Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

“My Boyfriend Has an Inappropriate Friendship With Another Woman”

I am 63 and my boyfriend is 68 years old. We have been in a relationship for one and a half years. We spend a lot of time together and may consider marriage in another year. But my problem is he has a single “play sister,” 51 years old, who calls him everyday — sometimes two or three times a day — to discuss her personal life problems. I think this is inappropriate. She finds ways to have him do things for her one-on-one. Because he knows how I feel about it, he has done things for her without letting me know. The truth comes out later, and I feel hurt and betrayed. He is acting naive to their relationship because they have been friends for five years, and he said that, if he had wanted anything with her, he would acted on that desire before.

I am unhappy because I worry that she would like a relationship and, having waited so long for him to approach her, she may now be grabbing for attention. Now that he is in a relationship, she seems jealous and she thinks that I am so lucky. I don’t know what I need to do or say, and I am furious with her while being disappointed in him.

Do you have any good advice for me? I have never tried this method of help, and I look forward to your response. — Ms. Head/Heart Aching

I find it very hard to believe that a 68-year-old man is so naive that, when a single woman calls him multiple times a day over the course of several years and regularly orchestrates one-on-one moments for them, he doesn’t realize that she is interested in him romantically. Maybe he isn’t interested in her romantically, but he certainly enjoys the attention. That you have expressed your discomfort with the nature of their relationship and he still continues it with as much intensity, even behind your back, suggests several things: he doesn’t care about your feelings; he knows the relationship is shady; he doesn’t want to give up this woman and the attention she gives him. Honestly, even if the latter two points aren’t true — and I think they are — we know for sure the first point is true and that is bad enough. A man who doesn’t care about your feelings — who puts his and another woman’s feelings above yours — is NOT marriage material.

It’s time to put your foot down and demand that your boyfriend stop giving inappropriate attention to his “play sister” and start being honest with you about his intentions. Does he really see a future with you? If so, he’ll tell his “play sister” that he respects his girlfriend too much to continue giving her such intimate and personalized attention on a regular basis. He’ll make you a priority and let you know, in no uncertain terms, that you are enough for him and that he doesn’t need a “play sister” calling him every day. If he can’t do that for you — if he is still more interested in maintaining this “friendship” than nurturing and honoring the relationship he has with you, then you have your answer and you’d be wise to MOA (move on already).

***************

Follow along on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, you can send me your letters at wendy@dearwendy.com.

93 comments… add one
  • CatsMeow

    CatsMeow May 19, 2014, 9:15 am

    What’s a play sister?

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    • avatar

      ktfran May 19, 2014, 9:25 am

      I was actually going to ask it this way “What the ef is a play sister?” But, you were nicer about it.

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      • mrmidtwenties

        mrmidtwenties May 19, 2014, 9:27 am

        sounds creepy to me

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      • LlamaPajamas

        LlamaPajamas May 19, 2014, 9:29 am

        I just googled it on my phone because I was afraid of what I’d bring up on my work computer. From Urban Dictionary: “The undercover love interest of a man who is engaging another woman outside his marriage or relationship. To his wife or girlfriend, this extra girl is a friend, when the truth is he and this ‘play sister’ may have been intimate in the past, but the relationship did not work out.”

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      • avatar

        ktfran May 19, 2014, 9:31 am

        Yep. With that explanation, mrmidt is right. Play sister is a creepy way to describe this kind of relationship. GROSS.

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      • CatsMeow

        CatsMeow May 19, 2014, 9:33 am

        Ah! JFGI, as my friend would say. You are clearly smarter than the rest of us. :p

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      • avatar

        NavyWife May 19, 2014, 9:36 am

        Ok…I’m 29 and had no idea what a ‘play sister’ is. My mother is 59…I KNOW she wouldn’t know. These are some hip sexagenarians!

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      • avatar

        peachy May 19, 2014, 10:19 am

        LOL! reminds me of the time my son came home from his high school job in a nearby assisted living and said, “Mom, I know this is kind of gross but these folks are still having sex!”

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      • gigi

        gigi May 19, 2014, 10:34 am

        And why wouldn’t they have sex? I certainly won’t stop just because I reach a certain age – have fun as long as you can people!

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      • avatar

        Lily in NYC May 19, 2014, 11:23 am

        My Aunt and Uncle live in a 55+ community in FL, and I am impressed by the shenanigans that go on there; these people get way more action than I do! A single 68 year old man is like a rock start in these places and the widows fight over them like 9th grade girls. Let’s not forget that the Summer of Love generation is now in their late 60s/70s so we shouldn’t be surprised that gram and gramps are horndogs.

