Tag Archives: Dating

How to Flirt With Finesse

How to Flirt With Finesse

You might dress well, have a cool job, and be blessed with beauty, but flirting is where the real magic of attraction is, especially when it comes to first impressions. In fact, good flirting is often more effective than good looks, and it’s something anybody can learn how to do.

Make Friendly, Lasting Eye Contact With a Smile

Eye contact is pivotal when flirting, and Marin suggests it’s the best way to indicate your interest. It means the difference between a friendly “how-do-ya-do” conversation and a “I’d really like to get to know you” conversation. Whether you’re across the room or already talking, eye contact has been shown to boost feelings of attraction. In one study, published in the Journal of Research and Personality, strangers were asked to stare into the eyes of other strangers. After holding a mutual, friendly gaze for two minutes, most participants reported increased feelings of passionate love toward the stranger.

Marin says the trick to flirtatious eye contact is to maintain your gaze longer than usual. If you spot someone across the way, try to meet their gaze, hold it for a few seconds, and look away. Repeat this a couple times and, if they aren’t giving you weird looks, then make your approach. Be cautious, though. While a kind gaze does wonders, an unbroken, wide-eyed stare is creepy. If you’re worried you’ll go overboard, use the triangle technique and smile. Nothing says “I like you” like a big ol’ smile.

http://lifehacker.com/use-the-triang…

Approach From the Front

How to Flirt With Finesse

The wrong kind of approach will end things before they even start. When you see someone who piques your interest, Vanessa Marin, licensed marriage and family therapist and Lifehacker contributor, recommends you always approach from the front. Nobody likes being snuck up on by a stranger, and Marin notes this is especially true for men trying to approach women.

If they’re facing away, either make your way around, or wait for them to move. And if they’re at the bar, at least grab a seat next to them instead of rudely tapping them on the shoulder. Approaching them from the front also gives you both a chance to catch each other’s glance and gauge interest.

Give Compliments That Go Beyond Looks

Compliments are great for flirting, but they’re also a dime a dozen. Dr. Nerdlove, dating columnist and Kotaku contributor, suggests you step things up and compliment them on something they had a conscious hand in:

Complimenting somebody’s looks is both unoriginal and not terribly interesting. Letting someone know that you appreciate, say, their fashion sense or their insight, on the other hand, shows that you get them on a personal level.

“You’re cute” and “you have pretty eyes” aren’t going to cut it. If you can’t think of something that appeals to their choices, Marin says you should at least try and give them an unusual compliment. Say something like “you have a very confident-sounding voice,” or “you seem like someone who knows how to get the best out of people,” or “you have a delightfully offbeat personality.” Leave them with a compliment that will stick with them and make you unique.

Also, ditch the pickup lines and cheesy one-liners. One study, published in the journal Sex Roles, suggests that both men and women hate “cute-flippant” opening lines. Overall, participants in the study preferred openers that were more innocuous or direct. So skip the “Are you wearing space pants?” lines and try to strike up an actual conversation about the venue, music, or a mutual friend. Otherwise, just go for it and offer to buy them a drink or make a unique compliment.

http://lifehacker.com/the-best-ways-…

Use Appropriate Touch to Show Interest

How to Flirt With Finesse

A light touch, done carefully, is an extremely effective form of flirting for both men and women. Light touching shows interest beyond a doubt. Additionally, your flirting may not be as obvious as you think it is, so it’s a great for being more direct, as long as the situation allows and the atmosphere is appropriate. When someone is certain that you’re interested, it’s easier for them to respond in kind.

In the book Close Relationships, Dr. Pamela Regan, a professor of psychology at California State University, suggests there are three main types of social touch. The first is “friendly,” which is like a light shoulder push, shoulder tap, or handshake—not ideal for flirting, but good for testing the waters. The third type, “nuclear,” is the super obvious types of romantic touch, like a soft face touch or brushing someone’s hair out of their face, and is far too abrupt and forward for flirting. “Plausible deniability,” the second type of touch, is right in the middle and it’s where you want to be. It involves gentle and informal touching around the shoulder or waist, and the almost-always effective touch on the forearm. One study, published in Social Influence, found that a light touch on the forearm increased the chance participants would give out their phone number or go on a date. Just be sure the atmosphere is right when you try it, or you might make them feel uncomfortable.

