Reality Steve


Podcast #14 with Special Guest JJ Lane Along with “Dr. Reality Steve” Emails

Photo Credit: ABC


Hi Dr. Reality Steve,

My issue is more of an observation that you can comment on. I am a 26 year old single woman and tend to keep all my friends close. I have two main group of friends- one group we’ve all been friends since elementary school, and the other group I’ve known since university. Of the elementary school group, most of them are single or in short term relationships, while the university group have been long-term in relationships (5-7 years).

Lately I’ve noticed that the university group almost seems jealous whenever I talk about a guy I am dating, or let them know whats been happening between myself and I guy I met when I was out with them. For example, we all went on vacation together and met a group of guys we partied with that weekend. At the time my friends were all introducing me and telling me to go for certain guys in the group etc, because I am the single one. But afterwards, if i tell them something like “the guy from that trip messaged me yesterday” or anything like that, they just act disinterested or talk about something else. And its not like I’m “bragging” about all these guys or something, I just thought they might be interested because they actually met these guys or told me to go for it.
On the other hand, the single group or short-term relationship people are always interested or supportive. Which normally, I would think should be the opposite, because maybe they might be the ones to be jealous because they are still single while I “met someone”. But they are always supportive and interested in getting to know the guy.

Overall, this isn’t anything major, I’m friends with all of them and we’re all close. I’m just really close with the university group in other ways (they’ve been there for family issues, helped me with major career choices, etc) I just find it odd I can’t talk to them about relationship things, and I wish I could.

Any insight on this?


Comment: Kinda weird. I really have no idea why they’d act like that. If they’re your friend, they’re your friend and should be interested in who you date. Like you said, if anything, THEY should be the supportive ones since it’s like they want you to “join” them, i.e. be in a relationship. Hell, maybe they live vicariously through you since they’re not single and you are. Not sure. You’re right though, this isn’t really a major issue per se, but if it continues, I’d definitely bring it up to them and ask why they don’t seem to care who you’re dating. Do you value their opinion over your elementary school friends? Or is it just a case as to you’re confused as to why they don’t care if they’re truly your friends? Either way, if it persists, I’d just flat out ask one/all of them what the deal is.

Dear Dr. Reality Steve,

First of all I just want to thank you for continuing to provide reliable spoilers for The Bachelor Franchise year after year. I’ve been reading your site since Brad’s second season. I started out as a more casual reader who just read the main episode by episode spoiler column and a few random other posts here and there. Now I read all of your posts and listen to your podcasts as well. I really love your site. Thanks for entertaining me and all of your other readers week after week.

I have a Dr. Reality Steve question but….. it doesn’t have anything to do with relationships. I’m happily married so I don’t need help with that. I really respect you and the writing career you’ve built for yourself so I have a career and life question for you. I hope that’s ok. If not I understand if you choose not to include this. Ok here goes…..

I met my husband when we were both in college. Creative writing is my passion but I was worried attempting to start a career as a fiction writer would not be a reliable way to pay the bills so I went into the Education program and intended to become a high school English teacher. It was all going well for me. I had good marks and was on track to finish my degree. My (now) husband and I started dating and got engaged. He ended up leaving college because it was a huge financial strain on us to pay for both of our tuitions and try to keep a roof over our heads. We both decided that I would stay in school because I had the better grades of the two of us and my husband went back to work for the security firm that he was employed with before he decided to go back to college as a mature student.

Unfortunately, I developed a serious health problem during my second last year of college. I was able to push through that year and finish with good grades but I knew I had to take some time off to focus on my health. I did that and now my health is in the best place it has been in a long time. I am able to work full time now. The problem is I only intended to take a year or two off from college. It’s now been almost four years since I left. I love my job. I work in a jewelry store in a lower management positon with a great group of people and have been slowly paying off my student loans. I get paid well for retail and would be doing great financially if it weren’t for the burden of my student loans. When I took them on I was expecting to make a higher salary that would mitigate the cost of the monthly payments. I didn’t anticipate the health problems I would have to deal with. As it stands me and my husband are not living paycheck to paycheck but we are not putting away as much as we would like to. We don’t own our own home and don’t have any money to travel. We just have enough to pay for all our necessities, save a little for emergencies and treat ourselves to small things every now and again. I could be happy with this but I’m not because I know things would be different if I had finished college and hadn’t developed health problems. I know that’s irrational because it was out of my control but those feelings still well up sometimes and I feel like a failure.

