SL Letter of the Day: The Care Package


"Sensing something was up"... clearly an intuitive person. "I'm not particularly sad"... oy! Forget the care package. Seriously. Do. Just go away, and let her get on with her life.
If only men could get pregnant. Then, they might understand.
I'd say run screaming from someone who can't use her words to tell you that you got her pregnant.

What kind of crazy person does that?

Also, no care package. She doesn't want to see you again. The reason is sort of immaterial, but you did something awful that she won't tell you about and that's an enormous red flag.
I don't know why "She's (obviously) bisexual too". Does he have a rule to only date other bisexual people? I guess maybe it's a preamble to the "wants to have a threesome" although it's awkward phrasing.
Do condoms really break during rough sex? I thought I'd had some pretty vigorous fucking in my time but no condoms have ever broken.
I'm curious to know what other douchey things he wrote because I want to laugh at him more.
"What kind of crazy person does that?"

The kind who doesn't exist out of a carefully edited caricature of herself.

This guy has read Savage enough to where he thinks he can get Dan's approval if he tells him what he thinks Dan wants to hear. It obviously didn't work very well, because the letter comes off as suspiciously one-sided.

The brags- "She's (obviously) bisexual too" alongside "I got a message calling me an inconsiderate ass. Sensing something was up, I called her. No answer, then a message back saying that she was going through a medicinal abortion. She doesn't want to see me, she said, and she added that her friends are taking care of her." Make him seem more concerned with how he's perceived than how he's actually behaving.

Itemizing everything in such detail and conveniently leaving out how he hurt her, yeah. Something is weird here.

I'm going to guess he's going to jump into the comments at some point and it's not going to explain anything.
+1 to @1: Just get on with your life, don't try to get on her good side to make yourself feel better or to be liked. Just be honest with yourself and learn from this. It sounds like you probably did screw this up somehow, so take a lesson and don't do whatever again.
So... what did this guy do wrong exactly? Also, don't bother with the care package. If she doesn't want to see you she doesn't want to see you.
Based on the tone of the rest of the letter, I assumed the LW hadn't been to her apt or met her friends because HE didn't want to, not that he hadn't been invited. I'll trust y'all (including Dan) that it's the other way around. But this letter screams "I am a pompous douche". Even the gift basket seems tone deaf at best to me.

Move on.
Oh, #9, you are so mercifully free from the ravages of intelligence.
It's so painfully obvious (To no one but you, apparently!) that there is NO POSSIBLE WAY she was having sex with anyone else!
"six weeks after a condom broke, she had the 'flu,' and I had no idea what was wrong with her."

This guy sounds like a genius.
@3 Because you don't want to deal with the emotional overwroughtness of the dude you are banging every two weeks or so when he is just overtaken by feelz when he finds out you have a zygote with half his genes lodging parasitically in your internal organs. And he's not overtaken by feelz for your needs. No, he's annoyed he's not being allowed into your supposed grieving process (because he's a good guy! he wants to help!) and upset that for some reason you don't want the guy who mistakenly knocked you up to breathe all over you and bring you soup while you're miscarrying on a toilet. The guy you probably don't even consider your boyfriend, since you've been keeping him completely out of your actual life and seeing him only intermittently.

FYI, I'd guess a good percentage of women (at least ones not in serious relationships, and this isn't a serious relationship, at least not at the moment) don't tell the guy if they don't have to. Why bother? What's the advantage? Then you have to deal with his crap, which at that point you almost certainly do not need. The guy is pretty much the absolute last person you want to hang around with at that point, much less sopping your blood and/or vomit off the floor. Too much damn work to keep him on an even keel while he nervously and guiltily attempts to apologize for doing this to you. Personally I wouldn't even want to involve friends. Anything involving a lot of pain and excessive vaginal bleeding is a solo activity as far as I'm concerned. As far as emotional support, at 20? Still in school, not even begun professional career? Not in love with the fuck buddy? Not going to need any emo support, thanks. Maybe a pizza.

I'd say he feels responsible for breaking that condom. Which maybe he should, who knows. Anyway, trying to assuage his guilt via gift basket could go either way. He knows her best I guess. If she seems like a gift basket sort of girl, go ahead? I personally would either be ambivalent, or find it laughable/insulting and just throw it out/chuck it in the donation box at the grocery store (remember that guy who knocked me up in undergrad? The one who gave me the abortion gift basket? There's also the subtext of a gift basket being a thank you - for having the abortion? which could be iffy) but I guess it depends on whether or not she's still thinking of sticking with him. If so, she'd probably have positive feelings about the gift. If not, well, they'll break up anyway so who cares.

The campsite rule involves him respecting her emotional needs and personal boundaries. She wants him away, he should stay away. He should not be shocked, surprised, or upset that he's going to be on her shit list for a while.

