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High School Sucks

May 16th, 2011 | 1 Comment | Posted in Random Crap

Dear Bitter Single Guy: I’m a 16 year old girl, and I know that high school is tough for everyone but these last three years I’ve been very sick with constant pain and have not been able to go to school very much if at all. Thus, my peers have adhered to the “out of sight, out of mind” aphorism as well as most of my “friends”. Now once I am better and am doing normal things, it will get easier, but what can I do to experience social interactions of a relatively normal caliber? Thank you for time. ~Longing For a Life~

Dear LFL: The first thing the Bitter Single Guy has to say is that normal interactions in high school are probably pretty rare given the degree of weirdness that rules most high school social situations.

The BSG’s best recommendations for engaging normally in high school are:

  1. Engage. This is just what it sounds like…chat with folks, say hello to friends, meet new friends. Refuse to sit on the sidelines and wait for folks to invite you in. Invite yourself. And don’t look twice if you get some eye rolling and ‘what does she think SHE’S doing’ attitude; that’s just boredom.
  2. Be yourself. This seems easy but the BSG and you both know that it’s not as easy as it sounds. The BSG wants you to try out n new styles of speech and behavior in the same way that you try out new sweaters, but he also wants you to be and behave because it feels right to you, not because everyone else is doing it.
  3. Remember that this is temporary. Oh LFL, the BSG remembers older folks telling him in high school not to worry about anything because it all gets easier as an adult and he hated those smug adults for their assurances, but it turns out (as it often does with the smug) that they were right. The BSG only tells you this because when it feels like high school is one big pit of unpleasantness (and it will), the BSG wants you to hold onto the tiny hope that it’s actually on a small part of your life.

Good luck and stay healthy, LFL.

The Breakup Series Part 2: So You’ve Decided to Dump Someone!

May 9th, 2011 | No Comments | Posted in Dumped

So you’ve decided to dump someone!

Whether you agonized for years about your decision to end your relationship, or it came to you last night in a dream and by lunchtime you had the car packed, the BSG knows that the decision is always a tough one.

To start out, the BSG wants to say that the difference between dumping and breaking up has to do with style, maturity and compassion. Granted, no amount of delicate artful breaking up will prevent the dumpee from believing anything other than that she or he was dumped plain and simple. But the BSG believes that there are karma points to be gained by taking the high road even when the rewards are few.

The High Road: Breaking up

The BSG is reminded of the sage advice provided by a sign posted on a cubicle wall (in the BSG’s previous life as a Bitter Corporate Drone): “Doing a good job around here is like wetting your pants in a dark suit: it gives you a warm feeling, but nobody notices.”

The BSG believes that breaking up with someone in a compassionate fashion is much like the experience described in that clever little quote. So the BSG wants you to imagine that you are the person in that quote who is trying to do a good job. First, picture yourself in a suit (does anyone but appliance salespeople wear those anymore?). Then, if it’s not too creepy, imagine with the BSG that you’re standing by the water cooler watching other suited women and men come and go for a quick drink (are water coolers even a reality for cubicle monkeys anymore? The BSG needs new info he thinks).

There at the water cooler, you decide to ‘relax into it’ and <ahem> wet yourself. The BSG suspects (he has no actual experience here) that like that sage observation, there would be a relatively unnoticeable warm sensation spreading out from your groin-ish area and before running soothingly down your legs to gather in pleasant pools in your shoes. Are you with the BSG? This is the feeling of doing something good, like a compassionate breakup. But stay with the BSG here. What happens next?

Next that warm feeling is gradually replaced by a cold clammy feeling. The pee pooled in your shoes has seeped between your toes and whether anyone coming and going from the water cooler has noticed or not, you’re feeling pretty icky right about now. The BSG would like to point out that this experience is also the follow up to a compassionate breakup, but at this point it’s necessary to leave this whole disgusting metaphor behind (the BSG feels a little dirty about the whole ‘pee in your shoes’ part, but it got us here, which was necessary).

