Ask Wendy

What’s A Relationship Red Flag? What’s A Pink Post-It?

Friday, January 12, 2018
Hey Wendy,

What is the difference between a red flag and what you call a pink post-it note?

I’m dating someone who voted for Trump, and I did not. I’m a liberal. I thought casting that vote would be a deal-breaker. But I’m not sure it is. I’m staying because he treats me like gold and I like him. Am I selling out?

Anna S., Charleston, SC

Hey Anna,

I’m glad that your guy treats you like gold. I believe that should be on every person’s “must have” list for partnership.

A red flag is when you see, hear, or experience something that doesn’t work for you. If this thing persists or if the situation or behavior gets even worse, then you’re out. The red flag itself is the warning that shit is about to get much worse.

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Does My Ex Want To Get Back Together With Me?

Friday, January 5, 2018
Hey Wendy,

I am perplexed. My ex of five years had been talking about us possibly getting back together since Christmas of last year. However, during the past 13 months, he’s never asked me on a date or even come to see me at my place unless it has to do with a family get-together. Was he just trying the scenario on out loud? He even asked me to go on a trip with him in the spring but that never materialized. I don’t hear from him unless there is a request to do something for his mother or for one of our children’s birthdays. Should I let go of any expectation and move along? Talking about ‘us’ is avoided like the plague.

Confused and perplexed from Seattle

Hey Confused,

Christmas 2016, huh? The plague? I’m not confused. You need to move on with your life. Ever heard the phrase “talk is cheap”?

Look, love and life aren’t always black and white with simple solutions. When he spoke about reconciliation over a year ago, it’s because he loves you. And you’re the mother of his children, (more…)

He Has Given Me Every Reason To Trust Him, And I Still Don’t Trust Him

Friday, December 29, 2017
Hey Wendy,

My boyfriend and I have been together for about 4 years. He travels a lot for business and we’ve been apart for a week now.

Since he’s been away I have had profound amounts of anxiety. I want to know where he is and what he’s doing 24/7. I think it’s because my boyfriend is the complete package: attractive, funny, intelligent, athletic, and I think I feel like he can do better than me. He frequently says how I’m the best and brags about me to his friends, so I feel like I’m being irrational in not trusting him, but I can’t stop feeling this way. I don’t want to ruin his trip by repeatedly texting him and being nosy, but don’t know how to stop.

Is it reasonable to ask him to check in with me when he’s traveling or even when he’s home and out with his friends?

Jill K – Freemont, CA

Hey Jill,

I think you need to interrogate your own feelings and excavate all the way to the core on this one. Is this your women’s intuition telling you that you can’t trust him, and to watch out for signs of a cheater, or do you truly believe he’s out of your league and thus, you don’t deserve him? (“Out of your league” is a made-up concept, btw.)

(more…)

My Husband Acts Like A Child

Friday, December 22, 2017
Hey Wendy,

I'm in need of some guidance and your perspective. My husband is a great husband on the surface; he's respectful, unwaveringly faithful, a very active father, and steadily employed. My problem is he needs an incredible amount of micromanaging in order to keep the bills paid on time, appointments kept, or to get things done at home. If left to him, the bills go delinquent, obvious messes stay uncleaned, dishes pile up, and even sex is never had.

He has to be reminded of every little thing. If I didn't know better I'd think he had a fetish for being nagged (is that a thing?) Once told, he does things with very minimal to no complaints. It's like he never learned motivation or responsibility, but in our thirties, it's a bit ridiculous.

Am I asking for too much considering how nice of a guy he is? We have three kids and I feel like he's my fourth child. Because of this, I'm totally turned off by him despite him being a nice-looking man.

I've tried talking to him about this a hundred times and he always swears he'll turn a new leaf, but 10 years later here we are and nothing has changed. Thanks for being here, because marriage counseling is out of our price range. What am I missing?

Melissa L. – Los Angeles, California

Hey Melissa,

I’m sorry I don’t have a string of magic words that will make him pay attention to what’s needed in his environment. It sounds like you’ve tried, and how.

