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CHAT: Live advice from Dear Dan, 4 p.m. ET every Friday

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March 5 Transcript: Wedding Etiquette
Vexed by an ex? Bothered by your boss? Distraught from dating? Dan’s got advice for you in live chats every Friday. Here’s the transcript from his chat on March 5. (You can still send Dan e-mail for his advice column on Mondays and Wednesdays — just click on “E-mail Us” in the right column of this page.
Moderator at 4:59pm ET
Hello everyone,

Please note that this week's chat with Dan will be held a little later than usual because he will be en route to Aspen at our usual chat time. But we're still on, so please join us on Friday (March 5) at 6 p.m. ET, 3 p.m. PT.

See you then!
Moderator at 5:57pm ET
We're nearly ready to get started. Dan will be joining us by phone from Aspen in a few minutes. We apologize for the time change, especially to those East Coasters who wanted a fun distraction from work.
curious at 5:59pm ET
What are you doing in Aspen?
Dan Savage at 6:00pm ET
I am performing at, believe it or not, the HBO Comedy Festival with This American Life. It's a radio show on NPR that I do pieces for on a regular basis. A lot of what's on the show is humorous, so we're here, but we're sort of out of place.
Sarah at 6:01pm ET
Hi. I am 24 and have never had a boyfriend. I am attracted to various men, but I weigh about 250 lbs and this very quickly turns men off. Aside from losing the weight (which is a work in progress) how can I attract a future mate.
Dan Savage at 6:02pm ET
There are men who are attracted to large women, so don't assume that no one will find you attractive until you've lost the weight. They are fewer and farther between, but they are out there. Some men, as I've said, are attracted to heavy women and for some men, it's not an issue. So while you work on your weight for your health, be open to possibility.
Dave in Boston at 6:03pm ET
My life partner has a job currently which requires him to fly 50% of the year. He applied and was offered a new job with more money but less stability and his current job countered the offer. However, I can't stand his current job because he is away all the time. I want him to take the new job, but don't want to be responsible and have him resent me for influencing his decision if anything goes wrong in the new job. Should I tell him my concerns or should I let him make the decision that will make him more comfortable? Do you have any advice?
Dan Savage at 6:04pm ET
You should definitely tell him your concerns, and when you do, tell him as well that the decision is his to make. He'll take the job for a lot of reasons or reject it for a lot of reasons, and your feelings may come into play or tip the balance, but if he decides to stay with his current job, your less preferred option, you can't resent him for it.
big fan at 6:04pm ET
Hey Dan... loved your book "Savage Love". Gave a bunch out for Christmas... my friends loved it too. So how's the new 'puter? Kick-ass?
Dan Savage at 6:05pm ET
The computer I bought to work on the book is now old and out of date. I bought it two years ago, so it's practically an antique.
Alison at 6:05pm ET
Is it unwise to stay in a relationship if you greatly love your partner, but greatly dislike his family?
Dan Savage at 6:07pm ET
You don't have to live with his family. If your partner doesn't make you pretend that you like them, it shouldn't be a problem. And if his family lives nearby, move.
tashie at 6:08pm ET
My husband and I recently had a baby and are needing a little time to ourselves.... He isn't real good about planing details for a getaway. Would a suprise getaway for a weekend be appropriate?
Dan Savage at 6:09pm ET
Well, that depends. Is your husband the kind of person who appreciates surprises? If he is, then a surprise is appropriate. If he's not, then it isn't. I recently had a baby, and I would LOVE a surprise getaway. So if your husband doesn't want one, plan one for me. It would be much appreciated.
Confused at 6:10pm ET
What does it mean when a guy says he can't get you out of his mind, even though we have been together off and on for at least a year and half? For the first 10 months we were together as a couple, then we broke up and then started seeing each other off and on for the rest of the time. I'm confused.
Dan Savage at 6:11pm ET
Perhaps it means that he'd like to get back together, or that he thinks the break-up was a mistake. If you agree -- if you want to get back together too -- then his not being able to get you out of his mind is a good sign.
Ross at 6:12pm ET
My partner Kirk asked me to go to the wedding of a colleague of his. I usually refrain, though, from going to the weddings of "straight" folks because I resent the fact that my partner and I can't enjoy the same legal and social benefits of a bona fide wedding. I guess I blame straight people in general for preventing us from doing that. I know that shouldn't enter into my ability to be happy for them, but it does. It wouldn't as much if the people getting married were good friends of ours and not just colleagues of Kirk's. So, do I go to the wedding for my partner's sake and be uncomfortable or do I hold out on principle?
Dan Savage at 6:15pm ET
You go to the wedding for your partner's sake and at the wedding, feel free to good-naturedly chat with the nice straight folks about the unfairness of it all. Leave you inner bitter queen at home. Remind yourself that a lot of straight people, maybe even people in the room, are not opposed to gay marriage.

