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 firstname.lastname@example.org.