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      • avatar

        DesiDad May 19, 2014, 1:33 pm

        There was an article a few years ago (perhaps in the NYT) about a retirement community in Florida called The Villages (?) or something. It seemed like the main pastime there was “getting laid” and/or all the logistics and planning around it!

        I don’t know about you, but when I get to that age, I am going there. 🙂 Also, I felt it was one of the most optimistic and uplifting articles I read in a long time.

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      • avatar

        zombeyonce May 19, 2014, 3:42 pm

        I’ve seen several articles in the past few years about how STIs are going around retirement communities at a crazy fast pace because of all the unprotected sex.

        I guess these are the people that were likely already married when the AIDS crisis hit so they didn’t get the scare so many others did and use condoms regularly. If they only consider condoms for pregnancy avoidance and don’t need to worry about that anymore, it makes sense that they’d all be spreading infections.

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  • fast eddie

    fast eddie May 19, 2014, 9:38 am

    Life is good for an old guy with a girlfriend and a friendgirl. His ego must be soaring but I wouldn’t worry too much about it, 17 years age difference is a lot to bridge on day to day stuff. They’ll soon tire of each other or your relationship isn’t as grounded as you’ve assumed. You haven’t had the decades together that bond couples nor can you control his associations. Confrontation and ultimatum will surly send him to her for comfort and attention. Bury your green monster deep, it’s a relationship executioner.

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    • Lyra

      Lyra May 19, 2014, 10:24 am

      I disagree with you that she shouldn’t worry. I would be really mad if any significant other did this type of stuff to me. She feels “hurt and betrayed”, to use her own words. A significant other shouldn’t cause her to feel that way. He has zero respect for her because she told him she was hurt by it but he’s not willing to do anything about it and he’s not willing to cut contact with the other woman.

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      • lemongrass

        Lemongrass May 19, 2014, 10:31 am

        I really doubt that 17 years makes that much of a difference at their age. 4 years is a huge age difference in your teens but not so much in your 20’s, I imagine that trend goes on for the rest of your life.

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      • Lyra

        Lyra May 19, 2014, 10:37 am

        I agree with that. Regardless of age, he’s not respecting her wishes and that’s not a good sign.

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      • fast eddie

        fast eddie May 19, 2014, 11:39 am

        17 years does make a difference at that age. Her goals and ambitions are still being pursued and his are fully accomplished, at least they should be. That’s makes a conflict in time and energy for romance. It’s fun for both of them to explore and frolic but she doesn’t have as much life experience to draw on and take my word for it, his health and energy are on a downhill slide. That’s just the way life is.

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      • lemongrass

        Lemongrass May 19, 2014, 12:27 pm

        That would really depend on the people though. My friend’s husband is 15 years older than her and she’s in her 30’s. It works for them. Watching my parent’s age, their lifestyle really hasn’t changed much in the last 20 years. You can hit milestones at different ages, this 51 year old woman could have had kids early, he could have had them late and their kids moved out at the same time. She could have been able retire early, him late. She could be in crappy health and he could work out every other day. We really don’t know much simply based on their ages.

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      • avatar

        Lindsay May 19, 2014, 12:38 pm

        There are plenty of people who get married with 10-, 20-year age gaps, though. So I don’t think we can say that because they have an age difference, there’s nothing to worry about.

        The bigger thing to me is that this implies that the only real concern is who manages to “win” the guy. Relationships are about a lot more than that.

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    • avatar

      SGMcG May 19, 2014, 1:33 pm

      I’m sorry, but I have to respectfully disagree. Not only is the argument that Lyra made regarding respect for her feelings valid, but the risk for HIV and other STDs have greatly increased among the elderly due to blase attitudes about not having to worry about such matters because life is good for an old guy. (http://www.aarp.org/health/conditions-treatments/news-05-2011/seniors_sex_lives_are_up_and_so_are_std_cases.html)

      Ms. Head/Heart Aching may have had an expectation of exclusivity with her boyfriend, and if he’s not meeting it, she owes it to herself to protect her health (and emotional heart) accordingly.

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  • avatar

    lets_be_honest May 19, 2014, 10:45 am

    Maybe I’m nuts, but I don’t really see the big problem here, unless I’m missing something. Some women is friends with your boyfriend and/or might want to date your boyfriend, but your boyfriend is only interested in being friends with her and is dating you. Why would you be furious over a friendship?

