It’s time for the monthly-ish post where we answer the things that people typed into search engines as if they are questions.
1. “Captain Awkward help my boyfriend keeps trying to optimise me.
Eff that dude. He’s not your Pygmalion and you are not a project.
2. “How should you act when you see your former affair and his wife in public?”
Give him a “hey, ‘sup bro?” nod and keep on walking/don’t stop to talk to them. You’re not going to be successful at pretending you don’t know him (hence the nod), but let him be the one to scramble for explanations about how y’all know each other. If you don’t engage at all it makes it less likely that you’ll have to lie to some poor woman’s face.
3. “How do I tell my husband I’m sick of him playing games on his phone?”
In all seriousness, I think it’s a good idea to make mealtimes and certain other times gadget/screen free, and I think you can ask him outright. to do that.
4. “What to do when your boyfriend’s ex wants him back.”
Ignore the ex to the extent that you can and don’t engage with them if you can help it. In my experience, this is almost always a partner problem more than it is an ex problem, as in, the ex can want all they want, but how your partner treats you is everything.
5. “What to do when every time I go out side my neighbour tells me all her troubles.”
Awkward. Give it like, 2 minutes, and then deploy some scripts:
1) “Hey, good to see you, but I actually don’t have time to talk today.”
2) “Hey, nice to see you, but I came out here to get a bit of quiet. We can catch up another time, maybe.”
3) If you’re like me, and you always carry a book, “Hi! I’m in a really exciting part of my book and I’ve been waiting all day to read it. I’ll have to catch up with you another time, thanks.” Pull out book.
Your neighbor will likely never get the hint, so you’ll have to ask. Prepare for sighing and harrumphing. If she makes a big show of avoiding you, be magnanimous – you’ve won! If she gives you some space, once a week, maybe just hang out with her for 10 minutes and ask about her day to show her that boundaries don’t mean y’all are enemies. If she doesn’t give you space, get more terse. “When I said I wasn’t in the mood to talk, I really meant it. Good night!”
6. “All our neighbors don’t talk to us.”
Maybe your neighbors just aren’t your people*? Try finding friends and a social life elsewhere?
My other question is, do you talk to them? Could you find the friendliest-seeming person and bake them a cake or something to break the ice? Give it some time and see if it gets better.
*”Aren’t your people” *could* mean “you have unwittingly moved to a racist, homophobic, and sexist hellscape.” Sorry, that’s a real thing, and it sucks.
7. “Just because he’s my boss should he not act on his feelings about me?”
Pretty much, bosses should not try to date or seduce or romance their employees and should look to, I dunno, literally anyone else.
8. “4 dates means he must like me.”
Sadly, that’s not a guarantee, though the possibility is there. In a new dating relationship, look to the present tense. What are things like between you now? Does he demonstrate that he likes you? Do you like him? Is it easy to make plans?
9. “He’s ignoring my Facebook messages.”
Stop sending Facebook messages and see if he contacts you.
10. “How to know if a girl loves you secretly from long distance?”
Ask her? She has the universe’s sole monopoly on the information you want.
12. “What does it mean when a boy suddenly message me saying sorry to be blunt but do you like me yes or no.”
Most likely explanation: 1) The boy likes you and is trying to make it known 2) Y’all are in middle school.
You don’t have to answer right away if you need time to make up your mind. “I’m thinking about it. Why do you want to know?” is a perfectly good answer.
13. “Having trouble accepting that my adult married daughter is gay.”
The best thing you can do is to realize that she was always gay. It’s a fact, not something that needs your acceptance in order to be true, but if you want to keep having a relationship with her you need to do the work. Please be a good person about this, educate yourself, tell your daughter you love her, and don’t make her sexuality an issue between the two of you.
14. “A guy told me my messages creep him out what does that mean.”
Bluntly: Stop sending that guy messages. He doesn’t like them.
15. “Comebacks for people gaslighting you.”
In my estimation, no one is topping this lady who figured out her boyfriend was gaslighting her and then made him watch Gaslight. My heroine.
The key with gaslighters is not comebacks, it’s to get yourself out of proximity to them and in proximity to good people who treat you well.
16. “My boyfriend wants to move in together but I don’t.”
Listen to and believe that voice that is telling you that you don’t want to live with him. Maybe it’s that you don’t want to live with him yet, maybe it’s that you don’t want to live with him ever, maybe there is a fixable problem that you can work on together, and maybe it’s not fixable. Whatever it is, sit with it quietly, write about it, talk to trusted people about it, talk to your boyfriend about it, but don’t discount it.
17. “He’s mean to me, rude to me and doesn’t care about my feelings. What does it mean?”
It means: Get this dude out of your life forever.