SL Letter of the Day: Long Form

Comments

102
I once dated a self-professed "nice guy" (you know, one of those guys who bemoans that he is constantly getting turned down because he is "too nice") and holy mother of cheese was it a terrible experience. Never, before or since, have I encountered a man who pressured me so hard for sex or was more offended when I tried to assert my boundaries. As far as he was concerned, he was nice and thus had a whole list of things he DESERVED. I'm not overstating the "deserved" part either; that's the word he used. I didn't want to kiss him? To sleep in the same bed as him (not sex, sleeping)? To get married to him after two months of dating? Well, didn't he DESERVE it? And teenage-me thought that well, maybe he was right. After all, wasn't he a "nice guy?" Hadn't he stuck around as my friend even though I was mentally ill? Hadn't he spent time with me? He wasn't at all one of those stereotypical jocks who went and flirted with other girls when we were at a party . . . he just told me about how boring his family found me but how that was ok because he liked me! He didn't try to rape me when he was drunk . . . he just forgot about me and left me without transportation in a town I'd never been to before so he could go to a bar. But he was sorry afterwards! He said so!

Seriously, when men start in about how they have a poor history of women and yet all the serious contributing factors conveniently fall on the women in question, red flags shoot up in my head like a blast of gunpowder. I don't really know anything about the LW, but I'm hoping some of this might strike a cord. I've never, ever known a woman who dumped a guy because he was "too nice." However, I have BEEN a woman who nervously hemmed and hawed around the real reason, either because I was afraid of how he would react or because I didn't understand the real reason myself.
103
@101: I'll take your word for it, then. I think it was just the degree of hyper-organization and list-making and cross-references.
104
@39: Looking good. (I say that in a purely objective fashion, being taken.)
105
TL:DR
106
Thanks, Dan... For not responding to my email about needing some advice to advance ally work, but rather to indulge this little idiot who claims in the very beginning of this epic email that he was turned off by a girl who took her clothes off for him after "only" knowing him for 5 days.
Awesome.
107
@106: Give him a break... sadly he has to give the people what they want more than he needs to give you what you need; and look at that, over 100 comments in 4 hours.
Hopefully he will get back to you on your question. (And thanks for your efforts! Keep hope - you are awesome.)
108
A follow up recommendation for the LW.

I know you have gotten dogpiled over calling the girl a slut. My suggestion it that you spend 4-6 hours reading the "texts from last night" website. It may help you to properly categorize what does and does not constitute slutty behavior by the college age set.

best wishes
109
@108, yes.

Apart from the blatant misogyny, I think the LW is suffering from the sexual manifestation of the mindset "Everyone who drives faster than me is a maniac, and everyone who drives slower than me is a moron."
110
Haha thanks for all the positive encouragement guys! Hopefully I have learned my lesson, but you know us womens, with our small brains, always chasing the Bad Boys. (Granted, my Bad Boys got beat up for their lunch money in college and can sustain for days on Pocky, Red Bull and the vapors of their own superiority, but details, details.)

Now to REALLY pile onto the LW, here is my favorite rant about the Nice Guy: http://divalion.livejournal.com/163615.h…

@100 I hope there is a special place in hell for guys like that (and people who talk in the theater.) Also, I am sad you do not have a name.
@Ben I say no, but only because the F# chord is my enemy on the guitar. Thus Rot Lop Fan... can bite me.
@Susan You a big steampunker cosplayer? I'm trying to put together an ode to Batgirl for ConVergence; any tips?
111
Letter writer, I have sympathy for you, because you are young. And I like that you're reading comments and actually trying to change. Here's what I got from the first part of your letter...

So, if I'm a girl and I'm interested in you, and I make a pass then I am likely to be labeled as a slut. If I am in a relationship with someone else, and I'm comfortable letting my boyfriend be physically affectionate of me in public, then I am weak and he's bad. So, being sex-positive isn't okay. Being in a relationship with you, likely means having to feel bad about sex, and maybe acting like I don't really want it or something.

If I take it slow and play it cool, then there's a decent chance you won't be interested in me. Why weren't you interested in those other women? I'm guessing part of it is that they moved too slowly, since part of attraction is often dependent on timing, and you can have attraction die by going too slowly.

If I'm not interested in you at all, we can be friends, but you'll consider yourself friend-zoned rather than just appreciating my friendship.

In order to actually get you to want me, I have to be neurotic and dramatic - like Stella. She did it all right. She acted uninterested in you, strung you along, and then threw a mess of exciting drama at you, which seems to be what you want to be attracted to someone and also view her as a "good girl".

Actually being a good, sex-positive, psychologically stable person isn't as good. I could be wrong on that, but it does seem likely.

The next thing I want to say, and it has been brought up before is that if you are interested in someone, tell them. Acting like someone's friend as a ploy to try to get them into a relationship is a really horrible thing to do. I'm not saying you're doing that, but it sounds like you are in danger of doing that. It's dishonest, manipulative, awkward for the person you're doing it too, and not in any way nice. If you're interested, let the person know. Make a pass. You may be accepted, you may be rejected, or you may get told to wait until the person finds out more. But then you have an honest basis for interacting with that person. And if the person says she isn't interested, accept that and move on. You can consider having a friendship if you really mean it as just a friendship and aren't trying to make it into anything else. But move on as far as trying to find someone for a relationship and/or sex. You won't be everyone's type, and that's okay. It's better to not waste time trying to turn something that isn't likely to work out well into a relationship, and instead focus on finding someone who actually wants what you have to offer. When you spend a large amount of time being friends with people before letting them even know of your interest, you invest a lot of time before you even know if that mutual attraction is possible. And then it also hurts more when it turns out not to be. See if it is, and then figure out if you're compatible beyond that.
112
So here's the deal: rather than jump on this guy (which he deserves, but a lot of us nerds have been to Nice Guy land once or twice, so forgiven), let's make this a teachable moment. Fortunately, this is the sort of thing the internet is good for.

First, an analysis of why, even if you *did* get the girl, it would still be a bad idea:
http://xkcd.com/513/

Second, a deconstruction of the Nice Guy(tm) pheonomenon - note that there are about a babillion of these on the web, many of them very good, and many of them at strongly feminist sites, since the Nice Guy(tm) is typically actually quite a misogynist. I'm going to link one that's from a guy's perspective, because it will be easier to relate to:
http://shakespearessister.blogspot.com/2…

So, don't be that guy. Understand why that guy is bad, and understand his motivations and why they're actually preventing you from having good relationships.