If gay people stopped going to straight people's weddings, weddings would stop. Without us, there would be no one to cater, do the mother-of-the-bride's hair, and in many cases, officiate.
Jim at 6:17pm ET
I've got three dates this weekend. Like any single guy, this is like a dream come true. I've never been this popular with the ladies and I am having a hard time sorting all this out. I've never been on a real date. I've only had one serious relationship in my life that started in high school and that ended sharply after 2 years. I know I've changed for the better (physically and emotionally) but this might be a little too much for me. All three are very attractive and very nice. In all honesty, I wouldn't mind dating all three. Am I just looking for trouble? Any suggestions?
Dan Savage at 6:20pm ET
It used to be that people "dated" more than one person at once and then "went steady" at some point with one of the people they had been dating. These days, a lot of people feel that dating more than one person at a time is no better than cheating on a partner or spouse. You can date more than one person at a time, to a point. That point being, in most people's relationships these days, physical intimacy. Basically, you can date more than one person at a time, but you shouldn't date and boff more than one person at a time. Due to disease and other issues, people assume that if you're boffing them, you are not boffing anyone else. That is not an unreasonable assumption.

So, go ahead and go on a date with each of these women. If it progresses with any one of them past the casual getting-to-know-you date stage, then you'll have to date that person exclusively, or risk reading all about what a jerk you are right here on this web site if one of them logs on to a future chat.

