Troubled Lives and Twisted Words

Q: I have met the girl of my dreams (we’ll call her Angela), and we are planning on getting married in August. But lately I have begun to see changes that I don't understand. Angela has never had any real close friends; she doesn't even see her sister very often, and she lives nearby. When we first started dating, Angela loved being with my family, whom I am very close to. But my brother said something one time in fun, and we haven't seen him for a long time because Angela's feelings were hurt. And now she doesn't want me to see my sister because she wants us to have more time together. ...

The great fishing expedition

Q: The last few guys I’ve dated have been on the shy side when it comes to starting something up. It goes something like this: I will meet this guy and I will feel some mutual interest, but we will part ways without any digit exchange. Then, the big fishing expedition will begin.

He will start asking about me to mutual friends, he’ll friend me and then start e-mailing me through Facebook, or he’ll find ways to be at the same place I will be. Ultimately, the shy guy will make it seem like he’s really putting himself out there with a “Well, call me if you want to . . . ,” “E-mail me if you’re ever interested in . . . ,” “You should come to this (blah-blah) that I’ll be at . . . ” and there it is, I am left holding the ball. So then I feel like I either need to make the next move, or risk that not making it will be interpreted as disinterest or rejection.

I know guys will find a way to make it happen if they are really interested, but I seem to have a misconception that there is this shy type of guy out there, for whom this is their way of trying to make it happen. When, and how much, is “helping” a guy out ever appropriate?—Sick of Shy Guys

How to Avoid Awkward Mornings-After

I met a tall drink of water last week while on a business trip—had a great night listening to music, drinking beer and making out (just a little) at his house. The night couldn’t have gone any better. Fast forward to a 5 a.m. alarm going off so he could get me back to my hotel in time for work. On the drive, I absolutely stuck my foot in my mouth when he mentioned grabbing coffee before I left town: I said, “I don’t drink coffee.”