Six years!

Cupcakes with a #6 birthday candle. Photograph by Lynn Friedman, used under a creative commons license. 

Six years ago today I registered the domain and started posting.

Since then we’ve had:

  • 1202 1203 posts
  • 38,992,754 million page views from about 7.3 million visitors
  • 129,495 (approved) comments

2012’s #322 & #323 “My friend group has a case of the Creepy Dude. How do we clear that up?” was still the most-read post last year, and sadly “creepers gonna creep” was a theme in many of the other most-read posts:

  1. #823: Another Day, Another Creepy Dude Who Doesn’t Deserve Friends You wouldn’t have sex with me, so I’m going to let my dog maul you. Cool?
  2. #862: Q: “Does my boyfriend actually love me?” A: “Who knows? He treats you like crap, so time to go!” Hope he enjoys the center of the sun.
  3. #872: Dating strategies that don’t involve the phrase “breaking the touch barrier.” Bonus: recap of all dating advice for straight men
  4. #857: “I thought I made it clear that I just wanted to be friends but apparently not.” Bonus” “Leave Your Female Classmates Alone, They Just Want To Study!” rant.
  5. #842: “I have a much-older boyfriend who has seven kids. Is my situation ok?” Age is just a number, but are you sure you want this guy to be the dad to your future kids
  6. #825, #826, #827: The Art of Losing Is Actually Pretty Hard To Master  Captain Awkward: The Marie Kondo of Breakups has a nice ring to it.
  7. #830, #832, and #832: Boundaries and the power of “no!”

Your letters and the love and respect you all put into this place have changed my life in so many wonderful ways. Thank you for reading and for making this a home on the internet.

Here’s a video of fireworks:


79 thoughts on “Six years!

  1. I’m always so happy when a Captain Awkward post appears in my feedly. Hooray for 6 years!!

    p.s. That Creepy Dude letter was what brought me to the site, dealing with my own, but all that I’ve read in the time since has helped me to have such an enriching, enjoyable, mutually supportive, using-words relationship with my now-husband. Thanks!

    1. I kept seeing “Well, the site Captain Awkward has already covered this” as I read Jezebel, the Hairpin, or The Toast. Finally I thought, “Why aren’t I just reading this content-rich site, myself?”

    2. I too was brought here by the Creepy Dude letter and the Captain Awkward blog and Friends of Captain Awkward community is legitimately a large part of what I credit with making me a better human in every way.

  2. Congratulations! Happy sixth blogiversary!

    Do you have a favorite post you’ve done? Are there any letter writers you really want to hear from again to find out how it all turned out? (For me it’s the LW who had to pee in the sink because her boyf was spending every waking moment in the bathroom).

    1. Oh, yes… follow-ups! I love follow-ups, even if they’re not all unicorns and rainbows. It’s nice to hear how things panned out for them.

    2. I think the poor soul forced to wee in the sink has haunted all of us. We can only hope she will one day check back in and report that she dumped the loo-hogger. Also, that her boyfriend’s intestines haven’t literally melded with the toilet pipes by now, because sitting in there 24/7 on the can simply cannot have been good for his bum health. At the very least, he has to have a permanent toilet seat ring dent back there. (There are likely to be questions asked about it that will be difficult for him to answer.)

  3. Yay! Six years!

    I still mention this blog and your advice nearly every day to someone. And when talking to my therapist. Glad that you’re still here and still enthusiastic about this work you are doing. Thanks!

  4. Congrats and thanks for everything, Captain!

    I used some of your strategies recently to help with a family situation (avoiding a party I didn’t have the energy for, even though my family is lovely – telling them “here’s my plan! I’m so excited to see you tomorrow instead!” instead of apolo-begging for permission to not go on both days). I actually made that call in front of my sister (speaking for both of us, with her permission of course) and she did a double take and told me she was amazed by how well I’d handled making that call. It was a pretty minor thing but really helped by years of reading your column!

