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 and I are both 20 and have been together for a year and three months. He’s met my dad but hasn’t really gotten to know him, and every time the chance comes up, he always makes up some sort of excuse. We live in a border town and my dad lives in Mexico, so he uses the excuse that he doesn’t like to go to Mexico. I see this as a bit odd. I mean would it kill him to go for two or three hours with me so my dad can get to know him better? — On the Border
Have you considered that he may be an undocumented immigrant and may not be able to easily get back into the country once he crosses the border into Mexico? Can your father come visit you? If your boyfriend avoids your father even when he comes to your town, then it’s time for a discussion about how important it is to you that your boyfriend make an effort to know your family.
Next June, my fiance and I are getting married. I just got off the phone with my grandma to tell her the date, and she started asking a million questions about where I’m registered, who’s doing the shower and the bachelor party, all the stuff that I never thought about. I didn’t think they were necessary. At this point, my fiance and I live with my parents as my mom’s caregiver. This arrangement isn’t permanent, but at this time I don’t need or want dish sets or wine glasses or towels. To be honest, I don’t want anything other than for people to come and enjoy themselves. My fiance feels the same. His side of the family will be spending enough as it is just getting here. The thought of people spending money that really could go elsewhere for things they may need doesn’t sit right. I know it’s considered tacky to mention gifts at all, but is there any way to say that we don’t want presents? — Practical Bride-to-be
You could say in the invitation: “Your presence is present enough.” But understand that people will likely still want to give you something as a token at least, so you could make it easy on them — and you! — by registering for a few low-cost items that you’ll actually use and enjoy. In that case, don’t include registry information in the invitation, but alert a few people, like your mother and grandmother, who can get the word out to those who think to ask. Better still, you could include in the invite a link to a charity you really like and re-word the note on the invitation to read: “Your presence is present enough, but if you wish, you may make a donation to our favorite charity, X.”
I dated a guy for about five months. We were not exclusively dating, but we were very close and were best friends. He started dating another woman, but he keeps in contact with me constantly. I’m the first person he tells everything to — like when he got a job transfer, when his son, who has cancer, has his medical testing, when he’s going to be in my area, etc. He tells me things before he tells his girlfriend. He gets a hold of me almost daily. I can’t figure out why he keeps me so close, when he’s now engaged to another woman. I still have feelings for him. He knows this. Can you help me understand why he keeps me so close? — The Other Woman
The better question is why you keep him so close when he has decided to marry another woman. If it were you he wanted to be with exclusively, he’d be with you, especially considering that he knows you have feelings for him. He does not want to be with you so MOA.
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If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, you can send me your letters at [email protected].