I’ve been hooking up with a guy I met online. It started as a purely sexual thing. At my suggestion, it grew to include drinks and meals, too. But sex was still the main event. Then I invited him to a party on an upcoming Saturday night. He said: “But we aren’t a weekend thing.” I was mortified. He said he’d think about it, but I never heard from him again. My friends say I dodged a bullet, but I feel terrible about pushing for too much. Any advice?
Last week, I took a spinning class at Flywheel. While we were pedaling up some (imaginary) mountain, our instructor, Ruth, told us that 17 years ago, when she first started teaching, she asked her boss for a weekend slot, only to be told she wasn’t “weekend material.” Reader, she is now the star instructor with an ownership stake. We are all weekend material! (And that includes you, Sandy.)
I disagree with your pals: There was no bullet here. You and your gentleman had fun of a certain stripe. When your desires shifted, you spoke up. (Well done!) Unfortunately, his wishes didn’t evolve along with yours. No villains, just different aims. The only part of this story I dislike is your beating yourself up. You did nothing wrong in asking for what you want.
That said, you are never going to find a good heirloom tomato at the hardware store. So, if the app that brought you two together is mostly sex-facing, don’t go roaring back to it, now that you know you may be up for something more. Try a different site. I have plenty of coupled friends who started out by hooking up. But the transition is easier when dating is on the menu of possibilities from the get-go.
Going to Chicago, and Not Going Dutch
My husband and I live in Chicago. We are close, longtime friends with a couple from Nashville. We visit each other three times a year. Due to some family changes, we have not been able to get to Nashville recently; they have flown up here, instead. On their last visit, they made it clear that they have spent a lot on airline tickets and didn’t think they should pay for dinners out. What should we do?
Pick up the tab. Listen, I get it: Talking about money too pointedly can be gross. (I have a sack of letters about bridal gifting that would turn an iron stomach.) But ignoring financial issues among pals can be a problem, too. It’s a Goldilocks thing: too much, not enough, just right.
Your friends were used to sharing the load on travel expenses. They flew, then you flew. And it all evened out, right? But since your circumstances changed, they’ve been shouldering the entire financial burden (not to mention standing on all those security lines). This may be a dollars issue, or they may be testing your emotional investment: Do you care enough to pay? This may have rung tacky to you. But with close friends, better to soothe concerns and help everyone feel valued.
How Much Should I Share With a Boss?
I was diagnosed with PTSD in January. A combination of therapy and medication greatly improved my quality of life. But I still have bad days, with lapses in concentration that can lead to errors at work. Nothing major, but I know they inconvenience my co-workers. My boss has brought it up a few times. I would like to tell him about my disability, but I don’t want it to sound like an excuse. Any thoughts?
First one: How great that you found some relief! About 8 percent of Americans will suffer from PTSD in their lifetime, and not nearly enough of us get the help we need. Sharing your diagnosis isn’t an “excuse.” You have a legitimate limitation for which you owe no apology. A good boss will try to accommodate you. Giant caveat: I am not a psychologist or an expert on disability law.
Ask your therapist about speaking with your boss. Some are supportive; others are bullies. (The last thing we want is for you to be traumatized again.) You don’t mention what field you’re in. That’s relevant too — along with studies I’ve read about decluttering and reminder systems to improve concentration in those with PTSD. Your therapist can help devise a plan that’s right for you and your workplace.
Sisterhood Is Complicated
My sister and I have always competed for our mother’s approval. Last year, she got married — I am single — and she is now three months pregnant. My mother is thrilled. I am about to explode. Any ideas?
Sleep with her husband immediately. (Kidding.) The best conversation I ever had with my brother was when I confided my fierce childhood jealousy of him. And because I spoke without complaint, he reciprocated. The relief was palpable, and (some of) the jealousy went away. We’ve even managed to keep the line open. Talk with your sister; you have a long life together. And leave your mother out of it. This is between siblings.