  5. Thank you so much for your blog. It’s been invaluable to me. I often quote you to my friends.

  6. Thank you so much, both for great strategies and writing, and for moderating your comment space so fiercely.

  7. Congratulations and Thank You So Much! I’ve learned so much and really done a lot better with my boundaries and personal life since reading your blog. I just wish I’d found it sooner!

  8. You are the absolute best. I’m glad to hear that this place brings you so much joy because it’s an invaluable resource to many of us. To another 6 more!

  9. Six years!

    That feels like such a long time for a blog that’s still going so strong and still has such a great community around it. But it also feels like no time at all! This space you’ve created and maintained has had such a significant, positive impact on my life and my approach to things. Here’s to many more years of awkwardness resolved!

  10. Happy Blogiversary, Captain Awkward! Of every place on the internet that has helped me learn to adult, this place has been the most helpful. Thank you so much.

  11. Wh00t! Though I see I’m on the wrong counter-I’ve been waiting for the 1,000th Letter while wondering what it will be.
    It’s funny to look back at posts from 2012 and there’s just a sprinkling of comments. What.

    Our Captain. Answering that digital question: “How do you thank someone, who’s taken you from crayons to perfume?”

  12. Congratulations and thank you for everything you do, Captain! I’ve learned so much about boundaries and emotional intelligence from you and the Awkward Army. I’m a better person than I was before I found this place.

  13. Happy blogiversary! May you continue on for as long as you want to! This is a wonderful space and it has added so many great turns of phrase to my vocabulary, as well as being generally enriching to my life. Congrats and thank you!

    1. Oh, incidentally, with regards to the post about the content-free interruptions, the Awkward Cat is freaking adorable, although I imagine you know that! 😀

  14. And many happy returns!
    This community has teached me so much and my life is better for it. Thank you, Captain and all Awkwardeers, for all the awesome work you do. You rock ♡

  15. I started reading Captain Awkward pretty early in the blog’s life because I was trying to figure out how to tell my friend with benefits that I was falling in love with him without risking him deciding to stop sleeping with me. I even considered writing a letter asking that very question. I never ended up writing that letter, but reader, I married him this past August.

    I’d love to say that this blog inspired me to throw caution to the wind and just tell him, but the truth is, he told me he was falling for me before I had the chance to tell him the same. Still, in the past 6 years this blog and its community have helped me grow so much emotionally and become a Words-Using, boundary respecting adult. Thanks for all you do, Captain!

  16. Congratulations on your six year blogaversary, and I hope there will be many more! Count me in as another one whose life has been made better through reading this blog. I’ve learned so much about boundaries, standing up for myself, and treating other people well. I only wish CA had been around 30 years ago!

  17. I stumbled onto the site at what turned out to be the moment I really needed it. I have learned so much here over the years about boundaries and self-care and believing in the importance of my own needs. I recommend this site to people all the time.

    So thanks, Captain, for all the hard, time consuming work you do here, dispensing the best advice on the internet.

  18. Congratulations and a heartfelt thank you from Downunder, Captain! I too wish you’d been around in my teenage years. But better late than never. I’ve learned so much from you that continues to help me. I’ve recommended you to friends, and now my kids. I hope your sage advice helps them to navigate their way to adulthood a little more gracefully than I managed.

  19. Congrats Captain!

    I could write an essay about all the ways this site and the commentariat have helped me in the past 2 years since I started reading. I won’t but I want to toss it out to all of you amazing people, CA and the Awkward Army — thank you for making this the best corner on the internet. This is the only place I will willingly (eagerly, even) read the comments. Thank you thank you thank you!

  20. I found this blog through a link to the Creepy Dude post on Feminism Wiki. I read your whole archive and it’s honestly changed my life for the better. Congratulations, and thank you so much for all your compassionate and amazing writing (and congratulations on your wedding, since I didn’t get the chance to leave a comment on that post).

