Reality Steve

Dr. Reality Steve

Podcast #13 with Special Guest Clare Crawley Along with “Dr. Reality Steve” Emails


Hey Dr. Reality Steve,

Getting this one in early! I know every week you’re short and I was chatting with my sister about this and I thought, why not help Dr. Steve out and bump up the numbers, while also getting great impartial advice.

Random question before I start – since you never keep emails, you probably don’t know when the same people email you multiple times unless they reference previous emails, right? Just curious. That’s correct.

So, I have a “best friend” of mine. We’ve had a rocky past (before we were best friends), but bottom line is we’ve been quite close since the beginning of high school, so about 10 years now. There are obviously things she does that annoy me, but overall she has been a supportive friend throughout high school and university, getting me through break ups, talking into the night with me, laughing until we cry etc.

However, I’ve noticed recently that we are both growing at very different paces. Bringing it back to one of your reader emails, I would classify her as someone with high IQ but low EQ. She doesn’t really have much common sense when it comes to life.

She has never dated anyone (not even a first date) and doesn’t have much insight on serious relationships, but I’ve been in a serious relationship for almost 4 years, so when I look for advice, I find she has very immature views on how things should be. She ends up mostly asking me questions about my relationship because she has no idea what to expect in a relationship. I also feel awkward telling her about how happy I am because she’s been single for 20-some years so it just creates an odd atmosphere when we hang out.

I’ve also been working a “grown-up” job for almost 3 years, but she just got her first job a few months ago. My views on life are more mature and “settling-down” oriented, whereas she is still in a “no ties, free flowing” mindset. Growing up, when we hung out, we had fun together because we could goof off but now I find our conversations die out, or we have very opposite views on something and it gets awkward.

I’ve been messaging her occasionally on Facebook just to check in with her, because I do that with all my friends. I realized last-minute that I was going to be in her area of the city and messaged her on Friday to ask if she would be free Saturday for lunch. She replied that she isn’t in town on weekends, only weekdays. I responded it was fine and that hopefully we could meet up soon. She responded with “Yeah, next time give me more notice, lol” which was definitely the first thing that put me off…Then, I asked where she goes on weekends. She replied that she has spent the last 3 weekends in MY part of the city, but never told me. (We live about 1 hour apart). That kind of sealed the deal for me in terms of not wanting anything to do with her anymore. She chirped me for getting in touch last minute but hasn’t tried to reach out to me for 3 weekends in a row? At least I tried..

So these recent events, and just the general trend of our relationship recently, has led me to want to cut her off. Not necessarily the “delete from facebook” type cutting off, but just..not making any efforts to talk to her, not trying to hang out. Do you think that’s reasonable? Or am I overreacting to what she thinks is a joke?

Once I decide to stop putting effort into a friendship, I wouldn’t consider that person close to me anymore…is that dramatic for what has been a generally good friendship? Should I keep trying to make it work? I’m really turned off from asking her to hang out ever again or giving her important life updates because of her attitude towards me.

This got a lot longer than I expected. Thanks for any advice Steve!

Comment: My suggestion would be to lay low and not say anything to her for a while. See if she ever is the one to contact you first or arrange plans with you. If she isn’t, then I think you have your answer. Granted, maybe she doesn’t do that because she realizes you’re in a different place than her. You definitely have a different life than her, maybe she sees that, so it’s not something to take offense to. People just go grow apart because their lives become different. Or it could be a jealousy thing.

Whatever the case, let her make the first move. If she doesn’t make the first move, or initiate trying to meet up, then that speaks volumes. But if she is someone you’ve been close to for a while, and you don’t want to just sh** can a friend of 10 years like that, then I would have a talk with her and explain what bothers you. That can’t hurt. Maybe she’ll be honest, maybe she won’t, but at least she’ll know how you feel. Then she can make her decision from there to how she values your friendship. Put the ball in her court if you’re tired of being frustrated. I get the sense that she sees the difference between you two and that’s why she’s become distant.

Hey Steve,

Love your site, and love that you poke fun at this ‘reality show’. My friends make fun of me for watching but I always say it makes me feel better about my own life because at least I’m not doing dumb crap like mounting men in a bounce castle on public television.

Anyways, I have a situation I need some advice on. About a month ago, I was hanging out with a friend of mine and his college buddies and one of the guys who I hadn’t met before (we’ll call him Sam) was pretty cute so of course thanks to my friend beer I started getting a little flirty. Throughout the course of the night, Sam and I discovered that we actually knew who each other were because he was the high school ex-boyfriend of one of my sorority sisters – my little and one of my best friends. I knew she had dated Sam but they broke up very soon after we became friends in college so I had never met him, only heard of him. I’m guessing you know where this is headed, but after more drinking that night we ended up hooking up.

Since then, Sam and I have been texting back and forth and to be honest I really enjoy talking to him and would like to see where this goes and I’m getting that same vibe from him. My girlfriend who previously dated Sam lives in California now and the break-up was about 7 years ago. She and I keep in touch, but obviously not as well as my in-town friends. I mentioned to her after that night that I had met him (nothing else though) and she was super nonchalant about it, replying back with something like ‘Oh, interesting’ and moving on to talking about planning my next trip to see her out there. Sam also admitted that they don’t keep in touch at all except to poke fun at each other when their college teams are playing each other.