Annie at 6:21pm ET
Any new thoughts on Monica?
Dan Savage at 6:23pm ET
Could the camera have been any closer to her mouth? I was surprised the lens didn't fog up. I know what her tongue looks like after watching that interview better than I know what my own tongue looks like. I kept screaming at the TV, "Pull back, for chrissakes, pull back!" It was like having a two-hour conversation with one of those people who stand right up in your face.
Fawn at 6:23pm ET
My sister and her 3 children live with me for economic reasons. I love my sister and nieces, but sometimes they can get a little out of control (they are 7, 9, and 11). When my sister lays out the rules that they must follow, and I try to back her up when it is needed, she has a tendency to jump on my for being too hard on the kids. How can I help her to maintain discipline when she won't enforce her own rules? This also makes me angry when I am trying to support her decisions and she is to one who changes the rules.
Dan Savage at 6:25pm ET
If they didn't live with you, I would tell you to stay out of it. But it's unfair of your sister to make you live with three out-of-control children. Have a conversation with your sister, and explain that so long as you live together, you expect that her children will regard you as an adult and as an authority figure. If she can't enforce the rules, you will. If they don't like it, they can move.
Lost for Love at 6:26pm ET
What do you think is the key that most women look for in picking a guy? I have trouble meeting women and am nervous and don't know what to say when I want to meet them.
Dan Savage at 6:28pm ET
There is no key thing. What brings two people together is often unique to those two people. Your problem is not that you don't know the magic word or possess the magic key or own the right car. Your problem is that you're nervous and shy. Women can't fall in love with or , in many cases, even feel attracted to men who won't say anything to them. There are classes, support groups and shrinks that can help you get over being shy. If that's too formal, let your friends know , male and female, that you'd like to be set up and that you're shy and anyone they set you up with should be warned that they may have to do most of the talking on the first date.
Confused at 6:30pm ET
My fiance and I are buying a house. My aunt is a real estate agent, but my fiance and I went through someone we didn't know because we don't want to mix business and family. At her daughter's wedding reception, she found out about the purchase and asked me why we weren't using her to buy the home. I am afraid I hurt her feelings, especially since she is relatively new to the business. Did I make a mistake? If not, how do I smooth it over?
Dan Savage at 6:31pm ET
I'd say you made a mistake. There are time when family needs to be there, and the beginning of a career is one of those times. Smooth it over by apologizing and promise your aunt that you will steer anyone you know who's buying a house her way.
lish at 6:31pm ET
quick yes/no question for you, dan. is it acceptable to take home uneaten food from a blind date if he paid & you're not planning on seeing him again? i hate waste, but i'm not sure if this is painfully rude or not.
Dan Savage at 6:32pm ET
If it makes you uncomfortable, don't do it. Clearly, it makes you uncomfortable, or you wouldn't have asked. Leave the food.
Mark at 6:33pm ET
I'm trying to convince my girlfriend to stop smoking, but when we try to talk about it, we usually end up fighting. Should I keep trying or just learn to accept it?
Dan Savage at 6:35pm ET
I'd keep trying. If my boyfriend were addicted to something as destructive as tobacco, I would keep trying. It would suck to have to explain to her 20 years from now, when she's dying from lung cancer or emphysema, why you gave up. Lung cancer kills more women than breast cancer, and you should continue to encourage your girlfriend to quit.
Kathleen at 6:35pm ET
Do you have any advice for how to fall out of love with someone? I fell for a married man. He broke off the relationship over 10 months ago, but I still miss him and long for him every day.
Dan Savage at 6:36pm ET
Falling out of love takes time. Falling in love with someone else may help break the spell. So, while you're pining, keep dating.
la at 6:37pm ET
How can you say you had a baby?
It's more like you got a baby.
Dan Savage at 6:38pm ET
That's true. We don't say, "I had a wife." Unless, of course, the wife died. From here on out, I will say "I got a baby." Sometimes, though, I feel like the baby got me.
Kealy at 6:40pm ET
Ive been married about 5 years and like my husband very much, but have never really been in love with him. At the time we got married, he was ready and I was in my late 20's and hadn't ever met anyone that I thought I wanted to marry instead, so we got married. A couple of years ago I fell in love with a man that I would marry tomorrow if I could, but he's not available. My problem is that now that I know how wonderful it is to be in love and truly want to spend the rest of your life with someone, I don't know that I can settle for what my husband and I have. My question is should I leave my husband and hope that someday I'll fall in love again with someone who's available. Or should I be thankful that I have a good husband that will take very good care of me and be a good father?
Dan Savage at 6:42pm ET
If you have kids already, me and Dr. Laura would both say stay. If you don't have kids yet, Dr. Laura would tell you to stay, but I'm going to tell you to ... think long and hard about leaving. If you go, there's no guarantee you'll find someone better. You could find someone worse. Grand passions are often grand because they're usually short-lived.
Anonymous at 6:43pm ET
I suspected my partner was interested in someone else , but he denied it at first. Later of course they got together. His reasoning is that it was my accusations and doubt that fueled a kind of "self-prophecy" whereas I think that women just have this intuition about these sorts of things. I think they would have gotten together regardless of my doubts. What do you think?
Dan Savage at 6:43pm ET
I agree with you.
Beth at 6:45pm ET
Hi Dan! I am a fan of both you and Dr. Laura - her for entertainment value, you for advice I can actually use. What do you think of Dr. Laura's "Three A's", (Adultery, Addiction, and Abuse) and the idea that these are the only valid reasons for ending a marriage? I think it's the first thing I've heard her say that makes sense.
Dan Savage at 6:47pm ET
I would agree with two of the three A's -- abuse and addiction. But adultery is something that happens in many marriages, and I don't believe that every marriage that is battered by adultery should end. I don't believe Dr. Laura believes that, either, actually, but she believes, and I agree, that adultery is grounds or good cause. So I guess I do agree with Dr. Laura. I'm having a hard time admitting it however, because it's such a new sensation.
Madaline at 6:48pm ET
My fiancTe and I have been together for 9 years (engaged for 2). The problem is we could careless about having a wedding. We just want to be married. However, we don't want to hurt our families feelings. I know this marriage should be about us - but is there a happy medium? Or do you think we are allowed to just do as please and fly to Vegas?
Dan Savage at 6:48pm ET
You can do as you please and please your family too. Fly to Vegas, have the wedding you want, then fly home and have the reception your family wants. It won't kill you, and you'll get lots of presents.
David at 6:50pm ET
I have been married about three years. About the time I got married, I began to realize my sexual attraction to members of the same sex. My wife and I have a good sex life but my fantasies are all male. Is this something to wife would not approve my exploring this side of my sexuality. I feel like I'm missing out in some respects but don't want to mess up my marriage.
Dan Savage at 6:52pm ET
There's no way to explore your sexuality without messing up your marriage. If all your fantasies are gay, then you are probably gay. It may pain your wife to learn this and the end of a marriage is always sad, but she deserves to be with someone who isn't thinking about Matt Damon when he's having sex with her.
Whose team? at 6:53pm ET
Not that it matters, but the million dollar question around our office is the sexual orientation of one of our co-workers. Our office is pretty open, (there are many open heterosexuals among us), but this one guy is a complete mystery. There are even some who postulate that he is asexual. Any suggestions to help us figure him out??
Dan Savage at 6:54pm ET
Leave him alone. When he wants you to know about his sexuality, he'll tell you. However, it has been my experience that heterosexual people rarely, if ever, present themselves as "asexual." So were this person my co-worker, I would assume he was gay and let it go at that.
Mark at 6:55pm ET
Hi Dan, I had a quick question, when my girlfriend of 1 1/2 breaks up with me, but still wants to see me, what does that mean?
Dan Savage at 6:56pm ET
That means she doesn't know what she wants. If you know what you want, and what you want is her, tell her she can't see you and be broken up with you at the same time. If you're going to be together, you're going to be together. If you aren't, you're not.
Mario at 6:57pm ET
Dan, love your column.
I'm in a hard spot at the moment: fiercely attracted to a woman I work with. What should I do to get things moving in the right direction, without getting the office tongues wagging?
Dan Savage at 6:59pm ET
Ask her out, and make a game of seeing how long you can keep it a secret at work. But know that sooner or later, people will find out. People always find out. So if not being gossiped about at work is your primary objective, don't date this woman.
anonymous at 6:59pm ET
When my wife and I first met, communication was not really a problem. We had a lot to talk about, because we were still getting to know each other. Now, after 6 years of marriage and 2 kids, it seems that all we ever talk about is work/home/kids/finances/business of running the home. What should I do to meet my wife's needs for meaningful communication?
Dan Savage at 7:00pm ET
You should find some stuff to do together that isn't work- or home- or kids-related. If you're out there hiking, cross-country skiing, collecting books -- whatever -- you'll have things to talk about.
Moderator at 7:02pm ET
That's all we have time for today. Thanks for chatting, and never fear, next week we'll be back at the regular time.

