It’s time again for Shortcuts. For every question, I’ll give my advice in just a few sentences because sometimes the answer to a person’s question is so obvious and the need to hear it so great that being as clear and frank as possible is simply the best way to go.

I met this guy, “Derek,” on an online dating app in February. We chat online and once a week we do a video call. Despite our time difference, we always try to communicate. Last month he revealed that he lives with his ex but that they are working on a divorce. I was really shocked and mad, but I forgave him for keeping such information from me. Since then things have been going smoothly until today when he sent me the link to an article about how a Kenyan woman will do just about anything to get a white man. Apparently, he thinks I’m after his money and yet I have never asked him for funds at any point in our three-month long-distance relationship. I feel that am being stereotyped. He now wants to make things work with his ex after reading the article, and he asked for a break. What should I do? — Stereotyped

 
You should stop “long-distance dating” men you’ve never met. I know these are unique times, but you can’t build a romantic relationship on weekly video calls and some daily online chats. It’s just too easy for bad people to lie and take advantage of the situation, like Derek did with you. He was never leaving his partner. He was just cyber cheating on her with you! He probably got caught, and so he sent you that racist article in an effort to gaslight you because he’s a fucking loser. Ordinarily, I’d say it’s fine to engage in online friendships and flirting, but your judgment seems too cloudy to discern quality character through a screen, so cool it on the dating apps until you’re able to actually meet up in person and build a potential relationship in real life.

My boyfriend, “Gary,” and I are in our 50s. After we were together a few months, I noticed he had been commenting on and loving pictures of two women on very provocative private facebook groups, all the while ignoring any pictures of mine. He was commenting on these women’s pictures prior to our being together. After we were exclusive, his comments such as “yummy,” “I’d forget my name if you took me to dinner,” and “Back that shit up” (said about a picture of the woman’s butt) continued. After I told him it upset me, he left the groups and unfriended the girls. The problem is that I know this behavior would have continued had I not said anything. And now with the lockdown he has been here for the last two months, and he constantly talks about sex and naked women. For example: The first thing this morning he showed me a beer with scratch-off bikini top, which when scratched off exposed breasts. How can I shake my insecurity and get over this? I don’t want to feel insecure anymore and I know it’s all on me. With the COVID19, I can’t even go to the gym to help myself feel better. — Feeling Insecure

 
Woah, talk about backing this shit up. You just shared plenty of examples of how Gary is a sexist, classless perv and you think this is all on you?! Uh, no. You haven’t done anything wrong, and this is not about your being insecure. This is very much about Gary being gross and juvenile and immature and objectifying women. Kick that fucker to the curb. You can do way better than a dork who cracks open a beer first thing in the morning after scratching a graphic bikini top to expose some boobs. Aim higher. Way higher.

I’m 24 years old and have been with my partner, “Bob,” for six years. We have a child together and both families know that we are in a relationship. Bob and I want to take our relationship to the next level and move in together, but I don’t know how to approach my parents because they want marriage first. Please help. — Nervous Nelly

 
Um, you have a child together. You already took your relationship to the “next level.” Move the hell in together if that’s what you want. If your parents have a problem with it “because they want marriage first,” remind them that YOU ALREADY HAVE A CHILD TOGETHER, so the whole marriage-first bullshit is kind of a moot point.

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If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, you can send me your letters at [email protected].