One of the frustrating things about taking questions for Ask Dr. NerdLove is that since I only do so many at a time, they can bet backed up a bit. Now, some questions require longer answers while others are fairly short and sweet. So every once in a while, I like to take some of these shorter questions and clear out the backlog and reassure everyone that I don’t just toss ’em into the trash file.
So let’s hit it, shall we?
I hate for this to be a “can you solve this debate for me and my friend” situation, but I am interested in your opinion on the subject. I am of the standpoint that someone has an inherent responsibility to talk with his/her friend if they are wanting to hook up with that friend’s ex. Not to get permission, though that would be nice, but at least show respect for the friend’s history and any unresolved feelings there might be. This seems to be a popular opinion among me friends, but there are a few who passionately believe that idea is absurd and if you want to bang a friend’s ex, go ahead. Any thoughts?
About To Have Jesse’s Girl
Hopefully I don’t have to explain this to anyone who reads my blog, but you can’t call “dibs” on people, and the idea that “you can’t date your friend’s ex” is actually kind of insulting to everyone involved… especially the ex in question. So strictly speaking, no, you don’t owe them a head’s up. Everybody can put on their grown-up pants and deal with it.
Now, depending on how close you and your friend are and the situation with his ex, you might want to talk to him. If it’s a casual hook-up, then no, he doesn’t need to know. But if you and your friend are close and this situation with his ex is going to be an actual relationship… well, you probably should buckle down and have the talk, if only so he hears about it from you and not as a complete surprise. Let him know how much you value his friendship and that you care about him, but at the same the same time, you are dating his ex. Then give him the time and space he needs, if he needs any. It’s gonna be a difficult conversation, but you should be willing to tackle those difficult conversations head on, ‘cuz explaining that you’re dating your friend’s ex isn’t going to be the last one you ever have. Or the most difficult.
I’m a nerd recently graduated from college (23 years old) in an unfortunate situation. Due to lack of funds I had to move back in with my parents, and the only job I could land is entry-level enough that I won’t be able to afford an apartment for at least a year. My commute into the city is so convoluted that it and my job combined take up 55 hours a week, leaving me chronically tired. On top of that, I left all my best friends several hundred miles away at my college, and of the few friends I had in high school, only one or two are still in my home town (an extremely suburban area with not much to recommend it).
In short, I don’t really know what to do with myself. There are so many things in my life that need to be “fixed” (lack of local friends, lack of relationships, lack of money and free time, lack of emotional development, lack of social interests) that I just can’t envision a proper starting point. It doesn’t help that I’m craving intimacy to an extent that causes concentration issues and depressive episodes (which I’m seeing a counselor about), yet I know that I’m basically undateable until I somehow get my life into better shape; there isn’t much reason I should even try to meet girls or set up an online dating profile, because the fact that I’m a quiet, uninteresting nerd who lives with his parents would set me up for failure from the start.
I guess I’d just like to hear your take on the situation. If you were in my shoes, where would you start? Given my limited free time and less-than-ideal location, what can I do to meet new people? How do I acquire nerd-friendly interests that are more social than programming, videogames, and anime? Can I salvage anything positive on the dating front, or should I resign myself to <forever_alone.jpg> for a while longer as I slowly improve my life?
Wow, you and In The Gutter have both had a rough time of it lately. And I suspect that you’re not alone in that either.
First of all: kudos for you for going to see a counselor about your depression. It can be difficult to face up to having emotional problems; even in this day and age, seeing a therapist and admitting to having problems can still make you feel as though you’re being judged by others.
Now here’s what you need to do: build yourself back up. You’re living with your parents – kinda sucks, but that’s the economic reality we live in. It’s hardly uncommon at this point, but you can take advantage of it. Since you have fewer expenses and even less time to spend your hard-earned money, start saving up now. Take a portion of each paycheck and set it aside into a savings account. Look at it as laying the groundwork for getting a new place or a cushion against future hard times. When you find a new, better paying job, you’ll have this extra stash to help pad things out.
