Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

“Should I Wait to Date Her Until After My European Vacation?”

I’ve been communicating with a nice woman on a dating site. I’d like to meet up with her and she’s also interested. The thing is I’m going to Europe at the end of August for three weeks and I don’t want to get into a relationship before then. The reason is that I don’t want to be thinking of anyone while I’m overseas.

What do I say to this woman if we end up going on a date and we end up clicking and she expects another date? If I keep her at arm’s length for two months, she’ll get fed up and think I’m not that interested. It sounds like I’m thinking too far ahead, but I’m going with the assumption that we may click.

Should I tell her that I don’t want to get into a relationship until I return from Europe? And should I tell her in person (on the first date)? Or should I just tell her on the dating site and not ask her out on a date at all? But then I run the risk of her losing interest in me which means the opportunity may be gone. My ideal scenario would be to start getting to know someone once I return from Europe. Can you please help? — Headed to Europe

Why are you active on a dating site if you aren’t interested in dating at the moment? You’re just looking to hook up, I guess? But you think you may “click” with this woman and may want more from her than just hooking up, but you don’t want to commit to anything until after you get back from Europe so that you can freely hook up with whomever you want while you’re away? Well, it sounds like you have no choice but to tell the woman before you meet up* that you won’t be available for dating until you get back from Europe in a couple months, OR you suck it up, give her a chance, maybe get emotionally tied down before you leave for your travels and then risk missing out on all that European hooking up.

You have to decide what’s a bigger risk for you: missing out on a potential great relationship with someone you click with or missing out on random sex with Europeans. You also have to weigh the likelihood of either of these possibilities coming to fruition. For example, if you aren’t someone who easily hooks up with a lot of women where you live, it’s not like your sex appeal is going to magically intensify just because you’re in Europe.

* You could also go out with the woman once and see whether you do, indeed, “click” and then decide how you want to proceed. But if you think there’s a good chance you won’t want to go on a second date and wind up starting something before your trip, the gentlemanly thing to do would be to spare her feelings and save her time and be upfront before you even meet.

I could really use your help. My husband’s sister is dating a really rude jerk. He has said some very offensive racist comments in the past and even mumbled things under this breath about me. I am a woman of color, and my husband is white and so is this man. I know he does not like me and says things to other people about me, so I do my best to ignore him at family events. My problem is that when he comes to my house, he and my sister-in-law ignore me. They ring the doorbell, and if I answer, they do not say hello but instead walk past me and pretend I’m not there. This past weekend I hosted a big BBQ for the family, and they just ignored me the whole time even when I spoke to them. I feel like they are being rude and disrespectful, but my husband thinks I should just get over it. I usually host Christmas as well, but I don’t think I can handle being ignored in my own house — it makes me want to go hide.

Wendy, what do I do? Do I just get over it and kill them with kindness or do I just stop hosting these events? — 

Ugh, they all sound awful, including your husband who thinks you should “just get over it” when his sister’s boyfriend makes offensive, racist comments about and to you and they both ignore you in your own home when you’re gracious enough to host. Your first priority should be getting your husband to understand how you feel, because he’s your partner, the person you share your life with, and he needs to be on your side in matters like these. I couldn’t imagine being married to someone who thought someone making racist comments about me under his breath was something I should just get over. He should be defending you! Instead, he welcomes the bigot into his home, no big deal? Hard no. You need him to understand how disrespectful and hurtful both the comments, as well as his (non)reaction to them, are.

And in the meantime, Christmas is months away, and maybe the bigot boyfriend won’t be in the picture any longer by the time it rolls around. If he is, and you feel tempted to host a get-together, you’ll have to weigh your options: have a party but exclude your SIL and her boyfriend, which will almost certainly cause more drama with your husband and his family; host a party and do your best to ignore the SIL and the bigot boyfriend (easier said than done when you’re the host and they’re your guests); or host the party and be gracious to the bigot, modeling what a class act looks like. Which scenario gives you the least anxiety?

If you do decide to host, I would hang this sign on your door, and if the bigot says anything derogatory, I would tell him that those kinds of remarks are not tolerated in your home and, if he’d like to continue making them, he’s welcome to leave. Set that clear boundary and, if it’s crossed, make the consequences known. You will probably only have to do that once before the message is received.

***************

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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.

