Ask Ms. Kari

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Ms. Kari's Answers

Q: Should a person in a committed relationship be able to look through their partner's phone without asking?

A. The simple answer is yes, you should be able to. However, you should be unwilling or even feel the need to do this. My question to you, “Is this about lack of trust in your current relationship or baggage from a previous relationship?” A healthy relationship should give you security and trust.

Q: On the second date, he suggested we split the check. I ended up paying for a lot more than I ordered. It felt very cheap to me—like, I wasn't worth buying dinner for. I don't believe he actually tipped appropriately, either. Otherwise, he seemed like a very nice guy. He keeps reaching out to grab dinner again...what should I do?

A. You should do exactly what you want to do. If you’re OK with splitting the check, keep seeing him. (Splitting checks is perfectly acceptable; however, I do recommend that men wait before bringing it up.) If you’re looking for permission to not see him anymore, permission granted! :) Dating someone who you aren’t aligned with is a waste of time. You could be out with friends or pursuing someone you are aligned with. It seems the issue is about how it made you feel. If you’re being courted by someone, you should feel pursued and invested in. If not, it’s great to have a new friend, but keep looking for that relationship.

Q: We are six months into a great relationship; we have a great time together. On Saturday, we were having some drinks and deep conversation. I blurted out, "I love you." He said, "Thank you." Shouldn't he have said it back? Am I being rejected? Should I just leave it or should I bring it up?

A. Hmmm…I don’t have much background to go on, but here’s my general take: Six months is a chunk of time. I don’t think he would stick around for that long if he didn’t care about you on some level. You may have caught him off guard! Give this man a moment to process it. I see only having a couple of options, since you put the “L word” out there.

  1. You can completely pretend it didn’t happen and watch how he reacts. Does he keep showing you the same level of investment and attention or more (or less) investment and attention? Decide what to do based on his reactions.
  2. You can bring it up. I would give him a moment—but not too long—otherwise, it gives him the opportunity to say, “I don’t know what you mean.” This is a really mature way to handle the situation, but recognize that he could also feel pressured by wanting to talk it through.
  3. You can take his thank you as your answer and start dating others. You don’t have to stop dating, unless you’re committed to each other, then you do need to stop.
 
In my experience and depending on the history of this person, Option 3 is your healthiest course of action. When presented with the premise of you dating others, he may realize his feelings for you are stronger than he thought. It’s also possible he’s relieved that the relationship has run its course.

Q: I caught my boyfriend messaging other women on Facebook Dating. He doesn't think it's a big deal; he's not going to meet anyone in person. He just enjoys the connection and attention. My mom thinks this is horrible. Is this a problem?

A. I side with Mom. This is a problem on multiple fronts.

  1. He’s sneaking, and that lacks integrity.
  2. He’s flirting with other women while in a relationship with you. That breeds contempt.
  3. If he’s being honest, he’s misleading other women online, since he doesn’t have any intentions to pursue a relationship with them.
    That has zero integrity.

This is a question of standards. I know plenty of people who wouldn’t have a problem with this. However, I believe his intent not to hurt someone doesn’t justify the fact that he’s truly harming people. I feel like you should expect more from a man you’re in a relationship with.

Q: Why would someone say they don't want to be in a relationship with me and then keep texting and calling me? Is this playing "hard to get" to attract me?

A. I learned this lesson a long time ago: Take people at their word when they say things like this. They say one thing, but act another way. One moment, they don’t want to date you. The next moment, you’re in an intimate situation followed by, “Remember, I told you; I didn’t want to date you.” This person is keeping you around because they can’t fully leave. They want one foot in the door and the other foot out. I’d slam that door shut on their behalf. 

Q: I've been in a relationship with a guy for awhile. I knew he split from his wife about a year ago. At a party last week, he told a friend of mine that he wasn't divorced. Should this bother me?

A. Simple answer: yes.