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HI I LOVE PARTIES CAN I THROW UP OVER HERE HOW ABOUT HERE DO YOU LIKE POOP GREAT ME TOO

This Baby would like to disrupt all your fun times.

Dear captain awkward and army,

A handful of my friends have become parents this year. Consequently, and as expected, I don’t see them very often any more, and when I do, it’s for brief 30-minute “passing by” visits just to see how they and their rapidly developing Von Neumann machines are doing.

I’d like to invite them to larger gatherings and events, and shape these gatherings so that new parents feel like
a) they can take their kid without feeling like it would be a distraction or burden b) they could genuinely enjoy themselves c) the setting won’t be too chaotic even with multiple adults and kids d) the kids themselves would be comfortable, happy, and safe e) travel wouldn’t be inconvenient.

I live in a major metropolis where apartment space is coveted, so the home setting is limited.

But I’d just like to give my parent friends opportunities to socialize and do really fun things without making any implicit unreasonable demands to inconvenience themselves. Not having kids myself, I’m looking for best practices to provide that.

And to parents in the awkward army, what would something like this look like to you?

-Friend to new families

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Dear Captain Awkward (And Awkwardeers),

I’ve been in a fantastic relationship with my partner for a few years now. He’s incredibly supportive of my mental health, and

Kinky and Healthy are two different - but not mutually exclusive - things

Not an effective fighting strategy.

complements my personality perfectly. However, and this may seem a silly concern, I’m worried about the fact that we never argue. Basically, I’m concerned that this might mean that we aren’t communicating well enough.

We have had disagreements, but usually that happens when I say something that’s concerning me and he agrees with whatever I’m saying. It’s not really an argument because he quickly turns around to my way of thinking. Or, less often, he would air an issue and I would see it as reasonable and agree to help fix it. And for a while, this was great! I felt that our relationship must be going amazingly because we never argue!
But the thing is, I’m now sort of scared about what will happen if we ever do fight. Because when we haven’t even really had any of the little arguments, who knows what will happen if we end up in a big argument? Because surely it can’t always happen that we just agree with the other person’s opinion. What about when we have to start making big decisions like whose job dictates which city we live in? Whether we have kids?
And I’ve noticed that I’ve started avoiding conflict because it’s got to a point where I’m scared of The Fight. The Fight seems to me to be this big inevitable thing looming that sooner or later we both have to deal with… and I don’t know how I’ll handle The Fight. So sometimes, I don’t mention things that upset me because I don’t want to lead to a fight. And that means I’m kind of bottling up grievances which I know full well isn’t healthy. We have an amazing relationship, but I’ve always thought that good relationships were about dealing with the bad as well as the good, and what if it takes us years to realise that we can’t handle the bad?
It’s not like everything’s been sunshine and roses. As I mentioned earlier, he’s been great with my mental health, but that means that he does the majority of the housework, as well as working, and although I’m working hard to be able to contribute more, it’s something that definitely hangs over me. I think the guilt from knowing that he basically just cares for me a lot of the time also means that I’ve stopped talking about things he does that sometimes upsets me, because I feel like I don’t deserve to be unhappy with anything he does when he’s great and supportive and puts so much time, and effort, into making our home a safe place for me. As well as trying to avoid The Fight. And I feel like, hey, I’ll have forgotten the bad thing he said tomorrow, so why argue about it now? It’s probably just me being over sensitive anyway, right? But what actually happens is that it still hurts tomorrow, just feels too late for me to bring it up, so just gets added to the pile of Things That Hurt Me. 
(Note: the things he says aren’t generally actually nasty things but just things that are badly worded and hurt my feelings. For example: “you’re looking beautiful today! I think that dress makes you look thin” and like I’m certain he means well but I’d rather be able to accept the fact that I’m not thin rather than feel like his image of me on beautiful rests on his image of me as thin, y’know?)
Basically, how can I call him out on things that make me sad at the time? I kind of need a method to use when usually I’d just lose my nerve and stay quiet because I’m now kind of really fearing conflict. 
And what if The Fight does happen and we end up having a big argument, either now or in the future? How will I be able to convince myself that this isn’t the end of the world and that our relationship has the potential to survive that, when so far it’s been built on a foundation of mostly harmony and agreement? I feel like we’ve been constructed by all our friends as The Couple Who Never Fight, The Perfect Couple, and I’m scared of realising that we’re not.
~~Conflict Avoidant
Who stands like this anyway?

