Shortcuts: “I’m Too Embarrassed By My Boyfriend To Let Him Meet My Family!”

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 am in my first year of college, and I have started dating a guy I met here. He treats me very well, and I’m happy with him. However, it makes me feel terrible to say this, but I am sorely embarrassed by him. He is very overweight, has poor personal hygiene, dresses terribly, and has numerous bad habits such as spitting in public and chewing with his mouth open. I live in a different state than we go to college in, and he wants to come home with me for a bit after the school year ends. I can put up with his “quirks” at school, as I really do not care what my classmates think of him. However, I am too embarrassed by him to allow him to meet my family. I just know he will not change anything to meet them, and I am sure they will judge him harshly. What should I do? — Embarrassed By Boyfriend

It sounds like the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree in your circumstance. Please, do your boyfriend a favor and break up with him. Tell him that while you’re happy with him and you appreciate how well he treats you, you don’t see him as a good longterm match for you and think it’s time to move on before either of you gets more attached.

I have known a man for almost seven years, and we have been FWB for about six months now. A couple of weeks ago I tried to stick up for myself via text message and tell him I can’t do this anymore because “I think I love him.” It freaked him out. I was pretty sure of the outcome, as he has told me from the start that he “doesn’t do relationships,” but I felt the need to tell him how I feel. So I knew he might go AWOL, but he is still coming over, and we are still hooking up. I know his coming over doesn’t mean he loves me, but do you think he is only still in contact for selfish reasons, or maybe he feels a slight attachment to me? I would like to think it is the latter, but I need advice. I really care for this man and would have his back if things were to work out. — In Love with My FWB

Unless he has verbalized to you that he has feelings for you, I wouldn’t assume that his continuing to have sex with you means anything more than he enjoys having sex with you. You told him that you “can’t do this anymore,” but … then you continued doing it. A guy who enjoys doing it is going to wait for YOU to stop, especially if you implied you were going to. What you did — confessing your feelings and then continuing to sleep with him despite telling him you can’t anymore was a passive attempt to gauge his interest. But it didn’t work, because it was, well, passive. If you want to know how he feels, ask him point blank. And if he doesn’t give you an answer that makes you feel good, stop sleeping with him!

My partner of five years and father of my youngest child left me and moved straight into another relationship the same day. He had only been involved with this new woman for a few days before he left. My relationship with him was always kept very private and not in five years was our life broadcast on Facebook — not even a picture of us together. Is he trying to make me jealous by putting his new life on Facebook or just showing how happy he is now? — Still in the Dark

If your partner of five years cheated on you and left you for another woman, I highly doubt his motivations lie at all in making you jealous or manipulating your feelings in any way. He’s a selfish guy who isn’t thinking about you (or your child together). And while photos of his “new life” don’t prove he’s happy, they do indicate that he’s apparently moved on, and I urge you to do the same.


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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. Sunshine Brite says:

    LW1-MOA, pick partners you’re not embarrassed by.
    LW2- Why’d you start the FWB scenario? Sounds like you’ve had feelings for him for quite awhile. ” do you think he is only still in contact for selfish reasons, or maybe he feels a slight attachment to me?” The FWB situation is working out for him not you. Just MOA and stop sleeping with him since it’s not meeting your needs.
    LW3 – I’m sorry for you, that more than sucks. Get off his Facebook and hide his feed if you don’t want to defriend him all together.

  2. Skyblossom says:

    LW2 When the best you can hope for is that he might have a slight attachment for you, you need to move on immediately. You are worth far more than a slight attachment. What you need to do is ask why you would even consider settling for a slight attachment. Don’t settle for less than a full relationship if that’s what you want.

  3. Skyblossom says:

    Wendy – You asked us to let you know when things weren’t working on the site. I clicked on the click to continue link on the home page of the site and instead of taking me to the full post it took me to an ad. I definitely didn’t click on anything but your link. I had the same thing happening to me earlier in the week. At that time I was using internet explorer so switched to google chrome and it stopped but now it is also happening in google chrome. It’s like something is hijacking your link.

    1. Skyblossom says:

      When I hit the submit button for the above post I was taken to an Amsterdam tourism page. I don’t think I have a computer virus doing this, it only happens when I’m on your site. If no one else has this problem I’ll check my computer but I have good antivirus software and checked earlier in the week for a virus.

      1. I’ve been taken to an Amsterdam tourism site after clicking on links on the Archives page. I was going to mention it but it hasn’t happened in the past couple of days so I thought it stopped.

      2. Happened to me a few times the other day, but seems to have stopped.

      3. happenend to me too yesterday but not today.

      4. Happened to me yesterday too – it was odd!

      5. bostonpupgal says:

        Same thing happened to me when I went to post in the forums earlier this week! Was taken to an Amsterdam tourism site

      6. It’s happened several times the past week via mobile also (I’m using the Mercury browser on iPhone). I’ve seen the Amaterdam tourism ad and one for a UK shopping site.

    2. Avatar photo Dear Wendy says:

      Oh, weird. Thanks for letting me know. I’ll ask my developer about this.

    3. sobriquet says:

      Happened to me this morning! I thought I accidentally clicked on an ad for the Netherlands.

      1. It happened to me just now.

    4. Cleopatra Jones says:

      When I clicked on Portia’s comment under recent comments, it took me to uniqlo-shoppingmonkey. It had a UK URL.
      I did it twice because I thought I had accidentally did something wrong.

      1. Avatar photo Dear Wendy says:

        Thanks, everyone. Developer is looking into all this now.

