Tuesday, March 31, 2009
My "powerhouse" is truly smoked this week from doing too many pilates. So tired am I , that I am passing off this week's advice column to Special Guest Michelle Tea, author of The Chelsea Whistle, Valencia, and Rent Girl.
You can find Michelle and myself on the Sister Spit European Tour this September, or as she traverses the U.S. in October!
In the meantime, I'll try to do fewer "Seal Puppy" exercises next week, so that my brain will be functioning to answer your queries.
When I married my husband last year I was pregnant and he promised, promised, promised me that he would quite smoking weed once baby was born... He did manage to for a bit, but baby rearing is kind of stressful and the sobriety didn't stick. Whenever I mention that his smoking bugs me he gets very angry and yells and attacks my personal flaws (like that I leave dishes in the sink, don't take the trash out ever and generally do not keep the house clean enough). I sometimes try to avoid bringing things up b/c of this reaction, but baby is getting bigger and she loves daddy and wants to do/say/act just like him and this really concerns me b/c there is a strong family history of substance abuse on his side of the family. Do you have any ideas on how to proceed, when hubby doesn't want to spend any $$ on Marriage Counseling?
Dear Sober Wifey,
There is a twelve-step program for people whose partners won't go to a
twleve-step program. It's called Al-Anon. Check it out! It's
recommended that people go to like six different al-anon meetings in a
close time span, because different meetings have different vibes so you
should observe out a few before you make any conclusions. Like, some
al-anon meetings recite the serenity plan everytime someone sneezes,
and have very tight, controlled, humorless vibes. Maybe you won't like
that one. Others have super wise, deep and helpful vibes, and some have
vibes (those ones tend to have lots of members who are also alcoholics
and/or gay men). Basically, you go to al-anon and get a waaaaaaaaay
better practical understanding of how to deal with the fact that you
can't control your husband's pot smoking and nothing you can do or say
will ever make him stop, because he's an addict, and addicts only get
sober on their own time, if they ever get sober at all. Basically,
addicts HATE when you sort of point out that oh maybe they are um
addicts, and pot addicts are among the worst because so many people are
in denial about the fact that pot is a drug and potheads are drug
addicts and that it has an affect on the quality of their lives and the
lives of the people close to them. But your happiness doesn't need to
l tied up in his bong! Sit in on some al-anon meetings, raise your
hand as a newcomer, try not to barf in your mouth when everyone holds
hands and says the Unity Prayer, and really just listen to what
everyone talks about. If you hear things that make sense — and I am
pretty sure you will — hone in on someone who seems especially
excellent, like they have a handle on life and speak about it in a
style you can relate to, and ask them to be your sponsor! That's when
shit gets wicked fun. Truly. Al-anon and twelve step programs in
general are magical little cauldrons of good vibes and positive
intention where individuals learn about their patterns and how to take
responsibility for their own happiness. Very great things happen. Good
luck! It will be so awesome for your kid to be raised by a mom in
Though damaging as a drug-addled father may be, in this case (as he is a Good Dad) it seems to me less damaging than a divorce on the psyche of your young child. Listen to Michelle, for she is good and wise.
I have been making lots of stuffed animals lately, which you can find in my Etsy shop. All creatures are handmade at home whilst listening to the radio or watching The Amazing Race.
Monday, March 23, 2009
A little over two years ago I dated a woman whom i fell very much in love with. I told her this after 7 months of dating, and she did not return the sentiment (but i didn't need her to right then). 3 weeks later she went out of town, and upon her return, told me that she couldn't be in "a couple", and to give her some time to think. After a month of waiting passed (in which I felt like i was dying), I felt I had to break up with her. I never cried so much in my life.
We didn't see each other for a few months, during which time I started dating someone else, whom I broke up with after 6 months , telling her I was still in love with my ex. That night i went over to my aforementioned ex girlfriend's house and slept in her bed. We didn't do anything, but it felt like a really strong painkiller.