24 comments… add one
  • avatar

    JD July 6, 2018, 2:05 pm

    That’s a lot of over thinking. You have zero idea if you’ll click with someone once you meet them. Talking online is nothing like meeting in person. Also first you say 3 week vacation then say won’t see her for two months? Which is it?

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    • avatar

      MissD July 6, 2018, 2:09 pm

      I think he means from the time he meets her (now) until he returns from vacation (end of August).

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      • avatar

        JD July 6, 2018, 2:12 pm

        Ah. That makes more sense. Well then for him I’ll say that even if you do click you aren’t exclusive after a couple dates so go out and see how it goes.

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      • Dear Wendy

        Dear Wendy July 6, 2018, 2:58 pm

        He doesn’t leave for vacation til the end of August. He’ll be back, presumably in early to mid-September.

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    MissD July 6, 2018, 2:11 pm

    Honestly, there’s nothing wrong with meeting her now. Even if you do really click, you don’t have to be exclusive and declare your love for each other before you leave. Just meet up, see if you even like each other. If you do, go out again! Just make sure she knows that you’ll be away for 3 weeks and likely won’t be checking your phone or whatever.

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    • juliecatharine

      Juliecatharine July 6, 2018, 2:28 pm

      This exactly. Plus not for nothing buddy but don’t flatter yourself. She might not want to be tied down either.

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  • avatar

    peggy July 6, 2018, 2:28 pm

    Vacation guy: I may be naive but maybe he gets easily attached and does not want to be distracted from ogling ancient churches and statues…
    I think Mr. Holiday,that if you are interested,you should ask her out for coffee and meet. Talking on line for ages gives a false impression sometimes and you can’t know until you meet whether you have chemistry etc.
    |Go for coffee say in a couple weeks,so you will be closer to your holiday. Then if you like her,tell her you will be away for a few weeks but hope to reconnect when you are back at such and such time. She will likely have met someone by then,but that is my 2 cents.
    # 2 L.W. Your husband needs to step up big time on this-totally amazing ( in not a good way) that he is giving them a pass!

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  • avatar

    SpaceySteph July 6, 2018, 2:30 pm

    Hah Wendy is spot on for LW1. You don’t want to be “tied down” to leave yourself open for all that sweet european lovemaking on a nude beach, but what are the odds, really?
    Meanwhile there’s a real, live woman here who is interested in you for something more than a vacation fling. If you are into her based on her profile and your chat so far, then go on a date with her. And then maybe another, and another. You don’t have to become exclusive before going to Europe and honestly a couple weeks is a short time to decide to become exclusive anyways so I think you’ll be fine.

    As for LW2, your SIL’s bf is a racist jerk and your husband is also a jerk. I’m kind of surprised a dude in an interracial relationship isn’t a bit more woke. Seems like he chooses keeping the peace over sticking up for you. I think this is a much bigger issue than what to do about the boyfriend. Time for a serious conversation with your husband about his white privilege and what white men can do to help POC in this country.

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    • meadowphoenix

      meadowphoenix July 9, 2018, 12:23 pm

      I’m kind of surprised a dude in an interracial relationship isn’t a bit more woke.
      I wish I was surprised but some people really do believe they don’t have to do anymore self-work, they are a certified Not-Racist(tm) because they deigned to have a relationship outside their race.

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  • CurlyQue

    CurlyQue July 6, 2018, 2:47 pm

    re LW2, while the husband should definitely be sticking up for his wife, i also want to point out the SIL. How was she before the racist boyfriend? It’s possible he’s following her lead regarding the silent treatment as you say they BOTH walked right past you without a word, and NEITHER respond to your attempt at conversations when you were hosting. Your husband can definitely have a word with his sister re her behavior in your home.

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  • Cleopatra_30

    Cleopatra_30 July 6, 2018, 3:37 pm

    You have two options LW1, either go out with her before your trip at the end of August so you can ease your mind as to whether or not it is even worth pursuing dating this woman. Unless you plan to become exclusive with her between now and the trip (which is ridiculous), there is really no risk at losing a relationship, when there isn’t one after several dates.

    Second option, wait till after your trip to date and pursue her still. You can be up front with her and tell her you have a trip planned and would like to reconnect after it. No harm, no foul. You even said that was ideal.

