Advice

Miss Information

Pin it


 

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


Dear Miss Information,
My “boyfriend” and I met online and have been dating for five months. After the first month, I asked him to be exclusive. He said he wasn’t ready. Since then, we’ve spent almost every day/night together (like six out of seven days a week). We’ve had a few talks since then — most recently, a month ago — about whether or not to be exclusive. He still says he’s not ready, but he can’t possibly be dating anyone else seriously. I’m ready. All the other guys I’ve been dating in an attempt not to get too attached to him just make me realize how amazing he is. Do I give him an ultimatum and hope that he chooses to commit, rather than lose me? Or do I continue to wait and hope he comes around? Should I keep bringing it up every month or so, as I have been? — Non-Exclusive and Tormented


promotion

Dear Tormented,
Despite my folks shelling out upwards of ten grand a year on tuition, I managed to sleep through most of college economics. One thing I did pick up was the concept of cost/benefit ratio and the impact it has on making decisions. There was also something about guns and butter, but I’d advise you to stay away from both at this point in your relationship.
There will come a time, Tormented, when the emotional costs of waiting for your guy to stop dicking around will outweigh the benefits of being with him. And that’s when you’ll know it’s time to break things off for good. Until then, you have a few choices. If you’re sure he’s not seeing anyone seriously (and using protection in the sack) you can let up on the commitment stuff and relax over what’s essentially a monogamous relationship without the formal designation.
Since that would never work for a neurotic like me, you can also try having a talk with him to clarify his fears. What does he think he’ll be missing out on by making a commitment? How does he think things will change? I know you guys have discussed it before, but this time make it crystal clear how much this is troubling you and causing you to re-evaluate the relationship. Tell him it’s not about threats and ultimatums, and more about self-protection. Why should you invest any more emotionally in something with an unsure outcome? If he’s the kickass guy you say he is, he’ll understand.



Dear Miss Information,
I’m that most pathetic and contemptible of all creatures, a married guy looking. For various reasons, the thing with the frigid and demanding wife ain’t gonna work out, and for two very specific and adorable eight- and ten-year-old reasons, I can’t ditch the witch and move on. I’ve already dealt with the “life sentence of involuntary celibacy” issue with some success, but once or twice a year just ain’t enough.
I’ve got this one soccer mom with big brown eyes in my gunsights. I want her to know I’m not her soulmate, but I’ll eat her five times tonight and I’m just warming up. How do I let the girl know I’ll do her with the ravenous enthusiasm of a prisoner released, and still be a gentleman at the same time? — Headed for Hell

Dear Hellboy,
Most gentlemen I know don’t refer to the mother of their children as a "witch" and eat strange pussy while their wife and kids are away. Sorry to sound so condemning, but if you’re looking for some sort of go-ahead, you’ve come to the wrong place. Just because I talk dirty doesn’t mean I advocate dirtbag behavior.
You’re in a sexless marriage, and that sucks. But there are alternatives. Divorce is one of them. But since you can’t bear the thought of exposing your kids to a loving and functional relationship (i.e., any relationship other than the one you’re in now), let’s take a look at what else is out there. There’s cheating, which can lead to awesome things like sexually transmitted diseases and unplanned pregnancy. These risks seem small in comparison to the thoroughly and indelibly fucked-up relationships you’ll have with your wife and kids once they find out (and they will if you don’t knock it off). How’s the thought of your eight-year-old flunking out of school and winding up on anti-depressants as a boner killer?
There’s one more possibility — working it out with your wife. This can take a number of forms, from therapy (couple, individual, or both) to some sort of ‘arrangement’ with your wife, whereby your extra-marital activities are mutually agreed upon and regulated. I’m full of shit, you say? The wife will never go for it? Well, have you ever asked? If she dislikes sex as much you say, she may look at it as a welcome relief. Of course, you still run some of the same risks as cheating (disease, pregnancy, etc.), but the emotional stakes are much lower.
Whatever you wind up doing, try to remember that you always have options. Lying to people you love doesn’t have to be one of them.



Dear Miss Information,
I want to get back with my ex. We’re both home from college and staying with our parents for the summer. We dated for three months a few years ago and broke up because he was leaving for college. How can I get back together with him with the understanding that I don’t want to continue once school starts up again? I can’t fuck this up too badly, because our parents are friends. — Lusting for the Ex


Dear Lusting,
In addition to teaching us new ways to wear pajamas in public and fashion bongs out of fruit, college kids also make our jobs easy. Like mine. Let’s do a little Summer Sluttin’ 101, shall we? First, assess the situation. Go on a "just friends" date and see if he’s still available and hasn’t gotten a girlfriend, discovered he’s gay or joined the clergy. Next, make your move while making it clear you’re only up for a short-term fling. This is always awkward and can ruin that Danny-and-Sandy-in-Grease-type reunion, but it’s summer. You’ve got no time to waste worrying about how and when you’ll eventually break it off. It’s better to set his expectations from the start.
If he’s game, have at it, but keep it low-key around the folks. You don’t have to hide your relationship (pretty hard, since you’re using their toilet), but there’s bound to be a bunch of "awww…don’t they look cute" type stuff, and you don’t want to give them false hopes. If he shows mixed feelings or proposes marriage during your first week back, it’s probably best to interview other candidates for a three-month temp. You don’t want to mess with his head and take a bunch of ex-boyfriend baggage back to school. Your room is small enough.
 

Previous Miss Info

©2005 Erin Bradley and Nerve.com