Dr. Andrew

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How old do you have to be to get married? We live in the U.S. I hear it’s different everywhere.

It is different. Different states have different regulations regarding marriage. Some are much younger than other. I would definitely check your state regulations.

My gf binge drinks and then blacks out. I got upset and called her an alcoholic. I don’t know if I was right but now she wants to break up. Maybe I made a mistake by calling her out on it but I didn’t know what else to do. Now what do I do?

You got frustrated with everything else you've tried, and your frustrations turned into an emotional outburst. Alcoholics don't like the truth. If she binge drinks and blacks out, then, yes, she is an alcoholic. She needs help. Calling her out is not helpful, but I can understand what happened. I know this will be hard, but apologize and tell her you'd like to go with her for professional help. If she refuses, it's best she's not your gf.

I have two moms. I’ve been dating this girl and just met her parents. They asked me about my parents so I told them. Now they forbid her to go out with me. Should I have not told them the truth? The girl knew about it and was chill so I didn’t see anything wrong.

Absolutely you should have told them the truth. They asked. Lying about your moms would be denying them and your whole family. There are still people, usually based on religious values, who have a hard time with the fact that LGBTQ people are just that -- people. She may have difficulty with her parents as well. There's really not anything you can do at this point. Just be proud of your moms and who you are.

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I just got a background report back on this guy I’ve been dating. I found out stuff and told him. He said he was going to tell me after we had been out maybe 5-6 times. Says he saw no need to tell me if we just went out a few times. Should I believe him? He’s been really nice.

He certainly has a point. Nobody should blurt out things from the past on the first or second date. Very often people divulge way too much info way too soon. TMI is never good when you are just getting to know someone. Your choice as to keep going out with him or not, but if it's really in his rear view mirror, he may have learned his lessons.

My mom and dad will let my bf sleep over but his parents won’t let me sleep over. We are both almost 18 so I don’t know what the big deal is. Do you think my parents should talk to his parents? It just makes no sense to either of us and he doesn’t know what’s up with them either.

What you are saying is that the "rules" in his parents' house are different than your parents'. It doesn't make them wrong, just different. You will just have to respect what they say in their house. I understand you are almost 18, but that doesn't mean you can disrespect others' homes. And, NO, your parents should NOT talk to them. It will only make things worse.

Me and my boyfriend have a son (6 months old). Here’s the problem. My parents accept the baby as their grandchild. His parents do not. It’s very hurtful. How long do we keep trying to include them in our son’s life before we just ignore them? Why would they do this?

They are angry, embarrassed, and ashamed. Just keep including them, because that's the right thing to do. They may keep rejecting your invitations, but at least no one can point the finger at you.

Our son is dating a woman who has been in rehab three times. He says he really loves her. We are really worried. We feel sorry for her but not sorry enough to take a chance on ruining our son’s life. He’s 20 so there’s not much we can do except pray. Your suggestions would be helpful.

You have a right to be worried if she's been in a rehab three times. Addiction is a nasty disease. Unfortunately, your son may become her pseudo therapist, which he is most certainly not prepared to do. Most likely he really doesn't understand addiction. Have him talk to an experienced mental health person familiar with addiction to get advice.

My mom really likes my girlfriend. I can tell she’s really like us to stay together. My dad (they’re divorced) not so much. He makes us uncomfortable when we go to visit him. I’m not sure why. What do we do?

You can try talking with your father about how he makes you uncomfortable. Explain that you want to continue seeing him, but not if he continues his behavior. Ultimately, you two may have to forgo visits for now.

My gf is a woman of color. My grandpa had me in his will but now added something that if I get in a relationship with a minority I get eliminated from the will. I’m furious but don’t know what to do. I don’t want to make a foolish decision.

Ah, yes. The old control-by-money routine. You are going to have to make a choice as to what is most important to you- your girlfriend and independence or money.

My bf has a med marijuana card. Now he stays high all the time. I don’t think I can do this. Does this make him and addict? I think maybe I should break up with him.

The purpose of medical weed is NOT to stay high all the time, although many people use it for that. As far as being an addict, there's more to being an addict than just using. If you are opposed to using marijuana, then you'll have to make the decision as to what you want to do. The two of you could certain use some professional help sorting this out for now.

Me and my bf did something stupid at school. We had sex in the girls bathroom. I don’t know how but now the whole school knows about it and its all over social media. We got suspended so our parents found out and now forbid us to be together. Do you agree?

First, my role is not to agree or disagree. Obviously, you would prefer me to say I disagree so that you could somehow justify what you did. Actions have consequences. Welcome to adulthood. Your parents don't trust you. I would guess your anger is really a cover up for your embarrassment. Learn from your mistake.

We are a happy gay couple. All our neighbors are great, but a new couple just moved in. They won’t talk to us. We’ve tried going over to them but they won’t answer the door when they know its us. We’ve had neighborhood parties at our house. Do we invite them I the future?

