Steve and Mia: New girlfriend claims her Internet blog about their relationship is private - is she right?

Posted: August 01, 2008

Steve is a 50-something married man who's been around the block. Mia is a 20-something single immersed in the Center City dating scene. They may not agree, but they have plenty of answers. If you'd like an answer to your romantic troubles, e-mail them at S&M@phillynews.com or write: S&M c/o Daily News, Box 7788, Philadelphia, PA 19101.

Q: After a couple of dates with a girl, I learned that she had a blog. A couple of Google searches later, I found it and discovered that she had been writing detailed reviews of our dates - even commenting on my kissing techniques. I liked her a lot but felt betrayed. When I asked her about it, she claimed I had read what amounted to a private journal and that I was at fault. What do you think?

Mia: I'm amazed you didn't Google her before going out with her. Then you would have known about the blog up front. I don't think she's got a lot of ground to claim that you invaded her private thoughts, since she put those thoughts on the Internet. But you could have been more up front about discovering the blog, too.

But let's move forward. If you want to keep dating, ask if she can set some online boundaries regarding the relationship. If she won't, then you probably don't want to be with her anyway.

Steve: How were the reviews? If they were good, you can cite them when wooing your next girlfriend. Mia's right: If she's blogging on the Internet, she's got no grounds to accuse you of invading her privacy. The thing to do now is set ground rules on what she's allowed to post. Or, better yet, tell her to take her private journal offline.

Q: My longtime boyfriend and I are talking marriage and kids, both of which we really want. But I worry a little bit about our children because we're a mixed-race couple. I'm white, he's Chinese-American, and we have very different families and backgrounds. As we move toward having a family, should we try to hammer out some ground rules now - how we'll celebrate holidays, handle education, etc. - or just take things as they come?

Steve: Absolutely, you should talk now. By the way, this goes for ANY couple, even if you're the same race, religion, etc. What holiday is spent with which in-laws? Whose religious views prevail with the kids? What approach to take with their education? All this and much more must be resolved before marriage.

Mia: The more discussion you have up front the better. And I don't think differences mean you can't happily raise kids together. I bet your priorities about the kind of values you want to raise a family with, and the kind of domestic life you crave, are much the same. It's holidays and religion that make people crazy. Try to hammer out as much as you can now.

NOTE: We recently were asked how a supervisor should handle a woman in her 40s who dressed provocatively at work. One reader asked if we would have given the same advice - ask her kindly to tone it down - if the woman were in her 20s.

Mia: For the record, yes, I would say the same thing. Skimpy clothing isn't right for the office, whatever your age. Also, for younger women, I would say that you really are stacking the odds against yourself by not dressing professionally. You want to be taken seriously, not talked about behind your back. You can be cute and classy, I swear.

Steve: While I personally have no objection to women in their 20s wearing skimpy clothes, I am forced to admit that the workplace is no place for showing off - unless your workplace is the Bada Bing. And this applies to guys, too, although I've yet to see one show up at my workplace in a muscle shirt and tight jeans. We've got too many nerds here, I guess. *

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