in the same bed together, when you fall asleep, are you guys cuddling? Or you’re completely separate in the bed, and he’s still not sleeping. I’ll be the first to admit, I can fall asleep touching the other person, but it doesn’t last too long. I just get way too hot, and frankly, the arm positioning is never that comfortable. So at some point during the night, I separate and can sleep fine. So I guess that’s my biggest question if he’s just not sleeping because you want to cuddle, or he can’t sleep with another human in the bed not even touching him.

Regardless of which one it is, I find it odd that he’d really just get up out of bed and move to a completely different room. That’s kinda rude. Maybe you’re snoring and he doesn’t want to say anything yet? Just sounds odd that he’d do it, and on more than one occasion. Should you break up over it? Of course not. Seems silly. But obviously going forward something needs to be worked out. I think I’d need to know more of his reasoning for moving downstairs and why he can’t sleep with someone in his bed. Especially if it has nothing to do with not touching. I’d give it more time, see if it continues to happen, and then assess from there. Like you said, it’s still early. It’s definitely weird and there may be something he isn’t telling you, but if it’s gonna be a long term thing with you two, that needs to be addressed since, well, I’m sure you don’t want to sleep in separate rooms the whole time you’re with this guy. Has he ever stayed at your place? Does he do the same thing? I think he needs to at least suck it up and stay in the bed for risk of offending you, but, you do need to get to the root of why he’s like this because it certainly could cause problems down the road.

Send all links and emails to: To follow me on Twitter, it’s: Instagram name is “RealitySteve,” or join my Reality Steve Facebook Fan Page. Talk to you tomorrow.

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  1. yoyotono

    January 12, 2017 at 9:37 AM

    I agree with all your advice. To the girl with the boyfriend who’s been having trouble sleeping, maybe suggest he sleep closest to the wall (to cool down) or take melatonin to help sleep. Also inform him that he doesn’t have to cuddle with you if he can’t fall asleep while doing so.

  2. trixibelleschott

    January 12, 2017 at 11:40 AM

    He’s not telling you everything. Maybe he has gas and wants to be alone. I agree that sleeping together yet not touching is preferable. I don’t think pressing him for the truth will work. I would just keep trying other fixes like a bigger bed,etc. but before you spend a lot of time or money on this,it would be great to find out the real reason. He doesn’t want to tell you,but maybe he has told a friend who would tell you if you asked. You need him to talk to a counselor or friend who will enlighten you. Then fix it.

  3. tiggertamer

    January 12, 2017 at 12:31 PM

    Regarding the “issue” with not sleeping together, I think it’s unfortunate that this is even considered an issue. I’m a very light sleeper who would often leave the bed to sleep on a relatively small loveseat in my living room when my long term boyfriend would stay over. Sometimes I could sleep pretty soundly with him in my bed; sometimes I couldn’t. Either way, I needed to get some sleep, so I did what was necessary. (And, to allude to what one poster mentioned, sometimes it was because I’d had ice cream for dessert when I shouldn’t have, ugh.)

    Your boyfriend is not being “rude” for leaving you in his bed; he’s giving you his bed, after all. He probably just doesn’t want to wake you up and make a big deal about needing to get more space so he can sleep.

    We live in a society that seems to equate sleeping with sex and love; most of us actually refer to having sex with someone as “sleeping with” that person – something that’s a pet peeve of mine.

    You might want to think of bringing over your own comforter and pillow so you can try taking the initiative of moving to the sofa when you’re both ready for sleep. That way, it’s your idea, so you won’t have to feel offended about him leaving you in his bed.

    Just don’t take it personally; he obviously wants you there; he just needs to get some sleep. You don’t want him being sleep deprived on a regular basis – that can be downright dangerous.

    If he has a second bedroom, you may be able to tell he’s getting more serious about the relationship if he suggests putting in a bed for you.

    BTW, many older couples have separate beds or separate bedrooms, not necessarily because they have medical issues or don’t have sex with each other anymore, but because they’ve realized one or both sleep better alone and their relationship is mature enough that they don’t feel the need to follow societal norms about sleeping together when it doesn’t make sense to do so.

  4. rob22

    January 12, 2017 at 6:07 PM

    Football coach g/f: Here’s the deal. The whole gig for football coaches is moving to where the next job is. That’s it. I had a good friend who was a pro basketball coach. He got tired of it and got into training kids instead. The entire reason he made the change was because he got tired of moving every couple of years. He felt he had no choice. He was an assistant and so he had to go coach under the guys who knew him and it was a new gig every 2-3 years.

    He may (or may not) have the best intentions. But in the end, he’s gotta get paid. Unless he’s truly elite, like a Pete Carroll, he can’t decide on location. He just can’t. He may not be lying to you, he might be just lying to himself, but he’s lying all the same.

    You read the situation right in the first place. It’s a rough gig and I personally have no idea why any woman goes along with that program. But some do. You have to want to. You don’t.

  5. rob22

    January 13, 2017 at 7:14 AM

    Sleeping together in agony: So, the good news is that he’s willing to put up with some discomfort for your benefit. That means, unlike a lot of questions here, he actually does seem to be into you. But you have not yet arrived on the formula for sleeping together. He’s told you that sleeping with someone takes some time to get used to. I think that’s true. You like to cuddle. I wonder how much. Are you sleeping all night on his half of the bed & crowding him off the edge? I ask because while I heard how he was trying to accommodate YOU and your desire to cuddle, I didn’t hear from you how you are trying to make things more comfortable for HIM.

    Obviously by all the educated guesses in the comments section, there is a lot of missing information here. We know he’s uncomfortable, we just weren’t given the reason why. It’s not an answer to say, “it just takes time”. He hasn’t given you the complete answer. He needs to be honest, and you need to be ready to hear WHY he needs time to adjust. What is he adjusting to? Are you literally a Stage 5 Clinger in bed? Are you a bed hog, a snorer or a thrasher? Or, is he just an extremely light sleeper? You need to dig down into what’s causing his discomfort and be completely open to honesty. There’s probably an 80%+ chance it’s something you’re doing to make him uncomfortable, even if it seems like a normal thing to you. And maybe it IS a normal thing. Normal things can bother people too. Once you get to WHY, then you can come up with a solution. It could be anything from buying a different bed to your taking Beano before bed time. Who the heck knows?

    I will say this. There’s a whole industry that tries to accommodate uncomfortable partners in bed. There’s Sleep # beds with different controls on each side, there’s memory foam mattresses that don’t move the whole bed when people shift their position… there’s a ton of stuff. The reason for this industry is that almost EVERYONE has trouble adjusting to someone else in bed with them. So, I think there is a fix out there to help speed the adjustment. But time will probably also be required, as he noted. I just wouldn’t leave it there, and just wait for the adjustment, since it’s obviously a big problem for the two of you. Two people not able to sleep in the same bed in a new relationship is not good. It’s something that demands quick understanding and quick action. Good luck. He seems like a keeper. But adjustments are needed. Now.

  6. j1scarlett

    January 16, 2017 at 12:26 PM

    I find it really hard to sleep around other people, even if the other person is a quiet sleeper. Im a light sleeper, plus I just cant sleep around people Im not super comfortable with. So I didnt even attempt to stay over at my boyfriends apartment for at least the first 5 months of our relationship, and then I tried to stay over every now and then but barely slept and was always tired the next day, and eventually I got comfortable enough to sleep fine. Luckily my boyfriend didnt find this “rude” or break up with me, its just how I am. If you actually like the guy then dont be so offended by this, Im sure he’ll get used to you eventually.

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