I thought this was going to be about puppy play. I'm disappointed, frankly.
Lololololololololol when I read this passage ----

(((((begin quote))))

"I've had sex with friends before, but this time was different because he's a dog. At first I was embarrassed to have hooked up with him, and then it became a regular occurrence.

((((( end quote)))))

---- my eyes popped out of their sockets. WHA???? I mean with Dan's column you can never tell.
Hopefully she works on her communication skills as well, holding back her feelings definitely let the situation get as "bad" as it did, because she was treating him like a fallback as well, through probably less blatantly.

At least if they communicate more than they did they'll have as much a chance as they ever did.
GIBG your new theme song is the old classic Just Be Good To Me by The SOS Band.
I was absolutely sure this girl was fucking a dog. I'm a sick puppy.
Tl,dr! How did LW go through four whole YEARS of college and apparently never took a writing class? Inquiring minds want to know!
I'm not convinced her dog is going to change his spots. I'd DTMFA if it were me.
It was almost painful for me to read how hard the lw is trying to pretend that she doesn't care about this guy and how chill she is with it all.
It's the ultimate "Cool Girl" posturing. I hope she gets to the point where she owns her feelings soon.
Iseult @ 6 - I agree with you. I'm glad (?) Dan could figure out what this girl was saying, because she lost me right after the bit about the dog. Apropos the dog, I'm also with those who initially thought dude was a canine.
Not only did I think the letter was about a dog, I thought the LW was male. (For a couple of paragraphs, anyway.)

So disappointed.
"since we were seniors, everyone collectively blacked out"
Well that's about the most depressing bit of logic I've read in a while.

Agree with Nocute's analysis @8. GIBG isn't the first or the last person to fall for a fuck-buddy. She should person up and tell him, and see what he says. At least they're not living in the same town if they turn out to not be on the same page.
#11 - Was gonna say re blacking out...
If this guy is fresh out of college, and (apparently) still getting more ass than a toilet seat, I wouldn't count on him changing anytime soon. Young guys are good for a number of things, turning down available pussy after getting lots of it generally ain't one of them.
And as usual, NoCute is correct. There's gonna be a tremendous Velcro-ripping sound as she tears her attention away from him, if she does, but she really oughta.
My age is showing. I thought she was embarrassed because he was unattractive, now it's just another hideous college mess.
"since we were seniors, everyone collectively blacked out" "he opened up to me...usually while he was drunk" Drinking to "blackout" as a regular occurrence is your REAL, and lasting, problem GIBG.

Hard Truth: This guy will be history sooner, rather than later, because he's fresh out of college AND a guy AND you are a convenient, comfortable piece of ass. But even though he may be legitimately fond of you, there is still all that other pussy out there crying out to be fucked. And that is a siren song that few twenty-something guys will be able to resist. I know this is something that you will refuse to hear, but some things are universal. Take comfort in the knowledge that you won't be the first girl to bet it all on the "dog" only to find yourself kicked to the curb when something better comes along. Here's hoping you won't waste too many years before you figure that out.
Tl;dr, but does EQ now stand for "you should have read my mind"?
This could go on the short list for Most Obvious CMY of the Year.
This girl has self esteem and communication issues. Why wasn't she fucking anybody else the whole time? They weren't exclusive, but she treated the whole thing as if they were. She got emotional as if they were exclusive, and she didn't fuck other people because she thought they were a thing. In the meantime, they were just fuckbuddies who ended up with each other at the end of the night if they had nobody else to fuck (wasn't this the plot of My Best Friend's Wedding or something?).

Girl, you're 21/22 and you have a whole lifetime of mistakes to make. Leave this one behind until you figure out who you are and like yourself. Otherwise, you'll be a doormat for years. Besides, who wants to make the same mistake twice?
'...and since we were seniors, everyone collectively blacked out. '
This is a screaming red flag. Even Sarah Hepola, who's book 'Blackout' cited some dubious research to suggest that blackouts were common among non-alcoholics, has backed away from that claim.

