Adapted from a recent online discussion.
Uninvited puppy crashes parties, to friends' dismay
Q: I went to a party last night and arrived separately from my boyfriend. He showed up with his 8-month-old puppy, Fanny, who can be very hyper. I asked my boyfriend if he had asked the hostess whether he could bring Fanny, and he said he hadn't. The hostess has two pet rabbits who, though caged, probably did not like having a dog around.
Moreover, this is not the first time he's showed up with Fanny unannounced. Every time he does it, I say, "You really should ask first," but he doesn't seem to agree with me on this as an etiquette must. I've never brought up this issue independently from an incident, as in "Listen. You really cannot bring around a puppy unannounced. It is rude." But now I'm wondering if I should.
For what it's worth, the puppy is often well-behaved, but she's a puppy and can be hyper or needy. BF is blinded by love for this dog, and our friends have been too nice to call him out on it, though a couple of them have told me they would have appreciated a heads-up. What should I do?
A: Tell him exactly as you proposed to here, in the exact words: "Listen. You really cannot bring around a puppy unannounced. It is rude." List the reasons: general nuisance, potential mess/allergies/dog fears. You can also add that it's not fair to the dog, either; she has to be stressed by all the activity of a party.
Then, please realize your boyfriend's head is made of granite. And that, with the exception of your boyfriend, you're all a bit "too nice."
He said he was ready, but she found out he wasn't, really
Q: I was dating a friend who was about six months out of a really long-term relationship. When we got together, he said he was ready to date again, but he just wanted to take it slowly because he didn't want to get his heart broken again.
Things were going well; he's a super sweet guy and would always sign things xoxo, and tell me I was his favorite person, he missed me, etc.
We broke up this week because he said he just wasn't ready for another serious relationship. That I can understand, but I just don't understand why he would say things if he didn't mean them. If you don't have those feelings, don't say them — no one's forcing you to!
Sad in D.C.
A: He could very well have meant them at the time. Feelings aren't linear. The semirecent breakup, his friendship with you, the newness of dating you, the wanting to feel "normal" again and subsequent overcompensation — all of these things have their own push and pull, and sometimes all that pushing and pulling just feels like too much. You can feel ready and discover you aren't; you can feel infatuated and discover it's fleeting; you can feel urges for companionship that morph into cravings to be alone. I'm sorry you got swept into a current, and I'm sorry it didn't take you anywhere.