Tell Me About It
Messy smooching, engagement rings, more snooping

Hosted by Carolyn Hax
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, August 8, 2003 12:00 PM

Carolyn takes your questions and comments about her current advice column and any other questions you might have about the strange train we call life. Her answers may appear online or in an upcoming column.

Appearing every Wednesday and Friday in The Washington Post Style section and in Sunday Source, Tell Me About It ? offers readers advice based on the experiences of someone who's been there -- really recently. Carolyn Hax is a 30-something repatriated New Englander with a liberal arts degree and a lot of opinions and that's about it, really, when you get right down to it. Oh, and the shoes. A lot of shoes.

The transcript follows.

Editor's Note: moderators retain editorial control over Live Online discussions and choose the most relevant questions for guests and hosts; guests and hosts can decline to answer questions.


Washington, D.C.: I did the unthinkable. I snooped and saw things that made me mad and then flipped out. I was incredibly immature and cruel. There's no going back is there?

Carolyn Hax: No, but there's going somewhere new. It's where you end up when you have done something you can't undo, and so your only option is to repair what you can, write off what you can't and vow to be a better person ever after. People tend to be pretty humble in this new place, so it's not all bad.


Alexandria, Va.: Hey Carolyn-

I've been dating a nice girl for about a month, and though we aren't completely serious or committed at this point, we're having a nice time.

The problem I have is this: every time we go out to do something, I pay. And though we haven't gone out on any really expensive dates, it adds up. Movie, dinner, coffee. A lunch date here. A ticket there. So it's no so much the money... but I've noticed she hasn't been bringing her wallet lately, and there's never even a "reach" for the bill on her part. It's starting to bug me, as she knows I am not rollin'-in-the-dough and am burdened by mortgage payments. But I'm uncomfortable with the idea of suggesting "we go Dutch." Any suggestions?
Thank you.

Carolyn Hax: Bummer. I don't want to go so far as to say this is a dealbreaker, but if there are any other signs that she expects the world to take care of her, or if you get into months 2 or 3 with no sign of her pitching in, that would tip the balance toward fleeing.

I know some people are going to disagree with me strenuously on this, and to them I say, you should go out with this woman.

While you're waiting for other signs, send one out yourself. Start taking her to free events only.


Lonely in Washington, D.C.: Carolyn,

I am in love. After being in several relationships relationships of being treated badly by a man, I finally found one who loves me and respects me and treats me how I want to be treated. Of course, because nothing is ever perfect, there is a problem. He has a lot of things going on in his life. Not bad things, just THINGS that take up a lot of his time. Because of all these things, I don't see him as often as I'd like. He did tell me when we began the relationship that he was often busy because of a demanding schedule, but the few nights a week he doesn't have something going on, a lot of time he just wants to go home and relax and do nothing else. I understand that, but at the same time have to wonder that if he really loves me, wouldn't he want/try to spend more time with me. The only fights that we have stem from me getting upset that I don't see him enough. Please help. Do I just stand back and let him live his life and wait for the time it settles down, or do I back off all together because things might never change?

Carolyn Hax: Or, (c) do you start looking at this relationship as part of the bad-treatment continuum? Not that there's anything wrong per se with his wanting a few nights to himself. But from here it looks like you're in the same position most people are when they're in bad or abusive relationships--you're begging, he's withholding--and that could mean this is something you subconsciously seek out. Yes? No? If there's even a whiff of a pattern here, I'd take a step back from this romantic relationship, declare a moratorium on new ones, and, if it doesn't start to make sense even from that new perspective, consider therapy.


Re: Going Dutch: Would your response differ if, say, the girl was a grad student (= broke), the guy was a doctor, and it was a more established thing? And the girl did make little efforts wherever possible (treating to coffee, occasional brunches, etc.)? Past relationship, I'm just curious as to your response... Thanks!

Carolyn Hax: Yes, completely. I think it's the effort that counts, on both sides, and the concern for balance and fairness.