Finally, what do you do to get back on track? I saw a great series of posts on this on ... I think it was Kung Fu Monkey, but I can't seem to find them. A brief synopsis:
* Date. Mess around. The more you do these things, the quicker you will get over this girl. You don't have to be head-over-heels for someone to have fun with them. I've heard the internet is actually a good place to meet people to have not-too-serious dates with - you probably won't find your soulmate but at least you get practice.
* Learn how *not* to "white knight". That doesn't mean get into the pickup artist crap; just learn how to flirt and not take yourself or the girl too seriously. This is an acquired talent, so you need to go on dates to practice it (see above).
* Don't put women on pedestals. Women are people just like you but with slightly different bits. There are some who want/like the same things you do, including fucking.
* Have your own life/interests, which should include doing things with groups of other people who you aren't romantically interested in. You may meet people who you *are* interested in, but at the very least you will have something to talk about that doesn't involve watching anime in your underwear at home.
* Finally, you are crushing on this girl. Real romance is something that grows out of a connection and mutual interests and even (gasp!) friendship - just not the way you're doing it. RECOGNIZE when you are crushing on someone - in love with the *idea* of being with them or some idealized notion of them - rather than forming a real connection. The thing is, you *know* you aren't really connected here; communication is awkward; you're putting on a front; you struggle to make light conversation. When you meet someone you're potentially compatible with, things will feel natural and there will be WAY LESS DRAMA. That person may not turn out to be the love of your life (could just turn out to be a good friend who happens to be female) but there's always a chance.
* And, really finally this time, I have to reiterate: if you are hanging out with a girl and interested and you think you can really relate to her as a person, you have to come out and tell her/ask her out. No wimping out! Avoiding the issue is creepy.
113
People should always reread emails they are about to send or comments they are about to post, even if they're only going out into the void of the internet. I can be wordy at times as well, but I realize that nobody wants to read my ideas if I type up the first things that come to mind and hit "send" without editing them. edit edit edit. That's why we love the internet! We don't have to be charming and concise in real time!
114
There are at least two major problems suggested by your letter, LW. The "slut" thing has already been covered in depth, so I won't go into that.

But here's another thing that's probably tripping you up: based on this letter, it's hard for me to imagine that you're capable of holding a conversation that would keep a girl interested. The fact that you thought all these details were necessary suggests that you are completely out of touch with what anyone else would find relevant or interesting. It's not that the problem you describe is necessarily tear-your-eyes-out boring, but your account of it sure as fuck is. Did you notice how many people here say they couldn't be bothered reading this (and add me to their ranks, although I really made an effort)? Now imagine that every girl you're talking to is similarly bored. If a girl doesn't want to stick around for long enough for you to get through a single story, the odds of you ever getting laid are nil - especially if you label the ones willing to skip over the talking part and go straight to the sex part sluts.

You don't seem like a bad person, just a bit clueless and naive. But the good news is that plenty of people outgrow clueless and naive - hell, most of us were there at some point in our lives. Good luck!
115
So here's the deal: rather than jump on this guy (which he deserves, but a lot of us nerds have been to Nice Guy land once or twice, so forgiven), let's make this a teachable moment. Fortunately, this is the sort of thing the internet is good for.

First, an analysis of why, even if you *did* get the girl, it would still be a bad idea:
http://xkcd.com/513/

Second, a deconstruction of the Nice Guy(tm) pheonomenon - note that there are about a babillion of these on the web, many of them very good, and many of them at strongly feminist sites, since the Nice Guy(tm) is typically actually quite a misogynist. I'm going to link one that's from a guy's perspective, because it will be easier to relate to:
http://shakespearessister.blogspot.com/2…

So, don't be that guy. Understand why that guy is bad, and understand his motivations and why they're actually preventing you from having good relationships.

Finally, what do you do to get back on track? I saw a great series of posts on this on ... I think it was Kung Fu Monkey, but I can't seem to find them. A brief synopsis:
* Date. Mess around. The more you do these things, the quicker you will get over this girl. You don't have to be head-over-heels for someone to have fun with them. I've heard the internet is actually a good place to meet people to have not-too-serious dates with - you probably won't find your soulmate but at least you get practice.
* Learn how *not* to "white knight". That doesn't mean get into the pickup artist crap; just learn how to flirt and not take yourself or the girl too seriously. This is an acquired talent, so you need to go on dates to practice it (see above).
* Don't put women on pedestals. Women are people just like you but with slightly different bits. There are some who want/like the same things you do, including fucking.
* Have your own life/interests, which should include doing things with groups of other people who you aren't romantically interested in. You may meet people who you *are* interested in, but at the very least you will have something to talk about that doesn't involve watching anime in your underwear at home.
* Finally, you are crushing on this girl. Real romance is something that grows out of a connection and mutual interests and even (gasp!) friendship - just not the way you're doing it. RECOGNIZE when you are crushing on someone - in love with the *idea* of being with them or some idealized notion of them - rather than forming a real connection. The thing is, you *know* you aren't really connected here; communication is awkward; you're putting on a front; you struggle to make light conversation. When you meet someone you're potentially compatible with, things will feel natural and there will be WAY LESS DRAMA. That person may not turn out to be the love of your life (could just turn out to be a good friend who happens to be female) but there's always a chance.
* And, really finally this time, I have to reiterate: if you are hanging out with a girl and interested and you think you can really relate to her as a person, you have to come out and tell her/ask her out. No wimping out! Avoiding the issue is creepy.
116
sorry about the double-post - just registered :/
117
Wow, I'm late to the party as usual, but @82 I know EXACTLY what you're talking about when you describe those self-proclaimed "nice guy" nerds. I have a friend from college who basically could've written this letter, although he probably would've come off as even more judgmental than this guy. Once, he actually tried to play the victim based on his purported "niceness," claiming that his "nice guy" status was what made it so easy for women to dump him.

I also know the Stanley type of nerd, who constantly makes offensive jokes about others and then laughs it off if anyone seems to take issue. But oh, if someone makes any sort of remark about him, he will lose his fucking mind, and in some cases, never forgive the person!

And gee...I also know the Stella type of nerd, who can't stand not to be the center of attention (especially when that attention is given by nerdy guys), probably also feels that being both female and a nerd warrants special attention, and can seem pretty cool from time to time, until her penchant for drama overshadows any fun you could be having. (Ahem!)
118
Martychan, I blushed at your comment about my name. Yeah, you'd definitely be my type. Same nerd circle, from the sound of it, you're attractive, you're nice, and you're witty. (In my somewhat limited experience/opinion.) That guy who dumped you was a nincompoop. (Err, I hope my tone doesn't come out strangely once it's been through the internet.)

And... Yeah, I didn't know any better at the time, but I sure learned a lot from the experience! It's much like what @102 described.

Speaking of which, @102, I'm sorry that you had to go through that. I honestly know just what that's like, except in my case I started wearing pads to get him to stop touching me, he got bored with me, and he dumped me via IM. I wouldn't have had the sense to break up with him... Man, I need to stop thinking about that. Anyway, I really wish you hadn't had to go through that.
119
It looks like I'm just about the only one who found that long letter amusing & adorable. I do have a soft spot for nerdy boys & if I was x years younger I'd be happy to help mrphonz out with that pesky virginity problem. Maybe I'm giving him too much credit but I thought there was a hint of self-deprecation & certainly humor in the way he expressed himself. I wasn't horrified by the 'sluttish' comment either, just thought he longed for something more romantic. He's young and green but look how cool he is about the mass bollicking he's receiving here. I think he'll turn out okay & I do truly enjoy his writing style, numbered points & all.
120
Well trilled, "mr phonz"...amazing that this tedious letter and a few weak troll posts got 111 responses.
121
@78 "'I guess you guys are telling me' a lot of approval-seeking and not a lot of genuine soul-searching?"

