Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

Shortcuts: “My Catholic Mother Disapproves of My Sex Life”

It’s time again for Shortcuts. For every question, I’ll give my advice in three sentences or less, 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. Today we discuss cutting the apron strings, clumsy behavior, and dim sum.

I’m 24 and have been seeing a guy for about eight months and he’s great. I’m moving in four months to be closer to him and to start law school, a decision that has caused a rift with my mom. She’s a conservative Roman Catholic and disapproves of my decision to move in with him. She asked me point-blank if I was sleeping with him, and I managed to deflect but by doing so, basically answered her question. We used to be very close, but now she’s like a different person with me. She used to be so happy and excited for me, but now it’s like she thinks my boyfriend, who has been nothing but sweet to her, is a horrible person and he’s just waiting to trap me in some sort of dead-end relationship where I live with him but we never get married. He and I are in agreement that this is it for both of us, but that right now it would be ludicrous for us to get engaged.I’m already nervous about this move and this huge change for my life, and this tension in my relationship with my mom who, at one point, was my absolute best friend, is killing me. I understand completely that this isn’t easy for her; I’m her youngest daughter and I’m moving six hundred miles away, but I feel like I deserve this chance to be happy and to live somewhere new. I don’t know what to do to repair things. Is this just part of being an adult — making your own life away from your family and putting some distance from them, or am I being immature and messing things up? — Daughter of a Roman Catholic

Putting distance between you and your family isn’t necessarily “just part of being an adult,” but living your own life certainly is. So, do just that and let your mother do whatever repairing your relationship will require by the mistakes that SHE is making. If you are as close as you say, she won’t want this rift between you to last forever and eventually she is going to get over the fact that her adult daughter engages in premarital sex.

I am having an issue with my boyfriend. I am really, really clumsy, so I have a tendency to knock things over and trip over things. I never mean to — it just happens. But he gets pretty frustrated and will sigh heavily, give me annoyed glares, and then say, “It’s okay — just try to pay more attention to what you are doing,” and then acts kind of coldly to me for a bit. Sometimes I might accidentally knock his nose with my elbow by mistake or something like that. I’m trying really hard to be less clumsy but it keeps happening. I don’t know how to say this to him without him thinking I’m trying to make him feel bad, but his reaction really hurts my feelings. — Klutz

Your clumsiness could be just that — clumsiness — or it could be the sign of something more serious, like a neurological issue, so to be on the safe side, you should see a doctor. As for your boyfriend, tell him if he keeps acting like such an asshole, the next time you knock his nose with your elbow it might not be such an accident. (And comments from people claiming that I’m promoting domestic violence in 3, 2, 1).

I am 22 years old and have had a big crush on one of my guy friends. We know each other quite well. He understands me thoroughly and he has a great personality. Initially, I thought he was simply a nerd, but started to inadvertently develop feelings for him. Unfortunately, he told me he didn’t like me back and we had a hard time trying to stay friends. I hadn’t thought of him as a crush until recently when I asked to sit next to him and that failed when we went off into separate prayer groups (we go to church), but then I got to sit with him during dim sum with friends in the afternoon. When we were both talking, he mentioned that he suspected my somewhat odd behavior and I didn’t think I could tell him why, assuming his reaction could be too blunt. He also laughed when I got mad at our mutual friend for interrupting us (I actually like that I make him laugh without realizing it) which got a bit stuck in my head. I am extremely confused because I had been fantasizing about him and me as a couple since yesterday, remembered part of our conversation and still don’t know what to do. I took an online test which told me I am kinda over him but I don’t think I’ll ever find someone like him again (since he met my high standards for an ideal guy), so is there any way to solve this? — You Dim Sum, You Lose Sum

What??? I am posting this on the chance that someone else can translate and help you out here.

*If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, send me your letters at wendy@dearwendy.com and be sure to follow me on Twitter.

125 comments… add one
  • Budj February 24, 2012, 9:07 am

    LW 1 – get over it…your mother will eventually too.

    LW 2 – tell your bf to stop being a baby.

    LW 3 – I’m confused too but I’ll take a stab at it….sitting next to someone doesn’t mean they like you. Nerds are probably the coolest boy friends…and as long as you didn’t tell him he was a nerd or give him a condescending impression when you first met just keep talking to him and see where things go.

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    • Budj February 24, 2012, 9:30 am

      I LOVE the sign off for LW 3 btw…hilarious…

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      • Addie Pray February 24, 2012, 10:05 am

        Yes, my favorite signoff yet!!

      • pamplemousse February 25, 2012, 12:42 am

        Ha! I’m so glad you pointed that out because I didn’t notice it initially.

  • Matthew February 24, 2012, 9:18 am

    My translation for LW 3: I developed a crush on a nerd, and he said he didn’t like me back. I thought I was over him, but recently, those feeling have returned.

    LW 3, This guy already told you he didn’t have the same feelings for you. MOA. There are plenty of great guys out there. You will find someone else.

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  • ReginaRey February 24, 2012, 9:21 am

    LW 3 – From what I can gather, I’d recommend you stop taking online quizzes (or ANY kind of quizzes) to determine if you’re “over” someone, or to solve any of your relationship issues. Also, I’m confused as to your timeline of events. You told him you liked him, he said he “didn’t like you back” (I don’t get it…are you really 22? This sounds more like a drama I’d have lived through in middle school), and then later on you developed a crush on him again because he…sat next to you?

    I’m just going to go ahead and give you a few broad relationship pointers that I think apply to you, for lack of knowing what else to do: 1) Again, online quizzes probably won’t tell you how you’re feeling. Asking yourself “how am I feeling?” might solve that. 2) When people laugh at things you say or do, it doesn’t mean that they like you. They might, you know, be laughing…at you. 3) If I were to date Ryan Gosling, I might be able to claim that “I will never find someone else like him again.” But I’m pretty confident you’ll be able to find another dude who…sits next to you and thinks you’re humorous.

    Good luck?

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    • Budj February 24, 2012, 9:34 am

      Yea – I missed that he turned her down a while ago. I’m not sure he was laughing AT her though…could have just been an awkward moment and the interruption caused nervous laughter.

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      • ReginaRey February 24, 2012, 9:39 am

        Haha I mean, I doubt he was blatantly laughing *at* her, I just wanted her to not get so in a tizzy when someone laughs at something you say.

      • Budj February 24, 2012, 9:42 am

        Methinks she has def fantasized about this more than she leads on and I completely agree with Miss Dre below…hell… I was there with girls in my late teens.

    • MissDre February 24, 2012, 9:39 am

      I think we should also be telling her to work on her self confidence. I can say that as a teenager, I had these overwhelming, dude-on-a-pedestal, never-find-anyone-else crushes because deep down, I didn’t think anyone would ever like me.

      Also, I think I became so obsessed over these crushes because I didn’t have a personal outlet to focus on or to help develop my confidence. I didn’t have a sport I was good at or a talent to work on or a steady group of friends…. I would suggest she find something that makes her feel confident in herself. Because #1. If you’re confident in yourself, you won’t be putting dudes up on a pedestal (you’ll just be happy with your life) and #2. Confidence is sexy so you’re bound to meet a guy who likes you for who you are.

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      • ReginaRey February 24, 2012, 9:48 am

        You’re right on, MissDre. In a normal letter, I would have definitely advocated that she stop focusing so much on putting dudes on pedestals and focus more on developing her confidence, self-esteem, self-respect, etc. I just…couldn’t avoid the snark factor today.

        But yes, LW, MissDre is totally right. You shouldn’t (especially at 22!) be putting this guy on such a pedestal; especially considering he already told you he wasn’t interested. My snark-free advice is that you channel the part of you that was attempting to do some introspection by taking online quizzes into a more effective introspective method – like therapy, counseling, or some good self-help books. I think you’d benefit from having someone or something help boost your confidence, and get you more focused on YOU, rather than overly fixating on guys who aren’t interested.

