Ask Wendy

What’s Reasonable in the Texting Phase?

Friday, February 24, 2017

Hey Wendy, 

This week, I’ve been texting a guy who reached out to me online. We had all sorts of fun, teasing texts earlier in the week, with mentions of possibly getting together for a quick drink and Hello on Thursday. Well, time passes with no word from him after Tuesday. Finally, at 5:00 PM Thursday, he texts me like no time has passed. I’m cranky.

Question: I really hate feeling ignored, and yet I know I’ve never met him, and he’s not in love with me, and, aside from all that, he’s leading a busy life. What’s reasonable to expect in the texting phase?

Online Dating Lesson #1: In order to stay happy and sane as an online dater, hold zero expectations until you’ve met your connection face to face. It’s kind of a good rule for life in general, too—if you haven’t met someone, you can’t trust them for anything.

Train a little part of your brain to say to you, “this could be a twelve-year-old girl I’m texting,” because hey, that’s actually plausible. Or you might be sending sexy texts to a guy twice your age who has no intention of ever meeting you but is lonely and bored in his marriage. It could be someone who’s housebound who flirts via text to pass the time. These scenarios are all as plausible as him being the awesome, busy guy that he bills himself to be.

I vote we change the term “internet dating” to “internet connecting”because you’re not really “dating” online; you’re just gaining access to people you wouldn’t normally run into in your real world. The actual dating happens out in the cafes, the restaurants, the parks, the bowling alleys—not online. It’s why I stress taking your online connection offline and into the real world right away. I know you were already trying to do this; I’m just throwing a reminder out there for the readers.

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BDSM Advice

Dominance, submission, switch?Friday, February 10, 2017

Hey Wendy, 

I don’t know if you can help me here, but I need some advice with my Dominant/Submissive (dom/sub) relationship.

My girlfriend and I have been together for seven years. From the beginning, I’ve been the dom and she has been my sub. Recently we had a heart to heart where she expressed she’s no longer happy being the sub, and instead wants to switch our relationship around, and flip the power dynamics so she’s the dom and I’m the sub.

Could this transition work? I’m rather apprehensive, to say the least. Being a dominant is my mindset, so I’m not sure if I can make that switch, but after thinking about it, I’ve noticed her already making the switch over the last month or so in how she interacts with me.

I know she has identified as bisexual and as a switch in the past, and has been on both sides of the ball in different relationships, so maybe this is her way of expressing I’m not a good enough dominant for her, or maybe she’s bored with me and needs something new.

Dear Dom,

I’m sorry you’re getting the old switcheroo on this one. I don’t know if she’s bored with you or whether she thinks you’re a bad dom, but she certainly didn’t say either of those things. I’d ask for some clarification and reassurance if I were in your boots. While you’re at it, talk it through with her and see how you might change your relationship in a way that works for both of you.

Some people switch. For others, switching is a hard limit. Sounds like she switches with ease, but that switching might be a hard limit for you.

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Should I Believe My Husband?

The one guy that you can tell when lyingFriday, February 3, 2017

Wendy, 

My husband and I broke up two months ago and the split was ugly. A week ago he called me and said he wanted to try again. I was very excited because I missed him so much even though my friends thought he treated me like crap.

During our reconciliation, he told me he hadn’t kissed another woman while we were apart. He also said he would never bring another woman to our house

Last night I came back to our house for the first time. Imagine my surprise when I saw a box of tampons and some makeup in our bathroom. He said he had no idea how the items got there and that they must belong to the housekeeper.

I started to cry and he said I was still “nuts” and he never once brought anyone to our house.

Then I saw the non-stop Facebook posting on a 24-year old woman’s profile. One post was teasing him for being too old for her, and his response was, “maybe you just need a good spanking from me”.

I am heartbroken — I really wanted this relationship to work again. Should I believe him that nothing happened? Am I overreacting?

Love, you know the answer to this. Why are you asking me? Come on, now. You know. I know. Everybody reading this column knows.
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How Do I Deal with My Boyfriend’s Politics?