The Low Road: Dumping

In stark counterpoint to the warm-then-clammy feeling of the mature, compassionate breakup, there is “the dump”, which rarely elicits warm feelings. Usually, dumping someone is preceded by all kinds of negative feelings like anger or self-loathing. But at the end of the day, there’s a reason that it’s called dumping. Imagine if you will, the cartoon experience we’ve all witnessed where a Hapless Harvey (usually male in the cartoons because causing physical harm to females is usually taboo) is standing innocently on a rug when it is literally yanked out from underneath him. The rug and Hapless Harvey’s feet get tugged in one direction while Harvey’s body stays in one place. Physics take over and gravity grabs hold of Harvey to pull him to the floor in a startling fashion. Poor Hapless Harvey.

Dumping someone in a relationship usually has fewer actual bruises, but the emotional bruising can take much longer to heal. Much like Hapless Harvey’s experience, Clueless Connie is standing firm in her belief that her relationship is strong and healthy (or at least not in imminent danger), when Connie’s other half announces that she’s done, and Connie’s emotional feet are yanked out from underneath her just like Harvey’s. In both cases, both Harvey and Connie were surprised and lack of preparation resulted in them on their asses (literal for Harvey, emotional for Connie) on the floor.

So then…break-up or dump? Stay tuned for the next installment of the BSG’s Guide to Breakups!

The Low Road: Dumping

The BSG Sides with Cinderella

May 5th, 2011 | 1 Comment | Posted in Cheaters

Dear Readers…this letter is long, but a good one. The BSG recommends hanging with it.

Dear Bitter Single Guy: I cheated. I started a relationship with my now-ex-fiance when I was rebounding off of some serious issues during my senior year of high school. We had always loved each other, and he was my rock in my greatest time of need. Not only that, though… I loved everything about him and we were inseparable and just plain happy. I went off to college 6 months into our relationship without knowing a soul on campus and I made the mistake of falling into someone else’s bed more than once when I was completely obliterated. Looking back on it, I’m able to see that I felt undeserving of such an amazing relationship after the mistakes I had made in the past, and hence began to act that way.

After a few incidents over the next couple of months in that first semester of partying and self-loathing, I finally began to see myself for what I was. A kind, empathetic, loving person, and I was finally able to understand that I WAS deserving of a wonderful man who treated me the way he did. It didn’t take any worries about him finding out or any type of major event for me to stop… I just looked at him one night after a great date and realized how lucky (and grateful) I was to have him in my life.

His best friend had heard about what I was doing because we went to school together and it’s a small campus. I didn’t really say much when he asked me about it and he basically told me that he wasn’t going to say anything because he knew it would kill… let’s call my ex Bob. Both he and my close friends all agreed that it would be best to just forget about it since I had quit already and had turned things around.

Well… after 1 1/2 years of being together and 8 months after my last encounter with someone else, he asked me to marry him. I said yes, life was great, and he attended school with me that year. Things were going really well but I had a falling-out with one of my best friends and she decided to e-mail him every gruesome detail about what I had done to betray him. And by every detail… I mean EVERY detail, including some pretty disgusting lies.

When he got these messages from her, it had been 1 1/2 years since my last encounter. It tore our world apart for that day but he decided to forgive me and try to put it out of his mind since we were so in love and he trusted that I was being honest about when I stopped. Unfortunately, we both made the mistake of thinking that it would be possible for him to forgive me so easily and so quickly.

I like to communicate, and I like to communicate a lot. I would always talk to him about what I was needing from him to feel loved and what we could do to make the relationship even better and I would always ask him, “I know I’m not perfect, babe. What can I do to make you happier or to make things even better with us?” He always responded that he was happy and I was great and that he loved how things were going.

Well… apparently not. Just recently, I was bedridden with a bad migraine and he went to hang out with his friend in the common area of our dorm building. He met a girl there, and they were texting eachother nonstop for two days. After we slept together one night, I asked him if he liked her as we were cuddling.

He said this, almost exactly. “If I weren’t dating anyone, then yes I would probably think of her that way. But I love you and I’m committed to this relationship and you can trust me, babe.” Not 36 hours later, he dumped me. He broke off his engagement because he said he didn’t feel that same spark as he had when we first started dating. He said he just wanted space to work through things and to figure out what he wanted. I came to find out that  he immediately started spending time with her and right after we had a tearful (but good) talk later that week… I saw him walking from her room the next morning after he had spent the night there.