Always invite them. That way you two are always the good guys. Either they will change their attitudes, or they will be isolated in the neighborhood. Just continue to do the neighborly thing unless they are openly disrespectful. Then it's a different story.

Every time me and my bf get in a disagreement his mother butts in. I talked to him about it but he’s says that’s just the way she is. I can’t see myself getting more involved with him if this doesn’t change. Now what?

You are probably looking at something that is not likely to change. He will continue to discount the difficulties that his mother has caused, and it started way before you. Unless he is willing to set limits, you are stuck with what you see. You have a choice to make. He needs to know that he either grows a pair, or the relationship ends.

My teacher got mad at me today, she wants to talk to my parents just because I asked someone to buy napkins for me.

I'm not clear what it is that you are asking

I’m dating this really great woman. My problem is that her 7 yo son is a little shit and she does nothing to stop him. His father is a real piece of work to which is probably where he gets it from. He has tantrums and yells at me. She tries to handle it but often he just keeps going. It’s inter

This poor little guy is caught in the middle. He probably figures if he's nice to you, he's being disloyal to his father. Best advice is to find out what his interests are and the "become interested." At 7 he should be fairly easy to distract with something he really likes. Try being his friend. It will get you much further and will make your relationship with his mother much better.

Me and my office mate have become really close. We are both single. There are not company rules against data another employee. We are very worried about how our relationship will impact our work. Is there a way to find out?

Many of the best and most solid relationships begin at work. As long as it's not a violation of company policy, get closer. Establish some ground rules for work so that everything is clear for both of you. And, even though it may be tempting, no hanky panky at work ;-)

Our son is in the military and has been on deployment for 6 months. He’s been going with this girl for almost two years. Yesterday we saw her in a restaurant with another man but she didn’t see us. No, we don’t know what was going on, but we didn’t like what we saw. Ideas?

First, don't mention anything to your son as long as he's deployed. He's got life or death situations to deal with daily. As you say, you really don't know what's going on. In a similar situation I advised a patient to hire a private investigator. Don't make any decisions or take any actions based on just one incident. You'll know soon enough what she's about. If she is messing around, you wait until your son gets home and then get him into therapy to discuss it. His mind may be a mess for awhile, so don't have him deal with it immediately.

I’m Hispanic and my gf is AA. We get support from everyone except my uncle. He is a racist which is funny since he’s a minority too. We don’t want to leave him out of family events but we don’t know what to do or say.

It all depends on your family culture. In some cultures you NEVER challenge an elder, especially a male. However, if you have the support of the rest of your family, I would sit down with your uncle and express how upsetting it is to hear him make the remarks about your gf. You can respectfully request that he not make those comments. Depending on your family, you may even be able to sit down with him and have an intelligent discussion.

I met this guy online and then in person. We’ve had a great time. How do I make sure it’s real? I don’t want to make any mistakes.

I always recommend that people use one of the sites available to check people out. It usually runs $25-$50, but it's well worth it to give you peace of mind. Just keep in mind there are no guarantees. Keep enjoying the great time and don't become paranoid. Between the research and his behavior you'll know soon enough.

Me and my gf are in a chem class together. I think the guy who teaches it is a perv. We do the same work and she always gets the higher grade and even she says so. Do I report him? There’s nothing he’s done that would get him fired but …

Since there's nothing reportable, the only thing you can do is to show him your work and tell him you've asked "other students" for help so you can improve your grade, but your answers were the same as theirs. Tell him you are confused and could he please help you. You could take your work and your gf's to an administrator to show them, but that would probably backfire. Sweet talk him. He's probably got a huge ego and will eat it up.

My bf insists we split all costs right down. He makes twice as much as me. I try to do the best I can, but I’m getting really upset. What do I do?

It depends on what the arrangements were at the beginning. Did you commit to splitting everything? If you truly are doing the best you can, and he continues to nag you, you have a problem. As with any problem, find the best solution. In this case dump his ass!!

What's the right age to date? Is there a right age?

There really is no right age, but somewhere between 15 and 18 works out pretty well for most people. As we mature physically, so do our brains. You will make better decisions starting around that time (better, not perfect). I've seen too many patients who started dating too young and have a lot of regrets.

Is it okay to date at the age of 13?

13 is pretty young to date. You may have the body of someone several years older, but your brain is still 13. The portion of your brain responsible for decision making has a long way to go before it's fully developed. I would give yourself two years ... if it's ok with your parents.

I always get the feeling that elders don't really like to see me and my bf together. They always try to keep us apart. We aren't doing anything wrong or inappropriate. What should I do?

Smile .... a lot. Always makes them wonder. The people who are trying to keep you apart are probably the ones who needed to be kept apart when they were your age. They figure if they did inappropriate things, you do, too. There's a word for them- hypocrites.


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