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Ask Bev

Dear Bev,

I am 18 years old , which makes me not so experienced in the subject of love but I am seeking advice for I am in need of desperate help.

Well just a little history first. My boyfriend and I have been dating for about a year now. This is my first "real" relationship if you would say. Because of turmoil and agony that my past relationships have caused I explained to him before hand my hesitancy in being in a ongoing committed relationship. He ensured that he was different (like most do) and promised to be completely honest about everything. At first, everything was fine. Maybe even safe to say TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE .. Soon after that is when everything took a downfall , nothing to serious but something of my concern.

My boyfriend is extremely attached to his phone more like he's hiding something. We have had arguments day in and day out pertaining to this matter but he's never admitted to cheating or anything of that nature. He was honest one time and admitted to hanging out with a female acquaintance after work, but told me prior to that he needed to stay for an extra shift .. needless to say, that's where he was. I have had a million and one conversations with him about texting other girls. When confronted he tells me texting females and flirting is his actual  addiction. And asks me for help to stop it.  Fault on my part is that he accuses me of quote on quote " looking for a problem " meaning looking through his phone for text messages, emails, pictures etc. But everytime I do I find exactly what supports my argument in the first place. Multiple occasions I have seen text of him calling other women "baby" or beautiful etc. I do believe him about never physically cheating because we do live together and or around each other almost 24/7! My frustration is that I am 100% faithful to a man that does not show me that appreciation in return. Arguments have gotten worst than usual and lately have resulted in either me crying myself to sleep or him wanting to have makeup sex for that is "the cure to everything" as he would say. Don't get me wrong he is a great guy and I see so much potential in him as well as this relationship. I just feel like what he is doing is not being honest and in a sense cheating. But of course he feels the opposite. I Recently we have been so distant and I can feel seperation following shortly !! PLEASE give me a head start in resolving this issue I have taken every route I can to prevent a broken heart I can't afford another one ...

- Lonely Lover

 

Hi Lonely Lover,

First let me start by saying, that your intuition and insight on your boyfriend's cell phone and other behaviors are right on point.  With everything you stated, one can conclude that his behaviors are that of a cheating scoundrel.  But you already knew that.  Maybe you just needed me to confirm what you already knew to be true.  You appear to be a very smart cookie, so listen to your gut feeling.

Now, allow me to break it down to you.   You are 18 years young!  Why are you living with your boyfriend?  Get out of there, now!  Beg your Mama to take you back.  She may have already converted your bedroom to her home gym, art studio or meditation retreat center, so you may have to bunk with your younger sibling or crash on the couch until you get your stuff together.  If a parent is not available to help, seek assistance from an appropriate family member or community agency.

You both are so very young.  His behaviors are clearly unacceptable, and  fits right in with his maturity level.  Please note, some people mature faster than others.  Based on environmental/nurture factors, we learn relational patterns from what we observe.  Just because you are 100% faithful in your relationship doesn't mean that your partner is (though it would be nice).  Your partner speaks to you loud and clear based on his actions.  Listen to him!  So use your good judgment, positive sense of self and sassy attitude and kick him to the curb!  Crying yourself to sleep at night isn't going to change his behaviors, nor improve yourself in any way... so stop it NOW!

I am confident that you are going to be just fine.  Get your "self" together by focusing on the positive things in life.  Follow these steps: 1) Break it off with him and move out; 2) Focus on your education, finish high school if you haven't already... going to college is a MUST; 3) Do NOT date for at least 6 months --focus on your self-esteem and confidence building; 4) Engage in hobbies that are productive and will be beneficial to your future (art, dance, swimming, golf, etc); 5) Live a FABULOUS life!  Your best years are ahead of you... ENJOY!

Ask Bev

Dear Bev,

I've never been the type to talk about my feelings or seek advice; guys don't do that easily and I fit most of the stereotypes to a T. However I met a girl on an online dating site and we texted and even talked for about 3 weeks without meeting despite the fact she messaged me first and her profile said she was looking for "Dating". While I can understand some women are nervous about a guy they met online, over the course of those three weeks her and I probably exchanged 3,000 texts and talked on the phone 3-4 hours. It was going really well with the exception of one major thing. She wouldn't even really address the idea of hanging out in person.

I've never made my intentions to meet her in person hidden and brought it up maybe twice a week. She usually seemed to side step my questions and resort back to the "not a good time" excuse if she responded at all without temporary silence and a harsh subject change.

After a while I began to get upset, and that doesn't happen to me very often. I began to feel like I was being lead on. I sent her the following message:

Don't answer me right away because I do not want a gut, emotional response, but I really need to know if you want to move this forward. We've probably talked 3+ hours and exchanged 3,000 texts. With my new job I don't have the kind of time to try an have a relationship with a person's cell phone if they don't want to hang out in person. It's seriously time we either sh** or get off the pot.

