Dear dating

—Not-Quite-Overwhelming Debt It’s not unheard of for married couples to pay off one another’s debt.

It’s not unheard of for committed couples who don’t have fully joined finances to do the same, after talking through their shared goals, expectations, and resources.

He works hard, and it’s allowed him to pay off almost all of his debt in two years.

I will likely pay mine off in another seven to 10 years.

I don’t want him to resent me down the line, nor do I want him to feel like I’m a freeloader.

But I could contribute more to our future household the sooner my debt is paid off—not to mention the added benefits of paying less in interest fees overall, better interest rates for things like mortgages, and better credit scores. And are there pros or cons that I’m not considering?

I think my female friends are a little more comfortable around me in certain contexts because they believe I’m exclusively gay.

Worse—and I hope that I am simply overthinking it—would be if they felt that I was “pretending” to be gay or queer, particularly the gay male friends I have here.Dating and sleeping with other men does not mean you were “pretending” to be queer, and your sexuality cannot possibly be a betrayal of anyone else.If you do ask this woman out and you want to bring it up to your friends, you don’t have to frame it as some big, painful reveal—just say, “I generally prefer guys, but every once in a while I meet a woman I connect with.” Dear Prudence, My boyfriend and I started dating in grad school two years ago, and have since moved to the same city for work.A few years ago I moved for work, and all of my friends here have only known me to date men.As a result, they’ve come to think of and refer to me as gay.You can be bisexual and still have a marked preference!That’s not to say you have to start correcting people and identifying as bisexual in every situation if you don’t feel like it accurately characterizes you, but “largely preferring men while occasionally dating women” certainly meets the definition.The whole thing has made me feel oddly uncomfortable with myself, and I wonder whether I should have been correcting my friends when they called me gay.I don’t necessarily feel right doing that, since I also don’t feel like I have the right to call myself bisexual when I’m largely attracted to one gender. Should I change the way I describe myself to others? —Queer and Confused I think people often shy away from calling themselves bisexual because they believe, consciously or unconsciously, that all bisexual people are equally attracted to men and women, straight down the middle, with a dating history to match that even split.But what you’re positing—trying to figure out now how to ask your boyfriend if he’d be willing to pay off your student loans after you get married in a couple of years—does seem a bit premature, especially since you’re currently able to repay your loans every month.By all means, talk with your boyfriend about how you two envision merging your finances in the future, but as long as your finances are handled separately, I think it’s better to hold off on this specific request.

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