It’s time to answer the questions people typed into their search engine as if they really asked them.
1. “How to make him want to start a family.”
There’s no making anybody want anything. Do you want to start a family? Then tell “him” what you want and ask him what he wants. “I know I want to have children, and I’m feeling ready to get started doing that. What do you think? What kind of timeline makes sense for us?”
If he wants to have children, too, you’ll find out and you can get started. If he doesn’t want children at all, or if his answer is a perpetual “someday,” well, you’ll know that too and can make some decisions about how to move forward. If this is the right person to start a family with, ask him. Speak your heart’s desire.
2. “How to be uninhibited during orgasm without disturbing the neighbours?”
If you live really close to other people you’re all gonna hear stuff sometimes. Earplugs, white noise machines, headphones, carpets, and heavy curtains are your friends. Part of living communally is learning to tune some things out and deal with a little background noise. Your neighbors will survive hearing you Do It every now and then as you survive the odd loud party or bit of toddler parkour. Still, to be maximally considerate:
- Be generally aware of school nights/workweek nights and keep it quiet when you know it will likely keep someone awake or awaken them too early. (Try kissing when you feel a yell about to come out).
- Use music or white noise machines. I knew my former upstairs neighbors were having sex the second Wicked Game came on (every time…every single time) but I appreciated the muffling attempt and the plausible deniability, and no doubt they appreciated the sonic smokescreen that let them have maximum fun!
- Sound-proof your space. A rug on the floor. Heavy curtains over the windows and sometimes around the walls. Cover or block the nooks and crannies through which voices carry.
- Done some soundproofing? Have a good time.
3. “Girl at work hardly ever speaks.”
4. “Not ready for a relationship right now after a bad break-up.”
It’s totally fine to need some time after a breakup to fall back in love with yourself and the world.
If someone is telling you this, believe them.
If someone is telling you this and sleeping with you/doing other relationshippy-sort-of-stuff with you thats full of mixed signals, also definitely believe them. If people really want to be in a relationship with you they are capable of making many, many adjustments in their lives to do so, and it’s okay to say, “I hear you, call me if that changes!” and walk away from their sexy-and-confused selves.
5. “My ex says she doesn’t want a relationship.”
Then you don’t have a relationship. It really is that simple.
6. “What does it mean when someone says they don’t have time for a relationship.”
It means they are choosing not to pursue a relationship (with you), very likely due to having too much other stuff going on. Always reframe statements like this as a choice. It will set you free.
7. “Should I tell my mom my dad hit me?”
Generally, yes, I think you should, but if what’s stopping you from telling her is an instinct that says “If I tell her I will be even less safe than I already am” then use your own judgment about that.
If your mom isn’t the right person to start with, please tell somebody. I don’t know how old you are, anonymous internet searcher, but a school counselor or other adult you trust can be a good place to start. Also, here’s the National Domestic Violence Hotline number in the USA if you need to talk to someone anonymously at first. If you’re not in the USA, get on a computer your folks don’t have access to or open an incognito browser window and search for “domestic violence hotline” and your location.
8. “When a guy asks if you’re mad at him.”
Are you mad at him?
Were you even paying enough attention to be mad at him?
If you aren’t mad, and you weren’t really even paying attention, try “No, should I be?” if he asks you about it again?
9. “How best to deal with someone you care about but they are mean to you?”
Tell them to knock off the mean behavior, and avoid them until/unless they do.
10. “How to dump a guy you kissed once.”
A kiss is not a contract, so, try some version of: “I’ve enjoyed getting to know you but I don’t want to be romantically involved with you. So sorry, I wish you all the best, goodbye.”
11. “What’s the meaning of ‘no thanks but nice to meet you’?”
One possible translation: “Thanks for hanging out/coming on this internet date today, I appreciate the effort that you took to wear a clean shirt and make small talk with a stranger, you seem nice enough, but we won’t be doing that again. Have a great life!”