Too vocal about politics?

angry boyfriend talks politicsFriday, January 27, 2017

Wendy, 

I’ve been dating my boyfriend for nine months. Politics seem to be our biggest issue. He’s a republican and I’m a democrat. I recently attended the Women’s March with some friends and he’s livid. My sign supported Planned Parenthood, and since he’s a staunch pro-life person, he feels I want to kill babies. He also thinks I’m too vocal about my beliefs.

This guy means the world to me and I love him to bits. It sounds to me like he wants to break up, but I’m not sure, and I don’t want to. What should I do?

Dear Dem,

Please, break the fuck up already! “Politics” are not your biggest issue. You not being able to express yourself while being exactly who you are (and exactly who you are not) is the root of the trouble. It appears that the fundamental differences in your beliefs married with his dislike of you speaking your mind are killing your respect for each other, and respect is the cornerstone to any good relationship. (more…)

I Don’t Want Children, Should I Do It Anyway?

young attractive hispanic couple on floor, pregnant woman sitting together handsome husband and flying stork bringing baby in pregnancy and family growth concept

Friday, February 17, 2017

Wendy, 

My girlfriend and I have been together five years. We’ve talked about what we would name kids, but two weeks ago I asked her about our future and what she wants for her life in the next decade or so.

We talked about everything from finances and careers, to moving out of our area or not. Nothing surprised me except the important thing. She told me she doesn’t want to have kids.

She said she just never pictured it in her life. She feels the physical and financial responsibilities are a lot and she also doesn’t want to be pregnant or give birth.

I love her and I can’t picture a future without her. But I always expected and want to be a dad and take care of a family. There’s no middle ground here and I don’t know what to do.

So an acquaintance of mine from Rome never wanted children, but her husband did. She said, “I’ll do it for you one time, but if I do, this child is yours; I’m not looking after it.” He assumed she’d warm up to the idea once she was pregnant. She didn’t. She meant every word she said, and she made no attempts to hide this from their child. (more…)

What Can I believe When Online Dating?

frustrated woman lost her luggage in airportFriday, January 20, 2017

Wendy, 

I put a profile up on Match.com over Christmas and within a couple of days I struck up a weeklong conversation with a guy on Whatsapp.

He lives in Sydney, I live in Adelaide. He’s an engineer who’s working in Kuala Lumpur. I’m in my mid-forties, never married, and don’t have children. He’s mid-forties, divorced nine years, and has an adult daughter.

I suppose my question is do I take a leap of faith and believe everything by taking what he says at face value as I tend to do? He asked me last night if I was chatting with anyone else, which I thought was odd.

He says when he comes back we’ll have dinner together in my town. I can’t help but picture the situation of someone leading a double life…That’s the cynic in me.

Cautiously optimistic with eyes wide open is your optimal approach for dating this guy. If you take what comes at face value and you trust an out-of-town stranger blindly (one who has not yet shown you what he can be trusted for), you’re sure to be in for trouble of one kind or another.

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My Boyfriend is Always Late

portrait of stylish business woman prepare for meeting or negotiations while she rubs her sun glasses looking worried,young attractive female sitting in modern coffee shop waiting for someone for dateFriday, January 13, 2017

Wendy, 

I’m in a new relationship that’s an easy and harmonious fit in so many ways. I’m feeling safe because I’m choosing to trust him to act with best intentions. I want to live by the “no one is ever in trouble” relationship model you and your partner share.

Having said that, there is one big difference between us. I’m a person who puts a high value on being on time. I’m not perfect but I am generally on time if not a bit early. I’m also a planner. My calendar is often booked a couple weeks out and my life is highly scheduled.

He’s in the more-than-an-hour-late camp, and I’ve experienced that on multiple occasions. I’ve tried to set us up to win by doing things like not counting on him for a ride from the airport or, if I’m at home waiting for him, being honest with myself about the fact that he will likely not arrive until quite late. Also, he identifies himself as a spontaneous person and I leave very little room in my life for spontaneity.

He and I both are clear about these aspects of ourselves and each other. We don’t want to shame or blame the other for operating our lives in the ways that work well for each of us.