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    • iwannatalktosampson

      iwannatalktosampson May 19, 2014, 11:08 am

      I feel like it’s not a big deal either – but I also think I might be ageist about it. If this same scenario was playing out and the people were younger I would think it was an issue – but I mean he’s 68! He probably just wants a friend – good for him for having a friend! I don’t know, I just feel like friendships are more innocent at that age? Or maybe I’m just kidding myself.

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest May 19, 2014, 11:15 am

        That’s funny – I started to think that maybe older people don’t have opposite sex friends like younger people do.

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      • gigi

        gigi May 19, 2014, 11:26 am

        I worked in a nursing home for a year & it was an eye-opener. They think about sex, a LOT! There are a lot of trysts, jealousies & rivalries. Nothing really changes on the inside, bodies might look older, but the people still have the same interests & personalities (as long as dementia is not a factor). And there is quite a bit more competition for the men, since there are less of them once you gt to a certain age range.

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    • GatorGirl

      GatorGirl May 19, 2014, 11:20 am

      So, a while back GGuy had a female friend that was so totally wanting him. It made me fairly uncomfortable, just to know another person was pursuing the friendship with out platonic intentions. So, I can get feeling uncomfortable with that aspect. But with BF saying he’s not interested, that’s when it has to be let go. Being annoyed all the time isn’t worth it.

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      • Lyra

        Lyra May 19, 2014, 11:50 am

        My ex had a female friend pursuing him pretty intensely when we were dating (she also knew about me) and it drove me crazy. I trusted him, I just didn’t trust her.

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      • LadyinPurpleNotRed

        LadyinPurpleNotRed May 19, 2014, 11:51 am

        I don’t get this…if you trust him, you trust him to react appropriately no matter what she does, so why does it matter?

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest May 19, 2014, 11:54 am

        Yes, she’s not the one you have to trust.

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      • iwannatalktosampson

        iwannatalktosampson May 19, 2014, 11:59 am

        Yeah I don’t get that either. I do get thinking she’s a huge bitch though, haha. I trust that Colin wouldn’t cheat on me no matter what – but I still will hate any girl that pursues him while knowing we’re together.

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      • Lyra

        Lyra May 19, 2014, 12:11 pm

        Exactly.

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      • Lyra

        Lyra May 19, 2014, 12:14 pm

        I brought this same thing up a few years ago on a letter here and people freaked out at me. In hindsight the fact that it affected me so much was a sign that there was more wrong with the relationship than I realized. He was a huge flirt with other women, not just me and I was really uncomfortable with that too.

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      • iwannatalktosampson

        iwannatalktosampson May 19, 2014, 12:23 pm

        Well I’m not sure how you worded it but if you say I trust him I just don’t trust her! Well that’s still not really trusting him then, because you’re saying that if she pursued him and they hooked up it would be her fault. Which it’s not. It’s the person in the relationship’s responsibility to not cheat on their relationship.

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      • Lyra

        Lyra May 19, 2014, 12:29 pm

        Yeah that was poor wording on my part. I actually do agree with you. That particular relationship had a lot of things wrong with it. I had a lot of insecurities because of some of his actions and I realize that now. What I had thought was this happy healthy relationship was actually pretty messed up.

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      • avatar

        ktfran May 19, 2014, 12:14 pm

        This. I totally get thinking the girl is a jerk face, but I don’t get placing the sole blame on her. It’s 100% on the person in the relationship.
        .
        As a side discussion, while visiting a couple of female friends the other week, we had an interesting debate. Background: I’m single. One is married, no kids. The other is pregnant and in a relationship, but not married.
        .
        Most Thursdays, I go out with a couple dudes from work. My main friend, D, is in a seven -year committed relationship, but not married. He’s the one that set up me and “the kid.” The other dude, M, is married. All three of us like craft beer and good cocktails, so we’ll try a new place in the city. I’m not attracted to these guys, nor are they attracted to me. We just enjoy each others company, get along and think we’re all cool. Also, I work in a male-oriented industry (engineering), so there aren’t a lot of females. Finally, I’ve met the spouse and sort of spouse.
        .
        My two girlfriends said they would be uncomfortable if their significant others were doing this with someone like me. Am I breaking some kind of girl code? Is what I’m doing inherently, i.e., grabbing a couple of cocktails with men after work, wrong? Am I the jerk face? I personally see no harm because we all know and have never crossed boundaries. Anyway, thoughts?

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        lets_be_honest May 19, 2014, 12:16 pm

        I think its fine.

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      • LadyinPurpleNotRed

        LadyinPurpleNotRed May 19, 2014, 12:18 pm

        I’m with LBH, I see nothing wrong with this. No boundaries are crossed, you’re not attracted to them–you’re fine.