I’ll avoid talking about how much this girl makes me nauseous to pursue a guy who is engaged in the first place, no matter how much I want to scratch her eyes out. I just feel like if he had been honest with me from the beginning about how what I did was affecting him, we could have taken a break THEN or at least started to see a counselor… ANYTHING to keep things together in some way. He also mentioned that he was under a lot of pressure with getting married so soon and I’m just thinking… “But you asked me!”

I would have much rather given up planning a wedding than to go through what I’m feeling now. It would have been harder for us to talk about what I did openly and for him to be honest about what I could have done to improve things, but at least I wouldn’t have been going through the past year thinking everything was all rainbows and butterflies. This breakup came completely out of nowhere, for me.

I know we’re in college, but I’m so sick of hearing from EVERYONE that this is the time to date a lot of people and party and have a great time. I feel like you can still party and have fun and make new friends and have all of the great experiences that college has to offer while still having someone you love by your side. Neither of us are the “notch-in-the-belt” type of people to begin with.

I just want to know… what do you think happens now? Are we hopeless? He refuses to sell my engagement ring back just yet (he doesn’t even know why) and he still keeps all of my pictures up on his bulletin board so I feel like he still might have some shred of love for me somewhere.
I’ve forgiven myself for my mistakes by now. All that I felt I could do to show my love for him after I betrayed him was to love him with every cell in my body and to never lie to him again (which came easily to me). I feel like I should have came clean to him myself, but there’s nothing I can do about that now. ~Repentant Cheater~

Dear RC: The Bitter Single Guy should tell you that he normally doesn’t respond to letters as long as yours but after reading your letter he decided to weigh in.

First the BSG wants to say that he feels your pain. You’ve obviously learned well from your debaucheries in the first few months you were college. The BSG also agrees with you…it would have been better if your fiancé had heard about those debaucheries from you rather than from a pissed-off friend. While he absolutely understands not wanting to rock a peacefully floating boat with stories of past infidelities, the BSG is pretty sure that your happy marriage would eventually have been rocked by the fact that you cheated on your boyfriend early in your relationship.

OK so then the BSG will attempt to describe why he doesn’t really blame your fiancé here. He wants you to think about Cinderella (stay with the BSG here, he promises this is relevant). Imagine (in a slightly re-done version of the story) that Cinderella heard about the ball, but thought “nope, my stepsisters and I have all these chores, so no balls for us.” [pun intended] Later, Cinder hears from a nosy neighbor that while she was home scrubbing floors, doing dishes and peeling turnips that her stepsisters were out at the ball! When the stepsisters came home they genuinely told Cinder that they now realize how stupid it was to be out having fun while their sister was at home working. So Cruella grabs the turnip peeler while Ursula grabs the mop. Everyone wins, right? Well not really. Hell, Cinderella LOVES balls, what kind of chump was she to spend hours doing chores while those girls were whirling around a dance floor? So even though the stepsisters learned an important lesson about family cohesion, they still frankly REEKED of the buffet at the ball, while Cinderella reeked of turnip peels and Mop-N-Glo.

The short version here RC is that cheating has an insidious impact on relationships. As much as your ex probably wanted to be OK with how everything went down, the BSG is pretty sure that there was a voice in his head calling him a chump for being home peeling turnips (so to speak) while you were at the ball.

He may, after spending some time “at the ball” himself, decide that what he had with you was worth trying to re-capture but the BSG wouldn’t hold your breath. Sometimes the cost of enlightenment is high. ~BSG~

No Sex for 3 Months Because of HPV

May 2nd, 2011 | No Comments | Posted in Stay Or Go?

Dear Bitter Single Guy: I have been with my boyfriend for a year and a half. Early in our relationship he told me that at one point he was diagnosed with HPV and was treated. 3 months ago the problem, ahem… made an appearance. He went to take care of it. When he was healing I did an inspection, and found what looked like another different outbreak of the same thing. He said he would go back and get it taken care of. That was two months ago and he still hasn’t gone back to take care of it.

