January 8, 2014

Reality Check

Matters of the Heart and Loins

Editor’s Note: We’re running items from some of Jyl’s old columns until a new advice columnist turns up, and, guess what? A new advice columnist has shown up and will soon be answering your questions in this space. Meanwhile, send in your questions to, so that our new columnist can begin helping you sort things out.

So, I’m seeing this girl. We have a lot of the same friends, but for some reason, we only met a few months ago. Things are pretty good, but I have been wanting to keep things casual because I need time to get over my last girlfriend and because I might be moving when school is over. She says that’s what she wants, too, but all signs point to “looking for a boyfriend.” Whenever I say that, she gets offended and pouts and tries to make a big point out of looking at other guys or whatever. It makes me feel weird and feel sorry for her in a way, and kind of guilty.

The thing is, I really like her, and in a lot of ways I can see myself having a serious relationship with her if I stay and if things go well. But she does weird stuff like look through my text messages or scroll through the calls on my phone while I’m in the bathroom. I have tried to talk to her about it, always in a very non-confrontational and non-public way (meaning that when she does this shit and other people are around or we’re partying, I wait until we’re alone and sober to try to talk to her about it), but she always blows it off, turns it into “I was joking around! You’re so serious! I thought you didn’t want to be serious?” and all that. What am I doing wrong here? I want to be a good guy, but I feel like I can’t win with this girl.

Good Guy



What you’re doing wrong is trying to be honest and adult when this girl is obviously not ready. Snooping through your phone is not a joke; it’s paranoid, intrusive and weird. She’s passive-aggressive, petulant and childish. Your reasons for keeping it casual are sound, and if she can’t hear you, then she’s just not listening.

OK, so there is a girl that is a friend of a friend. Turns out she has a big crush on me. We get along great, have similar tastes in music, art, everything that would make us a great match. She is quite pretty, but the only problem for me is that she is a little (15–20 lbs) overweight. Fitness is really important to me as I do personal training, run marathons, etc. Overall it is a large part of my life. Should I just accept that we don’t share the same priorities for fitness or is there anything I can do to let her know that I would be really interested if only she incorporated a healthier lifestyle?




How about: “Hey, I hear you have a crush on me. Do you think you can drop 20 pounds by next Saturday so we can go out?” Yeesh. Just because fitness is a big part of your life, Anonymous, doesn’t mean it has to be a big part of hers. I think if you really like this girl you should give it a try. Maybe if things work out, she will start to get more active and fitness will be more of a priority. Or maybe your priorities will change.

I have been hanging out with this guy for a couple of months. We have everything in common—same values, same politics, we like the same music, we both have military experience, etc. Our relationship has been strictly platonic so far, but we have had some conversations about the future. He is in his upper 30s, never married, and I am in my early 30s and divorced. It really seems like the perfect match. Also, he has a female roommate. And I never thought anything of it at first, but then one day he said that he was going to ask her to move out because she has feelings for him. OK, whatever. But then it kind of bothered me, so the next time I talked to him I asked him if anything had happened between them. He said that they had slept together, but that it was over a year ago and nothing had happened since. I wasn’t happy about it, but I let it go. So, he told her to move out, and he said she started crying.

Then he had to have surgery, and he has been mostly MIA since. We talk on the phone every day, but he never comes to see me, and never wants to do anything. He says he doesn’t want me to see him like he is. He’s all depressed, and I never see him. And now I don’t know what to do. His roommate is still there, too. And I hate that I’m thinking of this, but I assume she’s taking care of him, and it bothers me. Whenever I talk to him everything seems fine between us, but since I never see him anymore I have no idea where this is going. Normally I am not anything like this. I don’t understand what’s happening to me. I’m usually quite confident and this is throwing me. What am I supposed to do? I feel like an idiot for being this way. I know if any one of my friends came to me with this situation I would tell them they were crazy and to drop the guy. But I am having a hard time letting go. Plus I feel bad leaving him if he’s just depressed because of the surgery and stuff. But it’s been almost three weeks and I am going crazy. What do you think?



I don’t really understand what you’re waiting for, Waiting. You’re not even in a relationship with this guy and already he’s playing games with you. What exactly do you think you have to look forward to once you start sleeping together? If you had such a good thing going, and you were talking about the future, then why would he not want you to see him just because he’s in recovery? And what reason do you have to trust him about the roommate? It sounds to me like he’s bullshitting both of you. He’s either a man-child or a liar, and either way, I can’t for the life of me figure out why you would start planning your future with him. Look at it this way: you weren’t dating anyway, and now you haven’t seen him in a couple of weeks. So, what’s the big loss? If you just cut him off, all you will lose is a lot of bother and second-guessing yourself. And if you stick around and wait, what do you have to gain? At best, an inconsiderate adolescent, and at worst, a lying, manipulative jackass who makes you feel worthless and doubt yourself. Is that a guy you really want in your future? Take your own advice and get out now. Stop calling, stop taking his calls. Block his number. And hey, it’s not like he can chase you if he’s bedridden, right? Do not invest any more time or energy in him.

I met a girl whom I really like over at my friend’s house. We exchanged numbers after talking for a couple of hours. I want to ask her out but I don’t want to seem too eager. When do I call?



My God, I hope you don’t wait for an answer from me before calling. You know, papers have lead time. Yikes. I hope you gave in and called. For the record, though, there is no specific amount of time. No magic formula. Just do it.