To reach the point where the drunk person is walking around making active decisions (to drive, to hop into the sack with a stranger, to get a tattoo, to join the Marines etc.) while not laying down ANY memory? That requires soaring blood-alcohol levels, verging into the toxic range, AND the unusual ability to remain conscious, and not puke up the surplus.

Blackouts are, yes they really are, a symptom of alcoholism. They used to be considered a 'late stage' one, tucked in towards the end of the old '20 Questions' from Johns Hopkins.

Contemporary collegiate frat/rape culture has found social practices that induce blackouts in very young, and even first-time drinkers.

If you've EVER had a blackout, your drinking experience is not typical. Even among diagnosed, dyed-in-the-wool drunks, something like 50% will NOT have blackouts as part of their history.
One more who pictured an actual sheepdog. I almost stopped reading at that point, was glad I continued for a moment when I realized it was about college sex (one of my favorite subjects), then went back to sorry when I saw the depth of confusion.

Also another agreeing with nocute.

Why do young women do this to themselves? Are things really worse than when I was in school 40 years ago, or does it only seem that way because I was so unaware.

While I'm asking unanswerable questions, why did GIBG initially tell herself that she'd never have sex with him? Why was it inevitable that she would have sex with him? How does "since we were seniors, everyone collectively blacked out" make sense? Is that now a thing?

As near as I can tell, the letter boils down to:
GIBG doesn't know how she feels now.
She doesn't know how she felt then.
She has never communicated her vague feelings to her love object.
Love Object has never divined how she felt either by being told or by being intuitive or by mind reading.
GBIG has never figured out or even thought much about what constitutes ethical sexual behavior either for herself or for Love Object.
GBIG is uncertain if she's even allowed to have thoughts (much less convictions) about what constitutes ethical sexual behavior.
All GBIG is sure of is that she's unhappy.

In other words, GBIG is a pretty normal recent college grad hung up on a guy she's been having sex with.

A digression into my own story. I fell hard for my first sexual partner, real love, strong strong pit in the stomach love. 40 years later, I'm still not over it. He dumped me. In retrospect, he was pretty good about it, not cruel as these things go. I'm still not over that either. I realized on some deep level that I liked sex, I loved love, loved that feeling, wanted more, didn't want to sink the way I had before. I figured I ought to get better at taking things casually. I swung in the opposite direction. I wanted to be so casual and independent that I convinced myself that I didn't need to be treated with even basic consideration. I was going to be that cool. Turns out that didn't go so well for me either. I did have feelings for the men I slept with, and it's not wrong to expect intimacy and closeness in return. I ran into some good guys. I still live with and love a good guy.
Fichu@20 - Why do young women do this to themselves? Are things really worse than when I was in school 40 years ago

No, this exact same thing happened to me when I was in college 40 years ago, except I was the horny guy with a girl hung up on me. I liked her, I liked fucking her. But I was 22 and no way did I want to be tied to just one girl. I tried telling her that as clearly and as kindly as I could but she still followed me around like a puppy dog. In retrospect, the kinder thing to do would have been to sever all communication with her, but I thought that was being an asshole (and I'll admit the easy lay was hard to resist) and so it went on longer than was healthy, especially for her. In later years, I'd make a clean break if the relationship wasn't heading in the same direction, and had a few girlfriends I really liked break up with me for the same reason. I appreciated their honesty even though I didn't feel the same way.
@20: For whatever reason, my mind went to German Shepard. An apparently very desirable shepard who was scoring with lots of girls. Dog-fucker / fake letter / I'm-missing-something were all swirling around in my head for way too many paragraphs. I'd like to claim I figured it out before the dog was sending a text, but. . .
TheMisanthrope @17: "Why wasn't she fucking anybody else the whole time?"
Theories: Because he was good in bed; less risk of STIs if you're only sleeping with one person (who is predominantly sleeping with you); and her sex drive was at a level that he was giving her all the sex she desired.
She also says "Not like I didn't do the same thing [flirt with others] occasionally", and talks about him acting differently after she hooked up with someone else early on. So short answer: She was, though to a far lesser extent.