      2. Didn’t you know that’s exactly where I wanted to send you? Lol 😉

  4. Avatar photo Stonegypsy says:

    LW1 you don’t actually sound like you like your boyfriend very much. Or maybe you do, and he really is just extremely uncouth. And honestly, if he doesn’t have great hygiene, maybe that’s something you should talk to him about? But after that.. either accept who he is and stop being embarrassed, or move on.

    LW2 He wants to have sex with you. That’s why he keeps coming over to have sex with you. But he probably does not share your feelings, and if what you want is a relationship, you should stop having sex with him.

    LW3 It doesn’t matter why he’s posting about his new relationship on facebook. Block his feed so you don’t see it. Sounds like you’re well shot of him anyway.

  5. Avatar photo Raccoon eyes says:

    I do enjoy Shortcuts on Fridays! WWS to all 3.
    Dear LW2 and well, any woman who has been on the receiving end of a man saying he “doesn’t do relationships” or any variation on that theme: if you want a relationship, then this man is not for you! Run away! You WILL NOT be able to love him into or convince him into a relationship. (Romcoms and TV shows are not real! Find a man that values you!) Ok, ***stepping off soapbox***

    1. RedRoverRedRover says:

      Totally! Any guy who says he’s “not good at relationships” or “doesn’t do relationships” means he just wants sex from you, and he only wants it while it’s easy. Unless that’s what you want as well, just move on! Believe him when he says that! He’s clearing his conscience by going in telling you exactly what he does and does not expect. Believe him!

  6. Anonymous says:

    Lw2 I get it. All those Rom Coms where the FWB arrangements become serious relationships. So you could pretend you’re in a Rom Com, walk away and see if he comes running back in the third act. More likely, unfortunately, he won’t. 7 years is enough time to know how you feel about someone. Just ask him.

  7. Cleopatra Jones says:


    LW #1- Let’s see you picked a guy that is overweight, has poor personal hygiene, and dresses poorly and you’re embarrassed for him to meet your family. That probably means that you are deeply lonely and latched onto the first ‘nice’ guy you met while away from home for the first time. Seriously, break up with him and find some activities and new friends to keep you busy.
    LW#2- Um, that dude is in it to hit it & quit it. MOA! He told you he doesn’t do relationships, believe him and find someone who wants to be in a relationship with YOU!
    LW#3- What this sounds like is that you are hurt because he kept your relationship a secret for 5 years ( I would venture to guess that this new woman isn’t even the first time he has cheated on you). But since he’s all public on FB with his new relationship, it probably feels like he is being more faithful to her because everyone knows about them. It doesn’t matter, he has made his choice and now you have to move on. Just make sure you get child support, un-friend him on FB, and have a better healthier relationship next time.

    1. Skyblossom says:

      LW3 needs to quit trying to find the meaning behind him and his gf being on facebook together and worry about finding meaningful things in her own life.

  8. bittergaymark says:

    LW1) As everybody else said. MOA. It’s cruel to be with somebody that you are embarrassed to be with. It is also fucked up. Oh, and profoundly selfish.

    LW2) Um, yeah. When you agree to be friends with benefits — it’s actually kinda shitty to suddenly change things midway. It just proves to me that you can’t handle being a FWB. Or that you were hoping it was just a layover on the way to relationshipville.

    LW3) Right. The ONLY reason he is publicly in a new relationship is some desperate ploy to get back at you… Why was you relationship so secret and private? Was that your doing? If so, maybe he fucking got sick of it, I dunno. But I fail to see the point of all the secrecy if you are were raising a kid together…

  9. Katmich15 says:

    Wow, I must have read LW1 really differently from everyone else, she said she’s HAPPY with him, and she should MOA? Not in my opinion. She’s in college, it takes some growing up to feel completely comfortable risking your family’s approval, she’ll get there. Own your choice LW1, if this guy is someone you really care about, the surface stuff isn’t what’s important. I think you need to get over your embarrassment, not your BF. And you can always ask him not to spit in front of your parents. 🙂

    1. Cleopatra Jones says:

      The thing is…that on this site, Wendy has always preached and many of commenters know that you have to accept someone EXACTLY as they are. If you aren’t happy with them then you really should move on. You can’t change someone (and it’s really not your right to do so). If you aren’t 100% happy with them now then you aren’t going to be any happier with them 6 months or a year from now.
      You are just going to end up bitter and angry that they won’t change and they are going to bitter and angry that you keep asking them to change.

      1. Very true Cleopatra, it’s the DWW (Dear Wendy Way) That should be a t-shirt lol

      2. “Wendy has always preached and many of commenters know that you have to accept someone EXACTLY as they are. If you aren’t happy with them then you really should move on….”

        Yes, but here’s the thing – she says she know she can’t change him – she says “I just know he will not change anything”. And she says she is happy with him and doesn’t care what her classmates think. She has anxiety about how her parents will react – but she does not seem to otherwise be bothered by his weight, personal hygene or bad dressing. This sounds to me like a relationship problem – but not a dealbreaker or a case where she is trying to change him, so the “accept them the way they are” doctrine is not really apropo.

        Maybe its because I’m a chubby guy who is not known for his dress sense, but this universal, “What? He’s fat and has poor hygene? Dump him!” reaction, strikes me as unhelpful if the women says she is happy with him.

        Just maybe we should actually help this women with what she asked for: advice on how to present this rather unpresentable guy – who makes her happy – to her family.

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