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Me and my cousin really like each other. We are like 4th cousins. How far away does a cousin have to be so that there are not problems. I hear that you can really mess up kids by marrying close but I don’t know how close.

From a biological standpoint 4th cousins are safe. In reality we are all cousins with not too many degrees of separation(Too bad people all over the world don't realize this.). Some family systems, especially those that gather together frequently with 3 and 4 generations, may see this as creepy and taboo, so part of the answer may be in looking at your family. If you enjoy each other's company, it may be a good match.

My gf and me have been going together since high school. it’s been 10 yrs. We keep getting pressure to get married, but we are cool with how things are. What do we say to people when they say it’s about time we got married? It’s really annoying.

Just smile and say thank you for caring about us. Don't say anything else. The two of you can get married when you choose and if you choose. Some people feel it is their obligation to give advice when no one has asked them for it. Most of these people probably think they are helping the two of you, but they don't realize they are just making you uncomfortable. If they don't get the "hint," you may have to say, "I understand you care about us, but it makes us really uncomfortable when you keep bringing it up. Thank you for not doing that again."

My neighbor down the street keeps trying to set me up with her son. He’s ok but not my type. I was thinking about going out with him just to shut her up. Do you think it’s a good idea?

It's never a good idea to be pushed into something you don't think is a good idea to start. That's what bad peer pressure is about. You can politely thank her for the suggestion, but just let her know that if you are ever interested, you will let her know. If you are sure he's not your type, then do this. On the other hand he just may surprise you. Going out with someone once does not commit you to doing it again.

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Is it appropriate to try to pick up on women at the gym. There is a beautiful women who goes there, but I feel like it might be bothering her by approaching her and trying to have a conversation.

Some people go to the gym to work out, while others use it as their personal meat market. If this beautiful woman is intensely working out, then stay away until she is done. Don't try picking her up. Try just being a gentleman and having a polite conversation ... after her workout. If you interrupted my workout, I'd be really pissed.
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How do I get my family to respect me more? I've noticed that I get called the "innocent one" and my sister (who is a year younger) gets treated more like an adult. I get paid more than my sisters, I'm serious, I don't go out and act a fool, so what is the problem? Or am I looking at this wrong?

The problem comes from your parents. The dynamics in the family are really messed up. Your parents are rewarding your sister's behavior. If "innocent one" means the same thing as "responsible one," then keep doing what you are doing. No, you are not looking at this wrong. A family meeting is in order.
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My boyfriend thinks we should pool our money into one bank account. We’ve been going together for about a year and he seems like it would be okay. Is it too early?

Big red flag. People should not pool money unless they are really together. The big question is why he even brought it up. Why does money need to be in one account. You can both agree to each handle certain expenses, but not to pool money. If makes breaking up way too sticky if it happens.

My brother is 2 yrs older. Every time I bring a friend over he hits on them to the point that no one wants to come over anymore. I’ve tried talking to him and my parents but they just shine me on. One of my friends was even going to tell him off but I told her to just let me handle it. What do I

You need to stand up for yourself. You need to call a family meeting and tell everyone that what is going on is not okay. If they blow you off, then spend more time away from your house. He is making a lot of people uncomfortable. The person who should really step up is your father as the male role model and the head male in the house. Obviously, your bro has learned that it's ok to harass women.

Theres a guy at school I really like but it seems like he doesn’t even know I exist. Its not that he is an asshole. He just doesn’t seem to pay attention to whats going on. Is it okay to send him a text?

It depends on what you want to say, but a text is a good way to get his attention. Just don't ask him why he doesn't pay attention to you. Try texting about something he is interested in. That way increases the chances he will respond, and then you can talk about it in person.

My gf’s family all scream at each other. My gf is usually fine but when she gets pissed she starts to scream. She says it’s because they are Italian. I just clam up and then she gets more pissed. My family hardly ever even raises voices so maybe I’m just too sensitive. Is this an Italian thing?