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      • avatar

        bethany May 19, 2014, 12:20 pm

        I work in a company with only 3 women (myself included, and 1 is part time). I’m always the only girl when we go out after work. Sometimes it’s a big group of us. Sometimes it’s 3 or 4 of us. I know all their wives, they know my husband. It’s not a big deal. Anyone who would make a fuss about it is being a jerk (or insecure).

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      • iwannatalktosampson

        iwannatalktosampson May 19, 2014, 12:21 pm

        Your friends are dumb. I hate the notion that you can’t be friends with the opposite sex. It’s so immature. As long as you’re respecting their relationship there’s no issue.

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      • avatar

        ktfran May 19, 2014, 12:25 pm

        Yeah, when we were discussing this, I was kind of like really? That would make you uncomfortable? So, I was curious what other in relationships felt about these kind of situations.
        .
        I’m glad there are some level headed people out there.

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      • iwannatalktosampson

        iwannatalktosampson May 19, 2014, 12:32 pm

        It’s just such a waste of time to be suspicious and “uncomfortable” with stuff unless you have a reason to be. I will never understand people who go out of their way to be offended and uncomfortable with stuff. Now I’m not saying you shouldn’t trust your gut, if your gut says that something fishy is going on between your bf and his co-worker, sure inquire. But that gut feeling has to be based in some logic, not just – well she’s a girl and they got drinks.

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      • avatar

        Marcie May 19, 2014, 12:41 pm

        I’d say it’s fine, especially since it’s a group of people. If you were one-on-one with them a lot, it may be different.

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      • LlamaPajamas

        LlamaPajamas May 19, 2014, 12:45 pm

        I have a male “beer friend” with whom I go to beer festivals because we both really like beer. We were friends before I met Llama Guy but we still get together to drink now that LG and I are engaged. I like when the two of them can hang out together, but LG doesn’t like beer so that doesn’t happen that often. There’s nothing weird going on – I actually think it’s weird when people think men and women can’t be friends. Like, is there no value in the opposite sex except for romantic relationships and sex?

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      • GatorGirl

        GatorGirl May 19, 2014, 1:08 pm

        Yeah, I don’t see any problem with this. You happen to have male friends. Totes fine.

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      • Addie Pray

        Addie Pray May 19, 2014, 1:46 pm

        See this is exactly what I wonder is happening when LW accuses the other woman of wanting something romantic, or when GG said below another girl totally wanted GGuy, or when Lyra said some girl was after her ex (paraphrasing) – is it just the situation (e.g., that there is a single woman who is friends with your guy) that makes you think she wants him? Ktfran, I don’t think you’re doing anything wrong but… but I do that kind of stuff all the time! If I couldn’t, then I’d really have a screwy social life b/c there are so many men in my office who go happy hour, etc. One difference is you’re going out with them in group settings, but I’d think it would be ok to get drinks after work one-on-one too, no?

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        ktfran May 19, 2014, 2:15 pm

        Ok, that’s why I like all of you guys.

        For a hot minute, I thought I was doing something wrong, even when I know I’m not. And I know they’re not.

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      • GatorGirl

        GatorGirl May 19, 2014, 1:10 pm

        Yeah, this is what I meant. I would def not be a big fan of any person who was trying to pursue my partner romantically. That’s just not a person I’m going to like! So I get that LW, but now you have to stop letting it bother you because you’re getting no where being cranky pants.

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      • Addie Pray

        Addie Pray May 19, 2014, 1:39 pm

        Just wondering: How did you know she was totally wanting GGuy? I’m not saying she didn’t but… did you know for sure? I have a feeling a lot of people think just because the platonic friend is a girl who is single and likes their boyfriend (not “like likes” but you know they are fond of each other friends are) totally wants something more than friends. Like here, this LW thinks this other woman wants a relationship with her boyfriend. But how, why? Because she’s single and friendly and calls him? And then assuming this other woman (or the girl that wanted GGuy) does have romantic feelings for her boyfriend (or GGuy), why does the LW or you think she would actually go for it? I just am wondering what you base the fear on. If it’s just that there’s a single woman who is friendly with your boyfriend (“your” being universal you, whether you you, or LW you, or Lyra who mentioned above there was a girl after her ex), that doesn’t seem grounds to hate the girl or their relationship, right? I dunno.

