Carr: Relationships require honesty, openness from start to finish

Advice columnist Cary Carr answers relationship themed questions.

Cary Carr

Cary CarrAs the reality of graduation approaches, I am starting to realize that I am, inevitably, going to be a real-life adult. And with that comes thoughts of 9-to-5 careers, a new apartment in Brooklyn and a serious relationship. Sure, I had boyfriends and hook-ups during my experience here at Temple, but they were simply temporary distractions. Now, about a year and a half into my current relationship, I think about our plans to move together, how we can make it happen and what my life would be like without him by my side, supporting me and making me laugh.

I’m not sure when the transition happened from my kindergarten crush on the boy with the coolest lunchbox to a man whom I adore and consider regarding all of my big decisions, but it can be kind of terrifying. Prior to this romance, marriage seemed distant and irrelevant to my life or goals, but now I have to consider the scary life step when evaluating my future career choice.

Would I really be able to move to New York without him? Would I be giving up the one person I’m meant to be with if he couldn’t come? And if he did make the move, would that be a sort of nonverbal acknowledgement that we’re in this for the long-haul?

I wish someone could see my future and tell me everything will work itself out, but unfortunately, I’m stuck with my own worrying mind. And as much as I love giving advice to others — come on, who doesn’t? — I have trouble accepting others’ opinions when it comes to my own relationship.

So, it looks like this is my first big step into adulthood — being mature enough to make my own big-girl decisions and smart enough to know they may not always be the right ones. But until that moment comes in a few short months, I think I’ll enjoy being young, dumb and in love.

Now back to you, my love-bugs. Spill — what are your biggest relationship qualms right now?

Q: There’s this guy in two of my classes who I’m kind of involved with. I fear that since we see one another every day, we’re going to run out of things or get tired of one another. Do you think I should talk to him about my fear?

A: Slow down! You should totally not be worrying about getting bored of each other, at least not yet. The first few months of dating are by far the most fun. Not only do you get to learn every last, interesting detail about one another, but you’re also genuinely interested in finding out more of your beau’s stories, mistakes and goals. Take advantage of it!

And it’s not like you have to hang out together every day after class, you’ll still get some “you” time in. Just avoid talking to him about your newfound fear. The truth is, it’s probably all in your head, plus guys tend to overanalyze these types of situations way less than us ladies. But if you really are already running out of things to talk about, then it might be time to reconsider your flame. When you’re really into someone, the conversations should flow, not be preplanned and nerve-inducing. Now stop stressing, and start talking. I’m sure he’ll want to hear all about your dreams to become a backup dancer for Lady Gaga — or is that just me?

Q: I’ve been trying to give a former hook-up the hint that I have no interest in talking to him, but he doesn’t seem to get it. How do I let him down without hurting his feelings?

A: Ah, men. They simply don’t understand your subtle hints. They need to be told harshly that you’re just not into it.

Not sure how to be so straightforward? Well, it’s a skill you’re going to need the rest of your life, so you better start practicing now. Avoid the whole text-message letdown — find that courage and call the dude. It’s the least he deserves if he’s about to be rejected.

But don’t come up with some crazy excuse, like that you’re considering moving to California to become a professional roller-skater, because chances are, you’ll run into him in the future and be in an even messier situation.

I’m not saying you need to be mean about it, but something along the lines of “I didn’t feel a connection” or “I lost those feelings I had in the beginning” will make your point clear without crushing his heart.  He’ll probably wish you had been so blunt sooner, so that he could have moved on and avoided the whole feeling-like-a-loser thing.

So go ahead, pick up the phone. The sooner you make the call, the sooner you’ll be able to move on to the next one, you little heartbreaker.

Q:  My girlfriend’s always snooping through my stuff. How can I get her to stop?

A: Hate to break this to you, but we all snoop to some degree. Don’t act as if you don’t kind of sort of peak when your girl’s phone lights up with a text from an unfamiliar name. We all know you’re guilty. But if you think she’s going too far — like scanning through your emails, checking your Internet history, stalking your Facebook too far — then maybe you should question why.

Was she already semi-insecure when you started dating? Has she been cheated on in the past? Or are you sort of a flirt?

There’s got to be some back-story, and as her boyfriend, it’s your job to reassure her and let her know that your eyes are only on her, as they should be.

Maybe she won’t drop all of her snooping habits immediately, but she’ll sure as hell appreciate your compassion, and hopefully, that will lead to more trust. But then again, she could just be a psycho girlfriend with too much time on her hands. In that case, run, and run fast.

Cary Carr can be reached at

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