Savage Love

Blinders

Comments

1

Interesting LW1 - I've always had the opposite issue. Everything works great when I'm comfortable with someone. It's when it's new and exciting and I'm worried about impressing them that the issues start..

2

Good responses to the first lw, Dan. I'd add recommendations for cannabis (to lower inhibitions and self-consciousness--though depending on the strain, it could increase self-consciousness--and as an aphrodisiac) and Viagra (to boost confidence.

LW should ask his doctor as either or both of those substances or the two used in concert may be contraindicated.

3

When a fella comes a' courtin' you
And sits you on his knee
Keep your eye upon the sparrow
That flits from tree to tree
copyright http://elyrics.net

4

When a fella comes a' courtin' you
And sits you on his knee
Keep your eye upon the sparrow
That flits from tree to tree

5

When you cut 'n paste a lyric
That seems apropos to you
Keep you eye upon the editor
And check it in review

I wish I had an edit function again
I wish I had an edit function again

6

@5: Great job, slomopomo!

7

Glad to "see" you apparently doing well NoCute.

8

@7:Thanks, EmmaLiz. I'm actually descending into insanity, but I suspect I have a lot of company.

9

Love you NoCute!
Jack and Griz sitting in a tree..

Awesome response to DIL. I'd also ask DIL if he talks openly to his partner about his nervousness, and the strange way the intensity of his desire makes him feel ashamed in an unsexy way. If DIL can speak about the strange intensity of his desire that he is reflexively hiding, maybe it would take the edge off.

The second letter.. is having a boyfriend to cry over car commercials together really that important to her? Maybe, but it also seems like it might just be the sex got dull, and instead of
"I want to be inspired by my partner"
Maybe she can try bringing some energy into her sex life and try to spice it up to see if that helps restore their connection before bailing. I don't like the way she puts the responsibility for their sex life on him without saying what she tried. She says she has a habit of running away from jobs and friends and partners, maybe she is ready to try to develop more security in her life, find a job she wants to keep, or friends or a partner she wants to keep. I'd start with the job and finances part... It's fine to flit around but it's important to plan for the future financially.

10

If you can't cry over car commercials with your boyfriend, what's the point of even mustering up the motivation to get out of bed each day and amble through this hellish simulation we call life?

In all seriousness though I cry during most movies. Just don't watch commercials. Have they improved since the nineties?

11

@1 WA-HOOOO!!!! Jack, congrats on scoring FIRDT twice in a row. Are you comfortable with accepting FIRDT honors again this week? If not, you do have the option to pass the honors onto another commenter. However, if you are just teeming with pride over your leading this week's SL comment thread, bask in the highly coveted glory :)
@3, @4, and @5 slomopomo: WA-HOOOOO!!!! Congrats to slomopomo for leading us with the song lyrics! Nicely done. :)
@9 Philophile: "Jack and Griz sitting in a tree"...?! I don't see it (Sorry, Jack)..
Unless you meant John Mellencamp's 1982 hit song, Jack and Diane...?

12

@11: A little ditty about Jack and Diane
Two American kids doing the best they can.....

Streaming is fun, isn't it?

13

DIL, once upon a time I was pretty insecure. But even then, sex was the one thing I was totally confident in. Even before I had any idea what I was doing! The person I was with wanted to be there, I wasn't required to know any more than I did, etc...

But I imagine that there's no point in me going on like that.

I hear that you're so insecure you don't even want to /talk/ to someone who is 100% happy to talk to you, who you're paying specifically to get that privilege. So I'm not surprised sex makes you insecure, specifically with someone who you value and don't want to lose.

You can stop yourself from manifesting what you fear. There are therapists that specialize in, and are effective at helping people with, self esteem. It would be /great/ to find one who is also, as Dan mentions "a sex-positive queer shrink."

I'm thinking that this in-your-head thing is also about anxiety, and that learning to chill would help a lot. Find some methods to help yourself relax (there's relaxation tapes, meditation, medical hypnosis, etc). This can help you grow in enormous and unexpected and priceless ways. There's a time for making plans to resolve challenges, but there's no value in worrying all the time; you can learn to get out of your head and stop panicking about the past and future, and just be present in the moment...including those moments you're having sex.

FRF:
You say you want someone who isn't "stoic and un-emotional whereas [you] cry during car commercials. [You're] desperately seeking an emotional equal."

You also mention a pattern of "flitting from guy to guy". If /all/ these guys aren't your "emotional equal", maybe something about the guys you choose is keeping you from the guy you want.

In other words, are you attracted in other ways to guys that unfortunately don't work for you in that way?

That was just speculation based upon the primary things you said. I did it because often people sabotage themselves by choosing people that don't make them happy.

14

I find both letters to be closely related, an LTR engine of some sort in need of a tune up and spark plugs replacement every 3,000 miles or so.

LW1's reluctance to discuss issues one on one may consider joining a group discussion of some sort where he can keep quiet if he so chooses. The issues he mentions are very common and hearing others may provide some relief as well as inspiration.

LW2 may have been initially attracted to bf because of his stability after years of serial jumping. It is very possible that stable bf sensed that, which is why he keeps broadcasting stability ever since. If she wants this to change she needs to signal that she also craves variety and spontaneity, whatever those may be.

15

@8 I descended for quite a while a couple years ago, clawed my way out of it, only to be knocked back in again. This time I'm submitting. Currently my father in law and I are working a puzzle of the night sky which must first be divided into hues of black and clusters of stars then sorted by shape as there is no pattern to follow. It's a nice distraction but I can't stop thinking of what a good metaphor it is for current times.