Use Playful Teasing to Your Advantage

People want what they can’t have, and a little playful teasing shows that you’re interested, but also draws people in. Nerdlove recommends a simple technique called “pushing and pulling,” where, like a kitten with a string, you dangle a compliment within reach, then pull it back. Here are some of Nerdlove’s examples:

“You’re the coolest person I’ve met… at this bar, anyway.” “Holy crap, you really are such a nerd, it’s adorable!” “It’s a shame you seem like a nice person, you’re giving me the most inappropriate ideas.” “You’re awesome, I never meet people like you; get away from me, I just can’t talk to you.” “We’re never going to get along, we’re too similar.”

The key here is to absolutely avoid negging or backhanded compliments, like “you’ve got a great smile, even with those teeth.” Keep it playful, friendly, and make it abundantly clear that you’re teasing. Do it with a big smile, have fun (and be self-deprecating when it’s right) and while you’re at it, use your teasing as an opportunity to do some flirty touching.

Nerdlove says good flirting is about riffing and playing off what one another says. Don’t force a change in the conversation, and keep things light. Also keep in mind that some people don’t like teasing or witty banter, so be ready to switch gears. If you say something unfunny or upsetting, apologize and change the topic. Don’t make it about you, and don’t shift the blame on them, like “I’m sorry you were offended.” Acknowledge that you messed up and move on to a happier subject. When in doubt, Nerdlove suggests you just be a great listener. It gives people a chance to open up about themselves, and gives you a chance to relax.

http://lifehacker.com/how-to-be-a-go…

Read Signals and Take a Hint

How to Flirt With Finesse

Things won’t always go your way when you flirt, so it’s important to know when to throw in the towel. Nerdlove suggests it all comes down to watching the other person’s body language and listening to how they respond. If you see these signals, dial it back:

  • They’re being polite, but unresponsive.
  • Their smiles are quick smirks that don’t look authentic.
  • They give short, uncomfortable laughs.
  • They’re not volleying back jokes or questions.

Nobody likes an overbearing flirt; It’s pushy, awkward, and super skeezy. Also, people talk. You never know when one bad social interaction will make things worse for you in the long run. If you swing and miss, shake it off, save face, and give it a shot another day.

http://lifehacker.com/how-to-read-bo…

Illustrations by Angelica Alzona.

Get Over a Breakup With “Redemptive Narrative” Journaling

Get Over a Breakup With "Redemptive Narrative" Journaling

There are a lot of great reasons to keep a journal, and getting over a breakup might be one of them. The key is using your words to reframe your suffering into a positive, or at least meaningful, experience.

http://lifehacker.com/why-you-should…

A recent study, conducted by Erica B. Slotter and Deborah E. Ward at Villanova University, and published in the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, suggests that writing about your experience in a certain way can lessen the emotional toll that breakups take. Using a method called “redemptive narratives,” you can turn negative life events into a positive turning point in your life. For example, you can write about how you learned something important about yourself, or that you now have a better understanding of a relationship’s dynamics. Additionally, you can use hindsight to your advantage to reshape memories and decide how they positively affected your personal story. It may not work as well in the long-term, but time heals most wounds, and it can help you work through the darkest days of heartbreak early on.

Finding the Silver Lining | Journal of Social and Personal Relationships via Business Insider

Photo by lukestehr.

Look for These “Green Flags”When Dating Someone New

Look for These “Green Flags”When Dating Someone New

It is easy to get caught up looking for red flags when you start dating someone, but keeping a few “green flags” in mind helps you decide just as much if someone is worth your time.

http://lifehacker.com/the-red-flags-…

When it comes to dating, no red flags is good, but not good enough. Basic human decency and common sense shouldn’t be your only factors. Here are some green flags to look for, too.

  • They communicate well about their thoughts and feelings, and give you the chance to do the same. This includes respectful boundary setting and asking for your input on things that affect you.
  • They’re passionate about something, whether that be work, a hobby, or their circle of friends. Having something that makes them happy outside of a relationship is a good sign they can be independent and won’t rely on your for all emotional needs.
  • They can admit fault when talking about past relationships.

Of course, this is just a starting point. Consider some of your own “green flags” as well, and instead of looking for faults, make sure you also look for the good factors that make a great partner. Dating is tough, but focusing on both red and green flags makes finding an awesome partner a little easier. For a full list of common green flags, check out the link below.

