Shortcuts: “I’m Moving In With My Boyfriend, But He Won’t Let Me Hold His Baby”

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.

My new boyfriend and I decided to get an apartment together. He has a one-year-old daughter with his ex. His ex is okay with me being around the baby and he kind of is, but he won’t let me pick her up or anything of that sort. We move in together in two weeks, and I feel like I’m not allowed to have a relationship with his child. For example, he was in the shower and she woke up crying, so I got her up and sat her on the bed with me, and I think he got mad because, when he went back to the bathroom post-shower to “do his business,” he took her with him. — About to Move In

Do not move in with someone who has a child whom you are not allowed to touch. That’s insane. In fact, don’t ever move in with a “new boyfriend,” period. Don’t move in with anyone until you do these things. And also until you’re allowed to hold the child of the person you’re going to co-habitate with, sheesh.

Recently, my boyfriend of two years asked me to take my diet seriously because he said he feels like I’m eating too much sweet stuff. He also told me to add more regular exercise to my routine. (My weight is 160 pounds and I’m 5’7”. I’m an on-and-off gym girl, and I’m in my third year of medical school.) I gave up my habit of sweet items even though I LOVE eating sweet dessert items, I started going to the gym every morning at 5:30 a.m., and I run in the evenings. When I come home, I’m dying to eat something, but he won’t allow me, saying I’m throwing away all my effort. So basically, I have one meal per day (lunch) and I have a coffee in the morning before my 8 a.m. lecture. Being a medical student, I know how dangerous this is for my body, as my body doesn’t get time to rest or to relax, but I still feel like I need to do more for him to make him love me. Is this supposed to be like this? I’ve heard relationships take work sacrifices, so am I just complaining for no reason?

P.S. I love him a lot! Even before we started dating, I had a crush on him for four years. — Weighted Down

Someone who loves you wouldn’t ask you to starve yourself and exercise yourself crazy. Your weight is normal. Your boyfriend’s a dipshit asshole. You’d lose a whole lotta weight really fast if you dropped him and moved on.

I have been dating my boyfriend now for six years. Two days ago he disrespected me by calling me some dirty names. He refuses to call his ex-wife the names he’s called me. I told him we are done until he calls her the names. And he will NOT. I told him to go back to his ex since she can be respected and I can’t. What’s your advice? — Dirty Name

I think it’s really weird that you’re encouraging your boyfriend to call another woman dirty names. I would think his calling YOU dirty names should be enough for you to move on. That you are so threatened by this other woman is a nail in the coffin. MOA.

I am 20 years old and I have a boyfriend of going on four years. My problem is I want us to get our own place, but he won’t move our of his parents’ home. He makes plenty enough money. I work in a retail store and I make okay money but not enough for me to move out on my own. I have two more years of college left. We could definitely pay all the bills if we moved in together. I really wouldn’t care to wait till I got out of college, but our parents won’t let us have privacy. We have to sit on our couches to hang out with each other. I feel like I’m still in middle school. To have sex, we have to wait for his parents to go to bed and do it in the back seat of my car. It’s been like this for four years. It’s really annoying. What should I do? — Tired of Car Sex

Get a roommate to share bills with. Your boyfriend can come to your apartment to hang out and have sex. And when you break up in a year or so like most couples who started dating as teenagers do, it won’t be as complicated because you won’t share an address. Trust me on this! See also: 15 Things Couples Should Do Before Moving in Together.


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If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, you can send me your letters at wendy@dearwendy.com.


  1. Avatar photo Moneypenny says:

    LW2- Oh god this is so wrong. Your body needs fuel! Eating one meal a day is totally unsustainable, not to mention completely unhealthy. You might drop a lot of weight right away (because you’re starving your body) but because you can’t do that forever and you’ll eventually start eating meals again, you’ll just gain it back (trust me, I’ve been there…). People need to eat carbs and proteins and even fats.

    If you want to eat healthy and lose weight while exercising, see if your school or fitness center has any nutritionists you can speak with who can help you set up some healthy goals while getting the proper balance of carbs/protein/fats that you do need to keep your body healthy!

    Oh, and your bf is a jerk and you should drop him immediately.

    1. Avatar photo Moneypenny says:

      Also, WTF to the other LW’s. Aim higher!

      1. I’ll add to that that fats are extremely important to eat they are more usefull than carbs, allthough everything needs to be eaten, dont remove something completely ever.

