Your burning relationship questions answered by our Relationship Expert: Amber Richele!
Q: I met a guy on a dating app. We hit it off and decided to meet for dinner. I was 20 minutes late but he wasn’t there when I arrived. When he contacted me, he told me that he wasn’t going to make it. I’m literally here and HE STOOD ME UP!! What should I do??
A: Like Maya Angelou said, “when people show you who they are the first time, believe them.” He’s a flake and you’ll never be able to depend on him. EVER. If he makes zero effort to reschedule the date within 24 hours of flakegate then I’d block and delete him. Move on girl! You’ve got better options! If he DOES reschedule promptly, I’d go only for the free meal, pretend to listen to him lie his way out of the incident, and then ghost him afterwards. Yeah, it sounds petty but he started it by standing me up. Neener neener.
Q: I really like a guy. We’ve been seeing each other for two months and he makes me so happy. Is it love or am I just infatuated with him?
A: Ah, the million dollar question. We’ve all been fed the lie via rom-coms and Disney fairytales that love is this all-consuming, can’t eat, cant sleep feeling. Well, it isn’t. Some people believe in love at first sight and will tell you that the first time they saw their significant other that they knew they were “the one”. And that may be true. For others though, love is more like, “you’re batshit crazy and so am I but I’d rather fight with you than make love to anyone else.” To me, I think that love is accepting a person, flaws and all. Just make sure the flaws are flaws that you can live with mmmkay.
Infatuation is essentially the honeymoon phase. Plain and simple. You know, you started dating someone and you literally spend ALL your free time with your new boo. You’re leaving stuff at their place, maybe you have a drawer, or they stock the snacks you like at their house. You’re boo’d up and there’s nothing wrong with that. But after the warm and fuzzies wear off, ask yourself these questions. Do you have enough shared interests to sustain the relationship? Are there any dealbreakers (ie. he’s an open mouth chewer or watches too much porn) that have surfaced? Have you had your first fight and were able to resolve it quickly and respectfully? If you can’t positively answer any of these questions, it’s not love. It’s infatuation.
3. My boyfriend of 6 months is really into sports but I’m not. How do learn to enjoy things that my boyfriend does that I dislike?
You don’t have to like everything your significant other likes and vice versa. That might be an unpopular opinion but it’s my column and you asked me for advice. I personally think it’s okay that you don’t like sports. A lot of women don’t. My advice is to use that free time to your advantage. For example, if it’s Monday Night Football and you know your boo is going to watch the game after work with the guys, go out with the girls for dinner and drinks after work! You’re each doing things you enjoy doing AND you maintain your individual identities while being in a relationship. You don’t want to be THAT FRIEND who disappears every time they meets someone. But if you REALLY want to try to take an interest in sports because you’re a team player (pun intended), start by watching a game with him. Then DURING COMMERCIALS ONLY (this is crucial), ask him questions to help you understand what’s going on. You may realize that you actually do like sports because someone took the time to explain it to you. In turn, he’ll appreciate you taking interest in something he likes and for being considerate of his time by waiting until the commercials to talk. Everyone wins.
Q: I really like this guy. How do I know he’s in it for the long haul?
A: Oooh, this is a GOOD question. Given today’s swipe dating culture where there’s literally so much choice, it’s hard to know who’s in it to win it and who just wants some ass. My number one rule is to never put all my eggs in one basket. Date as many people as you can handle at one time. Also, keep an open mind. Yes, the goal is ultimately a relationship but that’s not gonna happen after one date. Go on multiple dates with each of your suitors. That will allow you to see who ultimately is in it for the long haul. And you’d be surprised! Some of the guys that are anti-relationship end up being the ones who ultimately catch feelings first. But the best way to determine if they’re in it for the long haul is how they treat you after you sleep together for the first time. EVERYTHING changes after you have sex. If there’s no more dates and it’s only booty calls, you know he’s only in it for sex. Then you can ultimately decide if that’s what you’re comfortable with. But know this: you can’t turn a hoe into a housewife. If you’re only a booty call to him, he’s definitely sleeping with other girls and probably won’t commit to you either no matter how much you want him to. If he still communicates the same way (texts or calls as often as before sex) and the dates continue, then he’s in it for the long haul. I’d still give it a month or two before having the “what are we” conversation though to make sure you’re on the same page about being exclusive.
Q: My girlfriend has a really stressful and demanding job. She works crazy hours and comes home exhausted. How can I be supportive of her while maintaining a healthy relationship with her without feeling needy?
Communication is key here. If you’re not spending enough time together, you need to talk about it. Sit down and explain to her how you feel in an honest way that won’t make her feel guilty or get defensive. And try to compromise. Maybe instead of seeing each other three times per week you set aside one night for date night where you don’t talk about work, put your phones away, and just spend time together. Go have dessert and coffee, order takeout and watch a movie at home, surprise her with tickets to her favorite show, or book a couples massage and an overnight stay in a hotel. The point is making time to reconnect. You have to have that in order to maintain the relationship. And yes, it’s not the ideal situation as you may be more focused on the quantity of time you spend together and you had to compromise on that but she’ll appreciate you making the effort to meet her halfway. And eventually, things may die down for her at work and she can go back to spending more time with you. Consequently, she’ll remember how you stuck by her during that crazy time and she’ll love you even more for that.
We’re all hustling and working hard. Hell, this column is my side hustle on top of working full-time. But if you really care about someone and they feel the same way about you, you’ll find a way to make it work. And if something or someone is a priority in your life, you make the time.