Washington, D.C.: Is it ever OK to snoop? If you're snooping, does it always mean there is a problem in the relationship or could it mean you're just nosey?

Carolyn Hax: "Just" nosy? I think that's even worse than a problem in a relationship. That means you have some combination of: no respect for others' privacy, no sense of boundaries, no self control, no trust in others, no little switch in your head that says, "I really don't need to know this." Because you don't really need to know this, whatever it is that you're digging up when you snoop.


Somewhere USA: My boyfriend of three years has just returned after four months overseas. I thought I would be excited to see him but I'm not. We moved in together right before he left, which I'm thinking was a mistake. I don't know what to do. Is it possible that I fell out of love with him during the four months? I feel guilty because I enjoyed being alone while he was gone. He tries to hang out with my friends and I but its not the same. I liked it better when he was gone.


Carolyn Hax: No, you're not confused, you know exactly what you want. You're just (understandably) pain-averse. Repeat after me: "I think I need to live on my own, at least until I find out for sure whether my feelings have changed."


For Lonely in Washington: Maybe the pattern is that she is overly demanding of the men in her life and then labels their reaction to it as "treating her badly." Having been there myself, and I mean as the overly demanding party who attributed anyone's non-acquiesence to it as poor behavior on their part, I have to point out that sometimes the the supposed injured party is the one in the wrong.

Carolyn Hax: I agree, thanks. I've actually always wondered how good counseling was at picking up something like that. E.g., the behavior you describe is something your friends probably picked up on, or the astute ones at least, since they saw how you worked in various social contexts. But would you relate it accurately in the vacuum of a therapist's office? Has anyone had the experience of getting completely busted by their shrink, a real, "Oh no, it's me" moment?


Nosy Girl #2: I am nosy. I have always been that way. I used to snoop through everything in our house when I was little. (I found my mom's diaphragm one time and asked her what is was.) It has carried over into relationships. I know it is wrong, impolite and demonstrates mistrust. I thinks it's just part of my personality.

Carolyn Hax: What a cop out.


Re: Because you don't really need to know this: Even if it's to verify suspicions of cheating?

Carolyn Hax: Think about it. You can't prove a negative, meaning, if you suspect he's cheating, snooping will work only if 1. he is cheating and 2. he left some proof somewhere. What happens when he's innocent, or discreet? You dig and dig and dig until you drive yourself out of your mind? Treat your suspicions as facts in themselves. Either they're weak and you're insecure and it's time to ask why, or they're well-founded and you're staying with someone who makes you miserable and it's time to ask why.


Them Thar Hills: Attention potential golddiggers: Take it from a master, you've got to offer to pay for the little things. You've also got to make a big sacrifice sometimes to pay for big things. Sugar daddies (and sugar mamas) are aware that it's a transaction. You better offer something of value in return. And it must be more than your supposedly coruscant personality.

Carolyn: If you wore a terry headband (circa 1982) when you banged your head on a wall, would you have an 80s-flashback?

Carolyn Hax: I would have an '80s Flashdance (circa 1983). Which is why I do this from home.


Anywhere, USA: Carolyn:

How do you read when you've had three dates with a woman, and she won't return your calls -- (two calls in four days)?

Normally I would say she's blowing me off, but she had showed a lot of interest in me in the past.
e.g., Our last time out, she talked about taking me out to dinner. We also did some fooling around. Needless to say, I am not getting the clues that it was going nowhere.

Should I call her one more time -- just to get a confirmation that it is over? Or is it just too damn obvious?


Carolyn Hax: Too damn obvious, unless she's out of town, in the hospital, or has an out-of-town relative in the hospital. Wait two weeks, then try one more time.


Ft. Worth, Tex.: I recently (drunkenly) confessed to a friend that I had feelings for him. Everything before now has been painfully platonic -- and although I don't regret telling him -- I do regret how I told him. I will see him again soon at a wedding and I'm wondering whether I should apologize for my behavior or not bring it up at all?