16

@14 CMD
"a group discussion of some sort where he can keep quiet if he so chooses"

Sounds like it could be a great initial step that addresses his hesitance.

I never tried group before, but I was also eager to make the time all about what I was there for, and without any reluctance.

@15 EL
I'm sorry you're back in again!
OMG, that night sky you two are working on sounds like my puzzle nightmare!

17

LW2 reminds me of Willoughby despite the lack of a specific alternative to her current partner. She also reminds me of Marianne Dashwood, who takes her own excesses of sensibility to be a virtue and frequently reproaches Elinor for her calmness.

I'd save drugs as a last resort for LW1, especially if he doesn't have a doctor. Quite enough of us have Drug Issues as it is. I don't get any particular vibration from the letter whether his queer therapist ought to be specifically from the G or specifically from elsewhere; some gay patients just ought not to have gay therapists for a variety of reasons.

18

FRF, you’re 27 and in a relationship that doesn’t satisfy you, but do you really know what you’re looking for? Stop desperately seeking an emotional equal, and start thinking rationally about the good qualities that you HAVE to have in a partner and the bad qualities that are deal-breakers and start separating the wheat from the chaff. And remember, you’ll NEVER get everything you want, but if you try, sometimes you just might find you get what you need. And I don’t think you WANT a guy that cries during car commercials, do you? Don’t look for a carbon copy, find someone who meshes well and complements your personality. Also, in my experience, people that constantly “run the fuck away” from relationships are doing it because they are scared of THEMSELVES, they don’t trust theirselves to be happy, don’t trust theirselves to make the “right” decision and so are constantly “flitting from guy to guy“. I suggest counseling to help you learn to love yourself first, and then maybe you’ll be ready when Mr. “not quite perfect but nobody is” comes along.

(PS...and this is just MY opinion/preference... but if my GF was constantly crying during car commercials I’d think, “Holy shit, what is with this woman?” She’s constantly crying during fucking CAR COMMERCIALS!”)

19

@18 Donny
Really good Comment!

And I agree that "crying during car commercials" is not optimal/needs work. But I think it's likely to be an issue both less problematic, and more resistant to improvement, than "stoic and un-emotional".

(And I'm guessing that "stoic and un-emotional" is likely to come bundled with things she looks for in guys.)

20

@18 Donny
"I don’t think you WANT a guy that cries during car commercials, do you?"

Sorry if this is too obvious, but meant to mention somewhere @19 that it needn't be a choice between "crying during car commercials" and "stoic and un-emotional".

21

"But if you’re in open relationship and can get sex elsewhere, well, then you can have love and intimacy and pretty good sex with your partner and adventures and novelty and crazy hot sex with other people."

I'm glad Dan said that, it's been something I've been finding difficult myself lately. Even considered writing in about it. Unlike Jack, I find intimacy and commitment a real turn-off, and new and exciting people, well, new and exciting. It's sort of nice to know that it's probably how I'm wired and doesn't mean my long-term relationship isn't strong.

22

Wow, I was totally thrown by the closing sentence "My other thought is to just blindfold him and say bottoms up." Glad Dan spent so much time on it. Yes, if that will work in the short term, go for it! Tell the boyfriend it's a kink. He should also, perhaps separately, be open about his insecurities. We all have them and it's often said that a problem shared is a problem halved. If he opens up to his partner and the partner admits to feeling similarly on occasion, he may feel less ashamed of his feelings. I wonder also if this is something "light role play" could help. He's fine with casual partners, so could they role play strangers picking each other up at a bar? Ultimately, though, his insecurities sound like they deserve a professional. He's 32, he's had a number of years to work this out, and he still "even stops breathing consistently" when his anxieties arise, which sounds alarming. If face to face is daunting perhaps he could start by showing a therapist this letter, and perhaps the therapist would be willing to conduct telephone sessions or let DIL blindfold himself?

FRF's weirdly changing verb tense seems to reveal a rather mundane problem: she's just not that into him. When the lockdown ends, call it quits. No one is expected to stay with their first serious partner. You've now learned more about what you do and don't want in a partner; take that with you into your dating future. Again, though, a red flag: "I have a tendency to do the latter [run the fuck away]—with guys, friends, jobs." Perhaps it's not him, it's you. There's nothing wrong with having flings -- if she's happier flitting around until she finds Mr 100% Right, that's fine and she shouldn't shame herself for it, though I will note as a former dick jumper myself that the pickings get a lot slimmer with age -- but if this is a pattern with work and friends too, more introspection might be in order. She's getting to the age where people should know themselves well enough to know what they want and have the tools to find it. If she can't stick with anyone or anything, she may need some expert guidance.

23

Hi NoCute @8. Welcome to the insane club, I'll move over and make some room for you!

Griz @11, have you not heard the children's rhyme: "Jack and Griz sitting in a tree, K-I-S-S-I-N-G. First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes baby in a baby carriage." Usually said by children making fun of each other's crushes, but wow, way to indoctrinate heteronormativity and expectations of marriage and breeding! Or am I taking everything a bit too seriously in this crazy world.
Jack and Diane is a great song though, thank you for reminding me of it! I don't recognise the previous song reference.

Curious @13, good theory that there may be a pattern here. When she mentioned that she is emotional and he is stoic, that sounded to me like an "opposites attract" scenario that, for many, works far better than two drama queens constantly overreacting at each other. It's possible this draws her to strong silent types, then she feels she can't relate to them. However, she doesn't say this is a commonality with her fellows. She might never have got beyond the fuck-buddies stage before to the point of wanting an emotional connection she now sees this guy can't provide.

