Dear Amy: I am dating a very, very nice man. We get along fabulously and have for the past year. There's just one problem – his language skills. He was not taught to speak properly in his youth, whereas in my family I was taught correctly, though I'm definitely not linguistically perfect either.
For example, he consistently uses the wrong verb tenses in speech, incorrect words such as “hisself” instead of “himself.”
I am uncomfortable with his lack of language skills, yet also uncomfortable with correcting him (I don't want to treat him like a child and interject when he errs).
I've gently, carefully and privately corrected him once or twice, but he's been embarrassed, and it doesn't seem to make any difference as he continues to make the same language mistakes.
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I guess I have options – just get over it, try to fix it or move on and find someone else.
I'm in my early 30s and reluctant to reject a good, kind man because of this seemingly small thing, but it is an increasing concern for me. I can't imagine raising children in an environment where incorrect English is spoken!
What do you think I should do?
Loss for Words
Dear Loss: In intimate relationships, people can have difficult conversations – and the relationship will survive because the conversation is handled with as much grace, good humor and respect as possible.
You should tell your boyfriend that this bothers you. Tell him you know it's not the biggest thing in the world, but that his language skills are distracting to you. Present this issue as a personal quirk of yours and ask him if he would be willing to work on it.
If he gets defensive or embarrassed, drop the subject.
Never correct him in public.
I agree that if he is otherwise good, kind, loving and wonderful, you should try very hard to tolerate this, but you need to examine your own abilities to be genuinely tolerant. Don't let this issue turn you into a passive-aggressive grammarian, muttering corrections under your breath.
Dating site reveals boyfriend
Dear Amy: I am a single, successful professional. I am a quite pretty woman who has been dating a man for more than two years.
Sadly, I thought I was in a serious committed relationship. Was I ever mistaken!
My boyfriend and I had developed what I thought was a solid relationship. Our families meshed and our children from each side became good friends. We even went to church together and spent most weekends together.
The problem is that I recently found my so-called boyfriend's profile on a popular Internet date match site.
I sensed something was wrong in the relationship. I decided to do a bit of investigation, and my Ph.D. research training came in handy.
Anyone in my position can imagine the feeling of sadness and depression the minute I saw pictures of him smiling and flirting online.
The saddest part is that he was “advertising” for a relationship that is exactly what we had together. He denies participating in the exchanges with women, even though his profile has been up for months.
I recommend to all women who think something may be odd with their so-called boyfriend to do a quick search on the most popular Internet dating sites to see what comes up.
My blood is still frozen from finding his picture, name and profile asking for all of the qualities in a woman that I already possessed.
Smart and Pretty Ph.D.
Dear Ph.D.: Your non-boyfriend is a scoundrel.
But I do need to tell you that a person doesn't need the research skills of a Ph.D. to use the Internet to confirm suspicions; according to the content of my inbox, people without advanced degrees seem to have figured this out some time ago.