DEAR DR. NERDLOVE: Let me get straight to the point: how do we feel about snooping through our significant other’s phones?
Unfortunately I did it, twice & saw her telling a very close friend that “she’s single forever”, even after dating for about two months. We are pretty serious, or so I thought, what with having met each other’s parents, introduced to close friends and sleeping over at each other’s places.
The second time I did it, (Yes I’m ashamed but when you get curious what are you to do?) it was texts between her and her ex. He mentioned a very cool date I took her on and then said “he’s a keeper” and once again she said she will “remain single forever.” After a couple more texts, SHE invited him out for drinks, which is very disrespectful.
In my eyes, I have done nothing wrong and have been the best man I know how to be to her, her family and friends all like me and the same with mine but I’m not dating them, I’m dating her. Is this a sign of what’s to come already?
I’m not proud of myself for what I did but now I found all of this out and I’m just not sure how to bring it up, what to do, etc. This is my first real relationship in a very long time, I have no problem getting women but when I love, I love hard.
DEAR SNOOPY MCPRYSALOT: Hoo boy, Snoopy, when you f--k up, you don’t do it small, do you?
Yes, this is a sign of what’s to come… it’s a sign that you’re going to get dumped because you can’t trust your girlfriend.
So let’s talk about what you did. You snooped. Snooping is bad. Period, end of story. It only becomes “justified” retroactively if and when you find proof of wrongdoing, which still doesn’t mitigate the initial sin and only complicates matters and almost inevitably derails the conversation as to who’s wrong was greater.
And, the funny thing about when you snoop: you tend to find things out that you didn’t want to. Sometimes you find evidence that somebody’s doing you wrong. Other times, you find things that will just make you upset and uncomfortable and you’ll wish you didn’t know and won’t be able to bury it deep enough to forget that you found out.
And then there’re the things that can seem incriminating without context. And now you can’t have a conversation with her about it without revealing your sin as well. Good luck with that conversation, because there’s pretty much no way this is going to go well for you.
So let’s talk about what you’ve learned. First: she doesn’t consider you two to be in a relationship. While this isn’t something you wanted to see, this is also not entirely unreasonable; unless the two of you have had the defining the relationship talk, you can’t reasonably make assumptions that you’re on the same page about where things are going. Even passing certain relationship milestones doesn’t necessarily mean anything. For many couples, meeting the parents doesn’t necessarily mean anything other than timing. And considering what you read… it’s pretty damn clear that you aren’t on the same page.
Then there’s the fact that she’s still talking with her ex. Yes, and? The fact that they’re broken up doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re never going to talk again, nor does going out for drinks mean that something untoward is going on. Shocking I realize, but people can be friends with their exes after they break up, even go out for drinks on occasion. Unless you were finding some serious sexting going on, I suspect the problem isn’t with her, it’s with her snooping would-be boyfriend… and just in case you’re unclear, I mean you.
So let’s be frank here: no you’re not being the best man you could be, nor are you in the right here and yes you did do something wrong. You’ve violated her trust twice now. You didn’t even do it while looking for evidence to confirm your suspicions (not that this makes it better) but because – in your own words – you were curious. There really aren’t good reasons to violate the trust of someone you care for, but doing it just because you’re curious is especially s--tty.
No, you don’t have anything to say to her because, frankly, a) she hasn’t done anything wrong and b) you violated her privacy in a pretty heinous way
What do you do when temptation strikes and her unsecured phone is within reach? Here’s what you do: you sit on your motherf--king hands until the urge goes away. Either you trust your girlfriend or you don’t. If you do, then you shouldn’t be going through her phone. If you don’t, then you still shouldn’t be going through her phone. If you don’t trust her and think the best way to confirm things is to violate her privacy, then just do yourself the favor of breaking up with her. If there’s no trust, then the relationship isn’t going to last anyway and ending it sooner rather than later is just a mercy-killing.
So next time, check in with your girlfriend and find out where you both think you are before just assuming you’re both serious. And encourage them to password protect their phones if you can’t control yourself.
DEAR DR. NERDLOVE: There’s this guy I really like, and, well it’s hard to tell if he likes me or not. He’s just a really nice guy; he always says yes whenever I want to hang out with him, he’s always there for me (he even said so himself), he compliments me like “You’re cool,” or “Awesome,” but never like “You’re pretty…”
And then he calls me bro and stuff.
He replies with long paragraphs but takes forever to reply. We’ve talked on the phone for hours once. Whenever we hang out alone he likes to stare at me; it’s like he stares right into my eyes. He always gets really close to me but doesn’t touch me or anything. I’m always asking “what, are you cold?” but he never says anything. He doesn’t mind paying for me if we go out; even when I tell him I have money, he insists. He’s such a gentleman too.
The problem is he’s my ex’s friend. They’ve known each other since they were younger. My ex gets jealous when we hang out but my crush/friend says he shouldn’t care anymore and says it’s sad that my ex doesn’t trust him or whatever. So I’m not sure if he’s shy to make the first move or if he’s scared of what my ex will think or if he just likes me as a friend I just don’t know what to do.
Bewitched, Bewildered and Bemused
DEAR BEWITCHED, BEWILDERED AND BEMUSED: There’s a pretty simple solution to this B3: you should make the first move. It’s pretty clear that your crush is interested in you, but he’s holding back. Why? Well, probably because he has no idea how you feel. You and he (and your ex) all sound pretty young and the less social experience you may have, the more hesitant you may be to court rejection. So from the sound of it, he’s pulling the move from Hitch: moving in 90% and waiting for you to move the remaining 10%.
It’s also entirely possible that he’s afraid of pissing his off his bro by asking you out. But, the fact of the matter is, you can’t call dibs on someone. The fact that you used to date his best friend doesn’t mean that you’re forever off-limits to the rest of his social circle. It’s on your ex to get past HIS issues, not to try to regulate your social life for the rest of time.
Regardless, you’re in stasis here and nothing’s going to change until someone makes a move. Since your crush seems paralyzed, you might as well be the one to do so. So find a moment and either use your words to ask if he’s interested in dating, or initiate a kiss. The worst case scenario: he says no, you both have a moment of awkward laughter, then move forward. Best case scenario: you and your beau finally enjoy that electric first kiss.
Please send your questions to Dr. NerdLove at his website (www.doctornerdlove.com/contact); or to his email, firstname.lastname@example.org