Ah, yes - stereotyping. True, some cultures are "louder" than others, but there is a lot of room for individuality. Tell her exactly what you just said. When she yells, you clam up. Ask her if that's what she wants. She's just using the Italian thing as an excuse to yell. It doesn't make it okay.

I’m divorced and I’m dating this guy who is divorced. The problem is both our kids go to the same school and they say our dating creates problems for them. What could be wrong with it since they know each other anyway? I’m trying to be open minded.

Why don't the two of you try sitting down with your children and let them express what kinds of problems are created. Their answers may surprise you. You are processing it as an adult, but they are processing as young people at school. If the four of you talk, you will probably be able to find a solution that works for all of you. Keep being open minded. Don't shut down the communication and don't get defensive when you talk.

My bf is always making funny of how black people speak. I told him it really makes me uncomfortable but he keeps doing it anyway. He says everyone on his team makes fun of everyone else and they all just laugh. I need some help in getting him to understand that its not funny.

What your bf is doing is a form of racism. Ebonics (that's what it's called) is no different than different accents and dialects around the world. It's one thing for guys on a team to talk shit to each other back and forth, but it's a whole other story when someone is making fun of how someone speaks. Good for you for saying something. Ultimately, this comes down to leadership, and that starts with the coach setting limits on what is and is not acceptable behavior. If your bf continues, then you may want to consider getting a new bf, one who will respect what you have to say.

How do I get my gf’s mother to stop spying on us. She actually gets in her car to check where we are going. I feel like getting up in her grill. It annoys my gf but she just says that’s the way her mother is.

I think the two of you need to sit down with her and have a respectful but open and honest discussion. This is a perfect opportunity to use the "I" statements that I have talked about. "Mrs. so and so, when you follow us, it makes us very upset and angry. We need you to give us our space. Do you really want us to take evasive action so you can't follow us. That is a waste of everyone's time. Please be respectful of our privacy." Ultimately, if she doesn't change, you may have to decide if it's really worth it to continue in the relationship.

My bf’s father is in jail for about the next 5 years. My bf wants to visit him. I really don’t want to go but my bf wants me to. Do I go just to be supportive?

Jails are not nice places. It's great that your bf wants to keep in close touch with his father, but that doesn't mean you have to subject yourself to a jail atmosphere. Explain to your bf that while you are very supportive of him staying in contact with his father, you are very uncomfortable going there yourself. You don't need to subject yourself to being uncomfortable just to try to be supportive of your bf. It's his choice to go, and it's your choice not to go. Respect for decisions needs to be both ways.

My husbands old girlfriend just came into town. She wants to have dinner with us. He doesn’t understand why I don’t want to. Am I just being a bitch?

First, I'd like you to examine what is at the core of you being upset. Depending on how long ago the relationship with the ex gf was, what went on, and how she became his ex, you may have some legit reasons why you want to stay clear. It's okay that he asks "why," and you at least owe him that. At the end of the discussion you still have to do what is most comfortable for you and what you believe is in the best interest of your relationship.

I’m a tall female (6ft). I’d like to dress up when I go out including high heels but I usually wind up being taller than my date which evidently is a big turn off. Do other tall females have the same difficulties dating?

When I wear heels ... just kidding. Yes, I've heard from many tall females that they encounter the same problems. I like to reframe it this way. If you go out with someone who is intimidated by your height or any other part of you, then it's their problem. You are who you are, height an all. Be proud of that, and never, ever slump down!

My bf is really sweet but he’s not romantic. I try to drop little hints about things like sending a card or flowers or anything else but its like he’s clueless. Are most guys this way? What do we do?

Firstly, many guys are this way but not all. It generally depends upon what examples were set for them by the significant male in their lives. You may have to do this in stages. Try really verbally rewarding him for anything that even resembles something romantic. Clues alone aren't always effective since he is not even on the same wave length. In psychology its called "successive approximations" and is a standard in behavioral modification. Each time he does something "in the right direction," he gets a reward. Just remember - we are trainable. It just may take awhile. :-)

my best friend likes to be degraded by his GF (sexually), but they recently broke up and now he's having a hard time meeting women because they're not into the same things as him. what advice would you give him, because he really seems lost these days

Your friend should get professional help from a therapist experienced in such matters. He will continue to have trouble meeting women until he resolves his issues.

