Shortcuts: “My Girlfriend’s Family is Too Touchy-Feely”

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.

I have been with my girlfriend for four years now, and we recently got engaged. I’m 19 and she’s a little older. She and her family are really close. She and her brother always play fight, tickle, hug, etc., and are always talking, using nicknames, etc. Her brother and her mum are very similar, and I have noticed them occasionally holding hands while sitting on the couch. Is this normal or do you think there is some sort of incest going on? When we leave, I give her mum a hug and a kiss on the cheek and she always turns a little and seems like she is aiming for my lips. Can you help me here at all. What should I do. — Weird Out By Girlfriend’s Close Family

Woah, that’s quite a leap from hugging and occasional hand-holding to suspecting incest! Some families are just more physically and verbally affectionate than others. If you grew up in a family that was a bit more reserved, I can understand why the difference may be a bit jarring, but what you’ve described doesn’t sound that weird and not something to be alarmed about. Continue giving hugs if you feel comfortable with that, or hold out your hand if that’s easier, and turn your cheek if you want to avoid a lip-kiss.

I met a man on the internet and we went out to a restaurant for our meet up. We talked for about two hours and had a nice connection. When we left, we kissed and I had “butterflies” and he liked it also. He told me he wanted to see me again. We emailed quite a bit over the next three weeks and talked on the phone — he even sent me poems which he had written — but I caught a cold and would not make a date with him in that time. I should tell you that I am 85 years of age and he is 62. I am a very active person, going to the fitness center and dances. He owns a horse farm and has 21 horses to take care of, which takes a lot of time.

He has been to my house four times — sex every time, which was wonderful! But the question I have for you: we have not been on a real “date.” And another thing: afterwards, he always has to jump and run! What shall I do about this situation? I am not looking for a husband, but I would like a relationship where we can go out to eat and to dance. Any suggestions? — Senior in the House

I’m confused. Did you not have a date at a restaurant the first time you met? And if you caught a cold and wouldn’t make a date with him for three weeks, when did you have sex four times? Was it OK to have sex with a cold but not go out to dinner? I think I’m missing an important part of the puzzle here, but regardless, if you like this man and want to go dancing with him, just ask him. If he’s too busy or says no and doesn’t want to do anything with you besides have sex and share poems, you have to decide whether that’s enough for you. Personally, if I were 85 and as vivacious as you sound, I wouldn’t stop at having just one man in my life. Why not have one guy for sex, one guy for dancing, and one guy who takes you out for wonderful meals?

I’ve been with my boyfriend for 11 months. We’ve had our ups and downs, on-and-off breakups, and argued and reconciled so many times. We both love each other very much and although we are both only in our 20s, I feel like we’ve been through so much already. Anyways, my mom can’t afford to live here in Hawaii anymore, so she decided to move to the mainland. At first, I had to choose whether to stay or go with my mom, but after thinking, I realized my mom needs me more, because she has health problems. But, I wonder if this really is the right decision, because my mom also has friends and family close by, and I’d be leaving a great boyfriend behind. Will we work out, do you think? I’m set on my decision to leave, but I don’t want to lose him. — Headed to the Mainland

No, I don’t think a long distance relationship based on such a rocky foundation will work out. A new relationship in your early 20s before life and love gets complicated shouldn’t be so chaotic that you’d have multiple breakups in only 11 months. Think of your move as a chance to make a clean break before things get messier.


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


  1. kerrycontrary says:

    Can I just say I love LW2. I hope I’m like that when I’m 85. She sounds awesome. I’d love to hang out with this lady and listen to her 85 years worth of stories.

    1. Avatar photo lemongrass says:

      Yes! Does anyone else plan to just go nuts when they get old? We don’t have a set age but my husband and I sometimes talk about when we get old and let ourselves go. I’m going to start smoking again and we’ll take all kinds of prescription pills and eat crap all the time.