  • yep February 24, 2012, 9:25 am

    LW2 – Speaking as a complete clutz who has broken two of my boyfriend’s favorite expensive wine glasses on seperate occasions, knocks into walls and corners, drops things and spills things constantly… I understand completely. I once spilled an entire pitcher of sangria on a restaurant terrace in his company. In the beginning my boyfriend acted a bit like yours. Annoyed. After a few months he realized this is just who I am. I explained to him that I don’t do these things on purpose and these aren’t things to get mad over and to chill. After repeating myself a good 10 times in the spand of 6 months it finally sunk in. Now when I knock into walls or break a plate he just laughs. We also make sure wine bottle, glasses and such are as far away from me as possible at the dinner table.

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    • JK February 24, 2012, 10:01 am

      Exactly the same with me. In the nearly 10 years since I´ve known my husband Ipve broken more glasses, plates, etc than I can remember, knocked over and broken an iron, been sitting on a plastic chair that fell apart (even though I was arguably the lightest person in the place and everyone was on the same type of chair), tripped over more times than I can remember, fallen out of bed twice, and I can´t remember what else.
      He´s always just laughed, after making sure I´m OK. Although replacing all those dishes gets a bit expensive!!!
      Unfortunately our 4 y.o takes after me apparently, another klutz!!!

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    • bethany February 24, 2012, 10:23 am

      Same thing with me, except I don’t break things or hurt him- I hurt myself. I constantly walk into things or fall or get bruises–To the point that my DRs have asked me if things were ok at home, because they think I’m getting abused!

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    • dabbler February 24, 2012, 12:18 pm

      My sister actually points out random things, like oddly placed single steps, that I might trip over. Haha. It’s like thanks, I would have seen that. Maybe. Ok, you have a point…
      I once fell down a single step coming out of a bar in DC, because I was talking to someone over my shoulder and didn’t see it. Flat on my back on the sidewalk, with all the Friday night party-goers looking at me like some kind of weirdo, then limped away on my twisted ankle.

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  • Flake February 24, 2012, 9:32 am

    LW1: I have a kid, and I am fairly certain that on some level my mom still believes I am a virgin 😀 So yeah, go live your life and, like Wendy said, if you and your mom are really THATCLOSE she will get over it eventually.

    LW2: I agree that you should mention this clumsiness to your doctor… And then talk to you BF about how his reaction makes you feel. I think some of it may be the way you perceive his comments. I know that if I am already self-conscious about something, other people’s comments will hurt that much more. If he turns it on you and says that you are just trying to make HIM feel bad, stop making an effort to avoid knocking his nose with your elbow….

    LW3: Huh?? You will find someone else who meets your “high standards for an ideal guy”… And hopefully, those standards include the part where the guy actually likes you back. For now, move on. There, solved!

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  • bethany February 24, 2012, 9:41 am

    Letter #3 actually made me happy to be 30 years old. Thanks for that!

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    • Eagle Eye February 24, 2012, 10:01 am

      Letter #3 made me happy to be 24 years old, which I never thought I’d actually say.

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    • Addie Pray February 24, 2012, 10:11 am

      Good point. 33 never felt so good.

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    • fast eddie February 24, 2012, 10:41 am

      Youth is truly wasted on the young, mine most certainly was. It’ll pass eventually. 🙂

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  • Amy February 24, 2012, 9:51 am

    LW2 – Another thought, I’ll share my personal experience – when growing up I had a huge growth spurt and was a huge clutz for a while when I was a kid adjusting to my new body. Those embarrassed feelings stuck with me for a long time. Then – when I was in a giant disaster of a marriage I found myself becoming more clumsy all the time (I just realized this in hindsight after my life settled down and I was able to walk to my office from the break room with out sloshing coffee on the floor). It was another sign that my body was giving me that I was in a bad place emotionally. Now that I have my life settled down and things figured out – (well somewhat anyway) – I’m no longer bumbling around.

    LW1 – I wish it weren’t so hard with moms. I really love mine – but really – the woman gives me nothing but grief. It seems that since I’m no longer married – EVERY SINGLE blessed decision in my life is on the scale of disrupting the alignment of Planet Earth and will send us all careening to a firey death when we collide with the sun. It’s sad – but really the only thing that has worked for me is to not discuss anything in my life anymore – I listen to her tell me about her work and hobbies, and then hang up the phone. Realizing that the relationship that I want with my mom is not the one I’m going to have with her has allowed me to stop putting myself in positions where she criticizes every thing I tell her – and I’ve been much happier.

    Most of my friends have troubles with their moms – this is the way we’ve all come to terms with dealing with them (some of us figured it out years ago – and I finally figured it out a month ago). Good Luck! Hopefully you guys can have a better relationship than the mother-daughter relationships I see.

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    • sarolabelle February 24, 2012, 10:30 am

      My mom is the same way. I told her last night that my fiance and I were thinking about Jamaica for a honeymoon and she all but flipped out telling me that it isn’t safe and “what are you going to do if y’all get arrested and are sitting in a Jamaican jail for 6 months?” I really had no words. I think the best thing to do is not tell her about my life so much therefore she will never worry about what she doesn’t know. We’ll see how that works.

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      • Amy February 24, 2012, 11:05 am

        I know – don’t you just want to say “YOU raised me – you didn’t do that bad of a job – just let me be now!” I hope you have a fabulous time in Jamaica – I highly doubt you’ll end up in jail. WHY would she say that – that’s how my mother is too – never in a million years would she tell another person the things she says to me. I always am so taken aback by her comments that I just can’t deal with it. Sheesh!

    • Just Max February 24, 2012, 10:39 am

      Yes! to your second paragraph.
      I do not share everything going on in my life with my mother, otherwise I’d be the target to endless criticism (since she thinks I don’t know anything about living my life).

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    • Renee February 24, 2012, 10:40 am

      Double like.

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    • Elle February 24, 2012, 2:28 pm

      Amy, totally agree with your advice to LW2. I’m clumsy too, especially whey I’m stressed or tired. As soon as I get enough sleep (for a week straight, not just one night), and deal with the stress, I’m almost ‘normal’. My clumsiness is mostly spilling food all over myself. I had to throw away so many clothes!! And occasionally, I find bruises on my legs and arms, and I don’t remember how I got them, but recently, the culprit was rock climbing.

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  • leilani February 24, 2012, 9:53 am

    This sounds so stupid, but the biggest fight my boyfriend ans I have ever gotten into was because he accidentally poked me in the eye. It really hurt, and I just yelled something along the lines of “WTF IS WRONG WITH YOU??” before I could sensor myself. I wasn’t really mad at him, it was just a reaction! Well, he was instantly upset that I had reacted that way, and then I was mad that he was more concerned with being huffy about my reaction than seeing if I was okay. Stupidest. Fight. Ever. My point is that you can’t necessarily control if you’re momentarily annoyed that someone accidentally spilled a drink on you or elbowed you in the face. If he’s continuing to act cold to you, though, that’s stupid. I would chat with him and say “you know that when I am clumsy, I’m not doing it on purpose, right?”, and explain to him that you don’t understand why he seems legitimately upset with you when you drop something or bump into someone. That’s such a dumb thing to be mad about for longer than 5 seconds.

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    • L February 24, 2012, 3:55 pm

      It’s so true, sometimes we simply overreact…and things just go downhill from there.

      My biggest fight with my boyfriend to this date (2 years, 8 months of dating) was over a package of Oreos. I took them from him to hide them as a joke, he got really mad. I told him they were only worth $2 and he could trust me, he told me he couldn’t trust me anymore because I stole his stupid cookies. We yelled, screamed, and (in my case) cried for 2 hours to hash things out. True story.

      We obviously got over it eventually. Moral of the story: don’t overreact over stupid things.