CMD @14, good suggestion for group therapy where DIL would not need to share unless he felt comfortable doing so.

Donny @18, she did not say she CONSTANTLY cries during car commercials. I agree with the rest of your post though. I'll also add that it's probably obvious to him too that the magic has gone; I don't think the "it's not you, it's me" talk she needs to have will be a surprise.

24

@18 l-dub 2, time to grow up! If you cry during car commercials, the last thing you need is 'an emotional equal.' Dump this guy (you aren't into him). But seriously, get over yourself and how deep you seem to think you are. Think about some mix of characteristics that not only mirrors you but also has some characteristics that balance you out in a relationship.

25

You covered both questions well, Dan. And I like CMD’s thought to attend a group therapy session, for LW1.
LW2; why do you cry in car commercials. Is it the happy, usually white family of perfect mom, dad the two kids and dog driving off on an adventure? Oh what a feeling....

26

FRF, another thought. You've been with this guy for three years, and for the past year you've felt more like a roommate than a girlfriend. Perhaps you shouldn't have moved in together? We're programmed to think that if you find someone you love, the relationship should "progress" towards cohabitation, then marriage and a baby carriage, there's that nursery rhyme again. But to cite another cliché, familiarity breeds contempt. It sounds like this guy isn't the guy, but if you're the sort of gal who likes your freedom, maybe don't move in with future partners? I find my partners stay exciting for longer if I miss them and look forward to seeing them, while maintaining my own space. New relationship energy/oxytocin fades regardless, but this idea that cohabitation is necessary for a relationship to last is a fallacy and can also, in some cases, defeat the purpose.

27

Griz, I'm sorry if you didn't like the tree image! I think it's cute that Jack has taken an interest in you, he seems to be trying to draw you out. I like to see you two playing together, only as long as you're having fun.

DIL - It would help to know how long ago this open relationship started. He said he's known bf for a decade, but that's different from being with him for a decade. They might have only started hooking up regularly last year, or last week. Could it just be a case of new relationship jitters?

FRF - Was she always just not that into him? Or has her contempt grown from her personal issues? I think there is some skill involved in growing the love faster than any resentment.

28

NoCute, I don't think there are many people who feel sane and normal and able to cope great right now. I sort of want to laugh and say haha now you all know how I've felt so often.

I think it's important to put up a good show of sanity anyway. I think yours is stellar. If you want me to send you a pizza, I still have my philophiling gmail address, just send me the delivery address and your preferred toppings.

29

Yes Fan. I could not live with a man, and a man could not live with me. my husband and I lived separately, got together every few nights for conjugal right time
I don’t want to fight over housework, with anyone. Or cooking for the kids. And, you get nights off from the kids when they round his place having dinner. We lived five minutes apart and some kids lived with me, some with him. He kept a much cleaner house than I did/ do.
Dan points the bone at monogamy, I think it’s how many conduct their relationship. Poly is not for everyone.
Dealing with one person’s expectations more than enough for some.

30

Hugs to you all in the States.

31

Coming here and thinking about people’s domestic problems, is comforting in the chaos.
I agree Mr Venn, LW 1 should seek out the therapeutic care of a gay man.
Philo @27, good catch. A new romance not a new friendship? The LW sounds a sweet man, all that insecurity then bam, his creative thought was to blindfold his beau. Does he have to tell him why, before the first time? It could be great play, and it gives the LW room for his erotic self to come forward, because no eyes are upon him.

32

DIL: The USA's motherfucker-in-chief may be trying to convince everyone that there isn't a pandemic going on anymore, but it's not true. You should be able to book online sessions with that sex-positive/poly-positive sex therapist, and turn off your video while talking about your dick.

nocute @2: I'd recommend cannabis before Viagara. DIL gets hard AF just sitting there relaxing, so Viagara might be risky. If someone without erectile issues does want to try Viagara, they should start with a quarter or half tablet, and see how it goes. Hours-long boners can be painful.

33

FRF: "most of all, he wanted to be with me". What's that about? You got into a relationship because he wanted it, or because nobody else did?

34

FRF: "He tries to make sure I have what I need ... a record to play". Is this a rerun from the 1980s?

35

BiDan@22~ "...as a former dick jumper..."
I think we may have discovered our next new Olympic sport...

fubar@32~ "...Hours-long boners can be painful..."
As per SNL, "If you experience an erection lasting more than four hours... tell all your friends!"

36

@11 I know she's having a fit, she doesn't like me a bit..

37

Fubar @33, that jumped out at me too (as did the "record" line). Was this guy the first one who treated her like a "keeper" in spite of her affinity for casual sex? Perhaps she just meant that his enthusiasm was attractive, I mean many of us are suckers for people who are into us in a big way. Or perhaps she's just at a loss to name any other positive qualities in this man who courted her enthusiastically but then turned out to not have much in common with her.

Jack @36, Offspring? Is it guess the lyrics reference day?

38

@ BDF/37, JC/36 our Jack is much cleverer than that - it's the Monkee's song 'Your Auntie Grizelda'! - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rp_eI23YFZY

@BDF/22 - agree with your comment about the pickings thinning out, as that was my experience. Being single became less fun for me as fewer and fewer of my friends and peers were single. Not sure I ever would have gotten married had that not been the case

@BDF/26 Have always been curious why so many of us cohabitate by default - historically very rich people (British royals and so on) tended not to, and while I enjoy many of the advantages of domesticity, I do sometimes wonder if each of us having our own space wouldn't also, at times, be nice...

39

Another up-vote for BDF's comment @26: "if you're the sort of gal who likes your freedom, maybe don't move in with future partners."