      1. ABSOLUTELY!! My grandmother smoked and drank scotch until she passed away at 92… I’m living that dream for sure. I figure once I am old enough to collect social security I can embrace not giving a fuck 🙂

      2. lets_be_honest says:

        My grandmother is the same way. Wine every day, 2-3 packs of cigarettes a day. She’s a riot too. My other grandmother, also 85, goes to the gym for 2 hours every day. Crazy!

      3. Avatar photo GatorGirl says:

        My mom does. She wants to buy old prom dresses and garden in them. Haha.

      4. Avatar photo lemongrass says:

        That’s awesome. My main inspiration is Karen from Will & Grace.

  2. Haha, when I saw the headline, I was like “uh-oh, did my boyfriend write in?” because my family is pretty touchy-feely. LW, you have quite the imagination—badly aimed cheek kisses & hand holding doesn’t mean there’s “some sort of incest going on.” Some families are affectionate, & others aren’t.

    LW2: you do sound seriously awesome, & I agree with this advice: “if I were 85 and as vivacious as you sound, I wouldn’t stop at having just one man in my life. Why not have one guy for sex, one guy for dancing, and one guy who takes you out for wonderful meals?”

    LW3:Whoa, 11 months & this much drama already? (Yes, multiple fights, break-ups, and reconciles can be labeled accurately as “drama”). This isn’t a stable relationship—so NO, I don’t think you’ll make it long distance. Try not to mistake these extreme ups and downs for super special, intense love next time.

  3. Avatar photo GatorGirl says:

    Seriously, 11 months full of “ups and downs, on-and-off breakups, and argued and reconciled so many times”?? Like whats the point?

    1. kerrycontrary says:

      I hate the “we’ve been through so much!” I once had a friend tell me this as an excuse to stay with her BF of 8 months after he cheated on her. 8 months is not a long time. Neither is 11. Breaking up, getting back together, and fighting all the time is not “going through a lot together.” Examples of “been through so much together”: Going through major life changes, moving together, death of a close relative or friend, pregnancy, marriage, dealing with a mental or physical illness. That’s going through a lot together.

      1. Avatar photo GatorGirl says:

        Yes. Yes. And YES!!! Seriously. I don’t understand why so many people don’t get that!!

        I feel like there is some subset of the female population that has this twisted idea that a relationship full of fighting and dramatic break-ups and grand reconciliations is some how romantic or like this fairy tale story like from a movie. But it’s not. It’s a recipe for disaster and not healthy!

      2. Avatar photo lemongrass says:

        My husband says thats why he hates chick flicks. They always go through the same sequence: get together, break up, get together again and happy ending. It’s not how real life works and sadly some people don’t get that.

      3. kerrycontrary says:

        I blame Ronnie and Sam from Jersey Shore. Who show the world that verbally and physically abusive love is truly love. Oh and that fucktard Rihanna.

      4. Avatar photo GatorGirl says:

        Oh goodness Rihanna. UGH. We’ve started our own small boycott of all things Rihanna and Chris Brown. I hate hate hate the example they are setting for, well just about EVERYONE. Oh infuriating. We got into a HUGE agruement with my fiance’s entire family over them over the holidays.

      5. I think it might be because stable, happy relationships seem “boring” to some people. No fighting, just honest discussion. No break-ups, just happily sitting quietly together. No giant blow-outs, just talking maturely and logically about your concerns. Those are the best relationships though. The one where you know the other person’s there for you, no matter what. The grand gestures may be fewer and further between, but they mean a lot more when they come.

      6. SweetPeaG says:

        I think they are confusing passion for love! Very dangerous…

  4. SweetPeaG says:

    I haven’t found much reason to say “You go girl!” in many years… but, LW2… You go girl! However, I would say to ask for what you want. If you are not satisfied with a guy who comes over, has sex with you, and then runs… TELL HIM. Wendy gets so many letters with women dissatisfied by the same thing. If you aren’t happy with this casual situation, he should know that. You’ve lived enough years on this planet to know that honesty is the best policy.

    LW3- Seriously, cut your losses. I find the “make up/break up” relationships rarely work out. I’ve been there. It’s exhausting and awful. The only reason I wouldn’t move would be because you live in HAWAII! If you stay for anything, stay for that. Don’t stay for him.