Carolyn Hax: Tell him you're sorry for the drunkenness but the rest of it still stands. Just be prepared to take one on the chin, especially since you'll be sober.


Arlington, Va.: Just out of curiosity, how do you tell a friend that the problem is them, and not their supposed victimizer?

Carolyn Hax: "Actually, being home alone a few nights a week doesn't sound that bad to me. Is it possible you're just asking too much of this guy?"


RE: Nosy Girl #2: And what a fine personality it is!; I happen to be a pathological liar. My friends love me!;

Carolyn Hax: Because you tell them how lovely they are and you promise to pick up the tab.


Alexandria, Va.: Sometimes prior to a divorce people, particularly wives, and particularly wives with no independent income, need to "snoop" to find out their husband's assets. Sad, but true. They would be doing themselves a disservice if they didn't. They really DO need to know that stuff, in that case.

Carolyn Hax: There's a fine line between snooping and detective work.


Somewhere: Can you "rehabilitate" a guy who kisses like a slobbery basset hound (gets your neck so wet that your hair is plastered to it) and doesn't respond to your pulling away or otherwise not seeming like you're having fun by changing technique and instead keeps doing things that you hate (like putting my chin in his mouth and swabbing it with his tongue, not once, but thrice like I'd like it better after pulling away twice before)? If this behavior can be changed, how? This guy is otherwise cool, but I now have no desire ever to be alone with him for fear of drowning in a sea of spit.

Carolyn Hax: Don't know if you can "rehabilitate," but you can "say something." Though it might be too late; I'm shuddering at the thought of him, and I'm in this only through hearsay.


Somewhere, USA: Whaddya think of a guy who got highly insulted when I tried to reach for the check? He'd taken me out six times, dinners, movies, concert and I thought it was time for me to reciprocate.

Carolyn Hax: Highly insulted? High maintenance.


Been there, done that: I was in therapy and definitely had one of those, "oh no, it's me" moments. I learned that a big part of why my boyfriend wasn't giving me the attention that I "needed" was because I was WAY too demanding. It definitely stemmed from some other, much more serious, mental issues. But isn't that what therapy is all about?

Carolyn Hax: It is. At least I hope it is. Some people are just so good at making themselves out as victims that I wonder if they can fly beneath therapeutic radar. I've mentioned this scene before--when Janice goes to her shrink in "The Sopranos"? It got me thinking. Thanks for the post.


Re: wet kissing: I couldn't do it. The guy was absolutely convinced he was the best kisser in the world. For my part, I had to wipe off my face every single time (which he found horribly offensive -- and I've never felt the need to do that before or since). He liked to 'nibble' my cheek, which involved rubbing his open mouth all over my cheeks.
I'm getting grossed out again thinking of it.

Carolyn Hax: You have company.


Re: Slobbering Beast: Haven't we all been with bad kissers? Welcome to the dating world. Your only choices are to suck it up (ew), or tell him, "Let me show you the kind of kisses that really get me going." He'll either let you teach him and MAYBE open up to you about possible inexperience in the kissing arena, OR he'll completely ignore you. If he ignores you, that's a sign he's unable to open up about things and admit his faults.

Carolyn Hax: That works, thanks.


Washington, D.C.: Hey Carolyn
I've submitted some questions in the past but never gotten them answered. I think my questions were all more interesting than some of the stuff that does get air time. Is it just luck of the draw?

Carolyn Hax: Short version, yes.


Carolyn Hax: Interesting factoid du jour: In 5.5 years of doing this, no one has ever written to me to say, "I submitted a question earlier, but it was really boring, so please don't answer it.


Busted by shrink: I kept telling my therapist about how I wasn't sure about my relationship, didn't know if he was being a jerk or if he was just being male, etc., and as a nice shrink, she was saying the make-you-feel-better stuff. Then she had me bring in my boyfriend, and things completely flipped around - she said "It seems like he's a great boyfriend. Are you sure it's not your reaction to him?" And it made me really think about things differently. Good eye-opener.