When men ejaculate are endorphins released? if so does that mean that masturbation is good to do once in a while? Also what are the consequences of never masturbating?

The answer to the first question is yes, endorphins are released. There are no consequences for never having masturbated, but sex experts will tell you that "doing your own thing" is normal and healthy regardless of what religious scholars say. True story- As many of you know, I was a coach and teacher many, many years ago. In my health classes I used to do a segment on sex myths. One of the myths that I stated was, "If you masturbate, you will grow small hairs in your palm." Literally 100% of the class looked down at their palms. When they looked up, everyone laughed. BTW, hairs don't happen, or baldness, or insanity.

As a man, I am aroused by breasts, but I want to know why? I've tried to talk to other guys, but they just laugh and say it doesn't matter. So is it biological, programmed into our DNA, or is it more of a social/ media type thing? thanks for your feedback!

Depending on where you live, women's body parts have been on display. Many societies are highly sexualized, and we are all (yes, females, too) "trained" to be aroused. It is also much more on display with social media. I don't think anyone can tell you where exactly it comes from, so just move on.

I just found out my wife (3 years) has been cheating on me. At times I feel like passing out and at other times I feel like I’m going crazy. She has apologized but I’m not sure I want her back. There are no kids involved. Is there a way to get past this and give her a second chance? I’m lost.

You definitely need professional help. All your reactions, emotional and physical, are perfectly normal. You are going to have to decide if the relationship is worth saving, and you should have assistance doing so. Couples do often get past infidelity, but it takes a lot of time and work.

My bf and I are two different races. Why do people think it’s okay to talk about how difficult a biracial relationship can be when we never asked? I would think that today people would be better understanding. I guess its still a southern states thing.

When you say "Southern States," I assume you mean in the US. Unfortunately, even in 2014, racism is still alive an well and not just in the South. The "concern" that people have for you is nothing more than poorly masked racism. Unless you really want to get into it with these people, just smile and say, "thank you for your concern, but we are very comfortable with who we are." You can't fix stupid (or ignorant).

she’s polite but really doesn’t want to go to either place. Before they told me they were splitting they both got along really well with my gf. Do I just go alone?

I believe this is in reference to the question about divorcing parents. Again, you just may have to visit each parent alone if she is really uncomfortable.

my kid brother found my stash of condoms that me and my bf use. He went right to my parents. They were really pissed and now I’m grounded and they said I can’t see my bf anymore. I’m trying to be understanding of their position but they refuse to listen to my position.

Firstly, they should be upset with your brother for invading you privacy. It's not like you were doing drugs or something dangerous. In fact, you were acting like a mature, responsible person. Let the dust settle a bit and then ask your parents to sit down with you. Understand that they may have been a bit shocked at first. Explain that you wanted to be responsible, which you clearly did. Ultimately, you will have to abide by their wishes and rules until you are old enough to move out. Also suggest going to a therapist to work things out.

I’m going away to college in a month so they won’t even know whats going on there (my bf is going to the same college). Do I just not say anything now and just go or do I deal with them now?

I'm sure you can get by for a month. When you are at college, you can make the decisions that best suit you. It especially comes up this time of year when colleges start classes in about a month.

my parents are getting divorced. Both of them keep inviting me and my girlfriend over to their new place. I feel like they are trying to win us over. I’m more cool with it but it really makes my gf uncomfortable because she can see right through them.

Ask your gf if she still wants to go with you and that you understand what she is saying. In all likelihood, you are correct that they are trying to wind the two of you over. Divorces have a tendency to do that, to have people choose. Don't get caught in the middle. As an outsider she probably has a better view of the family dynamics at this point.


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