When one of us becomes the parent, sexual attraction tends to die down. It doesn’t surprise me that you’re turned off by your guy, handsome though he is. Part one of the problem is you’re having to use all your “mother” energy with him, which leaves absolutely no room for your juicy, sensual, “girlfriend” energy that’s so important to maintaining a healthy marriage. Part two of the problem is you’re losing respect for him, and those two things can kill all the romance and sweetness in a union stone-cold dead.

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Skin Deep

Friday, December 15, 2017
Hello Wendy,

My partner and I have been dating for almost two years. He openly admits that he has a very strong preference for African American men, which is very common in the area where we met and now live.

About three months ago, we moved in together, so we're discovering a lot more things about one another. This morning, I discovered something that has me concerned...It was hardcore pornography featuring all African American men. I'm starting to wonder if his preference for Black men is more of a fetish. I don't know how I feel about a person who may just be interested in me because of my skin color. I have a lot more to offer!

Maybe, I'm overthinking this, but it has crossed my mind before now. For me, attraction is much deeper than skin color. I do not prefer one race over another. Also, the area where we live has many interracial couples, it's almost the norm. Maybe, this has influenced his preference. I'm not sure, just concerned.

Thank you. I look forward to your advice.

Tony M. – Brooklyn, NY

Hey Tony,

I’m curious, do you feel objectified by your mate, or do you feel like he sees you for the whole person you are? Does he treat you like a partner of substance or more like an accent throw pillow? I have a hunch that, after two years of being with you, he sees all of you. He loves you for your quirks, uniqueness, and charm. He appreciates your intellect, humor, and natural talents. And yes, he has a strong preference for how you look, and good thing, too, because your skin color isn’t something that’s going to change (nor should it).

(more…)

How Do I Get Quality Time Back in My Relationship?

Friday, December 8, 2017
Hey Wendy,

My partner and I are going through a bit of a rough patch. We have been together for 6 years (we are 22 and 23 years old); we met when we were in high school and have spent a lot of time together since getting together.

We have lived together the last two years. We have both recognized that things are not the same anymore. We both sit in silence doing our own thing. There is no quality time spent together, no acts of thoughtfulness given by either of us. I feel like it has gotten to the point where we are just used to and comfortable with each other’s company.

We spoke about this at the weekend and agreed that maybe it would be best to split, but ever since we talked, things have been so different. He sent me a 600-word letter on how much he appreciates the time he's had with me and how he recognizes his own faults in the relationship. I'm just getting mixed emotions and feelings at the moment and finding it really difficult to cope with the situation. I'm not sure what the right decision is, whether we should end things or fight to continue. I can think of reasons to do both of those things. So, I guess I'm just looking for a bit of advice and guidance. He was my first everything, so it's extremely difficult.

Demi – Sydney, Australia


Hey Demi,

I’m sorry you’re in a hard place. Let me tell you how you got there.

Biology is smart! We’re designed to not think our siblings are hot, and that helps curb inbreeding, which isn’t that great for the longevity of our species. Now, you might be wondering what the heck that has to do with you two, yes?

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My Boyfriend Doesn’t Honor My Boundaries

Friday, December 1, 2017
Hey Wendy,

I’m very confused about a situation. My boyfriend likes to touch my private areas when we’re not sexually intimate. When I ask him to stop he responds with either “shh” or “I’m not touching your private areas,” even though clearly, he is.

When I attempt to force his hand away, he will grab harder and sometimes tries to pull the area. When I told him that it’s an infringement of my privacy, if we are hugging at the time he will push my face away and respond “hugging you is also an infringement of my privacy.”

I’m lost and I really don’t know what to do.

Amanda – Reno, Nevada

Hey Amanda,

Um…

Just because our commander in chief grabs women by the pussy doesn’t make it okay. Your boyfriend’s behavior is not okay. In fact, it’s straight-up harassment.

(more…)

How Do I Navigate This Friends with Benefits?

Friday, November 24, 2017
Hey Wendy!

I’m in some type of something with a guy. He’s been depressed so he hasn’t wanted to hang out with me or anyone else for quite a while. I think I need to give him some space. He noticed that I’ve been asking to hang out every chance I get. He said it makes him feel bad saying “no” when he just wants to be alone. I also text him first a lot.