Carolyn Hax: An argument, then, for context.


Carolyn Hax: Unless she has since run off with your boyfriend.


Slobbering Fools: Query: do they ever meet up with spit fetishists (their perfect match), or do they go through life being dumped because they drool on their dates?

Carolyn Hax: It's going to take me until at least 5 or 6 today to clear my mind of spit.


Re: Unanswered questions: Why don't you take a lesson from Marty Gallagher and answer all the questions you didn't get to the following week? Because Carolyn literally gets HUNDREDS of questions each week and that's HUNDREDS more than Marty Gallagher gets.

Carolyn Hax: HUNDREDS. It's not personal.


Another "Question" Question: Do you hold grudges? Like if I innocently, inadvertently offended you with one question at one time, would you automatically throw out all subsequent ones? Cause I have trouble getting into print here, too, it seems.

Carolyn Hax: If I had any idea who you were, I might, but you'd really have to have irked me, and, bleeve it or not, I don't irk easily. And I don't have any idea who you are.


Basset Hound Victim once again: I admit to my failure to verbally communicate with him during that situation -- but my non-verbal communication had to have been apparent. We're in our late 20s, by this age most people are experienced enough to know that a woman who is so tense her shoulders are up around her ears and her body is stiff as a board and she's not really kissing back (except as feeble attempts to redirect his attention) = a woman who just isn't having fun. The main issue, however, is he's long distance from me, so if we were to see each other again it would not just be a date, but an entire weekend, which makes me shudder. Should I just ditch the whole idea?

Carolyn Hax: Well wait a sec. Maybe there's a question from him in my queue (that I've been ignoring for weeks) about a girl he really likes but who seems to shy away from physical contact, asking if that's a sign she has been abused or something. So, sure, you've shown that you're not having fun, but you haven't said -why.- So if he's a guy you otherwise like, you still have one more (admittedly excruciating) opportunity to keep him around.


Googling, Lexis-Nexis, and Public Records: So I have a suspicious personality. And for every guy I've date I've checked all public records on - and Googled them. Does this make me nosy? Only one had a "past" and I'm damn glad I found out before his true colors came out. But I taught my fiance this, and he checked out his mom's boyfriend, found a lien on his house and an arrest record, and now she's mad at him for questioning her judgement...

Carolyn Hax: Sounds like she should be relieved--and grateful. If the information is public, have at it, I say. It's when you snoop through the private stuff that the bells go off.


Bethesda, Md.: What are good engagement ring alternatives? I'm poor and don't want to get tapped out by doing overboard on the ring, but want to move towards the big M. I also hear stories about links between diamonds and terrorism. How can I walk into a store and ask about non-diamond engagement rings and not feel ashamed? See last week's transcript.

Carolyn Hax: And, walk into a store and ask about rings, period, since any ring can be a non-diamond engagement ring, right?

Though the better option is always not to hide. Why on earth should you be ashamed of anything you're doing? So you don't have big money, ooo. Big deal. And more important, wouldn't a bad response from the jeweler say more about the jeweler than about you? Head up, shoulders back, ask whatever you want.


D.C. Dissed: What kind of explanation should I give my friend at work who was dumped by my guy friend who didn't give her an explanation? But he admitted to me that she didn't "give it up" after the third date. Believe me, I gave him hell and learned my lesson regarding setting my friends up but do I tell her this? She is completely upset and thought it was going great.

Carolyn Hax: Give her his exact words. Did you learn your lesson about what a dink your friend is?


Wild Child?: I'm about to move in with a friend who's almost 30 and has lived with her parents up until now (yes, even through college). Relatively sheltered life. Not a big deal but a friend told me that everyone goes through a wild phase and I should watch out because she may go through it under my roof. Right now she's a quiet, responsible bookworm. Is it true that she may go buckwild during this year? If so, what do I do? I've already had my crazy time and I've mellowed.

