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Ron Simms Jr.
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Ask MISSter Simms - Should I Take His Last Name?

Keeping your last name

How strongly do you feel about keeping your last name?

Dear MISSter Simms,

I have been dating my boyfriend for two years and recently we’ve been talking about getting married.  The problem is it’s super important for him that I take his last name.  His reasoning is that taking his last name will make us feel more like a family and show my devotion to him.  Not taking his name wouldn’t cause him to think twice about marrying me, he says, but it would really hurt his feelings.  Now, before meeting my boyfriend I had zero intention of changing my last name when I got married for various reasons, one being that I have a very strong connection with my father’s family.  I feel like changing my last name will damage that connection.  However, I really love my boyfriend and don’t want to do anything that would hurt him.  Is there any way to make both of us happy?

Iron Maiden

Dear IM,

Now as a dude, I can relate to your boyfriend.  I too want my future wife to take my last name.  Why?  Uh…because that’s the way it’s been for bazillions of years.  But is that a particularly good reason to want my girl to take my last name?  No, and neither are the reasons your boyfriend is spouting out.  If he thinks having the same last name will make you guys feel more like a family, then maybe he’d consider taking YOUR last name.  And if he’s worried about you not being devoted enough to him, you might want to explain how shelling out tens of thousands of dollars for a ceremony, signing a legally binding contract with him, giving up your privacy and independence, and possibly bearing his children are all much stronger signs of devotion than changing your last name.

Clearly you don’t want to change your name, and you shouldn’t have to.  Caving in and taking his last name is not the way to go because it’ll set up expectations later on down the road that you may live to regret.  Instead you could somehow convince him to take your last name; or you could compromise and add his last name to yours, which a) allows you to keep your last name b) might make him happy since you’d also have his last name and c) will make you sound like some upper crust debutante; or you could just keep your own name, especially if you feel like it’s something you can’t live without.

Need relationship advice?  Send your questions to ronsimmsjr at gmail dot com and you might be featured on the next installment of Ask MISSter Simms.

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Ron Simms Jr.
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Dear MISSter Simms - Can Exes Be Roomies?

Can Exes Be Roomies?  Really?!

If you thought living with a stranger was bad, try living with your ex.

Dear MISSter Simms,

I am currently sharing an apartment with my ex-boyfriend.  Initially I thought it was a terrible idea, but he won me over when he showed me how it could benefit both of us financially.  I said we could try it out and see how things went.  Well, it’s been a month, and something has come to my attention that really bothers me.  He accidentally sent me an email under a fake email account he uses.  The odd thing was, the alias for this account was female.  When I confronted him about it, he claimed it was for junk emails.  I said, “…that’s creepy.”  I’ve got an email account I created specifically for junk emails too, but I’m not pretending to be a guy on it.  He responded by deleting his female account and creating one with a male name.  One of the reasons we broke up was because of his secretiveness and deceptive nature, so am I wrong to find this whole chain of events incredibly weird and to wonder what else he may be hiding?  Am I wrong for thinking we could work as roommates?  Should I even care?  Any help would be appreciated!

Suspicious Roomie

Dear Suspicious Roomie,

Are you wrong for thinking you and your ex could be roommates?  The short answer would be, “yes”.  The long answer: “Does the Pope poop in the woods?”  Living with someone in and of itself is a challenge.  Your roommate might like to cook in their birthday suit.  You might find that unhygienic.  Your roommate might like to listen to Swedish death metal.  You might like the smooth stylings of Hootie and the Blowfish.  Add the baggage that comes along with a broken relationship and you’ve got a recipe for disaster.  If he was just your roommate, you wouldn’t be writing me this letter.  But because he’s your ex first and foremost, there’s subtext to his actions.  Basically you’re still analyzing what he does as if he were your boyfriend when, in fact, that is no longer the case.

