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,

How do I tell my FWB that we need to put off hooking up because I’m on my period? He seems to have really bad timing in this regard. I love banging his brains out and I don’t want to lose an already-tenuous connection (he’s about to get more serious about someone — they’re not exclusive but I bet they will be soon) because he thinks I’m blowing him off. — Red State


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Dear Red State ,
"Hi FWB. Meeting up sounds lovely but it’s not a good time. Can we meet next Friday at eleven? My place or yours?" I know a scheduled booty call is a bit of an oxymoron, but getting specific like this is the best way to show someone you’re still into them and want to meet up. For my part, I’d probably just tell him I had "my monthly" or some other snotty old-school term, but I’m one of those brazen hussies who isn’t ashamed of the half a cup or so of blood that once a month makes its grand exit out of my vagina.
If he persists and sends you thirty texts right in a row I would go ahead and drop the p-bomb. Yeah, you might find it embarrassing saying something unsexy in front of someone you’re not emotionally intimate with, but you’re not getting laid anyway, so fuck it. In a couple of days he’ll forget about it and come calling.
Still can’t get the words out? Say something like "Sorry, I have cramps. I’m shoveling in Advil." Unless he knows you’re prone to charlie horses he should know what you’re talking about. Better still, fuck him while you’re on the rag. Once you do it a few times and realize his dick won’t fall off and your bedroom doesn’t turn into a horror-movie set, you’ll see it’s not as scary as it sounds.

 

Dear Miss Information,

My last three romantic relationships have been with three fairly different women. Age, appearance, career, likes, dislikes and so forth have been across the board. The one thing that’s similar among all of these women is that they have all been unavailable. Woman #1 just wanted to go out once or twice. We had a really awkward makeout session, and then she left the country for six months. Woman #2 waited until she was in bed with me to mention the long-term boyfriend whom she lives with. ("So that’s why she never picked up the phone on weekends.") Woman #3 lived at home with her parents, so we could never spend the night with each other.

I realize that I need to take responsibility for my pursuit of women who aren’t really interested. I’ve taken a break from dating, but now that I’m dipping my toes back into the dating pool, how do I make it clear from the beginning that I am looking for someone who’s single, able to see me and wants something more than an awkward hook-up? — Day-Late Dollar-Short

Dear Day-Late Dollar-Short,
"I realize that I need to take responsibility for going after women that aren’t really interested." High five, Day-Late Dollar-Short. You hit it right on the head. Then the hammer bounced back a skosh and grazed you in the nuts. Feels familiar, don’t it? Kinda like all this rejection. Hope you were wearing a cup.
While we’re on the subject of rejection, let’s take a look at what’s making you feel so cautious and vulnerable towards getting back into dating: You think these failed dalliances indicate these women’s lack of interest in you. The real cause is they’re just not available.
What does available mean? We all have our own definition. For you it sounds like "single," "free time," and "wants something ongoing" top the list of prerequisites. Sounds reasonable, but I think you can build this out a little more. The diversity of the women you’ve been dating strikes me as bit of a warning sign. While I don’t believe in confining yourself to a single, narrow type, when your dating resume includes everyone from an twenty-year-old bisexual fashion-design student to a married fifty-seven-year-old information systems manager living in Poland, I start to doubt your ability to adhere to your list of must-haves.
You may be the type who feels happy when he’s a relationship, blue and unfulfilled when he’s not. You grab on to every bit of affection that comes your way. The swoony falling-in-love part often precedes the critical thinking part, in which you determine whether or not the person is appropriate.
Of course, the only way to guarantee a person won’t mislead you is to forgo dating, stay indoors and water your plants in your underwear. That said, a few actions you can take online:

* Check only the box that says you want a serious relationship and/or dating, stay away from the ones advertising for a friend or hookup.

* Say you want a girlfriend. State it in your profile outright. There are creative ways to work it in. Example: For the "____ is sexy, ____ is sexier" question you could say something like "I Want Your Sex," is sexy. "I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend" is sexier.

* Read other people’s profiles carefully. Pay special attention to relationship status, location, age and kind of relationship desired.

As for that kooky, rapidly shrinking non-Internet world:

* Go to non-boozy establishments to meet people. Even a house party is better, because it’s a friend of a friend and there’s some connection.

* Drinking is a fine first-date activity, but try to pair it with something else. Where alcohol goes, false positives follow.

* Resist insta-familiarity. No spending the night on the second date. If you don’t want to be a one-night stand, don’t behave like one.

* Start out not wanting to like the other person. Wait for them to give you a reason to like them. I don’t recommend this for everyone, but in this case a negative bias is therapeutic.

* Ask questions. Be nosy. "Where do you live? Do you have roommates? Do you like your roommates? How did you meet him them?" If their roommate’s an ex, you can ferret that out with a question like, "How did you meet them?"

All of these are more hands-on ways of making it clear from the beginning that you’re looking for someone who’s not dicking around.

Why not just ask them that, Miss Info? Well, because that puts the responsibility on them, not you. You can get someone to promise something up front, but that won’t stop them from lying and acting confusing. Taking direct action is a much more empowering way to go.

Previous Miss Info

©2008 Erin Bradley and Nerve.com