Every week, Dear Prudence answers additional questions from readers, just for Slate Plus members. R. Eric Thomas is filling in as Prudie for Jenée Desmond-Harris while she’s on parental leave. Submit questions here. (It’s anonymous!)
Q. Questioning myself: I have been with my boyfriend for a year and we are moving in together soon at his suggestion. I love him and he’s wonderful, but there’s one issue that I’m not even sure is a problem.
I want him to friend me on Facebook and other social media and he just deflects or says he’s not on it often. I am also not on social media very often, but more than him, and this bothers me.
Is this a red flag? And how should I best approach this with him?
A: Years ago I’d say this was a red flag because we were young and innocent then and didn’t realize that not everyone had to be online all the time. But times have changed. Facebook is a platform that billions still use regularly, but your boyfriend simply isn’t one of them. It’s clear that this form of social media doesn’t mean much, if anything, to him, so try not to think of his resistance as him rejecting you. Try letting him know that, in some small way, this sticks in your craw. He may not realize it’s actually bothering you.
Ultimately, social media is meant to expand our worlds and mimic real-life interactions, for better or worse. You already have a real-life interaction with your boyfriend, so adding social media to it isn’t going to change much. Let him like his weird memes once every six months in peace.
I’m about to get married and am caught in an argument between my fiancée and my parents. This will be the first time in over five years that our whole family will be together. My parents want to take a picture of just them, me, and my siblings, and a family photo obviously means a lot to them. My fiancée heard this and became immediately offended. She says it’s rude to exclude her on the day she “joins the family” and any family photo should therefore include her in it. We’re not talking about taking an hour for a separate family photo shoot; my parents simply want one photograph of themselves and their children. I don’t understand why my fiancée is so annoyed and now she’s even more angry because I’m not supporting “her side.” Should I back up my fiancée on principle, even if I disagree with her?