Advice

Miss Information

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Have a question? Email erin@nerve.com. Letters may be edited for length, content and clarity.


Dear Miss Information:
Two months ago I was dating this girl. We started off as good friends, and then things moved quickly toward dating. While we dated, everything was great. We had fun, never argued and had great chemistry. It was obvious we really liked each other. A month into it, things started to get serious. She told me she wasn’t ready — even though her actions spoke differently — and just wanted to remain friends. She’s the type of girl who usually dates casually or makes out with a guy and then forgets about him. We really haven’t hung out or talked for awhile, and I found out she went on a date with someone else. Bottom line: I really like this girl and still have feelings for her. How do I win her back? — Comeback Kid


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Dear Comeback Kid,
    I know you like her, but you need to stop with this "win her back" shit. You sound like an REO Speedwagon song, and it’s not flattering.
    If you’re looking to get back in an exclusive relationship with this girl, you’re wasting your time. She’s already told you she’s not interested, and dumping you is a really big fucking hint, so STOP READING RIGHT NOW. If you’re okay with casual dating or the occasional screw, here’s what you do — give her a call. Here’s what you don’t do: don’t be a puppy-dog douche and make any big romantic gestures. One schmaltzy mixtape, and she’s gonna put you back in the reject pile the same way Miss Information did with a fuck friend who kept inviting her over for spaghetti dinner.
    I gotta wonder if all this is worth it. Having to constantly keep your affections in check sucks, and I’ve no doubt you deserve much more.


Dear Miss Information,
    A few years ago, after my boyfriend, Carl, and I had been together for awhile, an acquaintance randomly told me, "Carl and I used to flirt all the time. I was really happy when you two got together because then he left me alone.”
    At first I thought it was an odd thing to say. Then it bothered me. I confronted Carl, who said, “If it makes you feel weird, why don’t you stop hanging out with her?” So I did.
    Now she’s in my life again. The other day she revealed that she and Carl once went on a date. I asked her what happened. She said, “We just drank and talked, and I don’t even know if it was a date, but we realized we had no chemistry, so that was it.” Needless to say, this admission drove me nuts.
    What makes a girl want to do something like this — twice? We’re both older, I thought we’d be past this mean-girl stuff by now. I’m not a threat to her in any way. What gives? What’s most frustrating is that I feel like I’m being lied to. I don’t think it would matter if anything had happened, but the lingering idea is what bothers me. — Happy Despite the Mean Girl

Dear Happy,
    Man, mean girls suck. Not that Miss Information really knows. I spent most of my formative years in the company of boys. Blame it on a shared interest in fart jokes, Norweigian death metal and smoking pot. Still, I saw enough chick-on-chick animosity to be able to figure out a few possible motives behind your mean girl’s behavior.
    One is that she’s a good friend who’s feeling guilty about having had impure thoughts toward your man, however far they may be in the past. She thinks she’s doing the right thing by telling you, not realizing it’s making you feel like shit. Another is that, despite what you say about not being a threat, she’s super-insecure, and this is her lame-ass attempt at one-upmanship. Finally, she could have the hots for Carl and has either screwed him already or plans to do so in the future (Carl, of course, permitting).
    If I had to place my bets, I’d go with the insecurity explanation. Even though it’s sad that reliving past romantic conquests (and failed ones at that) is the only way this chick can feel like hot shit, there’s no reason you have to put up with it. Either have a talk with her and tell her what’s what, or put the relationship back on hold.
    As for old Carl, I think you two better have a talk. Relationship issues are like fish and Burning Man attendees — they start to stink after a few days. It’s not fair to ask for a play-by-play of every interaction they’ve ever had, but if he’s been less-than-forthcoming in the past, you have a right to ask for clarification on the exact nature of what went down. I’m betting it’s more benign than you think.


Dear Miss Information,
I’m a klutz. I also have a hobby that results in lots of cuts, bruises and weird injuries. Sometimes I do absent-minded things, like sit down in an anthill and not notice until I have tons of ants biting my ass. When I’m on a date and at the crucial makeout-to-sex transition point, I’m often faced with a dilemma: Do I allow things to proceed, and hope that he doesn’t notice my injuries? Should I alert him, and hope he laughs it off? Should I postpone things until I am healed? My gut says I should find someone who is amused, or at least unfazed, by my constant injury. But another part of me says, “It’s the first time with someone, maybe you should wait until you’re not bumpy.” What do you think? — Often Bitten, Possibly Shy


Dear Bitten,
    First of all, ten-point deduction for not telling Miss Information your hobby. You sound a little too sweet for SM, so I’m going to guess something more tame. Like juggling stingrays.
    Having been through a brief bout with a skin condition normally associated with the over-fifty set (fucking s-e-x-y, lemme tell ya), I can say from experience that there is no one "best" way to handle it. Sometimes you’ll want to be honest about what’s going on, particularly if you think this guy might be around for a while. How he deals (or doesn’t deal) is going to say a lot about his character. And don’t worry, there are a lot of guys who find the klutz thing très endearing. Wounded bird, etc. etc.
    Conversely, in some situations, it will feel like more of a pain in the ass to get into it, particularly if it’s just a casual makeout or vacation fling you’re never going to see again. Unless what you have is communicable, there’s no need to put your pussy on time-out. Just go with what feels good and try not to sustain any more injuries along the way.  


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©2005 Erin Bradley and Nerve.com