It is time for the recurring feature where I treat search terms that led people to the site as actual questions. No context, no backstory, all snap judgments.
First, a song:
All right, let’s do this.
1. What to tell your girlfriend when she ask you “the kind of relationship you want?”
What’s the worst thing that happens if you take this as an opportunity to dream about what kind of relationship you want and then tell the truth about those dreams?
What do you want? From your life? From this relationship?
In the best possible world, where you get everything you want, what does it look like?
If you ask her the same question, what does she have to say?
2. ” Intelligent way to answer what u looking for in dating site so that you fuck her?”
Uh, there is no sentence string known to humankind that guarantees someone will want to have sex with you, but you’ll probably have the best luck if you keep it simple: “I’m looking for fun, friendly casual sex partners.”
3. “How to ask a friend if i can use her summer home without her in it.”
A BOLD MOVE! Maybe try “Do you ever rent the place out? I’m looking for a getaway spot for [A family gathering][A romantic weekend away][Some alone-time to recharge] around [dates]. My budget is roughly $_____.”
If you sense any hesitation from this friend, back off and find somewhere else to stay.
If the friend says yes, you will obviously leave the place in immaculate condition.
4. “What does it mean when your boyfriend introduces you as a friend.”
My first instinct is, he’s introducing you to people who don’t know him well or don’t know he’s in a romantic relationship. There can be lots of reasons for that, ranging from “He’s not out yet, or out to these people” to “Surprise! He’s married with an entire family” so a good follow-up question when you’re alone is, “Is there a reason you introduced me to so-and-so as your friend and not your partner?” How he answers this will give you lots of information.
5. “My divorced boyfriend want to keep me a secret.”
Got you something.
Questions that immediately pop to mind:
Are you sure he is actually divorced? (In your shoes, I would literally check court records.)
Are you sure that he’s actually your boyfriend? Is this an “I’d like to keep my options open” kinda deal?
Is there some obvious reason, as in, is he your boss or coworker just trying to keep things profesh at the office? Are you dating someone who isn’t out about their sexuality or identity?
He may have his reasons, but you don’t have to help him prop up a lie. “Let’s break up. Come find me whenever you work things out so this doesn’t have to be a secret.”
6. “My husband lets his family walk all over him.”
You cannot fix your husband’s family, and you cannot fix your husband, so let’s talk about what you can actually do about it:
1) You can encourage your husband to seek therapy and tools for learning to set boundaries and unlearning some things about the way he was raised.
2) You can become the Emperor of Boundaries where your own well-being (and the well-being of any children you have) is concerned. He might not be able to say no to his family, but you can say no to them and to him about things that adversely affect your life. “No, your parents /your deadbeat sibling cannot live with us.” “No, they cannot ruin every single vacation and holiday celebration.” “No, your mom cannot be in the delivery room when I give birth.” “No, I’m not eating at their house anymore since every time I do they put mushrooms in the food.” “No, they can’t verbally abuse me or our kids and expect us to put up with it.” “No vaccines, no masks? Then no visiting the baby, period.”
See also: “I realize that your family can be very overbearing, but the way you’re pressuring me to go along with my own mistreatment right now is a you-and-me problem and I need you to stop.” “Difficult Family Member is going to get upset no matter what you do. If you keep [ditching our plans][giving them money we can’t afford][giving into their demands][Not standing up for yourself/me/our kids] every time they demand it, kindly remember that I am also your family and I will also be upset with you.”
The saying no isn’t about getting him to change or getting them to change. It’s about protecting your peace by refusing to get caught up in their antics. For better or worse, your husband is in charge of how he handles his relationship with his family, but you have all the say in how he handles his relationship with you.
This question is incredibly, incredibly common here and in other advice forums around the internet, and it is a brutal dynamic to live with, to the point where “Hrmmm, I love this person a lot but they can’t seem to say no to anybody but me” is probably something to screen for *early* in the relationship.
7. “How to quit on being a godparent.” and 8. “How to quit bridesmaid.”
Ideally, before agreeing to be a godparent to a child or stand up in someone’s wedding (or accept a freelance assignment, or agree to some complicated favor), try this:
“I’m so honored, thank you! But, before I commit, can you tell me what that entails?”