        If you exercise proteine is vital for muscle repair it also helps with post workout muscle aches.

        If youmstarve yourself your body goes in starvation mode as soon as you start eating you start eating again your body will store it as fat to secure your future self if you ever bet a lack of food again, gaining the weight back PLUS extra most likely.

        Your grades will increase when you eat properly cuz your brain will get proper fuel to Work.

        The best way to lose weight is to dump your abusive boyfriend

  2. WTF to all of these .

    LW1: Why the fuck are you moving in with this guy so quickly? Even with out the kid, what is the poing?
    LW2: Why the fuck do you take orders from this guy. He’s your boyfriend not your boss, and how the fuck does a medical student do this to their own body.
    LW3: Why the fuck are your priorities so fucked up that you think him calling another women disrespectful things makes what he says to you ok. You literally just told him it’s ok to disrespect you if he disrespects other women.
    LW4: Why the fuck would you move in with a guy, just because you can’t afford a place for your self? It’s just a bad way to look at things. Get a fucking roommate like normal people.

    1. Avatar photo Moneypenny says:

      I love that all of your responses start with “why.” Because seriously, why?!? Ugh.

  3. Wendy, how could you possibly tell LW2 to eat more and lose the boyfriend? What horrible, life ruining advice! What, did you only graduate from 5th grade? Geesh.

    In all seriousness, coffee and one meal a day while working out and attending medical school? LW. Eat. Please. No man is worth this, despite the crush you had on him.

    And what MP said about the others. What the fuck? Seriously. These letters. Wow.

  4. Palm to face. WTF is right.

  5. I think that ending a relationship of six years over some insulting names seems excessive absent some other factor.

    1. GertietheDino says:

      I doubt the namecalling is the only issue in this relationship.

    2. But its not just insulting names, its a feeling of lack of respect. I do have trouble with this one though because “dirty” to me implies sexual, so if its just that he likes to talk dirty as a role play thing, then it doesn’t seem a big deal to me and is not necessarily a sign of disrespect. Also would explain why he doesn’t want to call his ex-wife dirty names.

      1. I agree that the namecalling shows a lack of respect and they may have other issues, but (A) we don’t know if there are other issues and (B) she doesn’t mention any pattern of namecalling or anything like that. All we know is that there was a single incident and that he has refused her (wacko) demand that insult his ex.

      2. And C) it boggles the mind trying to figure out why she thinks him calling the ex dirty names will resolve this situation. That’s whacko world. What she is telling us is that she doesn’t see the name calling to be very serious but is jealous of the ex and wants to hear her called names. Name-calling isn’t good, but it’s not the headline here, either.

    3. dinoceros says:

      I think the other factor is that the LW is too immature for a serious relationship.

  6. Can these people actually exist on this planet?!?!

  7. The weight issue is a deal breaker. Your weight is perfectly normal and you are ruining your health and self-esteem catering to his crap. I am on the edge of 60,weight about 5 pounds less than you and am 3 inches shorter. I have had more than one boyfriend tell me that I was the sexiest girlfriend /best sex ever.
    Please see that he does not love you as you are and respect you. Love Wendy’s advice about dropping his dead weight!

  8. Add my WTF to the chorus. LW2: Any man who makes you feel like you need to do more for him to love is not worth your time. Your bf is a controlling asshole. The only person who should be scrutinizing your diet this closely is your doctor or a nutritionist. Dump him.

  9. Hahaha! Love the responses, Wendy! I feel sorry for the LWs who couldnt grasp the easy answers for themselves. But HEY! That’s what you are here for. =)

  10. dinoceros says:

    LW1: Don’t move in with him. Him not letting you touch his kid is a sign that he doesn’t think very highly of you or the relationship. Also, it’s totally stupid to move in with someone if you don’t want them to have a relationship with your kid.

    LW2: Your letter makes me sad. You are starving yourself because your boyfriend wants you to? You know, you’re an adult who can do what you feel is best for your body. If someone doesn’t like that, then break up with them. Don’t just harm yourself so they’ll like you better.

    LW3: If you don’t like how he talks to you, break up. Being obsessed with his relationship with his ex is odd.

    LW4: What Wendy said. Your problem isn’t unusual. But you can’t force someone to move out and you can’t force someone else’s parents to be cool with you having sex wherever you want.

