A Middle-of-the-Night Email Exchange

Savage Love Letter of the Day



This is wholesome.


Don't diss Disney, for fuck's sake. My life is Disney-perfect, so shut up!


You do good things Dan


It was a lovely exchange before it turned into Embrace Your Inner Cuckold. Then the evangelism got rather hypnotic.


Wait. There were no specifics in the initial email other than "I need your help, please." I guess I did my letter (that DIDN'T get answered) all wrong.


I rarely admire Dan's ability to carry on an email exchange like this in the middle of the night. Maybe he just wants material for a column. Maybe he wants to help people. Maybe it's a little of both. But, I would have popped an Ambien half way through. Dan is a way better person than me.


That should say "really admire."

I've got to invest in some new glasses.


Really interesting to see this roll out in real time. Thanks for sharing.


While I agree with Dan that Disney and Dom comes creates unrealistic expectations, I also feel that the Disney/romcom narrative misses the best parts of what a relationship can be. Invariably, these love stories are about falling in love and starting a relationship, a process that ends with “happily ever after.” But “happily ever after” assumes that a long term relationship is a static thing. I’ve been lucky enough to find that this is not at all the case - being in a relationship is about growing that relationship and growing as people together. Like most things in this world, if your relationship isn’t growing or being constantly maintained, it’s are crumbling. But this growth and change is beautiful. A long term relationship changes and evolves over time and part of the fun is practicing and improving on being a good partner. This may not make a successful movie but it does make a great relationship. So IMHO the beauty of a good can far surpasse anything represented in Disney fairytale.


Yeah... this poor kid's gonna end up discarded just like all the guy's other partners. But hey, maybe he'll get a green card out of it so ¯(ツ)/¯.


Hasn't Dan answered like 10's of similar letters before? I would've been like, dude, do you even know about my fucking column, look it up.


@11 -- In all fairness, damn near every letter Dan gets is one he's answered before. Something something circle of life.


Ms Mommy - Another good entry in the Freudian Slip of the Year stakes?


This could be totally wrong. It's just that the partner sounds openly narcissistic, and gas-lighting can mess with your head. The LW might want to read up on some personality profiles of narcissists for emotional insurance, to guard against manipulation.


Venn @13: edubs @9's "Disney and Dom comes" is a pretty funny autocarrot as well.


A heartwarming exchange.

Insecure's bf is unreasonable in suggesting that it's his close, 'suffocating' attention that prompts the Web flirting.


This BF needs a news flash: nobody 'makes' you do anything, short of a gun to your head. You are CHOOSING your responses to rocky spots in your relationships.

The attempts to shift blame, now and in reference to past cheating, would make me very nervous. This guy hasn't learned his lessons from previous unfaithfulness, and he won't own his mistakes. That, to me, is problematic. If he's feeling suffocated, I'm not going to say anyone's emotions aren't valid, but cheating and hiding is not the constructive, mature, relationship-sustaining way to handle the problem.

Social media flirting might not be a deal-breaker. This tendency to deal with emotional discomfort by doing something he knows his partner doesn't like and then blaming the partner? That's another matter entirely.

This isn't a DTMFA. This is a "you need to have a serious talk with your BF about how he handles emotional stress." And if his response to that is to accuse you suffocation again and go screw someone else - then it's DTMFA time.


Easily the best piece I've seen from Dan in years.


@2 For now.


I'm concerned about the BF's deflecting of responsibility. "I hid it because I knew it would upset you" is bullshit because half the reason LW was upset was because BF agreed to stop doing it. He clearly never had any intention to stop going on Grindr or flirting on social media. But instead of being honest and letting the LW make an informed choice, he told LW what he wanted to hear and hid the evidence.

The flirting and monogamy issues can be moved past. The fact that lying and blaming others seem to be the BF's default response to disagreement? Yeah, that's going to continue being a problem unless he makes some drastic changes.


No one’s having any sex in Disney movies. That minister in The Little Mermaid really did have a boner though... My VCR damn-near broke from slo-mo-ing it through that scene over n’ over.



What @12 means is, "Simpsons did it!"


You're a lovely human Dan. Thanks for chatting with and helping another human in the middle of the night. A hand to hold in the dark. SMOOCH xoxoxo ~Tami


@13 - No, not Freudian. Poor typing skills coupled with being too lazy to get new glasses. Never look for a complicated reason (like Freud) when the answer is a simple one.


@7 BadBreathMommy
@13 vennominon

Typing "rarely" when she intended "really" might not be about either typing skills (the typed letters aren't nearby the intended ones), or Freudian (I believe what she said with that gross breath).

I don't know what it's called but sometimes I often simply type the wrong word. Not the wrong letter, the entirely wrong but word. (Quite inconvenient since spellcheck can't help with this.) I have no idea what it's called but for me anyway it's sometimes been a thing. Not for years, thankfully.


I really ought to be keeping track; "asking for a fiend" may be the current favourite.

I have my own typing things - for a long time, I would usually mis-type the word "annuity" just as a malfunction of the fingers.


A forty yr old man behaving like a school boy, how unusual.


@27... as so often happens, LavaGirl wins the comment thread.


I'm with @16, 17, and 20 - the flirting isn't a threat to the relationship, the dishonesty and blame-shifting (or gaslighting) are big red flags. Forgiveness is an essential part of a healthy relationship, but forgiving someone who doesn't show empathy, contrition, or accountability isn't healthy, it's just enabling emotional abuse.
forgiveness is worthless unless


Last line should've been deleted.

@27: yeah, well put. Along with "I'm going to flirt, it's who I am", BF should be saying "but you don't need to feel threatened by it, I'm not going to cheat on you because I don't want to lose you." If he's NOT saying that, then it's actually a bad idea for LW to tell himself "BF isn't going to leave me". That's pretty common bad poly advice.


Bi@15, Autocarrot indeed!


This was lovely to read.

IMSAD doesn’t mention whether he has friends in his new home (his boyfriend’s home country, which IMSAD recently moved to). If he doesn’t, IMSAD may want to focus, as time and energy allow, on seeking out people to develop friendships with. Loneliness can act as an incubator for insecurity, and even though IMSAD’s relationship with his boyfriend is mostly happy and fulfilling, establishing some other solid connections in his new home might help IMSAD’s general sense of stability and belonging.


Thanks ChristopherJ, @28.


And Chase.


Dammit, Dan, wheretf's that Pulitzer?!
You've earned it.


You are a lovely man, Dan Savage.