I don’t want this to be a source of constant frustration for us. How might we work together in harmony and not get bogged down in complaint, disappointment and frustration over this issue?
build over time?

Wow, sister. This is a toughie.

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How Long Should I Date Someone without Chemistry?

Friday, January 6, 2017
Wendy, I’m actively dating and need your help. What should I do when I meet extraordinary guys that I don't have any chemistry for? When do you know that the chemistry is definitely not going to build over time?

This is a tricky balance between giving a guy a chance to grow on you and walking away when it’s just not happening. I’m not a fan of concrete rules, but dating expert and matchmaker to hundreds of happy couples Julie Ferman requires her female clients to go on at least three dates with him if she thinks he was amazing but that there just wasn’t much chemistry. By the third date, if they’re going to flip, they usually do.

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Do I Have to Go on a Group Trip?

Friday, January 6, 2017
Wendy, I’m married and six months pregnant. My husband and I are raising his daughter 50% of the time. So when he came home and asked me to go away with him over New Year’s Eve, I was thrilled. This is our last chance for a quick child-free getaway.

Last evening as we had dinner with his coworkers, one of them turns to my husband and says, "hey, the NYE plan sounds fun, we should set that up."

Record scratch What?

So when we’re alone I ask him about it and he was flippant about it, like "Oh yeah, I must have just forgotten to tell you I invited them." I told him I wished he’d let me know it was a group thing, I thought the getaway was just for the two of us. He said it was fine, that we don't have to go. But made me feel like I was being a party pooper.

Am I wrong? Should I just suck it up and go with the group? I feel like the third wheel in my own relationship, and I’m disappointed that we’ll miss romance during our last child-free holiday.

Dear Disappointed,

Wow, that sucks, I’m sorry!

Let’s start with, “Am I wrong?” That’s a question to ask yourself when you’re calculating a math problem, or when you’re the only one standing on the platform at the train station, but it’s probably not a great question to bandy about in your marriage. Playing round after round of who’s wrong complete with a tallied score card is a slide right into the dismal dumps. It creates discord in your relationship and will turn your husband into an opponent instead of the one who has your back. A more useful question to ask is “Does this work for me?” If you are looking at life from does this work for me (or does this work for our family), I guarantee you’ll find more peace and harmony in your marriage. (more…)

How Do I Deal with Erectile Dysfunction?

Friday, December 30, 2016

Wendy,

What can you tell me about erectile dysfunction? How should I deal with it? What is it? How common is it? I almost broke up with my boyfriend because I thought it was me. Help!

Some type of erectile dysfunction (ED) will touch pretty much every man in his lifetime, so tossing one out for a new one because of this would be like tossing out a woman when she hits menopause.

The most common symptom of ED is when a man can’t get or stay hard, but there are plenty of other ways the dysfunction pops up. Another one is he’ll be having sex but won’t be able to ejaculate. That’s called edging, as in the orgasm is right there on the edge, but doesn’t reach the station. It’s simple mechanics.

ED is not something you should take personally.

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How Do I Deal with Relatives at the Holidays?

Friday, December 23, 2016

Wendy, my sister-in-law has hated me from the start (4 years) because of a misunderstanding that took place when I was dating my husband. She acknowledges that it was a misunderstanding but she’s still horrible to me. She does petty things whenever she can.

A few days ago I overheard her say “Ever since he married that fucking bitch…..” My husband heard it as well and he went crazy on her, and said she was dead to him.

Here’s the problem: we always have a family Christmas at his mother’s house. Sister-in-law called my husband and apologized. He told her she needs to apologize to me, not him. He asked her why she is so hateful to me and she admitted she really has no reason, she just doesn’t like me.

So, the two of them made up, Christmas dinner is on and my husband just wants everyone to get along. I have ZERO interest in spending Christmas with someone who hates me and calls me names.

