It’s time again for Shortcuts. For every question, I’ll give my advice in just a few sentences, because sometimes the answer to a person’s question is so obvious and the need to hear it so great, being as clear and frank as possible is simply the best way to go.
From the forums:
My boyfriend and I have been together for five months. Things are going very well; I’ve met his parents, he’s meeting mine soon, and I trust him. I’m moving into a new apartment on July 1st, and I am thinking it’d be convenient to give him a spare key so he doesn’t have to call and wait for me every time he’s at the front door.
Is giving a guy a key to your place a super meaningful gesture that we’re still a little too new for, or is it an appropriate convenience after you’re certain he’s trustworthy? After an extended period of casual flings, he’s my first relationship in years so I’m a little rusty on these things! — Everything’s O-Key
It’s just a key. It isn’t and doesn’t have to be some meaningful gesture that implies a level of seriousness you may or may not be ready for. Make an extra set of keys to your new place, hand them to your boyfriend, and tell him now he can let himself into your place early in the morning and surprise you with breakfast in bed any time he wants.
You forbid your boyfriend of eight years from visiting his sister alone because she dyes her hair and is trying to lose weight, and he’s still with you? You’re right; it really doesn’t add up…
From the forums:
A simple, “Oh, that’s years away!” should suffice, especially if you shrug it off and move the conversation along. Honestly, people really don’t care as much as it may seem they do; they’re just trying to express interest in your life, so if the engagement question bugs you, guide them to a topic that IS safe to discuss, like your hobbies, vacation plans, your family, or your job.
Other person: “Hey, when are you two going to finally get married?”
You: Oh gosh, that’s still years away! We are planning a trip to South Carolina next month though. Do you have any summer travel plans?
If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, you can send me your letters at firstname.lastname@example.org.