Fichu @20: "Why do young women do this to themselves?"
We don't. Oxytocin does it to us. Damn that oxytocin.
I agree with Dan here, and I don't very often. If it wasn't official, and she very clearly didn't think he was boyfriend material, it's definitely possible that he didn't think she wanted any sort of claim on him. It's possible he's an asshole, but he might not be - and it's possible anyone a person might be interested in dating would be an asshole. While it might not work out, it seems like the sort of thing that's probably at least worth a shot if you're already invested enough to write an advice columnist about it.
How about making it open or poly. It's simple
They can make it an open relationship, or a poly relationship. How come it can't be that simple?
Meh, this isn't as remarkable as you all are making this out to be.

Two people who get along well together get along well together and haven't figured out if they're friends who have good sex or should be in a real relationship. Happens all the time.

LW needs to ask herself, is this the person she derives her primary emotional support from, and vice versa? If so, relationship or bust. If not, nothing wrong with someone you get along well with and occasionally shag, she just has to pick which way she wants to go with her emotions.
One more note: I once had a girl sleep with someone else literally hours after telling me how important I was to her and how she really wanted us to be in a real relationship. Total attention whore so I should have seen it coming, so really my fault: you cant wrestle and alligator and get mad when it bites you.

LW knew he was a dog, not like he hid his behavior, and stuck with him anyway. That's on her.
Coffeepunk @26: Yes, because being in a poly relationship means you never feel jealousy ever again.

I don't know what the dog-guy really wanted and yes, it is on the lw to articulate what she wants and then see if he is willing to give it to her and to walk away if he doesn't offer what she wants. But this young woman is being so careful to try to be what the guys around her want, she can't even articulate her own feelings to Dan and probably not even honestly to herself. She hedges constantly. She makes excuses for her totally legitimate desire to have a real relationship with this guy. And look at this:

She texted him "I need to talk to you," after he hurt her feelings by hitting on and sleeping with another woman right after having sex on the downlow with her. Then she says: "I was scared that he would respond to it how most guys have in the past (even guy friends)." That means that in every male-female relationship she's had, she's been expected to hide or discount her feelings. When she's dared to advocate for herself, it sounds like the reactions have been negative. I'd guess that she's been accused of wanting too much.

I really like Dan's answer, too, which starts off seeming to advocate for giving the former-dog another chance, but comes around to saying, in essence, you have a right to want what you want; you have a right to your feelings. What you want isn't unreasonable or illegitimate. He may not be able or willing to give it to you, and once you tell him honestly what it is, you need to force honesty from him and listen to his response. If he can't or won't give you what you want from him, you should stop having sex with him (i.e. torturing yourself) and move on, All wrapped in the possibility that she will get what she wants from dog-guy (who, btw, was definitely a German Shepherd when I read it).

This person is awfully passive. Fucking this guy is something that happens to her, not something she does. Getting blackout drunk is something that happens to her because it's senior year. And drinking and fucking seem to be the extent of her life experience so far. I don't see her taking control of this (or any) situation unless something shocks her into a little more awareness. I see long repetitive patterns of behavior extending far into the future.
@19: "If you've EVER had a blackout, your drinking experience is not typical. Even among diagnosed, dyed-in-the-wool drunks, something like 50% will NOT have blackouts as part of their history"

While certainly not healthy, your statistics are specious.…

51% of college students reported blacking out.
Dear god what a mess. I'm wondering what the dude's perspective is on all this. Like, LW's story from her perspective reads like an epic troubled romance, full of feels and drama and pain and more feels. From his perspective, it could be the same ("I can't hold all these feels for my fuck buddy so my existence is a tortured roaming restlessness hopping into bed with random floozies just to hide the pain of my inability to tell LW I love her! If only she knew how I felt, I wouldn't be a wandering oblivious manwhore! But alas she remains aloof and though we tarry together night after night she has not asked for my heart, so I must follow the path of the roaming man-meat, seeking warm wells in which to rest knowing that there is no place for me in her chilly, fickle heart!"


"LW caught feelings. This is awkward. I guess I could try to date her. She is my reliable old backup pussy and we do like to chill and talk and ride bikes and stuff...WAIT LOOK AT THE ASS ON THAT BABE OVER THERE"


"Bitches be catching feelings again. I'll tell her what she wants to hear...would hate to lose my most reliable lay."


