Carolyn Hax / Life Advice

Boyfriend Likes Strip Clubs

Adapted from a recent online discussion.

Dear Carolyn:

I'm seriously dating a guy, and we've talked about marriage. He has mostly had a history of casual dating and living up the single life. This has included going to strip clubs. He says he won't go anymore because of my issue with it.

Recently, he went to a bar with some friends where the waitresses are ridiculously scantily clad. This bothers me, especially after our discussions about strip clubs.

I don't want to start a situation where he'd rather just go and not tell me. I'm just not sure if this is a make-or-break issue.

-- Trashy Outlets

What I'd really like to hear is why you deplore these places, and why his only reason for not going would be to appease you.

Since there's no practical way I can know the details of your values, all I can do is advise you both to share them with each other -- on one condition. Have the conversation after both of you have given careful, INDEPENDENT thought to why you both approach this issue the way you do, since this topic is all too subject to the knee-jerk, "because that's what guys/girls do"-type non-answers. Then, go into the discussion with this goal and no other: understanding each other. If it's just about proving you're right, then you'll both forget to listen.

Re: Trashy:

The guy should RUN from this controlling woman. First, it was no strip clubs. Second, it was no places where waitresses are "scantily clad." Next it's going to be a request that he find new friends. Who should be forced to live like this? She needs counseling, stat. "Gift of Fear," anyone?

...continued

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