    1. “If you are not satisfied with a guy who comes over, has sex with you, and then runs… TELL HIM.”

      I don’t know if I find it comforting or sad that this issue apparently has no age boundaries.

  5. LW1 reminds me of the Vogelcheck sketch on SNL 🙂

    1. Reminds me of that neighbour on Friends who Rachel dated for a couple of episodes. He and his sister ended up having a bath together, I think?

  6. LW1- some families/friends even do kiss on the mouth. And that doesn’t mean insest either! Haha- funny story- my boyfriend is from a very non-physical family, and the first or second time he met my good friends who are a huge Greek family, the dad like grabbed him all forcefully and kissed him. It was hilarious…

    Unrelated: you guys, I have to do overnight training at a panera tonight. I took a nap after work yesterday and made myself stay up until 2 am (I have not seen 2 an in MONTHS), and I still can’t sleep past 9 am this morning!! Wtf do I do?

    1. You sound like me— I can never sleep in, no matter how late I stay up. If you can, try to take a nap later right before you have to go into work? Otherwise…there’s always caffeine 🙂

      1. I’ve just trained myself to have this schedule, you know?

        Yes, caffeine is going to be a weird sort of dessert after dinner tonight…

      2. kerrycontrary says:

        I actually really enjoy a cup of coffee after dinner. I only do it rarely (usually when I’m having a fancy dinner), but it helps with digestion. And don’t forget to eat (maybe around midnight?). You’ll need the extra fuel.

      3. I love coffee after dinner when I’ve eaten out at a restaurant. But it’s not something I do often.

      4. oh, i love coffee any time of day, multiple times a day! i just love coffee… but i dont ever drink it at night so it wont interfere with my sleep schedule… i take my sleep very seriously lol, so this whole flipping my schedule in a day is going to be ridiculous!

        ive also never pulled an all-nighter. i dunno, i really value my sleep i guess lol. if i have to change my schedule, i do it in small-ish increments, making sure i still get enough sleep, ect

    2. temperance says:

      I used to do overnights at Denny’s in college (ugh). Honestly, you will be fine throughout the night and probably just crash when you get home.

  7. Avatar photo Addie Pray says:

    Only 6 commenst and it’s already close to 10:30 am CT?! I’d bet that’s because we’ve gotten spoiled by really trainwrecky short cuts. LW1, I think hugging, kissing, holding hands in family is normal. I do it. Ergo, it’s normal? I dunno, but I do do it. (Hee hee, do do). LW2, I’ll go out to eat and dance with you! You should come to Carol’s in Chicago. It’s a country bar in the city with live music and sticky floors where lots of active people of all ages come to line dance and drink and hit on each other. I love Carol’s. LW3, is there a rush to decide? Can you help your mom move and then stay behind for a trial period? You know, to see if your mom gets on well with the help of her friends and family, to see if you miss each other too much, to see if the boyfriend becomes something more?

    You guys, this morning when I brushed my teeth my spit in the sink was all brown on account of the mint chocolate cookies I ate in bed right before I feel asleep. I just *needed* to share that with someone.

  8. Avatar photo lemongrass says:

    If you are suspecting incest then you shouldn’t be engaged.

  9. Avatar photo landygirl says:

    My husband texts pictures of his rear to his brother which is something I’d never do to my siblings. To each their own.

  10. Avatar photo thewriteway says:

    LW2 sounds fabulous!! I can only hope I age as beautifully!

  11. LW1- Unless you have other reasons to think something strange is going on within your fiancé’s family, I think she’s just part of a touchy feel family. My family on both sides are very, very affectionate and over the top with hugs, kisses, etc. Maybe it’s the culture because they’re Greek and Italian, or maybe it’s just their thing. My husband thought it was awkward when we first met, but eventually he realized it’s just the way they are.

    LW2- You are my hero! I would love to be active and fun, and essentially nabbing someone twenty years_ younger? I mean, go you. Enjoy yourself!

