DEAR NATALIE: I recently got engaged and my fiance wants to be very involved in the wedding planning. He actually has “taken over” the plans and says that if he is contributing financially, then he wants to make decisions about the location, food, etc. But I am also contributing financially, and he has still shut me out. He even wants to go dress shopping with me and “approve” my gown. I don’t know how to tell him that this is ridiculous and to back off. He’s never acted this controlling before and it’s making me nervous about the wedding. Any suggestions?
--GROOMZILLA ON THE LOOSE
DEAR GROOMZILLA ON THE LOOSE: Let’s call it what it is. He isn’t a “groomzilla”. In fact, “bridezilla” and “groomzilla” are just nice ways of saying people that are completely out of control and feel free to terrorize others because it’s their big “day”. Give me a break. If you look at his behaviors, these are signs of a controlling person, not just someone who wants to have a beautiful wedding. The idea that he wants to “approve” your gown really isn’t sitting well with me. You should wear whatever you please on that day and any other day of the year. And while I don’t have any other insights into your relationship, I would think twice before marrying this guy. If this is how he is acting now, what will he be like after you are married? Unless he is willing to make some changes, I might consider running away, bride.
DEAR NATALIE: I have been seeing this guy for about two months. Our relationship is based mostly on hooking up. We meet up a few times a week, hook up, hangout for a little after, and then he leaves. But, lately I have started to develop feelings for him beyond just our encounters. How do I approach him and ask him if he wants to take things further and start a real relationship? I’m afraid he will reject me and then I will lose him all together. --WANTING MORE
DEAR WANTING MORE: This could definitely be the premise of a romantic comedy starring Tiffany Haddish and Ryan Reynolds, don’t you think? Here they are, two people just in it for the sex, and then one falls for the other...comedy ensues. In life, however, these situations can be a little more complex than they appear on the big screen. It is completely understandable why your feelings have changed. Whether we want to admit it to ourselves or not, intimate relationships bond people. The fact that he “hangs out” before leaving indicates that you are getting to know one another a little better. This is causing you to have a crush on the guy you sleep with. Awkward, right? The next time he texts you and suggests coming over, ask him if he would like to meet for coffee or dinner. Take this conversation out of the bedroom. Plus, if you really want to build anything with him, it’s better to start with your clothes on. Let him know that you really enjoy his company. Tread lightly, but, be honest. The truth is, now that you have feelings, it would be hard to go back to how things were. Better to get it out in the open. If he isn’t on the same page, you should find out now before you fall further and really get hurt. There are plenty of people out there that are looking for a relationship, so don’t let this situation keep you from looking for what you want. You deserve to have a relationship that is multi-faceted and dynamic. You deserve to have someone who cares about you on a deeper level. Never settle.
Natalie's Networking Tip of the Week: If you are new to networking or maybe a little shy, try showing up early to an event. There are less people there and they are more likely to want to chat because there is no one around yet. Then, you’ve naturally integrated yourself into a group!
Please send your questions to Natalie Bencivenga to her email, firstname.lastname@example.org; or through postal mail to Natalie Bencivenga, 358 North Shore Dr., Pittsburgh, PA 15212. Follow her on Twitter at @NBSeen and on Instagram @NatalieBenci
(This column was originally published by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.)