It’s that time of the month where we treat the search strings people typed in as actual questions.
Before I dive in: The trip to France was wonderful. We ate all the foods and saw all the arts and drove many kilometers and met lovely France-based Awkward folks who had excellent ice cream recommendations. I think it took Mr. Awkward a whole day before he was like “How do we move here forever?” and once he saw Lyon, where we tragically only had one day, he was actively in “No, seriously, let’s live here” mode. My favorite place we stayed is here. If you can go to Normandy, go, and let Vincent and Corinne envelop you in their hospitality and cook for you.
Came home to this:
Sometimes it’s this:
As for this month’s theme song, I love Prince and I still feel his death last year pretty keenly. There was only one song this month could be:
Rest in funky peace, Beautiful One.
Now, let’s answer some stuff.
1. “Help write a story ending with the expression ‘since then there was no love lost between us’.”
Aw, buddy, do your own homework! Also, that’s a really clunky ending line for a story, so, reconsider?
2. “10 boundaries if your ex bf dumps you.”
Content writer homework?
- Think about disengaging/hiding/blocking on social media so you’re not tempted to follow their every thought and “like.”
- Think about having cooling-off period of no contact before you try to be friends.
- Give yourself some time to wallow and feel bad and grieve. Don’t pressure yourself to be okay with everything too soon.
- Your friends will be there for you but think about getting a counselor or therapist or a journal if *every* time you hang with your people it turns into “processing the breakup” time, especially if this is still going on a few months later.
- You don’t have to respond to every communication someone sends you right away – or ever. (For those late night “u up? I miss u…” texts that come from them). The “mute” or “block” functions can be your friend.
- Speaking of those texts: Know yourself. If you + alcohol or other substances + cellular phone technology + a certain time of day + that one album or song or movie makes you feel like sending FEELINGSTEXTS, don’t mix those things together. Use an alarm clock instead of the alarm on your phone to wake up for a little while. Turn the phone off and put it away at night.
- Before you send any communication to your ex think about instituting a 24-hour waiting period. Does sending this 8,000 word email still feel like a good idea after a good night’s sleep?
- Get the Exchanging Of The Stuff over with quickly. The part you can control is getting their stuff back to them, so be as precise and thorough and speedy as you’d like them to be in returning your stuff. Use a shipping service or a friend if meeting in purpose will be too fraught.
- Bring a loyal buddy and your own way of getting home to any events that happen in social circles that still overlap with your ex. Watch the substance intake.
- I’ve seen many couples adopt a pet together and very few broken-up couples make the shared custody of said pet work out afterward. Since we’re talking boundaries, if you really want the pet, speak up. If you can live without the pet and you know it will be cared for by your ex, let it go. It will suck, but so will seeing your ex break your heart every time Fifi jumps into their arms for the rest of Fifi’s days.
3. “Should you break up if her parents dislike you?”
Not necessarily. Pay attention to how your partner treats you around this subject. Does she have your back? Does she affirm you, shield you, and defend you from their hurtful comments and actions?
4. “Awkward boner stories .”
The internet’s got you covered, friend. How many search results did you have to click through before you got to us?
5. “How to decline a second date using text .”
“Thanks for asking, but I’m not interested.” If you’re not interested in the person, don’t use a scheduling conflict as the reason. Saying “Thanks, but I’m busy that day” invites the person asking you out to nail down when you can make it and only prolongs the awkwardness for everyone.
6. “How long do you have to wait to not be a rebound girl ?”
“Stand by the grey stone when the thrush knocks, and the setting sun with the last light of Durin’s Day will shine upon the key-hole.”
Outside of The Hobbit, here in reality, there’s no set time window, and while “the rebound” CAN be a thing it isn’t necessarily something that always happens when a serious relationship ends. Trust your instincts, give the person and yourself some space and time to figure out what it is you have, keep hold of your friends and your interests and don’t get all swept up at once if you can avoid it.
7. “Depressed girlfriend moves away from me if my arm is around her too long.”
My advice is to let her move away (Seriously, let her go!) without holding onto her.
I don’t know how much or even if depression is playing into this. For whatever reason, it sounds like your girlfriend’s preferences for how much physical contact she wants right now are changing (or she’s asserting them more).
It’s okay to have different preferences for physical contact and isn’t necessarily a symptom of the state of a relationship or state of mind. For example, I’m more of a handholder than Mr. Awkward sometimes, but he’ll give me a little squeeze when he’s ready to let go an it doesn’t feel like rejection. It’s okay to talk about this stuff! “I’ve noticed you pull away sometimes when my arm’s around you – is it that you’re just ready to be done with touch right then or am I doing something that makes you uncomfortable?” Check in without pressuring her.
If only talking about boundaries worked with cats.
8. “I can’t get the guy I am cheating my boyfriend on with out of my head.”
Maybe it’s time to come clean with everybody and start fresh with hot dude you think about all the time?
9. “How bad is it not to go to a brother-in-law’s funeral if I live 1000 miles away? ”
If you can’t make it you can’t make it, so maybe focus on what you can do to support your grieving sibling from afar. Letting your sibling and any nieces or nephews know that they are loved – in whatever way you can – is the important thing here. Try the four Cs of cards, calls, casseroles, and checking in, especially after the flower arrangements have wilted and the rest of the mourners have dispersed.
10. “My apartment neighbor lets strangers rent her apartment & wants me to give them her keys when they show up .”
Nope! If you don’t want to do this (and it sounds like you don’t want to do this), my suggested script for this is “No, I am not comfortable with that at all. You’ll have to make another arrangement.”