    LW3- Drama and break-ups in the first year? Move with your mom and start fresh.

  12. LW, that says way more tame than the guy Rachel was going out with on Friends! You are looking way too much in to this! When I met my wife’s best friend’s mother the first thing I got was a kiss on the lips, and that is what she has always done since then! Some people are just like that, and that is how they grew up, relax a little and try holding someone’s hand for once!

    Question, are on and off break ups a big thing with couples who are in it for the long haul? When I met one of my coworkers fiancée she was telling me about how they met, and how long they have been together, and how they had the usual on again off again relationship where you break up for a weekend, and get back together, but with my wife that had never happened in our relationship so I thought that was really weird.

    1. Avatar photo lemongrass says:

      It’s not the norm- it’s immature. Maybe they grew out of it together? Or, maybe they don’t know how to handle conflicts and will eventually get divorced.

      1. Yeah this is how I feel, because apparently they still fight a lot!

    2. I’ve been with my boyfriend for 3 years and we’ve only ever had 2 arguments and both of them were resolved within 12 hours. Does that make us weird? And yes we have been through several major life changes together like @kerrycontrary mentioned above.

      1. I don’t think that makes you weird at all. I’ve been with my husband for almost 6 years, and we’ve only had maybe 3 fights, and they were all caused by me getting drunk and doing something stupid 🙂

      2. Avatar photo GatorGirl says:

        Oh the drunk fights. We’ve had our share of those. Probably the most ridiculous drunk fight we’ve ever had was one night after an anniversary trip to a dance club we stopped by a hot dog stand and I was pissed the sauerkraut was cold and rudely told off the hot dog stand guy. Ha, what a ridiculous fight.

        But seriously who serves cold sauerkraut??

      3. My husband is VERY low key, and NEVER yells. For some reason when I get drunk, I make it my personal mission to do push and push and push until I can get some sort of a reaction out of him… It’s really dumb, and I still haven’t figured out why I do it.
        He really doesn’t care for that, so I try to stop drinking before I turn into that crazy woman.

      4. YES. I do the same thing!! My boyfriend & I were just talking about it the other night. I get extremely belligerent when I’m drunk, but it’s only with him. It’s almost like, in my mind at the time, I want to have a banter-y, sort of sparring, conversation & I think I’m being playful, but I’m actually being an asshole. So the result is fighting! Sometimes he catches me though, & is like “You’re doing that thing again!” As long as I’m not more than 3 drinks in, I usually respond reasonably (“Oh, I am? Oops!”)

      5. lets_be_honest says:

        Fab, I think we’re so similar. Even without drinks, I can take my playful bantering too far before realizing I’m acting like an asshole. I grew up in a house where playful teasing was constant and hilarious. Luckily, my SO gets this and understands my humor, but it can get to him sometimes. At least he tells me that its bothering him before it turns into a fight.

      6. Definitely—yeah, I do think it’s partly an environment thing that shaped us, because I grew up in a house like that, also. My S/O actually used to be MORE offended when we first started dating, but now he’s (mostly) used to it, haha.

      7. Avatar photo theattack says:

        I do something very similar where I just HAVE to drunkenly talk about really serious issues in our relationship that we’ve already resolved and put behind us, and I end up kind of pushing him into arguments about those things sometimes. I’m trying to just go to sleep if I get to that point now, because it is not very considerate.

      8. Avatar photo Addie Pray says:

        FML. I’ve been with mine for – gasp, going on 5 months – and we’ve already had a lot. But, in our defense, they are all over the same thing. So can we count it as 1 fight that we are trying to decide if it’s a dealbreaker or not? FML FML FML.

      9. Addie, WHAT is the thing? You keep alluding to it without saying, & at first I didn’t want to be nosy, but now I’m getting the impression you secretly want to tell us all (right? haha)

      10. lets_be_honest says:

        I thought it was about moving in together?

      11. Avatar photo Addie Pray says:

        Oh it’s mostly just our communication styles. It’s not about moving in or not moving in or wanting kids or something specific like that. It’s just he communicates like THIS and I communicte like THAT and it’s figuring out what we really mean. … There, I answered your question! Ha.