And I thought those last two sentences made him sound a bit douchy. 27 to 20 is a bit questionable with the genders concerned too. Why is he poaching undergrads?

If he wants to try to keep her in his life, he should include the money for the abortion in the gift basket, or at least half.
Oh, #14, you are so mercifully free from the ravages of intelligence.

It's so painfully obvious (To no one but you, apparently!) that there is NO POSSIBLE WAY she was having sex with anyone else!
@13: "Why is he poaching undergrads?" Same reason other douchebags aim younger and younger with each passing year. Because women their own age are wise to their bullshit and want nothing to do with them.

@14: Amen.
"I don't feel bad for sending you this essay. I've read tens of thousands of words, Dan, you can read a fraction of that amount of mine. " This guy has issues and manners are only one of them.
Reading this writer's letter gave me the chills. Dan was right, and there's some kinda douchey bits in it, but look again - the writer doesn't seem to have a lot of empathy or emotional intelligence. I think he's writing to justify his behavior and actions, and to try to make himself look good, but he came off to me as very very creepy. These are the sorts of things borderline people say and do. The girl should run like the wind.
So what happened when the condom broke? How did each of them react? That part seems conveniently omitted.

Anyway, sounds like she dumped the mother fucker already.
Not the best letter, Dan, to reflect how your column has helped create a young man with some sort of a decent heart. Then again, some people are just too far gone even as young teens.
LW, how very scary you sound. How very disconnected to the situation in front of you. How upset you must be that the three way just ain't gonna happen.
This young woman says she doesn't want to see you.
And maybe this is because you are an ass. Insensitive, pretentious( your PhD friends?), ass.
@20 - how upset he must be at the loss of the threeway - ha! Truth. "I'm smitten!". What, with the bisexual open relationship loving BDSM undergrad with the insatiable sex drive? Shocking. Good catch on the PhD friends too. What a jackass. He's going to be confused if he reads the comments. Won't understand why we don't like him. Will claim those particular traits as something he is proud of, worked hard to obtain, and that they mean something good about him. Cannot imagine what that might possibly be.
@15 Doesn't matter if she was. Open relationship rules. Your girlfriend, regardless of who was the sperm donor, you pay for the abortion. If he wants to keep her, he pays for all of it. However, in this case, unless she's going to school in a red state, it's quite likely that the school's health insurance covers the abortion in full. Or that she doesn't want this dope's damn money because then he'll feel like he gets to keep talking to her. Or like he was actually her boyfriend.
I"m really curious about her side of the story, but it doesn't matter. She explicitly said she doesn't want to see the letter writer, so the letter writer should stay away from her. Sending her some money (through the mail with no strings attached) to help cover expenses that he helped to create would be good, but do not contact her. Move on. For whatever reason, she doesn't want to see him again. Either he messed up or something happened with her, and either way, seeing her does nobody any good.

Although it really makes me wonder how on board she was for the rough sex and how exactly the condom broke and how he reacted to that. Condoms do not break often, although it is possible, but usually someone notices when they do. And how did he treat her after it had broken, that's kind of a big deal. If he didn't handle that well at the time, I can see why she wouldn't want anything to do with him now.
I guess I'm the only one who thought she meant she didn't want to see him while she goes through the abortion and healing afterwards. I didn't take it to mean she never wants to see him again.
@24 It doesn't matter and is completely irrelevant. If she contacts him and says she is interested in resuming contact, then he can consider doing so. Until and unless that happens, he should leave her alone. You don't need to figure out which way it is, because in either case she might or might not contact him later to say, okay, now we can talk. But "I don't want to see you" definitely means do not visit that person and generally avoid contact until they tell you otherwise.
Yeah, I can't believe Dan missed that part: "She doesn't want to see me, she said, and she added that her friends are taking care of her" seems pretty clear to me. She dumped him already, but he doesn't seem to realize that. Maybe she flipped out (which wouldn't be too surprising given the circumstances- an abortion during finals?), more likely he did something that pissed her off that he hasn't told us (how rough?), but uncreative is right: it doesn't really matter, she doesn't want to see him. If he's blameless and she just lost her shit and she later realizes it, she can re-open contact. I doubt that's gonna happen. The care package is a bad idea (for one thing, it's likely to be interpreted as an attempt to "win her back"). Sending her money (no strings attached, no expectation, just "I'm sorry about what happened, here's some money for the operation") would be much classier.