Totes lip-service.
122
@103, if I had to pick a label, I would say OCD. He's trying to make sense of all these carefully numbered and essential parts of the story, trying to find some combination that allows him to be angry at Stella but still end up with her. The pieces are not going to fit; there is no happy ending here.

I think the best thing Mr. Phonz can do for his love life is to stop trying to control or understand it. You will not be able to control or understand the woman, and this is OK. Nobody, including the object of your desires, is or should be perfect. Two parts of the letter reveal the precise nature of this guy's problem:

"At this point, Stella tells us #1. I had long suspected something of this nature. It explained why the break-up was so messy, why this entire fiasco happened."

This is the crux of the issue: #1 does not explain anything. Phonz sees an "entire fiasco" here that requires explanation, and THAT is the problem. Stella was conflicted about her bad boyfriend and made out with you, twice, and she'll string you along through this thing as long as you let here. There is no way of making reasonable sense of any of this, and as long as you care to try, you are doomed.

"We stopped talking around 3:30am, with no progress whatsoever"

This is the second revelation of what's really wrong here. You have been talking for hours to both a girl and her friend about the girl's bad relationship. There is no such thing as "progress" in this scenario. If you still feel attracted to Stella, here's what "progress" would be: tell her that you are willing to make out with her, or more, when she comes to her senses and shows up at your door. Until then, she should stop texting you about her dumb relationship problems because you're going to be busy getting laid with someone else. And then, make good on your words. Go back to the delightful "slutty" girl and tell her you had a revelation, saw the light, and want a do-over.
123
I feel like my comment came out all wrong, now that I'm looking at it again. Um. Drat. I wish there were a way to edit or delete it...

What I meant to say is that I think you sound like a cool person, and I'm flattered (genuinely) by your reply.

If that isn't how it came out, I'm really sorry.
124
@123, that's how your post @118 sounded to me, so I'd relax. But I was disturbed by the reference to wearing pads so he would stop touching you. You were using menstrual pads to convince a guy that he should stop touching your privates? How old were you? I'm really upset by that image...
125
@99 You are not the only one thinking Aspergers.

Hey, MrPhonz, I was recently diagnosed with Aspergers myself and the more I read of your letter, the more I thought wow... That's the kind of stupid crap I might have wasted my time with at that age. Actually the whole letter, its length, its overly-formal tone, its organization felt uncomfortable familiar.
Just realize that Dan is right about you needing to walk away. Whenever you find yourself in a situation like this, take some time to process and think how much you actually like Stella as a person and how much you're just obsessing over something you haven't finished yet. Think about how long it must have taken you to write and organize that letter. From your questions, it seems like you don't understand what anyone in this situation is really feeling, including yourself. You spend the whole letter discussing the context, getting lost in the details, and having to ask how you should feel where most people would explain the situation briefly and talk mostly how they feel.
I would definitely think about checking out a website like
http://www.aane.org/ and/or talking to a counselor about the possibility that you have Aspergers. I resisted the idea for a while before checking it out, dismissing it as an easy out because there must be some emotional whatsis wrong with me but nope... it was mostly the Aspergers.

@78 /Aleman:
It's interesting that this kid spends the whole (ludicrously) long letter describing the efforts of him and his friends to get this girl out of a relationship, and you say she's just suffering from poor self esteem and 'trapped' and doesn't deserve to be labeled a drama queen on one hand. Meanwhile on the other hand you think you can impute someone's full view of women from a passing use of the phrase "sluttish behavior," especially given that you say it's not the word it's the attitude behind it. It's almost like you have no insight at all, just a handful of academic-ish femenism buzzwords that you throw out every time someone uses a word on your bad list. It's like a talisman that protects you from having to make an argument!
I'll bet you five bucks American that you've just spent four hours bitching out a kid with a developmental disorder, who was genuinely asking for help. Try not to impute my general attitude towards all women when I call you a total douche.

(See, MrPhonz... I just spent 15 minutes writing a stupid comment on the interwebs. Think about it.)
126
Do you even like Stella? Did you cast her as your Dream Girl before you really knew her, but now she's stuck in that role? Because from all of your comments, it seems like you kind of don't like her.

And that's okay. Getting to know people better often means liking them less. That's even okay after naked time. You can roll around naked with someone after knowing them for five days, and still decide you've had enough after knowing them for 14 days.

Learn how to date, instead of having these ridiculous fixations that tween-dramas tell us are epic love stories. Learn how to be as interested in your own life as you are in Stella's.

My specific advice is to ask 3 girls out this week. Doesn't matter who. Doesn't matter if you're into the same things. Doesn't matter if you think they're slutty. Doesn't matter if their beauty doesn't stop your breath. Learn how to interact with a variety of people. Learn how to appreciate women. Learn how actual grownups act with each other.

Oh, and @Martychan: you are very desirable. Thank god for men who dropped us before we developed the wisdom to drop them, right?
127
BPOAT/mrphonz:

Well, seeing as how Eunice has apparently warmed up to you without bashing your head in with a shovel out of frustration, maybe you should ask her what it is you're doing wrong.
128
I am with the minority who think that you SLOG'rs have short attention spans and just want to be entertained. You're too hard on this guy, whose biggest problem is his youth. I have many many journal entries / letters to /conversations with friends during my 20-22 age which are extremely similar in content form and length.

In summary, I think these comments are the people that I agree with most:

@25 Enigma - to think about.
@33 smidgebean - face it, where stella is concerned, you're backup guy.
@81 alanmt - really good advice/ wording re: stella. take it.
@97 Latebloomer - all good points
@102 Lorran - also worth reading and internalizing
@115 spats - don't put women on pedestals. I am learning this lesson myself. people are not perfect. don't expect them to be, and anticipate dissappointment... accept them as imperfect beings.
@114 fallen angel - important conversational skills

You're the rebound guy. What @81 said. I was a drama queen girl, I strung along my backup guy for years, because I didn't want to let go of my (perfect) boyfriend. She'll never break up with him. And when she does, she won't choose you. :(

I think you kissed her when she was in a vulnerable state, and while I don't think you took advantage of her... there was nowhere good that could go. unfortunately.

end of the day... re-read the people with good advice (aka stuff I agree with :) ). and try to live life with less expectations of how things (and people) "should" be. I am in the middle of learning this myself, so it's a process. Good for you for trying to take all of our advice to heart, the listening thing is good.

also... Let's be realistic. I think you love the drama as much as she does. I'm personally attracted to drama, I thrive in it. But know when it's a good thing, fun drama, and when it's a bad thing-- drama that MAKES YOU FEEL BAD. And try to avoid the latter. Hint: Fun drama is when: you both like each other, and you both WANT to be with each other, and other people are the outsiders... And right now... you're the outsider.