      12. but did you break up for a weekend over it? Do you think it is something you will eventually be on the same page about?

      13. Avatar photo Addie Pray says:

        We didn’t break up for a weekend over it *but* last week when I had my meltdown I told him I thought we should break up. That only lasted 10 minutes though because we were talking about what a shame a break up would be because we have all these good things in common and then before I knew it we were having sex. So there you go. But that’s enough talk about this boyfriend. Starting now, NO MORE TALKING ABOUT MY BOYFRIEND. Because he keeps asking me what this Dear Wendy thing is all about. He is going to start coming on here I just now it. On the bus yesterday he was asking a lot of very specific questions about DW. I am going to be FUCKED when he starts DW’ing.

      14. lets_be_honest says:

        Scary. I’ve never told Peter about DW. I’ll reference a blog that I follow, but that’s it. BUT, the other day he said I hope you don’t talk about us online and I almost choked. Does he know? How could he? I mean, I guess he could know if he looked at my phone or something. Idk.

      15. Avatar photo Addie Pray says:

        My problem is I always have DW open when he uses my computer. I have to make a conscious ever to log off now so if I do leave it up at least I’m not logged in as Addie Pray. Oh my god the horror. Or I’ll be reading DW while I’m on my phone and he notices, like what happened on the bus. Or Wendy’s picture pops up on my newsfeed and he’s like “who’s that hottie” and I answer “that’s wendy of dear wendy.” I keep screwing myself here because in all of those situations I could have easily LIED.

      16. I kept referencing an advice column I follow to my boyfriend, until one day he casually asked which one, & I didn’t want to tell him, so then he was suspicious & assumed I was talking shit about him on the internet. But I mostly don’t do that! I just don’t want him reading every. little. thing. that I type.

      17. you guys are funny. jake knows all about dearwendy, and when i wrote in i even had him read what wendy wrote back to me.

      18. Avatar photo GatorGirl says:

        My fiance knows about DW and that I love it. I bring up columns with him often to get his opinions/see if my opinion is totally nuts. I won’t tell him my name on here either.

      19. Avatar photo lemongrass says:

        My husband knows I read an “advice website” and that I go on pregnancy forums. I read a lot of the pregnancy ones out loud to him because he can relate to how I’m feeling. I’m lucky in that my husband really isn’t very computer-y (he 2 finger types) and so I don’t think he would ever really know how to find this website! We do have separate accounts on my laptop because we like to leave browsers up. It’s funny, I don’t talk smack about him on here but it would I would feel like censoring myself if I knew he read it.

      20. My husband knows all about Wendy. He even knows about you guys. He calls you my “Wendy Friends”! I’m assuming he doesn’t care enough to read through all this girl chat to read what I write. I hope anyway!

      21. haha bethany, jake calls you all my I-friends, as in imaginary friends. even the ones ive met in real life! he likes to pick on me for having friends online…

      22. Avatar photo theattack says:

        Omg AP! DearWendy is NOT called DearWendy to the men in ours lives. It’s called “the website I read all the time,” or “my favorite advice column,” or “something on the internet today….”


      23. Avatar photo Addie Pray says:

        It’s impossible at this point. Which is why the new rule going forward is: no more talking about my boyfriend. Topic off limits starting….. Now!

      24. lets_be_honest says:

        All these non-fighters surprise me. We argue. I can’t imagine never having a fight! I actually think its healthy for us. I have a temper and need to get it all out before I can move on from something.

      25. Argue about what thought? I can’t even think of anything that my boyfriend and I would argue over. I’m pretty sure I’ve only ever been mad at him once in 3 years. I mean, we have really great and intense discussions about stuff we don’t always agree on, but it never turns into getting mad or an argument. Usually it turns into laughing at each other.

