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 just got a part-time job, which is great, because I’m broke. My boss is extraordinarily hot and I’m dying to fuck him, but I’m worried it’ll mess things up. I haven’t had sex in weeks (a self-imposed dry spell, I’m trying to be less needy) and I’m getting desperate. Is there any way to make it work? — Lusty Admin. Assistant



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Dear Lusty Admin. Assistant,
    Fucking someone at the workplace is not the wisest idea. Fucking someone with the power to fire you only ups the idiocy ante.
    Lots of people choose to ignore this wisdom. Some go on to forge long-lasting relationships from what started as a quick hump in the supply closet. Others wind up with their hearts flayed open and a boot print on their ass, collecting unemployment.
    In short, it’s a gamble and you have to decide whether it’s worth it. In your case, I don’t think it is. You’re dependent on this gig financially and can ill afford an unexpected consequence like getting fired. You’re also trying to be “less needy” with men, and getting enmeshed in an uneven power dynamic will undermine that goal. Take a step outside yourself and look at where this is going. I think you’ll see some of your same old patterns recurring.
    If you’re really that horny, find another guy to scratch the itch. And if this is all going in one ear and out the other, at least wait until you’ve banked a few months rent before you hop into bed with your superior.



Dear Miss Information,
    I met a lovely woman whose online profile said she’s looking for a serious relationship. I know she’s not the girl for me in the long run, but I want to date her casually anyway. I sense she feels we could be a serious couple. At what point do I tell her I’m not feeling as committed to us as she is? Are we free to date other people until the topic comes up? — Normal Guy or Selfish Jerk?


Dear Normal Guy or Selfish Jerk,
    You’re not a selfish jerk. A selfish jerk wouldn’t even consider the question. He’d say he was seeking a long-term relationship because it would give him a better shot at getting laid. He’d probably include a picture of a three-legged puppy in his profile, too.
    You can’t wait for this topic to arise organically. It won’t. Daters are lily-livered by nature. We’ll spend hours talking about music, books and movies — anything to avoid the actual issue. Retaining your “normal guy who doesn’t jerk women around” designation means you have to grab the conversational bull by the horns. Hold on tight and follow this Miss Information All-Purpose Relationship-Talk Template:
    Step One: This is how I’m feeling (pause, wait for partner to share).
    Step Two: This is how I’d like our relationship to be different (pause, wait for partner to share).
    Step Three: This is how I think we can manage it going forward (pause, wait for partner to share).
    The key here is, you go first. If you open the conversation with, “So Suzy, where do you see this thing going?” it’ll be awkward when she pulls fabric swatches out of her purse. Tell her where you stand and let her react accordingly.
    No doubt she’ll want to know why she’s not cut out to be The One. Don’t tell her. It’s bad for her ego and you probably couldn’t explain it even if you want to. She might also want to know if you need more time. Don’t tell her you do if you don’t. I repeat: don’t tell her you do if you don’t.
    If she’s amenable to a non-exclusive relationship, adopt a “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy toward outside dates and break it off if you sense it’s fucking with her head. Not to be a pessimist, but it probably will.

Dear Miss Information,
    I’ve just started dating online. I meet men and we hit it off, exchanging numerous emails. Then, the moment of truth: they want my number. Do I give it to them or wait until we meet in person? — Ma Bell

Dear Ma Bell,
    Everyone has different ideas about this one. I don’t give out my number until after the first date. For me, it’s less of a safety precaution and more that I get nervous on the phone. I break out in a cold sweat just leaving a voicemail for an old friend.
    I suggest handling this on a case-by-case basis. If you live in a big city and are dependent on mass transit, you might want to be more liberal with the digits. Otherwise you’ll spend a lot of time waiting for dates who are late or never show. The same is true if you’re a busy single parent or have a boss who always dumps a shitpile of work on you five minutes before it’s time to leave.
    Remember those lectures your parents gave you about trusting your gut and not talking to strangers? Most of that still holds true today (well, except for that part about a “bad touch” — we all know how delicious those can be).  


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©2006 Erin Bradley and Nerve.com