Happy last day of 2019.
We'll start 2020 with a fresh letter and lots of advice. Longtime lurkers, maybe it's finally time to comment. Please offer up some expertise in the new year. Create a new profile.
This (below) is a list of the Top 15 letters of the year, based on the the number of pageviews. The annual list (2018's is here) is always influenced by headlines; when I use sex-related words, the letter might get four times as many views as it would otherwise. Still, it's interesting to see what people want to know. I'm doing a Top 15 list this year because 10 never seems like enough.
Also, please note that one of these letters wasn't even posted this year.
Thank you for a year of your questions, advice, and time. I am grateful.
15. My boyfriend sent an angry message to my mom, June 17, 2019,
This letter was from someone whose boyfriend took it upon himself to send a critical message to the letter writer's mother. He was trying to be protective of the letter writer, but it only caused more problems. "While it wasn't as bad as I thought it could be, it understandably upset both my parents. They all say that he had no business getting involved, but he was just defending me. My mom is upset with me because she thinks I've said nasty things about her to him." Commenter GoldGambit replied, "Your mom is toxic. Hard to admit about a close family member, but it sounds like she's very immature. Your bf shouldn't have sent the text, but like you said, what's done is done."
14. He doesn't spend time with friends, Feb. 15, 2019
This letter writer said, "When I think about us moving in together, it makes me nervous that there will be pressure on me to always be his source of entertainment since he doesn't have anyone else to do things with." Commenter LucilleVanPelt's advice? "Don't move in. You're starting to look for reasons to end the relationship. This isn't going to end well unless you make him change or you change."
13. She asked for my number – but hasn't used it, June 19, 2019
This was one of my favorite letters of the year. A man who works at a restaurant gave his number to a woman he was serving, at her request. But 10 days later, she hadn't texted. Why? "Obviously she wasn't genuinely interested ... or maybe shy or embarrassed? I haven't stopped thinking about her. I only know her first name and the part of town she lives in. I really thought I'd have heard from her by now. Blistered-Toe offered tough love: "Bartenders/waitstaff talk people up to get better tips, but sometimes patrons talk up the bartender to get better service."
12. My husband spends hours alone with her, Aug. 6, 2019
This letter writer's husband developed a close friendship with another woman. "Last week I took half a day off of work to spend the day with him. On my way home I sent him a text to surprise him only to find out they had just left on a long car trip to explore a local area. They turned around to include me but I felt like the third wheel the entire day." Cause for concern? Many commenters said yes, including MMNNEE who wrote,"He's emotionally cheating on you, it's just a matter of time before it turns physical."
11. My husband or my soul mate?, Oct. 18. 2019
The letter writer was married to her husband for 14 years. Then she met someone else. "The chemistry was immediate for both of us. One look and later that night, one kiss, and we were hooked. If you believe in signs, this chance meeting has been ripe with them." Commenter lupelove said, "Lady get your head checked. I'm with your husband (and kids,) on this one. If you can't focus on your marriage, leave or fix yourself. Don't blame your husband for your boredom."
10. He slept with my roommate and my best friend, July 24, 2019
This headline was a little misleading, I'll admit. The letter was from someone who hoped her "best friend" might reciprocate her romantic feelings, but he'd already been intimate with her other best friend and her roommate. The letter writer asked, "How do I/should I break out of the friend zone? I am 20 years old and have never been in a long-term relationship." ConcernedCitizenOnDuty said this about the friendship: "He spent his year getting action while you spent it keeping track of who he was getting action with. Who made better use of their time?"
9. I've never been on a date with a woman ever, Feb. 14, 2019
This 39-year-old letter writer needed a pep talk on Valentine's Day. He wrote, "In high school, I was the loser who was afraid of the other kids. I had social anxiety. The football players were popular and got the girls. I never thought I was a good-looking guy at all and still think that I am an ugly human being today." There was so much lovely advice in the comments section. For instance, warmachine wrote, "I am so sorry that you find yourself in this situation. I guarantee that you are better looking than you think and a lot of your problems meeting people has to do with self-confidence more than looks. I would suggest not looking for a partner at work. Instead continue therapy and engage in some activities that will help with your self-esteem but also help you interact with people. Maybe take a group class at a gym or a cooking class. Maintain your self-growth and finding a partner will fall into place."
8. Should I send a text for closure, Jan. 10, 2019
If a short fling ends without a real breakup, should you send a text to finish it off for good? Or to get more information? "A part of me needs to send [the text] for the closure, to bait who I thought was a good guy into giving me a response, but the other part of me feels like I already got my answer and I don't need to send a message. I just want to make sure we aren't in a game of being stubborn and not texting each other for the sake of ghosting or being ghosted." Commenter pjny111 said, "When someone's really into you, it's very simple. They want to see you and they make it happen, no matter how busy they are. He sounds like a player – he knows how to make you feel like there's a lot of intimacy and connection, but just at his convenience. Don't obsess over what you can do to correct this. There's nothing to do but move on, as much of a drag as that is."
