Assuming Hot Water

Posted on | August 23, 2015 | Comments Off

Dear Short Answers:
My girlfriend has refused to move in with me because I don’t have a bath tub in my apartment, only a shower.  Is that normal behavior for a girl or just a lame excuse not to move in with me?

Dear Tubless:
While we believe in the therapeutic value of a good long soak for whatever ails you, it does sound like a lame excuse.

The “D” Word

Posted on | August 23, 2015 | Comments Off

Dear Short Answers:
My girlfriend decided to get a nose ring and it completely grosses me out.  Every time I look at it, I think she’s got a bugger sticking out of her nose.  And I almost say “you’ve got a bugger sticking out of your nose” before I remember what it is.  Would it be wrong for me to ask her to remove the nose ring when we are together?  I don’t mind piercings in general but this one is disgusting.

Dear Don:
The way you say it is “mission critical.” Start with something like “you have the cutest nose I’ve ever seen…” and state your preference for her’s unadorned. But then it’s over. Say it once as nicely as you can and then live with the outcome.

Looking for Trouble?

Posted on | August 23, 2015 | Comments Off

Dear Short Answers:
If your wife refuses to have sex with you any more because she wants to be celibate, is it okay to have sex with other women?  (I am hoping you say yes.)
Fingers crossed

Dear FC:
This is a question for your wife.  If you don’t get the desired response, then return to the celibacy discussion.  These things really should be mutual — or negotiated.

Talk Now or Cry Later

Posted on | August 23, 2015 | Comments Off

Dear Short Answers:
My girlfriend (we live 2,000 miles apart, but rendezvous occasionally on vacation) recently threw a big birthday party for her husband and invited seven other couples.  I didn’t think much about not being invited, since I’m single and would have had to travel.  However, she invited couples who had to travel even farther than I.  And then she confided to me how relieved she was that she was able to honor her boundaries and NOT invite certain people.  Now I’m wondering if she felt relieved about not inviting me, too.  Is it good manners — and good friendship — to share party planning and party success stories with a friend whom you’re not inviting to the party?  Or should I be just glad that she shared planning this big event with me via email?

Dear Wondering:
We’ve had this experience and regret not discussing it immediately.  In our case, NOT discussing it led to a teary outburst many months later.  Tell her that, after the fact, you had mixed feelings about not being included and you want to talk about it.

Bias Toward Clean

Posted on | August 15, 2015 | Comments Off

Dear Short Answers:
I am completely in love with my fiance except for one little thing.  He is a total slob.  He never makes his bed, he never washes dishes.  I don’t think he even knows what a vacuum cleaner is.  He’s one of those guys who piles his dirty laundry in a corner then tries to find the cleanest pair of underwear by smelling it.  I don’t have the fantasy that I can change him overnight but I do hope that I can teach him the value of cleanliness little by little.  I also fear that I will soon tire of picking up after him like a child and I don’t want to turn into a nagging wife.  Do you think there is hope for a neat freak and a slob to live happily ever after?
Thinning Patience

Dear Patience:
We know that guy! A complete change seems pretty unlikely. Nagging is not the answer. Try  containment or some “corrective” theater. If possible, designate a man cave area where he can pile his stuff and you can close the door.  If that is not possible, then a large paper carton might do.  Cleaning help for public areas may help your anger and illustrate the ‘cost’ of cleanliness. Happily ever after? Like many other issues, the key is mutual respect

Sexual Politics

Posted on | August 14, 2015 | Comments Off

Dear Short Answers:
My wife and several of her friends have joined a group that has decided not to have sex with men until women achieve complete equal rights.  Do you think this is real?  Or just an excuse not to have sex with me?
Hurting Hubby

Dear HH:
How will your wife and friends determine when “complete equal rights” have been achieved? Since day one sex has been a powerful tool for manipulation — ask her what’s REALLY on her mind.

Food Nazi

Posted on | August 14, 2015 | Comments Off

Dear Short Answers:
Last weekend I had house guests whom I have known for a long time. What they neglected to tell me is that they have become serious vegans and only eat organic, local produce if possible.  Luckily (???) they brought their own food with them but it was a constant source of embarrassment over the weekend.  They completely ruined my first night dinner party because they wouldn’t eat a thing and every meal became a lecture on the evils of processed food.  I will never invite them again but don’t you think that guests should keep their feelings about food to themselves and make a good faith effort to eat what the host offers?  If they can’t do that shouldn’t they stay in  hotel?

Dear Offended:
People with such rigid dietary requirements probably should not be house guests (unless they are your kids, which is another story).  But certainly, they should keep their views to themselves unless asked by those who are sincerely interested. As for you, fragile flower, why did you permit them to “ruin” your party? Surely you might have said “eat or don’t eat but please don’t judge or proselytize at table.”

Manage your Expectations

Posted on | August 14, 2015 | Comments Off

Dear Short Answers:
A woman at work recently got a new job in London and sent a note telling everybody in the office that we would be welcome to come visit her anytime.  I didn’t really know her very well but I would love to go to London since I’ve never been to Europe.  Do you think she was being sincere about the offer or was she just being polite?

Dear Sam:
We would assume that her offer is sincere but we would NOT assume that she intends to host you in her home nor would she be available for more than a single dinner and a guide book.

Mutual Consent

Posted on | August 9, 2015 | Comments Off

Dear Short Answers:
Is it possible to be friends with a girl you thought was just a one-night stand?

Dear Dan:
It depends on what she thought.

No Good Deed Goes Unpunished

Posted on | August 2, 2015 | Comments Off

Dear Short Answers:
There is a 14-year old girl in our neighborhood who has recently starting baby sitting for us.  In talking to her and her parents, I found out that neither she nor her parents have a computer at home and that she has to use the public computers at school and at the library.  Her parents claim that they don’t want their daughter tied to a computer all day and they think that books are all the educational tools you need.  I completely disagree and I think that the lack of a computer is a huge detriment to this poor girl’s education.  Would it be wrong for me to buy her a computer as a gift for baby sitting?  I really think that her parents are doing her a disservice and if I ask them about a computer they will say “no.”  But I don’t think they will make her give it back if I buy it.  What do you think?
21st Century Citizen

Dear 21:
Provide her with use of a computer when she is at your home and leave it at that for now.  Her parents are her parents and that status allows them to make these decisions whether you agree or not.

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