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 discovering a secret wife, terrible table manners, and making it official.
I could give all the details but I’m at work and am hurt, pissed, and angry, so I’ll make a long story short. I have been dating this guy for eight months. We only go out in the day. I live in Brooklyn but he took me all the way out to Jersey. I have never been to his house, never met his mom or any other family expect for his cousin whose house he always invites me to. He told me he still lives with his mom. He never gave me anything for any of the holidays. When I asked why, he said it was because he doesn’t celebrate them. He said he wanted to spend Valentine’s Day with his mom. He said he doesn’t want someone who is always depending on him to say, “Let’s go out,” and that I should make suggestions, too, but every time I do he says he is busy. He said it’s not intentional. Then, the funny thing is that, after seven months, he told me he was married but it wasn’t for love, it was just to help her with paperwork. — Furious
Um, that isn’t a question but here’s my advice to you: this guy is married — and for more than just “paperwork” or else he wouldn’t be shy about showing you his place, introducing you to his family, and making himself available on holidays and when you invite him out — so you need to MOA and be a little smarter about whom you date in the future. If a guy’s behavior seems suspicious, there’s probably a good reason, and if he says he wants to spend Valentine’s Day with his mom, don’t spend another four months wondering why you’ve never seen where he lives.
I try to be tolerant of people’s quirks because none of us is perfect. However, I have a cousin whose table manners include licking his plate, sticking his finger in his nose, talking with food in his mouth and eating salad and olives with his fingers. My cousin does not have any medical condition that can explain this behavior. He has a Ph.D. and he is in his 60s.Am I required to accept invitations to dine at his house because I am his cousin? If I am allowed to repeatedly decline such invitations, what would be a polite and kind thing to say when he asks for a reason? Is there a better way to deal with this situation than just avoiding him?
Thank you for the work you do and any advice you can give me. — Perplexed
There is no law that requires cousins to accept all dinner invitations to each other’s homes. Politely decline any invitations that would put you directly next to or near him at a dinner table, and instead suggest get-togethers than don’t involve food (like miniature golf or karaoke), that involve food that’s eaten in the dark (like at a movie theater), or that involve food like a corn dog where it’s virtually impossible to eat it any more crudely than anyone else eating food-on-a-stick. If he asks for a reason for your sudden avoidance of intimate, sit-down meals with him, just tell him you’ve developed IBS and feel anxious eating away from home or around other people.
I’m 27 and my boyfriend is turning 29 this year. He and I have been friends since I was 18, started dating when I was 20, moved in together when I was 22, and had a child together when I was 23. I’ve been waiting nearly a decade for him to propose; this is insane. Everyone around me is getting hitched. I’m feeling the pressure. I’ve asked him once, “Don’t you think its time for us to make it official?” He still ignores my question. I felt very humiliated to have to ask. But I think it’s my right to know where this relationship is going. We’ve been through a lot, and I’m just tired of giving him hints and nothing happening. Please help! — Tired of Waiting
Yeah, he’s not going to propose. I suggest you ask him yourself to marry you and if he says no, MOA. After a decade and one child together, if the guy isn’t ready to marry you now, he likely never will be.
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