7. Having dreams about another man, Sept. 13, 2017
This 2017 letter made the list because a lot of people are googling their sex dreams, apparently. They search certain words and keep finding this question. I hope the answers help. This letter writer explained that she'd heard from an old crush and now she thinks of him at night. "We didn't keep in touch after graduation, but he randomly texted me the other day to tell me he has a girlfriend who is a ‘version of me.’ Ever since he messaged about his girlfriend, I've been weirdly jealous, and I keep having sex dreams about him. I don't want to jeopardize my relationship with my boyfriend because I love him so much, but ... what if I never get the chance to be with anyone else?” Commenter McDimmerson advised the letter writer to break up with her boyfriend. "None of this says happily ever after. Stop trying to make it fit just because you don't want to be alone."
6. I'm married but have fallen for my coworker, Nov. 12, 2019
A letter writer in a not-so-great marriage told his co-worker he has feelings for her. Said co-worker responded by saying that she doesn't want to be caught in the middle of a bad marriage. Commenter LifeInProgress said, "Stop being that stereotypical person who complains about your spouse to someone you’re using as a distraction. It’s gross and disrespectful." HeyIthink said, "Imagine if you put the energy into the marriage you have put into this friend. This is about you and your unwillingness to work at your marriage."
5. I want more than sex from my roommate, April 23, 2019
A letter writer developed feelings for her roommate, but when she tried to kiss him, he declined. But then: "We started to watch Netflix together and talk a lot more. I felt a kind of intimacy growing between us. ... I believe that my feelings are real, and I'd really like to just kiss him. I do not only want sex. I want something deeper. At the same time I know that it won't work out because we are roommates." What to do? Dora79 said, "'I tried to kiss him and he denied me.' There's your answer. To get over this, you've got to stop making him the center of your routine, the person you have intimate conversations with, etc. Find some other way to keep busy."
4. My husband's friend wants me, Oct. 1., 2019
"I just got a job that allows me to leave home and live in another city, but I am not yet divorced. My husband's friend wants us to get in a sexual relationship. I also have the same feelings for him, but I don't want to do this. Why? Because he is married." Commenter jt2499 told this letter writer, “Getting involved with a married guy is just going from one bad situation to another. Finish up the divorce and then go meet single people."
3. I want to cheat on my husband, June 14, 2019
A 36-year-old in a bad marriage has fallen for W, an old flame. "I know that the right thing to do would be to leave W and try to reignite my relationship with my husband. But I feel a strong urge to be with W. I feel I deserve some moments of happiness, after all I have been through as an almost-single mom.” EnjoyEverySandwich advised, "I think the right thing to do would be to leave your husband. Not to be with W, but to clear up your main problem, which is that you have an absent husband who is hypercritical of you and all-around unsupportive." Commenter zebra-stripes objected to the letter writer calling herself an "almost-single mom." "As a single mom [myself], you have no right to say you're a single mom. You do not know the struggles of a single mom and what it's like to pay for everything singlehandedly."
2. I'm a third wheel in my own home, Feb. 19, 2019
A letter writer says, “I've been married for over five years (we are a lesbian couple). Almost two years ago, my spouse met a new best friend (a straight married woman)…. I was glad she could hang out with this friend.” But after this straight married woman leaves her husband and moves in with the letter writer and her wife, the letter writer feels left out. One of my favorite commenters, sexual-chocolate, wrote, “Things are very broken in your marriage. I'm sure you know that. You didn't say this specifically, but if she invited this friend to live with you without consulting you, that's a huge breach. You also told her how you felt about being left out and your concerns about the marriage and she didn't seem to care or make any adjustments. That doesn't leave you with many options except to self-preserve.”
1. A friend’s husband is on Tinder, Jan. 4, 2019
But this letter writer didn’t get a screen shot of the evidence! “I am torn about what to do now. Do I let my friend know what I saw, having no proof, or just keep my mouth shut while she may be living with an unfaithful spouse?” BostonSweets21 asked, “How could you not screenshot that????” JaquiSmith said, "I wouldn't go out of my way to tell someone if they were an acquaintance. I'd probably tell my best friend though.” THE Guru said, “I say leave it alone. Whatever future happens in this marriage will have nothing to do with this app.”
Were your favorite 2019 letters on the list? Personally, I'm surprised this one didn't make the cut.
See you next year (Thursday).