I'm long winded too. Many of my friends don't read my emails either.
129
@Anyone who pondered Aspergers or OCD:

Given that these are both disorders one is born with, I am going to have to lean towards the side of disagreeing with your diagnosis of myself. When I was in middle school I saw a psychologist for depression; I have suffered ADD my entire life, but never has anyone diagnosed me with any developmental disorder. I think a mistake I made in my letter was not stating that I am the kind of 'nerd' who is also outgoing and enjoys partying and meeting people.

Obviously I regret writing ever detail for all of your sakes, but for me it allowed me to just... Get it out. Put it all out there so that, after receiving your 4500 and counting words of advice, I can look at what I wrote and what you guys wrote and really evaluate everything honestly.
130
@115 I really like that blog post breaking down the true motivations behind "Nice Guy" syndrome! Like I said in my last comment, I know and have met several guys who fit that description! I'm tempted to post it on FB, but a little afraid of the comments I might get. I'm googling it right now, but would you mind linking to some of your other favorite articles/posts about it? I did like that the author of one admitted that he could relate to the mindset, but I'd be interested in reading more.
131
@EricaP: Oh! Oh, I deleted so much of my own rambling from that post that I missed that bit and took away its context. I was fifteen years old, with a highly irregular period; I started wearing pads about a week before there was any sign of it coming, that's all. Um. I wasn't super young or anything, just... Not comfortable with him reaching into my panties without asking. (And he liked to "joke" about how we'd "skipped right to third base." Since he refused to kiss me, but would grope me when no one was looking on the school bus...

Sorry for the confusion! Also, thank you very much for the reassurance!
132
MrPhonz, you are going to have to stop being "advice guy" in your set of friends. You like it when girls come to you with their troubles and you can help "solve" the problems or "give advice". All you're doing is self-indulgent wankery, and you'll discover that in time.

Remember, being condescending is not the same as being supportive.

Get involved in fun outside activities and talk about them. When people come to you for private talks about non-important relationship stuff, say you're sorry they're having such a hard time, and then change the subject.

In a few months, you'll be beating the girls off with a stick.

Good luck.
133
@125: I think the only reason one would use such a blatantly misogynist term like "slut" (to describe entirely normal and even bordering-on-conservative-for-a-college-kid behavior) is if one has some pretty well-entrenched misogyny. Of note, the vast majority of the commenters here seemed to have exactly the same visceral revulsion to the term that I did. It's one of those words that you basically only have to use once for people to figure out a LOT about your true intentions (for a much more extreme example, imagine you only heard someone say the word "nigger" once in the course of a 15-minute soliloquy...you've heard all you need to know!).

What's more, his backpedaling, defensiveness, and further explanation here in the comments emphasizes his distrust of women and a noticeable vindictive streak toward the stripping girl, especially since it seems like she turned him down!

Finally, I don't know of any developmental disorder that causes someone to spontaneously and innocently devalue women for expressing their sexuality. I do know that society at large does that A LOT, though...so maybe his throwing terms like "slut" around has a lot more to do with the cultural "values" he's learned, rather than his innate neurodevelopment? And, disordered or no, what he said was demeaning and hurtful to that particular girl and basically every woman who feels it her right to express her sexuality, ever. When people are demeaning and hurtful, they deserve to get called out. In the (incredibly unlikely) event that some organic disorder is causing that hurtfulness, he needs some major cognitive behavioral therapy to address it, but the rest of us are under no obligation to give someone a free pass on hurting others, because hurting others is not okay.
134
Remedial Guide for Nice Guys® Who Genuinely Want to Stop Being Sexist Assholes and Start Having Real Relationships:

Rule #1: In order for someone to be a good match for you, the first requirement - the Prime Directive, if that helps - is that they HAVE TO BE INTO YOU. From now on whenever you're interested in someone else, ask yourself "is she into me?" Until you're 100% certain the answer is an unqualified yes, you don't know if she's compatible with you. Wishful thinking is an instant disqualification. And if she's not compatible with you, pursuing a sexual or romantic relationship is a waste of time and energy. Only put energy into finding out the answer, never into "changing her mind". (And even if she IS compatible with you, she's still allowed to change her mind at some point.)

Rule #2: Women are people. Treat them that way. They are not an alien species. You do not have to put on an act or be a dick or play mind games to win them over. If you start to think that you do, go look at Rule #1. This is a sure sign that SHE IS NOT INTO YOU. Neither do they need to be rescued or saved or shown the light. They're not children, either, and if you think one of them is acting like a child, SHE'S NOT INTO YOU. Friends don't have hidden agendas, so you shouldn't either.

Rule #3: Always be prepared for sex - so ALWAYS pack your own condoms - and always be prepared to not have sex - even after you've started. Never judge them for being ready, for not being ready, or for changing their mind. If they're not ready for sex, see Rule #1.

And finally, Rule Zero: the best way to get a good partner is to be a good partner. The better the person you are, the better the person you'll attract (and be attracted to). Don't put your energy into getting a girlfriend, or getting laid, put your energy into self-improvement - think about what would make you an awesome person to be around, and focus on that. Because whether or not you have a partner, you're going to have to live with yourself, and you better make sure that's worth doing. The rest will follow.
135
awww, Chase. That was nice. As well as useful.
136
@117 Oh, and don't forget the passive-aggressiveness. Dudes (and gals) like that are ALWAYS passive aggressive.

Dated a guy briefly last month who I could never have a conversation with that was even mildly critical without him completely shutting down on me. He blew me off one evening to go to some BBQ, and I just told him, "Hey man, that wasn't cool. You could have at least told me in advance that you were changing your plans." Oh, and it was my birthday too. Boy blew me off on my birthday.

Anyway, he completely shut down and wouldn't say anything, and later, when he brought it up again, he said I "went ballistic" on him. Ballistic? Really? So typical. "Nice guys never get mad or angry or have confrontations, ever, because it's not NICE." Even calm, rational displays of displeasure are mis-characterized so they can throw it in your face later and make you seem like an unreasonable, angry harpy.

The worst thing is that it's hard to tell they are that flavor of jerk right off the bat. They seem so...nice. At first, anyway. :P
137
Wow, this letter is a piece of trash. It sounds like all these bitches are in eighth grade.
138
whoa
139
Two Jagger Gravning letters in one afternoon?
140
OMG THIS IS >2600 WORDS LONG.

One writer in the Savage Love corpus was instructed to stop "writing like Faulkner on a three-day bender," and I think that advice goes in spades for you, BPOAT, and then in clubs, hearts, and diamonds to be absolutely certain. Seriously, we're not just talking Faulkner on a three-day bender, we're talking Faulkner, Huxley, and Hunter S. Thompson on a nine-day ether, bourbon, acid, weed, and 2C-I bender.
141
Hey MrPhonz -- just a couple of notes amid the wave of commentary here.

-- You take criticism really well! I could never take the kind of bashing you are getting when I was 22. I'm impressed you are trying to communicate with grace and honesty here.

-- Don't take it all too much to heart. These people don't know you. And I guarantee you that they would never be so aggressive and nasty in person; the internet seems to bring out a really shitty side of people, in which everything becomes entertainment, you know?