Green Flags | Pervocracy

Image from bennyseidelman.

Ask Dr. NerdLove:  Should I Leave My Fiancée For My Crush?

Ask Dr. NerdLove:  Should I Leave My Fiancée For My Crush?

Hello, Internet! Welcome to Ask Dr. NerdLove, the only dating advice column that represents the last, best hope for peace in our galaxy.

This week, it’s all about the woulda, coulda, and shoulda and how to deal with the ones that got away. Yes, the bird in the hand and all that, but if it seems like there’s the chance at an even better option right in front of you? And what about when it seems like you have the opportunity for a second chance with your ex?

It’s time for some tough decisions and some tough love. Let’s do this.

Heya Doc,

I’m engaged to a girl who I love, but I’m IN love with my best friend. The devil is in the details, though, so I guess I should explain.

Let’s start with my fiance, H – she’s a great girl. We have a healthy relationship, we rarely fight and we support each other as best as we can. She came into my life when I needed someone and she has been there for me ever since. It’s not a passionate relationship, but I love H.

Now, for my best friend, K. We’ve known each other since we were 11 years old and there has always been romantic tension between us (I thought it was just on my end, she thought it was just on hers) but we never acted on it. Almost 2 decades of friendship and being in love with each other and neither one of us ever did anything about it. The timing was always “off” – either she was dating (or married to) someone else or I was. But we’ve always kept in touch, we’ve always been close, and we are each other’s missing halves.

Unfortunately, K waited until I was engaged to finally admit her feelings for me, and I wasn’t about to lie to her about my feelings, so we both came clean about 6 months ago. Since then, it has put a strain on my relationships with both women. H doesn’t trust me around my best friend (even though I’ve clearly set boundaries) and K is doing everything she can to NOT cross any boundaries, though I’ve had to stop her from kissing me on a couple of occasions. I can easily say that stopping her from kissing me is the most difficult thing I have ever done.

Some background on the women and history involved in this situation – K and I have both been divorced due to the other partner cheating, so it’s something that we would never do (but I’ve REALLY been tempted to lately). We share similar interests – to the point that it becomes almost creepy. We’ve both had our share of dating and relationships and we’re both tired of trying to find someone.

H is younger and more inexperienced, but she is exceptionally mature for her age. She works hard, is in school to be a veterinarian, and she is financially independent. She treats me very well, and I treat her very well. We support each other as much as we can. But she is still a bit emotionally fragile – she has a history of men using her and leaving her. Our relationship is the first truly healthy relationship she has ever had – and we’re over 2 years in.

Now it seems to be decision time. Should the Stoic in me be happy with my 2-year relationship, appreciate H and accept that if it ends K will be there for me like she has been since I was 11? Or should I do the thing I fear and give up on a healthy relationship (something I’ve never had) to pursue a love I’ve felt for well over half of my life?

It seems to be a toss of the dice to me. I’m a bit stuck, here. Any advice would be appreciated.

Thanks,

-Heart at War

You’re in a shitty place, HaW, and one without any “good” answers. You’re going to need to do some serious soul-searching to figure out what’s right for you. But before you make any serious decisions, let’s look at what you’ve got on both sides.

Let’s start with your fiancé, H, and your relationship with her. It’s stable, it’s healthy but it’s not the most passionate. Passion is a great part of a relationship and it can be important, but it’s not a foundation for a relationship. Passion is exciting but it’s also not an indication of a relationship to last the ages; you can be passionate for someone who is absolutely wrong for you. Just because the two of you burn up the sheets and can’t keep your hands off each other doesn’t mean that you can work together when it counts and the chips are down.

Similarly, passion ebbs and flows in every relationship. In every long-term relationship, passion eventually subsides. It’s called the Coolidge effect; we don’t get the same shot of dopamine to the brain from sex with the same person after a while. This isn’t a good thing or a bad thing; it’s just part of being a mammal. It does, however, tend to correspond with the relationship becoming more emotionally intimate.

Now on the other hand, you have K. K’s been someone you’ve had serious pantsfeelings for since forever (and vice-versa) and your story has been one of “right person, wrong time” for as long as you’ve known each other. But even with that case of constant bad timing, the two of you have managed to stay close and keep your friendship going for more than 20 years. That’s pretty damn impressive and says a lot about the quality of the connection the two of you have.