@4: "She's (obviously) bisexual too" is one of the douchey turns-of-phrase.
The reason she hasn't had him over isn't really important either. Maybe it's a crappy student apartment and she was embarrassed and his place is nicer and roomier. Once every 1-2 weeks over 3 months works out to about eight dates, that's not that many times together. It's also about the time many 20-year-olds discover they're not as interested in Shiny New Person as they thought, finals-abortion or not.
@26 Not an especially important quibble, but it sounds like she did not have an operation. The letter writer said "medicinal abortion", which implies to me that it was early enough into things that she could be treated with drugs. Not Plan B, of course, which some people mistakenly think is an abortificant. Plan B can only prevent a pregnancy, but will be completely useless if you are already pregnant, thus such a small window in which to take it. But there are drugs that can cause abortions if taken early enough into a pregnancy. This is a much better option, and is also part of why delays in allowing for abortions are terrible things. They can push someone into needing more extreme means.

@27 It occurs to me to wonder if she simply doesn't have a room of her own. Most people I know during college had a roommate for at least some of their years. While arrangements could be made, it would certainly be easier and simpler to go to someone else's place and not need to temporarily sexile your roommate. He does say "apartment" and not "dorm", but I could still easily imagine a college student trying to save money as much as possible sharing a bedroom with a friend. In which case, it's not that weird that she didn't invite him over.
I'd be willing to bet money that getting knocked up made her take stock of what kind of guy she's dating, and she realized she's just done with him. More or less what #27 said.

Though that said, if I were him I'd probably still have some sort of care package delivered (especially with some money to help cover expenses), but I wouldn't suggest actually texting her when he gets back from his trip. I'd have the note say "Gonna be out of town for a few days, but after that if you want to talk I'll be available." And then that's it. No more contact from him unless she reaches out first. It's pretty obvious one way or another that this relationship's over and that regardless of how he has or hasn't acted she's seeing the pregnancy as something he's done to her.

And if I could address the guy, I'd emphasize: Do not talk to her again unless she contacts you after that. You sending her a care package is not a promise that she'll accept or use it and it does not obligate her to talk to you again if she doesn't want to.

Actually a perfect letter to illustrate Danny's Philosophy in action. It's all about sex. And only sex."Relationships" are just vehicles for sex, be in 'monogomish' or casual hookups. The cold lack of emotion, lack of empathy; no surprise, in fact helpful.
Sounds like pompous asshole meets barely-past teenager with shit communication skills. She gets a bit of a break because she's basically still a kid, but what's his excuse?

And @23 - I've experienced about half a dozen broken condoms in my day, and in only about half of those situations did anyone notice (unless one of us was lying).

Thats a pretty high rate. You must still be picking up and using used rubbers in the alley. You cheap bastard.
@30. Imagine a sex advice columnist writing about sex.
You jest, of course? Many, many people without empathy live very monogamous lives, see the Duggars and like minded cold hearted people.
Douchebag! Yes! Entitled narcissistic asshole dating a passive-agressive child. He should write her a single letter apologizing for his cluelessness, offer to pay for half the abortion, and get the hell out of her life so she can grow up and he can start building an actual personality.
I'm going to guess that Mr Savage thinks the gift package will give her such a major LMB that she will permanently abandon any thoughts of reunion.

I suppose it's a net plus if bi people are increasingly valuing bisexuality in partners. But as for the rest, I'd rather hear about the previous relationship and the partner who was so much worse than LW.
Ah Gee, @36. My, My.. Whose got his knickers in a knot?
Long,Long time since I've been called a slut. Makes me feel some solidarity with younger women, who are called such names by
Snivelling little cowards like you.
Apologies in advance to those who don't like tourist questions, but, with a mild salute to The Opposite of Sex, when there is no explicit exclusivity in an MF relationship, is it more misogynistic of him when unwanted pregnancy occurs to presume uncontested responsibility or to inquire into probability? Also, when a woman is known to have more than one male partner, how are abortion expences generally apportioned?
Sorry Bud, @36. Anyone, anyone who writes such drivel as you just have, knows nothing of Love.
And it's not a philosophy of only getting sex. How reductionist you are, how clouded in your intelligence. Why does any of it bother you so? Why even contaminate your eyes, if you have such a position?
You live in a free country. People have the right to live their lives as they choose, as long as others are not hurt. The people who write here are adults. What's it to you?
Fascinating. All you trolls, don't have the guts to register, read the site , and spew all this hate.
Now just take a moment, ask yourself, what's it really matter to you what others think and feel and do in their lives, if none of it impinges on your freedoms?
Oh , @36. Bit of a problem I'm guessing. Calling yourself " we".
Was just reminded of why I should never read the unregistered comments...
The proper etiquette here is to find out how much it cost her for whatever she did or had done and send a check for the full amount with a brief note saying you would love to see her again but understand if that's not an option anymore. No care package and no follow up. Either she cashes the check or she doesn't.

Everything about this letter says that she was using him for sex. Which is fine, but a surprise pregnancy upset that casual balance so it's now over. He should put this one away in his spank bank and move on with his life.