41

poll vault must be the closest sports to dick jumping, and the ballet scene in "top secret" may qualify as the artsy form.
go to 1:20 to see it in action (there's also a murderer that looks like donald t. in this scene)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mSJVEb-qljA

44

I agree with those expressing the sentiment that cohabiting is a silly default anymore. After all, "There's no such thing as a minor domestic nuisance." Other people's domestic habits can be a serious source of stress, even if one loves those other people. That said, cohabiting is generally cheaper, and being broke can be a serious source of stress, too.

Which reminds me of one of my favorite quotes--and I can't remember the source, so I'm probably getting the exact quote wrong anyway, but: "Reality can be a source of stress, for those who are in touch with reality." Oh, to not be quite so in touch with the current reality! May I come hang out with Bi and nocute and Phi in the insane club?

45

Welcome to insanity, all of us!

You know, the most important aspect of the sport of dick-jumping is sticking the landing.

46

Lava @29: that sounds like a fantastic arrangement.

47

I cry during car commercials. but only those weird Matthew McConaughey Lincoln ones... 😭 tears of laughter.

take 2 - I cry during car commercials. Tears of grief for the future generations and their suffering from us doing nothing about CO2 emissions.

anyway - Nice to see nocute, emmiz, griz, lavagirl, bidanfan, donnyk, venno... most of the usual thoughtful and caring SLOG commenters are still alive and hopefully well in these ever more sad times.

48

emmiz = emmaliz.
sorry i left off some of the regulars but nice to see so many still here

50

I wonder which country would have the edge in dick jumping... and if the Russian women’s team would all be steroid-enhanced bio males.

51

FRF needs to get out of the way so this perfectly decent dude can find someone who gives a shit about him and will appreciate him. She can find some more guys to be disappointed in without a problem.

52

LW#2: I suggest you read some of Elizabeth Gilbert's books. She is a seeker and changes relationships often, even though she is temporarily passionate about each one. Maybe this is you. Or you could have some girlfriends for emotional support.

53

To cheer up Ms Cute, I'll remind her that, no matter how great the strain may be on her mental resources, she will never find it necessary to use more than half.

Poll vaulting sounds Trumanesque. The ones where one can't be sure whether it was a typo or a genuine witticism can be the cleverest.

54

@9 and @27 Philophile: No harm, no foul. I wasn't offended, I just don't see myself getting romantically involved with jack chandelier, or anyone else at this point in my life.
My biggest challenge right now is to convince my stupid body that I should be entering menopause, already (I'll be 56 in less than two months, and just started another irregular period. However light it is anymore, it's still a pain in the ass for me, and I'd like to have my reproductive years officially over). I may actually need a hysterectomy to call off the vile internal bitches that have plagued my system for the last 43 years. Otherwise, I have a strong immune system, am watching my weight and staying healthy. :)

@23 BiDanFan: I know of the children's verse. I guess I wasn't paying attention. Is jack chandelier actually smitten with me? He doesn't even know me! lol
The lyrics shared by you, Philophile, jack, and others made me think of John Mellencamp's Jack & Diane: Oh yeah, life goes on.....

@30 LavaGirl: Big hugs, positrons, and VW beeps coming right back atcha! :)

@32 fubar: An hours long erection? I obviously don't have a penis, but that does sound painful.
I am reminded of a Berkeley Breathed Bloom County cartoon book, It's a Spanking New Day (c.2017): In a series of frames, Steve Dallas sends Opus to call 9-1-1 for medical assistance. Apparently Steve is suffering the consequences of another night of wild, reckless passion gone wrong.

@36 jack: Wow--I guess I really got under your skin, huh? lol :)

@47 delta35: It's nice to hear from you, too, delta. I hope all is well your way.
My beloved Love Beetle and I ventured outside today in the sun before it clouded over. :)

Okay--who's up for this week's Lucky @69? Tick..tick...tick...

55

As a person who was called unemotional and "cold" by an ex, which would be a shock to just about everyone else that knows me, LW 2 might be considering him stoic and unemotional, but only by comparison to her crying during car commercials. He might be a well-adjusted, center-of-the-road emotional person. My ex (who called me unemotional) was schizo-affective and bipolar, refused to take her meds, and couldn't hold a job because she couldn't go a week without breaking down into a crying fit at work. Our roommate hated her because she would start a huge fight late at night, screaming, while I talked in hushed tones (fights she would apologize for the next day once her head cleared). By comparison I WAS "cold and unemotional," but only because I couldn't be drawn into a screaming match.
So having somebody as emotional as her might not be the thing she wants or needs. A little grounding to balance out her car commercial cries might be something she should view in a less negative light.

56

Rational @38: Of course, the Monkees! A bit before my time, but their 80s comeback wasn't.
As for why so many people cohabitate, in addition to believing that serious or even "real" relationships will of necessity involve progressing up the escalator. there's that oxytocin that convinces young lovers that they want to spend every possible moment with each other, and as Ciods @44 says, economics. Looking back to my 20s, living alone wasn't financially an option for many of us, and living with a boyfriend/girlfriend seemed more appealing than group houses with random roommates. One felt more "grown up" when taking that step of moving in together. So with age come fewer casual sex options but also the opportunity to live alone and "settle" for someone who may not be a perfect match in terms of domestic chores, etc.

CMD @41: Pole vaulting! LOL, gold star for you!

Delta @47, thank you! I had Covid in March/April, thankfully it's gone.

Drjones @51, sounds like you're taking this a bit personally? She too is "perfectly decent"; she appreciates him, she just isn't in love with him, which doesn't make her an asshole. Get over your ex already. TheRob @55 seems to have done.