      26. lets_be_honest says:

        Stupid stuff that’s not worth fighting over usually. For example, if I’ve cleaned the kitchen and he makes a mess in there and leaves it. Dumb stuff. I just go from 1 to 10 quickly thanks to my temper. I always feel bad the second I calm down. We talk it over, I try to find ways to cool off before getting angry. Luckily, he’s pretty calm, but he’s argued with me over dumb crap too. Its all over within 10 minutes. My temper is something I need to always be working on though.

      27. Ah ok. Well in that regard, my boyfriend and I don’t live together yet. I think the longest we’ve spent in the same house together is a week so hopefully in the future we won’t get too annoyed at each other for household stuff. But for the most part, both of us are very laid back kind of people. If anything, I tend to feel anxiety rather than ever get mad.

      28. Avatar photo lemongrass says:

        We bicker but I wouldn’t call that fighting- maybe because my parents bicker constantly so it doesn’t bother me? Like I’ll tell him that his coffee cup doesn’t belong by the fucking door- but it doesn’t bother him, he doesn’t get offended or upset when I say things like that.

      29. lets_be_honest says:

        Yea, I’m a clean freak. I just can’t handle a mess, he knows this and is really very good about cleaning, but if I see a mess, my head starts spinning. So when I clean and he creates a mess of it, I feel like its a slap in the face. Honestly, its me overreacting 90% of the time when we fight. Its been long enough that he “gets” that about me and is very understanding. That’s not to say he doesn’t overreact sometimes too. In the end, once we’re calm, we have a very good talk about it. Wish we could just skip the fighting and go straight to the talk bc we both feel like shit when we fight.

      30. Avatar photo lemongrass says:

        Yeah, he makes it hard to fight when I snap at him and he says “you’re right, I’ll try to work on that.” Seriously, he thanked me for always putting away his laundry last night (choke me with a spoon). I would fight if I married a normal person.

      31. Arturo and I are arguers. Big fights I can remember maybe 2/3 in the 10+ years weé been together (fights that left us not talking a few days, not breaking up though),but we argue in a friendly fashion probably once a month? They just blow over in a couple of hours though.
        I need to get stuff off my chest as well, I don´t do well letting things accumulate into one huge ball of anger.

      32. lets_be_honest says:

        Yea, that sounds like me. I was starting to think I was the only one, reading about all these couples that have never yelled before!

      33. I was starting to get worried, too! My boyfriend & I have serious fights like a couple times a year, I’d say? (Serious: disagreements that continue for longer than a day, reaching impasses, stuff like that). And then we have other, regular fights that are sometimes LOUDER (haha), but not even as serious.

        Also, I actually make an effort to get my S/O to REMEMBER our fights, haha. Not because I wanna be all “Hold a grudge against me, please!” but I want him to retain whatever conclusion we came to *after* the fighting was over (does that make sense?)

      34. lets_be_honest says:

        Yea, totally. That’s what I meant about fighting being healthy. We’ve learned a lot because of our arguments and we’ve changed for the better individually because of them too. you are learning from the conclusion of the fight, and usually improving something.

      35. Avatar photo theattack says:

        Honestly, I wuold fight if I had something worth fighting about. We’ve only ever had one issue we’ve actually fought about, and even that was pretty mild. It only ever got to my stern voice, not my yelling voice.
        I guess I just don’t see the point in yelling about dishes or whatever. If he doesn’t clean up after dinner, I’ll just say something like “We really need to clean this stuff up so we don’t end up with critters.” And it’s taken care of. When I leave four cups sitting around the apartment, he simply asks me which one I’m currently drinking out of, and I get the hint to go clean the others up. It’s just not worth yelling about little things to me.
        And anything that’s a big deal, I’m more likely to cry about than yell about.

      36. lets_be_honest says:

        Its not worth yelling about messes, but its hard for me not to.

      37. Fighting is normal to me, too… Maybe that’s why I get drunk and try to get my husband to fight with me???
        I grew up with a normal level of fighting in my house. Now that I’m an adult and I see how my parents interact, it was probably more bickering than fighting, but as kid, I thought it was fighting at the time. Anyway, I could go for some raised voices and passion every now and then, but my husband is the exact opposite… So no fighting for us. We disagree about stuff every now and then, but it’s always so calm and rational. I think it’s abnormal, acutally.

