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.
My boyfriend of three months (we’ve been “seeing each other” for about seven) had a nine-year relationship before me with a woman he was engaged to. They’ve been broken up for about two years and he’s never done anything to make me question his feelings for me or that he still has feelings for her. But the thing is, he still has a ton of her stuff in his house. It’s not displayed or anything, but it’s everywhere. The bedside table on the side of his bed that I sleep on still has a lot of her stuff in the drawer. He still has tons of old cards, notes, letters, photos, etc. People tell me that it’s normal to keep all of that stuff, but it kind of bothers me because he still talks to her a lot. She lives far away and has a boyfriend of her own, but that is of little comfort to me. I’m just having some trouble dealing with the fact that they have such a history together and she’s still present in his life in more ways than one. — The New Girl
He may not even be aware that so much of her stuff is still around or that it bothers you as much as it does, so it’s time to clue him in. Say, “Hey, do you mind if I clear some of your ex-fiancée’s stuff out of this drawer? And while we’re at it, would you mind maybe boxing up the mementos of your relationship and putting them somewhere out of sight? I’m sure you don’t even realize it, but there’s still so many reminders of your ex and it’s awkward for me and makes me feel like there isn’t quite enough space in your apartment or your heart for me and our relationship yet.”
In May, I’m getting married to my boyfriend of the last six years. I was wondering if perhaps you could weigh in on what rules/guidelines you might recommend for people in marriage to prevent affairs, emotional or otherwise. My fiancé recently owned up for the first time to having poor judgment on boundaries in the past (he has toed, and even crossed “The Line” before) due to his need to be needed and his long-standing reluctance to open up to men. We talked calmly and without hysteria about transparency with cell phones (his primary medium of transgression) and email, not visiting opposite-sex friends overnight without each other present, and not having friendships with people that exclude the other person. Do you have anything to add? What is your stance on flirting once married? Should I advise him to confide more in male friends? Perhaps your readership might care to offer comments? Is it ever okay for your husband to be a woman’s only “true friend”? I’d like to protect my marriage’s future by doing ample research now. I believe in the two of us, but I also understand that no one is immune to such things. — Cautious Bride-to-Be
My advice is to not marry a man you think needs guidelines and rules to follow in order to stay faithful to you. Couples/ Pre-marriage counseling would also probably be a good idea.
I am 20-year-old college freshman and I’ve been in a long distance relationship for about three months and it seems like everything is falling apart. I don’t know what to do. I sent her flowers already, put in so much effort as in texting her often and calling her and most of the time she ignores me. Everything was good until last month when my girlfriend started avoiding me. She used to be happy with me even if it was long distance. Since she started ignoring me, I feel clingy, depressed, anxious and lately my depression has gotten worse. I even tried talking to her about what is going on and what I can do to fix it but she doesn’t seem to care. I’m not one who gives up, but its devastating me. — Freshman in Love
See, Bitter Gay Mark? It’s not just women who act pitiful when their hearts are broken. LW, this relationship is over. MOA and get yourself to your campus wellness clinic to find help dealing with your anxiety and depression.
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