SwimDaily's resident relationship counselor, Jess Perez, is back with another round of advice. If you want Jess to answer your questions, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jess: Help! I've been seeing this guy for a few months … casually, but also really frequently. We haven't really discussed our 'situation' and the past week or so he's felt really distant. How do I ask him if he's still into 'us' if we haven't actually talked about being together?
I would say something like, 'Hey, I was just wondering where you and I stand right now because things have felt a little bit different lately...' and see what he has to say!
Dear Jess: I have this problem, I hate texting. I hate having my phone on me all the time, I hate trying to decode what people are 'really' saying via text, I hate making plans via text … but I'm afraid I come across as inattentive or not-into this girl I've been dating. Is there a middle ground or do I have to become married to my phone as we move forward?
--Andrew, Seattle, WA
You have to make it clear to this girl that your lack of communicating via phone has nothing to do with how you feel about her but entirely to do with your distaste for texting. At the same time, we do live in an age where people expect immediate communication from one another. Therefore, you could end up unintentionally pushing her away if you flat out refuse to engage in any texting. If I were you I would try to reach some middle ground and explain to her that you don't feel comfortable texting random things throughout the day but give in a bit and use texting to make plans with her and to remind her how much you like her from time to time.
Jess: I've been seeing a girl pretty casually for a while, but am just not that into it anymore. She's really cool and I want to let her down easy … how do I do that?
--John, St. Louis, MO
It's so hard to turn someone down! But I think it's a jerk move when guys (or girls!) simply stop calling or texting someone they've been dating because they don't have the courage to let them down. So, gather up some courage and tell her the truth: you don't see this relationship going any further and that you are sorry things turned out this way.
Dear Jess: I really like this girl I've been seeing, and want to show her a good time and whatever … but money is a little tight. Any ideas for cheap dates?
-- Bobby, Los Angeles, CA
I really like it when guys cook for me and that can be fairly inexpensive if you opt for a pasta dish. Also, do something like rent a movie from a director you know she likes; girls like it when guys are thoughtful so if you can add a personal touch to the date she won't care that you're not spending a lot of money on her.
Jess: I guess this is more of a post-relationship question but my girlfriend of four years and I recently broke up. She wants to stay friends, but I'm not sure I can. How do I tell her I'm still too mad that we didn't workout to be her 'friend'?
-- Lee, Winston-Salem, NC
I think when you break up with someone you've been dating long term, distance is actually really healthy. I would explain to her that you aren't ready to be friends just yet and that doesn't mean you won't be able to be her friend in the future but that you need time to heal from the breakup.
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