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      • Addie Pray

        Addie Pray May 19, 2014, 1:42 pm

        I mean, a lot of people have innocent crushes or feelings for another guy (not like “oh I can’t live without you” type feelings but general feelings like “oh this is a great guy and I find him attractive, too bad he’s taken”) that they’re friends with but don’t act on it. And those feelings come and go. I’m just wondering what you, LW, others base that comment on. Or, did like GGuy say “oh she totally wants me”? I dunno.

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      • katie

        katie May 19, 2014, 1:50 pm

        yea i think it is good to look inward with these questions. because it can only be 3 things- 1. like sampson was saying above, you “just know” in your gut and something is wrong. 2. your boyfriend is actively talking (one could say bragging?) about another woman wanting him, and 3. the girl is actively talking (again, could even say bragging, where you could hear it not secondhand) about wanting your boyfriend.
        .
        so then, 1. something is off in your relationship, and that isnt a problem that will go away with the banishment of the friendship. if its 2. you have an asshole for a boyfriend, and if its 3, why would you even want to be friends with someone like that- why would the boyfriend be friends with someone like that? how awkward. i dont want to hear how much im wanted constantly when im trying to drink and talk about stuff, you know? so i dont get how any of these scenarios could go on, and more specifically why you would need a friendship banishment of some kind to fix anything.

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest May 19, 2014, 2:04 pm

        Maybe its an ego thing too – how could anyone NOT want my boyfriend? He’s sooo hot and dreamy. At least that’s what I’m thinking when any girl anywhere looks at/talks to Peter. Just admit it. You all want him.

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      • avatar

        ktfran May 19, 2014, 2:17 pm

        I’ve never even met him and want him. What’s he doing this Thursday? I’m probably grabbing drinks with my male work friends….

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest May 19, 2014, 2:19 pm

        Back off kt. Haven’t you tried to destroy enough relationships?!

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      • avatar

        ktfran May 19, 2014, 2:39 pm

        My master plan isn’t to break up every single relationship in the world or anything.

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      • GatorGirl

        GatorGirl May 19, 2014, 1:50 pm

        I didn’t have a strong dislike for her until she tried to kiss him while drunk. Other wise it was just lots of unreciprocated requests to hang out solo, give rides home, taking tons of just the two of them photos. Just a general excessive and unreciprocated interest. Then once the drunk trying to kiss thing happened, he pretty much shut down the friendship except for group hangouts. So, in my specific case I just had a general un-easy feeling about her level of interest in him, which was solidified by her drunk actions.

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      • Addie Pray

        Addie Pray May 19, 2014, 1:54 pm

        Oy. But she was drunk so it doesn’t count! (Kidding.) Yeah, that would be awkward.

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  • Kate B.

    Kate B. May 19, 2014, 11:13 am

    Because he’s hiding it from her. He would rather go behind her back than respect her feelings. If she’s uncomfortable, he needs to either to what he needs to do to make her comfortable, or get out. What he’s doing now is shady. Some women would be uncomfortable with this situation (myself included)and she obviously is.

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      lets_be_honest May 19, 2014, 11:51 am

      I just felt like he did try to make her comfortable by telling her he’s not interested and that they’re just friends. Does he have to end the 5 year friendship just because she’s uncomfortable with it?
      (I totally agree going behind backs is not the way to make someone comfortable though!)

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      • avatar

        Lindsay May 19, 2014, 12:29 pm

        I don’t know what the LW wants exactly, but it’s not necessarily a matter of ending a five-year friendship. There likely wouldn’t have been a problem if he wasn’t talking to her multiple times a day or always going over to her place by himself. You can be friends with someone without all that, and I think most couples I know probably wouldn’t engage in friendships like that. If that’s such a sacrifice to him to not talk to or see her that often, then maybe he should reconsider what his feelings for that woman actually are.

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        lets_be_honest May 19, 2014, 12:35 pm

        Seriously though, if you boyfriend asked you to basically end your friendship (which is what you’re saying – stop talking more than once a day and don’t hang out with her alone ever), you’d be cool with that and just end a friendship? That’s what I don’t really get here. I feel like none of us would do that.
        I’m part of a couple and we both have friendships like this. I talk to some friends several times a day, go to their house alone, etc. I don’t really see anything wrong with that.

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      • avatar

        Lindsay May 19, 2014, 12:45 pm

        I guess we have differing opinions about what a friendship means? I don’t have any friends I talk on the phone with more than once a day. I also never said that he should be asked to never be alone with her ever.

        But if I was talking a guy friend multiple times a day on the phone and going over to his house alone frequently, I would find it reasonable for my boyfriend to ask me to reduce that. Maybe it’s also because that would likely be more phone calls a day than I’d probably be giving my boyfriend?