She may in the future want to look him up again for more stud service, but not if he goes all devoted Romeo. I think his best move is to play it cool.
"Oh, it turned out that you were having an abortion after I knocked you up and you stopped speaking to me, and not actually a flu! I'll send you a fruit basket! That'll cheer you up..."

Whatta maroon.
@32. No and no. Probably should have called the manufacturer though. May have been a defective box or lot. Oh, and I'm a woman, so you probably want to call me a "whore" or some other suitably sexist name instead of a bastard, you useless troll.
While I agree that the lw seems obtuse and clueless and that an "extravagant care pacakge" just seems like a bizarre response to hearing that she aborted a pregnancy he didn't know about and doesn't want to see him again, there's something else going on with the woman.

Forget about the fact that he hasn't seen her home; as others upthread have pointed out, there are a bunch of good plausible reasons for that. It seems like the relationship was only just about sex, in which case it makes sense that she'd want to meet where they'd have privacy--and most 20 year-olds don't live alone.

And given that the relationship seems to have been primarily about sex and they only saw each other once every 1-2 weeks for 3 months, it doesn't seem all that weird that she hasn't introduced him to her friends. If they see each other that infrequently, maybe she just wants to spend what time they spend together having that "amazing sex."

But okay, so they have sex and the condom breaks but "she had started a new birth control method a few weeks before," so perhaps neither of them was particularly worried about accidental pregnancy. Then she gets a "flu." How was he supposed to know that she was really pregnant? She didn't tell him. Two days after she went to the doctor he sends her a message related to her end-of-semester finals. Given that they see each other only once a week or two and that he says they both have busy schedules, this seems like a nice, thoughtful gesture. Instead, she replies sarcastically, then she calls him an inconsiderate ass. Then she tells him she's having an abortion (or has just had one) and doesn't want to see him.

At the very least, if things really happened they way he presents them, she's being irrational. How was he supposed to know she was pregnant? How could he have been supportive if he was in the dark?

So either the woman is a passive-aggressive, terrible communicator who expects him to be a mind-reader, or he's so obtuse that he didn't pick up on all kinds of signals that she was really sending.

I grant that that level of obliviousness seems in keeping with the kind of guy who thinks that buying her an extravagant care package is a "great idea" and seeks approval from his friends and an advice columnist, but it's possible that she shares some responsibility for this mess, via poor communication skills, too.
I can't tell whether he hoped they were going to get more serious. "Campsite Rule" suggests casual relationship, but "I'm absolutely smitten" suggests attachment.

If he would like to date her more seriously, I think he can get back in touch when he's back in town,, to say he hopes she is doing better and letting her know that he has begun to realize the depths of his feelings for her.

If she doesn't respond, he should let her be, but I think a single emotional request that he stay away doesn't literally mean "never write me again."

actually it is a gender neutral term. free your mind.
@28 - Yes. And even if it's an apartment where she has her own bedroom but shares common space, the roommates may have an understanding that they don't bring sexual partners over. Or she's personally uncomfortable engaging in rough (and potentially noisy) play while her roommates can hear. Of course, perhaps she could have invited him over for nonsexual activities, but if she hasn't introduced him to her other friends, there's a good chance she was only interested in him for sex and not for anything else.
@23: "She explicitly said she doesn't want to see the letter writer, so the letter writer should stay away from her. Sending her some money (through the mail with no strings attached) to help cover expenses that he helped to create would be good, but do not contact her"

This "gift" is how he's trying to contact her after she told him not to contact her.
@4 - "Do condoms really break during rough sex? "

Yes, they sometimes do. Also sometimes during not-so-rough sex, even when used completely correctly. It's not that common, but it does happen.
@50; yes I'm relatively new here. Marriages, where the sex has gone, like over a long time are no longer marriages. They are just two people living tog. And if someone is making the effort to write in, then one of the participants is mighty concerned.
Lots of registered posters say lots of confronting stuff here. You, dear we, take it into pretty nasty land.
What is gutting our society and our earth dear we, is rampant , unethical capitalism. Putting the pursuit of wealth, and power before the needs of people and the very earth we all inhabit is in grave danger .
Every household in Australia could have solar panels, we have loads of Sun. Shines bloody bright all bloody yr. A Government who cared about the people, the earth, would just do it. Help people get low interest loans to just get our energy from the sun. Money could go into research on how to develop non fossil fuel energy.
But no. Too much money left to be made from coal.
Please, what is this bullshit I keep reading , that you we, and people like you, believe, that children reared in heterosexual marriages fare better than children from any other structure?
You got children? Children need love and stability . Along with food, shelter etc etc.. Nuclear families are the worst set ups for rearing kids, IMO. It takes a village to raise a child.
Anyway, been nice chatting with you, we.
Gotta hang up now.
Please don't call again.
Just drop the whole thing. SKip the elaborate gift bag--if you must, a few--Few--of her favorite things she'd like and a note telling her to let you know what you can do. Not "let me know IF I can do anything" And then just put it aside.

