It's chat day. And now ... finally ... a letter about poop.
Dear Meredith, I love, love, love your column. I read it every day! I also love, love, love the man I am with, and I am so thankful for him. He and I met on a blind date two years ago, and since then, we've been incredibly happy together, an inspiring mix of fairytale and real life. We have great date nights. We talk about finances and yard work with remarkable peppiness. I surprise him with lingerie and we make gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches with great frequency. We co-parent our dog as practice for future children. He cooks my favorite foods without me having to ask. We live together, and live together well, so well, in fact, that he asked me to marry him a few months ago. I said yes more times than Meg Ryan in the diner scene from "When Harry Met Sally." So what's the problem? Well, though I am fully aware that this may sound ridiculous, I sometimes wonder if we are a little too close. We're best friends, emphasis on the best. But along with that friendship comes an insight into the male brain. He is open and honest with me about everything, and I mean everything, which includes: which supermodels he thinks are hot, how big his excrement was that day, which coworkers have crushes on him, the frequency of his manly alone time, etc. Sometimes I find myself wondering if I'd be better off not knowing so much. I have been in relationships with very untrustworthy men in the past, many of whom cheated on me, and so I appreciate the transparency, even though I would fully trust my dear fiancé with a little less. Sometimes I can't help but be a little hurt (by his blatant lust for the six-foot-tall beauty), grossed out (by the details of his, um, output), or jealous (though I can't blame them, it seems everyone at his office wants a piece of his action). The only fights/disagreements we've ever really had have been a result of his honesty and my corresponding hurt feelings. He seems genuinely bewildered when his actions or words bother me. His response is usually, "I'm sorry, honey, that has nothing to do with you. I love you and you alone." We talk through specific issues very well, and always emerge the better for it, though that has not stopped the lustful admissions or gassy emissions from occurring with some regularity. I certainly don't want secrets, but sometimes it feels like he treats me more as a guy friend than as a girlfriend, and that may be because, though he is in his mid-thirties, this is the first long-term relationship he's ever had. I just find myself wondering if I'm going to be inundated with testosterone and TMI forever, left scratching my head as he scratches himself. Can I live with it? Yes. Would I rather not? Yes again. What's the consensus here? Is this an old dog, new tricks issue? Does he need a better fiancé filter? Do I need to chill out and say boys will be boys? Any help would be very much appreciated.
– TMI in an LTR?, Somerville, MA
TMIIALTR, I assume you're wondering whether you should ask your guy to refrain from the constant over-sharing. I suppose you could, but consider the consequences. He tells you everything, even the gross stuff. But what if he didn't? What if he stopped telling you when he thought a co-worker was hot? What if he stopped telling you about his daily activities? Would you feel left out? Would you start to worry about what he isn't sharing? Yes, it's gross that he tells you his toilet tales. Yes, it's insensitive that he shares details about the many ladies who find him attractive. But this is who he is, a guy who tells you everything because he has nothing to hide. You're more than welcome to explain to him that you'd rather not hear everything. Just know that if he becomes self-conscious about sharing, you may wind up missing out on some of the things you'd want to hear. If his over-sharing was destroying your love life, I'd be more concerned. But it's not. Despite all of his weird and gross disclosures, you're still physically attracted to him. That’s all that counts. And know this: You would be experiencing some jealousy, anger, and insecurity even if he wasn't telling you everything. Those feelings are a part of any relationship, with or without TMI. I'm pretty sure that many of our readers dream of finding someone who wants talk about everything, including bowel movements. Let’s find out. Readers? Is there a way she can keep him honest without having to hear about his crushes and bathroom experiences? Is he capable of saying less? Should he have to? Share.