Dear John: Girls Gone Ever So Slightly Wild
Tuesday, July 06, 2010
Is it because no one at home listens to all his good advice? Maybe. But lucky for you, he's here, he's ready to advise, and all you need to do is ask. Which you can do by writing to email@example.com.
I’m an engaged woman in my early 30’s. I love my fiancé and I am looking forward to a long, happy marriage. We have been dating for three years and I have never cheated on him or thought about cheating on him. About once a month I go out dancing with a group of women that I am friendly with. One Saturday night I went out with this group and one of my friends brought one of her old friends from college who was in town. Her friend was really fun and cute. A group of us went out to dinner and dancing afterwards. I danced quite a bit with this woman and I have to admit I felt some chemistry. After the club, some of the group went back to my friend’s apartment. (When we go out we will often just crash at one person’s apartment because we do not want to drink and drive.) Well, I have never really kissed a girl before but my friend’s friend and I started making out and it got pretty heavy. It did not go any farther than that and the next morning things were a little weird. I most likely will never see this woman again and am not interested in pursing anything. I don’t think I’m a lesbian because I’m very attracted to my fiancé. My friends who were there that evening think it was no big deal. They don’t think it counts as cheating because I was kissing another girl. I don’t know, I’m feeling a little guilty. Should I tell my fiancé? He might think it is really funny or he might be really hurt.
Bride to Be
I think you should tell your fiancé. What you did was wrong (you’re not supposed to make out with anyone else when you’re engaged!), but the larger issue is that you’re obviously at least a little confused about your sexuality. This is the type of thing he has a right to know before you get married.
You say you don’t think you’re a lesbian, and I have no doubt you’re right. What you don’t acknowledge, though, is that you may be bisexual. There’s nothing wrong with that, but you should have a better grasp of its implications before you marry someone.
Talk to your fiancé, not with the attitude that you have some grave sin to confess, but simply to let him know something has happened which may or may not have ramifications for your relationship. See how he responds. If you are bisexual, it needn’t be the end of your engagement, and how the two of you work through this will give you insight into the kind of partner he will be.
I have to comment on your friends’ take on this, too. It’s not cheating because you were kissing another girl??? Suppose your fiancé told you he got a little drunk and started making out with a guy he met. How much comfort would you take from, “Well, at least it was with a guy!” Doesn’t the question of whether it’s cheating seem a bit beside the point?
I live in a house with seven roommates and I'm in charge of the gas bill, where I divide the bill eight ways evenly and collect from everyone. For the summer most have gone home and found subleters. But one of them has chosen to go home for the summer and not to bother to get a subleter. Then he told me he didn't want to pay gas for the summer because there is nobody living in his room. What do you think is the fair way to handle this?
While it sounds like your roommate could have handled this situation with a little more consideration, his stance seems reasonable. Unlike rent, which has to be paid whether the room is occupied or not, your house is charged only for the gas it uses. If he’s away, he’s not using any gas for showers or cooking, so there’s nothing for him to pay. Just be aware that gas bills come several weeks after the actual gas was used, so make sure he’s charged for what he used before he left. (I assume he is still contributing toward the rent over the summer, which is his responsibility.) In the future, it’s always a good idea to talk about these kinds of contingencies before deciding to live together.
I've been considered a family man my whole life. You know the whole deal about blood being thicker than water? But what if it's just bad blood? I'm a man in my mid-twenties and I have a brother a few years older than me. My father passed a couple of years ago and ever since my mom has been quite lonely. She loves it when her sons come around, and I try to stop in as often as I can. My brother comes to see my mom too. However, this is only when he needs something. It's pretty much to the point where he is taking advantage of my mom. I just recently found out that my mother gave him $5,000 to settle a gambling debt. Also the last time I talked to my brother, he told me that he was planning to move him and his girlfriend in to our mom's small house. I was outraged! I just didn't know how to handle the situation, so at that time I said nothing. Who do I talk to? Do I tell my mom that her own son is taking advantage of her? Do I confront my brother? Please John I need your help!
The Good Son
I don’t think talking to your mom will accomplish anything except perhaps to make her defensive and irritated with you, unfair as that is. Your mother loves her son, so she’s not seeing this situation clearly. It’s not just romantic love that causes people to do dumb things; familial love can do it, too.
Definitely talk to your brother. Tell him he should be ashamed of the way he’s taking advantage of your mother. If he has a gambling problem or other addictions, tell him you’ll help him find treatment, but he has to be motivated to get his life together. Don’t expect much to come of this conversation, but at least you will have put your brother on notice that you’re not going to sit by and pretend nothing’s wrong.
Then I think you should consider getting a third party involved. Call the RI Department of Elderly Affairs and see if there’s a caseworker you can talk to about this situation. Perhaps a lawyer can help you structure your mother’s finances in such a way that she can’t be so easily fleeced by your brother.
Situations like this are incredibly sad, and lonely elderly people are terribly vulnerable. If your mom is in control of her faculties and she’s doing this of her own volition, there may not be much you can do to prevent it. If that’s the case, at least you will have the small comfort of knowing you did all you could.
You know you've got a problem. And you need some solid advice. Send it off today to firstname.lastname@example.org . Make it interesting enough and he'll probably write back. In front of a million of your closest friends.
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