Also, I didn't find the PHD thing douchey.
@52 why don't you take a look at 57 and free yours?
Dan-Great catch on the narcissism, but I gotta say I think you missed on the gift basket thumbs up(I think it was a completely understandable gay man bias.)

As a lady with lady parts I say "Elaborate gift basket as a response to an unplanned pregnancy and abortion?! Ugh. A WORLD of "no"."
@60 - I'm sorry that you feel the need to inflict your own horribly stunted love and sex life onto others as a cover for your own miserable failings.
@47 I agree, his intentions are unclear. What does he want? His thing about her meeting his standards makes it sound like he regards her as some kind of status symbol.
While I initially thought the giftbag was a horrible idea, Dan seemed to think it was ok, so now I'd love to know what the contents were.

Otherwise, yes, they should both move on separately; a check for the cost of the abortion would be good; and yes, the guy does seem a bit thoughtless, but it's hard to judge from letters.
@ 28: Good point about the "medicinal" abortion. Still bad timing.

@ 46: I agree that she's handled things poorly too (not surprising for 20 yr olds), which indicates to me that even if he didn't do anything wrong at all he's probably better off moving on.
Stopped reading the comments but this guy doesn't seem like that much of a douchbag. He does seem confused and confusing though.

Anyway, she dumped him. He should just move on. If she wants abortion money from him she should ask and if she asks he should give, no questions.
I think they both handled things badly. Also, even at the tender age of 20 I would have been sad about an abortion, which thankfully I never needed. I'm prochoice, but I still think the loss of a potential life is reason to give pause and think about what you are doing right/wrong.

Also, is what she calls a "medicinal abortion" actually the morning after pill? As far as I know abortion by pill isn't legal in the US, so she probably didn't actually have an abortion. The morning after pill is no more an abortion than the regular pill. All it does is keep the egg/sperm from implanting in the uterus.
@68 Abortion by pill is legal in the US. RU486. You miscarry at home.
Maybe I'm missing something, but I read a guy who was seeing a gal, who cut off communication after she became pregnant by him [apparently], and got an early-term abortion. The majority here [I only skimmed] seems to say that he should just drop it and get out of her life [per her wishes], gift basket or no.

However much of a douche he may be, he was using protection, and does seem to be trying to figure out the right thing to do. Doesn't he get some consideration in this?

Shouldn't he have gotten prior notice: "You knocked me up. I'm getting an abortion." [Not to get MRA, but he kinda conceived a blob as well as she.] Or at least a grown-up kiss-off: "Hey, we're done," rather than just the freeze-out?

He seems like the guy that would try and foot the bill, or do something given the chance, but her whims get full sanction?

What am I not seeing?
Hi O, hope your Thanksgiving was good.
If, as Gnot@69( some unregistered are worth reading), says, this young woman had a miscarriage at home after taking a pill, she needs all the consideration. A miscarriage, I imagine, must be a very painful and stressful experience. For a woman an abortion is not just a line in a letter . To this LW, it seems just an add on.
She would have been in no state to politely say, hey dude, guess what.
And what is he not even noticing about their time together? What he tells us seems pretty self serving, arrogant and insensitive to the situation. He just doesn't seem to have a clue.
To me, he comes across as a self-centered douche. Clueless. That he seems concerned that he violated the campfire rule says to me he is very aware of the differences in their age and experience, and there are probably things he is not telling us. His smittenness does not come across as any genuine feeling for her, otherwise he would be a mite more sad about losing her. He seems far more "overwhelmed and emotional" that he could be judged to be the bad guy. In my experience, people who don't want to be judged the bad guy usually fear this for pretty good reasons. These are the folks who want give extravagant gift baskets to people they are not particularly sad to lose. I read this as wanting to assuage his own feelings rather than communicate any genuine emotional concern for her.

What he does seem smitten with is the idea of the threesome, which I read as all about the sex. He paints a one-dimensional and rather contradictory picture of the woman. On the one hand, she's some kind of awesome that meets his high standards. On the other hand, she's incapable of communicating about a pregnancy. My guess is that she had reasons for taking care of things herself, and those reasons are likely based in being treated more like a sex object rather than a person with needs and feelings. Mr. Douche doesn't want to be judged the douche, thus the strange, detailed and largely self-serving account of events that he seems to feel he deserves to inflict upon Dan in exchange for his willingness to read Dan's column for all these years (WTF?). And yet he is clearly aware at some level that he "violated the campfire rule", or was otherwise in actuality a total douche. Sure, there are strictly sexual relationships, but there is way to do that that is mutually respectful and generous. He ain't that, and she surely does seem very upset with him. Wonder what her side of the story is.
@70 What you're not seeing is that he is the one asking for advice, and we only have his side of the story. We don't know if he messed up or not, although there are some indicators that his side of the story is probably missing some important details. And so the advice to him is: she told you she doesn't want to see you, so respect that.