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    • Sarah February 24, 2012, 8:24 pm

      I tend to agree with you. I’m pretty clumsy, but my fiance is way worse than me about accidentally hurting me (“I just got a vaccine in my left arm, please be careful when you roll around in the bed as you’re falling asleep” “Wait, WHICH arm? [as he leans on it and I yelp]”). It’s really not fun when it happens on the regular, and you feel like the other person could be more careful when they are in close proximity to you. For whatever reason, after some really bad incidents, he’s gotten a lot better about it. I warn him when I’m having an issue and he has been better about remembering in time to ask me to remind him where exactly he needs to be careful. (“Shake the bad parts” and then I wave my left arm in the air. We had to do this after I stepped on a plug with my right foot and got the tetanus shot in my left arm–they were both unbelievably sore for two weeks and after the first few times he knocked into them accidentally/carelessly and I cried, we both knew we needed to step up our be-careful-with-people’s-bodies game.)

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    • SpyGlassez February 27, 2012, 3:17 am

      It isn’t exactly the same, but I have a chronic interruption problem. If I’m in a lively conversation with someone (as opposed to just listening to a lecture or something) and they say something I agree with and can support, I jump in with my agreement and support. I don’t mean to be rude; this is how conversations are held in my family. I can be holding two completely different conversations with my Mom and my Dad simultaneously. The Ginger did not grow up like that; his family has a fairly strict “no interrupting” policy. So in the first year of our dating, that caused a lot of problems. He would be telling me about something interesting, I would have a point to make, I would jump in, he would get huffy and snippy, I would get hurt, and we would fight about whether or not I was being rude. I have come a long way in learning to bite my tongue REALLY HARD to not interrupt him, and he has learned that my interruptions are not me trying to take over the convo but are my way of participating. Sometimes he will still roll his eyes or sigh huffily, because sometimes I will still interrupt, but at least we have learned to deal with each others annoyance about this.

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  • Amybelle February 24, 2012, 9:55 am

    LW2: I think this is a bit of a red flag. The boyfriend’s reaction is both rude and unkind. If he is that put out by your accidentally tripping, how is he going to react to more serious things. Think about it…do any of your friends react like this when you do something clumsy? Would you treat him like that? It worries me that you say “I don’t know how to say this to him without him thinking I’m trying to make him feel bad” HE is making YOU feel bad, also you are not responsible for his feelings. At best this guy is inconsiderate, and at worst controlling. My ex-husband started out like this, and eventually became abusive. If you truly are just naturally clumsy, you can’t change that. And if he can’t treat you kindly, and you are afraid to even ask him to do that for fear he will be upset, well it is time to trip on out of this relationship and find someone who makes you feel comfortable and cared for, even when you trip or knock something over.

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    • Tax Geek February 24, 2012, 10:17 am

      >HE is making YOU feel bad, also you are not responsible for his feelings.

      Am I missing something here? If she’s not responsible for his feelings, how is it he is making her feel bad.

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      • Amybelle February 24, 2012, 11:25 am

        Yeah, I phrased that wrong, what I meant was if you feel bad when he does this, or if she’s unhappy with how he is reacting to her clumsiness; this is why I’m not a professional writer or advice columnist.

      • Amybelle February 24, 2012, 12:26 pm

        and change the last sentence to “someone with whom you feel comfortable and cared for”

    • SweetPea February 24, 2012, 11:45 am

      I can’t really judge without knowing exactly how this guy is reacting. I do agree though that if his reaction truly is extreme… see it as a red flag and don’t ignore it. My ex screamed at me once for breaking a shitty Christmas ornament that a coworker gave him. I actually became frightened by his behavior to the point of shaking/crying. He definitely turned out to be a borderline abusive person. And to this day… when I break something, I have a terrible feeling in the pit of my stomach.

      But… the LW’s boyfriend might not be that bad. Maybe just a little rude annoyance that he needs to tone down.

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  • Renee February 24, 2012, 10:14 am

    LW1: There is a reason why we shouldn’t be absolute best friends without our parents. They expect you to share everything with them, but their expectations of who should be are unrealistic.

    As the crotchety old Catholic here, would I be sad? Yes, both on practical and spiritual reasons. You’re an adult and you have no obligation to do anything to simply make her feel good and be on good terms with your mother. If the decision to get married presents itself in the future, that’s between the two of you (and God).

    As for my children, would I live them to be saints? Sure, but I would be upset if they were just doing things to be on good terms with their Catholic mother. God can see through the BS, even if parents can’t.

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    • Addie Pray February 24, 2012, 10:17 am

      Re: LW1 – yes! I posted something similar at the same time just below. Moms who try to be “best friends” with their daughters remind me of the mom on Mean Girls played by Amy Poehler. Funny, but yulch.

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  • Addie Pray February 24, 2012, 10:16 am

    A comment LW1 said about being best friends with her mom: I am always weary Moms and Daughters who are “Best Friends.” A mother is not your friend, she’s your parent, and her job is to parent you. Your job is to learn from her and hide your sexual escapades from her. I don’t think you should be “besties” with your mom until you are both old and enjoy garage sale shopping together on Friday mornings and splitting a bottle of wine at 3 pm and talking about what silly things the grandkids and great grandkids are up to.

    Just wondering, are you guys “best friends” with your mom?

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    • MissDre February 24, 2012, 10:34 am

      I’m definitely best friends with my mom! However, she’s was still a mom in the sense that she definitely disciplined me appropriately as a kid, nor did she let me do whatever I wanted just to try to be my friend… Ask my 15 year old self how embarrassed I was when she called my friends mom to make sure there would be parents at her house party.

      My mom is my best friend in the sense that she’s the lady I love spending time with the most. We talk about almost anything, we laugh our asses off, we tease each other, we confide in each other. But no, I do not talk to her about my sex life. We still have boundaries! Also, we can’t shop together or it will end up in a fight.

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    • Eljay February 24, 2012, 10:36 am

      Oh HELL NO!! My mom has always been my mom. Never had the tiniest inclination to be her friend. That’s how I am with my daughter who will be turning 13 this year. She knows she can talk to me about anything – absolutely anything. But it will never be because she sees me as her friend. It’s because she trusts me, values my opinion and knows I’ll always be there for her.

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    • Just Max February 24, 2012, 10:54 am

      Oh hell no! as Eljay said. No way, Jose!
      I couldn’t. We have always gotten along when we are very far from each other, and when I don’t discuss my life with her. Otherwise, she’d be running my life for me. And I just can’t have another argument over the type of tableware I prefer! (Corelle, because guess what? I’m clumsy too!).

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    • mandalee February 24, 2012, 10:54 am

      I would say my mom is one of my best friends, but she’s pretty atypical. She ran away with the “bad boy” as soon as she graduated, got married, and had me a year later. Growing up, there was really nothing I could tell her that resulted in her judging me. I called her once at 16 to pick me up from a party because I was drunk and the guy I liked made out with another girl. She thanked me for calling her and told me in the morning that drinking and guys don’t mix but I probably won’t learn that lesson for years, so please just don’t drive drunk and leave my drink alone at any time.

      My mom is the mom my friends used to come to with guys/sex/etc problems. It actually annoys me sometimes, but I would die if she was the kind of mom who felt the need to judge at every twist and turn.

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      • mandalee February 24, 2012, 10:56 am

        And we don’t split wine at 3pm, my mom is much more of a mimosa followed by too much beer at a football tailgate. She can out drink me by far.

      • MissDre February 24, 2012, 11:00 am

        Yeah, I’ve never felt judged by mom either. I wouldn’t say that my friends go to my mom for advice, but pretty much every single one of my friends likes to tell me how much they love my mom, how sweet she is or how funny she is. My mom is also really respectful of my privacy, which I appreciate. I feel really lucky to have her as my best friend 🙂 But of course I’m glad to have other friends I can go to to talk about the things I don’t share with my mom.

      • mandalee February 24, 2012, 11:24 am

        Yes, I definitely am glad to have other friends that I share things with, like my sex life. As much as I love my mom and my friends feel comfortable doing so, I just don’t want to go there with my mom. Ever. I just love that she was an observer rather than trying to be the director of my life. She let me learn from my own mistakes and trusted me enough to figure it out without butting in too much and it allowed me to be closer to her, because I didn’t feel a constant flow of judgement.

