I had a bunch of travel in July and never got that month’s version up. So, here’s another round of that thing where we answer people’s search engine queries like blog questions.
1 “Awkward coworkers who wont get hint
Hints don’t work. They just create a sea of plausible deniability for clueless people to splash around in while you get more and more frustrated. If you want your coworkers to understand or know something, you gotta say it, as briefly and directly as you can.
2 “Is it bad to break up with someone after a day
It’s no fun for anyone to break up after a day, but it probably beats the alternative of continuing to date somebody you don’t want to be with and lying to them about it for more days. You get to change your mind! Do the kind thing and tell the other person now.
3 “Should you notify your estranged father of your wedding?”
I would say that if you’re estranged from your dad, you certainly don’t owe him an invitation or an announcement. If you do want to tell him, I would also keep my expectations very low about what he’ll do. Weddings and funerals and baptisms don’t fix the stuff that’s wrong in families (& often exacerbate it), so what are you really hoping will happen if you give him this news? I wouldn’t count on any of it happening.
Weddings are one of those things that really show it when “cherished fantasy of what a parent should be and do” and “actual parent” don’t match, and I’m sorry that a happy occasion is causing a new sting of grief for what was supposed to be.
4 “What to do if hubby abuses because of MIL?”
Ouch, what a gutpunch.
Whatever your mother-in-law has done or whatever she is like, your husband is still abusing you. Until he stops, gets some help, apologizes, and changes the behavior, it’s your husband’s fault and his responsibility, and offloading the blame or an explanation onto his mom doesn’t change the fact of what he’s doing. I hope you can talk to someone about getting yourself to safety. Here’s the number for the USA National Domestic Violence Hotline.
5 “What does it mean if a guy says I have a girlfriend at the moment.”
It means some version of “not you, not now.”
6 “My husband thinks I should work out more.”
Lots of people should probably work out more and wish they worked out more. Lots of people should also stop telling other people what to do with their bodies. Do you want to work out more? When and if you do, that’s when you’ll work out more. You are the boss of you.
7 “An sms to a boyfriend who treats you like shit.”
A. “Bye! We are broken up now. Leave me alone.” B. “New phone. Who is this?
8 “Why does my husband get mad when I touch myself.”
Who knows? Insecurity? Mistaking marriage for ownership of you & your body?
What I know is that you are the boss of your body, including your sexual relationship with your own body. You don’t owe your husband an accounting of your solo activities. They are none of his business.
9 “While using a dating site should you be upset seeing someone you’re talking to off the site.”
On the one hand, the people in the dating site don’t live in the site, hanging upside down like bats at OkCupid headquarters to sleep at night, and it is quite possible to encounter a potential date-friend in the wild. Sometimes the world can be very small.
The “upset” part comes from, how does everyone handle it when it happens? Do they act weird and overly familiar and talk loudly about where they know you from, like it’s your kid’s parent-teacher conference and the teacher is like “Kid, you didn’t tell me your mom was a babe! I totally swiped right on her!“? Or do they say “Hello, nice to see you” and act calm and relaxed and safe? That’s all good information to have.
Or, do you feel like they are trying to figure out where you work and live and hang out and you get a stalker-y vibe from it, like they were seeking you out, trying to run into you? That would make me pretty upset.
10 “I live in a condo and a neighbor constantly knocks on my door. How do I tell her to stop?”
“Neighbor, please stop knocking on my door, let’s save that for emergencies where something is on fire or flooding or bleeding. If you need to reach me otherwise, please leave a note or use my email and I’ll get back to you when I can.” #hintsdontwork
Then, you don’t always answer the door, and if you do, jerk the door open and say “What’s wrong?” because you’re expecting an emergency.
11 “My boyfriend said he can manage my appearance.”
Your boyfriend appears to need a mannequin or Real Doll or a Barbie he can outfit as he pleases all the livelong day, and you appear to need a different boyfriend.
12 “My boyfriend is depressed and takes everything out on me.”
Depression is not your boyfriend’s fault.
Taking everything out on you is a choice he is making. Do you want to stick around to be mistreated?
13 “How do I make friends for my husband.”
If your husband wants friends, suggest that he try Meetup.com or take a class or find a hobby group or play a fun sport or volunteer somewhere. Then let him do 100% of the work of following through with that.
14 “I love my professor how do I know her feelings?”
I asked her her feelings and she said that she doesn’t love you back. She wants you to enjoy her class and learn a lot from it and then go and have a great education and happy life.
15 “Dating a married man is hard. You cannot call him.”
It is known. If things like “regular calling” and “not sneaking around behind someone’s back” are important to you, consider the non-married as your dating pool.
16 “Can you masturbate if your roommate is deaf?”
Back to school time! It’s not all study tips and deals on extra-long twin fitted sheets, is it?
Masturbation is great and you should totally do it sometimes! However, if you share a bedroom with a roommate, wait until your roommate is not home to rub one out, ok? It’s just polite.
17 “Is it ok to just stop at a person’s house without calling first?”
But…you could call? “Hey friend, I’m in the neighborhood, any chance you’re home and want to hang out for a bit?”
If you want to know if you have a “just drop by!” relationship with someone, here are three indicators:
- They’ve told you to just “drop in, no need to call!” using words.
- They also drop by your house.
- You’ve asked “Is it okay if I just drop by sometime?” and they’ve enthusiastically said “Yes! Any time!”
Even if those three things are true…I would still call or send a text. Again, why wouldn’t you? Are you being chased and need a quick place to hide?
18 “Can a girlfriend influence your teen son to be a bad person?”
I’m sure it’s possible? And if your teenage son is acting like “a bad person,” it might feel better and be really convenient if there is someone else to blame for all of it who isn’t your precious-sweet-angel-baby-boy?
But, again, if your teen son is acting like “a bad person,” then he is making choices to do bad things, and I think any conversation you have with him needs to not displace his choices onto the girlfriend. Focus on his behaviors and the choices he is making, please. Don’t buy into the narrative that how he behaves is the fault of others’ influences, and don’t let him do it either. He’s responsible for his behaviors, and no girlfriend (or parents) can influence him to act like a jerk without his participation.
19 “New boyfriend who makes you feel sad.”
“Hey New Boyfriend, I like you a lot but since we’ve been dating I feel sad all the time, so let’s break up.”
20 “Can I date an insurance agent?”
Insurance agents need love too!
Your insurance agent is at work and he/she has to be that nice to everyone. So I wouldn’t like, replace online dating sites with calling insurance agencies for fake quotes or anything.
“Are you there, Mayhem? It’s me, Captain Awkward.” Image description: Dean Winters as “Mayhem” from the Allstate Insurance commercials. He is a white man in a suit slumped in the back of a very damaged car covered in seat stuffing.
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