America's Smartest Girl

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portland, oregon
America's Smartest Girl, Nicole Georges, channels her powers for good as she drums up answers to the world's most complicated questions.

Romance, Career, Health, Pets, Finance. Send questions to Nicole via twitter (@nicolejgeorges) or addressed to her via No suicidal inquiries. Please limit all questions to 150 words or less.


Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Cavemen and Nonmonogamy

Dear Nicole,
I have a tendency of creating complicated situations with women. I also am known for being a bit of a player and a total slutbag. However I think this stereotype is unfair.
Is it because I'm a woman and I just happen to not be socially retarded?

Depending on how sentimental I am feeling, I have been in/out of love with many.
Currently I am dating a girl long distance non-monogamously and I am completely head over heels in smitten with her.
However, recently I met someone here. I've been sleeping with this other girl in Portland. I'm not sure whether I did this to distract myself from my aching heart or if I genuinely want to date this person. It's hard to spend a lot of time with someone and not get attached. Portland girlie knows about my long distance sweetheart and says she will stay out of our way when my sweetie comes to visit in October. I know it might be wrong to do this to Portland girl, so should I quit being an asshole and tell her we should just remain friends to avoid any future heartbreak? And what of my long distance sweetie? Should I take a break from girls altogether?


promiscuity city

Oh non monogamy, how i loathe the web you weave.

Hi Promiscuity City.

Let's talk.
That reputation of yours didn't happen on it's own, and it didn't happen overnight. Tis no stereotype based on the fact that you can talk to a crowd. Lots of people have social finesse and not all of them are called Players or "Slutbags". If i put my psychic glasses on , I'll bet that you got this reputation by "creating complicated situations", i.e. drama, and not being clear with people (i.e. telling many people that you're in love with them!).

The only thing worse than a Player is a Player with no mirror.
"Why would people call me that? I'm just following my heart!"
Your heart isn't the only one beating in the room!
There's got to be some consideration for the people you're dragging in there with you.

The good news is,

Today is the first day of the rest of your life!
We are going to discuss your options as a new, responsible (yet still Socially Adept) individual!

There are two routes you could take here, Promiscuity City, and if you play your cards right, your hands will technically be clean by the end of all this.
Don't make it weird!

1. You can keep seeing Portland Girl.
(high drama route)

2. You can break up with Portland Girl.
(low drama route)

On one hand, she's in charge of herself and as long as you're clear (one thousand percent clear) and not feeding her lines of garbage about the depth of your relationship (ahem) , then you are allowed to say "I told you so" if she gets her feelings hurt by girl afar. You're getting away on a technicality.

Don't lead her into thinking she could usurp Girl Afar as your primary if that is not the case. This means no sighing heavily while staring into her eyes, moaning about how torn you are and how confusing this all is!

HOWEVER, On the other hand....
This is your new , low-drama life, and it requires some introspection.
It would be be not only kinder, but also the route of least drama and despair if you cut the cord now. She's not your soul mate, you probably wouldn't be dating her if the Girl from Afar lived here, so it would be kinder of you to let her go and find someone else who will think the world of her.
If you can psychically see that the result of this relationship will be a heart break blood bath, then it is up to you to take the reigns (no matter what she says about it being okay) and grind this coach to a stop.

Then you come out with your hands clean, and you have some time alone here in Portland to consider how you got your reputation, all the while getting your attention needs met (sort of) by someone from afar.

(note: you might be saying "Nicole this is harsh. people can casually date, you know, without it being a 'blood bath' " and i say to you, true true! However, this person, Promiscuity City, seems like perhaps they are not adept at handling these situations with grace and tact, and thusly i advise them to take the side door and leave the party before it gets out of hand.)

Dear Nicole,
The next time my boyfriend's super-religious dad says women should be subordinate to men, should I throw a bowl of beans in his face? How would you handle this?

Leering in Los Angeles

Choose your battles wisely, Leering in Los Angeles.
This is not the one to fight. You're not going to change his mind, and you have a choice if you have to see him at all. If you can manage eating dinner with Dad from time to time, i would let his comments roll off with a simple:
"That's an interesting perspective. Hmm. " and/or a blank stare.
" Thanks for your opinion. "
Then you can silently seethe and curse me for putting you in this situation.

Though this will make you seethe in the moment, it is ultimately better than yelling at someone who's not listening to you and creating static between yourself and the family of your boyfriend.