Carolyn Hax: I can't think of one thing "everyone" does except die. Do whatever feels right.


Also Lonely in Washington, D.C.: Since today's topic seems to be needy people in relationships, I thought I'd throw myself in the mix. In short, I've been married for over a year and I've been pregnant for about seven months. When I met my husband several years ago,I lived alone, was extremely socially outgoing, had a lot of great friends and was basically having the time of my life. When I met him, it took quite a while for me to settle down and commit to him. I was too afraid of losing my independence.

But we fell in love, dated two years and got married. Then we moved away to a new house close to where he was living and everything in my life changed -- including a pregnancy I didn't expect to happen so fast (but I'm very happy about). And in the process, I've changed, too. Maybe it has been the raging pregnancy hormones, but I've grown increasingly resentful of his time with other people. I haven't felt good physically or mentally and I can't do a lot of the normal social stuff we used to do together. So I've basically been sitting at home a lot and wondering what happened to the old socially outgoing version of myself. Meanwhile, it's been life as usual for my husband because he still spends a lot of time with friends. And sometimes I get really angry. Am I being unfair? Am I needy or justified in wanting him to be home with me more while I go through this pregnancy?

I've spent weeks pondering this. Thanks for your input.

Carolyn Hax: Pleeeeease tell him how you're feeling. Otherwise you're just going to pile up resentment till you blow, and you'll yell at him one night for going out and leaving you home, and he'll get defensive and blame your hormones, and you may never forgive him for that. Tell him, evenly, everything you've said here--you feel physically and geographically isolated, you feel like you've lost your old self, you feel like he is still being his old self and that's hard for you to watch.

Oh, and needy people in relationships is the topic every Friday.


Wild child: Man, talk about running without the ball. This person was ready to serve the eviction papers on this poor 30-year-old bookworm before she even popped her head up from reading. How about fretting over the all-night keggers, beer-stained couch and stolen jewelry AFTER she does thing one? (Jeez, I hope those "predicting bad behavior" posts don't bother you as much as me, Ms. H.)

Carolyn Hax: They do, I'm just letting you do my thug work.


Virginia: Can I just point out for the record that there are also female bad kissers? And also that females can be bad at other stuff, too? Sometimes it seems some women think sexuality is like going to the movies -- they just have to ease back and wait to be entertained, then talk to their friends about whether they'd want to see that one again or not.
I'm NOT bitter. I swear.

Carolyn Hax: I am. You should try it sometime.


Re Shrink: I have wondered about this. When I talk to my shrink about my sister or my mom and how I feel misunderstood by them or whatever, and the shrink says things to me like "That must feel so unfair." Sometimes I wonder what my sister's shrink says to her if she complains about me!! Maybe we should switch shrinks occasionally!!

Carolyn Hax: Or save a fortune and ask yourself, "Do they really misunderstand me, or am I just looking for s**t to worry about?"


Burlington, Vt.: About the googling -- About twelve years ago, a disgruntled person put up a Web posting in which her dealings with me are misrepresented in a way that makes me look bad (I work for the government). Whenever someone googles me, this posting turns up on the first page. Someone who didn't know me well yet might take it at face value, and decide I wasn't worth getting to know. There is no appeal or opportunity for rebuttal to such a posting, and I can hardly explain to every woman that I meet that, should they google me, they shouldn't believe everything they read. So, I guess I'm saying, don't take everything on the Web at face value.

Carolyn Hax: Good point, thanks.


Annapolis, Md.: How do I tell a girl I work with that I'd be interested in dating her if she lost a little weight? She only needs to lose about 15 or 20 pounds. You have got to be kidding.

Carolyn Hax: I'm thinking I'd like to put on 20 pounds and have my teeth darkened.


Carolyn Hax: The teeth thing is from Zach Galifianakis. Mad genius.