  21. You have created such an amazing thing here. THANK YOU for all of the work you’ve put into this place over the years! I’ve been here since early the beginning, commenting at various points over the years (and writing in once, too!) . I had my own blog at first, but life happened, and well. It was too much to keep up with my much smaller space. Kudos to you, for keeping with it, and all the Jedi hugs if you want them!

  22. Your work and this community you’ve build have helped me so very much. Thank you! Happy 6th anniversary!!! ❤

  23. Happy 6th, and here’s hoping for at least 36 more. I found you by way of Making Light. And you’ve helped me a lot too.

  24. Congratulations, Captain!

    I’ve taken to recommending you and your excellent advice to people. Captain Awkward: making the relationship world a better place. 😀

  25. And what a helpful 6 years it’s been! So much gratitude to you!

    Sadly, today was more evidence for why the the Creepy Dude posts get so many views. I pointedly yet reservedly critiqued the content of someone’s “no way they don’t know how disturbing, hostile, and creepy these words are” in public for the second time in a year. I barely even interact with this person because I’ve distanced myself from the larger interest community in which several people have made me uncomfortable and/or angry. The not-friend-after-all-subgroups might benefit from this site, but they mostly still seem to be in the “there, there, everyone makes mistakes, you’ve had a bad year, we accept everybody, our outsider group has to stick together” mode.

    I keep speaking up, largely so other people who might be quietly uncomfortable know they’re not alone. At least I hope that so many people are not okay with the evidence of misogyny, sexism, racism, transphobia, hostility, threats, mocking, boundary-violations, general callousness, and more I’ve witnessed. I haven’t really gotten any back-up, even when I know at least a couple of other people haven’t been comfortable with the behaviors. I guess if it’s only the one tween girl who appreciated what I said in a discussion with an MRA-troll-type, then that’s one person who knows they’re not alone! And I’m extra edgy because my family is kinda the same way, so I have to keep a lot of distance, there too. Luckily, I’ve also experienced many inclusive-while-kind-and-safe friend groups, this site, and the great book recommendations that have helped me recognize the fears I’d been taught to ignore and re-claim my intuition. And provided the research to back it up! Bravo!

    1. “I keep speaking up, largely so other people who might be quietly uncomfortable know they’re not alone.”

      Thank you so much. The world needs people like you.

  26. YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY!!! *Runs and waves hands in the air*

    ‘The Marie Kondo of breakups’ is dead-on accurate. Does this relationship spark joy? No? Then thank it for its service and move it on from your life…

  27. Mazel tov!
    And thank you. I found your site a little over a year ago. Your work has been so important and helpful to me. Important but also, funny, relatable and just pleasurable to read.

  28. Congratulations! You’ve created something so valuable in this space here, and I am so grateful for the wise, solid advice I’ve read here. Like so many others, it was the Creepy Dude post that brought me here, I worked my way happily through the entire archives, and I check for new posts pretty much daily. Thank you so much for this extraordinarily kind corner of the internet!

  29. Oh Captain my Captain!
    Thankyou for all the things these last few years. Your blog helped me through the end of my then shitty marriage, past the divorce and on to bigger and better things. I look forward to reading every single one of your posts and often go through the archives just for lols or for help with current issues.

    May the bees never reside in your home.

  30. that dog letter still creeps me out. Thanks for your hard work.

    hate to do this but there’s a small typo in the list #7 has 832 twice

  31. This blog has been literally life-changing for me. I’ve become much better at asserting my boundaries and using my words, and I often find myself thinking, “What would Captain Awkward tell me to do in this situation?”

    Thank you for providing this awesome, thoughtful, respectful feminist space to hang out in on the Internet.


    It haunts me

  33. Yay! Congratulations!

    Your blog has directly helped me set boundaries with family members and identify dysfunctional nerd social dynamics. I’ve also made a lot of friends, IRL and online, on the forums and at meetups. And you introduced me to Ask A Manager (who has run 3 of my letters) and Pervocracy.

    I think my first entry to the blog was “Notes from a Boner,” which years later remains one of my favorite pieces of writing on sexism and has helped identify the faulty patterns in how I had been interacting with various boners and their owners.