I feel like I’m at a crossroads as to what to do with the rest of my life. Sometimes I think I should just try and go back to college. My credits are still valid and I could possibly finish up my final year through correspondence, although it would be tricky to finish the education program because it requires a full time teaching practicum where I live. I would have to find a way to take off time from work and pay for the practicum course. I just don’t know if that’s a great choice financially. I spoke with a career counselor from the college where I live and she said that I could finish a degree in English in about two years which would open up doors for me to have a career in the publishing industry which is growing where I live. That is honestly my dream… to work in publishing either distributing my own work or helping others distribute theirs. The only thing is it would be a huge financial sacrifice to go back to college at this point. I would either have to quit work, take out another student loan and go back full time, or severely tighten my budget and try and carve out time to try and take courses through correspondence while working full time. I also have a creative writing project I am working on. I really go back and forth on whether I should go back to college and take on the financial strain of paying for tuition or just finish my writing project, try and get it published and hope I can have a writing career without a degree. That second option sounds a little fanciful to me when I state it like that though.

I’m sorry that was so long winded! I just wanted to frame my dilemma for you in a detailed way. So what should I do, Steve? Should I take on the financial burden of going back to college because it would be a great credential to put on my resume? Or should I just throw myself into my creative writing project and hope that will open doors? My high school English teachers did all encourage me to pursue a creative writing career, if that means anything. I feel like college seems like a clear path to professional success, but that it all depends on the debt you incur and how your salary balances it out.

Thanks for taking the time to read this! Again, I understand if you decide to not include this question as it doesn’t have anything to do with a relationship problem. Keep up the good work spoiling! I look forward to your future posts.

Career Confused in Canada

Comment: A three word alliteration. You’re well on your way to a writing career. Don’t worry about it not being a relationship question.

One thing you didn’t mention was what your husband thinks in all this. Regardless of my opinion, in an effort to not cause strain in this marriage, it’d be interesting to know where he stands on it. You’ve already admitted that going back to school is going to be a pretty big financial burden. I don’t want to say “school doesn’t matter” to people, but lets face it, there are people out there who’ve been successful without a college degree. Not to mention you went to 3 of your 4 years of college. It’s not like you dropped out of school in 8th grade. If you have something you want published, and that’s what your passionate about, and you get it in front of a publisher and they like it, I highly doubt you not finishing the last year of college would prevent anything from moving ahead. This coming from someone who’s never tried or had anything published, but if it’s good, it’s good. A lack of degree isn’t gonna hold you back I wouldn’t think.

I would definitely get your husbands take on this. If getting that degree is something you really feel you need, and you think you guys can get through some lean times financially while you do it and budget accordingly, then I say go ahead. However, I still think you can do your writing project and try to get it published regardless.

Hey Dr. Steve,

I’m hoping you could help me out with this problem I have with someone, I’m not sure if I should just drop them as a friend or just try to repair the friendship. This is going to be kind of long, so you may want to grab a drink or something.

Back in November of 2016, I was let go from my job over something that wasn’t even my fault. Anyway, I was really upset and just hurt by it since I was blindsided by it, and wasn’t even given a chance to defend myself since when I tried they didn’t want to hear it. Anyway, my friend then calls me because another friend of ours told her, which I didn’t really like, but I just let it go. Anyway, she was really supportive at first, but I was still really upset about it because I had NO idea they were letting me go. I had only been at the job for less than three months and would ask my supervisor about my work and how I was really concerned about one part of my job I wasn’t doing right in, and she said not to worry about it. Anyway, I was let go of the very thing my supervisor told me not to be worried about.