57

@18. Donny. Very searching treatment of her crying during car commercials (though--are these for the family models?) and seeking a supposed emotional equal.

I see Lava @25 has had the same thought.

/break/
For the gay guy, the important thing for me is that his short-term failures with his lover can be low-stakes. His conversation, communication, intimacy with someone he's known for years are all good. So, in principle, he should be able to open up about his sexual insecurities. It seems he doesn't, at the moment, say anything like, 'I worry that my dick's too small'. Why? That he'll put the kibosh on their staying together as a partnership? I wouldn't think that necessarily true, on the basis of what he's just told us. Why should the only area of their talk where they can't be open and relaxed be sex?

The last suggestion, of blindfolding his partner and saying 'bottoms up', is thrown in so abruptly that it's not clear to me whether it would work. Sure, there are circumstances in which someone with a proneness to go soft will remain rock-hard, and circumstances which will conduce to sexual self-doubt and make fucking too fraught and nervous. Only the lw knows which are which for him; but roleplays in which a person is masterfully assured are often unsustainable and often expose underlying anxieties. If there's a sense of desperation, of 'I should be normal, I should be able to do this!' about the blindfold fantasy, then it might be better for the lw to accept his insecurities and problems are real.

58

I liked your response, drjones, then I’ve always been a little partial to you. Good to see ya.
Hey delta @35: thank you and happy you safe too.
hugs to you dear sista, Grizelda!
Yes elmsyrup@46; it was necessary because you know patriarchy and all that: we did live together for years, then got to a place where rents/ house prices were cheap and a much quieter solution was found.
The ending started when he wanted to sell up and move on round to my place.

59

Lava - Hugs back to y'all down under.
Ciods - One of us! gooble gobble.
Griz - I'm glad you weren't offended thanks. Jack is maybe not the sweetest at playing, but it's nice to see you play. I hope your body issues calm down. I like that you post about them to get an idea of what time has in store for me too..

60

M?? Harriet - Well spotted. I didn't want to bring it up first, but I found the sudden blindfold idea about as odd as Rae's Creek and azaleas would be at Churchill Downs. I'm not particularly averse to blindfolds, but doubt I'd be comfortable with the idea if I knew this were how it would be approached. Much hammering-out would be in order.

61

Something about FRF's plight reminds me of myself when I was in my 20s. "I want to be inspired by my partner."

I was always looking for a certain something else, and was never happy with anyone that actually wanted to be with me. I'm still friends with a few ex's that would have made fantastic partners (and did, for other people). I just had some growing to do before I could see that.

Inspiration comes from within.

62

I'm picturing dick jumping as an Olympic sport now, imagining the crowds, probably would need a lot of those hours long boners. No pain, no gain.

@37/@33 She does say first relationship yet she doesn't seem to enjoy it or him very much. My interpretation was the same- that she's somehow fallen into it, perhaps because he stuck around when others didnt- and now she's distressed that she should stay just because she has a past history of running away from things. That she's jumped dick all her life doesn't seem a problem unless she really is seeking stability, but that she's done the same with family and jobs does maybe indicate a deeper issue with 'commitment'. Either way, no reason to stay with this guy while she works on that. Not all friendships need to last, not all jobs need to last, boyfriends either- the problem is only if it turns out that none of them never do and that distresses you.
Though I agree with Donny and The Rob above that she thinks a bit more realistically about what she wants. It's not necessarily a good mix to be with someone who is your emotional equal if by this you mean "the same as me". And we all like people who "inspire" us but I'd stop short of placing someone on pedestal. Fubar has good advice here.

There are a lot of people who really do not like to spend much time alone. I do agree that Western tendencies lean towards having your own space/time but it's not a universal standard. And even here I'm always surprised by friends who would go nuts if they had to spend a weekend by themselves. I think it's part of why the quarantine was so hard on some folks. So this is probably another (secondary, I agree about finances & relationship norms) reason towards the default of cohabitation- personal desire to be around others.

I didn't know the Monkeys had a song called Auntie Griz. I will have to listen. Childhood memories...

63

EmmaLiz~ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DJs9Q0bc2C0
Not one of my favorites...

64

Venn @ 53
Rest assured, nothing but a silly typo. Thanks for pointing it out, genuine witticism is exclusively yours.

DK @ 50
Dick Jumping teams should be co-ed.

BDF @ 56
Thanks for the gold star.

EL @ 62
I don’t know if it’s the way I grew up, always surrounded with bunch of others and sharing rooms with 1-2 other kids till I was 20 or so, but I always craved having a space of my own. While social and fairly outgoing in public, often waaaaay too outgoing as the kids used to tell me, I still cherish my space.
This may feel different for those who grew up happily in extended family environments, accustomed to everyone pitching in and doing their share.

I’m dreading being locked in my apartment with another person under the current conditions. On a recent conversation with another divorcee we both expressed much relief to be no longer married despite the size of our living conditions. (She’s still at her house, the one I co-owned was fairly big as well.)
From what I can tell the young couples in my apartment building seem to be ok though I keep hearing of growing domestic violence incidents across the world that very sadly also involve some murders.

66

curious2 @ 16
There are different groups out there, not all are therapy discussions per se. Online forums, like this one only more specific, can be a good start.

67

@Cocky & CMD absolutely. In my ideal world, I'd have a live nextdoor, visit often policy for everyone in my life! I enjoy alone time. I enjoy solo vacations and weekends in my garden all to myself! But not everyone is like us. A surprising number of people do not like being alone, and I think the proportion of people who like alone time decreases as you move away from Western culture. (big stereotype but true in my experience anyway) I wonder how many relationships & friendships have been killed by quarantine?