Now under normal circumstances, I’d say “go forth and finally take your chance with K” and advise you to try not to let the strains of the Throne Room theme from Star Wars distract you two when you both finally hook up now that it seems like your lives have finally aligned…

Except for the part where, y’know, you’re engaged to H. That’s pretty firmly in the “wrong time” scenario. I’m also not entirely thrilled with the fact that K decided to finally tell you how she felt after you got engaged. If K had written in to ask about whether to tell her newly engaged crush how she felt, I’d tell her to back off. I know movies and pop-culture tell us that everything’s forgiven in the name of True Lurve, but it’s incredibly selfish and unfair to sit on those feelings only to drop them on somebody when they’ve committed to somebody else. It’s not just about the two of you now; there’s also that third person in the mix. Now K’s just dragged H into your mix and everything’s fucked up.

So, yeah. That’s really not cool of her to do. And it’s not cool of you to be putting yourself in the position of hurting H. To be sure, it’s ok to have a crush on somebody when you’re involved with someone else, even to spend time with your crush. But right now, you’re playing with fire. This isn’t an ex you have some unresolved feelings for, this is someone who seems to have a hard time respecting certain boundaries (like not kissing the engaged guy)… and someone youre having a hard time enforcing those boundaries around.

That, my friend, is a recipe for disaster and broken hearts—H’s for sure, quite likely yours and probably K’s for good measure. Don’t forget, no matter how hot for each other you two may be, if you hook up before thing are finished between you and H, then both you and K are going to be having to deal with the guilt and shame that comes with being the cheater. That could very well sink any burgeoning relationship the two of you might have.

So until you’ve made your decision, you need to be the one to pump the brakes. This means no putting yourself in positions where you have the opportunity for “mistakes” to happen with K – especially mistakes that you want to happen. It just takes one opportune moment of weakness after all. I’m not saying you can’t see K, but you’d damn well better make sure that you aren’t alone together, that you’re both stone cold sober, and that H knows that you’re out with her.

I can’t tell you what to do here, HaW. The longevity of your friendship with K—completely independent of your attraction to her—is a pretty good sign that the two of you would probably make a good couple. On the other hand, H’s been with you, supporting you and caring for you and vice versa. To quote a wise man: “You know, there’s a million fine looking women in the world, dude. But they don’t all bring you lasagna at work.” And while your relationship with H may not be the most passionate, passion can be built together.

The only thing I can say is that if you decide to end things with H, then do it as quickly and cleanly as possible. You can’t avoid hurting your fiancé when you leave, but you can avoid inflicting unnecessary pain.

Good luck.

Hey Doc.

I’m kinda new to your page and honestly I read only a handful of your letters and replies. So, the thing is: I still love my ex. And to make it all worse, she recently broke up with her boyfriend ‘cause she found out he was cheating.

To give you some background, me and her dated for about 3 years and broke up a year and 3 months ago. We had an amazing relationship that slowly began to go sideways as her mother didn’t really like me and was as protective as she could. She was always telling her daughter that she was too young to be in a serious relationship (we were 18 when we began dating) and that she should enjoy life more.

As if that weren’t bad enough, I wasn’t really the best person to be around. I had dysthymia (probably still do), which made me moody and a bit anti-social. So with time, she slowly began doubt if we should really stay together and consequently, I guess, her feelings towards me began to change. When we were about to get to the three years mark, we had a discussion and she decided that was it.

I never really got over her. I did date other girls but was never able to commit to them. Nothing got even close to the feeling I had for my ex and, to be completely honest, the same feeling never went away.

Three months after we broke up, I found out she was already dating someone. She went as far as to say she was deeply in love with him and for some reason was always posting pics of them on her social media. The thing is, when we dated, we would rarely do anything like that. Also, her boyfriend was a manipulative asshole who would always try to control her and make her do shit he wanted to. I know it may sound as something a bitter ex would say, but his cheating on her kind of proves my point, I hope.

On rare occasions throughout the year they were together, she would suddenly call or text me and say that she missed me or that she wanted me to know that what we had was special to her. It made me feel like shit, to be honest.

So, last week shit hit the fan and she discovered all of his fooling around. I was with her at the time as I was the one who alerted her that he might be cheating on her. (I know, a dick move.) People would constantly tell me he was doing something, but when a friend I trusted said it as well I got so pissed that I just told her about it. She’d then asked a mutual friend and he told her all about it.

