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Didi’s Manners & Etiquette: The Texter—My Boyfriend the Media Addict

Wednesday, February 03, 2016

 

What to do about boyfriends who are Texters? Valentine's Day can be a day of heartlessness or wishes fulfilled according to questions asked to Didi Lorillard at Didi's Manners. Along with how to talk about testicular cancer.

Breaking up with a Texter

Q.  With Valentine's Day approaching, I'm contemplating dropping my boyfriend 'the Texter,' as my friends call him, because he prefers a 2-D relationship to spending real time with me. I want to tell him face to face that occasional sexting doesn't compensate for warm and cuddly or spontaneous conversation. I want to read his facial expressions and interpret the tone of his voice. Is that too much to ask from someone who he calls me his girlfriend? AGT, Brookyn

A.  Think of texting as maintenance. Obviously there is a right way of texting to strengthen your relationship and knowing there's a wrong way that only creates distance. There are things you shouldn't be texting about. For instance new information that could leave one of you wondering during the downtime, when you're not texting, that something is new or amiss. Just because you can tell anything to anyone at anytime doesn't mean you necessarily should. 

For instance, if you had applied for a new dream job that came through and he waited a couple of hours to text back "Gratz!" Wouldn't you be annoyed that he waited so long and didn't seem as thrilled as you would have liked him to be, if you had waited to tell him in person?

Level with him. You're not on the same playing field. You're looking for romance and he's still into his x-box. Maybe it is time to move on. Tell him how you feel. Set guidelines about spending time together. Tell him you both have to save the important conversations like your acing your dream job -- or wanting to break up with him because you you two don't get enough face time -- so that he can see your glow when you're with him, or you his disappointment that you're dumping him.

What to do when your Texter is an addict

Q. My boyfriend is addicted to texting. If he's not watching his phone for an email or text, he's playing some stupid game, which he says relaxes him. We may be waiting for our food in a restaurant and he's on some app while I pretend I'm not perturbed. Even watching a movie or show, he can't keep his eyes off his cellphone. He has a serious addiction and I don't know how to get him to pay less attention to his apps and more to me. Do you think it matters if I wait until after Valentine's Day to text him saying I'm breaking up with him?  Elizabeth

A.  The last thing you want to do is to break up by way of a text. How would you feel if someone was that heartless to you? It is the same cold behavior you're complaining (rightfully) about. Get this out in the open before Valentine's Day to clear the air and move on and away from lingering arrows and future sorrows. Its hurtful to be ignored. Stand up for yourself or move on. Be clear: There is a time to use it and a time to put it aside.

What to say about testicular cancer

Q.  My fiancé was recently diagnosed with testicular cancer. He is thirty years old. He's still trying to make sense of his illness. Everyone asks me the questions that they can't ask him. For instance, "Did he carry his cellphone in his pants pocket?" "Did he bank sperm before the operation?" You can imagine how uncomfortable it is to have to explain his situation when we don't fully understand the outcome ourselves. We're just grateful it was detected early. What would you say to our friends who ask?  Anonymous, Boston

A.  Tell anyone who asks that testicular cancer is highly treatable and that it is the most curable cancer. Because most testicular cancer is found at an early stage, the risk of dying from it is very low: 1 in 5,000 men. Stick to the general facts. The rest is none of their business. If and when, eventually, your fiancé chooses to reveal the details, it is his call, and his call alone, because it is his illness. By stating the facts, such as "It was caught early and since it is the most curable cancer, we expect George will be cured," is all you have to say. 

Asking for her hand in marriage

Q.  I want to ask my fiancée to marry me and give her a ring that she wants on Valentine's Day, but do I need to ask her father or her parents first? We won't be seeing them until Easter and I really want to give her the ring now. Her parents live in Maine.  JWJ, Detroit

A.  Call your fiancee's father and tell him exactly that. Ask him not to alert her, because you want to surprise her on Valentine's Day. You need not apologize or over-explain. State the facts, that you won't be seeing him until Easter to ask him in person and that you want to ask her for her hand in marriage now, and on this special day. 

Didi Lorillard researches trends in manners and etiquette at Didi's Manners. Your question can be answered anonymously or personally.

 

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