It doesn't really matter if he messed up or not. It's interesting to speculate, but irrelevant. If she did things in the wrong, the answer is still exactly the same: she doesn't want to see you, so respect that.Except I might add a side dish of, and it's better for you that way anyway.

As to prior notice, it's a polite thing to do when one thinks one can do it safely. We don't know why she chose not to or even if she chose not to. For all we know, there's an email that was sent to him and he never received or similar telling him she was pregnant. Or maybe she told him and he misinterpreted it. We really don't have enough info here. But it really should be her choice. Pregnancy isn't just about bringing a baby into being, it also causes permanent physical changes in a person's body and creates massive risks. If you remember back to the pelvic floor injury letter from not that far back, that's just one horrible risk a person takes by carrying a pregnancy closer to term. If she doesn't want to risk that, that's her choice. And he really shouldn't have much say in that unless she trusts him enough to let him have some say. Honestly, the fact that he wasn't aware is part of why I think part of the story is missing. Either he did something, possibly connected to that rough sex or how he handled the condom breaking, or she is acting rather unusually, or there were problems in their relationship he didn't mention. Maybe it is her and it's the first red flag of a problem in the relationship, but really, I'd put odds on the letter writing leaving out some important details (maybe he's too clueless to realize which details are important?). Because while I don't think he has a right, if he were a positive influence in her life in any way beyond just sex, I'd expect her to want him to help her through this. So, it makes me think he gave indications that he wouldn't be a good person to tell about it.
Sorry for the late response, but I'm in another timezone.

I think this letter got massacred in editing. As it reads, I have absolutely no idea what the LW did wrong, or why everyone thinks he's such a douche.

They had an early-stage relationship (at least he thought so), in a culture (US college) where sex seems to be all that matters, and relationships are some kind of an annoying burden.

During one of their occasional sex-meetings, the condom broke, but she was already on another form of birth control.

In the following weeks, since he didn't hear anything from her, he assumed everything was fine. Given their history, and busy schedules I would assume as much.

Is this the thing he did wrong? Is this what makes him an "inconsiderate douche"?

When he checked in, and she lied that she had the "flu", he was apparently supposed to have been psychic: "Maybe the reason I haven't heard from her is because she became pregnant, and is having an abortion, and is emotionally crushed, and O, I should have known!"

Look, condoms do break*, and couples often get lucky. The odds of getting pregnant vary wildly. And some women mistakenly believe they know their (low) fertility level, and become positively blasé about birth control (crazy, but true).

Yes, the "extravagant" gift basket seems tone-deaf—like an attempt to buy off her apparent anguish—but her freakout seems completely unjustified. If the events happened as the LW says, if she couldn't pick up the phone to say "I'm pregnant", then she's the inconsiderate douche. Good riddance.

*Dan's written before on the subject of condom breakage; saying that, since a man doesn't notice when a condom breaks, nobody can claim "condoms reduce sensitivity". I don't know what's the matter with Dan's equipment, but whenever I've broken a condom, it's instantly apparent.
@67: "but this guy doesn't seem like that much of a douchbag. He does seem confused and confusing though."

We're examining sincerity and context here, the "confused" here comes off more like a rehearsed act. He's more interested in how people will perceive him than doing right.
@70: "However much of a douche he may be, he was using protection, and does seem to be trying to figure out the right thing to do. Doesn't he get some consideration"

If he was honest with us, maybe. But he appears unable to reconcile his actions, therefore the best advice is to leave the poor girl alone.
I mean, the guy went into that he was bisexual (okay!) and she was (high five bro!!!!) And into the contents of her basket (what a nice guy!!!) all with weirdly unessential details but gosh, entirely forgot to mention why she stopped talking to him and the specifics therein.

The dumb-guy routine and selective providing of facts makes him look as if he's providing a cleverly edited story for the audience looking to elicit sympathy or oost-hoc justification for his actions, not a clueless individual. Dan's here to offer advice, not penance.
I agree with others who said the pregnancy scare probably sucked all the "casual" out of the fun little casual sex thing they had going.

After going through the whole ordeal she may have realized she just wasn't that into him.
He sounds like a condescending prat and she sounds like she just figured it out.
@74 The guy is even a douche to Dan, who he is supposedly asking for advice. She's 7 years younger than him, and this is probably her first pregnancy and first abortion.

Some women don't take their birth control because they think they have low fertility and that's crazy? Do you have any idea how many men don't use condoms (most)? When it is the only protection they have against pregnancy? Relying on someone else 100% to prevent pregnancy? That's crazy. And deeply uncaring. I know this guy did use condoms, but prob not because of pregnancy risk. They are both fucking other people so they'd be stupid to not use them, for STD protection.