  11. LW 1 This guy just recently had a baby with someone else, that in itself would make him an undesirable dating prospect to me. (just my opinion) Plus moving in with someone you hardly know…why? I don’t get the rush. I have no idea why he is so weird about you and his baby, but if he would rather take his 1 year old in the bathroom while he poops than leave her with you…well that is just bizarre and you should not be there.
    LW2 I thought eating less than every few hours causes your body to go into starvation mode which makes your metabolism slow down and also makes you lose muscle. I am not an expert, but that is what I heard, plus don’t you need a certain amount of fats and carbs for brain function? No offense, but shouldn’t someone smart enough to get into medical school know better? Why do people let other people make them so insecure? I have been there (when I was like 18) and I understand, but it is time for LW to put her big girl panties on and aim much MUCH higher.
    LW 3 Is that even worth a letter? WWS
    LW 4 He likes living with his parents. He doesn’t want to move out . WWS And if you are expecting any more from him you should look for someone else. He is comfortable where he is.Why not? He IS only 20.

    1. “No offense, but shouldn’t someone smart enough to get into medical school know better?”

      When someone starts with “no offense” , it usually means they’re about to be offensive. The sentence you wrote wasn’t an exception! Doctors aren’t super-human. They are susceptible to the same influences, even the abusive influences of a boyfriend, that other humans are.

      LW2: I would encourage you to read the section in your notes where they covered eating disorders. Go specifically to the part about complications. Your body is physiologically undergoing similar stresses that people with eating disorders put their bodies through.

      1. I disagree. If this person wants to be a doctor they need to take their own advice. What if a patient came to them with a similar story? I’m assuming they’d say WWS, but I would not want trust a doctor who can’t even control her own diet due to a boyfriend’s ABUSIVE demands. I hope she has the strength to MOA because it’s not healthy.

      2. Never met an overweight doctor now, have we? Ever heard of doctor suicides or alcoholism in doctors? Doctors struggle with human medical and psychiatric issues too.

        Not recognizing it in oneself doesn’t mean they can’t recognize it in others. There is a certain amount of denial involved, and not everyone looks in the mirror.

  12. Plenty of people do eat just one meal a day some days of the week as a form of intermittent fasting. For some people, it can be a recipe for lightheadedness, fatigue, unsustainable food cravings, and electrolyte imbalances, for others it leads to better control of insulin release, getting out of a prediabetic state, and healthy fat loss. But that’s not the point, unless the LW wanted to make this kind of lifestyle choice for HERSELF.
    If she did, fine . She could read some of the research and tailor her approach to accommodate the demands of working out and school work. The details of the diet itself are not the real issue, the issue is when you restrict your food intake so dramatically *under duress*, under threat of losing your boyfriends love and attraction. It’s abusive. If you choose a diet for yourself, no matter how extreme, if you slip and eat some cookies it’s between you and yourself, and the consequence is your own setback. And you are free to say, hey, I lifted at the gym, I need some more calories today, it’s fine. VERY different from someone else who is not in your body controlling your food intake, VERY different consequence from eating a cookie and your boyfriend punishes you with his disappointment. A gentler diet wouldn’t fix this problem, because the problem is that nobody’s boyfriend gets to be the diet police and the tyrannical weight coach. LW, lose the boyfriend. If you really want to watch your diet, go ahead and eat a nice heart healthy diet that provides you with the energy you need for this busy time in your life, and don’t restrict yourself from enjoying a cookie now and then. Now is not a good time for fasting (wait a few years til you’re done being hazed with staying awake for 36 hours). The nurses don’t want to have to peel you off the floor and stick glucose gel in your mouth. And when is it a good time to have a terrible boyfriend? Never, my friend.

  13. Y’all have covered all the what the actual fuck for these, but I do have a genuine curiosity as to how LW3’s boyfriend was even supposed to go about calling his ex the “dirty” names. Like, was it just telling the LW that he thinks the ex is …. whatever, too? Given the LW’s rage, that seems like it would be unsatisfying. I mean, does it “count” if the ex doesn’t hear or know about the names? What if the LW just posts on FB that he called his ex the names and she sees it? Does he even have to say it for her to do that? Or, to be sufficient, is he supposed to call the ex up randomly just to call her these specific names? Does the LW have to be on the line? Is an in person insulting necessary? I really want to know how, exactly, that was supposed to work!

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