Aside from the other reasons named above (financial especially) I think it's a default because until recently default relationships were exclusively heterosexual and almost always produced children. We are stuck with a lot of those norms, and I think cohabitation by default is another.

68

@32, @35, @54 hours long boners - and then there's the guy who had a 3 week erection and almost lost his penis: https://www.vice.com/en_uk/article/4ag35q/viagra-priapism-three-week-erection

He said it 2 Viagra plus a hookup injecting him with a mystery substance (probably alprostadil) and assured him it was safe.

His instagram says he is now a reiki healer. Hmmm.

69

Me?

70

Mx Wanna - Oh, but it was very good even if it was an accident. I have tons of typos myself, because my computer is positioned with the light source behind me and I have a low visibility keyboard.

Maybe we should have a competition; I'd like to see if anyone could better the likely future figure skater who wrote that, though she was not sent to prison, Lizzie Borden was the first woman to do a double axel murder.

Poor Sr Nadal turns 34 and we're not in the late stages of his favourite tournament. At least this didn't last year and prevent him erasing one of Mrs Court's records. Even if Ms Williams wins two more majors, Mrs C will still hang on to her combined singles/doubles/mixed major record, Ms Navratilova's late haul in doubles and mixed coming up a bit short.

71

@36: Clever use of Monkees' lyrics, Jack! Gold star! :)

@38 RationalHuman: And a Gold Star to you, too, for immediately recognizing the lyrics from The Monkees' 1967 song, Your Auntie Grizelda from the TV series! :)

@58 LavaGirl and @59 Philophile: Big hugs, positrons, and VW beeps coming right back atcha!! :)

@62 EmmaLiz: It's not a chart topper (like Daydream Believer, I'm a Believer, or Last Train to Clarksville), but it's nutty, and I'm an auntie. Thus it is my screen name. :)

@63 DonnyKlicious: I agree---it's not in the Monkees' top 10, but it's quirky, like Griz. :)

@69 WA-HOOO!!!!! Major congratulations to fubar on scoring this week's Lucky @69 Award! Savor the delicious honors envied by so many and only found here in Savage Love. :)

72

Harriet @57, I'm glad you and Venn both found that closing line as jarring as I did. There was no explanation for it, no, "My insecurity stems from the way I look, and I fear partners are judging my appearance, but if they were blindfolded that might help me get over my nerves." If that is indeed what he meant by that. The "bottoms up" suggests that he is expected to be the top in this relationship, which is why he's so concerned about maintaining an erection. But yes, very odd and slapdash way to express that.

Fubar @61, good point that it may be herself that FRF is struggling to have a good relationship with. She's self aware enough to have identified a pattern of flaking on relationships, friends and jobs, now she needs to take the next step of figuring out why and whether to try to fix it or accept it and work around it.

EmmaLiz @62, thinking back to my last cohabiting relationship, there were some genuinely wonderful aspects of it which I do miss sometimes. For some, "stable and affectionate" would be a dream come true, but FRF finds it boring. I'm not trying to argue against cohabitation, just saying it's not necessarily for everyone and it strikes me that it may not be right for her. It would not make her or her relationships any less valid if she decided she's better suited to living solo -- which is not necessarily something a 27-year-old could see.

Emma/CMD/Cocky, quarantine is hard on all of us because we all need some balance of human contact and alone time, and none of us are getting it. Either we have become virtual shut-ins with no in-person contact whatsoever, which is tough on even the happiest solo dwellers, or we are cooped up with partners or roommates or family members (hugs to NoCute) that, no matter how much we love them, we can't get away from when we need a breather. The latter group risks increased domestic violence, the former depression and substance abuse. No wonder we're all going gradually insane...

EmmaLiz @67, yes. Marriage and children were the default. Then birth control became more available and children were no longer necessarily the default (though anyone in a committed OS relationship, particularly married, will be asked not whether but when they are having children). Then living together before marriage became more acceptable, then living together without moving on to marriage (though, again, those couples will be asked when their big day will be). The default expectations are slowing eroding, but we are not quite there yet.

Congrats on the magic number, Fubar!

Griz @71, my favourite Monkees tune was Pleasant Valley Sunday. Which is yours?

73

@72 BiDanFan: Oh, yeah--I love that one, too! Of all the Monkees' top 10 hits, I'm a Believer is my favorite. My favorite Monkees' song on the TV show was & is Randy Scouse Git, with Micky Dolenz singing lead (it's interesting that Micky and Davy swapped roles---you'll see Davy at the drum set where Micky usually would be). I have always marched to a different drummer. and Micky kicks ass. :)

Griz had another movie double feature night. A pair of (Stephen) Kings---Carrie (1976) and Christine (1983). If Griz's female inner parts don't behave, she's ready to waste the prom. Go, Sissy---kick ass and take names!

74

The last sentence in LW1’s letter is, I think, him suddenly putting his mask back on, after being vulnerable and honest with Dan. That’s how I read it. Him puffing himself up so he could take charge.
They are feelings LW, and thoughts, and if you don’t attach to them/ follow them they float on by. Focus on a part of your lover’s body, that you enjoy looking at. Kiss that part. Focus your body and mind on giving him attention, then the panicked self put downs, can be quietened.
What you’re feeling is I think normal, wanting someone we really like to not be disappointed with our bodies. One night stands, it’s over before having to think about it. With a real connection, the stakes are higher.

75

You’re very brave Grizelda, watching Stephen King.
Weird times call for weird movies, eh.

