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What’s Normal When It Comes to Dating?

Thu, May 14, 2009

Advice

mike_juliet_show0001Audience member Pamela explains how her partner of three months still introduces her as his “friend.”

Em was on the Mike and Juliet Show this week for a segment called “What’s Normal When It Comes to Dating?” Below are the questions and our answers that didn’t make it on the show; after the jump are the questions that did make it on the show with our more complete, written answers:

Is it normal that my boyfriend never calls and we have full conversations texting each other instead?

Totally normal! Most guys we know hate to talk on the phone. In fact, we know plenty of women — myself included! — who’d rather text or email than call. If you were long-distance and missed the sound of his voice, then we’d think it was a bit odd. But if you live in the same town and see him face-to-face regularly, who needs the phone?

Is it normal for a man to be selfish in bed….How do I get him to be more giving?

In our experience, women spend a lot more time complaining about how men are in bed than they do actually giving them helpful feedback, taking charge in the bedroom, and insisting on doing stuff they themselves enjoy. It could be that he just doesn’t know he’s being selfish. For example, if lots of thrusting and fast sex feels good to him, then maybe he assumes that feels good to you, too. Start being a lot more vocal in bed about what you really like. And ask him to do things in the moment, but make it a sexy request rather than a whine. Like, don’t say, “How come you never go down on me?” Instead, during sex, tell him, “It’d really turn me on if you went down on me right now.”

Should I be concerned if my boyfriend dismisses calls from his ex while he is around me?

Well, better that he dismisses them than that he answers them in front of you! We think that’s just polite, actually. He can’t control how needy she is and how much she calls. And hey, maybe they’re just friends. If you’re concerned, ask him casually what his relationship with his ex is like. It’s really all about trust. If you trust him, then why should you care if they talk occasionally.

I’ve been dating a guy a while and it’s going great but we never go back to his apartment, we always sleep at mine. Is that normal?

Totally normal. Maybe he’s embarrassed about his apartment now that he’s seen how nice yours is. Maybe he has Star Wars sheets, or a messy roommate. If you don’t have any other reason to believe he has a live-in girlfriend or wife he’s not telling you about, don’t sweat it.

Is it normal that the guy I’m dating drinks twice as much as I do when we’re out on a date?

Totally normal. Different people have different tolerances — especially if he’s a lot bigger than you are. As the AA people like to say, it’s not how much you drink, it’s HOW you drink. If you’re worried about his drinking, that’s another matter — but just because he drinks more than you, doesn’t mean much.
Is it normal for the guy I have been sleeping with and spending nights and weekends with to introduce me just as his friend and not his girlfriend?

It really depends on the relationship. If you haven’t discussed exclusivity yet and you’ve only been sleeping together for a few weeks, then it would be weird for him to call you his girlfriend. Who knows, he might just think of you as his booty call! But if it’s been many months and you’ve agreed not to see other people, then yes, it’s weird to be introduced as a friend. But it’s not a deal-breaker — maybe he just panicked, for example, or maybe he was worried the G word would freak you out.

Is it normal that I share intimate details of my relationship with my girlfriends?

It’s normal, yes, though whether or not your boyfriend thinks it’s ok is another matter entirely. We tend to think that the more casual the hookup, the more details it’s ok to spill. For example, if it was a one-night stand in Paris and you’re 100% sure your friends will never meet this guy, then share all the gory details you want. After all, dishing with your friends about sex is a great way to learn new tips and tricks. But if you think this guy might be around for a while, then you might want to leave a little something to the imagination out of respect for him. Of course, many women don’t follow this rule, at all — in general, we think it’s best if a guy just doesn’t dwell on how much his girlfriend’s friends know about their sex life!

Is it normal for my man not to be trying as hard as he was in the beginning? How should I bring this up to him?

Everyone — guys AND gals — do this, but that’s no reason to just sit back and accept it. Are you sure you’re trying as hard as you were in the beginning? Are you flirting in the same way, complimenting him in the same way, kissing him in the same way, dragging him into bed in the same way, doing sweet things for him in the same way? If you can say yes to all these things, then yes, you should talk to him about it. But if you’re guilty in any of those departments, then why not start to make a bit more effort yourself and see if he gets the hint.

Is it normal that my date always wants to go dutch every time we go out? Does that mean he’s not interested?

Totally normal! Poor guys, they have no idea what they’re supposed to do when it comes to the check these days! One woman might take offense if he always pays — she might think that means he’s old-fashioned and likes women bare-foot and pregnant in the kitchen. And another woman takes offense if he wants to go dutch, thinking that makes him cheap. We think, for early dates, whoever does the asking should pay; for more regular dates with the same person, whoever makes more money should expect to pay more (but not all) of the bills. If you can’t afford to go dutch, then suggest some cheap or free date activities instead.

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