      • Will.i.am February 24, 2012, 2:43 pm

        No, I’m not best friends with my Mom. She knows some stuff, but not all stuff. A parent is a parent, as the child is the child. I’ve never understood the best friends with my parents either.

      • Amy February 24, 2012, 3:02 pm

        I hope I can be that kind of a mom (if I ever have kids) – still teach lessons to my children but be understanding and not so controlling and judging. She sounds awesome!

    • bethany February 24, 2012, 10:57 am

      I love my mother more than I could ever put into words. She’s one of the most important people in my life, and there’s not a day that goes by where I don’t think about her and feel blessed to have her in my life.

      That said- NO, we are not best friends. She’s my mom, and I’m her daughter. As I’ve gotten older and can relate to her life as an adult (not just my mom) we’ve gotten way closer and share more of a friendly relationship, but she’ll always be my mom first and my friend second.

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      • Budj February 24, 2012, 11:03 am

        I’m the same way with my parents…as I get older our interactions are more socially like a friend would be I guess, but they without a doubt are my parents first as they quickly like to remind me when we disagree on things.

    • Flake February 24, 2012, 10:59 am

      My mom is definitely one of my best friends. We went through pretty difficult times together (not our relationship, but she and I), and it forced me to grow up way sooner then she would have liked.

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    • JK February 24, 2012, 11:09 am

      Since I´ve had my girls I´m definitely a lot closer with my mum, but I wouldn´t say she is my best friend. She´s usually the person I go to when I need parenting advice (because I came out so well she mustpve done something right!!!)
      But there´s no way I would talk to her about my sex life or relationship problems etc.

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    • BriarRose February 24, 2012, 11:12 am

      Nowhere close to best friends with my mom. She was and always will be my parent. In fact, it squicks me out a little bit when she complains about my dad or slightly intimate things. Just not what I’m used to.

      I imagine my daughter and I will remain pretty close as she grows up (it’s just the two of us right now) but I still am her parent and caregiver. I hope she will always feel she can come to me with her problems, as she does now, but I want her to view me as her mother first and foremost.

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    • britannia February 24, 2012, 11:23 am

      I’m definitely not best friends with my grandma, who is my mother figure. We are close and I go to her when I have something personal to talk about, but only when the subject wouldn’t rile her up. She’s Polish Catholic and I know I can’t tell her about sex, that’s for sure.

      Even my boyfriend’s mom, who I’m incredibly close to and definitely do “friend” stuff with, recoils at the very possibility of alluding to boyfriend and I’s sex life.

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      • Rangerchic February 24, 2012, 12:13 pm

        I’m good friends with my mom. There are topics we don’t discuss – like sex. I don’t want to know about her sex life (that grosses me out just typing it) and I don’t want her to know about mine.

        I also have a pretty good relationship with my daughters and hope to have the same kind of relationship when they are adults. But for now I am first and foremost their mother.

    • ChemE February 24, 2012, 1:17 pm

      Definitely not. We’ve never really gotten along, I think mostly because her and my dad divorced and I was/am a reminder of him. So I’ve always felt like I was scum of the earth to her. We never had a friendship type relationship, and every time I tried to confide in her or tell her how I felt about X, it just annoyed and pissed her off, even if it had nothing to do with her. I learned to keep my distance.
      And then when my step-dad passed away, her and my sister (they’ve always been close) pretty much pulled away from me completely. I haven’t seen my mom since the holidays, except for the text she sent on Valentine’s Day, we don’t talk much.

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    • L February 24, 2012, 4:09 pm

      As I’ve gotten older, I’ve become close friends with my mom, but by no means is she my “best” friend. My relationship with my mom is very different than my relationship with my friends, but my mom is one of the most dependable people in my life and one of my absolute favorite people in my life and I can tell her (almost) anything. And I know she will support me in literally any decision I make. This is probably because we’re VERY similar in many ways. We’ve also gotten closer in the past few months because she was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease last year. As a result I have come to appreciate her presence in my life that much more. I’ve learned not to take her for granted. She has been an amazing parent to me and I’m very very VERY lucky to have her as my mom.

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    • 6napkinburger February 27, 2012, 11:19 am

      I agree with your “best friends” point; I don’t agree with the hiding sexual escapades from her point. At the ripe old age of 27 (really 28), I now feel comfortable talking to my mom about my sex life. (Though my parents never expected/wanted us to be virgins post-college and would be aghast if I was one now.) She’s been with my dad for 38 years and knows a lot more about making relationships work than I do, and she and I share some personality traits that can be difficult for other to deal with, so she’s a pretty good resource on that front.
      And now that I’m single, I’ll tell my mom if I sleep with someone, etc. I think that that can come with time/age/perspective and the relationship. But she’s not my best friend. She’s my mom.

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  • HBomb February 24, 2012, 10:16 am

    Letter #3 completely made my day.

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  • EricaSwagger February 24, 2012, 10:18 am

    LW2 – I’m glad Wendy mentioned that there could be a problem (MS or dyspraxia ?), not to scare you though! Anyone so clumsy that they accidentally elbow their boyfriend in the face (more than once), trip over things on a regular basis, drop things… could definitely have a neurological problem. I just feel nobody’s that clumsy that consistently. Definitely go see a doctor.

    As for LW3 – I’m pretty sure either that letter was a joke or she has some sort of problem. Probably psychological. The whole thing screamed “word salad” as I read it.

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    • Eljay February 24, 2012, 10:37 am

      Exactly! I was thinking the whole time reading it “there’s no friggin way this chick is 22!” Online test to determine if she’s over him? At 22??? Holy hell.

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      • 6napkinburger February 27, 2012, 11:22 am

        Especially because it seems like she decided she liked him “yesterday.” That is just so confusing.

        I did take an online test to figure out what my house “style” preferences are: turns out I am 40% french country house; 50% nantucket beach house and 10% soho loft. Things I did not know.

  • Lindsay February 24, 2012, 10:22 am

    LW2: I do agree that he’s being rude. However, I imagine that it’s hard for him to wrap his mind around someone being that clumsy all the time (most people who claim to be clumsy just trip or break something on occasion, I feel like, not all the time), so I can see where he might think you’re not being careful and then get exasperating. (Not excusing his behavior, but understanding.) I’d say, give him a shot where you explain to him that it’s not on purpose and that he hurts your feelings, and if he can’t learn to be nice, MOA. A person you’re with should be able to accept all your quirks.

    LW3: He said he doesn’t like you. It doesn’t matter how many little signs you try to add up, if a guy says he doesn’t like you, believe him. Even if he seems like your ideal guy, I promise you will find more guys whom you like better. I’m sure I found several guys who I once thought were the best guys ever, and in fact, they were not.

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  • Addie Pray February 24, 2012, 10:31 am

    TIME OUT. You guys, I have something major to share with you that is too important to be tucked away in a forum: “Call Me, Maybe” is, like, the most amazing, catchiest, shittiest song I have ever heard – the best since, I dunno, “Party in the USA” or even older yet, “I Saw the Sign.” I just had the best workout of my life because of that song. It was so inspiring; I day dreamed of being 15 and starring in a music video… then BAM! the dreaded 30 minutes was over in the blink of an eye. Is this old news? Am I late to the “Call Me, Maybe” party? Maybe I’m the only one at this party? It’s so good. So bad it’s so good. Ok, resume.

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    • MissDre February 24, 2012, 10:37 am

      Can’t stand that song. Have to turn off the radio every time it comes on. Sorry Addie. Also, I Saw the Sign was amazing. You cannot dump amazing Ace of Base in the with the shitty music of today!

