Saturday, September 03, 2005

Q27: He flirted with her to make me jealous - should I trust him?

Via Email: "How can I tell what he's really thinking?"

I've been kinda seeing this guy, but the other night I accidentally made him jealous by talking with another friend of his. I assured him that nothing's going on, but when he got jealous he started flirting with my friend. He apologized and tells me that he just did it to make me jealous.because he was hurt. I'm worried that maybe he does like her, he says he doesn't, but how can I be sure. Should I be worried, or just let it go and forget about it?
-To Believe or Not To Believe?

First off, it looks like you and your guy have a few trust issues. What do you mean by "kinda seeing"? Are you two dating? Are you two committed? Perhaps you should get that ironed out so you can figure out what each of you expects from the other. If you are committed, or in an "official" relationship, then he has no business flirting with your friend. If you aren't committed, then there aren't any set rules, and you two should talk about your expectations so that no one gets hurt.

Is he really possessive? If you were just talking, then make sure that he knows that, and that you wouldn't flirt with his friends, especially since you're seeing him. And what sort of guy messes with feelings like that? If he's so casual about flirting with your friend at your expense, then maybe he doesn't care about hurting you, or maybe he cares about himself too much, or maybe he doesn't trust you completely. You should definitely talk about this. If you don't believe him, then there might be a reason that you don't believe him. If he does flirt with your friend again, call him on it. If he keeps flirting with your friend, maybe he does like her. If he's just polite, and lavishes more attention on you, then he's probably telling the truth.

Depending on how close you are to your friend, you can talk with her about it, too. If they interact again, you could ask her if she thinks that he was flirting with her. If she says, "yes," then maybe you should talk to him about his manner of interacting with girls, specifically your friend.

Some signs that he's still flirting: he touches her when he speaks to her, he seeks her out in a room and pays special attention to her, he talks about her a lot to his friends, he asks about her, he doesn't speak as much about you, etc. You're "kinda seeing" him, so I'm guessing that he showed you signs of liking you. If he's showing those signs to someone else, then he probably likes her. If he doesn't, then you're probably safe. Some other "man signs" can be found on these sites: Links2Love: Him; iVillage.

That said, be honest, too -- were you really just "talking" with his friend, or were you flirting with that friend? If you really just were talking, then tell him that you weren't flirting. If you're officially boyfriend and girlfriend, then you two shouldn't have to worry about making the other person jealous. Trust is the major basis of a relationship. Without trust, you won't have a good relationship. Don't give him a reason to doubt your end of the relationship, either.

In short, talk to him about your relationship. If you really like him and you think he likes you, then go for it. If he gives you further reasons to doubt him, then you have to decide whether he's worth the trouble. But if you're in a relationship now, then you probably should trust him. Talk about what you expect from each other, and try to meet each other's expectations.

Also, some "Signs That She's Flirting" tips that might tell him that you're flirting with his friend can be found on;
There's also Links2Love: Her. To avoid flirting with his friend(s), avoid sending these signals.

"Signs That He's Flirting": Links2Love: Him; iVillage.

For guys and girls: Lover's Guide.

[Note: If this didn't answer your question, or if there are more details you'd like advice on, feel free to email/IM/post again! :)]

Q26: Under pressure to find a boyfriend -- should I?

Via Email:

Hey I heard about your advice blog from my mate who has problems about her crush on her French classmate.

I'm a 20-yr-old girl, and I used to have a good relationship with a 26-yr-old guy, which ended mutually, yet, horribly a few months ago. Mutual, because both of us know we don't love each other, horrible, because he won't let me go due to the fact that we made a promise to his mom not to let me go, we fought about it, but at last, we came to a hanging point where we say, if we are meant for each other, then we'll get back together. I feel good when being single, as I don't have to think about the other person's hang ups, and as I am an independant girl, I can do things without consulting other people, and yet, at the same time, I feel alone and lonely oftimes

I can't get myself to really like a guy, no matter how good looking they are. I'd say, yea, he's good looking and cute, I may have a crush on that person, but, as soon as I know him and he became my friend, that's it, the feelings dissolved, and when I really like them, I really like those 'untouchable' ones, where they have a steady girlfriend or are gay, or doesn't fall into the category that my family approves of. Whenever they fall into those 'untouchable' categories, it's very hard for me to forget my feelings for them. The category my family approve is a devout Muslim and as a Brunei citizen (I'm Bruneian and live in this small country called Brunei somewhere in Asia). The problem with that prerequisite is, the guy that I kinda like, is not a citizen, Chinese and is a devout Catholic, to make matters worse, we are separated by the South China Sea, he lives in Malaysia, while I live in Brunei.

Lately, I felt more lonely than ever when I heard from my best mate that my ex has just gotten engaged a few days ago. I knew it's a true story, because my best mate is my ex's first cousin, and naturally got invited to the engagement party. My ex still sms me once in a while, but he never tells me about his engagement, and though I feel like asking him about it, I always didn't do so, because I don't want him to feel that I'm pining for him.

Now that he's engaged, my mom's been pushing me to find a boyfriend, fast. The reason: she doesn't want others to say that I'm still pining over my ex, and to show to people that I can find somebody new. It also hurts me when people compared me with the fiancee, they say she is a pretty, old girl but sophisticated, and totally suit him. It makes me feel ugly and not classy, no matter how many times the Catholic boy assures me that I'm this really beautiful girl that he likes.