Anyway, my friend tends to have this tendency to help me, but it just makes me feel that my problems don’t matter compared to what she went through. She tells me that how she lost her son in Afghanistan, her husband left her and he took the house and all the money with him and she lived in her car for a while. Anyway, I tried to politely explain to her that whenever I tell her about a problem I’m going through, she always has to talk about how hard she had it and what she has been through. I understand that losing a child is horrible, and I understand that being homeless is also horrible. However, she then gets mad at me and me that she doesn’t like that I’m thinking that I feel that she thinks that her problems are the only ones that matter. I mean if someone said that I was making them feel their problems didn’t matter compared to mine, then I wouldn’t get mad at them. I would simply say I’m sorry I made you feel that way.

Also, this isn’t the first time she has gotten mad at me. Her daughter was having a baby and on the shower day, I couldn’t attend because I had a class I was attending to help me with my finances. I told her I couldn’t go, and she gets mad at me and says, “you aren’t even going to go to that class”. Seriously WTF? I’ve been going to it every Sunday since it started. I mean how dare she even say that?

Also, she got real pissed at me once because I didn’t ask how she was, her daughter was, her dog was, etc. She always ask stuff that is not any of her business also. She asked me how much I make, my car payment, and how much debt I have. And she doesn’t ask in a way that is more polite, she will just flat out and ask, “how much debt do you have” when I told her I can’t afford something. A more polite way would have been, “if you don’t mind me asking, how much debt do you have?”

I feel like I should say that I am 33 years old and she is in her 50’s. I’m not too sure of our age gap have something to do with it.

What do you think? Should I just try to be the type of friend she needs? I feel like she needs a friend who is going to ask how her day is everyday and sometimes I’m kind of busy and don’t have the time to do that. I have to say I never had a friend who always was getting mad at me. I should also add that when she sent me a text asking for my address to send the baby shower invite, she also asked for my last name. How the hell do you not know my last name? I mean if I didn’t know someone’s last name and I called them a friend, I would ask them how they spell their last name so I don’t look like a jerk.

Any input you have would be great!! Thanks!!

Comment: I would let her know what she needs to know and leave it at that. Doesn’t sound like she cares about much other than herself. And people who constantly make YOUR stories about THEM are incredibly annoying and people I personally try to avoid. It doesn’t really sound like she’s much of a friend to begin with since you only relayed all the times she pissed you off. What good has she done in your life for you. I’m sure some is there, but maybe the bad outweighs the good? I don’t know. But it’s certainly possible her age has something to do with it just because she’s in a different phase of her life than you are.

This is someone who seems to want to control you at times, and who wants that in their life? She blatantly is rude to you for no reason, she’s nosy, and makes everything about her. Personally, I would distance myself from someone like that. If she can’t even help you with your problems and then in turn gets mad at you for what’s happened in her past? Yeah, just know what you’re dealing with here and just don’t divulge much to her, if anything at all. Seems like she’s more of a headache than you really need.

This final email is an update on “Amanda from Chicago,” whose phone call was part of Episode 9 of the podcast. She was the girl whose fiancé cancelled their wedding and broke up with her basically at the drop of a hat recently. An emailer last week asked if I’d gotten an update from her, so I decided to reach out to Amanda to find out what the latest is. Here’s her response:

Hey Steve!

Thanks for checking in! I’ll try and keep this as short as possible.

Ironically, the day after you and I talked for the podcast, I received a text from my ex saying that he was ready to talk about what happened. I shut that request down pretty quickly because I wasn’t ready to talk and had been making a lot of progress with just focusing on me (essentially doing the ‘no contact rule’). Fast forward to 2 weeks ago (so about 2 months total after this all happened), I got this long and sort of cryptic text from him essentially giving me the impression that he missed me. I was headed downtown that evening anyways to meet with a potential new roommate, so I figured I’d kill two birds with one stone (driving downtown is a b****) and meet up with him after meeting my new roommate.

We ended up talking for hours, literally all night. He admitted that it wasn’t that he wasn’t in love with me, it was that he needed to work on some internal turmoil (problems with work, his family, school, etc.) and didn’t think it was fair to keep moving forward with me when he couldn’t figure out how to handle his own shit. Basically, he felt like he was dragging me down with his personal problems and that it wasn’t fair to me and I could get somebody better than him who would be more emotionally present without this mental turmoil. He also said that he knew telling me he wasn’t in love with me was the only way he would get me to stop trying to help him, because I have the personality where I’ll always help somebody and be there for them and he wanted to push me away so I wouldn’t keep putting myself through the ups and downs as well.