Hey, I’m up here. My eyes and brains are not located in the belly. Helloooooo?

Dear Captain,

I’m pregnant – yay! It’s still pretty early, but if things go well, I’m on my way to being a big gassy pregnant lady. (Right now I am a small gassy pregnant lady).

However, I’m already dreading handsy co-workers who I know will touch my stomach, comment on my weight gain, start referring to me soley as “mamma” and judge everything I do by how good it is for the “baby” (I recently saw one of them cover the ears of a pregnant woman – and not one with whom he was particularly close – when someone used profanity.)

These people are both very sweet and well-meaning, and entitled and infuriating. I’m trying to plan my responses well before I start showing without a planned response, I know I’ll come across as rude and cold, while they’ll look like super-awesome guys who are just trying to be so cool and friendly!

Can you help me come up with some scripts that a) help these well-intentioned bozos realise why their comments and contact aren’t welcome, or appropriate and b) don’t make me sound like the mean office grump who hates good tidings?

– Not “Mamma” Read More

I LUUUUUUUUV YOUUUU

Doug wins at relationships.

Hi Captain and Awkwardeers! I have a problem that may or may not be an actual problem and is probably easy to solve, but asking friends for answers gave me nothing but contradictory answers, so I thought maybe you could help.

I’m young (in college) and just started dating one of my friends. It’s great. I’ve known him for a long time, we share interests, we’re comfortable together, butterflies are in full effect, et cetera. The only problem is, I have no idea what I’m doing! I’ve never dated anyone before (I’m twenty-one) I don’t really have any girlfriends I could ask/am not comfortable asking my mom, so I’m essentially fumbling my way through the dark without a flashlight or roadmap. When do you move in for a kiss? What are the milestones? What does and doesn’t constitute PDA? What about gift-giving, is there ettiquette for that? Will our shared group of friends be uncomfortable about our dating? How do I get over feeling shy about asking him this stuff? How SHOULD I feel about this guy, anyway? I have experience with crushes, but not with what a mutual adult relationship actually feels like. The cumulative effect of all this is that whi le I really enjoy spending time with him, I spend the time we’re NOT together panicking about what I might be doing right or wrong. Is there any kind of Relationships for Dummies guide for people like me?

Sincerely,

Confused in Canada Read More

Hi Captain Awkward,

Congratulations! It’s a girl! And a free pass for everyone to tell you what you’re doing wrong!

 
Thank you so much for your wonderful column.
 
My parents are very loving and I have a generally good relationship with them. I see them once a week or so, and I generally enjoy spending time with them. My mother and I have opposite ways of communicating, though: she simply can’t take criticism (I know that no one enjoys criticism), and will break down when any is given to her. She is passive aggressive, and in the past when I’ve talked to her about this kind of behaviour she defends it because she thinks that “being passive aggressive is kind because you don’t have to come right out and tell someone what they’re doing that’s bothering you”. She is also a fan of the silent treatment, although less frequently now because I no longer respond to it.
 
I have the opposite approach: I tell people how I’m feeling immediately, but I am known for being a bit blunt sometimes. These two approaches don’t really work well together.
 
She also deals with tremendous self-doubt and anxiety. I’ve encouraged her to go see a therapist, and she went for one session and then stopped because she found it too painful to talk about some of the issues that weigh on her.
 
While I’ve generally been able to reject her manipulative behaviour, it has taken me years to recognize how her anxiety has affected me. I find it very contagious, and have worked hard not to take it on, especially in her company. It was a behaviour I learned from her when I was growing up that I’ve had to dismantle as an adult.
 