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  • avatar

    Iris May 19, 2014, 11:53 am

    Hi all. I know I will get called out on this but hear me out: I’ve been following Wendy since around her frisky days. I really enjoyed her then and I tend to like her content now. However lately I can’t stand the responses she gives. I couldn’t place my finger on it and I don’t like to snark but it occurred to me why: Wendy, the advice columnist is judgemental and mean! It’s not “sisterly advice”….it’s nasty. Anyways, yes, I know: if I don’t like it I don’t have to read it and all that. And I won’t but yes, I did want to say it because it left such a sour taste. It’s nasty, and harsh and I’m not saying it’s good to sugar coat – but damn – there are ways to show compassion and kindness and still give it without any BS. I’m especially disappointed by this because when Wendy isn’t giving judgemental responses, she’s asking readers to fund her website that hasn’t taken off. And I swear I am not trying to troll or be mean, but i just wanted to get that off my chest.

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    • Dear Wendy

      Dear Wendy May 19, 2014, 11:55 am

      Oh, the irony, dear Iris!

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      • avatar

        Lucy May 20, 2014, 5:48 pm

        That’s not irony… it’s hypocrisy.

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    • avatar

      lets_be_honest May 19, 2014, 11:59 am

      Where exactly does she sound nasty?? I’m missing it completely.
      ps her readers harassed her into starting a semi annual drive because they love her and DW. it wasn’t her idea.

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      • CatsMeow

        CatsMeow May 19, 2014, 12:31 pm

        I’m pretty sure the commenters are wayyy meaner than Wendy (coughcoughIWTTScoughcough).
        .
        😉

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      • iwannatalktosampson

        iwannatalktosampson May 19, 2014, 12:57 pm

        Hey! I’m RIGHT here. Talk shit about me behind my back please. Plus if I do say so myself I’m been quite the compassionate bleeding heart lately, it’s obnoxious.

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    • Lyra

      Lyra May 19, 2014, 12:20 pm

      One of the things I like best here is that we DON’T sugar coat things. Wendy is honest. The readers are honest. We don’t say everything is going to be all right when in reality it’s NOT. We point out red flags. The majority of people here are trying to help the LW’s. In the long run Wendy is trying to save the writers from more heartache.

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    • Addie Pray

      Addie Pray May 19, 2014, 12:41 pm

      really? i’m confused, how was this advice judgmental? i was surprised to see you said judgmental and mean of all things. there are so many things you could have complained about – like that Addie Pray’s reader’s rec hasn’t been featured yet, as one example. i can’t think of another example, but i’m sure there is one but i’m sure it’s not that Wendy is judgmental and mean. other sites are judgmental and mean out the wazooo (spelling?) with super troll-y commenters. but not on DW.

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    • Dear Wendy

      Dear Wendy May 19, 2014, 12:50 pm

      I’m curious what Iris thinks a website has to accomplish before she would consider it “taking off.” I assume, since she brought up money, she thinks it’s all about revenue. And in that case, it’s true, this site doesn’t earn enough for me to support myself or to stop accepting donations from generous readers. But in the first four months of this year, it has made six times what it did in its entire first year (thanks in large part to readers’ generosity, but also to growing ad revenue and affiliate commissions). I’d wager it earns more than most blogs.

      But, in my mind at least, there are other ways to define “taking off,” at least in regards to a blog. What about readership and traffic? This site gets about 25,000 pageviews a day and is seen by thousands of people every day. What about reader engagement? Look at the number of comments. Compare that to the site I used to work for. And you think THIS site hasn’t “taken off” from where it started?

      What about community? There are real-life meet-ups in cities around the country — around the world, actually — every month. True friendships have begun from interactions on this site.

      Most importantly, this site has helped people. It has been where people have turned to for support — not just from me, but from each other, from the community we’ve built — in some of their darkest moments (cancer diagnoses, divorce and breakups, deaths in the family). They also come here to celebrate happy moments — to share news about promotions and new homes and proposals and pregnancies after years of infertility. I get emails almost on a daily basis from strangers — people I’ve never met, whose names I’ve never heard — telling me that this site has made a difference in their lives.

      Iris, if that’s what you consider a failure, I’m sorry for you. If you think money is the only way to measure success, that’s pathetic. And if you think you can break me down and make me feel bad by leaving a snarky comment here, you have another thing coming. I’mma keep on doing exactly what I’m doing and I’m going to do it as long as there’s an audience for it and it continues to be meaningful for me. And if you don’t like it, I don’t give a rat’s ass. I’m not trying to be mean; I just wanted to get that off my chest.