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      • Addie Pray February 24, 2012, 10:43 am

        Haha – I love shitty music so much though! I Saw the Sign *was* amazing, wasn’t it? I was wrong to lump Ace of Base in with Miley and whoever sings Call Me, Maybe. … But damn my workout to Call Me, Maybe was so good this morning. I mean, the best! I’m also generally high on life right now and am in love with everything that crosses my path.

      • MissDre February 24, 2012, 10:47 am

        That’s ok, I used to feel the same way about horrible hip hop. I would work out to Milkshake and feel like hot shit. It’s too bad Kelis turned out to be such a weirdo.

      • Iwannatalktosampson February 24, 2012, 11:30 am

        Used to? My “slow motion” pandora playlist is the only thing I listen to when I work out. Just the most inappropriate rap/r&b music ever.

    • bethany February 24, 2012, 11:08 am

      I didn’t know what that song was, so I went on itunes to listen to it… I made it about 15 seconds in… Really Addie??! I expected more from you!!


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      • Addie Pray February 24, 2012, 11:14 am

        Admittedly, I have really, really, really shitty taste when it comes to workout music. I can only admit that to you guys because I’m anonymous here. 🙂

      • Budj February 24, 2012, 11:18 am

        So it wouldn’t hurt to add Kenny Loggins – Danger Zone; Survivor – Eye of the Tiger; and Joe Esposito – You’re the Best (Around) to your playlist?

      • Addie Pray February 24, 2012, 11:28 am

        Not. At. All.

    • sarolabelle February 24, 2012, 11:11 am

      Thanks, Addie. Now I have the song in my head. The video is pretty funny. Definitely should not be compared to Ace of Base!

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    • Zepp February 24, 2012, 11:25 am

      i think the girl in the video is LW3

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      • Addie Pray February 24, 2012, 11:29 am

        Hahahaha – spot on, Zepp.

      • bagge72 February 24, 2012, 11:39 am

        What is this song!? Who sings it!? I hear that Kelly Clarkson song on the radio, and I think that would be a good workout song for a girl, not for a guy… definitely not for a guy… I wouldn’t ever think of working out to it… never I swear. BTW I’m in love with KC no matter what she looks like.

      • Addie Pray February 24, 2012, 11:44 am

        Carly Something Something sings it. (Three names – this is me not juding that.) I have no idea who she is. I just know that this song inspires me to want to asspire to be inspiring – like Britney Spears inspiring. If that makes any sense.

      • Addie Pray February 24, 2012, 11:45 am

        *judging, not juding.

      • Addie Pray February 24, 2012, 11:45 am

        *aspire, not ASSpire

        [I really suck at spelling.]

      • bagge72 February 24, 2012, 11:51 am

        yaya, it’s friday, and I know what’s on your mind, even if you did give it up for lent!

      • Addie Pray February 24, 2012, 11:57 am

        Like x 100! 😉

      • Will.i.am February 24, 2012, 3:00 pm

        It’s by Carly Rae Jepson

    • ChemE February 24, 2012, 1:27 pm

      As soon as I read the words “I Saw the Sign” I immediately had the song stuck in my head. Thanks Addie! Although I’m not sure it’s any better than this rap song I’ve had stuck in my head the past couple days.

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  • SGMcG February 24, 2012, 10:37 am

    LW#1 – I have a very conservative Roman Catholic father. He was not thrilled with the idea of me moving out of the house and to another STATE to live with my then-boyfriend, now-husband. Yet he recognized that if he wanted to continue to have a relationship with me, he had to let me live my own life and love me unconditionally. Your Mom may make a stink now, yet as long as you don’t tolerate/enable her reactions, she’ll get over it.

    LW#2 – I’m a klutz as well. Some people may have neurological/biological reasons why they’re klutzsy, and follow Wendy’s suggestion to see a doctor about that. I know my klutzsyness comes from my tendency to rush about and not pay attention – so I actively have to think about slowing down and being more aware of my surroundings. It helps at times, but I am still a klutz. Although my klutzsyness may be annoying to my husband some times (especially when it means his own injuries may occur), he also has general concern when my klutzsyness may mean potential injury to myself. He also accepts my klutzyness as a cute personality quirk of mine and part of my identity. You and your boyfriend need to communicate about your clumsyness, because there may be more bothering him, other than the occasional elbow in the eye.

    LW#3 – I knew a girl in college who was just like you over a guy she knew. She initially dismissed him as a geek and a good friend and he was acting all sorts of awkward, being his nerdy self. She read more into his actions and, in turn, reading into their relationship. They went to concerts, shared meals and walked the other to their respective classes. She obsessed over his every action and he became her ideal man and confessed her love. In turn, he delared that they were only friends. Yet the pain of his rejection was SO great to her that she started cutting and transfered to another college. I’m not saying that you’re heading down that same path LW, yet I am suggesting that it’s better to start thinking about OTHER things in life, that don’t involve him. Not every act performed should be immediately subject to a kinesic interpretation of your relationship and if you want to be over him, you have to start ACTING over him.

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    • SpaceySteph February 24, 2012, 10:56 am

      “Your Mom may make a stink now, yet as long as you don’t tolerate/enable her reactions, she’ll get over it”

      A million times this. Call her bluff, basically. She is trying to see just how much control she has. When you do move, she will see that it didn’t work and get over it.

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      • sarolabelle February 24, 2012, 1:05 pm

        SpaceySteph! Check out the Houston meetup on the forum. Let me know if you can come. I don’t want to show up by myself!

    • Renee February 24, 2012, 11:03 am


      When I see people living out unmarried or a child without marriage, I try to focus on the health of the relationship. It’s a truly healthy relationship, I focus on that path for the couple rather then shaming them or sulking with disappointment. If it is unhealthy, the relationship will dissolve naturally.

      Same thing with babies, I focus on the relationship between the mother and father. If it is healthy, I do what I can to support that path for further commitment, rather then being upset. Being upset does nothing, so I try to steer it to something more positive.

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      • SGMcG February 24, 2012, 1:04 pm

        My father’s disapproval was cultural on two levels, his faith and his ethnicity. In the Philippines, it is not unusual for the child to remain living with their parents, even after marriage – I have a cousin who’s new wife moved in with her new husband and mother-in-law. My father’s sense of disappointment was also developed from recognition that this is the guy I probably intend to marry, and I’m his little girl, he’s no longer going to be the main man I rely upon, etc. and so forth. So it’s possible that growing pains/empty nest syndrome is in effect here.

  • Leah February 24, 2012, 10:44 am

    LW1, this might sound like a stretch, but your situation sounds a lot like some of the letters/callers that Dan Savage ) sometimes gets from young gay men who come out to religious parents who then respond by shunning them or threatening to not invite them to family events. This behavior is basically emotional blackmail, intended (subconsciously or consciously) to stop the child from whatever behavior or beliefs that the parent finds objectionable. But, as you know, it doesn’t work like that! You can’t guilt trip someone into not being gay any more than your Mom can guilt trip you into believing that premarital sex is bad and you and your boyfriend are in the wrong for engaging in it!

    Dan’s advice to those callers who are facing being shunned by their family is to turn the tables. It is the parents’ behavior that unacceptable and it’s THEM who have to face the punishment of not having their child in their life if they keep it up. Tell your Mom that your life is your own and as an adult you’re allowed to live your life by a different set of values than she lives hers. And if she can’t at least pretend to be okay with this enough to be civil with you and your boyfriend, you’re going to make yourself scarce for the next four months! She’s the one that’s going to lose out if she can’t be the grown-up.

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    • caitie_didnt February 24, 2012, 12:09 pm

      I was TOTALLY going to bring up Dan Savage for LW1 and I’m so glad someone else did! She’s a 24-year old adult who will soon be living on her own, and at this point it’s none of her parents damn business what she does as long as she’s not doing it under their roof (because it is after all her parent’s house and their rules). And yeah, if her mom can’t get over the fact that her adult daughter is sexually active, than maybe the price she has to pay for that is not seeing her (adult) daughter.

