Angela, help me! I’m digging this guy I’m dating, but he’s killing me with his constant gum chewing. Even when we hook up, he can’t lose the gum. I’ve joked with him about it, but he doesn’t get the hint. Any thoughts? — From Sticky Situation

Sticky: There’s a very easy fix for this. If he wants to chew, he doesn’t get to … (Here’s a hint, it rhymes with “chew.”) The number one rule in dating, actually in life, is this: Bad behavior cannot be rewarded. No more subtle jokes, no more putting up with it. He chews gum, he does not get to see you in various stage of undress. There is no flavor that Mr. Wrigley can create that would be more appealing than seeing you naked. He will toss the gum pronto.

My girlfriend is still close friends with her ex-boyfriend. They talk once a week on the phone. She says I have nothing to worry about, but I’m a little insecure about the whole thing. What would you do?
— Dave with Doubts

Doubter Dave: You have nothing to worry about. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: Insecurity in a relationship (along with neediness) is the kiss of death. If you forbid her to speak with him or voice opposition, you will drive her right into his arms. She says there is nothing going on; you need to trust her. If she still wanted him, he would be her boyfriend. He’s not. You are. And if it’s any consolation, I speak with many of my exes every few days. Although we are not romantically involved, we continue strong friendships. You would not ask your girlfriend to eliminate a friend from her life, would you? Look at her ex as just another friend.

I’ve been dating my boyfriend for two years, and he’s gained 40 pounds over that time. I know this sounds horrible, but the extra weight is turning me off. How do I broach this subject without hurting his feelings?
— Kelsey

Kelsey: I’m going on the assumption that his weight gain is attributed to just poor eating habits and lack of exercise instead of a medical issue. It’s very common to gain a few pounds in a relationship. You get complacent, hang on the couch instead of hitting the gym, and maybe even have a few too many desserts. It happens to the best of us. But gaining that much weight is more than complacency. Your boyfriend must feel pretty unhealthy too.

As a good girlfriend, it’s time to get him moving. Get him to the gym! Find ways to eat healthier together. Let your man know that seeing him in his pre-relationship fighting shape is VERY important to you. He will understand that this is your nice way of saying that he better lose the extra baggage or risk losing you.

I strongly suggest that you do not come right out and tell him his weight is a turn off. Can you imagine how it would feel it you weren’t feeling your sexiest and your partner very bluntly confirmed that? It’s a horrible one-two punch. In long-term relationships it’s easy to forget that we still need to bring our best ever day. I had to be told, very tactfully, that my ripped comfy sweat pants were not doing it for my guy. He also told me I needed to upgrade my underwear selection. Constructive criticism that I’m very happy I received now. Have some patience. The weight did not show up overnight, and it will take time to disappear. Think about all of his good qualities and why you fell in love in the first place.

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About Angela Lutin

Angela Lutin has won the adoration and loyalty of her riders at Flywheel Sports in Boca, where she has emerged as the most sought-after indoor cycling instructor in South Florida. In her spare time, the divorced single mom has launched a popular dating blog——on which she dispenses musings on life, navigating the singles scene and much more. Angela will answer your dating questions every Thursday at on her “The Naked Truth” blog, which she is doing exclusively for Boca Ratonmagazine.