I have a close, longtime male friend who has always been extremely secretive about his sexual identity. Most of our common acquaintances assume he's gay, and whenever I've tried to broach the issue directly, he seems to sense what I want to ask in advance, changing the topic before I can even ask. I don't really care one way or the other (I'm a straight male), but more than a decade later, not knowing feels like an uncomfortable gap in our friendship, which is otherwise a good one. It's also sometimes hard to ignore what others say about him, which is mostly idle gossip. Should I just resign myself to never knowing, or would it help our friendship to push harder for him to talk about it openly?
I’m in my early 30s, have my career on track, and am looking for a man to marry and have kids with. I’m not in a rush but want to keep focused so I don’t find myself settling for less in a few years. I’m currently monogamous with a guy I really like, but he’s got a reputation as a player. I’m wondering if we’re attracted to each other because of the challenges: me domesticating him and him trying to have sex with me. I’m weighing whether to get closer or date others. My friends who have met him are split on whether he’s a keeper.
Recently, my partner broke up with me after 38 years together. I admit I screwed up in the last five years of the relationship, but I’d go back in a second. The loneliness of single living is really getting me down. Coming home to an empty apartment and eating alone is not where I imagined myself to be at age 62. How can I try to reunite? I think my ex would be up for it. It’s just a matter of how to convince her.
Q: In college, when my then-girlfriend and I started living together, she had a part-time job as massage therapist. She also occasionally received money for having sex with three of her regular clients. This bothered me, but I’ve got some friends who are in successful open relationships and at least I could rationalize that she was only doing it for money. Fast-forward a few years: We’re out of school and married but, as neither of us has a fabulous income yet, she’s still “working” with two of these guys. I know she loves me, but I’m ready to do with less money and fewer people in our relationship. She feels like doing without the extra cash put a bigger strain on our marriage than continuing something that’s been manageable for several years. This has always been an issue between us, but the longer it goes on the worse it’s getting.
He Said: Your wife has been having sex with these two other men for several years now, since before she knew you. At this point I would be surprised if she isn’t emotionally attached to one or both of them, and they to her. Breaking up with a long-term lover (or two) could encompass a lot more than simply doing without the extra cash.
How do I change up my sexual routine with my boyfriend without it sounding like a criticism? Specifically, I want him to slow down. When I say “positive” things (“I like that really slow”), he slows down for about 30 seconds, then starts up fast again. I feel like the only way to get this across to him is to yell, “Slow the hell down, dude! Are you hard of hearing?!” But, um, I’m thinking that would ruin the mood.
He Said: Any guy worth having sex with should be more attentive to his partner’s needs than his own. A motivated man can climax after a few minutes of skank sex, so there’s little need for most of us to focus on our own sexual satisfaction at the expense of the women we love.
I’ve tried forgiving my live-in boyfriend for cheating on me (during a business trip) last year. He came home and promptly confessed, and after several weeks of shock, tears, fights, and a few therapy appointments, I thought I had let it go. Of course he’s sworn it’ll never happen again. I actually believe him, but here’s the problem: Deep down I just don’t think I’ll totally get over it until I pay him back. I want to be honest with him about this, get a free pass for the next time I’m out of town, and finally be done with it. I think, at bottom, I believe in an eye for an eye. But I know that doesn’t sound very evolved or trustworthy, and I don’t want to make more drama with him. I don't just want closure. Closure with consequences is what I want.
My boyfriend is going on vacation to Belize with a girl he's known since childhood and insists there's no reason to be concerned. He says they had sex a few times in college, but decided they were better friends than lovers, and haven't had sex since. I've met her a few times, and while she's been very nice to me, the whole trip seems weird and suspect. The farthest he and I have ever traveled together is Tahoe for a weekend. Now he's jet-setting off to Central America with another woman?
He Said: Even putting aside the sex issue, I think you have a couple of valid concerns here. First, he prefers to take this trip with her rather than you. Second, although he likely knows this decision bothers you, he's going anyway. This doesn't have to be a deal breaker. I'd take it as a red flag and pack it away in the closet -- not to wave it at him in some future fight but to use it as a signal of where you two are right now as a couple. For you to have the kind of intimacy he shares with his childhood friend may take you many years, and having his sexual fidelity isn't going to bring you closer by itself. Look past this trip, and work with him to plan some future trips or other meaningful events that you two can share and build on. However, if in the future he counties to prefer his friend's company to yours for long vacations or otherwise finds reasons to connect with others rather than you, take the hint and move on.
I’m getting into a serious relationship with a single mom whose 14-year-old daughter is generally great, but she dresses like a hooker and occasionally sneaks out. When I make tentative suggestions to my girlfriend about discipline, she says I’m criticizing her parenting. I know the kid isn’t mine, but if we become a family and she falls off the rails, I’ll be helping pick up the emotional and financial pieces. How can I influence things early enough to make a difference without overstepping my boundaries?
He Said: The best way to help your girlfriend raise her teen is by acting like a committed, supportive, and trustworthy partner. You’re right: It’s tough knowing you may someday share responsibility for consequences without the authority to help prevent them. But your girlfriend is probably concerned enough about her daughter to begin with, and any criticisms you make will only add fuel to the fire. You need to first show your commitment to the two of them before your girlfriend will see you as an insider and consider taking your advice.
My girlfriend offers up the world to me—cleaning up, buying me things, doing me favors—and then withholds it all as soon as the slightest thing disappoints her, pulling the silent treatment. In our last fight, she hung up on me because she didn’t get her way about something I had no control over, and hasn’t spoken to me for several days. Usually at this point, I call her and apologize for being so selfish, and then the cycle starts again. But something is off here, because I actually don’t feel “selfish” for accepting her favors and I don’t think they mean I forfeit my right to my own boundaries. I feel like we need to change this unhealthy cycle once and for all.
Facebook is ruining my life. My boyfriend and I were fine until I figured out that his last girlfriend is a total FB whore who posts a new profile pic every week, constantly updates her overly accessible wall, and has 800 friends. It doesn’t help that she’s gorgeous. I know she’s made herself available to him again, though he declined. Dealing with that is challenging enough, but tracking her status is making me crazy. I visit her page way too often and sink into total insecurity every time. Help!