I think I kind of knew all along that it wasn’t that he truly wasn’t in love with me, I’m not sure I ever truly believed that narrative and that’s why I struggled with trying to connect how I missed that he had fallen out of love with me. I don’t agree with what he did and I think it was pretty freaking horrible, but I do see that he’s making strides to move forward. I spent last weekend at his place just hanging out and spending time together (no physical interaction) and it was refreshing to see him really try and show me he was trying to better himself. I told him our bridge wasn’t burned down, but that it was definitely closed for now until I can truly believe that he’s in this again for the long haul. In the meantime, I am happy that he’s truly trying: he’s seeing a therapist weekly to work on that inner turmoil and he’s really trying to show me how much he values me. On Monday, I had the day off and he didn’t, but he still took me out to lunch even though he was working hard on a case and has never been able to make time for lunch for me on a work day before (especially during a case). Yesterday, we got locked out of his apartment for a solid two hours and we made the best time out of a bad situation, neither one of us got frustrated or upset, we truly just valued the time we had together.

So I guess in summary, we aren’t together, but I’m happy that we are talking and are honestly even better than we were before. I’ve definitely taken the time to work on myself and it’s just improved our relationship and how we communicate, etc. I’m not sure if we will ever be back together: he’s told me he wants it to be me he marries in the end and I truly hope it’s him, but he’s got a lot of work to do to solidify that to me. The thing that is hard right now is that we haven’t told anybody that we’ve reconnected, because it’s still fresh for a lot of my family and we want to keep as many opinions out of it as possible. He’s brought up the wedding scenario (bringing me as his +1 to his best friend’s wedding), but I haven’t made a decision on that. Right now I’m thinking I won’t go because it would be hard fielding questions without our friends understanding that we’ve gotten to a good place despite the fact that we aren’t dating.

Our lives are running parallel right now, and he understands I’m not going to turn down meeting somebody else until he can actually commit again. Right now, it seems like only time will tell what will happen!

Sorry for the novel, hope it all makes some kind of sense!

Comment: That’s great to hear. I think you’re handling this perfectly by not jumping back into things with him after what he did. Good line about “Hey, the bridge isn’t burned, but it’s definitely closed down.” Make sure those bridge renovations are completely fixed before opening it back up. You’re doing the right thing. He can say all he wants, but at this point because of what he did, his actions will speak louder. So far so good, but make sure he keeps it up. I wouldn’t go to the wedding with him either. It’s gonna be a lot of questions for you guys to answer to that you probably don’t want. Not worth it. Good luck.

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. rob22

    February 23, 2017 at 10:21 AM

    Career Confused in Canada: As I look at your various questions, it all comes back to one thing. Because you have student loans you’re limited in your opportunities and choices. Your student loans are the problem. Eliminate them and then you could choose to go back to college, change careers, travel more, enjoy life, etc. So, before you can have the freedom to do all of the things you want to do you need to focus 100% on eliminated your student loan debt. Literally put all other thoughts and plans on hold & deal with your debt.

    You didn’t say how much it is, but obviously it’s a burden. My advice is put together a personal budget first (you can use online budgeting software such as available at and see how you are spending your money. And, within that budget decide how you WANT to spend your money. In the near term, the idea is to reduce expenses as much as possible and divert every penny possible towards paying your debt off fast.

    That’s a start. Quite honestly, you’re probably barely making ends meet with your current income. So, you both need to look to increase income. Some ideas: look for overtime opportunities, look for a better paying job (if he’s in security, he might have better opportunities here), you both should look at second jobs (Uber, AirBnB, waiter, whatever might work), maybe you have stuff in storage that you could sell. Whatever you can do, raise as much money as you can to pound out the debt. Insanely focused effort here can move mountains.

    This sounds like no fun. But the situation you’re in is already no fun. So if you just make your situation slightly less fun, but really go at it hard, you can get into the situation where your debt is paid off & you can start to do the things you want. And, if you’re going to go this route, I strongly suggest you aim towards specific goals, such as going back to college, getting an English degree and changing professions. Nobody likes to suffer & work crazy hard, and we won’t unless we have a very important goal that we achieve at the end of it all. So, clear goals, a budget, increased income and intense focus = a return to a fun life, sooner rather than later.