ASSUME NOTHING. Ask the person to spell out what they envision your role to be. “Come to the baptism, say some words, give good presents on gifting occasions, be a trusted adult who also loves my kid” is different from “Be at every single event my child ever does and promise to raise them if something happens to me.” “Wear a nice dress on the day and be my friend during wedding planning” (s/o to Commander Logic) and “Plan, pay for, and attend nine separate events on three continents where you will both set up and tear down the decorations and also change your body so you ‘match’ the other attendants” are not even in the same universe.
Based on their reply, if you have a strong, immediate “Yes, I’d love to!” or “Oh, that all sounds amazing, but I know I don’t have the funds/bandwidth/time/resources/planning ability to do it right, so can I RSVP now as an enthusiastic guest?”
If you’re on the fence at all (and/or if you’re a recovering over-scheduler), try: “Thanks for spelling it out, that all sounds exciting! When do you need an answer? I need some alone time with my calendar and bank account before I commit.” Then take a day or so and actually do the math. If the answer is no, try “I am so happy for you and excited to celebrate with you, but I can’t commit to the ______ role. I wanted to let you know ASAP so you can make another plan.” The person might get upset or try to negotiate, and that’s understandable. Ride it out. You know your own limits.
Unfortunately for these querents, it’s too late. I’m going to pull from past advice about breakups, quitting jobs, and moving away, and suggest that you think of it not as a negotiation, request, or exploration of reasons and past events. Rather, you are communicating a decision you have already made so the other person can make a new plan for the future. Give as much lead time as you can, and then be clear, direct, and firm.
Scriptwise: “Friendname, I am so happy for you and so honored that you asked me to be a [role], but I’ve realized I cannot follow through with what you need. I’m so sorry to upset all of your plans at this stage, but I’m going to withdraw as [role] now, before I get even more over my head, and while there is still time for you to make a Plan B.”
I’m assuming here that there is no glaring conflict where “Uh, you know why” would suffice. (I think there is an inbox question where “The groom hit on me, repeatedly. Fuck no I’m not being in your wedding anymore, are you even serious right now?” would be entirely appropriate.)
Brace yourself for some “But why?” and gnashing of feelings. If the person is reasonable, and you think there is a “why” they will accept? Tell them. “I just really and truly cannot afford either the money or the time commitment.” “I’m pregnant and your wedding is the baby’s due date.” “I can tell that ‘godparent’ means something totally different to you than it does to me, and I’m so sorry I didn’t ask you to clarify it from the start.” “I got into graduate school. In France. So I’m not going to be around to actually help you with any of this.”
Sometimes there is no “why” they will accept, and that’s when “I’m truly sorry, but I know this is the right decision for me” is all you can do. “I know you are disappointed, and again, I’m truly sorry, but my answer isn’t going to change.”
It sucks to feel like you’re letting a loved one down when they you to be a part of a very important occasion, but I promise, it sucks WAY LESS to say no up front than it does to agree because you’re afraid of disappointing them and have to drop out later.
9. Many, many variations on “how do I have sex as a fat person/with a fat person” that range from the earnest to pornographic
Start with Hanne Blank’s book, Big, Big Love.
If images and sexy videos are your thing, seek out media made by and starring fat performers. It’s out there, and you clearly have working search engine, so godspeed!
10. “Can I block clingy ex even though I promised to be friends.”
Yes. It’s not mandatory to stay friends with former partners. Even if they want it. Even if you promised. You get to change your mind!
If you want, right before you block, send one message along the lines of “I know I promised we’d stay friends, but I’ve realized that I need a clean break and I would like you to stop contacting me. I wish you well.”
Then comes the hard part. Do not reply to any further communications from them. If they ping you 37 times and you answer the 38th ping, you’ve shown them that it takes 38 pings to get your attention, so next time they’ll play it safe and go for 39. Every time you interact with them after you asked them to stop, you’re prolonging the detachment process. Once you block, let yourself be done! You don’t need to explain why, you don’t need to “work on” a relationship that you’ve ended or help someone get over you. If your ex deputizes mutual friends or people in your life to guilt you into resuming contact (a common tactic to get around blocks), tell those people “Ex and I aren’t in touch anymore, at my request, so I need you to stop passing messages and info back and forth.”
11. Captain Awkward Firthing
Originally mentioned in A Shy Guy Caught My Eye. Refers to the practice of staring balefully at someone you have a crush on instead of actually talking to them, and letting the feelings build up until they erupt out of you in a terrifying volcano of thwarted desire a là Colin Firth as Mr. Darcy in the 1995 Pride & Prejudice adaptation.
Mr. Firth has since gone on record that he’d prefer we call this “Darcying.”
As you were.