Here are some of the questions about dating, relationships and health I have been asked this week from my readers on Quora.com. They make interesting reading and may make you question your own relationship expectations!
I share my answers just in case you are going through anything similar – after all, a problem shared is a problem halved as they say.
Whilst I am not a professionally qualified psychologist or mediator, I am a 50-something married mum of two with quite a few years’ experience under my belt.
I take the view that, sometimes, you need to hear it like you would from your own mother – however tough the truth may be.
Here are just some of the questions.
Q: Am I crazy for staying with my cheating husband of only 3 months?
A: I’m really sorry to hear this. Is this new cheating or has it been going on before the wedding?
Did you suspect? Has he admitted it or is this just worry on your part? You do need some proof before you take action.
If you have no doubt, I’m afraid I would kick his sorry backside out and cut my losses.
If he’s cheating he’s making a mockery of your marriage vows.
You don’t say if you have kids but if you don’t and you are considering them, this is not the right situation to bring them into.
I hope things sort themselves out for you.
Q. My boyfriend does amazing things for me but he works so hard to do them. How do I convince him he doesn’t need to do this?
A: Some people express their love through giving. That’s just the way they are and actually, not appreciating these gestures can sometimes feel like a rejection to them.
Can’t you just enjoy being spoiled? Lots of women would give their eye teeth to have your problem.
It may be that your boyfriend worries about losing you and is overcompensating so as long as he knows that you love him and you are occasionally spoiling him in return, I’d say that’s fine.
Rather than worrying about him overexhausting himself, it would be more useful to sometimes turn the tables and run him a hot bath or cook his favourite meal – be creative.
Don’t turn this into a psychological issue that needs solving – it all sounds fine to me!
Q: I and my boyfriend are both introverts and we have nothing to talk about. How do I fix this?
I have known this guy for 2 years. But we started dating only recently. I’m silent and shy too. We don’t have much to share and speak about. What should I do? I have heard people telling that ‘if you don’t have much to talk about then your relationship will never work’ Is it true?
A: I think you need to find a shared hobby or interest that you can do together – art, museum visits, theatre?
There’s nothing wrong with being introverted but there is a problem if you have nothing to say to one another.
Having nothing in common is not the same as you both being shy.
It sounds like you don’t really know each other very well and if you want the relationship to last, one, or both of you, need to start talking.
Q: This guy I like takes forever to text back but yet he’s on social media the entire day & doesn’t text me back for hours…Why is that?
It really irks me because people make time for other people & I don’t think I’m overreacting because he’s on the phone so I’m guessing I’m not that important to text back… Right? He took an interest in me & I started showing interest back now he’s not texting as much it feels like.
A: How do you know he is always on the phone or social media? Have you got him on 24-hour watch?
Seriously, it sounds like you’re a little obsessed with tracking his every move which he is probably finding a little intense or annoying.
If he’s interested in you he will contact you but monitoring him is a quick way to make him lose interest.
I suspect he’s well aware that you are desperate for him to contact you but I think you need to concentrate on other people, go out and have fun and step away from social media.
Have a little pride. Be a little more mysterious and hard to pin down. You may well find there is a message for you when you come back.
Q: How do you heal emotional wounds after breakups?
I really was convinced that he was the one, he kept confirming that to me. But when something went wrong for him, it would always be my fault.
He kept guilt-tripping me and was highly suspicious and jealous. He liked to control the friends I went out with and if I didn’t obey his ‘rules’, he would yell at me and belittle me.
I later found out that he was lying about drug abuse and had cheated on me but he still made me think it was all my fault. I broke all contact with him, but I know he is running me down to all of our friends – calling me a psycho and a crazy bitch. He is much more sociable than me and seems to have won them over too.
I am completely devastated and my self-esteem is now so low that I feel it was all my fault and he has won. Can anybody help me move past this?
A: This man seems deeply unpleasant, emotionally controlling and abusive. I honestly think, despite your pain, you are much better off without him.
If you are struggling with your feelings I strongly suggest you seek counselling to move past this and to understand why you feel you deserve such treatment and put up with it.
Hopefully, you will then be able to leave him in the past – where he belongs – and move forward to meet someone with whom you can have a healthy loving relationship which makes you happy.
Q: What does a girl mean when she says “I feel I’ve misled you”?
I was on a date with a girl, she got drunk, and became a little seductive, so on the way back in the car I touched her hair.. later on she told me that she has a feeling she misled me. what does she mean? does she mean she wasn’t into me? or only that she didn’t mean to seduce me?
A: I think it means she regrets your encounter and is not interested in pursuing a romantic relationship.