At this point I feel like he doesn’t really want me that way and it’s really affecting my self esteem. I’m thinking of breaking-up with him… I’m also grossed-out that he’s okay with having a disease??

PS. We’ve had other issues in the past – he’s uncomfortable with any kind of intimacy and says that he is actually closest to me than to anyone else in his life, I am his first relationship since he was 16 and he’s in his late twenties now and other things have happened too.

He’s worked very hard to change and make things from our past right (things he says he’s changing because it makes him very happy as well).

I love him very much but things like intimacy (sex included) are very important to me. I don’t know if I’m being neurotic and not seeing things from his point of view or ignoring clear signs that we shouldn’t be together.

I’ve never been the type to try to “fix” a guy, I usually walk away at the drop of a hat, until now. Help. ~Icky-ness Down There~

Dear IDT: On your behalf, the Bitter Single Guy conducted exhaustive internet research for nearly 5 full minutes. The BSG realized that although he had heard of HPV, he really didn’t know what it was except that he was pretty sure he didn’t want it (turns out the BSG was right about that). Here are some interesting details the BSG found from the CDC (Centers for Disease Control):

  • HPV is not the same as herpes or HIV (the virus that causes AIDS).
  • Most people with HPV do not develop symptoms or health problems from it.
  • In 90% of cases, the body’s immune system clears HPV naturally within two years (let’s hear it for our immune systems!).
  • In cases when the body does not fight off HPV, it can cause visible changes in the form of genital warts or cancer.
  • The types of HPV that can cause genital warts are not the same as the types that can cause cancer.
  • Vaccines can protect against some of the most common types of HPV.

There is tons more fascinating information about genital warts and HPV-related cancers (seriously fascinating) at the CDC website, so the BSG recommends you checking out those details and also strongly recommends talking to your doctor about having a partner who has had HPV. The BSG also recommends the San Fransisco Sex Information website (and hot line).

OK, all that out of the way, the BSG will now get to the part of your question he’s actually experienced with (so to speak). A big part of what’s happening here is that Reluctant Ralphie seems to be using his handy STD to keep you from heading *ahem* down there. Embracing this barrier to intimacy seems in line with his discomfort with intimacy.

IDT, the BSG has to tell you that his alarms started going off with:

  • Reluctant Ralphie is uncomfortable with intimacy
  • You’re his first relationship since he was 16 and he’s now in his late 20’s
  • He’s hung around with an untreated STD for 2 months after learning of an outbreak
  • Your statement that “other things have happened too” (you didn’t think the BSG would just let that go, did you?)

OK, the BSG is going to wander out onto a limb which could be unprepared to hold his weight, resulting in the BSG plunging into the endless abyss of unsubstantiated accusations. Here goes.

Reluctant Ralphie isn’t all that into you IDT, but he’s scared to death of intimacy so he remains involved with you because he’s figured out how to stay with you while avoiding intimacy. Reasons for this could range from you’re not his type, to some deep-seated psychological issues. The BSG isn’t willing to walk out on those limbs at this point, but he’s pretty safe on this one…namely the one where Reluctant Ralphie is using you as his shield against fixing whatever else is going on.

The BSG is of the opinion (this is a scary limb, but he’s going out there) that you should set a firm boundary about what’s acceptable behavior (fix this STD, get busy in the sexy department, fix whatever else is indicated by “other things” that have happened), and a timeline for these changes (the BSG strongly recommends fewer than two weeks).

That said, the BSG is also pretty sure that this will cause a downward spiral of Reluctant Ralphie’s issues (whatever they are) and that you’ll end up breaking up with him. When this happens  (the BSG thinks this is pretty certain), be his friend and help him find a local support group or therapist. If however, Reluctant Ralphie is just lazy and didn’t want to break up with you even though he wasn’t into you, well let him wallow in single-hood for another few years and maybe he’ll decide to take some responsibility for his life.  But at the very least, the BSG is sure it’s not your responsibility. ~BSG~

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