She told me that she was going to therapy and was going through her childhood (which was really traumatic and involved abandonment issues, having to act as a parent after her dad ditched, and her sister being molested) , and felt like she was making progress. I asked her if she ever thought we'd date again. She said she didn't know.
It has been a year and a half and throughout all the flings and attempts at romance with other people, I have never been able to get her out of my head.
So... you are now like... what the fuck is this guy's question?
1. How can I let her go on with her life, but at the same time let her know I'm always here for her without seeming too pathetic?
2. I got invited to her sister's wedding.
At the wedding how should I act? Should I not tell her again that I love her?
3. The gift for her sister is going to be something I made... and it will be something that will be really great, and will most likely be on her sisters wall for the rest of her life. Is that manipulative that I just want her, when she goes to her sisters house to have a reminder I exist?
4. If I do well in my own life for the reason of staying in her consciousness is that fucked up? I think I would do what I'm doing regardless... but in my head it's a bonus that I will haunt her. Haunt her in a good way. On a global scale it's hard to impress people anymore. You have to always think big...
Don't be TOO hard on me...But do not hold back. I need some advice.
Lovestruck in Long Island
1. You can tell her ONE, and only one more time, in no uncertain terms: So and So, I am still in love with you. If you ever want to give it another shot, please come and find me.
Then wipe your hands , wipe your nose and your eyes of her and be free.
You, my friend, need some serious therapy.
You need to know that if she wanted to be with you, she would.
Whether or not she had a fucked up childhood, whether or not you're the sweetest guy in the world, she knows you're there and is not currently choosing you.
You've got to accept it.
As much as you love this woman, the truth of the matter is that your soul mate*, the person you're actually supposed to be with, wouldn't treat you this way. They would CHOOSE YOU. There wouldn't be all this yearning and longing and feeling so torn and confused and sad.
The longer you dwell on this lady, the further away you are from achieving your future greatness.
So get it together, friend.
Call up a therapist, sit on their couch, and give them a chance to weigh in.
What's the worst that could happen from that? You get some kernels of wisdom and build your self esteem up SEPARATE from her and the things she is into.
2. Be chill at the wedding. Bring a friend as a date who can snap you out of it when your eyes well up with tears and you get on bended knee to ask the ex for another chance. Do NOT bring drama to someone else's day by telling this girl you love her again. If you're going to tell her at all, do it via email after the wedding. Or in a letter.
3. It is manipulative for you to want to haunt her. Yes.
Honestly, i think you should get them some bed sheets, a toaster, and be done with it.
DON'T INVEST ALL YOUR ENERGY IN THESE PEOPLE ANY MORE.
4. It is fucked up to want to do good things just to stay in her consciousness, BUT if it's making you do good things, by all means, keep doing them.
You are obviously a very kind and loving person.
I promise you will find someone out there who deserves and WANTS what you have to offer.
*Note: Each person may or may not have a dozen different soul mates, OKAY, but you get what I'm saying. The best you can do is NOT someone who is uncertain about you. If the relationship is right, it's right. If it's not, then move on. The best advice I ever heard from my friend ERF was
"Anything other than 'Yes' means 'No'."
Trip on that.
How come it's ok for dudes to have long hair but it's not okay for them to have long hair with bangs?
Quizzical in Quebec
Think of the Ramones, for goodness sakes! Hotter punkers I cannot imagine.
Other than that , though, no way.
I have no idea why.
But you know what, anything could happen. Dudes in Portland are walking around with beards like Father Time right now, and are wearing clothes so distressed, they may as well be wearing a barrel with suspenders. And that's the cool guys!
cross your fingers if you're a fan of bangs.
They're probably right around the corner.
I am not America’s Smartest Girl. In fact, I’m not even in the top five! I am, however, pretty good at broadcasting my deficient smarts/morality/adult priorities across the Internet via blog.
Things with my blog are going swimmingly.
The thing is, Nicole ,
I’m afraid my blog has given people the wrong impression of my true character.
Unaware readers may think that I'm a herpied womanizer who keeps hairnets on my bedside table because I don’t want anyone’s DNA on my pillowcase even though I’m perfectly willing to have it in my mouth. And the thing is, I don’t even have herpes!
