Beliefnet
Make Your Relationship Work

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While it started out as a place to reconnect with grade school classmates and play Farmville, Facebook has (whether we like it or not) increasingly become a major part of our daily lives. Seeing as how employers and lawyers use Facebook as a way to dig up info on people, it’s safe to say it’s gone beyond a fun diversion. What you’re putting on Facebook can affect your reputation. Similarly, what your guy does on Facebook is seen by your friends, family members, coworkers, and more. Therefore, it’s important that he conducts himself in a respectful manner.

Here are five things your guy should never do on Facebook.

List himself as single

There seems to be some debate about this one, which is baffling. If you don’t care about his relationship status, or, for that matter, list yourself as single or leave the field blank, then it’s not a big deal. But if it bothers you that his page doesn’t list him as “in a relationship,” then he should man up and change it. All it takes is one click. Why make it an issue? Everyone knows you’re a couple in the real world, right? So why act like you’re single online? A guy who refuses is either keeping his options open or has one foot out the door.

Post creepy comments on another woman’s page

There are few absolutes in this world. But one thing I know for sure is that guys in relationships who post “HOT!” and “DAMN GURL!” on another woman’s Facebook photos are creeps. (The same think applies to “likes.” A guy “liking” a photo of his female friend in a bikini is both gross and lazy. If he’s going to be a creep, he should at least put in the effort to type something.)

Why do guys think this virtual cat-calling is okay? If you were out with your guy, and he yelled “Wow!” at some random woman on the street, you’d punch him in the Anthony Weiner and change your Facebook status to single right then and there. Most guys would never do that. But many people think they can get away with stuff online that they’d never do in real life. And it’s even worse if he’s writing writing leering comments on his friends’ pages. A good rule of thumb is to make sure he acts on Facebook how you want him to act in real life. For instance, writing “Nice dress! Congrats!” on his friend’s wedding photo is fine. Writing “You look hot!”…not so much. Imagine if you were at the wedding and your guy said that to the bride in person. Everyone would feel awkward. The same thing applies online.

Complain about you in his status updates

The absolute worst thing you can do after a fight is to air your dirty laundry on the Web. Even if it’s a thinly veiled, passive aggressive comment (“Don’t you hate it when women do…”), everyone on his friends list will assume he’s talking about you. And that is so not okay. Facebook should not be that poor friend who is stuck in the middle of your argument who he turns to go, “Don’t you agree with me, Steve??”

Friend porn stars or “like” their pages

If a guy has “Dave likes Jenna Jameson” on his page, he might as well add a status message that reads, “Dave is masturbating right now.” Do you want your friends or (god forbid) your mom to look at your guy’s page and see the entire stable of Vivid Video performers in this “interests” section? This rule also applies to bikini models, webcam models, “Suicide Girls,” and pretty much any model who poses either nude or scantily clad on the Web. Celebrities I’ll give a pass on, as long as it’s not Sasha Grey. Being on Entourage does not make her an actor.

Post constantly on his exes’ page

To be clear, this is not to say he can’t be friends with an ex on Facebook. And it’s not to say he can’t “like” her updates, comment on her photos, or do any of the many time-sucking things people do on Facebook. But he should do them in moderation, and with the knowledge of how it affects you. If his constant posting makes you feel jealous, that’s a legitimate feeling that he shouldn’t just brush off. He’s (hopefully) no longer with his ex. Does he constantly go over to her place, look through her photos from her trip to Brazil, and play Scrabble without you there? No? Well, then why should he be doing those things non-stop online? Constant Facebook interaction with an ex is a good sign that he hasn’t fully moved on.

Any other Facebook no-nos for your guy?

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Every so often I’ll get a question around here that makes me feel like it needs more than just a quick answer. Such is the case with an anonymous question I received yesterday that goes a little something like this: Do I have an obligation to tell the guy I’m seeing that I’m pregnant if I plan on ending the pregnancy? It’s only been two months of seeing each other and it’s more “friends with benefits” than anything else.

Oy vey.

Talk about your cluster *CENSORED* of emotions. But this person’s question raises all kinds of valid and interesting issues. Namely, the moral argument versus the practical argument. And to a much larger scale the rights of men versus women in situations like these. To be clear, I have no intention on arguing about the gender rights issue, but I will say that I think it’s patently absurd that men have no say so once a woman gets pregnant. But that is perhaps based on the fact that I’ve read far too many infuriating stories. So let’s leave that one for the courts and sites intended to hash those issues out.

To the original point, I can’t imagine what would go through a woman’s mind upon finding out that she’s pregnant by a man that she cant’ say she loves. It can’t be any easier to decide to terminate the pregnancy. Maybe she realized it was just not in her own best interest to be a mother at this point and especially not with the particular individual she got pregnant by. I realize that how you feel about what I just said might differ greatly depending on where you fall in the pro-life vs pro-choice debate. But a decision has to be made and she’s decided she’s going to end the pregnancy.

So what should she do?

Here’s where it gets tricky. Morally speaking, yes she has an obligation to tell the guy that she is pregnant with his child. The man has a right to know. They laid down together and had sex and a pregnancy occurred. Whether he would want to keep it is irrelevant to whether or not he has a right to know. But this is also where the man’s right issue comes in. She’s already decided that she’s not keeping the baby…no matter what he says. I cannot imagine for the life of me the mental anquish I’d go through if a woman told me she was pregnant and then in the next breath told me she wasn’t keeping it. I have no idea what side of that argument I’d be on and it would largely depend on the woman and circumstances, but it is a life we’re talking about. Moving on though, morally speaking, she should tell him, even though she’s made the choice without his input.

