Every month we answer the things people typed into search engines like they are actual questions, adding punctuation but leaving the wording intact. If it sounds like me saying “but you could just not” 20 times in a row, that’s pretty much what happens every month with these. Enjoy?
1. “Ex will not stop calling.”
Tell them ONE TIME in a way you can document (text or email): “Please don’t contact me any more.”
Then do not respond to any communications. No matter what they say, do not answer. Some people have success by getting a new phone number but keeping the old one active for a few months. Give the new number out to people close to you (with instructions not to share it with anyone, and if your friends break that rule, they are not your friends). Put the old SIM card in a friend’s drawer and let your ex fill up your non-existent mailbox with messages that you will never, ever listen to.Tell family and friends what’s going on, and consult law enforcement if you feel like you need to. But do not answer this person’s calls.
2. “How to reject a hug.”
If you can, when they put up their arms and start toward you, put your hand out and shake their hand instead, while taking a giant step backwards.
You could also say “I’m not a hugging person but it’s been nice to meet/see you” if more clarification seems necessary. But you have nothing to apologize for. Hugs need to be invitations, not commands.
3. “What does it mean when a guy says I can’t be you(r?) love(r?) and also can’t be just friends with you.”
I would personally translate this as either someone who doesn’t want to be in a romantic relationship but wants to leave the door open to casual sex, or someone who doesn’t want to be with you romantically but knows that the relationship is too muddy and confusing to be friends at all.
So, “sleep with me, but don’t expect anything but that” or “It’s a bad idea for us to be around each other right now.” In no world does it mean “Everything is great between us, let’s do this thing!”
4. “My ex says he doesn’t care about himself so how could he care about anyone else?”
For once on this beautiful green and blue earth, I wish a person hearing these words from an ex would just say “Okay then!” and back away slowly and not sign up for the 6 more months of angsty sex and staying up all night crying that these words prophesy.
5. “A message of how to tell a guy that you are not interested in a friendly way.”
Please strive for clarity above all things. Please. Everyone. Please. “Thanks, that is very flattering/kind of you, and I think it was really cool of you to put yourself out there like that, but I’m not interested in having that kind of relationship with you.”
No “maybe someday.” No “If things were different.” No “not right now.” Please learn what a clear no sounds like in your own voice. It is seriously one of the best skills you can learn for yourself. In the moment it will suck, but you’ve just saved both of you from this hopeful crush lingering on in your blind spot for years.
6. “I said no and he said ‘it’s fine, I’ll masturbate.'”
Ewwwwwwwwwwwwww. I’m guessing that you, the Searcher, were not exactly psyched about this statement. Perhaps it’s because ‘he’ gave you Too Much Information right there. Masturbation is great, healthy, (Learning To Love Yourself is) The Greatest Love of All, etc. Telling someone who just said “no” to you that you are about to masturbate about them (near them?) is oogy.
ETA: Commenters are right, it matters if this is happening inside an ongoing relationship. If people are already sexual partners in a healthy relationship, this is a totally normal and respectful thing to say and do. I was reading this as people who are not sexually involved, one says “nope” and the other outlines their plans for the rest of the day.
7. “What causes a guy to be rude to you?”
His own jerkish whims are what. Take all the time that you would spend figuring this dude out and a) call a friend b) do something fun for yourself or c) go learn to paint or some shit. He can…maybe…have your attention again when he stops being a buttface about it. Maybe.
8. “What does it mean when a guy says ‘something just isn’t right’.”
If it’s a guy you are in a relationship of some kind with, that relationship is about to end, and he’s setting you up for that possibility so it’s not a surprise.
9. “What does it mean when a girl says she doesn’t wanna be in this relationship anymore?”
Delete her number from your phone. It’s over. You have been broken up with. Dumped. It is okay to be sad, but believe it when someone tells you this.
10. “Advice for teens on telling my parents I want to leave the Catholic Church.”
I personally failed spectacularly at this. Or, I told them, but somehow still ended up making a sham confirmation and having to go to weekly Mass until I moved out on my own, because it was clear that pretending was the price at the time.
Standard script is “I’m questioning my faith and I’d like to take some time away to think about everything.” You know what kind of parents you have, though, and I completely understand people who keep their religious doubts close to the vest until they are out of the house on their own.
11. “My husband lets his family disrespect me.”
That is a shitbird, love-killing way to behave, and I am sorry you have to deal with that. Families will do what they will do, but your husband should have your back, either on minimizing time spent with his family, backing you up when they say something rude, or creating (for example) your own holiday traditions where you’re not subjected to them. This is a YOUR HUSBAND problem more than it is a His Family problem. I hope you can work it out.
12. “My teacher crush is married with children.”
Channel that crush into doing excellent schoolwork, never speak of it to your teacher, and let it pass. It will pass! Trust me. It will pass.
13. What it means if a guy says he cant date u because u live too far.”
He doesn’t want to date you. It might be tempting to move next door to him, but, don’t. Believe the sentiment (I don’t want to date you). Try not to focus on the reason.
14. “Son’s girlfriend is enormously fat.”
And if you say one word about it to him or to her, you will be Enormously Awful.
Stop hating other people’s bodies. Stop hating your own. Just be a fucking decent person, ok? Imagine this girlfriend person as a fellow human being whom you like, or want to like, someone you don’t know very well on whom you wish to make a kind and good impression. Like, maybe a new hire where you work. Cool. Now, don’t say anything to or about her that you wouldn’t say to that theoretical person.
15.” My mom disowned me as her daughter.”
I cannot recommend the book “Will I Ever Be Good Enough?” by Dr. Karyl McBride enough. I wish you peace and every good thing.
16. “What to say when a person asks ‘why didn’t you invite me to your party?’“
People who ask why they weren’t invited to things are confirming why they don’t get invited to things. If you’re not invited to something, it’s okay to be miffed, hurt, feel left out, etc., but if you want to fix whatever relationship that is, invite the person or people to an event that you arrange rather than asking why or invitation-grubbing after the fact.
“Why didn’t you invite me to your party?” = how to get someone to never invite you to anything ever again.
“Hey, it’s been too long since I’ve seen you! Would you like to have breakfast sometime soon?” = how to let someone know that they are important to you and you want to see them.
If someone asks why they weren’t invited to something, and you want to be as kind as possible to them, change the subject as soon as possible. “Huh, no good answer to that, really. But it’s good to see you now. Read anything good lately?/How’s that hobby that you like?” Save them from themselves, basically.
17. “How do I get my husband to brush his teeth more often?”
Brush your teeth before you anticipate kissing or sexytimes, and say, bluntly, “Hey, brush your teeth, so we can make out.” Or “I want to kiss you, let’s both brush our teeth, though.” Make it about right now. Blunt, direct, in the moment is the way to go here.
It is okay to ask someone to brush their teeth, take a shower, etc. before you put your body on their body. We all have bodies. Bodies are gross sometimes. Sometimes in a long term relationship you have to be like “Baby, I’d love to, but I’m made of farts right now” or “Why do you smell like pancakes…and feet?”
The more matter of fact you are the better.
18. “Best response to a date that said no.”
No to another date?
“Sorry to hear that, but you’re so cool that I had to ask. I wish you well!”
Then back off from contacting them. Stitch your pride back together in private, pat yourself on the back for being brave, and move onto the next thing.
No to…’activities’…on the date?
Go back and look at #6. Don’t be that person. Be graceful and cool and back off from whatever it was you were doing.
19. “I love cheating on my boyfriend.”
Consider giving him the gift of “just fucking break up already” this holiday season!
20. Can men and women be just friends?