Or one might get the impression that I menstruate because I wrote an incredibly long and detailed blog about bleeding on the mattress that my ex-girlfriend and I might have borrowed from our friend Mary Ann, when everyone knows gays don’t menstruate!
And I wouldn’t really care,
but I’m currently in the market for a Real Live Girlfriend
and I’m afraid my blog will scare any potential lifers away.
And, yes, I could neglect to tell Imaginary Future Life Partner about my blog, but I want her to know that all this finger-tapping I’m doing while she folds laundry isn’t poetry or some shit.
See my problem? How do I continue the blog but convince people it’s all just a persona?
Over-Sharer in Carrboro
I'm really confused as to why you don't menstruate. You either weren't born with ovaries, are a gymnast/ballerina, or post-menopausal. True?
none of that matters, because i'd give you the same advice whether you were a bleeder or not.
I would keep the blog to yourself until you have someone roped in to really really liking you. You can tell them that you're a student (which you are), and a writer (also true).
After , say, three dates, you can tell them that you are a blogger on the side, and then introduce the Pathological Liar "Character" to them.
Whoa ho, isn't it funny? Regale them with your mail and let them know that you have a great sense of humor and are just trying to have a good time like anybody else!
If they don't approve of your blog, you could scream:
"Having Fun Isn't a Crime!!!!" ( then beat the table for emphasis.) "I don't like being treated like a CRIMINAL!!!!" before storming out of whatever office/restaurant you've broken the news at.
Or not. I just thought that would be a funny scene.
I want to note that Tracy Egan from Jezebel had a blog called "One D At A Time" , in which she talked about sleeping with many many dudes. Tracy met the man of her dreams and realized that if his mother found this blog she'd be mortified. She had gotten all she could out of writing out her sexcapades and so put it to bed, even changing her name on Jezebel from SLUT MACHINE to her given title.
on a different note,
Lisa Crystal Carver not only stayed as raunchy as ever once she married, but she got a column on noted sex website Nerve.com and went to town documenting her sex life and that of her husband, Dave (until he asked her to stop mentioning him, ahem ).
Before moving on, consider this question:
Is the short term benefit (comments from strangers, minor internet fame) enough to merit the potential consequences of your blogging?
ANYONE can find this blog. Not just dates (who will probably have a sense of humor about it), but employers, the parents of the kids you will want to babysit in the future, the parents of your dates, etc.
My advice? Get a fake name. It's never too late.
(Unless you're me)
p.s. If you want to date a lesbian, I'd be more careful about throwing around disparaging remarks regarding poetry.
I broke up with my boyfriend of 4ish years a few months ago. We had been living together for much of that time. As far as breakups go, it was not too bad, it was fairly mutual and we both really want to stay friends.
Until recently, we have been getting along fine, we hang out and see each other a lot and share the same group of friends. People have commented on how well we get along for exes.
However, lately he has started seeing other people. I really want to be mature about this, but whenever I hear anything about him dating, I get all hot and feel crazy angry jealousy coming on.
I really don't want to feel this way,
a) because it's very painful,
b) because I have zero interest in getting back together, and
c) I feel uncomfortable feeling jealousy/temporary hatred towards other girls over a boy.
I end up doing stupid crap like myspace stalking him and his dates, or being mean and immature towards him and inevitably feel like I want to puke and cry and then puke some more.
I thought about not seeing him for awhile, but this is difficult because we have all the same friends and frequent the same places.
In my ideal world I can just stop feeling this way and me and him and all his stupid dates can be a big happy stupid family. Do you have any advice on how to get over this kind of jealousy?
I also tend to have jealousy issues when I'm in a relationship. It is lame.
Thanks for any help you can give.
Signed, Jealous in Johnson County
Okay. You need to make some space from him. Let him know that you are stoked to be on friendly terms, but that you need some time to mellow out about the situation.
Here's the deal: You're the one with the problem. You're the one who's uncomfortable, and so YOU need to make the changes necessary to live a comfortable and not woe-begotten life.
