Dear Miss Information,
I stumbled across a compromising video of my ex on an amateur porn site. She was my first true love, and even though I have since married, that lost love will always linger. She is married too, and lives far away. I'm not in contact with her and don't plan on seeing her again for the sake of our marriages, closure, and my own sanity. I was shocked when I saw the video. She wasn't that sexually open-minded when I was with her! Obviously, part of my reaction was jealousy.
I have two questions: 1) How do I get over this?, and 2) Is there an obligation to anonymously or non-anonymously contact her in case she doesn't know that video is out there? — Beware the Power of Porn
Dear Beware the Power of Porn,
Stumbled? Really? Sorry, Chachi. Joanie calls foul. The Internet is as full of porn as the universe is full of stars. The chances of accidentally finding your ex amid the millions of thousands of wank options are slim to none. You were probably searching for her using a more deliberate method. Which is okay. We're all curious. But let's can it with the whoopsie and own up to our actions.
As for what you should do now: forget that the video exists, straight off. I'm all for porn, but jerking it to a video of someone who broke your heart isn't going to do much for your marriage or help you move on. What you need is a substitute. Scout around for something equally delicious and fucked-up. It's not like you don't have options.
But damn, Miss Info! It's like a boobie car accident. I can't stop watching! Fine then. Watch it. You'll lose interest eventually. Boners need variety. They can only subsist on one nutrient for so long.
Whether you give it up now or later, do not get caught. Your wife is not going to buy the "I was playing Boggle against the computer and the next thing I know…" ruse any more than I will. She'll feel hurt and jealous and creeped out. It's one thing to wack it to a random porn starlet, another to do it to someone you know. Even if you're not using it to get off, it's still going to be disturbing. And rightly so.
What to do about the video: tell me, is your ex over eighteen? Was anyone doing anything with children or animals? Does the video look and sound like it was consensual? Then don't worry about it. If something doesn't sit right and your conscience is really bugging you, go ahead and send her an anonymous email with a link to the site. No name, no commentary. Just a simple, "Hey, thought you might want to see this," is sufficient.
As for the jealousy aspect, all I can tell you is that people change. Years ago, I was anti-porn. It was a discussion with my sister on a Disney World tour bus that changed my mind, not the magic wang and brilliant sexual tutelage of some former lover. We're ready for new experiences when we're ready. I'm sure you're scads of fun in the sack, but it's not always about you, love.
Dear Miss Information,
I was madly in love, until I was dumped seventeen days ago. I felt like it came out of nowhere; since my ex dealt with depression, I didn't think his moodiness had anything to do with "us." I'm not over him. I fantasize about winning his love and being in a relationship with him again.
Here's where I fucked up: in the meantime, I slept with a virgin who now wants to show me off to his friends. I'm not ready to have a new boyfriend, but he said he feels "dishonest" if he can't put his arm around me in public. I liked spending time with him, but was clear from the first day we went out that I was only interested in a platonic relationship. I thought that I was safe from stumbling into couplehood, since I cried about my ex to him and told him flat-out that I wasn't not very attracted to him because he resembles a catfish. But he has many redeeming qualities and makes me feel sexy. I know I slept with him in a lapse of both judgment and self-esteem. Should I be the asshole who doesn't want to hang out after sex? I was stupid. — Stupid Stupid Stupid
Dear Stupid Stupid Stupid,
You know who else looks like a catfish? Johnny Depp, though something tells me I'm alone on this one. Whiskery bottom-feeder or no, it's time to cut bait. You are less than a month out of a relationship, one where you got dumped on your ass, out of the blue and are in no position to be venturing out again in high heels and party frocks.
The evidence? Your choices. Why would you sleep with a virgin when you don't want to be in a relationship? Why would you sleep with someone who makes you feel sexy when you don't find him sexy? It's like throwing a sushi dinner and buying all your ingredients at the dollar store. "I used mostly non-dented cans of Molly's Mock Artificial Krab and Taystee Boy Tuna. I didn't mean for anyone to projectile vomit."
In fairness, a sensible person doesn't hang around while his crush talks about someone else. Nor does he hand over his virginity to someone who compares him to a fish. You may be saying one thing and doing another, but he's just as guilty for ignoring your obvious signals. Why did he do it? Because he really, really likes you. Love makes people dopes like that, just like it's making it hard for you to dump Virgin Boy: you need the ego boost he provides because you're still sprung on your ex.
But people aren't tools. (Except maybe Tea Party members and anyone with the last name Lohan.) We can't use them for our purposes and then discard them, even if they're offering themselves up like a box of Kleenex. Ovary up and dump him. That's not being an asshole. To the contrary, selfishly trying to avoid a confrontation is being an asshole. Sit him down for a talk, apologize for leading him on, and then give those words weight by ending the daily hangouts. Believe it or not, I could see this blossoming into a beautiful booty-call situation if you can both muster up some willpower and let it rest for awhile.
Dear Miss Information,
I just started dating this really great guy. One problem: he sort of likes Jesus. I'm Jewish, which he knows and seems to have no problem with. I just don't know if I can date someone who says they want to meet Jesus some day (although it's more of a "ha ha, Jesus seems cool" type of thing). Frankly, I think a lot of Christianity is bullshit, and I'm more of a cultural Jew than anything. He's also really into professional dancing, which I am terrible at and don't particularly enjoy. The Jesus stuff on top of that might be a dealbreaker. Am I being too harsh? — A
Harsh? Do you know how many relationships are broken up each year by professional dancing? And that's not even counting the number of women (and perhaps, men) wooed away by Animal-Planet-Pet-Star-emcee-cum-ABC-danseur-extraordinaire Mario Lopez.
I appreciate your wanting to be open-minded and objective. Now stop. This is dating. You are not hearing death-row cases. You're not writing public policy. You have a right to impose unfair standards and make irrational judgments. Your romantic happiness depends on it.
If you 100% for-sure gut-level liked him, you'd be more tolerant of the Jesus stuff. You might even let yourself be talked into the waking nightmare called salsa lessons. Six months from now you'll be carping at him, but now's the time to be all swoony and disgusting. You might complain a little in front of your single friends to save face, but no one is buying it.
Still unsure? Here's a good litmus test. I got it from my sister a long time ago, and I still use it. Imagine yourself at a party. It's filled with all your favorite people. People you look up to. Good human beings. Now imagine you have to give a speech on why this guy is the coolest person in the room. Look down at the index card. Are you at a loss for bullet points? Do you have bullet points but don't feel like you could expound on them? If so, worry. Admiration is tied to respect. Respect is tied to empathy. Empathy is tied to being and staying in love. If a little voice in the back of your head says, "He's a cheeseball!" listen to it, no matter how mean and petty. It's an indicator of a more significant feeling.