-- That said, there is a lot of good advice in those frustrated, angry, dismissive comments. You are indeed not yet aware of what you can and can't control, and what are and are not your responsibilities.

-- You'll figure it out.
142
@136

I'm super impressed you even talked to him after he blew you off on your birthday. Presumably you got the fuck out right after he blamed you for being disappointed that your boyfriend dodged you on your birthday?
143
I've never read so much about nothing. I swear this was an episode of 90210 when I was 14 or did I read it in a copy of Young Hustler.............
144
Update: she already went back to Stanley.
145
@144 - you do have a certain verve, I'll give you that.
146
@110: Oooh, she got the reference!

Seriously, is being married a dealbreaker?
147
Clearly the consensus is that BPOAT was stupid -- to say nothing of inconsiderate and cruel -- when he called that girl who stripped for him 'sluttish' and therefore richly deserves to be in the soap-opera drama 'Stella and Stanley (and Backup Guy BPOAT)'.

And I can only agree. Indeed.

Of course this is all because of his lack of experience. There are lots of great nerds who do understand how to treat other people and have relationships (I'd include myself in the bunch). BPOAT, however, clearly still has some growing to do. I hope he will -- I hope he will learn to pay women more real respect (the one who stripped for him was courageous enough to take a serious risk, and yet he didn't respect her for that) and stop wondering about unsolvable situations and drama-drama-drama.

He can have some hope, though. He's only 22. Sooner or later he'll realize the girl he should have paid attention to was the one he considered 'sluttish'. (I made the same mistake once. Then I grew up, and was sorry.)
148
@145, did you see my explanation @131 to your comment @124? I just wanted to make sure that I'd cleared everything up. I felt rather embarrassed about having left that bit in, since I'd intended to edit out most of the talk about myself... And I felt bad about having potentially worried you, so I thought I'd, well, point you back to it, just in case it got buried in the flood of new comments.
149
@142

Well, I'm a big girl, and he presumably was a big boy, and shit happens, so I figured I'd 1) Not assume he could read minds, and express my disappointment with his behavior explicitly (no dropping hints or passive aggressive BS) 2) Offer him a chance to explain himself and/or apologize. He apparently didn't really have a very good excuse. But it's just a birthday, happens every year, blah blah. I let it slide. But I dumped his ass a day later, after he made some sexist remarks as well as the comments about it being my fault.

That was his third screw up in a week, so THAT's when I went ballistic and told him to get the fuck out of my apartment. ;)

People are going to screw up. I accept that as a fact. You've got to be cool about it. Don't sweat the small stuff and give people the benefit of the doubt. Decide if their screw ups are ones you can deal with in the long term. If not, GTFO and don't look back. In my case, his actions and expressed opinions really showed me his underlying attitudes that were completely fucking unacceptable to me.

This even applies to you. Whats-her-face's behavior shows you that she's kinda unstable, confused, has boundary issues, and is more than a bit unreliable. If you're cool with that, then great. Keep hanging out with her. If you think that'll drive you 'round the bend later, then choose not to put up with it. Simple! :)
150
@144 I mean...yes. That's always what was going to happen.

Cut the girl out of your life and move on.
151
@142 Here's part of your problem. @136 said she "briefly dated" a guy, and you assume "boyfriend". It was a dick move for him to ditch her on her birthday without so much as a phone call or text, but 1) it's unlikely they were anything more official than "just dating", and 2) it's quite possible he had no idea it was even her birthday. Still, he shouldn't have ditched her without a call.
152
@151 Yeah, I didn't mean boyfriend, but it's not like I can edit comments. I realized my mistake later.
@150 Yup, I knew it would happen, too.

@149 I already know I am going to cut her out of my life. It's just the doing it that will be hard. I am ready to move on, just one last step.
153
Pro-tip for all the Nice Guys® out there: just because you are told you are a nice guy doesn't make it true. If you are seriously creeping a lady out, she would much, much rather say "oh you're so nice, I just don't think of you that way!" than "You are creepy and I'm afraid you will stalk me." Why would she lie to you? Because 1) she doesn't want to end up dead in a ditch, and 2) because women are trained from a very young age to be nice and not to hurt anyone's feelings. So keep that in mind.
154
@151 That's correct. We were just dating. And yes, he also knew it was my birthday. We had dinner plans.

But there was no point crying in my drink over some asshat that I'd only been seeing for a month, so my dude friend came over, made me some food, and we drank vanilla rum and killed us some Nazis on the 360. I also baked and decorated a Portal-themed birthday cake for myself.

@ 152 No biggie. I knew what you meant. Besides, people do that all the time. As a single female, it's nigh on impossible to just casually date a dude without everyone waiting around with baited breath to see if he'll be your "boyfriend". *eyerolly* Because of course, every single female needs to be in a relationship, or trying to get into one.
155
"To everyone else who took up an issue with me rejecting a sexual advance, we still got naked and did other 'sexytime' (as someone else put it) things, just no intercourse. I didn't run to the hills as soon as the shirt and pants came off. I don't think I'm afraid of women, but I am taking everything into consideration."

The fact that you fooled around with her at the time doesn't make calling her slutty better!
156
Here's another hint:

I am currently in the most awesomest relationship evar with a guy that I was platonic friends with for yeeeeaaars before we hooked up. And even when we hooked up the first time, I was pretty up front about letting him know I didn't want a boyfriend at the time.

Things changed, feelings changed, it all worked out great. If things ever go south, it will probably mean the end of us being friends, but the risk has been worth it for all the awesome relationshippy stuff that's taken it's place. Even apart from that, most of the men I have gone to bed with, even as a strict FWB setup, were my friends first. And even though I'm not sleeping with those men anymore, I still have some valued friendships with them.

And I, too, have used the phrase 'I don't want to ruin the friendship' when a guy friend hit on me.

"I don't want to ruin the friendship." Translation: "I like you, but I am not attracted to you, probably for things you have no control over. And I don't want to hurt your feelings by saying that I don't find you attractive, so I will tell you a pleasant white lie instead, because even though I value your company and friendship, I do NOT want to fuck you."