I also went into the fact that I am 26, she is 20 and we are both to old to pretend we are in love over instant messenger. Neither of us are virgins or even really conservative by any means. Neither of us has ever been married or has kids. The college is also about 2 miles from my house and she has a car. I was/am having difficulty finding any reason we shouldn't hang out.

Her response revolved around "I'm trying to quit smoking and get in shape and start applying (to jobs), get a degree (She is taking 2 classes) and hold a job.". I tried saying things like that will always be going on and I didn't want to wait until she was 30 to get her life in cruise control.

Now I'm willing to accept that the ultimatum wasn't overly sensitive, but I didn't want to live the rest of my life with a carrot dangling forever out of grasp. I am truly afraid I have ruined a friendship with a game of chicken, but I also feel like I've always made my intentions clear and I needed to make a grand gesture in order to keep from getting ignored again.

So my question is simple (or as simple as something like this can be)...Am I a total a**hole? Was I right to break ties? I am feeling guilty, but is guilt enough reason to allow myself to potentially get led on knowingly for an indeterminate amount of time? Should I have waited and hoped that one day it would turn into something more?

Curiously,

- A (Non?) Stereotypical Guy from Waterbury, CT

 

 Hi (Non?) Stereotypical Guy:

You are NOT a total a**hole!  Trust me, I would tell you if I thought you were!  You were absolutely right in breaking ties with this person.  In fact I am PROUD off you.  There is no reason for you to feel guilty, this was simply not a match. 

Here are my thoughts:  First, she’s only 20!  Good thing you ended it, because I don’t like the age gap for you (24-28 preferred).  I know, I know, as the saying goes “age ain’t nothing but a number,” but in my opinion that only applies after the age of 30.

Again, there is noting for you to feel guilty about.  Remember, she contacted you first.  She stated that she was interested in dating, but it appears that she was seeking just a pen pal.  If she was “just not into you” she shouldn’t have engaged in over 3000 text messages.  I don’t necessarily think she lead you on.  She may have had her reasons for not wanting to meet –which we will never know.  Nevertheless, I think you did the right thing in ending communication. Now, lets move on… there’s lots of single 24-28 year olds out there.    

My rule of thumb when it comes to online dating are as follows:  week 1-  email  communication; week 2 - phone and text; week 3 - coffee/tea/juice in a public location (several towns away from where you live –under a “pretend internet name” –no stalking psychos please! You can never be too careful… you always want to take every safety precaution); week 4 - schedule a “real date” (ONLY if there was a connection with some chemistry during your coffee visit).  This process MUST take place with 30 days.  Why 30 days? Because it gives you enough time to get to know the basics about someone without feeling that you wasted your time if it is not a match.

Ask Bev

Dear Bev:

My boyfriend of 2 years hasn’t told me that he loves me.  I know he loves me, but he hasn’t said those words.  I haven’t said it to him either because I am afraid to bring up the topic.  I keep hoping that he will break the ice and just say it already.  We talk about our future together all the time, even about growing old together.  When we go out we even act like we are married sometimes, even though he has never said he wants to marry me.  My best friend said that if he really loved me he would say it.  Bev, am I just making excuses for him?  Am I wasting my time being with him?  I don’t know what to do.

–Ashley from Bloomfield, CT

 

Hi Ashley,

Sorry to be so blunt… but after 2 years, if a man doesn’t tell you that he loves you, it is because he doesn’t.  In fact after 6 months after deciding/agreeing to date each other exclusively, if the topic of love has not been brought up, take it as a red flag and run.  Seriously!  I am not one for playing Dr. Fix Him-Up in a relationship.  

A man (or woman) presents himself (or herself) not only by his/her actions, but also by what and how they communicate with you.  Your man has definitely communicated his love for you… How?  By avoiding the topic and NOT saying it!  Why? Because he doesn’t love you.  He may have gotten very comfortable with the physicality of your relationship and do not want to give that up. Some people may say that people show love in different ways.  This may be true.  But in a “HEALTHLY RELATIONSHIP” grown-ups are able to verbalize this deep emotional connection by saying “I LOVE YOU.”   

My advice is to sit him down tonight, look him in his eyes, and ask him straight out.  You may not get the results  that you have been longing for, so prepare yourself. Let me know the outcome. 