SO. Take the road of less drama.
As much as you will hate to miss the best parties and shows,DON'T GO if you know he's going to be there.
If there's something you really really really want to do , consider calmly asking him if he can give you the space to go there and not see him. If he says no, don't worry about it, just stay home and jerk off or make long distance phone calls .
You can keep your same friends, but do things with them separately.
Have a clothing exchange party, a potluck, a movie night. INVITE THEM OVER TO WATCH TOP MODEL.
Make everybody dinner (i shouldn't have to say this, but DON'T INVITE YOUR EX ) and practice using ESP on each other.
Reach out to your closest few friends and tell them that you really need their support right now, that you're feeling a little nuts about your ex, and that you need opportunities to hang out with them without him.
You're not boarding a train of hatred for him or his dates, he's not doing anything wrong, you're just carving out a new life for yourself that is not so slogged down with the past.
P.s. As quoted from 90210: The best cure for a breakup is a Hookup. Consider.
Dear Smartest Girl in the U.S. of A.,
I am looking for a fake ID. I recently moved to a larger city where most of the nightlife is 21+ only. Not that I don't enjoy what is offered to all ages crowds, but sometimes it feels just terrible to be stuck at home when my favorite band is playing down the street- age and a bouncer being the only barrier. Any tips? Thanks!
I feel your pain. When i moved to Portland i was 19. I started dating someone older than myself, and was beyond embarrassed as I was escorted out of food establishments and theater pubs in front of my date and their friends for being underage.
I would have liked to enjoy a taco at ten p.m., or a movie for three dollars.
I had no fake I.D.
Wait, I had a really awful fake I.D. when i was a teenager in Kansas.
I used it to get into The Bottleneck to see Possum Dixon when i was 17 (you had to be 18), HOWEVER, when i tried the following week to see Sleater Kinney and Built To Spill at the same venue, my i.d. was taken and i was stranded , as my of-age friends were already inside and were my ride home (45 minutes away). I sat with other woe-begotten teenagers at the back door behind the stage, cursing the doorman and not seeing the band, but seeing the audience and they mouthed "This is the best show EVER!" and danced their aged faces off.
Here's what i'm saying:
We've all been through it.
I can't advocate using a fake I.D.
I work with kids, for goodness sakes, and fake I.D.s are illegal.
Maybe the years that separate you from 21 will fill you with enough rage at the injustice of it that you will take up the torch for all ages shows even when you are allowed to become a bar fly yourself, and you will open the most bitchin venue that your town has ever seen.
In the meantime, get into your local music scene and go to house shows. There are always amazing punkers playing downstairs or in the garage, you just have to find them.
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
Dear Ms. Nicole,
So I've started this new job. The girl that trained me openly told me
she was bi three days into us knowing each other. I found her
attractive but didn't want to act on it. Now her friend has started to
hit on me. And I've seen her at the bar a couple times. Unfortunately,
I'm not attracted to her. As the month has gone by I have been more 'in
to' girl #1. I have only been with 1 other girl a year ago so I'm not
familiar with hitting on girls. The only thing she really does is
comments how large my breasts are and that she likes them, so I don't
even know if she's interested. What do you suggest I do to let her know
Bi and Curious,
Keep shutting her friend down (because you know that sleeping with the friend will eliminate your chances with #1),and get bold with your crush. Just get it out of the way. Say "Would you like to get a drink with me after work?" and maybe wiggle your eyebrows or otherwise let her know that you mean "A drink. Just the two of us". When you get there, BUY her the drink and do things to denote that this is a date. Try to flirt openly, see how it goes, and if she shuts you down, so be it.
Get back to work.
p.s. You may wonder if this is completely unprofessional, asking this woman on a date. It is, but i sort of think that her commenting on your chest and outing herself as bi on the FIRST DAY negate standard professional protocol.
Last week I was fired from my job. My managers arranged a meeting and pulled out my Spring Break zine I had wrote last year that had some funny little anecdotes about the customers at my ex-place of business. This zine was a part of your Spring Break project. They thought it was offensive and canned me.
