Suspicious minds

Joey Garcia

My boyfriend works in tech but is also a licensed massage therapist. All of his clients are ex-girlfriends or women he dated. He provides free massage in their homes. I’m uncomfortable with this. He says I’m insecure, he’s a healer and doesn’t charge because he doesn’t need the money. But we had sex after he gave me a massage for the first time. Should I be concerned?

If your boyfriend continues to massage his exes for another 10 years, would you want to be with him? That’s the nut you have to crack. Your man’s ego identity is tied to his role as a healer. He needs to believe he is engaged in transformation, and that need clouds his ability to admit that he crosses the line. After all, he gave you a massage that became a sexual encounter. Your concern that he does the same for other women in his life is understandable.

A man who cares about you will pay attention to what makes you uncomfortable, assuming it’s reasonable. A man who is intent on building a long-term relationship will work with you to find a solution to the issues that inhibit growth in intimacy. A man who responds to your concerns with arrogance or denial may only have the capacity for a superficial connection. If you want fidelity, look elsewhere. P.S. Your man is harming the reputation of legit licensed massage therapists. Take action to protect others by reporting him to the license certification organization in your state.

When I try to talk to a cute girl in a coffee shop, she responds like I’m a serial killer. I’d rather meet in person so I’m not exchanging messages with some bot on Bumble. Is there a way to approach a woman so she’s at ease and I can maybe ask her out?

State the obvious: “I wish it was easier to start a conversation with a stranger, but you have a gorgeous smile and I wanted to introduce myself.” Then share something personal, like you hit this particular coffee shop every Tuesday, or another tidbit that gives her confidence you’re not a rando to be wary about. Keep the conversation flowing without sounding like a census taker. Then invite her to something safe: “My friends and I are going to (name a chill bar) Friday at six. It would be cool to see you there.” Her response will let you know whether to ask for her number now, whether to wait and see if she shows up, or if you should try again with someone else.

I’ve been crushing on the T.A. for one of my college classes. He seemed flattered, but nothing happened. Last weekend, he was at a party, my friend got drunk and hooked up with him. She knew about my crush and betrayed me. Loyalty is everything. I don’t want to see her again, ever. My roommate says I’m overreacting. Am I?

Yes. You had a crush on this man. You don’t own him. By your own admission, he wasn’t attracted to you. Why are you fixed on a man who isn’t into you?

Correction: By George, I think I blew it! In my July 18 column, I misidentified Mary Ann Evans’ pen name. It is George Eliot.

Meditation of the week
“If it ain’t making me money, making me better, making me happy … I ain’t making time for it,” said rapper The Notorious B.I.G. Do you know how to change your life?

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