Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

“My Fiancé Takes Creep Shots of Women’s Feet At Work”

​​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 that being as clear and frank as possible is simply the best way to go.

I found four videos on my fiancé’s mobile of women at work with close-ups of their feet. “Dan” is filming them while helping them with their computers and they have no idea. I am in shock and disgusted. Do I contact the police and HR where he works? I also found two videos of poor women in town who had no idea he was filming their feet while he was at the bus stop. Is this normal? What is the law? He lives with me and my two boys, and I’m in shock. — Shocked


You are in a position to potentially save other women from being a “#MeToo” experiencing sexual harassment at work. While that is an important position, your first priority should be to yourself and your kids. I would break up with Dan if I were you and get him away from you and your children, whether that means kicking him out of your home or finding a new place for you and your kids to go. And then, yes, you should notify his HR department. I don’t think he’s probably breaking any laws — there still is not much protection on creep shots of women — but I can’t say that for certain since I’m not a lawyer and I don’t know where you live.

I live with a guy, “James,” I once dated for seven years and have a teenage daughter with. He has a girlfriend but I have feelings for him and need help telling him how I feel and asking him to be my boyfriend again. How can I go about doing that? — In Love with My Ex

 
“James, I’ve recently come to the realization that I’ve developed romantic feelings for you again. I know this is complicated because we have a history together, we have a child together, we live together as roommates, and you have a girlfriend. I wouldn’t want to be the reason you end another relationship, but if there’s a chance you might have feelings for me, too, would you be interested in giving us a try again? If not, we should discuss changing our living situation since it would be too difficult for me to continue living with someone I have unreciprocated feelings for.”

My boyfriend and I have been together for three years this coming December. I’m 16 and he’s 17. Since the beginning, his parents had been planning to move a few states away. I’m an early graduate and am planning to go to college this coming spring. He refuses to stay in our state with me and wait until I fully graduate, but I’m willing to move away with them if I have no other choice. I feel like I’m the only one making sacrifices and it doesn’t seem fair. He says it’s not fair for me to expect him to give his family up, and he doesn’t think they would allow it. What do I do? — Willing to Move

 
You said you’re willing to move several states away with your boyfriend’s family if you have “no other choice.” Well, fortunately, you have plenty of choices! You can choose a college based on things like: courses of study; size; scholarship opportunities; proximity to your family; and cost and financial aid packages. You can tour campuses and see what feels right to you, based on YOUR needs and desires. At 16, pretty much the very worst thing you could do is move somewhere solely for a boyfriend — especially one who wouldn’t do the same for you. The likelihood of the boy you started dating when you were 13 becoming your life-long partner is incredibly slim. Please think of his move as a logical breaking point in your relationship, and if, in a year or two, you can’t stop thinking of each other, you can re-visit the idea of closing the gap in your relationship. But right now, you need to focus on yourself and your education.

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If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, you can send me your letters at [email protected].

14 comments… add one
  • juliecatharine

    juliecatharine October 20, 2017, 8:54 am

    LW1 please take care of yourself and your boys. What Dan is doing is not normal at all. He is a total creep. Once he’s gone definitely tell HR. Gross.

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    dinoceros October 20, 2017, 8:57 am

    LW3: Your boyfriend is 17. I don’t know that he gets much choice as to whether his family moves and it’s unreasonable for you to think that he’d somehow stay behind without them. It’s good that you notice all the sacrifices you are trying to make. Not because he should be doing more, but because you’re doing too much. Making life decisions based solely on a guy at 16 is a one-way ticket to having a crappy career and not living up to your potential.

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      Fyodor October 20, 2017, 10:14 am

      I read this to mean that he is graduating and she wants him to go to college near her. I don’t think that either of them should expect the other to do this.

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        dinoceros October 20, 2017, 11:15 am

        OK, that’s slightly less weird if that’s what she meant. I was thrown off since she mentioned his parents moving.