How do I move forward with this interesting triangle of sorts? I don’t want her to feel like I’m harboring secrets by dating him without telling her (it’ll come up eventually but I always wait until a few dates in to tell even my best friends about guys), but I also feel awkward asking ‘Yo, that guy you dated 7 years ago, is it cool if I pursue him romantically?’. I honestly don’t think she would care with it being so long ago, her living literally almost as far as possible geographically from him, and her having dated other guys since then but I don’t know. Help!

Awkward in Atlanta

Comment: The dating someone’s ex angle is never a black and white situation. There is no universal rule for this. All depends on the situation. If your sorority sister broke up with him last month? No. 6 months ago? No. 7 years ago, and she’s in another state 2,000 miles away? You’re fine.

There really isn’t a good time to date an ex, but I say 7 years is fine when it’s not like your sorority sister and him are trying to get back together or anything. I don’t look at it like a triangle either because she’s not involved at all. Unless there’s something you don’t know about going on between them, the situation you describe is harmless. It’s been 7 years. If she gets upset or defriends you, that’s on her.

If things get more serious between you and the guy, sounds like you have a decent enough relationship with her still to mention it. But no need to bring it up until something, if any, becomes more serious between you and the guy. If it’s just occasional hooking up and what not, she doesn’t need to know about that. But if you guys start talking about becoming more serious, I don’t think you’re required to do anything in terms of her. You can do whatever you want. But since you came to me with it, I can see there is a least a little bit of guilt maybe on your part, so I think you can absolutely say something to her about it. You even think she wouldn’t care, so that’s good. Do whatever you feel like doing, but in terms of should/would she be mad or whatever, if she’s a reasonable person, she shouldn’t. Enough time has passed.

Hi! I have been married for 12 years to my husband and we have twin boys that are kindergarten age. I have always wanted a daughter since I was little and my husband refuses to have another child. He won’t give me a reason except I’m only getting two kids from him.

A lot of marriage has been about what he wants. I am tired of it. I told him that I was going to leave him to have my daughter through fertility and he said fine. I tried to to have him come to a fertility consultation to se what it involves but he refuses.

I have the money to have a baby on my own but I’m scared to leave him due to the affect it would have on my twins who are five. He’s a good husband and father and I’m scared to break up my family. What should I do?


Comment: I think you’re acting a bit irrationally. Was this never brought up earlier in your marriage? I can’t imagine this is the first you’re finding out that he only wants two kids. If he told you earlier he wanted three kids, and now he’s saying, “Nope, we’re done at two” then you have reason to be upset. But that still doesn’t mean you need to end the marriage and go off and have a kid on your own. That’s completely selfish. Sometimes you can’t always get what you want. And kids are obviously a big freakin’ deal in a marriage. Disagreeing on that is something that should’ve been hashed out before you started having them. You’re married. You don’t just quit because of a disagreement over kids. You need to work it out better. Telling him you’re gonna leave him to go have one yourself is incredibly selfish. He’s a good husband and father you say, yet you’re willing to risk all that and your marriage because you want a girl? Not good.

Before long, he’s gonna end up leaving you if you keep acting like this. I’d say talk it out, think things through, and if he says he doesn’t want any more kids, then don’t try and change his mind, or guilt trip him into more, or stop taking birth control and trick him into one. That’ll for sure put an end to your marriage. I think you’re going about this all wrong. You don’t threaten your spouse with leaving because you don’t get what you want. Just wrong.

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 next week.

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  1. walker

    February 16, 2017 at 11:41 AM

    omg – seriously?… To the letter writer who wants to abandon her family to go off alone to have a daughter I ask: Do you know any children of divorced families? Have you ever met a teenage boy whose mom abandoned him at a young age and broke up the family? I implore you to reconsider these thoughts and get counseling immediately. No good will come out of you leaving your otherwise supportive loving marriage and your 2 young sons for you to buy a daughter to raise alone. Please, get help to find out what is causing this hole in your life that you believe needs a fantasy daughter to fill. Can you imagine how your sons will feel? Mommy left and destroyed our happy sense of a secure loving home and family because we are boys – it’s our fault, she doesn’t love us because we aren’t girls – they are so young, this is what they will take away from you leaving if you go through with that choice. Please, slow down and seriously think about this and the ramifications to the children you already have and your responsibility to raise them in a loving safe environment. What happens if you leave, your sons and husband are filled with anger, loss, sadness, – you go off on your own, single income, you select a daughter through fertility, and then what if you accidentally get another boy (There are no 100 percent guarantee selections)? Do you get rid of him too? What if you get a daughter, but she doesn’t fill the hole, are you going to have expectations of her that are ultimately going to make her resent you? What if she hates pink, throws a tantrum when you want to take her shopping, wants to play with trucks, isn’t a mommy’s girl, won’t wear dresses, what do you do then? Leave her and try again for this ideal “daughter” of your dreams? And what if she is born with a disability? …. Divorce and leaving your children should by a last resort when there is abuse in a marriage not on a whim of fancy because you have some sort of idea in your head of what having a daughter would be like for you – I’m telling you from experience, leaving your boys for this reason will mess them up – are you willing to choose to do that on purpose? Go to counseling. Find out what is causing your feelings of if only I had a daughter all would be happiness. Learn how to be happy and fulfilled with the blessing of sons. Perhaps mentor or join the Big Sister program if you would like some girl time in your life. Spend more time with a friend’s daughter or nieces if you like the idea of “girl time”. Whatever you have put in a mental box as things that you can only share with a daughter, try to share with your sons; gender activities are more fluid these days. Girls play sports and boys love cooking. Try these activities with your sons – teach them to cook, bake cookies with them, take them shopping, get them art supplies and do projects with them in addition to what they may be doing already. Most important, please don’t ever let them feel that they are a disappointment to you because they are boys not girls, they had no say in that. Embrace that you have 2 healthy happy children and figure out why this is not enough – there is something there that you need to acknowledge and figure out and then deal with in a more healthy way than destroying a family.