12. “How to deal with your Catholic parents who are insisting that you have your child baptized Catholic and you don’t want to do that.”
“You got to choose this for your children, I get to choose for mine. Let’s find a new topic, please, or I’m going to have to hang up the phone/Grandbaby and I are gonna have to wrap up this visit for the day.”
Be alert to the possibility they might take your child to be baptized anyway behind your back since apparently that’s a thing people do.
13. “How can I tell my boyfriend he smells like urine when I go down on him sometimes.”
Awkward Sex Rule: If you’re close enough to someone that you sometimes put your mouth on their parts, you’re close enough to say “Babe, let’s pick this up after a shower” or to go “hands only” if you don’t want to interrupt the action right then and/or to let him know at another time”Hey can you take special care to clean up down there before we get it on? It takes me out of the moment if things are funky.”
14. “Write a letter to your friend with whom you had a quarrel, giving three reasons why you and him should resume your friendship.”
Maybe try this:
“Friend, I’m really sorry for [specific thing that led to quarrel and us not being friends anymore, WITHOUT making excuses or trying to justify it or explain further, ONLY apologizing]. I really miss our friendship and I hope we can talk again soon when you’re ready.”
Send it out there, give the friend time and space, and see what happens. That’s all you can really do – all the reasons in the world won’t outweigh a sincere apology and sincere request to reconnect or convince someone who doesn’t want to be friends to come back.
15. “My boyfriend tells me to exercise and watch what I eat. It makes me feel horrible.”
16. “When bf doesnt want u to meet his friends.”
17. “How do you describe a relationship whereby you’re the only one forever reaching out for that person?”
One-sided? Unsatisfying? Soon-to-be-over?
18. “My boyfriend only cares about himself in bed.”
19. “Husband doesn’t like short dresses.”
Husband should only wear long dresses then, on his body i.e. the only body of which he is the boss.
20. “My old teacher doesn’t seem to remember me.”
Aw, that can be a really sucky feeling, but it happens. Your teacher has known a lot of students and it’s reasonable to think they might have trouble placing you especially if some time has passed. Gently remind said teacher that you enjoyed his or her class and take it from there.
21. “Korean boyfriend ghost dumped me.”
Getting dumped sucks, no matter how it happens. I’m so sorry. Remind yourself “He didn’t even care enough to tell me it was over” as a way to help yourself let go.
I would read a novel about a breakup with a Korean ghost-boyfriend.
22. “How to tell your boyfriend you don’t want to live together.”
“I prefer living alone.” “I don’t want us to live together.” “I’m not ready to live with you.” “Let’s not live together.” “I don’t see us living together.”
If he really wants to live with you, and you don’t want to live with him, there’s no magical way to deliver that news that won’t hurt his feelings or make him sad, but you gotta tell him so that you can both make good decisions about your relationship and living situation. People can have good relationships and live separately. Trust your instincts on this one and do not “try it out” if you aren’t feeling it.
23. “Dear Prudence sucks.”
She used to suck especially with regard to consent and sexual assault. Now she’s Mallory, and she’s pretty great.
24. “What do you do if your cousin passed away but you weren’t close.”
Consider sending a card to his parents and tell them you’re sorry for their loss. Greeting cards were invented for just this situation, you just have to sign your name at the bottom, and it will be a nice gesture of kindness to them.
25. What does the big relationship elephant in the room mean?
The “elephant in the room” is an idiom that refers to “the giant glaring problem that everyone is pretending not to see or talk about.” So this would be “the obvious problem in the relationship that we aren’t discussing for some reason.” Here’s hoping that it’s a cute baby elephant?
26. “How to stay informed politically without anxiety attack.”
I DON’T KNOW. I AM NOT DOING A GOOD JOB OF THIS. DID YOU SEE THE ELEPHANT VIDEO, THO?
27. Random shoutout to my friend Erin Lynn Jeffreys Hodges.
Hi! Hi! Hello!
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