  34. Thank you Captain! LW #564 here. You advised me to have my husband manage some of the tasks and stress associated with a houseguest and looming financial burden. Well, the houseguest did not arrive after all (not due to me, he just decided not to come out). But there’s more good news – reading that list made me realize, on a level where I KIND OF suspected but now REALLY KNEW, that my husband was never going to support me on that level. His favourite thing to do was find fault with me, unless I was being The Cool Wife Who Never Complains (and sometimes even then!) He expected me to achieve his dreams for him at the expense of mine, which would have included figuring out how to move him to a more exotic country while also making sure he never felt the pain of a $25K condo bill.

    I ditched him that August, and 2+ years on I’ve never been happier and more self-confident. I have a loving partner who raises me up. I have my own business. I’ve achieved so many of my dreams and proved to myself I wasn’t holding him back from his dreams like he thought – he was holding ME back.

    So thank you for everything you do here. This site has been a big part of my healing since I left and built myself up again – and was definitely part of me seeing the problem for what it was in the first place.

    1. I’m glad you’re free, that must have been a very brave and hard decision. Thanks to you (and everyone) for reading.

    2. Hi 564! I went back and re-read your letter. For me, your update was more illuminating than the original letter. I could tell you were uncomfortable with your partner’s request and that you were rightly exhausted, but the Army picked up on so many things to validate you, or shared their experiences with similiar scenarios. I’m loving your happy ending! Congratulations on being the impetus for change. While it’s you who we’re friends with, I hope everyone involved has been able to dig back into life, and your former partner adjusts his moral compass.

  35. This site was a life preserver for me when I was floundering in creepiness. I wanted to be kind, and let the person down gently, while I felt like the persistent, cluelessly unwelcome attentions were sucking me under. Actually my anniversary of coming to this blog is around Valentines Day – I wonder how many Awkwardeers share that?
    I came for advice on how to deal with someone who I feared would stalk me. After extensive archive reading, I carefully crafted a tactful but clear African Violet email, and I’ve now been free for two glorious years.
    I came for the creep-repelling tools and stayed for EVERYTHING. So many heartfelt thanks go out to you, Captain Awkward.

  36. Congratulations! A friend recommended you to me, and now I recommend you to all my friends 🙂

  37. Congratulations, Captain! I’ve been reading the blog for years now, check for new posts most days, and recommend it at every possible opportunity as the wisest place on the internet. Thank you so much for all you do.

  38. Congratulations, Captain and thank you so much for all of your time, attention, and energy over these last six years! Jedi hugs to you, if you’d like them. 🙂

    On a personal note, the community here and the advice have helped me in a number of ways, the primary one of which was realizing that I needed to leave my then partner because my house was full of Evil Bees and he was the beekeeper/Darth Vader. I know that I would not be in a good place (or worse) had I not found this blog when I did.

    So, in your own, indirect, internet way, you and the community here saved my life.

    I will never forget that kindness.

  39. Your love and respect have changed my life in wonderful ways, too. Heartfelt thank you and warm wishes!

  40. Congrats Captain! Here’s to many more years! I love this blog, check it daily and tell everyone I know to come read it.

    BTW, it was a google search for “families with boundary issues” and the advice about MIL Alice (post 247) that brought me to this site!

    Thank you so much for existing, and to all of the Awkwardeers for existing!

  41. Congratulations and huge thanks for your blog. I have Learned Much and as someone in their early 50s this has been a very encouraging thing. May you go from strength to strength.

  42. Congratulations!!! Sending you so much love and good karma Captain – and to the commentariat. You have literally changed my outlook and dare I say, my life.

    I’ve learned more here than I ever imagined I needed to learn and I’ve implemented several positive changes in my life. Specifically, I’ve learned how to become assertive (we read it all the time that we need to be ‘assertive’ – but you have showed us HOW to do so), I’ve become better at communicating to my SO about my needs and better about asking/listening about his needs, and I’m getting better at understand my ageing parents’ perspective without feeling like it’s a personal attack.

