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’m in a relationship with a man who continues to put his ex’s daughter before me. The daughter is 30 years old with a child of her own, but yet my boyfriend still allows her to count on him to be a father-figure to her and to help her out with money, fixing her car, allowing her daughter to spend the night at our place and taking her on trips. I feel like my feelings don’t matter. I’ve had numerous conversations about this, and he tells me I’m wrong because he help raise her from a child to an adult. Help! Am I wrong for feeling this way? — Second to His Ex’s Daughter
It sounds like he is this woman’s primary father figure. As he has told you, he raised her from childhood to adulthood. I’m not sure why you think that bond should be erased because the parents split up or because the daughter is no longer a child. Did you stop feeling like your father’s daughter once you reached adulthood? Did you stop feeling like you should count on him? Look, if you aren’t OK with the relationship your boyfriend has with the woman he raised as his own daughter or you feel he isn’t meeting your needs, you should move on.
My boyfriend of ten years got a new job two months ago. There are only a handful of people who work at his place of employment, and he only works there two days a week now although he will soon be working there up to six days a week. One of the co-workers is a younger, “stacked” female. She recently showed him where her tattoo was removed (near the groin area) by lifting up her shirt. That, I thought, was inappropriate. She then went on vacation, came back, and told my boyfriend that she had broken up with her boyfriend because she caught him cheating. My boyfriend, who has a hero complex, proceeded to buy her a $200 gift certificate to a spa to make her feel better after the breakup and because her birthday was coming up. He claims it was from him and their boss. He also told her: “Since we can’t touch you, we got you a gift certificate to a spa. Hopefully, you’ll get a happy ending.” I am upset that he did that and he thinks I’m overreacting. What do you think? — Overreacting?
You’re not overreacting. The “gift” was inappropriate for a variety of reasons and the comment he made was predatory and offensive. You need to move on from this guy who doesn’t respect you and doesn’t respect women in general. He’s gross.
I’m currently 17 years old, but I turn 18 in September and my boyfriend is 29 years old. I was wondering what you think about the situation. He says he loves me and wants to have a future with me. I met his kids and everything. There’s just something I am concerned about: Why did he pick me out of all the females his own age? What do you think? — Just Seventeen
He picked you because a 17-year-old girl is much easier to manipulate and control than a woman his own age. He is taking advantage of your naiveté, and though a relationship between the two of you may not be illegal where you live, it is morally and ethically inappropriate. If he really loved you, he would want you to continue enjoying your adolescence instead of saddling you with the burden of planning a future with some old dude and his kids. He doesn’t love you; he loves the idea of having someone who will help take care of his kids and clean his house and have sex with him all for the low price of free. Move on.
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If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, you can send me your letters at firstname.lastname@example.org.