Ballston, Va.: OK Hax, I need your advice pretty bad here. I've been with my girlfriend for 4 years, and we moved in together about 6 months ago. I love her/planning on marrying her. The problem is, we both work long hours and only see each other late in the evening. Well, when I get home, she has on her glasses/makeup off and she's wearing big UGLY pajamas. I hate to say it, but I'm very turned off and find her very unattractive. I've tried to talk to her about it, but she flat out told me "deal with it." I'm not asking for her to prance around in Frederick's of Hollywood, I just don't want to end up like Kevin Spacey's character from "American Beauty" in 20 years. Am I blowing this out of proportion? I really need a women's perspective.

Carolyn Hax: It's hard to blow feelings out of proportion--I mean, if she scares you, she scares you. But you are being unrealistic, bordering on unfair. People look great and awful in the span of one day, so imagine how they look in the span of a marriage. You want the full-makeup glam when she's 80? How do you look without makeup?

I suppose you'd have a point if you were to argue that, assuming you make a little effort to look good for her, she could make a little effort to look good for you--especially if you backed that point up by buying her, I don't know, black silk pajamas. Problem is, though, she is being her comfortable old self with you, and that's a compliment right there. Plus, she sees you belch and scratch and whatever and apparently she still likes you. Attraction like that is to the person, not just the shell. Even if your gf were running around in a teddy, an attraction based on appearances alone will let you down. (See Kevin Spacey's character from "American Beauty.")


RE: Therapy: I DEFINITELY think a lot of shrinks go way too far in taking what their patients say on faith. My mothers shrink told her (having never met me) that I seemed to be "withholding my anger" after my parents' divorce.

The result: she tried to corner me and force me to be angry. I had only ever felt sad about the divorce, not at all angry, but by the time she'd finished insisting that that wasn't really how I felt I was, indeed, quite angry.

Carolyn Hax: So your mother's shrink was right!

Kidding. Thanks for weighing in.


re: Annapolis: Seriously, what's wrong with wanting someone to lose 15 pounds before dating them? I don't think personality alone can cut it in a relationship. Was your grossed out reaction because this person wants to actually TELL the other person to lose weight?

Carolyn Hax: Has anyone seen my terrycloth headband?


Carolyn Hax: I guess I should answer that. I was grossed out, maximally, by the presumption involved in his thinking anyone should change to please him. Like he's too special to date someone off the rack; he only accepts custom.


Re: Basllston, Va.: I hope your girlfriend is reading this and dumps you for a guy who thinks she more beautiful in big PJs and no makeup than all dolled up.

My fiance asked me not to wear make up on our wedding day. I almost cried.

Carolyn Hax: snirfle.


New Low: Carolyn-

I'm using this forum to vent. OK with you? Thanks.

WHY ARE GIRLS SUCH BITCHES?! I am a 21-year-old female myself. I'm not gonna lie; I'm attractive and so are my friends. But we're friendly, and we ALWAYS have smiles on our faces, and I honestly believe none of us have a bad bone in our bodies. But of course when we go out, we're subjected to the snippety idiocy of other girls, which is often expressed by purposefully shoving past us without saying "excuse me," or making blatantly rude comments about our clothes, or giving us death looks that would make Rodney Dangerfield look cute. I know when there are a couple hundred young single people in a bar, for example, everyone's looking to hook up, but just because we get a lot of attention from the gentlemen does NOT mean we're sluts, or desperate, or that we think we're better than anyone else. THESE GIRLS SERIOUSLY NEED TO CHILL OUT. The last straw was this past Saturday, when a bouncer ESCORTED me and my three gal pals out of a bar, supposedly for being too inebriated (we were on our first beer); I came to find out the next day, when I saw the bouncer at the gym, that some random girl had told him we were sniffing coke in the bathroom and that's why he kicked us out. Granted, that's genius, and I'll be sure to keep that tactic in mind the next time I want a complete stranger kicked out of a bar, but WTF?! WTF, CAROLYN?!