    Thank you, thank you, thank you for all that you do.

  43. Thank you to CA and the commentariat! This is a truly special space on the Internets, not quite like any other I’ve come across, and I’m continually impressed by the amount of time and effort Jennifer is willing to put in to make it happen. The perspectives and stories and insight from the entire community are interesting and valuable, and even when there are disagreements, I think we tend toward handling them well (with a major assist from CA’s moderation), for which I want to give everyone a collective congratulations.

    Reading through other people’s comments here and the updates thread, I’m inclined to think that the ripple effects have a far greater (positive!) impact than any of us will ever have any way to know, and while I think most of the credit is due to our dedicated leader, I’m very glad to be a small part of something I think is great. I know a lot of us are looking forward to some rough years, and I truly believe that a blog like this (and its associated community) can have a positive impact. Best wishes, comrades.

  44. Thank you so much for your hard work, dedication, general awesomeness, FABULOUS advice (I send friends and others here frequently, when they’re struggling with issues you have addressed), and the time you’ve put in to cultivating a truly great community.

    You’ve been a great resource for me, to my daughter, to my friends, and to the world. Congratulations on doing this for 6 years, and I’m wishing you a lifetime of happiness and good fortune — you’ve helped so many people, and I always hope for the very best for you. ❤

  45. Sorry if this double posts, there is a weird posting issue.

    Hello, I am LW #730, Social Media Surveillance and the Possibly Creepy Freelance Client (

    I gave a bit of an update in the comments thread to the letter, after I told Doug that I wasn’t able to work with him on his project, after he basically tried to get me to sign a contract to do an unspecified amount of work for an unspecified amount of money. To add, this would have been me giving all my research and work, which Doug would have put his name on as co-author on the project, so that wasn’t really great either.

    I thought that would be the end of it. But no.

    Doug did not take my polite and professional “no” well. At all. He refused to reply to my email and informed a mutual colleague (another guy) that I was Persona Non Grata and that he would never speak to me again and he encouraged this guy, Luke, to do likewise. Luke works with Doug so they see each other a lot. I’d known Luke first. Luke told me of this and said he didn’t want to take sides; I was not aware there were sides? I just said no to a project?

    About a month after this I was scheduled to speak at a conference that Doug had helped to organize and in fact had invited me, though some other people at the conference had also expressed an interest in having me participate. I should add that I was the only female speaker and one of only a handful of women at the event. Doug blanked me completely at the event, even physically turning away when I approached him, Luke and a group of other people at the reception beforehand. When I spoke to those people Doug stood there with his back to me (and them). He made it clear to several people there during the day that I was Persona Non Grata.

    My talk went well though. All the handful of women there congratulated me and a couple of the men (this stuff is gendered as hell).

    Luke spoke to me again after the conference to tell me some gossip about my sex life (I briefly had a relationship with someone at the workplace that Doug and Luke are at, two years before all this; it seems this was a topic of conversation between them?); Luke also asked me to give him some of the information I had collected on the topic I’d talked about, but this is my freelance lifeblood, so I said I couldn’t and he got huffy and won’t talk to me. No loss, I guess.

    tl;dr creepy freelance client didn’t like it when a woman said no to him.

  46. Thank you so much Captain, you’ve helped me more times than I can say – even when I haven’t been the one writing letters.

    Speaking of which, I’m LW 776/825 – <>’s friend. MEGA TWs for mental health, suicide, police, violence and manipulation ahead.

    The full story is a bit too long to go into but basically, Toby and I stopped speaking a few months after I wrote #825, and that lasted for about a month. However, I heard from his sister that he was having a huge crisis after being kicked out of <>’ home and offered to be a voice on the phone for him if he was up to talking. Basically that conversation – with him in full crisis-mode – ended up with him hitchhiking literally 500 miles over a 3-day period, staying with me for a week in the house I lived in by myself that was inadequately equipped for overnight visitors, trying to turn me against all of our mutual friends (and some of my friends that he’d never actually met), posibly hallucinating (or not) an attempted break-in, me having a nervous breakdown of my own, calling him out for – the previous year – leaving town after I’d told him I was suicidal (I attempted that day) and staying overnight with my mother of all people (without telling her that I’d been in crisis) and essentially yelling at him for leaving me to die. Not at all a healthy time.