      38. My husband is very laid back and I am the type A high strung one, it takes A LOT to push him to get upset with me. So our ‘fights’ are similar to yours. We disagree, but it never really gets off the ground in to a fight because our personalities are so opposite. I think some people say we never fight and aren’t including ‘disagreements’ that don’t end up in yelling as fights. But, I still count them. I don’t think I’ve ever met anyone in a relationship who at least didn’t ‘disagree’ sometimes.

      39. yea, it depends on what you constitute as a fight. like, i would just say that me and jake had a fight this morning about money, but we didnt fight. we just talked a lot. and it wasnt fun.

      40. Avatar photo lemongrass says:

        Yes, we disagree but come to our conclusions in a pretty calm way. Those are important because then your relationship grows. We just never really get upset about it, that’s what constitutes a “fight” in my mind.

      41. Avatar photo GatorGirl says:

        We “bicker” I would say, but not agrue argue. If you know what I mean.

      42. Avatar photo lemongrass says:

        I’ve been with my husband for 5 years and we’ve never really fought. We’ve disagreed lots but always had calm, rational conversations. We’ve never raised our voices at each other. I did call him an asshole once (early pregnancy hormones!) because he didn’t tip as much as I thought he should have but that blew over within an hour.

      43. Yeah I don’t think that makes you weird at all, because my wife, and I have had a couple of fights, but nothing that ever warranted a break up. We fought, then we got over it.

    3. The only time I’ve heard of the break-up/get back together thing really working is when people get together really young (like high school or early college), and realize they’re not totally ready to settle down just yet. So they break up for a little, then end up getting back together.

      My dad broke up with my mom in college for that reason- they broke up only for a few weeks, and they’ve been married almost 40 years now 🙂 I also know a few other people who did that.

      BUT- it’s usually a once a done sort of thing. Breaking up and getting back together multiple times just seems silly.

    4. Avatar photo GatorGirl says:

      I’ve been with my fiance over 5 years and we’ve broken up exactly ZERO times. We’ve had a few (maybe 3) killer fights and a one time cheating incident and we never “broke up” or took a “break”.

      Now my ex (the abusive asshole)- we broke up and got back together all the damn time. Like weekly. We even took a two month “break” so he could bang some chick during his study abroad. Goodness he sucked.

      1. Avatar photo Addie Pray says:

        Can you tell us more about the cheating incident? Did you catch him in bed? Did you discover emails an confront him and he caved? Did he volutneer the info to you? … I ask for two reasons: (1) I’m nosy, and (2) I sometimes feel that if someone cheats the relationships will NEVER work out. Either because the cheating continues or because the cheatee can never trust him again. But you’ve obviously worked out. So I’m innerested…

      2. Avatar photo lemongrass says:

        I think cheating happens in a lot of relationships/marriages and we just don’t hear about it because people who stick together don’t want to air their dirty laundry. While I don’t think that my husband will ever cheat on me, I do believe that everyone has the capacity to cheat. I couldn’t forgive an affair but if my husband got drunk and had a one night stand I probably wouldn’t leave him. I know that sounds crazy or like I don’t have any self esteem or something but it’s how I feel.

      3. lets_be_honest says:

        I think its very honest of you to admit that. I know everyone always says they will walk the second that happens and never look back, but I think its different when you’re in the situation. I’ve never been cheated on (to my knowledge) and have never cheated. Its not something I could ever do to someone, after seeing what happened to my mom when she was cheated on and I’ve always said I’d never put up with that and couldn’t trust again, but I just think its one of those things that you really don’t know how you’ll react until you’re in it. Guess this ties into the forum on dealbreakers.