Practially speaking on the other hand, based on her decision to forego the pregnancy, she should keep it to herself. And I think I lean more towards this for my answer. If you were to tell me that you were pregnant AND that you weren’t keeping it in the same sentence, I’d become livid. It takes two to tango but I have no say so on the end result? It’s a principle issue but its bigger than that. You’re playing God with something that I helped to create and I’m held completely powerless. It’s just not fair. That’s my CHILD you’re talking about and you’ve decided that I will never meet them. Dramatic as that sounds, its more truth than it isn’t. But since that choice is already made, there really is no point in putting him and yourself through the histrionics of what would happen once you told him. You’ve decided you don’t want to be a mother to this child with this fellow so keep your mouth shut.

While I don’t really like that outcome, given the circumstances, it seems like the logical choice. Morals are great until they ruin everybody’s life.

Ladies and gentleman, what do you think she should do?

PS For everybody that will say that they’re appalled that I said nothing about personal responsibility, etc, you’re right. It was on purpose. She’s not asking if she should keep it. She’s decided she’s not. Its not my job to judge her. Her question was about if she should tell her guy or not.

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One of the most intriguing parts about any relationship discussion is the fact that men and women swear that neither of us understand the other one. We try to explain ourselves, largely to unsuccessful results. Honestly, I think that’s part of the fun of relationships: the journey. Sure it’s great to get to the point of understanding one another and effectively communication, but where’s the fun in discussions that end in twenty minutes because everybody is on the same page?

Exactly.

Now, I’m a man. Shocking, I know. I just found this out myself on Tuesday. This means that I tend to view things in terms of my manliness. What THAT means is that I think of things in a very different way than most women do. Which is the problem. Men and women process things differently.

Since I’m a big believer in world peace and unicorns, I figured I’d share a few ways that women could use to help their men understand the words that were coming out of their mouth better. And for the record, it’s not that you all aren’t speaking clearly ladies. It’s just that we don’t understand what you’re getting at or trying to imply at times.

  1. Use sports analogies

Ninety-eight percent of all men are fans of sports. Not just one sport. All of them. I  hate hockey, but I’m glad it exists and I can understand the game. Ladies, if you’re able to flip a sports analogy to explain why your man is an idiot, not only will he understand, he’ll probably explain to you what he could have done better in terms of say, that particular draft day blunder, and then you can run that RIGHT back onto him. Everybody wins. Of course, this tactic would require you to take an active interest in sports. But trust me, baseball analogies always work.

  1. Use movie analogies

If you can manage to work in an analogy that somehow includes The Godfather, not only will he understand better, he just might take you to dinner and propose. Just say, “Gosh Jim, you don’t ALWAYS have to go to the mattresses!” He’ll realize he needs to calm down and then he might even hug and kiss you. TWOFER.

  1. Short and simple phrases

We like linear logic. Women don’t. <—-Generalization Alert. For many women, discussing every facet of the issue is as important as the issue itself, which I’m sure we’d all agree, blows. We need to know the problem, not the four steps that led to the problem in the first place. While background information is important, letting us know very clearly and concisely what the problem is upfront gives us the chance to contextualize and prepare our defense, should we need one. We like simple things.

  1. Use diagrams

Men are visual. It’s why we like boobs and curves. We can see them. We’re not big fans of things we cannot see. It’s why we question everything invisible. See: Crusades and history of world via religion. Plus, diagrams harken to playbooks which is like…drumroll please…a sports analogy. (See #1). It’s a win-win. We like colors too. Next thing you know you’re both smiling and laughing at the terrible drawings you’ve done.

Those are some methods for making your man understand you when he clearly isn’t able. Take it and win with it. More sports!

 

wrongThis is a short one, as I want reader input here. Sometimes talking is good. The blog is a starter seed, the info will hopefully be in the comments.

Get a lot of questions in about Mr. Right. How to find him, how to keep him, should you feed him after midnight? The questions come flying in faster than they can be answered. Yet there are certain things in common to all good men, though some of them are kinda hard to spot.

He Keeps His Word

If he says he’ll do something, he will do it with the bare minimum of nagging required. There is always some nagging required, as guys have a different priority system to gals. Sometimes I think we guys actually enjoy being nagged to do things. All the evidence points that way.

He Just Gets On With It

This is a particularly hard trait to spot as, by it’s nature, you don’t really notice it. Things just get done, frequently before you even notice they need doing. And I am not talking about taking out the trash or filling the car up when the gas gauge is on empty, I am talking about the little things. He has your back in ways you don’t even think of.

He Has His Own Interests

The last thing you want is a guy there for you 24/7. You need a bit of space. So does he. He has his own interests and .pleasures which, to be totally blunt, you are not welcome to share. He’ll not give that up. Don’t ask him to. Ain’t right.

He Respects You

Note that this doesn’t mean he will always agree with you and defer to you. That’d be a stupidly unrealistic expectation. You want a man, not a puppet here. But he respects your opinions, and your integrity as a person,

He Loves You

The summation of the other aspects. You know, you are wrong roughly 50% of the time, if you are lucky. A good man doesn’t care. He will support you. Sure, he’ll tell you off privately when you are being stupid, but he’ll never do that to you in public. Possibly the biggest difference between guys and gals.

Now, over to you all.