I had never before considered the ethical backlash of being an independent publisher of zines because I always figured no one would read my zines anyway. My question is: are there ethical standards for zines? Would you advise never to write about ones place of business? How ought ones writing being censored if one desires to "put it all out there?" I notice you use different names for your friends and draw carrots for people you don't like. What other ethical policies do you adhere to?
TMI in Tennessee
I can't believe you got fired for a zine.
I am so, SO sorry.
I noticed in your original letter, you signed your real name. That is your first problem. You need to stop using your real name in public forums!
If i had it to do over again, I would never have used my real name for any of my zines.
With that said, here are
My ethical standards for zines (All learned the hard way!):
Never use people's real names
Do not mention your place of business by name
Don't use your zine as a sounding board for how much you hate a certain person (like, during a break up).
Keep your friends and keep your job by following the Georges Method!
So I know the economy is totally crashing and burning right now, but in a massive stroke of luck I just got a job which offers a pretty serious adult salary. I was pretty psyched until I realized that everyone else I know is in danger of losing their job, has lost their job, or can't find a job to save their lives. So instead of psyched, I'm feeling serious survivor's guilt. I can't even ask any of my friends to go out for dinner with me because they are all broke and refuse to let me pay.
What do I do? I feel really bad about feeling good.
Dear Overwhelmed in Illinois,
The only thing you can do is take care of number one and keep trucking.
You deserve the good things that are coming into your life, and should take a moment for gratitude in the place of survivor's guilt.
Guilt won't help anyone.
Make dates with your friends that they can afford.
Offer to split something at a restaurant,or go out for burritos. Offer to make dinner together or go to the dollar theater. Surprise a broke friend sometimes by paying for their movie ticket, but don't make it a habit.
Good Luck, and congratulations on your newfound fortune!
How can i convince my creative, liberal friends that they shouldn't move to Portland? if everyone who makes a difference in their community moves to Portland to be with "like-minded" folk, what good does that do?
and why do these people have such a problem being around others who aren't exactly like them in their city/state of origin? thanks!
It's fine if your friends want to move to Portland. In Portland, they can finally rest easy knowing that if they want to see something radical, they don't have to be the one organizing it. They can relax as a participant, knowing that the good fight is being waged somewhere with or without their micromanagement.
As much as I understand the want for keeping radical people close to you, I also understand that it is very stressful to be one of only a handful of a certain subculture. It feels really really nice to find your pack, and unfortunate for our smaller city friends, sometimes Portland is the landscape in which the liberal pack thrives.
If they move away from your community, they will only be leaving a legacy and room for growth, in which new people will step up and take on the cause.
Don't stress out so much!
In a larger city, your friends can grow up a little and decide if its for them. if there was something nourishing their soul about their place of origin, they'll return. I'll tell you one thing, though, flies to honey my friend. If you're as bitter when they visit as you are in your letter, you may find the trips home few and far between.
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
Dear smartest girl ever,
This woman at work insists on telling me about her poop every time she
goes to the bathroom and I want her to stop. For instance, today she
stopped by my cubicle and said, "I should weigh myself NOW, I've been
constipated for a week, and I just went a whole bunch. Remember when
that happened last week?" Last week she informed me that she's been
eating too much cheese and was therefore constipated for a few days but
then after that started having the shits and kept stopping by to tell
me every single time!
Is there a nice and polite way to tell her to stop? It doesn't end
with poop, sometimes she tells me, in low hushed tones, about how badly
she "had to go pee just now." She usually does it with such glee and
in the spirit of friendship though, it makes me feel bad about
squashing it. I think she thinks it's building up our friendship, and I
don't want to hurt her feelings.
- Grossed out in Gainesville
The pee thing i can understand, but Poop Talk? No way.
I tell people from the start that I am not into poop jokes,and do not wish to hear about their bowel movements.
I then (naturally) adopt a look of disgust when they do bring it up, which reminds them that i am not a friendly ear for their farts.