Ask Bev

Dear Bev:

I am having a problem with my boyfriend’s ex-wife.  He has 3 children by 2 different women.  His children are 10, 6 & 5 and they all visit every weekend.   I am only having problems with the 5 year old’s mother.  She always wants to start problems between my boyfriend and myself by telling him that I am mean to their child.  I have been in a serious relationship with him now for 7 months, and I don’t want to ruin our relationship because of her.  We are even talking about getting married in 3 months.  Should I just pretend that his ex-wife doesn’t exist?

–Christine

 

Hi Christine,

You are in a very tough situation.  It appears that you have yourself a man with major “BABY MAMA DRAMA!”  I am sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but this drama will not end just by marrying this man.  In fact, I am totally against getting involved with anyone with minor children especially those with “BABY MAMA DRAMA” issues.  Why?  Statistics show that over 2/3 of all blended remarriages end in divorce, mostly because of, you guessed it —“BABY MAMA DRAMA.”  Also, children do not need the added drama in their lives by watching parents with revolving doors of significant others, more half siblings, financial instability, neglect, poor parenting styles and the like.  But we are not talking about the kids problems right now, we are talking about yours.

I’m sorry Christine, but I cannot support your union with this man.  First off all, he has 3 kids by 2 different women, with 2 kids being only 1 year apart!  Do the math Christine!  Your man knocked-up 2 different women a few months apart.  What are you going to be, his “3rd “BABY MAMA?” 

Think about this long and hard Christine.  This could be the biggest mistake of your life.     

Ask Bev

Dear Bev:

My girlfriend just broke up with me on Christmas day. She said that I was too childish  because I enjoy playing video games and have roommates, and she needed someone who was more focused on the future.  I told her that I wanted to get married some day, but wasn’t sure when.  We have only been dating for 7 months.  I miss her already. Should I ask her to marry me and plan a future with her just to get her back?

–Jake from RI

 

Hi Jake,

So sorry to hear about your resent breakup. Well, in order for me to ‘wisely’ answer your question, I would need more information.  I would need to know your ages, past marital status, any children involved, etc.  I am going to answer your question with the assumption that you both are around 30 years old, never been married and with no children involved. 

It appears that you and your ex-girlfriend were in different stages in your lives.  Most 30y/o women who break up with boyfriends for the reason you stated, are looking to settle down with the right partner and possibly start a family ASAP.  She was right! I would have dumped you too.  Sorry to sound so cold, but really? Video games and roommates?  Sorry, but it appears that you have some serious growing up to do.  Do NOT ask her to marry you just to get her back.  Please take some time (6 months) without dating to work on yourself. 

Now on the other hand, I would not answer this question in the same manner for persons below the age of 25.  I do not believe that anyone below the age of 25 should get married.  Resent research states that people who get married below the age of 25 is twice as likely to get divorced due to the fact that their brain hasn’t fully developed in the areas of decision making skills.  

Ask Bev

Dear Bev:

I have a boyfriend of 3 years and things were going well until last few weeks. He is distant, doesn’t call as usual, we fight about me visiting him as he doesn’t want me to, we are always fighting & he says its all my fault,  He tells me that he forgot to contact me & that he is not fine that he is going through work stress & I should understand. I have literally been waiting on him to talk to me because he is neglecting me, hurting me with his rude hurtful words & most of all sometimes I feel like he doesn’t care about me. But I’m very confused as he tells me he loves me but yet his hurting me so much!  My question is: Does he still want me in his life? Am I wasting my time waiting upon him to change this strange behavior?

—Truly Blaa

 

Hi Truly Blaa,

I am sorry to hear about your emotional turmoil.  I hear stories like yours often and my answer tends to be the same in every case.  I am sorry to say, that I do not put my stamp of approval on this relationship.  Your boyfriend’s actions appear to be that of an uncaring scoundrel who may be suffering from some mood issues and abusive tendencies. I am surprised that you stated these behaviors recently started only three weeks ago.  If I were a betting woman, I would bet that these behaviors were present throughout the relationship, but you made excuses just to maintain and/or to keep him in the picture.  

To answer your questions: “Does he still want me in his life?”  I think not! But he knows that you are not going anywhere, so he continues to treat you like crap and you continue to take it. If a man tells you he loves you and continues to hurt you, belittle you with his words and actions, it is because HE DOES NOT LOVE YOU!  He may not even know how to love. “ Am I wasting my time?” Yes! You are completely wasting your time with this person.  

My advice is to end this relationship and NOT to get involved with anyone else for at least 6 months.  Take this time to work on yourself by evaluating your personal strengths, weaknesses, personality, esteem and concept.  It may be a good idea to seek the assistance of a therapist or life coach that will guide you on how to identify healthy and unhealthy relational patterns. I wish you the best of luck in your future relationships.  

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