Dear Prudence answers readers' questions live at Washingtonpost.com.

Real-time discussions with Slate writers.
Sept. 8 2009 3:18 PM

Are Wedding Gifts Optional?

Prudie counsels a mother whose daughter didn't get enough presents at her nuptials—and other advice seekers.

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Emily Yoffe: Glad you like the column, but you probably won't like this answer: Dump him. That kind of obsessive jealousy is a demon that will ruin your life.

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Suncoast, Fla.: I have been dating two different men for a while now, and both are starting to head in the direction of an exclusive, committed relationship. So the time has come to choose, and I'm having the hardest time doing so. One would seem to be completely wrong for me. He's a science fiction/fantasy enthusiast, which I don't care for at all. He also hates television and loves card games, while I like to watch TV to unwind every once in a while and don't care for games. But he makes me feel totally adored and goes to great lengths to plan really terrific dates for us. The other guy seems so much better suited for me. We have very similar backgrounds and interests, and I feel like he really challenges me intellectually. We also have many of the same friends. But he's much more subdued about his feelings and is less likely to have a thought-out plan when we decide what to do together. So which is more important in a long-term partner, someone who makes you feel really special or someone who shares common interests and challenges you as a person?

Emily Yoffe: You need two, two, two boyfriends in one! If only you could pick the favorable qualities from boyfriend A and boyfriend B and come up with Mr. Perfect. Of course, as you know, no one is perfect. Instead of answering this question, I'm going to ask you a question. If you were Prudie, who would you tell the letter writer from Suncoast, Fla. to pick?

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Arlington, Va.: We have neighbors in our apartment that we have never met, and I feel at this point it is too awkward to go over and introduce ourselves. The problem is, on several occasions, when they leave town for the weekend, such as today, they leave the alarm in their bedroom set, and we can clearly hear it going off through our bedroom wall really early in the morning. My girlfriend wants to write a note, but I feel that's tacky. What do you think?

Emily Yoffe: It's never too late to introduce yourselves to neighbors. You can decide whether to make this two separate visits. One at which you say you've been meaning to introduce yourselves and save the alarm clock issue for later. Or two, you apologize for not introducing yourselves and say you have a rather trivial issue that you wonder if they could address. It could be the beginning of a beautiful friendship (that allows you to sleep in).

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Emily Yoffe: Thanks, everyone. Hope your alarm clock didn't have to go off too early this morning. Talk to you next Monday.