This guy is just her fuck buddy. He's clearly not someone she's in a deep emotional relationship with (he's "smitten" with the sex happy bi poly BDSM undergrad, we don't get any impression whatsoever of how she feels about him, he omits that detail. Maybe he doesn't know.). I don't get why you think she owes him a phone call re: the abortion when she doesn't even feel he is capable of providing minimal emotional support. As demonstrated by the ridiculous gift basket idea, she's probably quite correct about that. And the fact that he's dating women 7 years younger at an age when that difference is pretty significant. He has no say, going through an abortion is usually pretty stressful, and this guy promises to be no help at all. Why does she owe him a phone call? Why does she owe him anything at all?
This letter raised the hairs on the back of my neck more than any other letter I've read here.
She got a flu last weekend before the end of her semester? This letter appears on November 28, which means that at the latest he's talking about the weekend of November 22.

Academic semesters end in the first few weeks of December; now, maybe I'm reading too closely his use of "right before," but I don't think that a space of 10-30 days qualifies. I think that what's more likely is he doesn't really know the rhythms of her life very well. Just as well, as he does seem to be a dick.
God, you're a hard audience. Doesn't come over condescending or douchey to me, all the potential douchey things he says reflect positively on HER.

And yes #4 condoms DO break even in roughish sex. Happened to me a couple of times with one particular partner.
@70 If he can't make himself sympathetic with his own words then I can only imagine what her side of the story would be.
Personally, I think if she said she doesn't want to see him, he shouldn't send a gift basket. Even if delivered by mail it's still intruding into her space. If I tell someone I don't want to see or hear from them, I almost certainly won't feel differently if their words are delivered by USPS rather than Verizon. Timing is everything, and he says that this all happened within the last week (as of his writing the letter), maybe two. If he wants to give it a few months and then send a letter, fine. But if I tell someone on Wednesday that I don't want to see them, and then on Friday something shows up at my house, I'm going to be annoyed. Flipped out? No. But it certainly isn't going to make me suddenly feel better about the person, and depending on the events that led up to telling them not to contact me, it might actually concern me. Sometimes, things just end, and you don't get to say your final piece. Dealing with that is part of being a grownup.
@83 condoms can break during non-rough sex also.

Personally, I didn't get "douchebag" from this guy, more like, out-of-his depth. He found himself a bangin' hottie that bones chix and dudes, and he's like a regular nerd-ish guy who doesn't know how to "command a woman's attention" (ie, do the things that she likes, not just in bed but in public as well) and she's a little embarrassed by him.
Love how the gay guy is bashing the straight guy. Must be social justice or something. Obviously the problem is that he's a douchebag and needs "introspection," even though it's been established that the girl is sneaking him around and being secretive... if she doesn't respond in some non-malevolent way, it's obviously all *his* fault.

I suppose it's easy to presume that women are angelic and men are shitlords when your only relationship-related interactions with women are when they're complaining about their jerk boyfriends.

Seriously, Dan, do YOU have to be a douche about it?
@86 Fuckin nerds, will they ever learn to go back to their basements and grow out their neckbeards and leave the women for the "real" men? Amirite? Fuck you bro.
I'm respectfully disagreeing with Dan on the care package. She has said that she never wants to see WTHTCR again. I would personally take that as no contact at all. Unless something is left out, it sounds as if she knows how you feel about her and it isn't reciprocated. You've been dumped. Go on your way.
#87 It's a good idea to try not to project your own issues onto someone else's letter.
@86/87: You two redpillers should get a room and be creepy to each other there instead of bothering womankind.
I am a woman (mid 30's) in a long term steady relationship in addition to a casual sex-oriented relationship.

When I don't feel like seeing my casual guy, it is mostly because I have bad cramps during menstruate cycles or don't feel like having sex. I wouldn’t introduce him to my friends unless we’re out together in a social setting. However, we have precious little time together (my casual and me) that we want to fuck as much as we can during this time. Social outings are not important to casual relationships.

If for whatever reason she was pregnant and is going through an abortion, given the physical and emotional stress this can be, the last thing she wants is a booty call. If their relationship is mainly sex oriented, she might only be expecting booty calls from him… Calling him an inconsiderate ass is very appropriate. It makes me think that she thought he knew she was not feeling well, and yet gives her a booty call, what else she would call him. He said he text her to wish her well with the papers, but let’s call a spade a spade eh.

Oh, besides, a 3 month relationship is still a NEW relationship. It’s not surprised for these kind of partners not to be brought home even after 3 years!
A bit about me:
I am a woman (mid 30's) in a long term steady relationship in addition to a casual sex-oriented relationship.