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  • Pamplemousse Rose February 24, 2012, 10:50 am

    LW1 – I have brothers who paved the way but it’s different when you’re a girl. That being said my conservative Catholic mother got over it – very quickly too. You could also play the “love the sinner, hate the sin” card…

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  • BriarRose February 24, 2012, 11:04 am

    LW #1, it really is tough to have Catholic parents! I’m 32 years old and my mother can still make me feel guilty (from 2,000 miles away!) For me it was about getting an annulment after my divorce. She wanted me to, I had no desire to pretend my marriage never happened. I know that her disapproving comes from a place of love…she was raised believing these absolutes, and in her mind, my eternal soul is in danger. I get that–what mother wouldn’t be worried about that for her child? But you need to remind her (and yourself) that you’re a grown woman capable of making your own decisions. I chickened out and sent an email, told her I appreciated her love and concern for me, but that I had made my decision and made my peace with God over it. You need to do the same thing. Tell her firmly but lovingly that you appreciate her concern, but your decision has been made. You’ll be surprised-she’ll come around.

    LW #2, I am clumsly too, and was always crashing into my ex-boyfriend or accidentally hurting him somehow. I always felt terrible and was so embarrassed, and it was made even worse by the fact that he acted like I had horribly injured or maimed him. So, I feel your pain! I have no advice, sadly. I got to the point where I would just say “sorry” and sit there in silence waiting for him to stop moaning. I suppose it’s sexist, but I always just wanted to tell him to man up and stop whining!

    LW #3, it’s unfortunate that your feelings weren’t reciprocated, but sadly he doesn’t feel the same way so a relationship won’t be happening. Try not to sit around fantasizing about what will never be; you will drive yourself crazy and not move on. Everyone comes into your life for a reason, a season, or a lifetime. I think his reason is that he showed you what you want in a guy, so you can look for that in the future.

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    • SpyGlassez February 27, 2012, 3:26 am

      Much easier with a catholic mother who was a convert. Mom never batted an eyebrow when I told her The Ginger and I were moving in together. Actually, my dad (very Catholic) took it better than I thought he would, but I think he had begun to worry that at 28, I was going to just start investing in cats heavily.

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  • WatersEdge February 24, 2012, 11:12 am

    LW1- another daughter of a catholic chiming in to reassure you that your mother will get over it. My mother is totally separated from the church (didn’t feel like it suited her needs after her husband divorced her) but still showed some quiet disapproval when I moved in with my now-husband sans ring. She’s doing her due diligence to keep you out of hell or whatever. It’ll blow over. Don’t beg for forgiveness, just live your life according to your own moral code. She’ll miss you and come back soon enough.

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  • LTC039 February 24, 2012, 11:18 am

    LW1: I feel deeply sorry for your situation. It’s not so light when your own mother acts hostile towards you over her deep religious beliefs. I think that parents who put their religion over their children are serious condradictions. Unfortunately when a person is so deeply obsessed with something, they cannot see past it until reality slaps them in the face. Hopefully when you do move away, your mother will feel it & realize that you are HER child & your happiness should come before anything else.

    LW2: Tell your bf to put his big girl panties on & shut up

    LW3: I’m assuming you’re 12… It’s ok, there will be plenty of other men in your future & this one will become a faded memory.

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  • bagge72 February 24, 2012, 11:22 am

    LW1 Your mom will get over it! Just realize that you are moving in with this guy after a very short time, very far away from everyone you know, so always have an exit plan if for some reason things don’t work out.

    LW2 I had a similar problem with my SO, where I always always spill on myself when I’m out to eat, and one time I eventually had enough with the looks, and all of that junk. So I just told her how it made me feel, I may have waited to long, and been a little mean about it myslef (DONT DO IT THAT WAY), but after she got done being mad at me for being mad at her, everything has been just fine!

    LW3 I think you should slip him some of the communal wine, and give him a handy in the rectory, and then see if he likes you. If not then I’m sure there is some excellent Facebook quizzes out there that will let you know, and if that doesn’t work I heard cosmo has 100 ways to date a nerd.

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    • kerrycontrary February 24, 2012, 11:57 am

      hahahhaha a handy….

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  • SweetPea February 24, 2012, 11:27 am

    Regarding LW1- I have VERY religious parents. I sometimes feel like the black sheep of my family, as I didn’t get married and starting spitting out babies at 19. And I know that they sometimes must disapprove of me since I have “lived in sin” and don’t run around shouting “Praise Jesus!”. But, what will always be true about Mothers- they love you NO MATTER WHAT. Treat your Mom with respect, tell her you love her, and years down the road when you are married and “settled”, her current disapproval will be a distant memory. That’s all you can really do.

    Regarding LW2- On the back of my tampon box once (I kid you not) it had these “Fun Facts” (because that’s where I go for fun… tampon boxes) that at certain times of the month, it is proven that women tend to be clumsy because of hormones putting us off balance and whatnot. I always called it “the dropsies”. I have no idea if this even close to a scientific fact… but I have noticed I am much clumsier sometimes. It could be related to that. I don’t know… I’m not a scientist.

    But that’s not really the point. Your boyfriend needs to CALM down. I would definitely tell him it hurts your feelings and makes you feel self-conscious. I feel like if his reaction is bothering you enough that you are writing to Wendy, then his reaction must be extreme enough to warrant a serious conversation. He might just not realize how rude he is being. You know the phrase “don’t cry over spilled milk?” Wellll… he should take that to heart. And if he doesn’t see that err in his ways and start reacting a little more calmly… then, sorry- he’s a jerk.

    And LW 3- the only SOLID thing I can pick out of your letter is that this guy told you once that he doesn’t see you in a romantic light. Listen to him. And move on. I also recommend finding some women in your life who you look up to. How do they act when it comes to dating and relationships? Try to emulate some of their actions. I am not trying to pass judgment here, but it sounds like you may lack some experience and maturity when it comes to dating… so try to find qualities in people you know that may help you in the future. Good luck!

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  • meaghan February 24, 2012, 11:53 am

    LW2: Getting elbowed in the face hurts a lot,and the fact that it’s probably going to be a normal occurrence if he sees a future with you, you need to lay off him a bit. Also, having all your items knocked over, broken, and constant messes is totally frustrating so of course he’s not going to be joyous. If his reaction involved yelling or being totally pissed then I’d understand the concern and condensation from the comments above, but he’s not. Try to be more aware of your surroundings; are you rushing a lot? Slow down, and get checked out by a Dr in case this is pathological.

    Talk to him about how you feel with his reactions, but keep in mind his feelings too.

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    • Handy February 24, 2012, 12:50 pm

      I agree with you, Meghan. I’ve read through the feed here and am surprised at how many think the boyfriend is being out of line rude when he’s being elbowed in the face and is having someone knocking things over, etc. I have to admit, if my husband elbowed me in the face more than once…I’d be annoyed as well. It would also be annoying if one was constantly having to wipe up spills, replace broken things, pick up knocked over items and just generally have to deal with the interruption. My husband has no depth perception and has an extremely low field of vision. So, he’s a bit of a klutz…but he also works at being careful so that he’s not breaking things or physically hurting someone. Incidents happen, but they’re rare enough, and he’s apologetic so no problem.

      LW…get a medical evaluation, and work harder at being more careful. Yes, communicate with him how his annoyance makes you feel, but listen to his side of the story as well.

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      • bittergaymark February 25, 2012, 2:03 am

        Yeah, it seems that we three are in the minority on this, but all I could think when I read this was how could any guy NOT be annoyed? It sounds, um, very annoying…

  • kerrycontrary February 24, 2012, 11:55 am

    LW2- your boyfriend seems like a bit of a jerk. The way that he tells you to be more careful seems pretty condesending. Does he treat you like a child in other circumstances? Because telling me to “be more careful next time” seems like something a mom says to a twelve year old. I’m clumsy too, and I know there’s nothing medically wrong with me. I have long limbs that are on the thinner side, thus I have a higher center of gravity and am just clumsy (the weird thing is that I did ballet for 12 years and am incredibly graceful when dancing, just clumsy when walking). Anyways, I’ve had boyfriends that have treated my constant bruises and glass-dropping as an annoyance. And I’ve had others that think its just a cute/quirky part of my personality. Guess which boyfriends I like better?