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      • lemongrass

        Lemongrass May 19, 2014, 1:58 pm

        And Wendy drops the mike and walks away.

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      • Addie Pray

        Addie Pray May 19, 2014, 2:02 pm

        AP pics up the mic and sings a song she just made up about how Wendy is the bomb and about how if anyone wants to set her (AP) up on a blind date she is available and then BAM the police come and escort her off.
        *
        I dunno I feel drunk today.

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    • LlamaPajamas

      LlamaPajamas May 19, 2014, 12:56 pm

      Not that Wendy needs defending… but I’m so confused. Iris, do you have a sister? I’m guessing not because this is the kind of honest, straightforward advice that sisters (and friends) give each other. And I don’t see how Wendy is being mean to the LW – she’s basically telling her she deserves better and to stand up for herself. And lots of blogs run on donations. That’s pretty standard.

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    • katie

      katie May 19, 2014, 1:33 pm

      this is so weird to me, because wendy is like maybe the most compassionate person ever? like how often do you read? because you are missing a huge chunk of what wendy does here.

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      • Addie Pray

        Addie Pray May 19, 2014, 1:50 pm

        your mom is missing a huge chunk. (I dunno, you didn’t give me enough to work with.)

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  • avatar

    j2 May 19, 2014, 11:53 am

    I asked a couple guys about this and they laughed and said, “Demographics!”

    So, I went to the census data and looked at the age/gender tables. If I read them right, between 65 and 85, there are about 14 million unmarried women and 9 million unmarried men. If one adds younger unmarried women who still prefer somewhat older men (as in this case), then it becomes something like 20 million unmarried women and 9 million unmarried men.

    Unmarried men also don’t seem to take care of themselves as well as women, so many of those 9 million may, er, (I don’t know how to say this gracefully) not really be in the data for these purposes.

    Aging population issues keep showing up in ways I had not expected!

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    • Addie Pray

      Addie Pray May 19, 2014, 12:43 pm

      damnit, it’s hard being single at 35. my future is screwed.

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    • avatar

      NavyWife May 19, 2014, 12:58 pm

      Yes! I could find the article if I had time, but I read recently that STD’s are on the rise within the 65+ age bracket, moreso than any other age group. Especially in “active senior”/assisted livingcommunities, older people are getting’ it on, and because they came of age in a time when more people were abstinent before marriage, etc., (and they’re obviously not worried about birth control now), they’ve really never had to practice safe sex with condoms and thus the spread of STD’s is getting to be a problem!

      When my grandmother passed away after a lengthy battle with dementia, my 80-year old grandfather was inundated with single ladies at his church offering meals, companionship, you name it. He wasn’t interested in anything like that, but could have had his pick!

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  • avatar

    bethany May 19, 2014, 12:09 pm

    The relationship between your BF and this “friend” existed when you met him. If you weren’t cool with it, why would you start a relationship with him?

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  • Addie Pray

    Addie Pray May 19, 2014, 12:46 pm

    LW, have you asked your boyfriend to include you so you can become part of their buddy buddy relationship? I don’t see why you can’t play too. When they go out and get coffee or whatever they do when they get together and he gives her advice on life, can’t you come along too? If he won’t include you, that will be a huge red flag. Because otherwise, the more the merrier, right? Right. And who knows you may like his play sister and become her play sister too.

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    • katie

      katie May 19, 2014, 1:30 pm

      and if that fails, just offer a threesome!
      .
      (kidding)

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  • bittergaymark

    Bittergaymark May 19, 2014, 12:47 pm

    Eh, to me the LW sounds whiney and vapid. Remarkably childish… Insecurity at its most obvious… Just because you ARE friends with some one doesn’t mean you want to bang them. Its tedious how often some simply can’t or won’t get that…

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  • rainbow

    rainbow May 19, 2014, 1:23 pm

    I just got surgery, I’m sore and and I have only one hand available so I can’t answer in the several places I think this note would apply so I’ll just post it here.

    There’s a general readiness to assume that romantic relationships should trump any other kind (Capt. Awkward has a piece on this, but I can’t find it) that comes from our culture’s obsession with romantic love that makes me very uncomfortable.

    You are free to decide who you want to marry. You are free to decide you don’t want to marry someone with very important friendships you can’t police or adapt to your terms. But assuming that just because you’re in a relationship with someone you take precedence over ANYONE else and if your partner doesn’t agree he/she is being and disrespectful is a different thing, and I think lots of people here are too quick to jump to defend LWs right to dictate who their partners can’t be friends with.
    You are free to pick the traditional nuclear family as the source of all your strongest bonds and loyalties, but people are also free to value more relationships unrelated to it, and it doesn’t mean they’re immature, shady, or disloyal. It just means they’re not like you.

