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,

I fell in love with a boy in high school, but he was older than me and had a girlfriend so nothing happened. We met again in college, but he wanted a serious relationship while I wanted to just be crazy. He was heartbroken. Fast forward eleven years. He finds me on the web and gets in touch. He lives overseas and has a girlfriend of two years.

He was in town for a week. We saw each other a number of times and had sex once (which was great!). I had high hopes, but he says he wants both me and his girlfriend. I appreciate his honesty, but that isn’t what I want and I told him so. He’s coming back to town in a few weeks. Do you think I should see him (assuming no sex, of course)? Stateside Confused



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Dear Stateside Confused,
You’re going to fuck him if you see him. You know that, right? I can see you on instant messenger right now, chatting with your best friend:
Lil_Miss_Enabler891: so what’s w/the guy?
St8sideConfuzed: meeting @ Dark-N-Romantics. 7:30.
Lil_Miss_Enabler891: love that place! what are you wearing?
St8sideConfuzed: jeans I got last week, some kind of top
Lil_Miss_Enabler891: DUDE! ass jeans?
St8sideConfuzed: they’re not ass jeans
Lil_Miss_Enabler891: whatever. youre gettin some. those are HOT
St8sideConfuzed: shut up. nothing’s gonna happen
Lil_Miss_Enabler891: want to meet up later then? late dinner?
St8sideConfuzed: nah. gonna get in early. maybe go for a run.
CUT TO: Two weeks later. He’s back abroad, with his broad. You’re bummed out but trying not to be because you know all your friends are gonna say “I told you so,” and you don’t feel like hearing it. They’re all in smug couples. They don’t know shit about anything.
But here’s the straight poop: Getting involved in no-win relationships like this might be why you have no schmoopy to accompany you to colossal Swedish retail outlets. (BTW, huge herring recall over there. Watch out!)
Strike 1: He has a girlfriend.
Strike 2: He doesn’t want to dump her.
Strike 3: He actually says he doesn’t want to dump her. This is something cheaters rarely cop to, so you best believe the boy when he says it.
Is that enough strikes, or do you want me to continue?
Okay, fine. Here are two more:
Strike 4: The only thing he’s good for is a random screw.
Strike 5: You don’t want a random screw. A random screw will make you sad.
What? More? Stateside Confused, you’re killing me.
Strike 6: Cheating is shitty.
Lie and say you’re busy with work and you can’t see him. Watch the awesomest show in the history of TV, or go on a blind date instead.

 

Dear Miss Information,
I’m thirty years old. I’ve been best friends with this guy for over seventeen years now. He’s mentioned several different times that he loves and cares for me. But he’s afraid to start a relationship because he doesn’t want to hurt our friendship. He says that if anything ever happened to our friendship he would never forgive himself. I really care for him and love him as well. I want to be in a committed relationship with him. I told him that the best relationships are built on a solid friendship. I really think we could make it work. We have so much in common. We laugh and enjoy each other all the time. He already lives in my apartment. We have always been strictly platonic. What should I do? — Girl Looking for Answers



Dear Girl Looking for Answers,
Offer to move out. Whaaa? Why would I want to do that? Because it’ll give you guys a safe environment in which to make the platonic-to-romantic transition. And that’s what you ultimately want, isn’t it?
Look. People don’t move in together the same day they start dating, do they? If one of your friends did that, you’d call her a wackjob, right? When a relationship turns romantic, you get all sorts of new complications. Makes no difference how long you’re known each other, how well you get along. Stuff’s gonna happen. Not all of it bad, mind you. But with that fluffy pink ice-cream cloud come moments of tension and uncertainty. If you’re already all jacked up over losing your friendship, living together adds one more albatross. You can’t fall in love when you’re surrounded by albatrosses. It’s totally unromantic, not to mention stinky and uncomfortable.
Living separately will also change the way you relate to one another. You’re best friends and you live together. “Hi, Familiarity. Of course you know Sexual Tension. Wait, what’s that? You two have never met?"
I know not everyone can move out. But you can get out of the apartment more. Make new friends and stop tooling around the living room in that disgusting fleece ensemble with the hole in the butt. Once you’re not so enmeshed in each other’s lives, you may bond romantically.
All this comes with the huge (ahem, huge) caveat that Best Friend has to be interested in giving it a shot in the first place. If he isn’t, he’s either too paralyzed with fear or just not that attracted to you, both of which make it impossible to advance the relationship. It’s no fun to say, but you’re better off focusing your energies elsewhere.


Dear Miss Information,
Despite some misgivings, I recently hooked up with my newest roommate, and have proceeded to do so repeatedly. On one hand, I’ve been waiting to meet someone witty and charming like her. On the other hand, I have a very good relationship with my roommates, and I don’t want to ruin the harmony. While I’m not against having a relationship, being involved with a roommate seems risky. Should I just chill out and see what happens? Should I speak to her to clarify the situation? Do I put an end to it and hope the situation normalizes? — Playing With Fire



Dear Playing With Fire,
I don’t like the chill-out-and-wait approach. If you’re detecting an odd vibe, chances are she’s detecting an odd vibe, and the volatile roommate-on-roommate factor requires that you discuss it.
Talking Points for Awkward Roommate Sex Chat 2007:
1. Do you like what we’re doing? Do you want to keep doing it?
2. Is this going anywhere or is it just for kicks?
3. If it’s getting more serious, how might that affect the dynamic of the apartment?
4. If it’s just sex, do we have any rules regarding bringing other people over?
If you’ve come to the conclusion that it’s safer to end it and you’re still getting strong “come-get-me-big-boy” signals, do not do one of those “Oh, she’ll get the picture” phaseouts. It’s going to look weird if you’re having sex often and then all of a sudden your penis goes the way of Jimmy Hoffa. She’s going to notice it’s missing. The little guy put a stain on her sheets and it’s still using her bathroom. (BTW readers, ‘little guy’ isn’t a pejorative. I’ve seen pictures, and Playing With Fire is hung like an anaconda).
Anyway, the main point is keep her informed. Avoiding communication now leads to confrontation later. Best of luck on not getting burnt.

 


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©2007 Erin Bradley and Nerve.com