11. “Is there a hotline that will tell me how to jerk off ?”
I feel safe saying there are multiple versions of that hotline in the world, but this site does not have the droids you’re looking for.
12. “Mother wants me to need her .”
This can set the teeth on edge like few other things when you try to form an adult relationship with parents. A boring “Thanks for the input, Mom, I’ll think about it” mixed with “Thanks, but I’ve got it handled!” can work as general scripts, but there might be a way to make a little bit of peace with her “halping” impulse over time. I know every fiber of your being probably rebels against giving into any of this, but can you think of one or two low-stakes things where you could seek her expertise on the regular? “Mom, I need to choose a new winter scarf – what do you think is a good color for me?”
Bonus tip: I’ve managed to interrupt the flow of a lot of unsolicited advice-giving and “help” from older folk I know by asking them about their lives when they were young. It sometimes turns a list of “things I should be doing” into a story about how they see the world and why.
13. “Coworker called me a fag .”
If you feel safe and comfortable to do so, this is 100% a “document the incident and report it to human resources” level of thing. Employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation is really not okay. However, it’s still legal in 28 US states, so that first “if you feel safe and comfortable” is a big if, and I’m sorry for that.
13. “A letter to make my mom understand that I’ve moved in with my boyfriend.” and 14. “Words to tell ur roommate that u have gotten an apartment because of her wicked behaviours .”
In both these cases, focus on the facts over feelings and communicate the decision:
#13: “Mom, Boyfriend and I found a great new place together, the new address is xyz. Love you!”
She’ll “understand” that you’ve moved in together from the evidence that you have. You don’t have anything to apologize for, so, don’t. Treat it like happy, normal news. If she makes it weird, she’s the one choosing to do that.
#14: “Roommate, I found a new apartment and I’ll be moving on [date].”
That’s the information your roommate needs to know. If you must detail her wickedness, maybe wait until you and your stuff are safely out of the same apartment?
15. “What do you say when someone says I have made them feel so welcome ?”
“Thanks, that’s really nice to hear. I’m glad you feel that way.”
16. “When someone says it’s a pleasure, is that a compliment? ”
It’s not NOT a compliment? It’s a generally positive sentiment about the interaction.
17. “When is it the right time to move on after boyfriend’s death .”
I’m sorry you’re having to look for this answer. Only you can know when it’s the right time. Nobody else can tell you – and I mean, NOBODY ELSE. “What will people think” is not a reason to not pursue your own happiness if you meet someone great or want to stop grieving, and if you need more time you need more time. I predict that it will come in waves and not on any kind of set schedule.
18. “10 ways to turn down a second date ”
Clickbait homework strikes again!
- “No thank you.”
- “Thanks for asking, but no.”
- “I’m not interested in a second date.”
- “I don’t want to go on another date.”
- “Thanks for the first date, it was great meeting you, but I’m not interested.”
- “Thanks, but no.”
- “I’d prefer not to.”
And then maybe play with emphasis… “No thank you.” “No thank you.”
19. “Can I still say no after I said yes to a dinner invitation? ”
Yep! “I know I said I would come to dinner, but I won’t be able to make it and wanted you to know as soon as possible. Sorry about that!”
20. “Can I change my mind after agreeing to hook up with a guy .”
Oh yeah. “I know I said we’d hook up later, but I’ve changed my mind.”
21. “My dad still talks shit about mom everyday 4 years after divorce.” & 22. “Mother uses daughter as sounding board bad-mouthing father .”
If you’re the child in this situation, it is okay to tell your parent that this behavior is not cool. “[Parent], I know you still have a lot of complicated feelings about [Other Parent] – I have those, too! I’m not comfortable talking about those with you the same way I’m not comfortable talking about you with [Other Parent]. Can we make some boundaries about this, please? I really need to not be your sounding-board.”
23. My sister always brings up the fact that I had abortion to insult me what should I do.
Shut it down. “That is NOT up for discussion.” “That is NOT your business.” “That is not for you to comment on.” Leave the conversation, the room (& possibly the prospect of having contact with or a relationship with her) if she won’t knock this off.
24. My boyfriend forces me to run swim and exercise.
Things your boyfriend is not: your Personal Trainer/Drill Sergeant/The Boss of You. This is really not okay! Time to stop doing any exercise you don’t want to do, and also, time to dump him!
25. “(How to) Tell my family it’s time to stop the holiday celebrations .”
This may be best done incrementally and with a narrow focus on yourself. For instance, if you are the host of said holiday celebrations, “I won’t be hosting [Holiday] this year.” Then other people can make whatever other plan they want to. If you don’t want to be a part of said holiday celebrations, tell them “I won’t be at [Holiday event].” The first time you change stuff up is the hardest time, then it becomes the new normal.
You could also go with “I don’t want to celebrate [Holiday] anymore.”
I think it’s a good idea for families to periodically re-negotiate whether/what/how/when holidays get celebrated, so, good job.
26. “I and my roommate always sleep in the bathroom, what are we?”
Some questions to help you find out:
- Are you shape-shifters?
- If you have a single shape, are you shaped like dogs?
- How’s your singing voice?
- Would nymph, spirit, ogre, or ghost be the most accurate term that describes you?
- Do you like to lure people to their deaths Y/N?
- If Y, do you eat them afterward?
Your association with the bathroom and not with an outside body of water suggests that “Bannik” might be the right designation. Neat-o!
If none of those descriptions ring a bell, you are probably human beings who can sleep wherever you want to.