If he gets to you too much, and you find your blood pressure is out of control every time you get home from family dinner,
then you have the choice to opt out of such dinners, and offer to only see Dad on important Holidays.
Your boyfriend can cover for you. "Oh, Leering is sick." or, "She couldn't make it".
All the while you're at home listening to relaxing music and cross stitching a Labris or Women's Symbol, sighing aloud and thinking "I'm so glad I'm not dining with a cave man right now!"

Dearest Nicole,

I'm a girl and have started to venture into the world of dating other chicks. At the end of the date, how do I know who pays for the meal? When I go out with guys, they always end up paying (at least on the first date). I went out with a new girl yesterday and it was a little awkward. I offered, but we decided to split. Should I always just offer to pay? Or does it depend on who asked the other person out? Ideas?

Anxious Dater

Dear Anxious Dater,

Let whoever wears the pants pay!

Just kidding.

Okay. I consulted some bonafied lesbians about this last night.
Aubree advised:
"If they don't offer to pay within the first minute of the check being there, then be prepared to split the bill."
true, true.
If someone is planning on paying for a date , then they are waiting for the check and want to get to it before you. Oh, chivalry!

Always be prepared to split the bill. Bring money. Pull out your wallet when the check comes, even if the other person pulled theirs out first.

Common courtesy says, if they buy dinner one night, you should pay (or attempt to pay) the next time.
Don't take anything for granted.

And if they pay for dinner, you'd better be ready to put out.
Especially if you had something expensive.

.... Kidding! Just Kidding!

Dear Nicole:

I've been with the same young man for a couple years. There is one
problem-- he has never given me a gift of any kind. No birthday gift,
no anniversary gift, no Yom Hashoah gift. No gifts at all, aside from
the occasional surprise carton of soy delicious. He knows I would
LIKE gifts, and doesn't ever make me feel petty for wanting them. He
has some weird extreme specific phobia/anxiety about giving gifts. My
psychologist tells me I am ascribing way too much importance to these
absent gifts, and my friends say gifts are important and that I should
dump him for this.

I would like to know your professional opinion on the subject of gifts
in romantic relationships.

Yours truly,

Dear Giftless,

I like gifts.
I like getting gifts, and more importantly, i like GIVING gifts!
How else to express your deep feelings for your boyfriend than to make him a present? Words are overrated.
ack, what a joyless life i would have with only rations of ice cream as a substitute for a handmade stuffed animal or lovingly crafted cell phone plan?
Personally, I , NJG, would be bummed if i had to devote my life to a giftless marriage.
But we're talking about you, Giftless.

Well, how important are gifts to you?
Does he have other attributes that make up for his gift anxiety?
The Gift of companionship?
The Gift of kindness?
The Gift of handsomeness?

Is he a one of a kind that you would feel completely stupid for breaking up with based on this, or is it indicative of greater problems or inflexibility in the relationship?
Like, if you had kids would he not give them presents?
If he decided he was Hug-o-phobic would you then have to go without hugs?

Maybe to you gifts are a way to show love, and if you are not receiving gifts, then it feels like you are not receiving love. Everyone has these things. For some people it's cooking as a way to show love, for some it is physical affection. Express how much you like his other qualities (The aforementioned gifts of companionship, kindness and handsomeness) but that this is as sensitive an issue to you as it is to him, and it hurts your feelings!
If you're not getting the thing that you need to feel loved, then you need to sit down and hammer out if there's something else that he can do to replace that warm feeling, or if he can compromise?

Maybe he can go to a psychiatrist and have some immersion therapy where he gets sent to the North Pole and has to hear from Santa's elves the joys of giving, all the while hammering together old fashioned wooden toys for every boy and girl in the world.

Everyone sacrifices for love some times.
It's not like you're asking him to send you pieces of his own body for Valentines day, you just want a present.

Love, Nicole

p.s. In the case that you are Jewish, the North Pole seems like a weird place to send him, but i can't think of another place where joyful creatures create gifts all day. I apologize.

Dear Nicole,

What do you do when you get in a rut or get depressed about artwork, etc?


- Too Many Projects at Once

Dear Too Many Projects at Once,

I stop calling my friends back and work twelve hour days until it's all done.
Then i go and party for a couple of days, after which i lock myself in my house again.


p.s. also you could go through your archive of things you've accomplished and try to inspire yourself and remember that you do good work and that it is worthwhile and that you've come really far!

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