If you feel too far gone for that, you could pretend that you USED to like talking to her about poop, but have recently come down with something that makes it intolerable.
Beat her to the punch next time you see her and are having a talk by the water cooler:
"I don't know how this happened, but I have totally started getting grossed out talking about poop! My roommate mentioned something about it and I started getting sick to my stomach. So, no more poop talk. Sorry, friend."
"Hey, I can't hang with poop talk right now. I just ate."
Something like this.
If my boyfriend and his best dude friend ride motorcycles together--as in, one bike, two dudes, major spoonage--does that mean they're gay for each other?
Could be homosexuality, could just be Bromance; but as long as your boyfriend is coming home and having sex with you (a woman), I don't think you need to worry.
for a girl with little discipline, and a not a lot of outside deadlines, how best do i stay focused and keep my eye on the prize?
Signed, In need of a firm hand
Dear Firm Hand,
When all else fails, schedule work time amidst other human beings.
Put it in your planner!
Take your notebook or your computer to a coffeeshop and know that you would much rather be seen there working on a project than on Facebook.
Make a note for yourself "NO INTERNET".
Find another friend who has studying (or a deadline) to work on , and invite them over for some strict and quiet work time. After a few minutes of tea, you will keep each other on task with the miracle of Peer Pressure.
Schedule these things for yourself as many days of the week as you can, and stick to them.
Your work is a priority. Treat it that way.
World's Smartest Girl:
I feel like a jerk to be complaining, but here goes. I have a sort of intense job as an accountant and I make six figures. Meanwhile, my social scene is comprised of urban queers who are musicians, artists, baristas, social service providers, aging scenesters, and similar folk. These are my people that I hang around and feel close to because we share the same interests in feminism, music, community, etc. I have a hard time bonding with other professional people in the business/finance world because they don't roll like I do and they think its very strange to go see a lot of shows and be an out and about queer. But I also feel alienated from my social friends because I have so much financial and educational privilege and it feels like no one has a shared experience. Sometimes I feel like a eccentric and affluent curiosity. Sometimes I feel like the only grownup at the all ages punk show. I thought it would be interesting to hear what you think about that, because I would really like to get over myself.
I'm not sure what the question is here, but your life sounds cool to me.
You get to live a grown up life while still hanging out with your people, the gaywads. Thank goodness you live in an area where your peer group is not comprised exclusively of straight accountants. Things could be worse!
Inevitably, as you age you will feel like the only grownup at a punk show. That comes with the territory. You would feel this way as a prince or a pauper, given you are over twenty five years old.
If I were you, I would thank my lucky stars that I can afford to fix my teeth, afford stable housing, and retire someday. Many of your friends (and people in the world) truly do not have this gift!
So.. Gratitude! Seriously, stop stressing and just be glad.
so there's this girl i have my eye on, do i really just walk up and introduce myself? (that's so... courageous).
Signed, Curious in California
Do you have any friends that can introduce you?
If not, just go up to her and say "Hi".
I'm an avid fan of bribery
("Hey do you want this coupon i just found?"
"I thought you might like a butterscotch."),
but have definitely sat myself next to people and just started talking.
Ask her some questions (but don't cross the line into being invasive),
or ask her advice about something
("Hey, do you think that the bartender would look at me if i leaned over the bar like this?").
Just be friendly and honest.
Even if it doesn't work out, it's good practice.
Monday, March 2, 2009
Dear Advice Loving Friends,
I read last night at K'Vetch in San Francisco. K'vetch is a queer open mic night hosted by Tara Jepsen and Kirk Read. At the end of my story (during which i wore a towel, as we were at a gay man bath house) , i took rapid fire advice questions from the audience. Here are a few:
Q: Why don’t girls just tell you what they want?
A: Maybe they’re afraid of you. Are you a rage-a-holic? Learn to listen and not talk over them or offer unsolicited advice every time they do talk.
Q: Are all the dykes really moving out of San Francisco?
A: How should I know? I live in Portland.
Q: What should I Do tomorrow?