    Good luck!!

  2. rob22

    February 23, 2017 at 10:49 AM

    On the last letter, I don’t listen to the Podcasts (too long) so I don’t know all of your details. But I’m not buying his explanation. Guys just don’t go and dump someone they love because they feel they’re bringing you down because of problems with work, family, etc., or whatever nonsense he’s selling. Guys, of course, do get overwhelmed with personal issues, but they don’t just suddenly dump their fiancee because of it. What might happen if they have a lot of personal issues is that they might get increasingly tough to deal with, cranky, etc. leading to increased arguing and fighting and THAT might lead to you not getting along & a breakup. But breakups like this don’t come out of nowhere. Guys usually like to have a girlfriend supporting them if they are having problems. Girls listen to them and let them vent, where their guy friends are pretty much useless at those things. “Too bad dude. Let’s hit the bars” is probably the best they can hope for from a guy friend. Now, if it went down more like I noted above, more gradually, and not just out of the blue, then maybe I’m buying. Like I said at the beginning, maybe I missed some detail from the podcast.

    I do believe he’s earnestly trying to reconnect with you because he feels he made a mistake. But my feeling is that he should really come clean with you about what happened before that can happen. Every single time I’ve ever heard this “broke up out of the blue” type story, there’s been another woman involved. Every time. Nothing will end a relationship faster than sudden interest in someone else. I’m sure somewhere along the line you’ve considered this possibility. And, maybe you’re the exception to the rule here, but I’m thinking not. Now whatever was going on obviously ended (one would hope)…. leading to the initial sheepish and cryptic emails sent entirely to test the waters and see if he had anyway back in. The grass doesn’t always prove to be greener elsewhere, of course. And he may have a new appreciation for what you did have. And, of course, he’s afraid if he tells you the truth, you might go all Raven on him and you’d beat him with your stiletto heeled boot before dumping him and blocking him completely. That might be true, I don’t know how much crazy you’ve got in you. But, bottom line, I’d feel much better about the situation if he was being honest and explaining to you why it happened and why it won’t happen again. Because, you know, it just might happen again. Nobody needs that. Especially you.

  3. sarahe

    February 23, 2017 at 1:36 PM

    To Amanda from Chicago, I completely agree with what rob22 said. I was in a similar situation to you. My boyfriend and I were not engaged when this happened, but we were coming up on our 2 year anniversary and had been living together for the past year. I had a health issue come up towards the end of the summer that put a tremendous amount of strain on us, and I was having a hard time physically and emotionally. I thought we were getting better and I was starting to feel like myself again when my boyfriend pretty much told me that he didn’t want to fully break up, but he wanted to take a break. He kept telling me it was because things were so hard at work, he was feeling like he was in a rut, and that we’d “most likely” end up together. I was in shock, so that first night, I went to my parents’ house and played along. But in my heart I knew something was up. The next day, when I went to pack up some things, I saw a text come through from another girl. I immediately knew this was the reason, and so I confronted him about it, and he told me about her. She was a new hire at his work who he felt a connection with one night during a happy hour, and while nothing physical happened, he wanted to explore it further. I was devastated, and I straight up ignored him for a week. Sure enough, after a week, he called me and begged me to come home. I made him tell me EVERYTHING that happened with this girl. I had to think long and hard about taking him back, and he really had to step up to show me it was worth it. Even after I got back with him, I had some BAD trust issues with him (for great reason) and we had a rough time after our reconciliation, but ultimately now we are in the best place we’ve ever been. If you feel like he’s your forever, don’t rule him out, but DEFINITELY find out the truth, because I feel like there was another girl in the picture. Regardless of if anything physical happened, you neeed to know about it before making a choice to get back together.

  4. cjscjs711

    February 23, 2017 at 7:35 PM

    Have to agree with previous on Amanda in Chicago.

    Typical scenario. Need a break, need more space; they really just want to see someone else without feeling like they’re cheating. But not completely cut loose, because maybe it won’t turn out to be so great. Plus they really do have feelings.