So if you were put in the Friend Zone, MrPhonz, it's not that she lost all attraction for you when you became friends - you never had a chance to begin with. Accept that a woman can enjoy your company, find you amusing, charming and even good looking... and still not want to fuck you or date you. It's not a failure on your part; nor a character flaw on hers. It's just the way life is, and the way happy platonic friendships work between hetero men and women. You can't expect sex in return for offering friendship or doing favors for someone. You get friendship in return for offering friendship, and if you expect that favors will eventually add up to sex, you might as well decide to visit a few upstanding sex workers instead.
157
btw, here is Garfunkel and Oates singing what THE GIRL thinks about those situations when the guy bemoans being in the "Friend Zone":

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ilOx2Jmm1…
158
@152: Well, as someone who's had to cut someone close out of my life like that (different circumstances, but still), trust me. It seems hard now, but a year from now somebody will mention Stella and you'll realize you hadn't even thought about her in six months.
159
Dude is a narcissist with a madonna/whore complex and verbal diarrhoea. I'd suggest some self-editing, and not just in what he writes - if he's going to be this introspective, he should at least try to do it critically. If all this "making out" and "getting to second base" isn't getting him anywhere relationship-wise, he should maybe look to find the problem in the common factor in his experiences with all these girls: himself.
160
As I may echo some of all this commentary: I never had any success with women until I stopped looking for them. The strategy is much like earning the trust of a strange cat; you have to try your hardest not to give it the slightest attention; having been convinced of your benign intentions, you may find the cat sitting in your lap, of its own accord, some time thereafter.
161
This was the longest, most ridiculous letter i have ever read. I feel like i'm back in highschool...
162
I sprained my finger trying to scroll through all that (since I sure as shit wasn't going to actually read it). I demand recompense, on my own behalf and on behalf of poor Dan who, based on his answers, actually might have wasted a few precious hours of his very valuable time reading it all.
163
So, mrphonz, Stella's gone back to Stanley (has Blanche been taken in by the men with butterfly nets yet?), and you realize that you've wasted a lot of time and energy on this whole situation. Here's something you should consider if this situation - please, God, no - ever arises again: Stella was about to leave for a year on study abroad. Would you have been willing to wait for this girl for a year? Or did you coincidentally sign up for the same program as she did? If you did decide to wait for her, would you have been happy? Or would you look at all the facebook pictures of her going to bars with her new study abroad friends, get completely jealous, fly out to wherever she was, and characterize all her new friends as total assholes who didn't appreciate her like you did? If you'd just left the whole thing alone, the Stanley - Stella relationship would have imploded on its own by Thanksgiving, and may still do so, 90% chance. Of course, then Stella would have probably begun dating Rafaelle Sollecito's little brother, leaving you out in the cold.

Also, please look up the definition of "detail." If you say, "#1, Stella is missing the top joint of her left index finger," that's a detail. So if later on, you say, "At the convention, I saw Stanley making out with a girl dressed as Sailor Moon. I only saw her from behind, but know if wasn't Stella - see #1," well, that would make sense. An entire paragraph of social interaction, with the addition of new players, is not a "detail."
164
What a classic example of a Nice Guy (TM).

http://www.heartless-bitches.com/rants/n…
165
@43: If you think being naked with a woman you've barely met is "sluttish" behavior, what the hell were you doing naked with a woman in the first place? Whore-baiting?
166
Funniest part of all this is if he punched Stanley in the face, told that manipulative POS Stella to kiss his ass, and went out and fucked that girl who stripped for him, that manipulative POS Stella would probably want to have sex with him.

In short, if he did what he should, he would get laid.

Do the right thing, son! Punch assholes in the face, tell a manipulative POS to kiss your ass, and go fuck other women.
167
Ms Alemana @133 - It seems that the S word is more accurately compared to the F word than to the N word. I can't be sure, as I've never used the word in my life. A question: what is your take on the recent invention "slore"? I would not use it as part of serious criticism, but occasionally in a light-hearted or sarcastic post, especially given the origin of the term, it seems apposite.
168
Dear LW,

I got as far into your drivel as I could go and stopped around the part where you called that poor girl's behavior "Sluttish." Until you get over this draconian view of female sexuality I hope you never see another vagina. Seriously. Women in our society have a hard enough time getting over the stigma against their sexuality- they don't need another prudish immature moron to ignorantly look down on them.

Grow up. Seriously. Grow the fuck up. Until then you don't deserve sex with anyone but your digits.
169
Oh, look! It's a Nice Guy(tm)!

Also, when someone feels the need to recount every. Single. Detail. Of. The. Story, it's called "getting high on the story". The difference between the person who likes the drama and the person who doesn't is that one talks about it with much hand wringing ad nauseum, and the other walks away. Or it's also possible that the difference between the one who recounts the story and the one who walks away is that one is 22 while the other is 32. I will say that this is pretty standard-issue behavior for the under 25 set.
170
Yeah, my money was on anime con, too.

So, why is it that nerds/geeks tend towards this kind of drama? Actually I know plenty of non-nerds/geeks who get there too, but I think geeks have an easier time falling into it because they're so familiar with the patterns of drama in their fiction that they instinctively (or, sometimes, intentionally) fall into those roles. Some geeks are also pretty used to reaching for the unattainable, too, e.g. the fictional character.

I say this as a geek and a regular anime con attendee. There's a pretty vast scale of fandom versus societal functionality.
171
@151, 154: Is there really a huge difference between "the person(s) I am dating" and "my boyfriend(s)?"

In my 32 years, I've never heard of such a thing.
172
I feel sorry for the letter writers whose letters were not published and this was.

And for the 7 minutes I'll never get back.
173
Thoughts that passed through my head, because you KNOW the LW is going to read every single comment while he cries and listens to the 2011 equivalent of Dashboard Confessional. And I'm going to letter than instead of number them just to piss of the LW.

A. Get an editor... "he smashed his cell phone against a stone wall." Did you think we needed clarification that it wasn't a rotary phone smashed on a brick wall? I was hoping it was one of those old-timey phones with two bells, those are cool.

B. Are you the kind of guy who asks a girl to sign a consent form before you touch her breasts? That overly PC shit is not attractive. Grow some balls and enjoy the naked girl in front of you.

C. I really don't like it when the LW leaves soooo many details that anyone who would know this person would know exactly who it is. Yes, I realize he thinks this girl will read the letter and love him forever, that's why it's so long-winded, he doesn't want to leave out anything or have her misunderstand. I swear that is solely why it is so long. But it's embarassing to the others who didn't choose to have their shit aired in a public forum.
174
@ 86 :

Poser.

"Anime? Comic book? Star Trek? Furry? I can't solve all your problems until I know what kind of geek I'm dealing with."

Obviously, you'd need to know, for example, which series of Star Trek, or whether you are talking superheroes or edgy graphic novels, or what precise style of anime. How could you possible express any opinion on anything else until THAT gets cleared up?
175
Sure, the letter's long, boring, annoying. But on the bright side it was like a better version of Tao Lin's writing.
176
You don't actually need to put a comma after a question mark with quotation marks. The question mark does double-duty, doing the comma's job as well as its own.
177
It's like I'm reading /r9k/. Seriously -- these shitty "nice guys" who slut shame women and then complain they can't get laid piss me off so much fucking more than straight out assholes. GEE, MAYBE IT'S BECAUSE YOU DEMONIZE THE WOMEN WHO ACTUALLY WANT TO SLEEP WITH YOU? I'd rather be with someone who fucking beats me than one of these ass wipes.

