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:
    A friend of mine who lives in another city recently came to town with a guy she’s been dating. They stayed at my place for a few days. He’s since moved here but the two of them are still dating long distance. Recently, homeboy responded to an anonymous personals ad I posted on the internet, obviously not realizing who I am. Do I call him out on it? Do I tell my friend? I don’t want to get thrown on double-secret probation for breaking a rule of female friendship. — Hometown Girl


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Dear Hometown Girl,
    You’d be surprised how often stuff like this happens with online dating. I once got solicited by a guy whom I had actually had a brief fling with a few years before. Turns out I had a different dye job and he didn’t recognize me. He also smoked a lot of grass.
    In a fucked-up way, it’s sort of sweet that he contacted you. If you’re anything at all like your friend, it might mean his taste in women is fairly consistent and he’s not out to stick his dick in anything with a pulse and a purse. What isn’t sweet is the possibility that he’s a two-timing suckwad. Are these two exclusive? If they are, you owe it to your girl to tell her.
    If they’re seeing other people, however, I would keep my mouth shut and ignore his e-mail. The only exception is if she’s one of your bestest friends — the kind who can name the first guy who felt you up in eighth grade. Then you’re obligated to tell her. But don’t make a federal case out of it. Say something like, "Oh, by the way, So-and-So responded to my profile but I don’t think he knew it was me. I didn’t write back but I just wanted you to know."
    If you make a huge deal out of it, she’s going to make it a huge deal out of it, and then you’ve got a whole lot of people making a huge deal over something that’s not really a big deal at all. Let me know how it goes.
 

Dear Miss Information,
    I live with my boyfriend in an apartment with pretty thin walls. Recently, I’ve heard heard him masturbating while I’m in the next room. Although I have no issues with masturbation, I wait until he leaves to pleasure myself. If I get horny while he’s around, I just jump on him. It’s not like our sex life is dwindling — we still do it about five times a week (some weeks are better than others, admittedly). I’m just curious why this is making me feel so weird. Is this something I can approach him about, or should I just distract myself when I hear him wanking? It would be nice if he’d do something to make it a little more inconspicuous. — Missing the Action

Dear Missing the Action,
    Unlike that creepy guy on the F train, many people are brought up to believe that masturbation should happen in private. A fine idea when you’re thirteen and alone with your Samantha Fox poster, but difficult to maintain when you’re pushing thirty and sharing a studio.
    I think you’re uncomfortable because you believe he’s being disrespectful by not hiding his habit. However, keep in mind that what constitutes acceptable roommate behavior varies from person to person, and a lot of times it makes zero fucking sense. For instance, I’ll laugh if you fart in front of me, but whistle and you’re a dead man. What’s important is that you guys communicate and respect each other’s boundaries. Just as your boyfriend has a God-given right to beat off in his own shower, you have a right not to hear it.
    The deeper, underlying reason you’re weirded out probably has to do with insecurity. Honey, trust me — he’s wacking it because it’s a quick and easy way to get off, not because he finds you gross and undesirable. Sometimes we humans feel like being a little lazy and selfish about our orgasms, and that’s okay. Just because we’re with a partner doesn’t mean they’re entitled to 100% of our sexuality twenty-four hours a day.
    Politely ask him if he’d mind doing something to mask the noise. Don’t shame and don’t blame. By the way, have you considered that maybe he wants you to hear him? Try joining him in the shower the next time he’s moaning and groaning and see if things get dirty.

Dear Miss Information,
    I’m a twenty-one-year-old guy with a major problem finding people I can actually stand to be around, much less date. These girls are all boring and I just can’t get excited about them for one reason or another. I don’t see any purpose in trying to have a relationship with someone I’m not all that into. Is it normal to be that picky, or am I really just that antisocial? — It’s Not Me, It’s You

Dear It’s Not Me,
    Welcome to dating, sonny. You pretty much just described the plight of every single person out there. I would tell you there’s any solution, but if there were one, I’d be out of a job. You’ve just got to keep dating and take a break when it gets to be too much. There will eventually be someone who blows your hair back, if only for a little bit. Then it’ll all go to shit and the cycle will begin anew, like some fucked-up moth’s metamorphosis. The upside is that it’s almost always better to be slightly unhappy and alone than coupled and miserable. All your decisions are your own, and you can hit the snooze button as many times as you want with no one bitching.
Readers: speaking of which, what are some of your favorite only-when-I’m-single behaviors? Leave ’em in the feedback section and show It’s Not Me why it’s all worth it.
   

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©2005 Erin Bradley and Nerve.com