    Typically – they don’t pan out so well. So you can spend a lot of your time on this relationship that’s not 100%.

  5. rob22

    February 24, 2017 at 7:09 AM

    For Amanda: expanding on my thoughts and the thoughts of others: What I would like to have heard is that this guy dumped you and was honest from the start. If he had said something like “I’m interested in someone else and want to explore that & I don’t want to cheat on you. So to be completely honest and fair, I’m breaking up with you before I go there”. Now this is super blunt & is really going to sting. But you have to respect the honesty and the desire to play by the rules. You may hate him, you may be really hurt, but you could never call him a cheater or a liar. And there’s something to that. Because trust is all you have and trust is based on honesty, especially when honesty is inconvenient to the teller.

    If it went down this way, you still may not want him back because of the pain he caused you. You might also question if his love was too flaky for your tastes and whether you’ll get a repeat performance down the road. For sure taking him back is not an automatic. But at the same time, he didn’t cheat, he didn’t lie and so you can actually believe what he’s telling you this time around when you decide whether to start back up, or not.

    The problem I have with Amanda’s scenario, is that if I’m right about there being another woman, he did cheat and he did lie. So now, how can you trust him this time? Answer: you can’t. Unfortunately most guys will go the lying, cheating route to make it easier on themselves, both on the way out and on the way back in. Your guy went with a version of “it’s me, not you” and conveniently (and incoherently) blamed work and family issues. And it wasn’t honest. Bluntly admitting that you are about to stray and therefore need to breakup is not something most guys are ready to sign up for. So, as a result, they prove themselves not to be trustworthy. That doesn’t bode well for “happily ever after”. Does it? That’s a rhetorical question.

  6. LM111

    February 24, 2017 at 9:25 AM

    Man. I listened to the podcast with Amanda and it was eerily similar to something that happened to me in December 2013. Long story short, it was New Year’s Eve and my live-in boyfriend announced that he was leaving/moving out (that very night!). I was blindsided. We didn’t have any arguments leading up to it, in fact, he was sending me texts the day before telling me how much he wanted to marry me and how lucky he felt to have me! The day before!? WTF?

    I never got closure. I never got answers. He never heard from me again.

    Now, I suspect Rob22 is on to something about there being another woman in the picture. In my experience, men typically don’t ditch regular sex when there are no prospects on the horizon. Maybe his company hired someone that he found attractive and he wanted to pursue it. The problem, of course, is that he wasn’t honest. You can’t fault someone for being human, but you can (and should) fault them for being dishonest. You can forgive, but you’ll never have the peace of mind that trust brings. Is it worth it? I don’t think so. You sound like a very articulate and level-headed woman. You deserve better.

  7. ihatethebachbutalsoloveitsomuch

    February 24, 2017 at 10:41 AM

    This website sucks so much. Not the content. I love the content. But it ALWAYS tells me there’s an error and the page reloads or stupid ads pop up and I can’t get them to go away. Even typing this comment has been a pain. I wish this were an easier site to interact with because I’m legit obsessed with Reality Steve spoilers.

  8. kimmyfromdablock

    February 24, 2017 at 11:49 AM

    Currently listening to the JJ Lane podcast and he is simply douche-tastic. He did indeed seem douche-y when he was on Bachelorette and he still strikes me as the same.

  9. LynnS

    February 25, 2017 at 12:35 PM

    I feel the same way. I can’t even finish it. But I am curious as to whether he’s still living in his parents’ basement.

  10. texas

    February 25, 2017 at 7:00 PM

    I agree with the others that there is something fishy with the ex’s explanation. Isn’t marriage about going through the ups and downs of life together? So instead he completely crushed and humiliated her to spare her dealing with his ups and downs of life? Not buying it.

  11. yoyotono

    February 25, 2017 at 10:11 PM

    I listened to about 20 minutes of the podcast. I don’t doubt stuff is producer driven and edited in a certain way like JJ (you, and many other contestants say). JJ comes across as manic and full of self importance (almost bipolar in that sense), in that interview and his time on BIP. JJ is very likable, even with that weird bromance edit.

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