76

DIL doesn't say if he's isolating with his boyfriend, but new advice from three Harvard physicians could solve everything: wear a mask and avoid oral exchange of bodily fluids, including by kissing.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7233185/

They also recommend that people who have sex with partners outside of their home should shower before and after, and clean up the scene with disinfectant.

77

Well - cheer up, sleepy Jean. When I was still socially active, most of the SS women I knew were deeply devoted to Ms Murray. I could never forgive her for draining almost all the life from Daydream Believer.

78

If anyone just heard a piercing scream, that was I when, on Master Minds, after a question about Mr Darcy's first name, Ms Marracco cited his income as being ten thousand DOLLARS a year.

79

Griz, I admire how you always return a pleasantry, you're a great example.

Thanks Fubar! Harvard profs are so kinky... Masks, not blindfolds, though.. Although that is sort of scary, their advice seems predicated on the assumption that if you are not cohabitating, you're not monogamous. Their table of advice assumes that if you aren't living with a partner, you're not monogamous. They have no entry for having monogamous sex but not cohabitating. Maybe they just assume people realize it's about the same risk whether you're cohabiting or not? It is really weird that the emphasis is on masks rather than monogamy, when people don't live with sex partners. I hope people are taking lots of time in between if they get a new partner, anyway, even though the government doesn't seem to care.

80

Neil Diamond wrote the hits "I'm A Believer" (1966) and "A Little Bit Me, A Little Bit You" (1967) for the Monkees...

81

No kissing then, LW1. The Drs orders.
No Sex at all should be the go, even if living with someone. Unless both never leave the house. Others drop off food ect. Not many can afford this. Risk is everywhere. Up to you LW1, because this virus is more of a concern than your fears. Be safe because it isn’t going anywhere.

82

I like the Boyce & Hart "Last Train To Clarksville" -- tho I didn't understand the context at the time. This guy's just been called up and he's terrified.

83

Listening to Frank, and that song “ I’ve got you under my skin” is a sexual reference! A condom less one.

84

The Monkeys were crazy, it was enjoyable watching them turn into real artists.

85

FRF can solve the expression of her underlying problem as it concerns romantic relationships by not pursuing long-term or serious relationships, but that's not really the issue.

"whereas I cry during car commercials"
"I have a tendency to [run the fuck away]—with guys, friends, jobs—so I don't know what I REALLY want."

That speaks to a much more pervasive problem that FRF needs to address to be okay in general, irrespective of what's going on in her dating or sex life. I happen to think that a normative obsession with ambition and goals is literally destroying the world (or at least its ability to support a lot of kinds of life, including humans), so I don't necessarily see not wanting things (which can be perceived as not knowing what one wants) as bad, but this appears to be more of a lack of self awareness plus an avoidant response to stress, conflict, whatever it is that makes FRF run, since she does appear motivated to pursue things. The lack of emotional regulation/disproportionate emotional responses also point to an underlying disorder. She definitely shouldn't inflict her fickle self (I say that as a description, not a judgment) on anyone pursuing long-term relationships until she sorts that out, because she's clearly not suited to them at the moment, even if she did find a more emotive partner.

FRF, from our limited info, it sounds like it's you, not them. I don't know what kind of therapeutic intervention you'd find most helpful, but you need to get your thinking sorted.

@19: The "stoic and unemotional" assessment is coming from someone who is so overwhelmed by her emotions that she apparently cries at car commercials*; given the frame, that's more likely to be a description of someone with normal emotional responses than someone actually lacking emotional affect, as TheRob suggests @55. And the extreme avoidant responses occur in all areas of her life, not just dating. I don't see technical fixes specifically related to dating being very helpful.

@33: Right? "Wants to be with me" is a MINIMUM REQUIREMENT for a relationship, not a notable quality (we also call it "consent"). This is not someone with a worldview that is serving her well (or others, in all likelihood).

*Which aren't even especially emotionally affecting in my experience. Crying over manipulative charity-industrial complex ads designed to provoke that response is one thing, but car commercials are mostly about the status signaling the brand wishes to connect to its cars; they're designed to vicariously inflate the ego (with the intent that the viewer moves from the vicarious to the personal by purchasing a car), not trigger empathetic sadness, distress, anxiety, rapture, or any other emotion typically linked to crying. I realize this could be hyperbole, but there's not much we can do with LWs who won't say what they actually mean, since we don't have extra-textual cues for interpreting what they say, so I take it literally.

86

@85 John Horstman
"@19:"

John, why not inlcude people's usernames, it's not like anyone memorizes their Comment numbers.

"The "stoic and unemotional" assessment is coming from someone who is so overwhelmed by her emotions that she apparently cries at car commercials*"

That's true. (Though on your word choice I'll note that we can't really be certain how precisely the word "overwhelmed" describes the psychological/emotional process that results in her crying.)

"given the frame, that's more likely to be a description of someone with normal emotional responses than someone actually lacking emotional affect, as TheRob suggests @55."

I'd say not that it's "more likely", but that it's possible you're correct.

I did choose to address her as though that possiblity were not the case.

I've pondered your assessment that it's "more likely" (instead of just one possilility, but not rising to the level of "more likely" a bit, and I don't think it's justified. I think people who are overly emotional can still be sufficiently objective about others with the opposite emotional issue to judge it about as well as anyone.

OTOH, I think people with the opposite emotional issue might be less objective in judging the other way around.

And respectfully, IIRC that you might be on the spectrum JH, I think (if I understand being on the spectrum, which I may not and if so I apologize) that I might have more insight into this than you.

Note: I'm not sure--and haven't bothered to ponder--how likely each possibility is, all I'm doing here is contesting your assertion that it's "more likely" that the FRF's making an incorrect assessment of someone with "normal emotional responses".

