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 met a guy online last summer. He was in a long-distance relationship, but eventually his girlfriend left him. We spend six nights a week together &#8212 he even has a key to my house &#8212 and we have great sex. I’m thirty-one, and I want a committed relationship, but he says he can’t be monogamous because he’s still in love with his ex. Will he ever come around, or am I wasting my time? &#8212 Uncertain Someone



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Dear Uncertain Someone,
    Memo to all thirty-something singles: Getting older is supposed to mean getting wiser, not getting more willing to put up with stupid shit. You know as well as I do that it would take an act of God to bring this man around. I’m not sure his aversion to commitment has anything to do with his ex. I think he enjoys the wide berth his bachelorhood gives him. He gets all the benefits of a steady girlfriend (consistent sex, emotional coddling and someone to tell him those shoes look dumb with white socks) while remaining free to park his manhood in a different vagina every night.
    This guy is the worst not-boyfriend ever, and I want you to cancel his contract. I know you’re going to miss him, and I know you’re going to be sad. But being a grownup means making some tough decisions. Do you settle for an unstable situation that offers temporary emotional fulfillment, the boyfriend equivalent of junk food? Or do you go on a bunch of first dates in order to find someone healthier? I hate carrot sticks as much as anyone, but I know which decision I’d make. Make a list of the qualities you want in a long-term partner before you go out with anyone else. Don’t accept someone who doesn’t fit.



Dear Miss Information,
     My boyfriend always offers to buy me drinks. I say no because I know how little he makes, and I believe women should pay their own way. Meanwhile, a female friend of his lets him pay for her drinks — and consistently loan her money for rent! She pays him back, but in the meantime he’s strapped. Is there anything I can say to her? &#8212 Seething in Secret


Dear Seething in Secret,
     Yeah, you can tell this chick to find a new place to do her banking. Your boyfriend isn’t a savings and loan. There’s no lollipop or free toaster.
    Actually, your boyfriend’s the one who needs the lecture. The girl sucks, but that’s an extraneous issue. What we’re talking about is financial responsibility. Is this something you can change about him? I wouldn’t bet the farm. Irresponsible spenders are stubborn. They go on the defensive whenever there’s a question about their fiscal affairs ("Honey, why did you spend the rent check on pay-per-view fights?"). The rebelliousness makes sense in a lot of ways. Money is an emotional issue. We’ve come a long way since having to beg Mom and Dad for spare change. Few of us want to give that control back, even if it’s for our own good.
    One thing you can do is help him get a clear picture of how it’s affecting you as a couple: It limits what you can do on dates. There’s no money for spontaneous splurges or impromptu trips. You fight more because he’s worried about bills. Keep your grievances focused on the bigger issue (his financial security) and not the minutiae (whom he buys cocktails for and when). You might also want to let him buy you a round. It’ll help ease your apparent jealousy toward his female friend, and there’s no need to make yourself a martyr. I swear on my NOW membership it won’t ruin your feminist cred.

Dear Miss Information,
    My girlfriend keeps expressing an interest in watching porn with me. I have a lackluster collection, and I’d like to find something girlfriend-friendly for her. Might you have some suggestions? &#8212 Sex, Sex and Videotape

Dear Sex, Sex and Videotape,
    I’m hesitant to recommend specific titles or sites for two reasons. One, not all women like the same stuff. I have girlfriends who like to watch gangbangs and others who can’t tolerate anything more than late-night-cable "erotica." It’s more about individual preference than a gender divide. Two, half the fun is discovering what she likes. Why waste hours of (albeit, enjoyable) research only to present her with a DVD that goes over like a lead balloon? If she knows you went to the extra mile to pick it out, she might feel compelled to watch even though it doesn’t turn her on. You don’t want to sour her on adult video at this critical juncture.
    The next time’s she’s feeling horny and relaxed, tell her what’s been on your dirty little mind. Then go online together and do some searches based on fetishes she’s shared with you in the past. This is no time to be a cheapskate. Yes, I know you can find stuff for free. We all can. But fighting off viruses and penis pill pop-up ads is the epitome of unclassy. HotMovies.com offers a huge selection, and the price is a penny-pinching perv’s wet dream.
    Whenever possible, let your girlfriend take the lead. You might also want to do your video shopping in the adult section of a regular video store. There’s something really hot about going behind the curtain into that little forbidden room. Plus, you get to play grab-ass as you look at all the covers. On vacation is another option. Rent an adult film from your hotel room. The exotic location and new furniture possibilities make for a stellar first-time experience.  


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©2006 Erin Bradley and Nerve.com