Beyond that: work on yourself. Once you get adjusted to your schedule, start an exercise program. Join a class at the Y, find a dodgeball league, get into jogging… something. It’ll help with the depression, it’ll get you into shape, and it’ll get you out of the house. Check for gaming groups in town too; you might be surprised how many are out there… you just may not have known it. If you can scrape together an hour or two a week, consider volunteer work. I can’t stress this enough: it’s a great way to meet new people and to help make your life more interesting.
And work on that attitude, young man. Life may be tough right now at the moment, but you’re not helping yourself by insisting that you’re an undatable, uninteresting nerd on top of things.
I am a college freshman and I do not drink alcohol. My brother is in recovery and I cannot drink. It has become one of the key moral stances of my lifestyle. At school I have a lot of trouble finding women to talk to. I think part of this is because of my inability to “party” as dictated by college students everywhere. I had a strong group of friends in high school who I have all but removed from my life because they could not accept that I would not drink with them on prom night. I fill your description of “nice guy”, but I am working on your advice. What I am having trouble with is following these tips and staying true to this lifestyle, one that I am not willing to give up, I have never really had a relationship and have found myself stuck in the Friend Zone a few times. This has made me fear that my love life will bee rife with turmoil for years to come, how can I balance my non-drinking and relationship with women?
Dude, there’s nothing wrong with not drinking. Not drinking isn’t going to doom you to a life of singledom, I promise you. I know it feels like you’ve cut yourself off from society by choosing not to drink, but that’s because you’re in college and everybody’s convinced themselves that being a college student means getting drunk and stupid five nights a week. Don’t let the idiots make you feel like you’re weird, wrong or somehow deficient for not drinking.
But hey, just because you don’t drink doesn’t mean you can’t hang out with people who do. Nobody’s going to kick you out of the bar if you’re sticking to Diet Coke. If people are really going to be dicks about your not drinking… well you could always stick to tonic water and lime and just tell ’em you’re having vodka tonics, but I’d wonder why you’d want to hang out with assholes who can’t respect another guy’s choice. Hang out with the drinkers and stay sober if you want to party without the booze. Otherwise, yes, it can feel like you’re missing out on the chance to hit on women but I can promise you there are plenty of social events, on campus or off, that don’t revolve around alcohol. Look into coffeehouses, open mic nights, improv classes, swing nights. The options are out there.
Dear Dr. Nerdlove,
I’m a girl and I’m thinking about giving online dating a try. However, I have been wondering what the best way would be to let a guy know that I’m not interested. I’m not talking about the “sup, gurl” guys, of course, but what if a guy has actually put effort into writing me a message, yet I’m just not attracted to him or we have nothing in common? I would feel bad not replying at all, but I also don’t want to lead him on if I already know that I’m not interested. Basically I don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings, but I also don’t want to date every guy that messages me, so what’s a nice way to tell them thanks, but no?
Hey, most people just don’t respond at all. It’s par for the course with online dating. But really, you can’t go wrong with just “Thanks for writing, but I’m just not interested.” Sounds a bit cold, but it’s a) the truth and b) cuts down on the number of people who will see any response as an opening position for negotiations rather than a refusal.
I would like to register a complaint. i tried your advice but it never works. I have been rejected over 150 times by various girls and i was wondering what am i doing wrong. i tried everything and i still get labeled as either creepy stalker or the friend. every girl i talked to was either gay taken or thought i was a rapist.. Seriously its getting close to valentines day and i don’t want to spend it alone again what am i doing wrong?
Fucked if I know.
Y’see, you don’t tell me what the hell it is you’re doing. I’m damn good at my job, but I’m not a mind reader and since I haven’t been shadowing you all ninja-style, I can only go with what you give me… which is nothing. If you’re regularly setting off women’s Spidey-sense, you might want to read through Don’t Be a Creeper and start taking some of those lessons to heart. Especially since I can guarantee you that those women telling you they were gay or taken were trying to give you a socially-acceptable brush-off.