    End of the week he tried to kill himself in my spare room while screaming at me that I would be responsible for his death while I was in the bathroom doing what people with chronic bowel conditions do in the bathroom, waddling out to try to reason with him, having the police show up when I’d requested an ambulance and them tasing him when he finally tried to stab himself with the knife he’d been brandishing. Later that day he showed up after telling the CAT team to go fuck themselves until they let him free and couldn’t stop bragging about his taser marks while appearing to ignore everything else that had happened. I asked him why he’d been shrieking that his death would be my fault and he replied with “You said the exact same thing the other day.”

    He announced that he was going to hitchhike back to the city and asked me to pack his bags for him, which I did if only to expedite his departure because by this point I was totally exhausted, and made a big sentimental show of how he would miss me etc. until he fell asleep on the couch again and upon waking was so offended that I wouldn’t let him stay another night that he told me that the entire week he’d been planning with his sister and a mutual friend to together block me on all social media and never talk to me again as soon as he’d left and that that’s what he was planning to do (according to both this was a complete lie, and we’re all still friends). Needless to say I left the room and refused to go back in until he’d left. We haven’t spoken since.

    Some PTSD surrounding that entire run of events, a lot of time and a lot of checking-in with my Team Me later, making that the ‘bridge too far’ was the best decision I’ve ever made. I stayed friends with him a lot longer than I should have and expended a lot of energy that I shouldn’t have expended – both for my sake and his – trying to keep him alive out of love for him, out of the boost to my own ego when I was in a position where I didn’t have the emotional or physical resources to help mySELF at all, and most potently out of fear of the guilt I thought I would experience if he died. His decisions are his decisions and while I miss hanging out with him dearly he’s going to trace his spiral either downwards or upwards and neither will ever be something I can take either the blame for or the credit for. He’s tried to get in touch but I’ve ignored him, and I’m still friends with both his sister and our other mutual friend (who have both, for their own reasons, taken steps to disengage) without being sucked back in to what was an incredibly toxic dynamic. I wish him well and if it comes down to it and I know he’s in immediate danger I’ll call for an ambulance for him but I won’t see him or talk to him again and that decision has enabled me to devote energy to making a lot of other positive breakthroughs in the 7 months since.

    Thanks to Captain and to all the commenters for giving me the message before I was truly able to take it myself. In any case, I miss him but I’m doing a lot better without Toby in my life and, last information I had, he was no worse than he was around the time of #825 and was still in the city housed, clothed and alive so he’s clearly doing fine without me in his life as well.

  47. Sorry I’m late, but I did want to wish you a Happy Awkwaversary! (and many moooooore!)

    Thank you for all that you do!

  48. The CA site was recommended to me by one of my oldest friends (we’ve been tight for about 25 years now) and I value her opinions, so I started with letter #1 and have read each and every post since, am now caught up, and delight when a new Awkward Post appears. The Captain gives advice that seems tailored to fit my special flavors of awkwardness specifically. The thing is, I have come to grasp (finally!) that my awkwardness isn’t all that special after all: there are a LOT of Awkwardeers out there. Also, that awkwardness is part of being human! Ergo, it is OK! Do your best, respect boundaries, insist on protecting your own boundaries, learn a little verbal jiu jitsu (the real thing might not hurt, either!), Do You (as long as you doing you doesn’t inappropriately infringe on anyone else doing their thing), learn how to deflect or ignore creepers, speak your truth, do what you can and forgive yourself for what you can’t, build a Team You, and accept that you’re OK.

    It has been very validating to read The Army’s replies and comments, also.

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