"I'm sorry I hurt her. I hope she sticks around. I don't know if I'm ready to commit, though..."


We take him at his word, which doesn't really specify one way or the other what he wants because JESUS CHRIST THESE PEOPLE SUCK AT COMMUNICATION. Also this relationship, WHATEVER THE FUCK IT IS, runs on bullshit college drama. Her friends come and inform her when he sleeps with someone else, which is creepy ("you know that guy you arent dating is 'not-dating' this OTHER chick downstairs right now! What should we do? SHALL WE FIRE MISSLES, CAPTAIN?!?") while he feels like making out with other girls CANNOT WAIT FOR THE PRIVACY OF THE LAUNDRY ROOM before forsaking the company of other girls he's banged. ("Hey this is Heather, can you hold my beer while we make out, LW? I promise it won't take long, I have another hook-up with Jocelyn scheduled for 2:30.")

In short, they may need more than a summer to "grow up", based on the sounds of things...
Also, as a woman who has spent much of my life trying to not "scare people away" by being honest with my feelings, I hope she doesn't move back. Any situation where you feel like you can't speak up and advocate for yourself is stifling, and LW is in her prime. She could be out fucking someone who doesn't treat her like a moped, with whom she's comfortable and strong, not timid and chasing her feelings around in circles.
Also again: notice the way he apologized after she was forthright: "He said that he was a jerk, and he never would wish for me to feel the way I did. He genuinely apologized, and even said if we had more time he would make things legit with me. I brushed that last part off because I didn't want to take it seriously. He was patient, understanding, and kind, and he did not deny a single thing I said." This is like when you work a customer service job and your boss tells you "express empathy for angry customers. Tell them you understand their frustration and regret that they were made to feel that way, but do not admit fault, because then they might think they can get a refund. They can't. No refunds. No promises, just apologize for the way they feel, not what we did. We did nothing. Mistakes were made."
@2, @5 and others: I too thought for several paragraphs that her love-interest was an actual dog. It's not our fault, really... This woman is just THAT bad at communicating.

LW, good communication is not just about stringing sentences together (fairly) well. You also have to be reflective. Think, girlfriend! And Christ, stop drinking until you can do that right too. I had problems with alcohol for a few years and I NEVER blacked out or did anything risky.

Also, as far as your fuck-buddy...I'm not real hopeful for that relationship, to be honest. The fact that his attention has not really been that much on you, I guess doesn't make him an asshole. But it seems like you prefer your boyfriends to be somewhat enthusiastic about being in your company, and that is a perfectly reasonable expectation (I can't believe that is not more obvious).

This letter made me sad.
A vague memory: Wasn't there a piece in My Secret Garden where the woman wrote that she regularly had sex with her German Shepherd and cried when the dog died?

I admit that I did not originally picture a sheepdog. I pictured a german shepherd. I wrote sheepdog because I thought it was funnier.
Ms Cute - Well approached.
@2,5,10 - me 2, thought it was finally time for some good ol fahsion ol timey dog fukin'.

I think LW & Dan's answer each need a tl;dr
Rowsdower @34: "LW is in her prime"
No she's not. Give her another 10 years.
@33: It's one of those letters where the LW really doesn't understand how the object of their affection thinks, feels, and speaks so we get them described in puppet terms, the guy speaks as she wants him to, using how she feels about him to fill in the many gaps in her understanding of the situation.
And now I'm singing the MST3K "Rowsdower, Rowsdower, bippity boppity bowsdower" song.
"Price of admission" indeed. Get ready for the process of discovering that you really prefer monogamy, that he knows that, and he doesn't prefer monogamy.
To all you commenters who thought LW was fucking an actual the second paragraph LW clearly states. "I had been friends with this guy since freshman year"...

Man, you all are some kinky mutherfuckers...
23-BiDan-- You're right. Love like that is an addictive drug. We know it's bad for us. We still want more. My love object has turned out to be ordinary, not a monster but hardly an exemplary star either. We're in touch casually, like maybe a line or two once or twice a year. I still get excited when I see that he's answered my email. Like I haven't had any of that particular oxytocin drug for literally 40 years and I still crave it.