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    • Fabelle February 24, 2012, 4:12 pm

      Same to everything. I’m thin and long-limbed, and tend to move really fast for no reason, so I’ll spill things constantly, knock stuff over, trip, etc. & my friends and family just kind of lovingly roll their eyes and make fun of it as a personality quirk. So when I started dating this one guy who’d give me a condescending lecture every time I did something like this (which was always a total accident!!), it really hurt. Apparently, he assumed I was just being straight-up careless?

      Anyway. He sucked in many other ways & always interpreted my actions (like, any of my actions) to be a deliberate “fuck-you” to him (when they weren’t…) so I’d say LW2’s boyfriend might have other issues.

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  • *HmC* February 24, 2012, 11:57 am

    “She used to be so happy and excited for me, but now it’s like she thinks my boyfriend, who has been nothing but sweet to her, is a horrible person and he’s just waiting to trap me in some sort of dead-end relationship where I live with him but we never get married.”

    Everyone seems to be making the mother’s concerns here just about premarital sex, and dismissing them offhand. But it seems to me that the mother is also concerned about her daughter moving in with a man before marriage, a man she only has been with 8 months and only ever long distance. Maybe I am giving the mom too much credit here because I have chosen not to co-habitate before marriage, but I don’t think her concerns are necessarily unwarranted.

    I don’t judge people for their relationship choices- they don’t affect me and I know that what works for me isn’t always right for other people. But, honestly, if this were my daughter, I certainly would voice similar concerns over her choices here. Not because I thought it was evil, but because I genuinely believe that even if you aren’t against co-habitation per say, moving in too quick can be a really terrible mistake and is something that should be taken very seriously. And you better believe that any daughter of mine that I cared about would hear my honest opinion on the matter.

    Of course, I don’t condone the mother getting extremely mad or causing a huge riff, that is immature. But… I don’t understand, did the LW not know her mother was Roman Catholic? If they were previously “best friends”, had they never discussed each other’s values? It’s very odd that the mother’s reaction seemed to come so out of the blue for the LW, and it doesn’t really add up to me.

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    • caitie_didnt February 24, 2012, 12:16 pm

      yeah, I thought about that too. It’s totally reasonable that mom might have concerns about her daughter moving far away and in with a guy she’s only been dating for 8 months, but again….daughter is an adult and mom can’t forbid her from going. The most she can do, really, is ask questions to make sure her daughter has thought it through, considered the “worst case scenario” etc. If mom immediately jumped to “that’s a terrible idea, you’re going to regret it, I don’t want you to do it” etc, then she didn’t handle it well and LW1 maybe needs to lay down the “I’m not asking you, I’m TELLING you” law.

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    • WatersEdge February 24, 2012, 12:21 pm

      This is true. I did the same thing so I’m in no place to judge, but going from long distance to living together was a big leap with growing pains. get some money in savings right away and don’t consider it a failure if you decide to live in his town but not together after you get there if it’s too big of an adjustment all at once.

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    • ReginaRey February 24, 2012, 12:25 pm

      You know, I think you might be on to something, here. I’m not saying that the LW’s mom wasn’t upset about the sex factor, because I’m such as a conservative Roman Catholic she WAS upset about that, but I wonder if her mom is using the sex thing to express her concern about the whole situation in general.

      I mean, my mom is well aware that I’m not a virgin. We don’t talk about it, but it’s just something we all know, and purposefully choose to not bring up. But, even though she doesn’t really have any issues with pre-marital sex, she’d definitely express concern over me moving in with a boyfriend I’d only been with for 8 months (and some…or all?) of those long-distance. I think, at least in part, her reaction is just that of a concerned mother, not necessarily anything else.

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      • ReginaRey February 24, 2012, 12:27 pm

        *sure, not such

    • Guy Friday February 25, 2012, 11:19 am

      I completely agree with you, *HmC*, and I definitely think that, were it someone I was close to, I’d be raising that concern too. I mean, I’m not saying I was any better (I moved in with my now-fiancee after about 10 1/2 months together), but no matter how many people chime in here and say “Well, my bf/gf and I moved in after ___ months together, and it worked fine!”, can we at least all agree that early/unprepared move-ins CAN destroy relationships? I mean, if it’s a big enough issue that Wendy felt it important enough to write a whole article listing questions you should discuss and issues you should conquer with your significant other before doing it, I think it’s a big enough issue to warrant concern on the mother’s part.

      Also, I understand that I may well be expressing an unpopular and/or slightly off-topic opinion here, but it bothers me more than a little when people characterize religious objections as “mistakes” as Wendy did in her response. I’m not trying to poke at Wendy by any means, because it’s by no means limited to her in this world, but since when are tenets of one’s faith that others disagree with somehow evil and wrong? Co-habitation and intercourse before marriage is strongly frowned upon by the Church, and I’d argue it’s one of the Church’s more central tenets; this can’t possibly be news to the LW. I’m not saying I’m a fan of random people on the street telling me I’m going to go to Hell for the choices I’ve made, but surely if anyone is allowed to express their concern for the sins someone else is committing, surely it’s a mother to a son/daughter. This LW can’t have her cake and eat it too on this point; if you aren’t strong enough to make the choice and accept the consequences of your actions — even if those consequences are your mother’s disapproval — DON’T. DO. IT.

      One other point I’m not sure anyone else has brought up: The LW seems shocked by what she perceives as her mother’s change of view about her bf, but what did she expect? When you move in with someone, aren’t you generally suggesting that you feel the relationship is serious enough to take it to that step? Isn’t that why we warn people not to move in too soon? So, with that acknowledgement of the seriousness of the relationship, why wouldn’t the mother then escalate her analysis of the bf to view him as either:
      1.) Someone who ISN’T going to continue down the path to engagement and marriage (in which case we go back to the “religious tenets” aspect)
      2.) Someone who IS going to continue down the path to engagement and marriage (in which case the parents are then concerned about the kind of future he can provide for her daughter)
      Again, we don’t seem to have an issue with parents raising concerns about a guy who expresses his intent to marry their daughter, as well we shouldn’t; parents do have a right to be concerned about things like that. We know absolutely nothing about the bf, and perhaps the LW’s mom has a good reason to be concerned about her daughter’s future with him. I just don’t think it can be reduced to something as simple as “you made a choice, she’ll come around, go live your life.” Or it can, but then the LW needs to accept that her mother may never fully approve of her choice. And, again, if that’s a major impediment for her, perhaps that says something about her readiness to make this choice.

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  • *HmC* February 24, 2012, 12:06 pm

    “I don’t know how to say this to him without him thinking I’m trying to make him feel bad, but his reaction really hurts my feelings.”

    He should feel bad, he’s acting like a jerk. He’s hurting YOUR feelings. Why are his more important than yours? Ugh, why do so many women (sorry for my sexism, but I do tend to notice that it’s women) care so much about not hurting someone’s feelings when THEY ARE HURTING YOUR FEELINGS??? Tell him “I genuinely can’t help my clumsiness, and your behavior towards me seems to indicate that you think I’m doing it on purpose or something, and that hurts my feelings.” If he reacts negatively, he’s a super jerk.

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  • AKchic_ February 24, 2012, 12:54 pm

    I’m a klutz. It appears to be hereditary because so are my kids (you’re so welcome boys). I can’t even WALK in a straight line without concentrating. Seriously, I am like a damned fly when I walk down halls. I tend to brush up against a wall, then gradually end back up in the middle, only to side back up to the wall, and if I’m not paying attention – run into it. And that’s at the office. In sneakers. Don’t ask what it’s like in a crowded mall/store.

