Reality Steve


Podcast #17 – Interview with Sharleen Joynt, Also “Reader Emails,” and “Dr. Reality Steve”

Dr. Reality Steve


I have a close girlfriend who is great to hang out with, except when her son tags along. Sure, I know toddlers can go through those terrible twos, but this one takes it to a whole new level. Unfortunately I’m really not sure he’s going to “outgrow” his behavior because anything and everything is just tolerated by my friend and her husband. Climbing all over furniture/kitchen cabinets, having frequent meltdowns, throwing things, etc. There are also obvious developmental delays, which I don’t know is the result of just allowing a child to act like a wild animal or if there is something that should be tested. I know my friend obviously loves her son, but I think she’s really doing him a disservice by letting him behave how he does. My children have never been allowed to act that way and none of the rest of my friends have kids behaving that way, either. I’m not sure what to do, other than avoid my friend, which would be a shame because I’ll miss her. I also know most moms do not really welcome parenting suggestions even from friends. I’m waiting for the light bulb to go on so my friend sees that other kids aren’t behaving this way, but I’m getting less and less optimistic as time goes on. What do I do?

Comment: It’s not your concern or your kid. Let her figure it out on her own. You’re right, they don’t want to hear any parenting suggestions, because basically anything you say will come off as being a lecture to them. I guess just hang out with her less, or ask her to do stuff that doesn’t involve her son, just like coffee or whatever. But there’s no-win for you here. Saying something will just make it worse. Everyone parents different. There’s no universal way to do it, so just let her do things her way, and eventually (hopefully) things will get better. The kid is 2. And maybe there are some behavioral issues there, but it’s not your concern to try and figure them out or correct them.

Hey Steve!

I would like to start off my telling you how much I love reading your columns every week and you’re always so great at giving unbiased advice. So here’s something that’s been on my mind for a while now. There is this guy (let’s call him Andy) that I have known since elementary school and kinda lost contact with after grade 6. It might be worthwhile to mention that he had feelings for me back then. Fast forward to sophomore year, we reconnected on Facebook and we instantly connected and became really good friends. The next year, I started dating my current boyfriend who Andy absolutely hates with all his heart. Despite this, Andy stayed up with me really late sometimes when i had boyfriend problems and while this should have been a sign for me, i chalked it up to him just being a good friend. So fast forward some more to this December, my boyfriend and i broke up (which i told Andy) but i didnt tell him that we got back together because i knew that he would get so upset about it. So Andy and i meet up and i thought that it would be a typical friends catching up type thing but at the end of the night, he made a move and told me that he’s been in love with me since i started dating my current boyfriend. So i had to confess to Andy that i didnt feel the same way and that i was back with my boyfriend. Understandably, he got really upset at me and we didnt talk for a few days. We tried to be friends after that but Andy just says that it’s too hard for him to be friends with me now because he loves me and believes that we should be together. It’s almost 3 weeks since we’ve last talked. I really want to reach out to him but im scared that he doesnt want to hear from me. A part of me is really mad at him because we had such a good friendship and i know that while i cant reciprocate his feelings towards me, i really did care for him a lot. I guess i want to know if it’ll be okay to reach out to him or if it’s time to just let him go.


Comment: You have a boyfriend, a guy you thought was a friend made a move on you, you rejected it, and he’s mad. Let him stew. He’s probably just mad because you have a boyfriend. He’s had plenty of time before this to let you know how he felt and he didn’t. His loss. I know it sucks, but it sounds like you’re young. He’ll get over it and so will you. 3 weeks is nothing. I guarantee you’ll talk to Andy, and probably become friends (if not more) in the future. He’s hurt right now because he can’t have what he wants. He will get over it eventually, and I think you’ll be fine down the road. Focus on your relationship now with your boyfriend, and let Andy handle Andy. It’ll only cause strain in your current relationship if you’re worried about Andy’s feelings.

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. yoyotono

    March 15, 2017 at 6:56 PM

    It seems like a lot of contestants don’t do their former jobs after the show. A reader mentioned Taylor, Chad couldn’t do real estate anymore so he started a fitness website. Nick and Ben didn’t go back to their sales jobs, Andi quit her district attorney job in Atlanta…etc. It seems like a lot of girls start blogs and do fashion stuff in addition to club and product promotions. Yeah, I wouldn’t doubt they make a ton more money doing a few instagram posts every month for tea and vitamins. Andi, though, went to college for a long time and it took her a lot of work to get her district attorney job. Maybe she’s doing something in that line of work in NYC?? Also, I applaud Kaitlyn for calling out Mike Fleiss and doing her own thing with City Strong with Shawn. Obviously she made an awkward Jimmy Kimmel appearance with Andi and Nick prior to this season.

  2. hales

    March 16, 2017 at 10:16 AM

    @yoyotono During an interview on Litman’s podcast in January, Ben said that he just started back at his old job. Maybe some other contestants/leads will follow suit with trying to resume normal life. I was also just listening to Taylor Nolan’s interview on the podcast Here to Make Friends and she was discussing how she was delaying going back to work because it wasn’t safe. Good quick listen if you have a chance.