I can get why you would live with your ex.  He’s someone you know and trust slightly more than a random stranger (maybe?).  But you also think he’s shady and are already wondering what else he mad be hiding. What’s the point of living with him if it’s just going to drive you crazy?  So you can save money?  So you don’t have to think about looking for a new apartment and roommate?  It’s not worth it.  For the sake of your sanity and any future relationships you may have, hit up Craigslist and find a new place ASAP.

Need relationship advice?  Send your questions over to ronsimmsjr at gmail dot com.

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Ron Simms Jr.
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Ask MISSter Simms - My Boyfriend’s Only With Me For Sex


You’ll need more than constant sex to have a good relationship

Dear MISSter Simms,

I’ve been in a relationship with my boyfriend for the past six months.  The last two months we were long distance and unable to see each other.  When he finally came back, we were beyond excited to see each other.  But since then we’ve been fighting a lot. Maybe it’s because we’re both working hard and thinking about school starting up again soon, and the time to be carefree is just about over.  We don’t usually see each other until after 10pm every day, and because it’s so late we wind up barely talking and mostly cuddling, sleeping, and/or having sex.  Most of our day time communication is done through texting.  I sent him a text the other day telling him how I felt about our relationship revolving around the previously mentioned things, and how I would break up with him if things didn’t change, and he sent me something back that really hurt me.  He said that anyone else would only date me to have consistent sex.  Later he apologized, but the damage had already been done.  Now I’m not sure what to do. Help!

Not Just For Sex

Dear NJFS,

If my significant other told me 1) that people would only date me so they could consistently bang me and 2) seemingly still dated me because we were consistently banging, I’d drop them faster than Shakira dropped her baby weight.  However, if you’re really attached to this guy and want to make things work, it’s going to require a lot of work.  You’re going to have to stop texting 24/7 and actually talk to each other.  You’ll have to actual spend some non-sleeping, cuddling, boinking time together.  It’s the summer.  Tons of new movies are coming out every weekend, there’s outdoor festivals and concerts galore, and unless you live in Antarctica the weather should be warm enough for you two to enjoy something simple like a walk in the park.  Having regular sex is all well and good, but without all the other stuff that comes with relationships, like sharing your warm and fuzzy feelings and really knowing each other, you’re doomed to fail.

But first, you’ll need to tell you boyfriend that what he said was messed up and that it hurt you.  You’ve already decided not to bang him, which is good.  Tell him that part of your relationship won’t come back until he gets on that act right and you two are able to get your emotional connection on track.  He’s going to look at that as a punishment…which it sort of is.  But it’s really about you building an actual relationship based on real intimacy and shared experiences, and you need to let him know that.  You also need to tell him that you need to see him sometime other than 10 at night; that you’d rather go out on some day time dates.  If he’s willing to go along with all that and work on things, great!  If not keep it moving.

Need relationship advice?  Send your questions over to ronsimmsjr at gmail dot com.

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Ron Simms Jr.
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Ask MISSter Simms - Have You Been Tested?


The CDC estimates there are around 110,000,000 carrying STDs in the United States…Don’t become one of them.

Dear MISSter Simms,

I recently got dumped by my boyfriend of several years and have re-entered the wonderful world of dating.  The only difference this time around is that I’m not a virgin, and neither are the majority of people that I’ve gone out with.  I’m not about to jump into bed with someone just yet, but eventually I will be.  And I’m not exactly sure how to bring up the topic of STDs and STD testing without it being weird or offensive.  I worked for a college health center for a few years and have seen the kind of damage that STDs can do to people, so I don’t particularly want to put my health at risk, even if it is for “love”.  Any advice you could give would be really helpful!

It’s A Touchy Subject

Dear IATS,

I totally understand your trepidation.  “Have you been tested?” is one of those questions that gets people butt-hurt almost every time.  If you’re on a date with someone and you’ve quickly ascertained that you want to do the no-pants dance with them, then you’ll need to broach the subject pretty quickly.  You could bring up how you used to work in a health center while you were in college and about all the sick stuff you used to see.  Then you could smoothly segue into asking him if he’s been tested or not. However, if banging on the first date is not something you’re fond of, you can wait until you feel like you’re finally ready to knock boots before popping the question.  Here’s a couple of tips that’ll make your experience a little less painful.

