Now in law school, girlfriend prefers no face-to-face contact
Q: I have been seeing a woman for about four months and we've been dating maybe once per week on average. We are in our 30s.
My girlfriend has recently started back to law school as a full-time student. She says she does not have time to see me AT ALL for the next three months. She said she will be able to communicate by e-mail or text.
I understand she is very busy with law school and her part-time job. She lives only five miles from me. I asked her if she would not mind seeing me weekly for a half-hour walk in her neighborhood, just to keep in touch. She said no.
I want to know if her behavior is reasonable, or am I being selfish in thinking that she should make some small amount of time for me? She knows I am interested in a relationship with her, and she says nothing has changed between us. I can't help but think that I might be losing her.
A: Even if everyone agreed that she's being unreasonable and "should" see you, what then? She has decided not to see you till her semester ends — so there's no way to win this. You can't prove her to be unreasonable and resume your weekly dates.
Your available choices are all just different versions of "Get a hold of yourself" — of dealing with her decision not to see you. You can choose to fight her on it; to deem her explanation insincere and treat it like a breakup; to keep polling others like me on what her behavior means; to take her at her word, bite on a stick for three months and see where you are when she's finished; to conclude, "This is the way she handles stress/pressure/the need to compartmentalize/my feelings? Maybe she's not as wonderful as I thought."
Viewed in terms of spending time with your girlfriend, they're all bad choices, obviously.
But when you view them in terms of building on the facts, the last two stand out: Make peace with waiting, or judge from her actions that she's not right for you.
That's because all of the others involve presuming her true intentions, which means you risk acting on the wrong assumptions. Or worse, scaring her off with your "nearly desperate" needs.
So take the facts you have, and decide: Either she's worth a disciplined, three-month wait for the rest of the facts, or she isn't.
Company owner insists on using academic title
Q: I had to send a quick e-mail to one of the partial owners of the company I work for (I am an administrative assistant). I addressed it to Mr. LastName, because I have never really met him before.
In his response he included this line: "You can address me as Dr. LastName or more correctly Professor LastName if you want to be formal; or just FirstName informally."
Is this really that big of a deal?
A: We could go back and forth all day on the propriety vs. stuck-uppity of using academic honorifics in personal contexts, but, fortunately, we don't have to. You need to know the correct way to address your employer in a professional context. At least he propped open the informal door.