    However the fact you are pursuing someone prior to a trip, that you said you would prefer to do after, is really inconsistent. Figure out what you want and when before you date someone.

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  • norabb

    Norabb July 6, 2018, 4:35 pm

    Lw1 I think you’re getting ahead of yourself. You don’t know if you’ll click or not. All you know is that you like her, you are going on a relatively short vacation in a few weeks and you don’t really wanna be tied down yet.
    I think there’s no harm in seeing how a date goes and making it clear that you don’t want to be exclusive for a month or so, and she can decide if she’s okay with that.
    There’s nothing wrong with dating for longer before making a commitment with someone. Just let it be a time to get to know her without having to jump in right away. What’s the rush? If course, if she’s not interested that’s her choice and you can wish each other well and move on.
    Besides you don’t even know if she will like you enough to be in a relationship. What if SHE has a bang vacation planned! Take your foot off the gas, be honest, kind and open and see what happens

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  • avatar

    dinoceros July 6, 2018, 4:44 pm

    LW1: You know that going on a few dates doesn’t mean you’re in a relationship right? If you don’t want to meet someone before your trip, then I don’t know why you started an account.

    LW2: Your husband sounds like a jerk. Don’t invite someone to your home if they are going to treat you that way. They don’t deserve your hospitality.

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  • avatar

    Moe July 6, 2018, 5:20 pm

    For Vacation Guy: I don’t get any specific impression that you have an interest in hooking up or casual sex, but rather that you are maybe anxious about meeting this woman and the vacation is your excuse. Plenty of folks go away on vacation. It’s perfectly normal if you simply casually mention your trip in August on a first coffee date. It will give you something else to talk about if you ask HER if she has any summer plans. Let’s say you like each other. It won’t get to far, or at least it SHOULDN’T, in a matter of a few weeks, and if it does, you will be able to see her a few weeks later. It’s not like you are leaving for a few years. You haven’t even MET her yet! There is only a chance you and her will connect at ALL.

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  • avatar

    anonymousse July 6, 2018, 7:07 pm

    LW1: your vacation could be a conversation starter. “Have you traveled much? I’m going on a trip in August…”
    If you truly click with someone, you should meet with her as soon as you can.

    LW2: Your husband is the problem. He needs to have your back and be woke to this type of micro aggression. As for his racist sister and her shitty racist bf- you don’t have to have a relationship with them. You don’t have to invite them over. You don’t have to try to win them over at all anymore. Be cordial if you see them (by cordial, I mean nod and fake a momentary grin/grimace combo.)
    Your husband is the bigger issue. I think you should talk to him about this as calmly as you can. He needs to be there and be supportive of you and your feelings even if he doesn’t “see” how you’ve been slighted or hurt.

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  • avatar

    Angie July 6, 2018, 11:39 pm

    Vacation Guy: that happened to me, a guy from an app asked me to go out, then he proceeded to intend to pull me into an exclusive relationship (last feb) his words not mine, a few weeks later he told me he was traveling for one month and told me to look for someone else. He lost any chance with the first phrase. So tell her and ask her intentions…
    If you are curious the guy i went out is a pain in the ass, weird and a jerk, he was still trying to be fwb with me 2 weeks ago (june).

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  • avatar

    CSP July 7, 2018, 4:49 am

    LW1: I agree that you are getting ahead of your self. Let’s say you meet tomorrow and it is wonderful. You date for 6 weeks at most then you are gone for 3 weeks. That is no big deal. I mean, if you went out once a week, you may or may not be exclusive by then but so be it. Be up front right away about your travel plans and just keep things casual while you are getting to know each other over the next few weeks. This seems easily manageable.

    LW2: I think it is time to pull some southern bitch on this guy. And what I mean by this is you politely stand your ground. If you answer a door and walk by, you make sure you get a hug from both of them. You give eye contact and you grab both hands and force them to be rude in a bigger way. Then your husband will see it more of what you are talking about. When you hear something under his breath, say with a big shocked expression, “Oh my gosh, what did you say?” Put your hand on your heart and wait. And if he gives a lame excuse, I would say with a big smile ‘I knew I misheard you”. and maybe give his had a little squeeze. If he says something politically racist, say “Oh honey, you know I can’t sit here for that kind of talk. I guess it is time for me to start tidying up.” then get up in the middle of dinner and start doing dishes. This forces everyone to look at what just happened. Trust me, this leaves you with nothing to apologize for and will put a harsh light not them. I am also a fan of weaponizing bible verses and saying things to your Mother in Law like, “Gosh, I want to foster a good relationship with BIL, but I just don’t know what I did to offend him.”

