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’m in a conundrum. Three weeks ago I went on a first date I was set up with through a mutual friend. We hit it off immediately and have been dating since. We’ve admitted that we’re not each other’s type, but so far we find our differences refreshing. But as of our last (otherwise great) date I discovered a difference that I find much more disturbing than refreshing. He is pro-life. I hold a BA in Women’s Studies, am employed at a family-planning agency, and have marched in pro-choice demonstrations. It’s one of the things I’m most passionate about.
I really think this guy is relationship material. He brings me flowers, opens car doors and makes breakfast in bed. He’s successful, smart and social. We haven’t had intercourse yet, and some fanatical part of me wants to withhold sex to show that I think he’s a hypocrite. We have amazing sexual chemistry, and it’d be a shame to end it here. But do I have a choice? — Sleeping With the Enemy



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Dear Sleeping With the Enemy,
A pro-choicer asking me if she has a choice. How’s that for irony? It’s like a pro-lifer telling me to ‘Get a life’ or a gay saying ‘Stop being so gay’ all the time.
People you click with are hard to find. It’s limiting and naive to demand they share your politics. But this isn’t some esoteric debate. Job and life’s work notwithstanding, you’re much more likely to get knocked up than you are to have a hands-on role in North Korea’s nuclear disarmament.
I know it’s early to worry about that, but maybe not. I would have bet on the Immaculate Conception before I’d bet on Nicole Richie, but seeing her talking to Diane Sawyer in size zero maternity wear, I now believe anything’s possible. (Also, that Good Charlotte guy looks like he just crawled out of a grave and is very, very frightening.)
It’s good that you’re withholding sex, even if the reasoning is passive-aggressive. We know you’re not going to change his mind (at least, in any sort of immediate fashion), so it’s important that you know his position on this and he know yours. Sometimes politics sync with the personal, other times they don’t. He might be pro-life in general, but pro-choice when it’s his partner who’s peeing on the stick and looking for the little blue lines.
Perhaps more important than his stance on reproduction are the reasons behind it. Even if you don’t agree with them, do they make some degree of sense? Are they evenhanded and well-thought-out? When you debate the issue, does he acknowledge your point of view or does he act shitty and invalidating?
As someone who used to date a pro-lifer, I do believe a mixed relationship like this is possible. But I’m not you. You’re you. So you decide.

 

Dear Miss Information,
I’ve been having threesomes with two women I met online. I only know them online, but they’re friends and a long time ago used to date each other. They’re both hot, but one (“Sarah”) is much hotter than the other (“Michelle”). I’ve been fantasizing about fucking Sarah one-on-one when Michelle’s not around. But Michelle is jealous. She says she and Sarah are a matched set and you can’t have one without the other. Michelle is married; Sarah and I are not. I think Michelle’s demands are immature and stupid. Can you dictate who fucks whom when you’re cheating on your husband? — Wanting



Dear Wanting,
Yes, you can. Michelle and Sarah knew each other before they knew you, and you need to honor that prior relationship. Kinkiness doesn’t equate loosey-goosey boundaries and morals. If Sarah wants to fuck you that bad, let her approach Michelle and hash it out. She may be more receptive if the request is coming from a female she’s known a while.


Dear Miss Information,
I think I have a pretty good online-dating profile — wittier than some, with a splash of sincerity thrown in — and I think I did a decent job of responding to this one particular girl’s profile. I sent her a short-but-sweet email (my philosophy: let the profile do the heavy lifting, not the email) but I never heard back. Now, how can I approach her again? Is it worth it? If we were in a bar, I’d take another shot, make a joke, who knows, maybe her friends would say, "He’s cute, go talk to him." But when you’re online, it’s a little harder not to look like a psycho who doesn’t want to take no for an answer. Any thoughts? P.S. I sat next to you at a bar in the East Village and almost said hello, but decided against it. — Second Time Around



Dear Second Time Around,
If any of you readers see me out and about and want to say hello, please do so. The only exceptions would be if I’m at the cineplex, paying $11.50 to see something I’m already 99.9% certain will be loathsome and awful. I’d like to take this opportunity to publicly apologize, to my sister (whom I dragged kicking and screaming), Asian-Americans, the gay community, feminists and anyone who appreciates good comedy. My only excuses are an insatiable lust for popcorn and poor impulse control.
I don’t see anything wrong with contacting a person a second time if you send them a message and they don’t respond. More likely than not, they got your message and aren’t responding because they’re not interested. But fuck it. Doesn’t hurt to try. People go on vacation, get in relationships, emails get lost. The only pain you might feel is in your wallet. Don’t know about you, but I’d rather spend twice the dough trying to contact someone I really like than the same amount on two people I’m only halfway interested in.
Second contacts should be short and sweet, like you said. Two or three lines should do it. Start with a brief acknowledgement of the previous attempt at contact, lest you look like a pussy spammer who contacts so many zillions of women a day he just plum forgot. Don’t do it in a way that’s guilt-mongering or accusatory. Be upbeat and casual, the same kind of restrained exuberance you’d display in a thank-you letter, post job interview.
"Hi, what’s up? It’s actually my second time contacting you. Sorry if you got the message and aren’t interested. You seemed so funny and cool I just thought I’d give it another try."
Don’t offer to go out as friends, and don’t mention any recent changes in her profile. The second one is stalker, the first is too sad puppy.
If she doesn’t write back, oh well. You tried. Your online dating meet-cute ends here, but there’s always the opportunity for future stories. I just had a guy contact me after not responding for two months. Readers, what do you think I should do about it?

 


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