Basically, I’ve heard that giving a guy some space is a good thing but it’s hard. I can’t imagine a good outcome if I do. Your advice would be great.

Sandra L – San Francisco, CA

Hey Sandra,

One of the hardest parts of being single is not having the sex, intimacy, and connection we crave. Friends-with-benefits can be a nice situation for those of us who want that (and can handle the downsides that come with the FWB package).

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How do you find happiness in being single?

Friday, November 17, 2017
Hey Wendy,

I'm having a difficult time finding happiness in being single. I was never a casual sex type of person. I've tried it but I feel like I've already had enough of those experiences and I'd like to find someone to try to build something long term.

This burning wish of wanting to find someone to settle down with is really bothering me and I sometimes feel very frustrated and depressed because life just feels more bland because I’m alone. Help!

Stephanie E – Seattle, WA

Hey Stephanie,

I can tell you how to fix this. Cultivate a deep and meaningful relationship—with a girlfriend. Yes, that’s right, a friend. One of the things that makes us lonely as a single person is we don’t have anyone to witness our life day in and day out—so change this. Get a girlfriend who’s single and wants the same thing (or close) that you do. You two can support each other, check in on each other, and make a structure to witness your lives together.

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I’m Dating a Felon

Tuesday, November 14, 2017
Hey Wendy,

I've been dating a new guy and we’ve been on three dates in the last week. Each one was better than the last. He's very sweet, kind and seems genuine. I'm 31; he's 37. When I saw him this past weekend, he told me there was something he needed to share with me. He's a felon.

He spent 10 years in prison for building a pipe bomb when he was in the Air Force. Wtf? I was completely blindsided. He showed me photos from when he was imprisoned and has been very open about his past. He has been out for seven years and seems to have his shit together. He's told me that he genuinely cares about me and I appreciate his honesty thus far.

Problem is, I can't seem to find his record to confirm the charge. 10 years seems like a really freakin’ long time to serve for manufacturing a bomb. Should I run for the hills or give this guy a chance? Any recommendations for good background searches?

Rachelle K. – Sacramento, California

Dating a felon

Hey Rachelle,

Pipe bomb. Huh… Okay. So, I don’t recommend you do a background search. I offer instead that you bring this problem to him to help you solve. Given that he’s a felon and has told this story over and over and over again for the past seven years, if you bring kindness and compassion to the conversation, he should hopefully be able to handle it with grace and transparency. If he can’t, that’s your flaming-like-a-lit-pipe-bomb red flag answer.

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My Husband’s Religious Beliefs Are Causing Problems In Our Marriage

Friday, November 10, 2017
Hi Wendy,

My husband’s religious beliefs are causing problems in our marriage and I need your help. We’ve been together for over 10 years. I grew up religious, and he joined our church shortly after we began dating because of my family's influence, but after I’d moved out of my parents’ house, my religious beliefs and practices have been non-existent.

My brother came out as gay when I was in my mid-twenties. I have a slight grudge against religion because it has made my parents and husband treat my brother differently. They believe he is spiritually possessed by demons - gay demons.

Going into our marriage, we discussed our different views and he decided he was okay with me being a non-believer. He said he would continue praying for me and knew God would bring me back once he saved my brother from these spiritual demons. I think he sees himself as our spiritual savior.

My brother hit a hard time and needed to come live with us for a few months, until January. My husband has not taken it too well. He believes gay spirits will hang around and does not want to risk our children (we are trying to get pregnant) being possessed by them - I wish I was joking here. So naturally he wants him to move out ASAP. I love my brother and my husband and I’m conflicted. What would you do?

SI – San Antonio, TX

Husband’s Religious Beliefs Interfere With Family Relations

Hi S.

Wow. It’s really tough for me to hold back from starting this letter with “run as fast as you can away from the crazy person you live with,” because I know this is a complex and real situation for you. But let me ask you just one question. Are you willing to have children with a man who cannot accept gay people? What if one of your children is gay? Did you know that 4% of Americans identify themselves as gay or lesbian? It may seem like a small percentage but those are just the folks who are out.

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How Can I Tell If We’re Compatible to Couple?

Tuesday, November 7, 2017
Hey Wendy!