I know that’s probably not what you want to hear but without asking her directly it’s hard for anyone to advise.
Next time though, you might want to think twice about seducing a girl who is drunk. Had circumstances been different, you may well have found yourself in quite a bit of trouble.
Have a chat with her to see how things stand between you.
Q: What does a guy mean when he says “I’m just really busy”?
I had a great first date with this guy. I texted him afterwards and we texted back and forth. I asked him out on a second date and he told me “I’m really busy at the moment but it sounds really fun”. I asked him jokingly if this is a rejection or a postponement? He didn’t answer directly, he just said he was really busy.
A: I think you need to stop chasing him and try to be a little cooler and more mysterious. From the sound of it, he likes you but isn’t interested in a second date – for the moment at least
If he’s reluctant to commit because he really is too busy, you’ll find out soon enough.
In the meantime, get busy yourself – go out and have some fun and flirt with a few guys who DO have some spare time.
Q: How does a guy feel if another woman shows an interest in him when he already has a loving girlfriend?
A: I imagine most men would feel flattered. Their next reaction will depend on how they feel about their current girlfriend.
If they are happy in their relationship, the interest shown will swiftly become a bit irritating if it continues when they have made it clear they are happy and have no interest in pursuing someone else.
Or, if they aren’t happy, then perhaps they will reciprocate.
If you are really asking if it’s OK to flirt with a guy who is happily coupled up, then I’d say it is alright for some light flirtation, but you’d be better off concentrating your attention on a guy who is single and looking for a relationships, than trying to break up a happy couple.
Q: My girlfriend broke up with me because she said she needed space and couldn’t be in a relationship right now. What does it mean?
I met this girl in university and we dated for a couple of years, one of which was a long distance relationship between the UK and Central Europe. She broke up with me at the beginning of June saying she wanted to focus on herself, wanted to travel and to be there for her family. She said she doesn’t want a relationship at the moment.
A: Well she can’t really make it any clearer, can she? She doesn’t want a relationship with you and her priorities are travel and enjoying her independence.
I can tell that you don’t want to let her go but it would be better to concentrate on finding someone closer to home to develop a close, meaningful relationship with than pinning your hopes on someone who, by the sound of it, has no intention of settling down for a long while.
Q: Why does my boyfriend keep fighting with me for a long time about the same topic and always wants me to do something his way? Does he really love me?
A: Without knowing what the topic you are arguing about is, it’s impossible to say. He may well love you but feel that you are being unreasonable – and that, long-term, is likely to kill the relationship.
What is the issue you are fighting about? If it’s an important one you need to find common ground and negotiate a solution.
If neither of you will concede, then perhaps it is time to part.
If he is controlling and abusive and trying to bully you into something you do not want to do, you would be better off without him in any case.
Q: Is it possible to get my baby’s dad back together after 5 years apart and his new child has been born with someone else?
A: I would say it’s highly unlikely unless he is separated from his recent partner and has made some romantic overtures to you again.
Without knowing the exact details of your situation it’s impossible to be more specific.
It sounds like you are hurting terribly because of the new baby and want to hurt the mother of his latest child but this will not bring you any happiness and will just make you look vengeful and desperate.
You need to concentrate on maintaining a good relationship with your baby’s father for the sake of your child but I would say 5 years is too long a time to have passed to return to how things were.
Keeping on good terms with your baby’s dad is your best bet to seeing if there may be some slight hope in the future but trying to break up his existing relationship is likely to ensure he will never want to return to you.
Q. How common is it for the woman to do all the driving in a relationship?
How often do you see a couple where the girl always drives the car? Has the number increased over the years? Do people still find it weird if the girl’s on the driver’s seat while the guy is the passenger?
A: I have never noticed and even if I did, I wouldn’t think anything of it. In the UK it is a common practice for the wives and girlfriends to drive so that their partner can have a drink.
Unless you are suggesting that letting a woman drive is somehow emasculating, I can’t see the problem.
If on the other hand, you aren’t driving because your girlfriend won’t let you then that’s another issue. If you can’t drive, obviously lessons are the answer otherwise I’d be happy you have a chauffeur.
How would you have responded to these questions? You can also send me your own at Quora or drop me a line in the comments below.
Want the answers to last week’s questions? They’re here.
Would the romantic hopefuls in these questions have met your relationship expectations? More dating advice on my problem page.
All materials included in this post are intended for informational purposes only. This post/information is not intended to and should not be used to replace medical or psychiatric advice offered by physicians or other healthcare providers. The author will not be liable for any direct, indirect, consequential, special, exemplary or other damages arising therefrom.