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 few months ago, I posted a personals profile. Hoping to find the right woman, I thought it was best to be honest about myself. In one line of the profile, I revealed that I have some nerve damage and walk with a limp. (I didn’t go into gory details; my disability is an integral part of who I am, but it doesn’t define me.) Unfortunately, I didn’t get many responses. Now I’m thinking about removing that line. However, I still intend to disclose this information before meeting anyone face-to-face. That would accomplish two things: one, I would eliminate a subset of people who fixate on the disabled, and two, I would possibly connect with someone who might otherwise have moved on after reading that line. Would I be doing the right thing? — Guy With a Limp


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Dear Guy,
Your reasons for keeping the information in your profile (being open and honest, not wanting to pull a fast one on anybody) are just as sound as those for leaving it out (weeding out fetish folk, not being judged before you’ve had a fair shot). They also break down pretty evenly between protecting you (leaving it out) vs. protecting your dates (leaving it in). Both sides are relatively equal, karma-wise.
    Dating is all about trial and error. Because you’re not having much success, the time is right to try a new approach. Telling dates before you meet them is a good compromise between baring all in your profile and a first-date sneak attack. It doesn’t cross over into entrapment. If these chicks don’t have the gumption to a) send an email that says “thanks, but no thanks," b) make up some creative excuse why they can’t make it, or c) disappear into the Ethernet, then they need to stay out of the dating pool until they can grow a set.
    Bottom line: we all have our liabilities — physically, emotionally, and otherwise. Just because yours is more external than others doesn’t mean you always have to operate in self-sacrifice mode. Try leaving that line out; see what happens. You can always switch back if it doesn’t work. Good luck, and let me know how it goes.


Dear Miss Information,
My boyfriend and I knew each other for four years before we started dating. One night, out of horniness and boredom, I decided to do him. Now we’ve been together for five months. Unfortunately, he’s not exactly what I’m looking for, and I think it’s time to go our separate ways. I don’t want to break his heart, and I still want to be friends with benefits. I’d like to stay with him until I find someone else, then break it off. Would that be evil? If so, how could I break it off but still have sex with him whenever I please? — Confused but Horny

Dear Confused,
It’s too bad there isn’t some sort of national fuck-friend network, because there never seems to be two of you in the same relationship at the same time. There’s always one person who wants more and one person who wants less. One person’s taking things lightly, the other’s carving Morrissey lyrics into their arm with the lid of a fruit-cocktail can.
     Yes, staying with him until you find someone else is kind of evil. He’s better off without your pity pussy, and he’s going to sense you’re phoning it in sooner or later. As for continuing to have casual sex — the most you can do is ask. Whether you’re going to get a mature, level-headed answer from someone who’s just been dumped on their ass is another story. He could say, "Sure, it’s cool, baby," then slip back into boyfriend mode before the come stains are dry.
    And that’s not necessarily his fault. Sex and emotions are pretty closely connected for most, and it’s sending a pretty mixed message to say, "Let’s break up but still fuck, mmmmkay?" Unless you value the sex far more than your friendship (which is possible — Miss Info ain’t mad at ya), I would think twice before talking to him about the no-strings-attached thing. It might be hard to keep your hands off him in the short term, but it’s a lot less tricky than going back to where you guys were five months ago. Trust me on this one.


Dear Miss Information,
Eighteen months ago, I started hooking up with a co-worker. Also in the picture was a guy she had started talking to about a month before. Even though he called many times while we hung out and told her he loved her, she told me they had a mutual understanding not to be exclusive. I kept a level head because she disclosed everything about the situation.
    Even with all this baggage, I continued to pursue a relationship with her, even though she said she didn’t want one. But we would always go out for drinks after work and wind up in bed. After a while, I convinced her to break up with the Irish bloke, but he suddenly flew to America and showed up at her doorstep, and she took him in for a week. Hurt, I told her not to talk to me until he left.
    Once he was out of the picture, I tried to break it off. But we still worked together and continued to sneak off at lunch for sexual rendezvous. Eventually, I couldn’t do it anymore. Now she has a new boyfriend. In the last six months, I’ve had a number of one-night stands and some dates, but the more I think about my work buddy, the more I appreciate her. I’m thinking of giving her the whole “I can’t stop thinking about you/let’s give this a shot/all cards on the table” speech. It was really me who ended things in the first place. But if I do that, I would be extremely vulnerable with someone I have to see every day. Should I keep my feelings in the bag and wait to see if she breaks up with her boyfriend? — Screwed Over by an Irishman


Dear Screwed Over,
Blame the Irish for giving us sanctimonious shitheads like Bono. Don’t blame them for a year-and-a-half of fucked-up behavior between you and your workmate. Here are a few simple truths about this complicated mess. This girl may like you — and love humping your brains out — but that doesn’t mean she’ll ever get serious about you. You’ve given her every opportunity to have you as her boyfriend (not to mention you’ve put up with enormous amounts of shit), yet she still keeps ducking out of a relationship.
    Why? For whatever reason, she’s doesn’t think you’re "the one." It’s not timing, it’s not another guy, it’s not anything but the way she feels about you. And that is, “He’s nice for sex. He’s good for making me feel secure when I need it. But he’s not boyfriend material.” Yes, technically you broke things off, but who the fuck are we kidding? It’s six months later. She’s still using your affections to make her feel wanted, and you’re still hanging around like a bottom feeder, hoping to catch some scraps. Keep your feelings in the bag, dude. I’m sorry, but she’s already told you that more than once.
 

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