Each year, The A.V. Club turns a collection of our readers’ problems with love, sex, and relationships over to an expert just in time for Valentine’s Day. (Past participants: Slug, Eugene Mirman, and Tim & Eric.) This year, we placed them in the capable hands of Julie Klausner, comedian, Internet presence, and author of the terrific book I Don’t Care About Your Band: What I Learned From Indie Rockers, Trust Funders, Pornographers, Felons, Faux-Sensitive Hipsters, And Other Guys I’ve Dated, which has been optioned by Will Ferrell and Adam McKay’s Gary Sanchez Productions as a series, starring Lizzy Caplan.
I’m a 22-year-old man about to finish college. I dated this 29-year-old girl recently. Our relationship started very fast, and we spent copious amounts of time together. We hung out at least four to five times a week, and within two weeks of dating, we started sleeping with each other. Three months later, I find out she is still sleeping with her ex-boyfriend and she said she didn’t tell me because I didn’t ask her. She went on to say that this is how adults carry out relationships, and that one day I would understand. So is she totally fucking stupid, or am I naïve to think that openness and honesty, even in a budding relationship, is important?
Young “Naïve” Adult
No, she’s not stupid—she’s an asshole. But here’s the good news! You’re still young enough to be able to bounce back from this, while she, almost 30, is still having sex with an ex and dicking around a younger dude for dummy-time playground-hour liar time. Adulthood isn’t going well for her, which is something you can console yourself with throughout your heartbreak. Either way, this all sucks, I’m so sorry. Just know women can be damaged assholes just like men, and let that be the lesson you learn—not that all girls are bitches from another planet, with brains made out of chocolate and shopping. Then go on to find one of the many among us who are not.
My girlfriend wants to move to another country where there are more job opportunities but a much higher crime rate. I’m terrified of going, as I don’t think I’d ever fit in and feel safe walking the streets (which I love to do), but there’s no future where we live now, and I don’t think I’d ever make enough money to even move out of my parents’ house. What should I do?
Which country?? Is it France? I think you should go if it’s France. Because the crimes they’re talking about when they talk about the higher crime rate are mostly crimes of the heart. (So, rape.) Send me a postcard and some cheese!
I just got out of a long-term relationship, I’m 26, and I haven’t been on a date, hooked up, or really engaged in any form of courting since I was 19. What I’m wondering is how one really goes about meeting girls. All the girls I know are in relationships, and as someone who’s last first date involved a discussion about Wesley Clark at the dining hall, I’m pretty out of touch. So yeah, where to go, what to do, how to meet? Basic stuff, I know, but I think there are a lot more clueless people like me out there than would like to admit it.
Thank you for reminding me of Wesley Clark! The memory of his campaign brings back so many fond memories of 2003. Remember SARS? And Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle? And how we killed Saddam Hussein’s sons? Hahaha! SIMPLER TIMES.
Down to your question! Here is how you meet women. You tell the girls you are friends with—the ones in relationships—that you want a girlfriend. You shouldn’t even have to say “Set me up” or “Introduce me!” If they’re good girls, they’ll get the hint. If not, be like “Carol, DUH.” The odds are good that your lady pals have one billion female friends, many of whom will be eager to go on a date with a guy who wants to actually go on one. If that doesn’t work out, just keep your eyeballs open along your career path. You’ll be certain to find an excellent lady with common interests, as long as you don’t get cynical or allow your shyness to become crippling. Also, maybe learn to play the ukulele? Just kidding, NEVER DO THAT.
What makes the perfect man? I have been practicing painstakingly for 44 years now and still am looking for the answer. So any wise sage advice from you would be greatly appreciated. Looking forward to celebrating the big V-day next year with your direction.
The answer is Harrison Ford’s character in Working Girl. Good luck!