When I don't feel like seeing my casual guy, it is mostly because I have bad cramps during menstruate cycles or don't feel like having sex. I wouldn't introduce him to my friends unless we’re out together in a social setting. However, we have precious little time together (my casual and me) that we want to fuck as much as we can during this time. Social outings are not important to casual relationships.

On to comment regarding the letter
If for whatever reason she was pregnant and is going through an abortion, given the physical and emotional stress this can be, the last thing she wants is a booty call. If their relationship is mainly sex oriented, she might only be expecting booty calls from him… Calling him an inconsiderate ass is very appropriate. It makes me think that she thought he knew she was not feeling well, and yet gives her a booty call, what else she would call him. He said he text her to wish her well with the papers, but let’s call a spade a spade eh.

Oh, besides, a 3 month relationship is still a NEW relationship. It’s not surprised for these kind of partners not to be brought home even after 3 years!
She's 20. She might live in a dorm. doesn't always have to be a shady reason guys, it might just be embarrassing.
This guy could also just be a foolish, gullible, socially inept nerd who really means well, but has a lack of introspection.

Initially, I had some empathy with him. Then I read some of the comments.The differences in perspective and suspicion as well as the venom and antagonism cause me concern.

My answer: Leave note of care & concern. No basket. If she isn't too damaged and is as great as you thought, you will hear from her. Either way move foward, learn from this, and keep reading Savage Love.
He seems a bit obtuse but well-meaning. There are much greater sins in the dating world. Not exactly sure why everyone's piling on the guy.
What in the ever-loving fuck does WTHTCR mean?
@Mag Li (92, 93): Interesting perspective.
This sounds more right than anything else, though of course, who knows.
Does anyone else feel like these comments primarily register projection?
The LW seems a bit clueless, but the commentators here seem like hemorrhoidal buttholes of distrustful misplaced rage.
@100 and others.. This guy talks about a young woman having an abortion, as if it is Nothing. If you pick up projected rage @100, yes, maybe I'll cop that. Projected rage for All the males, who treat their women like " things."
@89 The LW wrote "She doesn't want to see me...her friends are taking care of her." That leaves the door open for them to see each other again, possibly, once she's feeling better. You invented the "never again" part of her statement.

@97, that's the LW's acronym ("Wants To Honor The Campsite Rule").

Dude, you're not a douche. Pregnancy and abortion are emotional things, and in this case, it emotionally ruined the whole concept of you for her. As a man, you can only speculate why. Maybe she blames you for the broken rubber. Maybe she is envious that you get to play without the fear and possibility of getting pregnant. Or maybe she just hates you for being the unlucky guy who got her pregnant.

Who knows, and at this point, who gives a shit? You haven't done anything wrong, and it's out of your hands now. She's moved on, you should do likewise.

As for the care package, I could see maybe sending it anonymously. Otherwise, no.
Maybe she's pissed that he got her pregnant with a broken condom. Maybe he "didn't notice" and finished, figuring she was on another form of bc.
Excuses, SeanDr? No woman can get pregnant by herself. What an attitude. Sheesh. Pregnancy and abortion " are emotional things", you think?
This guy is a douche, and in this post, I reckon, so are you.
@LavaGirl: I'm a douche now, too? Someone seems to be operating with a surplus of bad energy.

No, the pregnancy didn't happen by itself, yet the woman has shut the door on him and chosen to handle it by herself, hasn't she? She doesn't want him involved, and he should respect that.

And if she decides to be pissed at him for an accident that he, by her own choosing, can't do anything about, so be it. He doesn't have to take that on, nor should he. Turn the page and move on.
If only men could get pregnant. Then, they might understand.
So that's how it is? That's the factor?
If only women couldn't get pregnant then they might understand.... is equally antagonistic and unnecessary. Share your wisdom or don't, but please don't taunt.
I just can't see this as a case of "oh pregnancy does something to women and men can't understand it so this guy's a douche."

Assuming everything went down exactly as he described it (which might not be the case), this pregnancy can be chalked up to a really unfortunate accident. If they were using two different methods of birth control and both failed, I don't see how he alone could be held responsible or why he should be expected to have known that she was pregnant, especially if she told him that she had the flu.

More likely, he's somewhat more obtuse than he presents himself--and I think he does a pretty good job of coming off as emotionally tone deaf, actually--and she's just decided she's over him. Could be for any number of reasons, not necessarily the pregnancy.
Am I reading a different letter? He's Not a douche because she got pregnant. He's a douche because he just didn't see that that was the important component in this girl flicking him off. He raves about how great she is, how intelligent( my, even can take on his PhD friends). How she'd mentioned a 3 way.. How he has standards( say, what?).. And then, then he mentions the pregnancy.
This girl is 20 yrs old.
And SeanDr; read your comment again. See the attitude I was reacting too.