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Dating Advice from . . . Bridesmaids

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Doree, 28
Author of The Panic Years


I’ve been hanging out with a guy for the past month, but we’ve never had an exclusivity talk. Now he’s calling me his girlfriend, even though we never agreed to it. Advice?
Most of my single friends wouldn’t just hold on to this dude, they’d hold onto him with rope. Be honest with him about your misgivings and see if the two of you can continue on a level you’re both comfortable with.

promotion

I had sex with a guy on the first date. Now I’d like to take it slow. How do I tactfully move us back to first base?
Your mixed messages will definitely leave him scratching his head. If he’s a decent person, though, he’ll be okay with your decision and welcome your sudden turn of chastity. But if he only followed up with you for booty, his reaction will be all you’ll need to see who you’re dealing with.

I just went on a first date, and from the conversation it’s clear she Googled me extensively. Should I pretend I didn’t notice, or should I say something?
The misreading of your date’s behavior reflects your own self-obsession, not her non-existent obsession with you. Almost everyone harmlessly Googles someone to gain insight and some innocuous info before a first meeting. It’s actually a good idea so you know that person is on the up-and-up.

Last summer I hooked up with a guy at my friend’s wedding and the sex was amazing. Would it be weird to find his email address and tell him?
Not weird, just unwelcome. If he felt even marginally the same way, he’d have gotten in touch with you already.

The girl I’ve been dating just told me she loves me. I’m not ready to say that yet, but I don’t want to lose her. What should I say?
Don’t waste this girl’s time — or your own. You should know if your feelings match hers, and if you can’t figure it out, you clearly don’t feel the same way. She might have different expectations for the relationship than you do, so clarify yours earlier rather than later. After she hears what you have to say, her unrequited love may not be much of a problem after all.

Andra, 30
www.iloveweddings.blogspot.com

I want to hook up at my cousin’s upcoming wedding. What’s the best way to make that known without seeming desperate?
Chances are your cousin already knows you’re single and/or desperate. I can pretty much guarantee she’s planning on setting you up at the "single but maybe a match" table.

I’ve been hanging out with a guy for the past month, but we’ve never had an exclusivity talk. Now he’s calling me his girlfriend, even though we never agreed to it. Advice?
You’ve been hanging out with a guy for the past month and would like to keep seeing him, but don’t want him to get the wrong idea? Get off your high horse and either acknowledge that you’re in a relationship, or acknowledge that you don’t like the guy enough. A month is long enough to make a firm decision.

My boyfriend always drops hints about a huge wedding ceremony, but I just want to swing by City Hall and fill out the paperwork. Are we doomed?
Don’t stress too much about this one. Usually in a marrying pair there is one person who is way more interested in the wedding process then the other. Normally it’s the girl, but whatever. Most marriages start out this way, so yours would be no different, even if the roles are reversed.

The girl I’ve been dating just told me she loves me. I’m not ready to say that yet, but I don’t want to lose her. What should I say?
Do not lie. Not in this case, my friend. The fact that you’re asking this question shows that you really do care about her, though, which is great. The best thing to do is to honestly tell her how you feel. Tell her she’s amazing and spectacular and funny and beautiful and everything else you feel — then tell her that you’re not yet ready to say "I love you." Quickly follow this up by explaining that because you respect her so much, you don’t want to say something you’re not yet sure of. Then dry her sad-but-happy tears and take her out for a really expensive dinner.

I had sex with a guy on the first date. Now I’d like to take it slow with him. How do I move us back to first base without making him think I’m weird?
He won’t think you’re weird, he’ll think you’re a cock-tease. Get your wording right, and don’t tell him right off the bat. Drag out the next date or two, make excuses ("I’m on my period" works well), and see if he sticks around. After your third date without sex, let him know that you feel a little silly about how you handled yourself on that first date, apologize profusely for leading him on, and ask if he’s okay with waiting just a little longer for a do-over.


Melissa, 32
www.veiledremarks.com

I want to hook up at my cousin’s upcoming wedding. What’s the best way to make that known without seeming desperate?
Arriving single at a wedding is like rubbing your body with a slab of raw meat and going for a jog through Cat Country at the zoo. I don’t think you need to worry too much about this one.

I had sex with a guy on the first date. Now that he’s called again, I’d like to take it slow. How do I bring us back to first base?
Tell him you won’t be a born-again virgin for just anybody, and in fact, only three other guys have been worth it.

I’ve never really wanted to get married, but my boyfriend always drops hints about a huge ceremony. What should I do?
Start introducing yourself as the Future Mrs. So and So. Sign up for registries when you hit Macy’s and Crate & Barrel. If he doesn’t freak and is actually into it, think of the mountains of free shit you’ll get after the huge ceremony.

My girlfriend keeps reading self-help books that tell her our relationship is all wrong. How do I get her to stop believing everything she reads and just accept us the way we are?
Bring home a stack of your own self-help books with titles like Hot Celibacy, and I Wouldn’t Leave Her If Not For This One Thing. Leave them discreetly, artfully fanned on her pillow.

The girl I’ve been dating just told me she loves me. I’m not ready to say that yet, but I don’t want to lose her. What should I say?
In your lifetime, you’ve already exaggerated the length of your penis, your love of opera and your desire to see a female in the White House. Why stop now?


Gwyndolyn, 27

I’ve been hanging out with a guy for the past month, but we’ve never had the exclusivity talk. Now he’s calling me his girlfriend, even though we never agreed to it. Advice?
Casually ask him if he’s seeing other people, wait for his response and tell him honestly that you are, or want to. Don’t lie — that’ll give you the kind of karma that will render you a perpetual bridesmaid.

I had sex with a guy on the first date. Now I’d like to take it slow with him. How do I move us back to first base?
Go on a date where it’s not convenient to scamper straight back to one of your places.

I just went on a first date, and from the conversation it’s clear she Googled me extensively. Should I pretend I didn’t notice, or should I say something?
If it’s super-specific or personal information I’d make a joke to make myself feel a little more in control. If she rolls with it, she’s probably cool.

I’ve been living with my girlfriend for three years. Now she says she wants to move out so we each have more space, but she wants to continue the relationship. What does this mean?
It means she’s trying to break up with you in stages as opposed to the rip-the-Band-Aid-off approach. Help her throw her stuff to the curb.

My girlfriend has long conversations with my mom on the phone, sometimes even closing the door or going outside so I can’t hear. What does this mean?
She’s planning an elaborate surprise birthday party for you, and you’ll be that jerk from the ’80s sitcom who ruins the whole thing because you’re so self-obsessed and insecure. Let it go.
 

Interviews by Anna Davies. Dating Advice From… appears on Thursdays. Have questions for the general public? Send them to sexadvicefrom@nerve.com.

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