It’s time again for Shortcuts. For every question, I’ll give my advice in three sentences or less, 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. Today we discuss contacting old loves on Facebook, asking a significant other not to be friends with someone, and whether 22 is too young to know it’s real love.
I was madly in love with someone about 40 years ago (yes, 40 years ago). I started writing a book about it and of course started thinking about him. Every now and then I would type his name into the computer and didn’t get a thing. Recently, I joined Facebook and lo and behold there he was. I did a little research on him and found out he has been married twice with two children in each marriage. He was married the first time when he was in his twenties. This was a guy I never figured would get divorced. I am starting to have these feelings for him all over again. Should I contact him just to say hello? — 40 Year Itch
If he’s still married to the second wife, don’t contact him. Even if he’s divorced and doesn’t appear to currently be in a relationship, contact him only with the understanding that 40 years have passed and, depending on the circumstances of your mutual history, he may not even remember you, let alone welcome a message from you. Keep in mind, too, that sometimes the memory of who we used to know is much sweeter the the reality of who we no longer do.
My boyfriend and I have been dating for close to a year. Everything’s been going well and we’ve even started talking about a future with marriage and kids. But his friend, John, has been causing me concern. At 27 years old, John was recently released from a three month jail term for drug possession. He has struggled with drug and alcohol abuse since he was a teenager, and I do not see any signs of him changing. My boyfriend and I do not live together, but it makes me feel uncomfortable and unsafe when I hear John’s hanging out at my boyfriend’s apartment. John even sleeps on my boyfriend’s couch sometimes, which I find it unnecessary and a little ridiculous since he lives with his parents and has a place to go. I just know that people with addiction problems can hurt others even when they don’t mean to. Should I put my foot down with my boyfriend and ask him to lessen or stop contact with John? Or should I accept that my boyfriend has his own apartment and his own friends, and it’s none of my business? — Leery of His Friend
You cannot tell a grown man — especially one you don’t even live with — whom he can or cannot be friends with. If you’re going to marry the man, you better start trusting his judgment in people and accept that he knows what’s best for him and has enough sense to stay away from what’s not.
I am twenty-two and seem to have found a guy (who is twenty-one) I can see myself spending a lot of time with. I am not saying I will marry him, but he definitely possesses exactly what I want in a significant other. The thing is, I don’t have the quantity to back up my evidence. I have only dated a few insignificant men previously, and thus I feel like I don’t have the research, so to speak, to profess that this guy is exactly right for me. I’ve been with him for a very long time, and we work quite well, so this is not about someone new. What is your opinion on age and finding someone who is right for you (whether it is for the rest of your life, or at least for a long term relationship)? — Loyal reader in Canada
It really doesn’t matter how young you are or how little dating experience you have, if you’ve found someone whose company you enjoy and who makes you feel good, enjoy your time with him! Life’s hard enough without second guessing the things that are easy and that work. If what you want is a sign you’re making the right choice, your own happiness should be enough confirmation.
I am 24 and have been with my fiancé for three years. We used to have a really good relationship. Since he joined the navy he has been a different person; he lies about where he goes and who he is with and he goes out getting very drunk and has been getting into financial difficulty. While he’s been away on deployment I’ve started setting up our first home, for which he’s given me no money. He also seems to have lots of girls adding him as friends on social network sites. When he’s home, he checks my phone and gets jealous when male co-workers speak to me when we’re out together. I ended our relationship as he lied to me about cheating. He didn’t use protection and tried to tell me he caught this infection by sitting on a dirty loo. He finally admitted to me that he cheated but said it wasn’t his fault as he was drunk and a prostitute threw herself at him! I have since found he has been paying for sex on the internet and for prostitutes whilst he has been away. He is begging me to take him back but how can I when I feel everything we had was a lie? I’ve lost everything I thought I had. I have no idea who he is anymore. I’m so confused, what do I do? — IndieNurse
MOA!! This guy is bad, bad news. Move on, don’t look back and let time — and perhaps even a little therapy — heal your broken heart.
If you’re someone I’ve given advice to in the past, I’d love to hear from you, too. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with a link to the original post, and let me know whether you followed the advice and how you’re doing now.