Okay, maybe that's an exaggeration, but I REALLY hate this type of douchebag. It is unequivocally the worst type of douchebag.
178
@171 “Dating” today is what we called “screwing” back in the seventies. It’s not what our parents called “going steady” back in the fifties. It’s a back-formation from internet “dating” sites. If I meet someone on an internet dating site and have sex with them a few times over the course of a couple of weeks before realizing that this isn’t going to go anyhwere, I will later refer to “this guy/woman I was dating for a little while,” not “an old boy/girlfriend.”
179
@25 Enigma you're spot on. I was going to say the same thing. Rejecting the "slut" who's genuinely interested while longing for the "perfect" girl who needs rescue from the evil boyfriend? Oh how well this describes the boys I knew in college. Virgin/whore central this is.
180
Total issues with women what with the "sluttish" comment and the total fixation on a drama queen. Get those cleared up before proceeding with future relationships, for the sake of anyone in the future who gets involved with you.

If you don't, I guarantee you you'll wind up like the one 50 male renter I had (whom I immediately evicted) who was screaming at me, for no apparent reason, that I was NOT his mother at 1am.

Honestly.
181
Do you have any women friends you're not attracted to? It would behoove you to get to know some women as fellow human beings, rather than confounding objects of your desire.

It's good that you've got the balls to show up in here, but I'm not convinced you're really getting the gist of what everyone's saying. It'd probably be a good idea for you to lay off of dating for a while, and work on figuring out why you seem to want so much drama in your life.
182
Cool story, bro.

I find it HILARIOUS when I read these desperate letters from 21ish guys who haven't been laid. I was a woman your age, cute but quirky, and I didn't get laid until I was almost 23. Why? I WAS NOT READY FOR ADULT PEOPLE SEX YET, among other things. So I made out a lot and pined after dudes and chicks and wondered WHYYYY I didn't have a boyfriend sometimes, but I didn't make up narratives about what a special great girl I was and why can't X guy seeeee it or think it was appropriate to "blame someone for being easily manipulated. I may have not been ready for a relationship yet, but even though I didn't know it, I also didn't think I was entitled to one because I thought I was a good catch. You seem to think you deserve one. You do not. Keep making out with girls, learn how to finger a girl without bashing your digits full tilt into her vagina (FOR GOD'S SAKE, LEARN THAT BEFORE YOU ARE 30, at the VERY latest), and just be friends with some girls so you can see them as people and not the Unknowable Other. KEE-rist.
183
Poor guy. It's tough to be young. In a few years he'll look back on this and realize how stupid it all was. But when you're caught up in the middle of it and don;t know any better, it seems like the most important thing in the world (well worth 2600 words to a sex-advice columnist).
184
@mrphonz

I used to cosplay as a teen. I'm telling you, you gotta hang out with other people. I can tell from the way you write, you're pretty insulated in your group. You write in a way that tells me you pretty much only have contact with other geeks. Numbering everything in your letter...writing a book, etc.

You gotta branch out. What else are you interested in? Hang out with those people, too. You know you can like anime without having to hang out with people who's only interest in anime? Just because you like basketball doesn't mean you gotta hang out with your team members all the time.
You're 22, you gotta breathe some fresh air. And srsly, you let her stay in a hotel room while you slept elsewhere? You know how dramatic cons are. You should have seen that coming a mile a way. Next time, go dance with cute girls at the dance. Also, you're 22. You can afford a hotel room with 4 people instead of 14. Work out this year, and next year go as Squall or Kenshin, or some other costume you can show your abs off in. An Alpha character, not random shinegami # 4. You gotta find a way to get rid of that weird tone you have. shake it up!

この少女は頭がおかしい。ほかの知らない人と友達を作ってください。日本で英語の教師になればほうがいいでしょう?
185
Not to pile on, but any 22-year-old who calls shoes 'footwear' has got issues.
186
MrPhonz,

You still have a chance to become a happy, healthy person who has sex with and surrounds himself with happy, healthy people if you want. Set a boundary for yourself of the level of other people's drama you will accept. A friends mother dies in a car crash or attacked by rabid pitbulls with chainsaw paws? That's a good time to be a supportive shoulder and ear. A friend just wants to bitch to you about how dumb her boyfriend is? Suggest she tell it to her girlfriends. If relationship drama is always clouding a girl like dust around PigPen from Peanuts, I'm going to make a leap and suggest that the problem isn't solely the assholes she dates.

Stand up for yourself, quit acting like a douche, and goddamit, man up. No one wants to be in a relationship with a little boy.*

* Well, there are those who do, but generally they're not the relationship types, either, and they're often in and out of prison.
187
Stella knows she's jerking you around, and the fact that you just keep coming back for more means she can't respect you either. You don't have to be a asshole, but you need to stop being a doormat.
188
This is the classic Nice Guy (TM) scenario. I wish I could say I was different, but at 18, I went through the same thing. Then at 19, I found myself as the "Asshole" who got the girl. Which simply meant I talked to (a couple) girls, and some of them liked me, and there were "Nice Guys" in the background waiting their turn.

The whole post reeks of insecurity and misogyny. It's almost a biological response from the "non-alpha" type (and I know, evolutionary biology is quack science, etc., etc., but WHY do so many guys go through this same process?)

I certainly can relate, because I was the "Nice Guy" (TM"). Not very nice, in retrospect, more like angry, depressed, and confused. Now I'm married with three kids, one of them a daughter who is very social. Let's hope she steers clear from the Nice Guys (TM).
189
@184: どこで日本語を勉強なっさったんですか?「になればほうがいい」っていうより「になった方がいい」がいいと思いますが。何年間ぐらい日本語を勉強していらっしゃいますか?
190
It took 184 comments for Caralain to give you the one piece of advice I have to share.

Dude. What you just experienced is called CON DRAMA. And there is a surefire cure for it.

Here's what happens:

1) A group of congoers in their teens/early twenties say, "Hey guys, we all wanna go to Minnabakacon but we're all broke as fuck! But HEY, if we just each chip in the measly $30 we can scrape together, then like 14 of us can TOTALLY afford a hotel room!"

2) Fourteen dramatic, overemotional and underexperienced young people stay in a hotel room.

3) DRAMA

I know you're gonna point out, MrPhonz, that you stayed with relatives, but sorry, that doesn't matter. You chose to associate with people putting themselves in this circumstance.

I speak from experience. Long ago I went to anime cons with up to 12 people in my room. Friends of mine would get the suite and stuff 18 people in it, with one in the tub. Not shitting you.

IT IS NOT WORTH IT.

It is not worth the financial savings. The emotional stress and strain is NOT WORTH IT. It is not worth partaking of this penny-pinching practice, it is not worth associating with people who partake of it. It's been many years since I used to do that and I would never, ever consider it, not for any reason.

So here's what you're going to do:

1) Become selective about the cons you go to and SAVE UP MONEY for them. You're twenty-two, mow a bunch of lawns, for chrissakes, whatever it takes.

2) Do not stay with relatives and commute in; do not stay with your crazy broke-ass friends. Get a hotel room in the con hotel or right next to the convention center, and select ONLY your most highly vetted and financially stable peers to join you. A maximum of 3 people so that everyone gets half a bed, and DO NOT EVER include anyone in the room who will inspire sexual tension in you.

3) The MOMENT your friends in the Tokyo-rush-hour-subway-car hotel room start to say even ONE thing about their overall relationships or weekend conflicts, tell them: "Hey, sorry to hear that things suck for you guys. Stuff like this led me to plan ahead and get a nice chill room so I could just enjoy the con and not dwell on all that shit. You should think about that for next year."