How do you get over someone who wasn’t even that good for you in the first place? I’ve filled my life with good friends and meaningful projects. I am trying [cough] to exercise on a regular basis and eat well. I have cut out other nasty habits. I know that this last beau was no good for me whatsoever, but that doesn’t keep me from thinking about him when I am staring at the ceiling alone in my bed in the middle of the night. I have managed to stop communication with him, but I still look for signs of him on the Internet. I have tried to date other new, exciting gents but, again, I keep comparing them to him. There is no good reason why I should even be interested in him, as he was a terrible, self-absorbed boyfriend. But there were things about him I liked. I think the main thing was the potential of the whole thing; the potential for him to be in a working long-term relationship. I really romanticized what we could have had together. Anyway, I am doing what I have heard I am supposed to be doing, but this process is creeping along. My mind won’t stop interacting with him. Please advise.
Ugh, I’m sorry. This is not what anyone wants to hear, just like somebody who wants to lose weight doesn’t want to hear “diet and exercise,” but I think giving yourself time and abstaining from interaction is the only way to get over somebody. Time doesn’t just create distance from the break—the longer you wait, the older you get, and the desire to reconnect with somebody who’s bad for you has a lot to do with the drama-craving chemicals that ferment in our brains in our more nascent years. In other words, teens and twentysomethings be TRIPPIN’.
Personally, as I got older, I remember taking comfort in the fact that knowing a guy was terrible and self-absorbed made him less attractive to me when I was trying to get over him. There was a time when him being awful would have been really sexy and exciting, in an “Oooh, I love how mean he is to me, and not at all interested/incompatible!” dumdum way. So remember, there’s nothing you can say if you contact him that will make him be less of a creep, and until he miraculously decides to come back to you on some kind of horse by no instigation of yours, it wasn’t meant to be. Also, try to sleep with or at least hang out with as many people as you can in the meantime. It’s way more fun than going through his Facebook gallery again. You know what those photos look like!
My sweetie and I have big dinner plans for Valentine’s Day. I really like to eat. But I guess you’re supposed to make whoopie on this day too. Do I:
a) Eat everything I want and pretend to be asleep once p-and-v time rolls around?
b) Eat everything I want and put on some loud music to drown out the sloshing in my belly?
c) Eat hardly anything, let the romance happen, then creep downstairs to the kitchen later at night to be with my true Valentine?
Thank you in advance, and Happy Valentine’s Day!
Dear Garfield, consider increasing the postage on your packages in accordance with the increasing rates. Otherwise, Nermal will never get to Abu Dhabi!
I live in Los Angeles and I’m a single twentysomething girl. I’ve had bad experiences in the past with sleeping with guys too fast and then having them not call, etc. I’m trying to have standards now where I wait for a guy to ask me and then take me on a proper date. The only problem is… No guy ever asks me on a real date!!! He might ask for my phone number or Facebook me. But the asking-out of a proper date is elusive! Is it this town? I am a cute girl with a lot of friends. I never had a problem having boyfriends in college. Where do I need to go to get asked out on a real date? Most of my friends are single girls with the same problem.
Still Single in Los Angeles
You have to tell guys to ask you on a date. Smile when you do it—however that works, I’m not Cosmo. But yeah—not a lot of people know how to “court” anymore, sorry. It’s an unfortunate side effect of the equal-rights movement and the mass confusion it caused among men who had no complimentary ideology to feminism… I could go on, but I know my audience, so I’ll make a joke about tacos soon, once I cut my answer short. Maybe it’s different on non-New York or L.A. parts of the country. But the tacos and pizza on the respective West and East coasts make it all worth it! (No, they don’t.) Good luck either way. You will be fine.
My girlfriend is an attention-whore. I was thinking about popping the question, and I wanted to know what would be the best way to do it, with her getting all the attention in a public place without me having to do it at a major sporting event or paying for a sky message. Please Help!
Maybe you could light her and yourself on fire in public? Then I’d have to watch one less “man gets people to break out into a dumb song in a park” viral video, and you’d both be dead. Win-win! In all seriousness, I don’t get people who need to make a proposal a bigger deal than marriage already is. Like bride culture, it makes the notion of marriage even more terrifying to people who are afraid of it, and more sacred and proprietary to assholes who don’t want gay people to participate in it. But good luck with your “attention whore” soon-to-be-fiancée! I’m sure I will actively hate your children one day. I look forward to it!