So where’s your apology? Even if she does eventually apologize to you, it doesn’t sound like it would come with any amount of sincerity. I sympathize with your plight. Personally, I wouldn’t go, but I can be an asshole like that. For sure, let your husband know that “everyone getting along” is a delusional fantasy, not a reality. I’m sure there are families out there who all sing carols and sip cocoa by the fire in perfect harmony, but that ain’t ever gonna happen with a sister like that.

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Am I Terminally Single?

Friday, December 16, 2016

Wendy, my childhood friend is having her marriage celebration a year after they were married. When they tied the knot, they didn’t have the money to have a big party, so they got married at the courthouse with plans of hosting one in 2017.

So I just got the invitation, and it’s the weekend of my 30th birthday, in a rural location in my home state. If I go, this will be a big expense for me: A flight, rental car for a 5-hour drive to arrive at a cabin in a lodge type location. The plan is I’d be bunking up with my three other childhood friends and their husbands. Yes, I’m the only single one in the group.

I’m feeling anxious and unhappy about turning 30 as it is, especially given that I’m pretty much terminally single at this point. I’m not sure I want to spend that weekend with my three married friends and their husbands, to celebrate the year-old marriage of our fourth married friend. I also have very limited vacation days, and so burning two of them for this weekend seems unappealing.

I feel guilty that I’m considering not going to this celebration; I don’t want my friend to feel slighted. So basically…do I have to go?

Bunking up with married people, yay! No. You do not have to go. I’ve found that the greatest gift we receive in aging is the facility to gracefully say “no thank you” and to not feel bad about it—not even a little bit. Your “no” will get easier every year. Happy birthday!

So before you turn 30, let’s practice together, ready? Here’s your note to attach to a nice gift that costs waayyyy less than the trip in its entirety would set you back.

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How Do I Dress for a Date?

_35Friday, December 9, 2016

Wendy, what did you wear when you met all those men?  I wear dresses and boots, but I’m not getting many men and I’m not sure if it’s because I’m intimidating them by the way I am dressed. Yet I feel more comfortable in a dress and definitely look better.

Dear Boots,

There’s nothing intimidating about an article of clothing unless there are spikes coming out of it, in which case, your target audience might be a little more specific. I wore dresses, skirts, boots, and sometimes 6” stripper heels. In other words, I wore what made me happy. Yes, stripper heels made me happy—until they broke my feet and relegated me to the sartorially challenged realm of the orthopedic shoe.

I have a girlfriend who looks sensational in pantsuits. She should not wear dresses, skirts, boots, or stripper heels like me. She should wear pantsuits because she loves them and looks fantastic in them.

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How Do I Balance Dating a Man & Spending Time with His Kids?

Friday, December 2, 2016

Dear Wendy,

I’m dating a man with children (15F, 19M, 23M) all living at home, full-time. They really like me, and have warmly welcomed me into the family.

I need help with sharing his time. If I try to only see him on “date nights” I miss him. We don’t want to date others but quite frankly it’s hard for me to balance my life, a life with just him, and a life with the whole gang. I enjoy them all but it’s a new experience and I find myself getting wiped out!

Hey Newcomer!

Hats off to you for winning the kids over. That part can be rough going—especially with teen girls. So: this is not a guy you’re dating, but rather a whole family you’re trying on for size. I don’t think the answer lies in a rigid formula mapping out the number of times or hours you’ll spend together. Instead, this could be a shining opportunity to master saying “no thank you” as easily as you say “Yes, that would be nice.” Set the stage now for the kind of fluidity in your schedule that serves you best and fills all your different tanks.

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Is My Cheating Husband Gay?

Friday, November 25, 2016

My husband and I had a baby just nine months after we met. I then found out he had another girlfriend. I left. He apologized, promised never to do it again, and asked me to elope with him: I did.

We’re now at the three-year mark with two children. I just found a secret email account that holds 40 addresses, most of which are gay men my husband has had sex with repeatedly. Is my husband secretly gay? I am crushed. I don’t know if I can trust him. What should I do?

Dear Crushed,

Ouch! I’m so sorry! I can’t imagine how you felt the moment you found that account, and my heart goes out to you. Now, let’s get to solving this.

Your husband’s sexual orientation is not the point. The real issue here is trust.

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