Then RUN.

And go ACTUALLY ENJOY THE CON.
191
@ 25 - Amen, sister.

Wonderful takedown of the myth of the nice guy here.
192
@184: Not that I was trying to be critical. I', honestly just curious about where and for how long you studied Japanese, since I don't meet many others who speak it.

And in front of 「がいいと思います」in my post, there should be a 「の方」. Sorry.

さあ、私なら、日本語で話したら急に恥ずかしくなってきて間違えが増える時もありますが、何度あっても恥ずかしくなります・・・申し訳ありません。
193
Oh my, I think all those involved in this letter need to DTMFA, and the author should probably deal with the fact that he has issues with women before he deals with more dating.
194
@43: "3. Thank you everyone for the bluntness. It's helping clear my mind."
Don't hover around trainwrecks looking for scraps. It's creepy. And the sooner that you come to terms with you not always being the "nice guy", the better.

@49: "Real nerds don't go for cheerleaders."
Yeah, there are plenty of closet-jocks that are just as shallow and not as smart as their glasses and thin/thick frames imply.

@76: "3. I guess I pursued it because I didn't want to be the guy that makes out with a girl then just forgets about her when it didn't go perfectly"
Making out with a girl is no indication that you have intentions of marriage, you know.

@132: "MrPhonz, you are going to have to stop being "advice guy" in your set of friends. You like it when girls come to you with their troubles and you can help "solve" the problems or "give advice". All you're doing is self-indulgent wankery, and you'll discover that in time."
Yeah, but he also gets the emotional entanglement this way, so he may not drop it.

@178: " “Dating” today is what we called “screwing” back in the seventies. It’s not what our parents called “going steady” back in the fifties. It’s a back-formation from internet “dating” sites."
Oh bullshit. Fucking and dating is the same as it ever was. The only difference? Much less lying about it in public.

@187: "Nice guys" aren't doormats, no matter what they tell you. They know exactly what they're getting themselves into, and entangle themselves into the problems. They are not naifs being preyed upon, and often prey more upon the emotionally vulnerable than otherwise.
195
Oh boy, this letter (well, what I read) reminds me of my awful attempts at dating in my 20s. Whoo eeeee, it was bad! My meager advice: Hang in there mrphonz and, when people want to do nice things for you, let them! Good luck.
196
@194 “Oh bullshit. Fucking and dating is the same as it ever was.” Ok, so why was someone confused when someone else distinguished between a boyfriend and someone she’d dated? If the sameness/difference between the two is so obvious, then the question wouldn’t have come up.

I wasn’t talking about behaviours. I was talking about the words we use to describe behaviours. Behaviour might not change, but it’s been a while since I’ve heard someone talking about going steady with someone.
197
Mr Phonz, just an informational note about OCD: it's not always something you're born with, or as you put it, a developmental disorder. People with OCD are also outgoing and enjoy partying. But they may also feel great anxiety when things they care about are beyond their control, and they may do things like making superfluous numbered lists, documenting every tiny detail as if it's essential, and staying up till all hours trying to hash out explanations that make sense, even though it's both inappropriate and impossible. They also might become overly invested in other people and their reactions and behaviors. OCD is frequently comorbid with depression, and could be mistaken for ADD when compulsions distract from other tasks that need doing.

That said, you and Stella are not in a relationship. She made out with you, and you have a crush on her, but she's still tangled up with Stanley, and she's also leaving the country soon. Just leave her alone, period. Find someone else to date--for fun, and not for rescuing or judging.
198
@196: "I wasn’t talking about behaviours. I was talking about the words we use to describe behaviours. Behaviour might not change, but it’s been a while since I’ve heard someone talking about going steady with someone."

Ok, I see what you're saying now. The patterns haven't changed, but the descriptors shifted.
199
Wow, this kid seems to have a serious case of the late-night "Woe-is-Me's". Seems like he needs a hug and a new set of 20-sided dice (sorry, lw, i couldn't resist).

Nobody here ever got their reason eclisped by drama and the unbelievable tragedy of their situation? Especially when only being 22? I call bullshit on that.

Thanks for posting this, Dan. I'm sorry you get so many long letters from irrationally lamenting folk. You do seem reasonable and kind (in your delightfully bastardly way). Also nice work smaking the kid around. Maybe he'll feel tough and brave now that he hath emerged, both broken and bruise-ed, from deep within the fabled gauntlet that is SLOG.
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Okay, LW, so I'll admit my first comment was all about the snark. But, this time, I'm giving a serious response in the hopes that you will consider the advice.

You already know (if not intuitively, then because you've received so many comments on it) that you have to treat women as people, too. As others have pointed out, you should try to go out with them – as companions – with no romantic or sexual expectations.

As for the (hoped-for future) sex, I certainly hope you're not using porn for its educational value (which is zero BTW). Terrific online resources are:
http://www.sexinfo101.com for an amazing variety of intercourse (PIV) positions
http://www.clitoris.com which is self-explanatory.

For in-depth reading material, get copies of Lou Paget's How to Give Her Absolute Pleasure (for a man to read) and How to be a Great Lover (for a woman to read). Even though the last one is about male bodies (meant for female readers), it wouldn't hurt for you to buy it ... so that you get to know your own body better and a hint of what kinds of pleasure await you. [And, if you want to be daring, you could give it to a woman with whom you're on the verge of having sex. You could always put sticky notes in the margins of certain pages, suggesting that you'd really, REALLY, like to try THAT out.]

And, then, there's the attitude. Beyond NEVER slut-shaming women who may be interested in getting physical with you, there's also the concept that it would be in your best interest to be open-minded if/when your future partners suggest an activity ... especially if it's only a shade past vanilla on the kink scale.

Oh, yeah, and – as for the hotel room sitch at future cons, save up your cash to rent one for yourself (yeah, a room with only one big bed). Then, should you hook up with someone interesting, you can invite her back to your room. Not necessarily for sex, because it can be really nice to just stay up all night talking with like-minded people. But, if things should lead to sex (and I've always had lots of luck at cons), you won't be having to fight off hordes of people ... or giving them all a topic of gossip the morning after.
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Pity me, I read the whole letter.

I was overly dramatic about things in my youth, but I got over it a bit earlier in my life than you. In all the writing I did about my trials and tribulation, I never reached the level of literary diarrhoea you have here. But heavens help me, I feel the need to comment anyway... how sad am I?

8. Did you deserve this? One, you don't get what you deserve, you get what you get. Enjoy what comes your way. If one is to suspend disbelief and bring karma into things, then yes, in your reaction to the girl who was willing to strip for you (you may not have put it like that to her, but believe me, women are good at inferring correct or incorrect derision into rejection) you deserve seven meagre years.

Go get a drama-ectomy, turn your back to your role in the amateur Twilight rendition, and when next a girl is willing to remove her clothes for you, treat her respectfully, kindly and with appreciation, and indulge her and yourself. Because I cannot stress enough how much you need it.