21-DonnyK-- Do you have any idea what happened to the young woman who made you her love object? I'm not suggesting you should run out to find out to find her, but in light of the way I seem to have something in common with her, I'm curious.

In general, this idea that if I say clearly what I want, if I even think clearly what I want, the gods will take it away from me goes back, I think, way back before dating and running into asshole men. Same for trying to twist oneself into some model of slippery perfection so as to receive love or be worthy of love, or even to get halfway decent kindness and consideration. I'd recommend therapy. The issues seem to go back to infancy.
Donny @21/Fichu @45: I think we all have someone in our past that we were hung up on, and kept going back to even though there was no reciprocity. Why? Clearly because not having that person at all seemed far more painful than having them on their terms. Oxytocin knows no age limit, but with experience we learn that we can rip the Band-Aid and survive. It does not feel that way when one is young. And is extremely difficult to process even when one is middle-aged. That's why DTMFA is often so obvious to everyone else but so difficult for the person who needs to do the dumping.
Fichu@45 - I've looked for her casually on Facebook & Google, but to no avail...hard to search for women because they often change last names when they marry (and she had a very common name to start with). I hope everything worked out well for her, first loves hurt so much when they end, and I know it was traumatic for her. I'd like her to know I'm sorry that's how it worked out.

BiDan@47 - "so obvious to everyone else" and often equally obvious to the person who needs to do the dumping, but consciously (or unconsciously) stays in the bad situation for a thousand possible reasons (most of them bad).
@48: "I'd like her to know I'm sorry that's how it worked out."

Oftentimes that ends up being more about what you want than the other party, probably best to let what happened lie unless you happen (not "happen") across her IRL :(
#49 - Cue Bruce Springsteen "She'd feel better...maybe."
I don't know, man....we come out of a month-long wasteland of bone-simple DTMFA's, and we get a letter from a college grad who reads like she's 16 and makes us all sad.
Also, that Deja Vu model on the GIF, at least on the homepage, looks about 16. Goddam, DV, find a grown-ass woman, I'm expecting the Feds to knock on the door now.
Hey, Cat Brother @50. Here I am feeling quite body positive that there's a model who looks a bit like me, proving you don't need big tits to be sexy. Fuck you, Cat Brother -- sexy women come in more than one shape.
I was referring to her facial features, not her lack of bust size.
Switch to decaf - most of my gf's have been quite small busted. I am all with you as far as how sexy women can look.
Bi, switch to decaf - I wasn’t talking about her bust size. I wouldn’t, as most of my go’s were rather small-chested. Was talking bout her face, hip structure, and overall appearance.
I have been appreciating variety in the female form at least as long as you have.
So nice I posted twice...anyways, we don’t have to squabble, Bi, and look, we all stopped feeling sorry for LW.
LW you're allowed to feelings, you're allowed to want a relationship where the other person isn't fucking around on you.

This guy is a dog. You know it. Stop giving him your valuable time and energy and go find someone who wants what you want. Not a guy who only cared when it was too late to do anything.
Fair enough Cat. The ad had gone when you posted so I couldn't give the model a closer look.
Tired of the lifelong insinuations I've received that anyone who finds my body type attractive must be a paedo.
BiDan@51/56 I'm a lifelong admirer of small boobs...more than a mouthful is wasted anyway.
As a reformed dipsomaniac, I will say that blackouts are a symptom of alcoholism, with a definite asterisk. If you have had multiple blackouts - that is definitely an alcoholic tendency. However, binge drinking (beer games, drinking games, drink races etc) can easily lead an inexperienced / moderate drinker to a blackout. This might be a drinker who just didn't know its limits and went too far, not necessarily an incipient alcoholic. Frequent or semi-repetitive blackouts are the definite signs of medical alcoholism. If you recognize having blackouts and still keep doing it, I bear the bad news of telling you that you are already in that spiral.
Just chiming in here to say that I completely agree with DK @57.

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