    I’ve always been that way. Even when I was a kid and underweight and TINY. Now that I’m overweight, it’s worse. Get me and my kids all walking together and it’s a wonder we don’t all trip each other up. Sometimes, we do.

    It drives my SO nuts. We buy new dishes and within 2-3 days, at least one of the set is broken. We just bought new drinking glasses last week. One was broken within 3 days. Normally, I buy mismatched ones at a thrift store for convenience, and because I love being mismatched, but y’know, sometimes a matched set is nice to have. Now, I’m back to mismatched/uneven sets again.

    Your boyfriend will either have to learn to accept you, mishaps and all, or the both of you will have to go your separate ways. He cannot guilt you into a graceful, accident-free existence. It doesn’t work that way. Nervousness tends to make one’s accident tendencies worse.

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    • Just Max February 24, 2012, 3:02 pm

      I love my Corelle plates. Three years and not one chipped plate! Now, my drinking glasses is a whole other story! 😉

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  • bittergaymark February 24, 2012, 2:45 pm

    LW1) I also think this fight is about more than the premarital sex… Planning to move in with somebody after only eight months together seems like you are REALLY jumping the gun to me. I know, I know, when you actually move in, you will have been together for a year. I dunno. To me it seems very rushed. And if you’re moving in together because its “convenient” and you’ll save money, well, it’s even more foolhardy. Lots of my friends gay and straight have moved in together wayyyyy too fast. None of them are still together.

    LW2) I disagree with Wendy here. If you, LW, are so clumsy that your boyfriend frequently comments on it, well then maybe you SHOULD be more careful and watch what you are doing. (If this isn’t some neurological issue, mind you.) When you trip over things, are you breaking them? Say, knocking things off the coffee table, for example? I’m sorry, but if somebody repeatedly did something like this in my life, you can damn well be sure I’d call them on it. In all the years, I’ve had people over to my apartment, I don’t recall anybody tripping and knocking things over… Not even once, much less repeatedly… So, yeah. I’d find it very annoying.

    LW3) Carry plenty of aspirin and advil wherever you go if you ever have to speak at even the most modest length. Because until you learn to communicate better, you probably give everybody around you a splitting headache. I have no idea WHAT you are trying to say, and now that you’ve given me a one, no patience to even try to figure it out.

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    • Anna February 24, 2012, 3:54 pm

      A year isn’t too soon to move in together. My boyfriend and I moved in together after dating for a year. We’ve now been living together for 7 1/2 yrs and still have a great relationship. I don’t think there’s any kind of rule that you can put on every single couple for that; it depends on the couple.

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      • bittergaymark February 24, 2012, 6:07 pm

        That’s great for you that I worked out. But I think you may be the exception to the rule. Although it is possible all of my friends just made lousy choices in partners and the timing factor wasn’t the real issue, I guess. But I still think a year is too fast in most cases.

      • bittergaymark February 24, 2012, 6:07 pm

        Edie: That’s great that it worked out…

      • Theenemyofmyenemyisagrilledcheesesandwich February 24, 2012, 7:53 pm

        I agree and disagree about a year being too soon, partially because if the relationship does end, we don’t automatically need to categorize it as a failure and start ascribing blame. However if this boyfriend is someone she is serious about, then I would caution her to think about the fact that she may not have a chance to live alone once she moves in with him, and the relationship progresses to a long-term commitment. The one last year without compromises before you move in with someone for the long haul is required in my book.

      • bittergaymark February 25, 2012, 1:50 am

        Edie = Edit. Okay, I admit it. I seriously can’t type today! Sorry, everyone for my sloppiness!!!

      • MELH February 24, 2012, 8:03 pm

        Also you and your boyfriend were not long distance, right Anna? I think that makes a big difference here.

      • Anna February 27, 2012, 4:00 am

        No, our parents houses were about 20 min apart. For the first year of our relationship, we basically lived in my Jeep with beer and went home to change clothes and shower. lol

      • Anna February 27, 2012, 4:01 am

        But it sounds like the LW’s mother is just against premarital sex and cohabitation, not against this relationship for a legitimate reason.

  • Anna February 24, 2012, 4:05 pm

    LW1 – I completely understand. My parents are Baptists, and they definitely don’t approve of me living with my boyfriend or having premarital sex but I chose to live my life in the way that makes me happy, regardless of how they feel. I would suggest you do the same. Yes, it will probably result in your mother distancing herself from you but that’s part of the deal when you make adult decisions. I’ve lived with my boyfriend for 7 1/2 yrs and we only live about an hour from my parents’ house. Do you want to know how many times they have come to visit me? NEVER. I know it’s fucked up and it hurts me a little, but I have a wonderful life here with or without them so I have no regrets.

    LW2 – Your boyfriend is being an asshole, straight up. I’m not the most graceful person either, but my boyfriend doesn’t act like that about it. If he did, he would be my ex-boyfriend. He just shakes his head, laughs, and tells me I’m cute. I’m sure he’s not perfect either, so I would give him a taste of his own medicine. Next time he screws something up, give him shit about it and act like he acts towards you. Then explain that you said that to illustrate how he makes you feel and that in order for your relationship to work you both have to respect one another.

    LW3 – This guy clearly said he isn’t interested in you. MOA.

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  • katie February 24, 2012, 10:54 pm

    LW1, yes, conflict is a needed part of becoming an adult.

    i watch the doctors everyday because i work nights, and last season there was a lady on there named Dr. Wendy. since that season, i have heard more about her, and i heard her on the radio this one night, and she is actually one of the country’s foremost experts on attachment theory. she said that conflict has to happen between parents and children, or else the children will develop attachment issues, and they will never venture out, so to speak. they will never be their own person- just extentions of their parents. it was a very interesting show…

    so, yes. this is part of becoming an adult. choosing your own life path is definitely part of becoming an adult, and choosing one based on your own thoughts, desires and values is a very adult thing to do. so live your life, and as others have said, she loves you and she wont abandon you forever.

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  • Claire February 25, 2012, 2:51 am

    LW2- Dance classes might help with the clumsiness (or anything requiring you to watch yourself moving in a mirror). Your body/mind will get a better sense of self-awareness.

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  • Limepink22 February 27, 2012, 7:05 am

    Seriously, I had to comment for this first time because I can’t believe the majority of responses on LW2.

    If a guy kept elbowing his gf in the face by “Accident” we’d have dozens of posts of passive aggressive behaviour. Not trying to be snotty, but I’ve never met anyone as clumsy ( and proud of it?!) as some of you claim to be. If I got repeatedly elbowed in the face, jabbed in the eye and my possessions that may mean things to me or I paid good money for broken, I’d be pissed off as hell.

    Now, you may give someone some leeway if you -know- they have a medical condition, but if its just carelessness, rushing around, or being thoughtless, thats annoying as hell. If he did something inconvenient to her- left his wet towels on the ground- but not damaging, and she wanted to complain, people would say he needed to respect her as a person and remember to pick up his towels, even if he hadn’t mean to leave them lying around and not think about putting them away.

    I just can’t get my mind around someone whose getting elbowed in the face consistently being painted as the Bad Guy because he’s fed up of being hurt all the time. And really? Pull on his big girl panties? To whoever said that…seriously?

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    • Janie4 March 29, 2013, 2:45 pm

      I agree. I can be clumsy, so I understand that sometimes, you can’t help it. but if someone in my life were continuously crashing into me hard enough to hurt, I might start looking at it as “do they really care what they’re doing?”

      It’s a situation where I need more detail. If it’s once a week, but once a week I really get hurt, or even the clumsy person gets hurt, or something valuable breaks, I think I’d get pretty angry. It would seem to me like this person didn’t care enough about me and my stuff to try and be careful with it, or that it was always up to me to take care of their injury, when if they’d just be a little more careful it would be fine. I wouldn’t believe that they couldn’t be more careful, because they were doing it fine the rest of the week.

      Every day, she’s a spaz, but I think I would be more worried/frustrated because it’s an ongoing problem, and she’s not doing anything about it.

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