Hang on to read some responses...
Randi at 7:06pm ET
Response to Ross:
Right on, Dan! Just because us straight folk marry doesn't mean that we are opposed to others wanting to do the same, gay or straight. A marriage is a celebration of love, and Ross might do well to go and let people see how happy he and his life partner are together.

Seattle at 7:06pm ET
Jim: Just make sure than none of the three assumes she's the only one!!!
Catherine at 7:06pm ET
I don't understand the desire to get married that many people in same-sex relationships have. It seems to me that the whole idea of marriage just reinforces the heterosexism of society. I think that a lot of people assume that the gay relationship must be butch-femme if there's a "wedding." You know, "who's the man in that couple? who's the woman?" Why is marriage held up to be such a great institution anyway? Other than the practical issues--taxation, health benefits, etc.--it seems like same-sex "marriage" just encourages straights to patronize gays.
Lisa at 7:06pm ET
For Sarah:

Dan's right. I had a friend who was pretty heavy, and she ended up marrying a thin guy who liked heavy women. The woman he dated before my friend was also very heavy. So, some guys like that -- although it could be a problem for this type of man after you lose the weight! I know he met the previous woman he dated through the personals, and he specifically advertised for heavy women. You might try the personals.
Real Estate Analyst at 7:06pm ET
I think Confused did the right thing by not mixing business with pleasure. As a real estate agent, his aunt would be representing the seller of the house, not him, and her commission would be based on maximizing the price paid to the seller, creating a conflict of interest.
Lola at 7:06pm ET
La - Do you correct straight men who say "My wife and I just had a baby"? Men, of any sort, don't give birth, but Dan's wording was right on.
Ken at 7:06pm ET
Regarding Marks desire to get his girfriend to stop smoking: When my girlfriend (now my wife) was smoking, I made her brush her teeth before I would kiss her. Pretty soon, she quit.
karenster at 7:06pm ET
I just have to tell you that I enjoy your sense of humor so much. I recently broke off something with a man because his behavior was very inconsistent. I almost wrote asking your advise several times but I could just picture your answers. Your column has actually helped me make my own decisions but never fear...I will continue to tune in. Thanks, Dan!
Seattle at 7:06pm ET
Madeline: Go to Vegas, and spend the money you would have spent on the wedding on something you can really use, like a down payment on a house.
John at 7:06pm ET
Madeline: My wife and I told our parents they weren't invited to our wedding. Not for any negative's just that we wanted the day to be as carefree and fun as it could be - it was. The families got over it. Your wedding day should be just as you want's about YOU!
Catherine Mracna at 7:06pm ET
Matt Damon....Brad Pitt....
Dan, you have EXCELLENT taste!
Dateless Girl at 7:06pm ET
To Mark:

please, keep trying harder. My father wouldn't listen to us and we gave up for the sake of peace. He was just 56 when he died of lung cancer. The last month he was so weak he could not move and later even talk, and no painkillers could stop the pain. If I could change the past, I wouldn't ever quit trying, even though it meant fights. at 7:06pm ET
No question! Just looking at your
answers. Good show. Bud
Brian at 7:08pm ET
Hey, Mario, regarding your attractive co-worker,

A friend of mine at a previous job got a clandestine relationship going with a co-worker. In one of the most gossip-ridden companies I've ever worked for, these two kept their secret for about a year and a half - and only announced it when they got engaged. The jaws in their respective departments were racing each other to the floor!
marie at 7:17pm ET
Hi Dan, love your columns and advice. Just wanted to let you know that I think Dr. Laura is a big bully and advice columnist like you offer more help.

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