  3. impromptublue

    March 16, 2017 at 1:35 PM

    Loved the podcast with Sharleen! (made an account to say this)

    Lots of cool anecdotes, but my favorite was the elaboration on how she met Andy. His first impression of her was hilarious.

    I was also a little surprised to hear about her biggest regret. I have to say, as I get older (I say from the wise old age of 23) I’m starting to realize that “the stability of a quiet life with loved ones can be worth more than glory and grandness” isn’t a COMPLETE platitude. That said, I think alternate-world Sharleen with her graphic design 9-to-5 might be envious of this-world Sharleen’s life. Maybe the day-to-day of being a working singer isn’t as glamorous as it looks, but she gets so much more societal respect from being an opera singer than she would if she were just another fashion blogger. And social status isn’t nothing!

    I’ve made the opposite decision in my own life. Instead of pursuing academia in a field that I have a good amount of natural talent in, I have a corporate job in a field that pays very well. It’s not drone work, it utilizes my analytical abilities, it can be fun… but no one’s going to be like “wow, she’s a [type] engineer!” the way they would with “wow, she’s a [field] professor!” At least not in my social circle. And I feel some shame in letting my potential go to waste. So I really identify with this kind of choice.

  4. moonwalk88

    March 16, 2017 at 6:48 PM

    Hi Steve, Reality!

    Haha Andy was pretty funny on your latest podcast! I just wanted to say keep up the good work and I also had a question in regards to you because I am not an avid “twitterer” but I am wondering what you would do if the Bachelor Franchise ends? Would you find another show to spoil??

    Also how does Sharleen become close to contestants like Andi and Caila, I wonder if she could share insight on those friendships and how their personalities differ from real life versus on the show – but thats something for a podcast further down the line I guess 🙂
    Cant wait for the next podcast

  5. rob22

    March 20, 2017 at 12:28 PM

    Parenting question about the toddler: It’s been a while, but this was a hot topic even 20 years ago. Two things: if the toddlers (especially boys) are high energy, and they often are, then play dates in outdoor places where they can run around like crazy make total sense. Like going to the park or even the zoo if there’s lots of runway. Just don’t invite them to your house. Make excuses, if necessary. If they are “hitters” or “biters”, then I’d personally back away for a while until that phase naturally fades away. Try to see your friend for a girls night out without kids until that point. Phases go fast, so you might not need to deal with this situation for that long.

    Parenting suggestions will only serve to alienate you from your friend. But that doesn’t mean you can’t allow or restrict access & engineer the meeting place to fit the phase you’re in. When my kids were young the only major blow up we had around this was one family where the kid hit, bit and really started to become not fun for any other kid. In all honesty, they were universally shunned for their bad parenting & their kid’s behavior. They moved away before that phase could be fully worked through. I often wondered what happened with them. Kids don’t stay toddlers forever, and bad habits do tend to disappear naturally, but they were HORRIBLE parents. So it does make you wonder.

    As a parent, you do what you do to make it pleasant & safe for your kids. Giving advice never helps, though. In fact it’s better if you are temporarily restricting access to not spill the beans to anyone about what you’re doing. It makes it easier to re-connect when the time seems right. Like I said, kids phases come and go rather quickly, but when you are a young parent, it might feel like forever. Bad feelings about parents that criticize your kids tend to last a long time. Moms seem to never forget. Play the game. The kid won’t be two forever.

  6. rob22

    March 20, 2017 at 12:40 PM

    To the girl with a boyfriend and a friend that wants more: I don’t entirely agree with RS. I agree to let your friend alone and focus on your boyfriend. Your friend is now just a distraction to the relationship you have with your boyfriend. To some extent, you are still young and it doesn’t sound that serious… it almost can’t be at this point. But you do have to learn to focus on the most important relationships. If there is some other random guy (even if he’s a close friend) out there pining to get you naked, that’s something you need to learn to distance yourself from. Boundaries are important and your friend crossed them big time. In doing so, he announced his intentions. Basically he’s been biding his time as “your friend” just waiting until you broke up with your boyfriend. Hey, that was a really good strategy since the odds are virtually 100% at your age that you’re not getting married. Kudos to him for the good try. Well executed, but it didn’t work. That’s the way the cookie crumbles some times. You give things a shot, sometimes you fail. Isn’t that just like anything worthwhile in life? Tough break, but he’ll survive. We’ve all been there in one way or another.

    At your age, you’re certainly not married or even engaged, if there was interest on your part, you would be in bounds to break up with your boyfriend and test it out. But since you have no interest in pursuing anything, I don’t see where your interests or your relationship is well served by your continuing on in any way with your friend. He wants more, and you don’t. It’s not going to happen, so it’s time to move on. Life’s tough. You can’t have everything work out like you want it to. This relationship didn’t work out to the satisfaction of either of you. It’s best to accept it for what it is. A relationship that isn’t ever going to work out. Trying to make something out of nothing violates the law of physics and relationships. Time to move on.

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