My sister has just had a baby, and my mother’s anxiety has reached a new level. She is constantly worried that something is wrong with the baby because she’s too loud/quiet or moving too little/too much, and she yelps when the baby gets passed around because she’s terrified that her neck won’t be supported properly, etc. It’s a constant barrage of worries. It’s hard to be around, and it’s not useful for my sister and I to tell her that everything is fine. She just doesn’t hear us. 
 
I’m newly pregnant now, and I know my parents will be thrilled. My husband and I wanted to wait until after the first trimester to tell our parents (another two weeks from now), and I realize that part of this is because I have a medical condition that puts me into a ‘high risk pregnancy’ category and I just don’t want to take on the anxiety around the pregnancy that my mother will thrust onto me. I also don’t want the baby to have to take on her anxiety, especially as the child gets older. I can certainly refuse to take that energy on, but my child will be subjected to it and it’s very damaging.
 
My husband and I feel that having some sort of conversation with her before the baby is born will be important for us, but we’re just not sure how to navigate this territory. I suspect that she will either start sobbing and stop listening, deny/justify the behaviour or end the conversation. Is there a way for me to begin the conversation that can prevent her from feeling defensive? How do I talk through this with her? Any suggestions are deeply appreciated.
 
Sincerely and with thanks,
Trying to keep calm Read More

The television couple that I picture you two as.

As amazing as these past couple of questions have been, they’re also kind of depressing. I want to thank the following questioner for presenting us with a pleasant, happy sort of problem in which no one is being even a little bit of an asshole. Cheers!

Hello Captain (and Awkward Army)!

So here’s the deal. I’ve been married to a ridiculously fantastic, supportive, patient, loving husband for just under  a year now, and we’re still delightfully twitterpated. We’ve worked hard to create a mutually supportive relationship, to Use Our Words (and our ears) and to work as a team whenever possible. Overall, that’s working great….but there’s one problem: I have Words to Use a whole lot more than he does.

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Summer Lovin’! I have now exposed myself as An Old.

Dear Captain Awkward,

I am a recent High School graduate and I  am going to start college in the fall somewhat far away from my home state (about an 11 hour drive) and i am so excited I’ve made a countdown and I’ve befriended all of my soon to be classmates on FB and found a blog run by a student who goes to my soon to be college etc etc. I feel like college will be a great time to start over and kind of reinvent myself (I’m shy, somewhat introverted, anxiety prone, and awkward).

I’m also in love with my high school crush and just recently he told me that he loves me and I know he’s serious and telling the truth and everything and it’s great because I love him back. The thing is in the fall I’ll be leaving him for a new life basically. New friends, new habits, new state, new love interest possibly. And he knows this. And he told me he’ll just have to accept my decision because it’s my life and not to put my it on hold for 4 years because of him.

The thing is I really would have put my life on hold for him . I really do love him but I know what he says is true. And I suppose it is pretty naive to think I won’t find someone I really like in college (which is what I was telling myself).

We’ve never been in a relationship with each other though we got really close the last 2 years of HS. And we actually kissed the last like 3 days before graduation!

I don’t really have much freedom to go out and he definitely does not so our chances of physically being together this summer are slim to none. (We have been texting, tweeting, and skyping however).

Here’s the thing. I have some hope that when I return home for the winter break I’ll have more freedom from my parents and that me and him can hang out and go on dates etc. I haven’t told him because if it ends up we don’t keep in touch or he finds someone else I don’t want that to be a broken promise and a hurtful reminder or what could have been. Idk. I just don’t want to make a promise and then not be able to keep it.

Also, I’m kind of hoping that during the time i’m in college until the winter break when I come back home that he’ll have matured (I guess is the right word) a little bit. I’m pretty sure my mom wouldn’t approve of him if we ever started dating and I brought him home to visit. He’s what my mom would call a ‘project’ (because he got ok grades in HS, is not going to college, doesn’t really know what he wants to do, etc) .

But I’m getting ahead of myself! I still have 2 months before I go to college and then from there 4 months until winter break.

Is it stupid to have some hope for the future? Should I get it into my head that we will never be together? Should I voice my thoughts and concerns to him? And how can I get the chance to hang out with him this summer?

Sincerely,

Hopelessly in love college bound student