A: Come to my art show at The Lexington Club from 7 to 9 p.m.!
Q: How do I like myself?
A: Look at one thing you do well. Look at it really hard. Do more of it. Get feedback only from supportive positive sources. Do NOT listen to Debbie Downers or even ask their opinions.
Q: What is your take on open relationships/polyamory?
A: If you like processing, then polyamory is for you. I estimate five to ten hours of processing for every one hour you get having sex with someone else.
Q: I have a hard time being serious. How do I change this?
A: Seriousity is over rated.
Q; Is it worth changing your personality for your girlfriend?
Q: Where is the fountain of youth?
A: Portland, Oregon is the fountain of youth. There is no sun, so you don’t need to worry about getting wrinkles, and people there have a Pleasure-Island quality of never growing up. You could be 72 and have a paper route!
And Now, Some Advice From Questions Sent In:
I’m falling in love with a straight girl that has a live in boyfriend of 6 years. She flirts with me. What do I do?
- Falling in Florida
Dear Falling, Give her your phone number and tell her that if she ever breaks up with her boyfriend she should give you a call. In the meantime, you need her to leave you alone and vice versa.
I'm in need of some tough love. I am 19, currently in a monogamous relationship of 2 years with a guy I really care about, and would like to stay with (we also live together.) I've had bad past experiences with monogamous relationships, and have tried before to just stay single and stop trying to date every man in my path, but it never goes according to plan (of course.) When we started dating, we both wanted something casual and fun, not looking for long term, but we never stopped hanging out. Things changed, and now here we are all coupled up. I want to be more independent, which is completely possible while being in a monogamous relationship, but I've noticed that I am always more outgoing and confident when I go to social gatherings without him. I read some literature on polyamory and open relationships, and I was definitely interested but felt it was not the right time for me to try it. I know from talking about it hypothetically with current partner that he would not be interested in trying it with me.
My partner has been away traveling, and a good friend of mine was in town visiting. I have been friends with him for many years, and only in the last year have I been aware that my feelings towards him were becoming romantic feelings as well. We were hanging out a lot this past week, and I discovered that he felt the exact same way. He practices polyamory, and at first I think he was under the impression that my current partner and I might have recently became polyamorous since I told him I felt the same way about him. When he found out that we weren't, he was totally fine with it, and explained that his feelings for me most likely wouldn't change in the near future, but that he was perfectly fine with me continuing to remain monogamous with my current partner. Basically, he was completely respectful about it, and he is most likely doing the right thing in this situation from my point of view.
The problem now is that I just don't know what to do. Ideally, I would love to be polyamorous, with my current partner as my "main" partner. I'm quite certain he wouldn't go for this, but I also don't want to completely end our relationship that I am otherwise happy with. I also don't really want to keep things how they are and suppress my romantic feelings for my friend. I feel like this situation means that I'll have to end up really hurting someone, myself included.
Dear Californian Cohabitant,
What a nightmare.
Here’s the deal: the absolute worst time to open up your relationship is when it is in crisis.
A polyamorous relationship is HARDER work and requires much more trust, honesty, communication and personal responsibility than a run of the mill monogamous relationship. It is the K2 of dating.
Right now it sounds to me like you are not taking a lot of personal responsibility with your romantic situation as is, and THUS adding another person to mix will only serve to truly fuck up what you have.
Which is maybe what you want.
If you are feeling like sabotaging yourself out of your current live-in relationship, maybe you need to honor that feeling and break up with your dude in order to date others, casual and unencumbered. Otherwise, here's my advice.
This has nothing to do with polyamory vs. monogamy. It has everything to do with living together and engaging in bad patterns.
You could monogamously live together, hang out alone in your city or with your friends independent of your dude, then come home and F each other’s faces off every night if you wanted to.
OR you could live together, suffocate each other, and then go get face crabs from every guy on the street and still not feel fulfilled.
Living together based on convenience, or financial need is The Stupidest reason a couple could choose to take this step. Why? Because you’re basically married. It costs money to break up, and one of you could wind up homeless.
