My girlfriend loves PDA. I’d rather be discreet. What’s the compromise?—Jeff, Detroit, MI
Here’s my take: Showing affection in public is a woman’s way of saying “Back off” to the competition. Why? Maybe she feels iffy about your level of commitment. So convey in little ways that you’re all hers. When you’re out, hold her hand. When you’re home, be passionate. Carve out 30 minutes to watch Louie together. Get it? The more intimacy you communicate, the less she’ll need to make a show of it.
After four months of dating a woman, my friend is now engaged. Can I tell him it’s a bad idea?—Ross, Seattle, WA
I’ll tell you what’s a bad idea, Ross: opening your mouth to say anything other than “Congrats, man.” When and how a person chooses to propose is a deeply personal decision, and your friend is going with his gut here. So let him. It’s not like he’ll call the whole thing off just because you objected. Besides, just because you didn’t see it coming doesn’t make it irresponsible. If he says they’re ready, shake his hand and buy him a beer. Save your opinions for when it counts—like planning the bachelor party.
My wife can’t stand my best friend. How do I fix this?—Larry, New York, NY
You probably can’t, but maybe you can manage the problem. Find out what it is about him that bugs her so much, and then limit the exposure accordingly. Is it the way he screams at the TV during Knicks games? Then watch sports at his place. Or you could try a more radical option: Sit down with her and talk it over. Be a good listener. Simply acknowledging that her feelings are legit could go a long way toward softening her disdain. Then you can gently defend your friend. Hey, your wife doesn’t have to love the guy, but she will have to tolerate him.
She’s all hurt when I won’t dance at weddings. But trust me: I suck at it. What do I do?—Nick Cleveland, OH
First, relax. Then do it! Nobody other than Jessica Biel expects to see Justin Timberlake out on the dance floor. If you want, YouTube how to do a two-step. Know what else works? Having the confidence to laugh at yourself. Wedding dancing is like karaoke—it’s more about attitude than skill. So own your two left feet, drain that gin and tonic, and make your girl happy.
She wants me to delete photos of my exes on Facebook. That’s extreme, right?—George, Chicago, IL
Surprise! I’m with you. If a man asked me to wipe out my albums, my first impulse would be to close the book on him. The next time she freaks about Facebook, tell her she’s the only woman in your life and that these are merely memories. Odds are, all she really wants is reassurance that she’s your first priority and that you’re not pining for the past. Otherwise, you’re left with two options: Back up your photos before you remove them from your page, or back away from that relationship.