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    • rainbow

      rainbow May 19, 2014, 1:29 pm

      TL;DR: Your partner being more important than your friends is just one way to do it. Find someone who does things your way instead of pushing people who don’t to do so.

      And if you’re the one whose friendships trump their romantic relationships be honest about it and don’t pretend to accept their way and then hide to act in yours like LW’s boyfriend.

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  • katie

    katie May 19, 2014, 1:35 pm

    add me on to the “i dont get it” party.
    .
    why is this such a big deal? so he has a friend who may or may not have romantic feelings for him, and you have pushed him to the point that he has to hide his friendship. first off, your plan totally backfired, so you should probably try to make that right, but secondly, you arent doing anything to help your case. why cant he have this friend? i dont get it.

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  • avatar

    Lindsay May 19, 2014, 2:41 pm

    So, I don’t think people should dictate their partner’s friends, either. But would no one really care if their partner spoke on the phone several times a day with a friend who appeared to be interested in them? Would that not be odd at all?

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    • avatar

      lets_be_honest May 19, 2014, 2:50 pm

      I guess I can’t see how someone would “appear to be interested” other than say, GG’s example of the person trying to actually kiss them. If someone tried to kiss me, I’d probably just stop talking to them. But other than a blatant display of liking someone, I wouldn’t know how it would be obvious that someone appears to be interested in me. Am I making any sense? haha.
      So I can’t really answer this question. I wouldn’t be upset if my boyfriend spoke to his friend a few times a day though. If that friend was stopping by with a bag of condoms and a 6pack every morning when I left for work, that’d be a different story haha.

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      • GatorGirl

        GatorGirl May 19, 2014, 3:06 pm

        I think there is just a like, feeling you get that someone is interested in another person. Like I’m sure you’ve seen friends or something who just obviously like one another from body language and the way they talk right? Like there is, in my experience, a shift in just friendly behavior and more of “I want your nuts” behavior. You know? (Even with out a blatant act like trying to kiss.)

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest May 19, 2014, 3:14 pm

        Yea, I guess I know what you mean. But at the same time, I remember a discussion on here once about how some DWers scissor jump their friends and get all touchy when drunk, but are definitely not interested in that friend. I’m not a touchy-feely person, so it would look off to me if someone jumped Peter like that, but then maybe they just are touchy people. Its tough to make that call I guess.

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      • Addie Pray

        Addie Pray May 19, 2014, 3:32 pm

        oh when i drink i pounce on people hard. not necessarily other people’s boyfriends. not NOT necessarily either.

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest May 19, 2014, 3:51 pm

        Exactly. Some people pounce on anyone. Just because sometimes it’s your boyfriend doesn’t mean they necessarily want your boyfriend. In this specific instance, with Addie and Peter, it was obvious she just wanted the dick, but generally speaking, its not always about wanting the dick.

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    • avatar

      Lucy May 19, 2014, 4:19 pm

      What I wondered was… who is so up in their partner’s business that they actually monitor who they speak to on the phone, and how often? The only reason I can think of to even have that information is that he’s talking to this friend when the LW is around… but that just reinforces the notion that he’s not hiding anything. (Although it could possibly be rude if he does it a lot.)

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  • avatar

    Lucy May 19, 2014, 2:45 pm

    Sorry, but LW, you are being intolerably insecure and controlling. Fortunately for this guy, he sounds like he will probably be smart and choose his own self-respect over being suffocated and dictated to by you. He’s already figured out that he has to lie to you in order to have any independence at all; soon he’ll tire of that and MOA.

    Put another way: LW, these two people – who are PEOPLE, not objects to be arranged for your personal satisfaction and approval – were friends before you even came on the scene. They were not involved then. They are not involved now. You sound like one of those retrograde dinosaurs who think women and men can’t have close, platonic friendships. Feel free to going on thinking that, but at least have the decency not to poison the people around you with that nonsense.

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  • avatar

    Laura Hope May 19, 2014, 3:10 pm

    Anyone who has been in therapy knows that you can’t dictate other people’s behavior but you are permitted to feel the way you feel. And to tell others how their words /actions make you feel. So I think it’s perfectly okay for her to tell him how she feels and then it’s up to him to choose what he wants. If he wants to continue the relationship with this other woman, then the LW has a choice to make.

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