You've been there; you're probably STILL there! Why are people so competitive in the stupidest, most inconsequential situations?

Carolyn Hax: OK with me. But I think you're making your rage too specific. I need an example here ... okay. Say you get undercharged by a fairly significant amount. Some people will point out the error and feel good about helping out the poor clerk whose register was going to be way off at the end of the day. Some people will leave the store psyched at pocketing a free hundred bucks. There will always be both kinds of people.


Password protected: While we're on the subject of nosiness, in your opinion is there ever a good reason for a spouse to password protect an account (e.g. email) and not share it with the other spouse? The mere fact of my husband password protecting something and not telling me what it is stimulates every nosiness gene in my bod. I respect his right to privacy but can't help but wonder what's so important that he won't let me see it. Our conversations about this go nowhere -- he gets defensive and won't discuss.

Carolyn Hax: It's not important, it's private. Maybe his friends confide in him. Maybe he likes to plan surprise parties. Maybe he vents about you in an e-journal.

Now, having said that, his defensiveness/non-discussion thing sux. That's worth a new conversation.


What should I do?: Long term male friend is getting married (I'm female). I've known him for over 10 years. Suddenly he's gotten into writing very flirty emails to me saying he wished we had dated, and that he hopes it'll happen someday.

The wedding is in two months, I'm invited. I don't know if it is ME that he's after or if I am just a symptom of cold feet.

When we were in college whenever a relationship of his started to falter he'd make a move on me of some sort. I'd shoot him down and tell him to talk to his gfriend. He's never cheated, though if I had reciprocated, he would have. The woman he is marrying he has been tride and true to for the 5 yrs they have been dating.

Should I call him on this? Or delete the emails and pretend as though it never happened?

Carolyn Hax: Seems like you had the right idea in college--shoot him down and tell him to talk to his girlfriend.


Concerned Mom in Virginia: Hi Carolyn,

My daughter got married less than a year ago; she is 23 and her husband is 25. They have informed me that they'll be moving to Cleveland next year. I think this is a bad idea, for a few reasons. First of all, I hardly ever see my daughter now, and she only lives two hours away! I am afraid I will only see her once a year at the most if they move. Second, it's very cold in Cleveland and snows a lot. And third, they both have good jobs where they are. The smartest thing to do would be to stay with their jobs and save money before moving anywhere.

How can I convince my daughter that moving to Ohio would be a big mistake and that they should remain in Virginia?
Thank you.

Carolyn Hax: She's all growed up, time to let go.

But if you want to convince her to stop calling -and- visiting, keep trying to convince her you know how to run her life better than she does. Even if she's making a mistake, it's hers to make.


Anywhere: Carolyn, please help! My boyfriend and I (of two years, living together since November) just found out four days ago that I'm pregnant. (I'm 25 he's 32). I've run the whole spectrum of emotions: shock, disbelief, wild happiness and excitement. He, on the other hand, is not excited. He told me today that he doesn't think that we (as people or as a relationship) are ready for this step in our lives. If it were up to him, he would prefer that I didn't go through with it. Hearing him say that is like a stab in the heart. What should I do to deal with this? Thanks.

Carolyn Hax: Oh ugh. He's not there, so all you can do is look inward. I think you probably know what you wanted, and now that you've found out he won't be part of it (without a huge change of heart), you have to run the whole spectrum again to see which of your revised options you want most. And please consider talking to someone--family member, best friend, clergy, pregnancy counselor even. Someone you trust not to have an agenda other than to want what's best for you. Good luck.


Re: password protected: But shouldn't he just trust her not to read his email? I know my spouse's email password and I don't read her email, and I don't read her journal either--which I am certain contains occasional venting about me.

Just my two cents.

Carolyn Hax: Works for me.

Have to run. Thanks everybody, and type to you next Friday.


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