  • Be Direct - Don’t beat around the bush…no pun intended.
  • Make It A Shared Experience - If you partner hasn’t been tested, let them know you’re willing to get tested with them.  They’ll feel less like you’re accusing them of something and more like you’re both in this thing together.
  • Be Tested Already - If you’ve already been tested, bring along your results before asking if your partner has been tested.  You can tell you’re partner you cared enough about their health to get tested, and sneak in a suggestion that if they cared enough about your health, they’d also get tested.
  • Stand Your Ground - Don’t wuss out.  It’s not like you’re asking them for their social security number or their hand in marriage.

STD testing may be a touchy subject, but at the end of the day everyone will be happy knowing their private parts are safe and sound.

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Ron Simms Jr.
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Ask MISSter Simms - Did I Dump Him Too Soon?

Don't jump the gun when it comes to dumping someone

Don’t jump the gun when it comes to dumping someone

Dear MISSter Simms,

A month ago I broke things off with my boyfriend of six months.  We are both in our late 20s, never married, and without kids. He’s extremely easy to get along with, and we never had any arguments.  He’s also very considerate, good natured, even tempered, fun, funny, successful, and responsible.   Whenever we had free time we would spend it together, and he’d often arrange weekend trips away for us to take.  I loved that about him.

You’re probably wondering why I broke up with such a great guy.  Well, right before we broke up we were both away on business trips and I didn’t hear from him for a week.  He wasn’t trying to contact me, and I couldn’t get in touch with him.  A month before this incident he disappeared for a couple of days when we were supposed to be spending time together.  He apologized and admitted he screwed up, but there he was doing the same thing again.  I was really upset because I’d won an award at work that week for a project that really meant a lot to me, and my boyfriend wasn’t around to share the moment with me.

I made up my mind then and there that it was over and broke up with him.  His disappearing was too hard for me, and on top of all that, he wasn’t as affectionate as I needed him to be.  I told him that he didn’t seem that into me, or he would have at least asked me if I had won the award that I wanted so bad.  And he hadn’t introduced me to his friends yet.  I asked if he was crazy about me, and all he could say was that he liked spending time with me.

But…I miss him.  I liked my life better with him than without him.  I wonder if I ended things too soon.  He’s got so many great qualities that I want in a partner.  Should I have given him another chance?  Was I too rash with my decision making?  Should I stick with my decision, or try to go back and work things out with him?

Dropped Too Soon?

Dear DTS,

I have a philosophy about dating and it goes a little something like this.  I don’t break up with anyone until I know good and hell well that I don’t want to be with them anymore…ever.   Because when you break up with someone, it can be very hard to undo what’s been done and go back to what you were.

Judging by your current thoughts on the matter, it seems like you didn’t know good and hell well that you didn’t want to be with your boyfriend anymore…ever.  And from your letter it’s easy to see why you’re so conflicted.  On the one had, he did some things that you thought were unforgivable, like disappearing for a week…not parading you in front of his friends.  On the other hand, everything else about him is awesome.  Perhaps the things you thought were so unforgivable weren’t that unforgivable in the face of his overall awesomeness.

Which is why I say you need to pick up the phone and give him another chance.  You know you want to; otherwise you wouldn’t have sought out my advice on the matter and would have just stuck to your guns.   He’ll either be receptive to your attempt to win him back, or he’ll laugh in your face and hang up the phone (hopefully not, because that’s kind of dramatic).   But if he did that, it’d go to show that he wasn’t so crazy about you after all and you’re not really missing out on anything in that case.

And if you do get back together, don’t be so quick to drop him the next time he messes up.

Need relationship advice?  Send your questions to ronsimmsjr at gmail dot com and you might be featured on the next installment of Ask MISSter Simms.

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