QUICKIES: I haven’t dated in 4 years. Should I be honest about that? | I can’t have kids, how do I tell new partners? | Clingy boyfriend 1 + 2 | Should my boyfriend stay friends with a guy who hates me? | Could this older guy possibly be interested in me?

QUICKIES: I haven’t dated in 4 years. Should I be honest about that? | I can’t have kids, how do I tell new partners? | Clingy boyfriend 1 + 2 | Should my boyfriend stay friends with a guy who hates me? | Could this older guy possibly be interested in me?

RC is asked questions on all topics. Sometimes, the letters sent in inspire an essay (or close). Other times, just a few lines will do – and all those letters are popped into a semi-regular section called quickies. It’s just how it sounds – a short, fast dose of RC advice. Don’t forget, if you need advice from RC or the Manswers team, drop us a line via the Question Box.

I haven’t dated in 4 years. Should I be honest about that?
I’ve been out of the dating game for so long (nearly 4 years after a pretty bad relationship). My friends are urging me to get back in the saddle and with great trepidation I’m actually taking their advice. My question is,  do I divulge to any potential partners just how long it’s been?

You could tell a porky pie but I wouldn’t recommend it – people on the dating scene value honesty above all else. I wouldn’t volunteer the information but if someone asks, you could just say casually, ‘Yeah, the last guy I was seeing really did a number on me and I haven’t dated for ages / a long time / a few years. What’s your story?’ If / when things get serious, you’d hope your partner would be flattered to learn that they were the one to break your lengthy drought.

I can’t have kids. How do I tell a date?
Due to a tumour, I can’t have children – and I’m just wondering, how do I bring this up with a new partner? Are men willing to have relationships with women who can’t have kids? For a little bit of background, I just got out of a 19-year relationship, which was abusive, and am looking to start dating people again. 

Good on you for getting out of what sounds like a bad situation. And of course there are blokes out there who are keen to stay kid-free, or who already have children and don’t want any more. My advice would be to use a dating site which flags the kid question on your profile (you tick boxes about whether you have kids, don’t have them, want them, don’t want them or are happy to date someone with kids). That will narrow down the playing field to guys who hopefully match your compatibility on that score. Of course, the question may come up, but you can simply say a medical issue has meant you can’t have children. Your next serious relationship is when you can go deeper about your past and any health issues.

Clingy boyfriend 1
I was in a bad place when I met my boyfriend, and he’s the best thing that has ever happened to me. He was so determined to show me I deserved to be loved that I was soon head over heels. That was 18 months ago. Here’s the problem: he never wants his own personal space and I love mine – to read, paint my nails, just be a girl! Also I want space to miss him, but he literally wants to be around me all the time. We’ve talked about it, but I never say ‘hey babe you’re clingy’. Because that’s mean and I don’t want him to feel like I’m pushing him away. What do I do?

 

Clingy boyfriend 2
My boyfriend of 7 months is sweet, but if he doesn’t see me for only one day, he misses me so much it sounds like I’ve been gone for weeks. He calls me every two hours and if I don’t have time to talk, he gets offended. He compliments me, always tells me he loves me, and I find it really sweet because no ex has ever treated me this  way. One time he offended me and started crying, scared that I would leave him. I love him, but sometimes I have no space. Is he clingy or caring?

Feeling suffocated by someone else’s insecurities – even cloaked in declarations of love – is NOT fun. You’re both going to have to set boundaries with your guys, and while they’re sure to freak out, be firm. Say, ‘Babe, I love you but I love my own time too and I need a couple of nights a week to do my own thing. This week I’m taking that time on Wednesday and Sunday. Why don’t you catch up with Jimmy / Stan / Roger for a beer?’ Don’t be apologetic about it and keep doing it – he’ll soon get the message that a) space isn’t a threat to your relationship and b) it can make the next time you see each other all the more sweeter. You could also try hanging out with other people more; it’s a good way to escape your couple bubble and encourage him to obsess less and chill more.

Should my boyfriend stay friends with a guy who hates me?
I’ve been dating my boyfriend for nearly two years and there’s an increasing problem with his best friend. In the beginning all was fine; he even referred to me as his ‘sister-in-law’, and we all got along great. He’s single and to my face is really nice, but he’s recently un-friended me on Facebook and is talking about me behind my back to my guy, saying things like, ‘Forget about her, let’s go get drunk and have sex with other girls’. I’ve confronted him about Facebook and he just makes me feel crazy and says that he doesn’t hate me. My boyfriend doesn’t think I should be upset, but I feel like he shouldn’t be friends with someone who hates and disrespects his girlfriend. He disagrees. Help me!

This guy is a manipulative ass-clown and of course you’ve every right to feel upset, as I’ve told letter-writers in similar predicaments here and here. That said, you can’t dictate who your boyfriend is friends with and often, I find young blokes in this situation just don’t want to deal with or confront the issue. Of course your boyfriend should have your back, but he doesn’t. You need to accept that and ask yourself: are you able to just accept the friend’s an idiot and you’re no longer going to give him any thought or energy, but just enjoy the time you spend with your boyfriend? Or do you socialise with this guy all the time, making the situation unbearable? If it’s the latter, this might be a deal-breaker for you. I’m sorry, but there are no easy answers and from what I’ve seen (especially if the troublesome ‘friend’ stays single), it’s sometimes a battle you just can’t win. 

Could this older guy possibly be interested in me?
I’m 15, my name is Maria and just started my Freshman year in high school. I’m having a bit of a hard time and don’t know a lot of people. There is one guy though who never forgets to ask me how my day was, and gives me hugs when I’m feeling down. I can make him smile, we always have interesting conversations, and he just makes me feel better about myself. Of course, I’m really interested in him, and I often fantasize about one day going out with him. There is only one problem: he’s a Junior, two years older than me. I wonder if he only thinks of me as his “little Freshman buddy” and I’m caught in the friend zone, or if he really feels the same connection I feel. I like him a lot, but I can’t read how he feels about me. And even if he does feel the same, I can’t tell if starting a relationship now would be futile because of age difference, or if I should just go for it. Help?

Fortune favours the brave, Maria! Test the waters by talking to him about some great movies you’re both keen to see and ask him if he wants to catch one sometime. If he backs off, then you know the score, but at least you gave it a red hot go. I also reckon you should start joining some stuff at your school (the paper? Some clubs?) to meet more people. I know it’s hard when you’re the new girl but you’re surely not the only one feeling a little lonely and sometimes it’s just a case of finding your tribe.


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RC’s Question Box! (Questions may be edited.)
Freelance journo, blogger, self-appointed advice-giver and co-author of Get Lucky. If you've got a dating or relationship issue, feel free to ask a question. (PS. You can also find me at The Mama Files and Letter To My Ex).

1 Comment

  1. bron 3 years ago

    Clingy boyfriend 2 concerns me. Are you sure it’s not him missing you, but him wanting to know where you are all the time, control who you talk to and basically control you? Calling every two hours is excessive – doesn’t give you time to go to the cinema, for instance, without him, would make it very difficult to spend an afternoon with girlfriends.
    This one could easily turn abusive, and he seems very manipulative to me – crying because he’s hurt you could actually be pretending to cry to keep to around and under his control. Getting upset because you can’t talk to him every two hours? Just a bit creepy.

    Watch yourself.

    Boyfriend and best mate.

    Perhaps best mate has realised that he’s interested in your boyfriend himself and is trying to get rid of the competition….

    Older guy? Remember you’re only 15 and two years is a big difference at that age. Keep it in the friendship zone till you’re older.

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