I’m dating a 50-year-old, and I’m in my early 40’s. I’m wondering, how can I tell if we’re compatible and if we’ll have fun together? He drinks some, and I don’t drink. I’m a trail runner, he’s a street runner (marathons). It seems like we don’t have a lot of activities in common. So how do you know?

SS – Charleston, SC

Ask Wendy explores if these two are compatible to couple.

 

Dear S,

While having activities (outdoor or otherwise) in common is preferred, it’s not required for a happy life together. I’m assuming you like trail running solo or you have running buddies already, right?

It really does take a village to get all our needs met to be a well-rounded, happy person. And those who lean on their partners for everything are usually much worse off than those who have a healthy network of friends and loved ones to help get the job done.

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My Boyfriend’s Heath Problems Are Alarming – Can I Get Him To Change?

Friday, November 3, 2017
I met my boyfriend online. He is a great boyfriend and is very attentive. My only concern about him is his health. He drinks a lot with his friends once or twice a week, has high blood pressure, and currently has ED.

His high blood pressure is genetic. He is thin. I’m just frustrated that he is not going to see his doctor to get everything figured out and make whatever changes are needed. I’ve read that drinking alcohol alone can cause ED. His first response was to quit taking his anxiety and high blood pressure medication for a week to see what was causing his ED. I encouraged him to see my wellness doctor and his best friend encouraged him to also see a doctor and not go cold turkey from his medicine.

He also said he would go to yoga with me and would start eating better. He is eating better. I’ll invite him to join me for yoga on Sunday. I’m guessing he has low testosterone and that the alcohol and possibly his blood pressure med are factors. He is 47. My ex-boyfriend also had some ED issues and didn’t take good care of himself until after we broke up. I don’t want to go through all that again, and I don’t want to be a nag or his mother.

EE – Dallas

Hiya EE,

What I see here is a common theme amongst the sisterhood. We say, “yes” to a relationship with the cute catch standing in front of us without saying “yes” to the whole package as-is. We say “yes” to a relationship, but what we really mean is, “Yes, I want to be with you…right after I get done fixing you.” This doesn’t go over well with men, and as you’ve seen from your past, trying to change a man often doesn’t turn out well.

(more…)

How Can I Tell If a Relationship is a Bad One?

Tuesday, October 31, 2017
Hey Wendy,

I’m just going to lay it out for you. I’m 28, I’ve had two failed marriages with cheating, beating, and verbal abuse. The two relationships that followed were ones where I was safe, but still cheated on.

Suffice it to say I feel I make bad choices in men. So, my fear is with my new relationship forming (we're currently taking it slow and building on friendship and then upward, which is new to me) that I made another bad choice.

I never see the flags until months in, after I've poured my heart into it. So, what should I watch for early on? What are the red flags?

WF – Washington D.C.

Dear W,

I’m sorry you’ve had to endure abuse. And I’m happy to hear that your past is in the past and that you’re taking it slow and becoming friends first with the new one.

The first thing you can do to see if he’s a good guy is to have a another guy in your life (like a brother, mentor, or friend) meet him — and soon.

(more…)

Can I Date My Friend’s Ex?

Reprinted from April 21, 2017
Hi Wendy,
I’m on an online dating site, and I recently connected with a good-looking guy with a great profile who looked familiar to me. I messaged him to tell him he looked familiar, thinking maybe we went to college together or something. He messaged me back, we couldn’t figure out how we knew each other, but we kept chatting and we get along well. Then it dawns on me, he is the ex-husband of an old friend of mine. This friend and I used to be close to years ago. But I haven’t spoken to her in about 7 years. We are Facebook friends, but don’t even communicate on there. Back when they were married, I didn’t know him, I’d never even met him or heard anything about him. He wants to get together for dinner or drinks and see if we connect in person. I am very interested in getting to know him better but not sure what to do. She recently moved out of state to live with her boyfriend of about a year. Do I go or not go? Do I tell her first or wait and see if he and I like each other?

Dear Dater,

Let me get this straight: You want to know if it’s okay to go out with a guy who used to know someone you used to know, but neither of you are in contact with her anymore? A friend whom you no longer talk to, who lives out (more…)

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