  2. rob22

    February 16, 2017 at 1:47 PM

    So, to the first letter writer. I would take a step back and think about your friend. Though you both are clearly at different stages of life, that probably won’t always be the case. You do seem to be going through a season where you’re just in different places. But if you start “deleting” every friendship because you’re at different places in life or because they suddenly have opinions different than yours, your friendship list might end up getting pretty short. I’d just take a longer view of things, and perhaps press the “pause” button, not the “delete” button. We all need good friends. Sometimes over the course of many years, we have very, very few friends and wonder how we got disconnected from so many good friends over the years. I suggest not burning any bridges, pressing the pause button (for now) & reconnect whenever the time seems right. Just don’t let that be years from now after she’s moved to Bangkok to search for eternal consciousness.

    As for the divorce and get a daughter person, that’s just lunacy. You’re going to rip yourself and your two kids out of a stable household just so you can go on a journey to have a daughter? I try not to be terribly judgmental but come on. Are you joking? I think many married couples go through a negotiation on how many kids to have and there might be disagreements. But this is one of those HUGE topics where BOTH need to be in agreement. My wife and I were initially at me wanting 2 and her wanting 4+. I told her going in that I would only commit to 2. She told me she’d eventually convince me to have more. She found that 2 was a handful and decided that 2 was, in fact, the right number. I’m quite sure that there are a whole lot of other issues intertwined with the two of you that I’m not going to guess at. The way your question is written makes you both come off like very selfish and stubborn people. The way you both have taken the “my way or the highway” approach to this issue is very far from how married people should be conducting their lives together. Bottom line, you need some marital counseling to sort out your issues. I very much doubt that the having a daughter issue is the main issue. It sounds more like a symptom of a larger problem about how you negotiate issues, communicate and behave as a married couple.

  3. purplerayne

    February 17, 2017 at 9:21 AM

    Thank you for having Clare on! I appreciate her being upfront about her own quirks and anxieties, makes sense why a show like this would exploit that to their advantage. She’s their perfect contestant: naive, hopeful and a bit quirky. Things they use to beat out a narrative that they want. She’s a lovely person, hope she finds/found love.

  4. bnfan

    February 17, 2017 at 10:33 AM

    I’m wondering if people still have a hatred of Juan Pablo now that we know there was no sex in the ocean and he didn’t say in the helicopter what people assumed he said. I withheld judgment because I know (thanks to RS teaching us about producers’ ways) that if we didn’t see it and if we didn’t see them say it, then we shouldn’t assume it. People were hating him for supposedly slut-shaming Clare when, come to find out through this podcast, that no slut was happening by Clare. I wonder if people even bother to go back and change their opinion now that the premise on which that opinion is based has changed. Or people will continue to blindly hate.

    Also I gave JP a lot of leeway regarding communication and intrepretive outlook because he came from a different culture, and English was not his first languange even though he was born here. I couldn’t believe Clare and Steve are still making fun of him for his communication skills. Come on! It’s like making fun of immigrants for their accents, or making fun of the blind for not being able to see, or making fun of the learning impaired for not understanding rocket science.

  5. wavecatchingmom

    February 19, 2017 at 10:03 AM

    If you want a more balanced view of JP, Sharleen had a lot to say about him. I’ve dated internationally before and I can see both sides. I do think that he was thrown under the bus a bit by ABC because he wouldn’t play along, but I also think that the way he treated not just Clare, but Nikki as accessories instead of women shows that his character is not great, and so I agree with Steve and appreciate how Steve sticks up for the women on this show. Dear Clare is just not “Cosmopolitan”, and therefore was naive to the show, but her trust is endearing and I always was a Clare fan. I wonder why Zack wasn’t discussed at all, not even as a reminder in summarizing the BIP experience? I’m guessing that was a condition to going on Steve’s podcast- Ok I will do it, but I won’t discuss getting dumped by Zack? I was curious how dramatic that really was versus editing. As in how they made it seem like Nick was really into Amanda to create more drama.

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