Got a burning question for Prudie? She'll be online at Washingtonpost.com to chat with readers each Monday at noon. Submit your questions and comments here before or during the live discussion.
My girlfriend and I have been seeing each other for four months. When we started dating she told me she usually doesn't go for guys as physically attractive as me, which I found odd. She is very cute but not the hottest girl I've dated. Her intelligence, personality, and character are why I've fallen for her. Things have been great until the last two weeks when she started becoming more distant and less affectionate toward me. Last weekend she went with her single girlfriends to the Caribbean for a brief vacation. I barely heard from her the week after she got back, but we both have demanding jobs. I ordered flowers to be delivered to her office. She then called me and said she no longer wants to be in a relationship, and that I’m way more attractive then her previous partners. I asked had I done anything wrong and she replied I've been perfect. But she said while on vacation she barely missed me. She said she fears if we continue, I'll find someone better looking, or worse cheat on her like her last boyfriend. I asked her to reconsider since a weekend of no communication is too short a time to make such a huge decision and she agreed. I feel like I am being dumped based on my looks. I don't want to lose her but I wonder if it’s worth it to get back together if she reconsiders. Do her girlfriends have something do with this? What should I do?
Even though you are gorgeous and attentive and "perfect" it might simply be that this woman is just not that into you. If that's the case, neither her quiet contemplation nor your elaborate bouquets will change her mind. It may be that telling you that you’re too handsome for her is nicer than saying you’re too dull. You’re suspicious that her jealous gal pals, while guzzling pina coladas and other witches brews, helped convince her to break up with you. If your girlfriend dumps you, you’ll have your answer to that if over the next few weeks you find yourself “accidentally” running into her eager friends. Your new love acknowledged that she thinks your appeal to women is going to lead to your cheating on her. If that’s a real fear, then she is one of those people who carry around for easy reference binders labeled “Bad Things That Happened to Me Last Time.” That’s an unattractive trait. It’s true that few men would be uncomfortable finding themselves with the best-looking woman in the room on their arm. But I do think some women would be disconcerted by feeling like a drab peahen compared to a more colorful peacock. Let's say your looks are at the heart of her concern, but she’s willing to try again. You can’t reassure her by permanently wearing a Halloween mask—she has to take the time to learn to trust. But if the girl of your dreams is so distressed by having a great-looking guy be crazy about her, then you may need to be with someone who’s more comfortable with what she sees when she looks in the mirror.
I live in Ohio, the battleground state in this year's presidential election. I have just learned that my mother, who is the caretaker of my aging and infirm grandparents, has filled out their absentee ballots for them, having them vote for my mother’s preferred party. My grandmother has Alzheimer's and believes it’s 1989. She is unaware of a single issue being discussed in the election. Worse, my grandmother has been a life-long voter for a party that is not the one my mother supports. Should I attempt to intervene in some way?
—Feeling the Civil War in Ohio
I’m going to guess that your ardent opposition to voter fraud does not make this the first time you have found your mother’s actions wanting. If your mother has filled out a ballot for people who are too mentally incompetent to make their own decision, or is she has filled out a ballot that is contradictory to the wishes of one or both and coerced them into signing it—or signed for them—then she is committing a crime. Since the integrity of the voting process is fundamental to democracy, and if your report of your mother’s actions is accurate, then her behavior is morally and legally indefensible and I join you in condemning her. At this point, assuming the ballots have been mailed, the only way to intervene would be to report this to the local election board. They should flag the ballots and at the least see if the signatures on the envelopes match those of the voter registration applications. Maybe the officials will find the ballots suspicious and investigate further. Let's say they decide to make an example of your mother and prosecute her for voter fraud. Yes, justice may well be done, but at a very high cost to your family. It will be obvious that someone with a close but not affectionate relationship ratted her out. If your mother ends up busy with her legal defense, then someone else is going to have to pick up the slack of caring for your grandparents. Not every wrong can be righted, and I think you’re better off concluding this is one of those cases. But if on Tuesday it turns out the presidential election is decided by a two-vote margin in Ohio, then you’re going to have a story the whole country will want to hear.
My boyfriend "Jake" and I have an adorable 11-month-old son. Our son is getting to a more impressionable age and I'm afraid Jake's immature behavior will rub off on him. Jake thinks its funny to talk as if he’s speaking for my son to say things like, "Shut up, Momma" or "Screw you." He will take my son’s arm and hit me in the face with it, making my son laugh. Jake uses profanity in front of him and exposes him to inappropriate videos and music. He thinks its funny to tease our son and make him cry. When he does cry or get upset, Jake laughs at him. I have explained to Jake that this behavior bothers me, but Jake just rolls his eyes. I'm feeling frustrated and have threatened to post things he’s doing on Facebook in hopes the humiliation will be a wake-up call. Am I overacting to his behavior or am I right to be concerned? If I’m right, how do I make Jake stop acting this way?
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