I'm not sure what I should do. Should I pursue the Catholic boy, even if my parents won't like it, or should I find a boy that my parents approve of? And even if I like this Catholic boy, I'm not sure if I really like him, because I was afraid that, the only reason why I like him is because I don't want to feel lonely.
-Under Pressure To Find a Boyfriend


We're sorry that we're getting back to you so late -- the people who work on this site are all out of town, and it's really tough for us to reply quickly these days.

The overall tone of your email seems to be focused on loneliness and your worry of other people's perceptions. If you truly like being single and independent, then just be single and independent. It's pretty easy to feel lonely when you're single, but only if you let yourself feel lonely. Instead, feel free. Don't give that up unless you honestly feel like someone's worth being with.

You mention that your mother's pressuring you to find a boyfriend, but that the only guy who likes you now is Catholic. If your mother won't approve of the Catholic guy anyway, then would that really be fulfilling her wishes? If you honestly like the guy, then you have to decide for yourself if he's worth it. If you're really worried about the parental approval, then ask your mother first, especially since she's the one pushing you to find a boyfriend. But if your only reason for dating a guy is to boost your pride, then don't date him -- both you and the guy deserve more than that. And long-distance is a tough relationship to handle, gal -- it's a lot of work, so make sure it's 'worth it' to you before jumping into one.

Also, make sure that this craving for "untouchables" isn't springing from your loneliness -- it might be a Freudian thing where you really like being single, but society is dictating that you should get a boyfriend, so by liking an untouchable, your mind is both conforming with and rebelling against society. Sure, you still like guys, but the guys that you like aren't what society really wants. That might be a little too psychoanalytical, though -- make sure that you don't like these guys just b/c they're "Something Different" or just because they seem exciting or just because you're not supposed to have them. That really isn't a good basis for a relationship, either. Examine your feelings -- why do you like him? Because he's different? Because he's cute? Because he's telling you that he thinks you're beautiful? Before entering into a relationship, you have to believe that you're beautiful first -- don't rely on other people to boost your own self-confidence. Make the most of yourself while being single and independent, and only get into a relationship if you feel that the guy's worth being with. Remember, too, that any guy that you date has the potential of becoming the guy with whom you'll spend the rest of your life with. If there are aspects of a guy that your family doesn't approve of, then examine those issues and either work them out or figure out if the guy's worth your time.

That said, if you find a guy that you truly like, go for it. And if you're not pining for your ex, then I'd also suggest congratulating him on his engagement, perhaps via SMS Texting, if that's how you two communicate nowadays. If you're feeling particularly confrontational, you could tell your ex that you're disappointed that you found out about something that important from your friend, that you aren't pining for him, and that you're truly happy that he's found someone that he loves and wants to spend the rest of his life with. And by the way -- just because one girl is older or "sophisticated" doesn't mean that you're not beautiful. It seems that you two had various reasons for breaking up, and there's no reason to pine for each other now.

This might actually be irrelevant advice now; you might already be dating the Catholic boy, or you might have already moved on. In general, examine your own feelings. If you're feeling analytical, make a list of pro's and con's -- compare being single to being with a guy that you like, and get a feel for which items on that list mean more to you.

Thanks for writing, by the way. Again, we're sorry for the long delay in response time. we hope this helps/helped a little bit, but feel free to write again if you'd like more advice, or to let us know how it all turned out.

Q25: STDs

This post is a little unusual: We had a reader email us about Q18: We just said "I Love You" -- what about sex? This particular comment is about STDs. We've added our own comments/additional information, as well.

Your answer to the woman seeking thought points on her virginity was excellent. You taught me a few things I did not know.

There are several points about STDs you didn't mention, that are important.

* Not all STDs can be tested for.

That's definitely correct. Some STDs, like Herpes simplex virus (HSV), as actually asymptomatic. Symptoms include sores, ulcers, and blisters on any part that's infected, usually on the genital area. You can also get either HSV2 (the type of virus that affects the genital area) or HSV1 (the type of virus that gives people cold sores) on your genital area and/or around your mouth. So oral sex can transmit either type of this virus. Herpes actually has infected about 1/4 men and 1/5 women.

* Some STDs need an incubation period before a test will show that a person is infected. Including HIV/AIDS. The period can be up to 6 months.

This is very true. For HIV/AIDS in particular, after being tested once, you should go back after about six months and be tested again. Syphillis should also be tested for -- if it's left untreated for too long, it can develop into neurosyphillis, which affects your nerve cells.

* STD tests can have false negatives - indication no infection when a person does have a STD and can infect others. Testing by two health providers that use different labs lower the likelihood.

* STD tests can also have false positives - indicating infection where there is none.

You can never be too cautious, really. You should be tested after every new sexual partner. The sooner you're tested, the faster you can be treated.

To see various state facts about STDs, visit Kaiser StateHealthFacts. Info for Massachusetts can be found at: Massachusetts: Sexually-Transmitted Diseases. A pretty good article about basic STD facts can be found via WebMD: STDs. WebMD also has a Symptom Guide. You can also check out ObGyn: STDs/Women. A somewhat larger database about STDs, medicine, symptoms, etc, can be found at

That said, be careful, people.