You shouldn’t have been engaging in an intrigue with polyamorous dude behind your boyfriend’s back, my friend. That is number one.
What you need to do is tell that polyamorous guy to cool his jets while you hunker down and work on the relationship you’ve already started.
Make boundaries. Make rules for yourself. Make dates with the dude you’re living with, and when you don’t have dates, go out by yourself.
It’s a new era, starting now.
Insist that you both get some nourishing, independent friend and solo time from each other. Don’t get lazy, fall into a codependent routine, and then resent your partner in routine based on your own lack of discipline.
Tis not easy, but if you want to stay with this dude, I think you would be best served by trying to nourish the foundation of your relationship before you even THINK of triangulating or including other wieners in your situation.
Good luck and let me know how it’s going. I would love to lecture you any time.
Sincerely yours in tough love,
I need major big time advice. I have an older brother who is a prescription pain pill addict. Last night I noticed I had four missed calls from him. When I called him back he was drinking at a bar in the small town we grew up in. He stepped outside to talk to me. When I was a child I was a victim of sexual abuse. My brother was at this bar trying to find the person who did this to me so long ago (we're talking over 20 years ago). He was running through all these names of people whom he thought may have done this and told me he was planning to kill them at the bar tonight (if they show up but so far they haven't shown up!?) and explained that I don't know what he is capable of. I spent the next several minutes trying to talk him down. Obviously you can't reason with a person who has taken numerous pain killers and is now drinking alcohol on top of that. I am doing fine these days and have moved on with my life. I feel fortunate to be in such good shape. This phone call from my brother obviously really upset me. I was literally shaking. He has this deep seated belief implanted with the help of my parents that I am gay because I was abused. It haunts him. I don't know how I would cope if my brother killed someone or did something just as crazy because of all of these feelings he has over what happened to me that I don't even really care about anymore. What the fuck do I do?
Desperate in Detroit
1. You need to contact your brother during the day when he is sober, or at least not rip roaring drunk. Call or write and tell him that you absolutely do not support his vigilante style justice and that it has nothing to do with your wishes and is doing you no favors, only making you feel uncomfortable and creeped out.
2. If you really think your brother is capable of murder, it is your responsibility to call the police in your area and let them know what is up. If they pick him up and take him in, it might knock some sense into him about the reality of what he’s getting into. Seriously. It’s better than being silent and watching him receive a life sentence.
3. Go to an ALANON meeting. ALANON is a group for people who are friends of family of addicts. It will help you to understand better that you have no control over him, and will give you tips on what you Do have control over in the situation. Helpful support. Free. Do it.
I met this hotter than hell older professional art lesbian Saturday night. I could tell she liked me and thought I was funny and seemed to laugh at most of the shit I said. But I don't know if she just thought I was funny in that Joe Pesci meets woody Allen sort of way, or I might have a shot at something. She seems out of my league. Many people have tried to convince me that there are no leagues. But it’s been a hard sell. What would be the most tactful way of putting my self out there? What should I do next? She does not live in my area, but frequently visits from the country and is my friend on facebook.
Thank you for your community service,
To you I recommend using THE SECRET. Think positive. Imagine someone who IS in the League of this older professional art lesbian. Then, imagine yourself as that person. As even better than that person.
Approach her with confidence, like you’re offering her something great.
Because you are! You are great and if she doesn’t see that, then she is obviously not the one for you.
Say that you had a nice time talking with her the other night, and you wonder if she’d like to have a drink with you when she comes back into town. Whether or not she drinks, this is the universal sign for “date” , and will tell you her temperature regarding this affair.
I warn you, though you are confident and in fact, BETTER than someone in her league, do not cross the line into Cocky. Confident and cocky are not at all the same, and so for those unfamiliar, may require a little bit of practice. Think of the Dog Whisperer, or Oprah. Both Confident people who are at the same time humble or quiet when they need to be. They don’t act like they have something to prove. They’ve already proved it.
Calm, assertive leaders. That could be you.
Good luck and good greatness,