      4. Avatar photo lemongrass says:

        I wouldn’t feel the same way about anyone else though, that’s the thing. Just my husband. It could be that his personality is such that he would never harm anyone on purpose, he just doesn’t have bad intentions. He’s also a really really terrible liar and would tell me right away, he could never keep a secret like that. One time I came home early and he was on our old computer which we never use, we only use our laptop really. I yelled upstairs “are you beating off?” and he yells “no, just defragging the computer!” I knew he was lying but I don’t care if he watches porn so I let it go. About 10 mins later he was apologizing for lying, he said he didn’t know why he even lied. I found it amusing but I could really tell how torn up he was inside for lying to me.

        I think if anyone was at risk of cheating in our marriage, it would be me. And I have no interest in it at all.

      5. lets_be_honest says:

        Aw, that’s pretty cute about the porn.

      6. Avatar photo lemongrass says:

        Can we make that line a mug?

      7. Avatar photo GatorGirl says:

        No catching in bed. We where long distance and it happened when he was visiting old high school friends. The girl was a known lush and long story short they hooked up in car (no sex). He told me the next time I saw him. It was devistating to me, and I really thought long and hard about ending the relationship. But some of the reasons I didn’t were -he was honest with me about the whole situation -he was truely remorseful -he took steps to avoid similar situations/change his behaviors that lead to the incident -it was only one time and it wasn’t sex -we opened up our lines of communication about everything by like a million times post incident. It probably took a solid year before I trusted him “fully” again. And when ever it comes up now he is still remorseful and in all honesty, pissed off at him self about it. (It happened about 2 years into our relationship.)

    5. kerrycontrary says:

      No it’s not normal. I’m sure it has happened to SOME couples, but I find that people like this end up getting married to each other because they don’t have the courage to go out and be single and find someone who is really right for them. I’ve been with my bf for 3 years and we’ve never broken up. Yeh we’ve had fights, but neither of us has ever left the house during a fight or threatened to break up.

    6. the only “on again off again” relationship i had was this stupidly dramatic one in high school.

      its not a normal thing.

  13. LW1: My Puerto Rican mother taught me that you don’t kiss on the lips until until you have “that kind” of relationship. When I first met my father’s family, his aunt grabbed me and laid one on my lips! It was disconcerting to say the least. But I got over it.

    LW2: I want to be you.

    LW3: WWS.

  14. bittergaymark says:

    LW1) Just because family members are affectionate with one another doesn’t mean they are sleeping together. To prove my thesis, may I suggest that you and the brother start making out just to see what happens. PS — Only do so if he is truly hot and you would be willing to send said footage to me for further analysis. Wendy knows how to get ahold of me.

    LW2) Eh, why don’t YOU ask HIM out for a nice dinner and date.

    LW3) Surviving loads upon loads of silly boyfriend/girlfriend drama doesn’t mean you are in love with anything other than drama. To the contrary it rather proves you love the drama. I get it, it’s addictive. But if your mother truly needs help, it may be time to quit cold turkey with Mr Ups and Downs.

  15. Moneypenny says:

    I love LW2!! It sounds like you’re a “grab life by the horns” type of lady, so I suggest you don’t change that when it comes to dating. If you want the dude to go dancing or take you out to a nice dinner, you should tell him so. Nothing wrong with expressing what you want! Otherwise how will he know? And, if he’s not into that, well, I’m sure you can meet someone else who is interested in the same things you are.

  16. Older and (hopefully) wiser says:

    I must be awful but I really thought letter#2 was fictional.In my experience (my mom, stepmom and all their friends), men in their 60’s are not interested in women in their 80’s. They’re lucky if they can attract men in their 80’s. I hope I’m wrong because I’d love to think that when I’m in my 80’s, I could attract younger men.But…..

    1. haha I totally thought so too, everyone seemed to believe it though, so I wasn´t going to say anything. Not necessarily for the same reason as you, but the tone seemed a bit weird to me.

    2. I thought so too, for the same reasons. Although if its real I want to be LW2 when I grow up!

    3. My thought when reading it was “this is SO fake”. Idk

  17. LW2 is not real – how many 85 year old women do you know who write to thirty-something women asking for their advice? They’ve lived it, they know more. Imagine as a thirty-something women writing to a 15-year old to ask her advice. Plus, the writing style doesn’t match up.

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