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      Ange July 7, 2018, 5:45 pm

      Maybe it’s the Aussie in me but I could never just put myself out there for more humiliation like that. They would act right at the door or they don’t come in, none of this fake sweet stuff. Not to mention there’s no way in hell I’d consider washing dishes some kind of victory 😂

      I think considering the racist sister and her racist boyfriend I’d be wondering just how much my husband’s lack of action is the racist apple not falling too far from the racist family tree.

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      • avatar

        dinoceros July 7, 2018, 7:34 pm

        I totally agree with paragraph #2. It would be hard enough for me as a white person to be with someone who wasn’t able to see racism playing out in front of him (and by hard enough, I mean, we wouldn’t be compatible and wouldn’t keep seeing each other). I can’t imagine what it would be like to be a person of color and have my spouse not get it and tell me I should get over it. Either they are so ignorant that they can’t understand racism as a whole or they themselves are racist too. I’m curious about how he responds to race otherwise. Like if they are watching the news and a topic related to race comes up, or if they go somewhere and a stranger says/does something racist.

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        csp July 9, 2018, 9:31 am

        I agree that this is hard but the thing that is so nefarious about racism is that it can be so subtle. This guy says stuff under his breath so only she can hear it. He needs to bring himself out into the light.

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  • avatar

    Sarah July 8, 2018, 5:26 am

    LW2: Call him out on his rudeness. You don’t have to tolerate his behavior in your house. “Did you not hear me? ” etc. And feel free to kick him out. And your husband is a jerk.

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  • Dear Wendy

    Dear Wendy July 9, 2018, 12:47 pm

    From the LW:

    “Hi Wendy, Thanks so much for your response, I loved your answer and I am going to order that sticker for my door!
    Here are some updates if you want to included with your readers.
    My husbands sister always changes who she is depending on who she is dating. We have had a good relationship in the past. She has been dating this man for about 3 years now and I having a feeling he is here to stay. No one likes him but my husbands family feels that its easier to ignore the problem and just pretend to be nice and talk to him etc because they fear they will lose contact with her. I feel like this is easy for them since his comments do not target them. I have spoken to my husband about maybe saying something to his sister or her boyfriend and he feels like me asking this of him would put him in a tough place and its like making him chose between me and his family. We have been together for 12 years and race has never been an issue he gets along great with my family. I told him this weekend that him asking me to get over it is not taking my feelings into consideration and that we need a compromise of some sort. I also told him that I didn’t want to put him in a position to chose me or his family. My compromise to him was that I will attend his family events at others homes and in public places but this man is no longer welcome in our home and I will stand up for myself next time I hear him say something. I have remained silent in the past hoping that he or someone else in his family would put a stop to it because I didn’t want to cause a scene but honestly who cares about this man he dislikes me and everything I stand for so I will defend myself in the future and maybe other people can see him for who he really is a racist misogynist.
    Thanks for you advice! “

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    • Dear Wendy

      Dear Wendy July 10, 2018, 8:17 am

      I think this is a very, very fair compromise and I sincerely hope your husband steps up, shows you some respect, defend’s your honor against the bigot, and supports you — and, frankly, anyone being targeted by racism — in a way that feels appropriate. Dismantling white supremacy won’t happen unless white people allow themselves to feel some discomfort on occasion. This is a perfect example.

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  • avatar

    AC July 14, 2018, 9:13 am

    #2
    Hi there, queer POC woman here. I’ve heard and endured plenty of racism and homophobia in my day. It’s kind of part of life, unfortunately. I see a lot of comments here saying that the SIL, the boyfriend or the husband are at fault and jerks other such things. I get that you might feel that way. But the only way to get the respect you want is to demand it yourself. It’s no one else’s responsibility to defend you, each person is responsible for their own happiness and their own self worth. Deciding the blame others for not defending you squarely makes you a victim
    – don’t be the victim. If you feel disprespected, say so, if you’re offended tell them – immediately. Sure we all want people on our side but it’s our duty to fight for ourselves and no one else’s.

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