"And the extreme avoidant responses occur in all areas of her life, not just dating. I don't see technical fixes specifically related to dating being very helpful."

First, if she's not wrong, it seems somehow notable if her BF is being (perhaps subsconsciously) emotionally 'avoidant'.

But you're right, she's run from jobs and friends too. And could equally benefit from advice on how to fix those too.

"Which aren't even especially emotionally affecting in my experience. Crying over manipulative charity-industrial complex ads designed to provoke that response is one thing, but car commercials are mostly about the status signaling the brand wishes to connect to its cars; they're designed to vicariously inflate the ego (with the intent that the viewer moves from the vicarious to the personal by purchasing a car), not trigger empathetic sadness, distress, anxiety, rapture, or any other emotion typically linked to crying."

Generally true, JH. But perhaps her emotional triggers lie in a somewhat atypical place. The things you point out those commercials are designed to evoke might be things she's sad when she thinks about. Maybe her dad died and they became poor which, or maybe she lost something that, will interfere with her achieving things. In other words, the things you mention are "typically linked to crying" are by no means the only things that can press buttons of deep inner emotional pain.

87

John @85, I don't think we can conclude that her previous partners did not consent to being with her. There are a few different interpretations of "most of all, he wanted to be with me," but I disagree with yours. I would read that sentence as he showed more enthusiasm for -committing- to her than prior partners did. Sure, that says something about her prior taste in men or self esteem or both, but I think you're off the mark in interpreting it as basic consent.

"I take it literally." Yeah, don't do that, since you're correct that a literal interpretation makes no sense. I think it's far likelier that there is a car commercial out there that tugs at heartstrings more than usual for its genre, and that she had recently seen that particular commercial and had that particular response (potentially enhanced by her hormonal cycle) and threw it in as a quick example of how different she is to a "stoic and unemotional" man.

Curious @86, seconding your request that prior comments are cited by number and username.

I don't think we need to debate which of these two people is "normal," particularly given that that's a broad range. It just means that they're very different, and it seems that they don't understand this difference in each other, as opposed to some other couple with a similar difference who had learned to appreciate and embrace it. Great point as well that the commercial may have elicited the tears by bringing up childhood memories, either good ones or bad ones. These ad agencies stoke emotions on purpose so that their product will be remembered.

88

Horstman, " I happen to think that a normative obsession with ambition and goals is literally destroying the world (or at least its ability to support a lot of kinds of life, including humans), so I don't necessarily see not wanting things (which can be perceived as not knowing what one wants) as bad"

In other words, it can be good to lack desires, because it's bad that people want so much? What if we want to preserve the ecosystem? What if we even want to breed new species and spread life to other planets as well as preserving life everywhere?

If we didn't want anything, we wouldn't do anything, I think the absence of desire is depression. I think it more matters what we want, our specific ambitions and goals.. some people want happy relationships and thriving diversity of life.. some people want a new Porsche..

Maybe you are saying that if FRF is too materialistic it likely hurts her happiness, I think that sounds reasonable. I also think she would benefit from thinking about the type of life that she wants for herself, especially financially keeping money to retire, but also her career path and how she wants to keep people in her life, and paying more attention to what she wants in certain ways. I think we may agree that she should figure out what she values in life besides "things" or material possessions.

89

I liked your take John H; ambition when directed towards material gain is empty and look where we are.
/ You must remember this
A kiss is still a kiss
A sigh is just a sigh
The world will always welcome lovers
As time goes by.

90

@75 LavaGirl: Unfortunately, 55+ yo Griz (!!!???) had a painfully irregular period this last week, feeling so lousy she needed maximum strength painkillers, and slept the weekend. So I will be watching what I would have over the weekend tonight. I'm still trying to get a hysterectomy scheduled. Like the unfortunate Carrie White's having been a bit old (at age 16) for her first period, Griz is a bit old for what should have long been her last. I have been ready for menopause since the age of 21. I am experiencing terrible lower back pain, as well as muscle and joint pain. Two months after my second of two shingles vaccinations, and my right shoulder and upper right arm are practically unmovable. So I am checking in again with my doctors.
Maybe this is Griz's body's way of saying, take care? I haven't done anything really strenuous lately. :)

@77 vennominon: I agree. Nobody could sing Daydream Believer like Davy Jones! :)

@79 Philophile: As are you. Many thanks! :)

@80 DonnyKlicious: Neil Diamond wrote a lot of great songs for the Monkees, as did Gerry Goffin and Carole King (who were once married at the time). Pleasant Valley Sunday, Take a Giant Step, and quite a few others are listed as Goffin / KIng collaborations.
Those were the days.:)

@82 slomopomo: Last Train to Clarksville is a true Monkees classic, featured on their first album. The songs had also been performed on the 1966-1968 TV series on NBC, and later on Saturday morning reruns. :)

I'll never forget when The Monkees TV show ended in '68. Then the Beatles broke up in '69. I was so bummed. I remember asking my older brother if The Beach Boys and The Rolling Stones were still together.

@83 LavaGirl: Frank Sinatra is a real classic act, too--up there with Tony Bennett. and
@84 LavaGirl: I think that's why I liked Michael Nesmith, Micky Dolenz, Davy Jones and Peter Tork so much. They were indeed, a quartet of wild and crazy guys out to play rock gigs. Set in sunny Pismo Beach, California--what a great setting. Their red GTO convertible, The Monkeemobile, was by itself a TV classic. :)

91

@89 LavaGirl: That's so true. As Time Goes By is a timeless classic. :)