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  • GertietheDino

    GertietheDino October 20, 2017, 9:17 am

    LW3: You seem smart (hell, you’re graduating HS at 16, go you!), but if you think you are between a rock and a hard place with your situation…please, please do not do anything rash to keep him near you: listen to Wendy’s advice, do what is best for you, grow as a person (with or without the BF) and get your education. That is what is best for you right now.

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  • avatar

    _s_ October 20, 2017, 10:14 am

    LW #2 OF COURSE your boyfriend’s parents are not going to let their minor dependent child stay behind with his high school girlfriend (also a minor) if they move to a different state! That doesn’t even happen in the movies, let alone real life. Accept that you’re either going to have to have a long distance relationship or break up, and pick your college based on solely on factors that affect YOU (cost, major). Do not factor your boyfriend into your decision in any way. If you do you will regret it the rest of your life. As others have noted, the chance a relationship you started when you were 13 is going to last forever are slim to none. And IF (big if) you turn out to be the exception to that rule, then you can survive a long distance relationship through college.

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  • avatar

    wobster109 October 20, 2017, 10:15 am

    LW3 – Please stop blaming a 17-year-old for his family moving. He doesn’t get to control what his adult parents decide. You’re being really unfair by blaming that on him.

    I’m not saying you should move with them either. I think you should go to a college you like that fits your interests and try long distance for a couple years.

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  • avatar

    Stillrunning October 20, 2017, 10:40 am

    LW2- Just tell “James” that you’ve developed romantic feelings for him. It may be a fine, clearing of the air, or it might create an awkward situation and one of you will have to move.

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  • avatar

    Essie October 20, 2017, 10:48 am

    LW1: Taking photos of anyone for sexual gratification without the knowledge and consent of that person is just gross. I would never be able to look at him the same way, and I’d be breaking up with him. I want to be clear that I have no problem with someone having a fetish, it’s the creepshot thing that is inexcusable.

    Whether he doesn’t see it as a violation, or he knows it’s wrong and he can’t control himself, that’ s not someone I’d want as a partner, and especially not as a stepparent to my child.

    LW3: If the two of you are so right for each other that you’ll spend your lives together, a few years of long distance won’t wreck your relationship. But putting your own life on the back burner to follow a guy around the country because he’s the only boyfriend you’ve had: really bad idea.

    You do what’s best for YOU. Go to the college that’s best for you, build the life you want for yourself. Then the two of you can come together as partners, if you both still want that. That’s much better than you being dependent on him.

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  • avatar

    kat15 October 20, 2017, 12:17 pm

    Now I’m worried that our computer guy is doing something creepy like this . . .

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    • avatar

      D November 15, 2017, 12:06 pm

      I thought I was the only one……

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    • avatar

      D November 15, 2017, 12:08 pm

      (Especially since IT guy has exhibited other potential creepy behavior…can’t say for certain because it was 3rd party info)

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  • avatar

    Boo Berry Waffles October 20, 2017, 12:51 pm

    I’m gonna disagree with the feelings for the ex letter. He’s in a relationship. You tossing your emotions on him is inappropriate. What do you expect? That he’ll just dump his girlfriend? And if he did, is that the kind of flighty person you want to be in a relationship with?

    What’s more likely to happen is if you verbalize your emotions rather than focusing on getting past them and co-parenting is he’ll realize the living situation is no longer workable and either ask you to move out or do so himself.

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  • othy

    othy October 20, 2017, 3:07 pm

    LW3 – When I was your age, I was in a very similar situation. I had been with my boyfriend for a couple of years, my parents were moving out of state, and I was torn between staying near my boyfriend or picking a school that would be best for my future near my family. My boyfriend decided to stay where he was because of his scholarships at the state school. I chose an out of state school that was a good fit for me, and my boyfriend and I decided we would try the long distance to see if it worked. Fast forward 15 years, and we’re happily married and we’re both so glad we stayed together long distance and that we both pursued our academics. We are much better off financially because we put college ahead of our proximity.

    My advice to you is think about where you want to be in the future professionally, and make your choices based on that. If this relationship is strong and healthy, you’ll find a way to make the long distance work and you both will end up better at the end of it.

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