And now I really just don’t know what to do with this situation. I got really mad at the guy for cheating on her. I got really mad that he broke her heart. But at the same time I felt a bit happy and relieved, even. She began to speak to me again and I’m a bit closer to her as I am helping her through it, no dishonorable intentions (at least not consciously, I guess).

I guess my question is: What the hell should I do? It’s the woman I love, with a broken heart and I’m so confused I don’t eve know how to react properly.

Second Time Around

Allow me to quote you a bit of wisdom that applies when dealing with women in a vulnerable state: “If you take sexual advantage of her, you’re going to burn in a very special level of hell. A level they reserve for child molesters and people who talk at the theater.”

OK, let me step that back for a second. I’ve been where you are, STA. There was a woman I dated who I was absolutely mad about, and when we broke up, I didn’t take it well. In fact, I didn’t get over her for years. I couldn’t really commit to the other women I dated, because I was still hoping for her to come back to me. It didn’t help that I was constantly picking at the scab – following her on social media and keeping track of her romantic adventures. Every mention of her boyfriend was a new form of self-flagellation, keeping the pain raw and open.

(This, incidentally, is one of the reasons why I advocate unfollowing or muting your ex on social media when you break up; you’ll never heal if you keep finding excuses to rip the wounds open.)

Eventually, she broke up with her boyfriend and we reconnected under the pretext that I was over her and ready to just be friends.

Which, as I’m sure you might guess, was a big fat, stinking lie. I wanted her back in the worst damn way and even though I knew better, I tried to pull the Platonic Best Friend Back Door Gambit. One night she found out that her ex had been cheating on her and I, classy dude that I was, decided that this was the best night for the two of us to go on a pub crawl to help ease her broken heart.

Some ill-advised make-outs and one very close call later and suddenly there’s this new level of awkwardness and distance between the two of us. Why? Because there I was, positioning myself as her friend and trying to take advantage of her emotional state for my own selfish desires. That’s not something a friend does, that’s something a selfish asshole does. It hurt her, it damaged our friendship and it set my progress back significantly. It was a really, really, bad idea on my part.

I tell you this so that you don’t make the same mistakes I did. Your ex, someone you still care for, is hurting. She’s had her heart broken by an asshole and needs a friend right now. Not a guy who’s hoping to get in her pants, not someone hoping to maneuver his way back into her heart. A friend. Someone she can trust to just be there for her without any ulterior motives.

Maybe you are that friend. But even if you are, let your ex set the pace. She knows what she needs more than anyone else does. So put it out there that you’re there to help if she needs it. But let her come to you. This about her and her needs, not any hopes you may harbor for the future.

Be the shoulder for her to cry on without judgement. Listen to her when and if she needs to talk. If she needs distance, let her have distance. If she needs company, give her company. If she needs to be kept busy, then you can help. But let her set the tone and the pace.

And remember: these interactions are not about you. These are not opportunities or dates. If you’re going to be a friend, then just be her friend until she’s better. And if you can’t do that, then you need to keep your distance until she’s not nursing her broken heart.

Good luck.

Dear Dr. NerdLove,

I’ll just get right to the point — my boyfriend of two years has started to resent everything he used to admire about me, and I feel like every interaction we have has the potential to become an argument over basically nothing.

I am a licensed attorney, and although I don’t currently practice law my education is what made my current career possible — I make very good money and I’m proud of my success in a male-dominated field. I am also not afraid to say that I am a very attractive woman and that I receive a lot of attention from men. My looks are by and large the first reason a man approaches me and wants to date me, but my relationships are almost always based on their respect for my intelligence, professional success, and love of beer and sports. My boyfriend used to tell people that when he met me, he found a unicorn.

He does not have a college degree, but makes a six-figure salary in his chosen profession. He is very smart and we share a lot of the same interests. Recently, we bought a house together, but here is where it gets sticky. For a variety of reasons, we agreed that I should buy the house on my own and keep it solely in my name. He is renting out the house he still owns, and pays for utilities and other small projects around our new house. I am fine with this arrangement and it was HIS suggestion that we do it this way.

Lately, we’ve been arguing a lot, and it almost always devolves into him throwing my education (or his lack thereof) in my face, and suggesting that I think I am better than him. (I have NEVER, EVER resorted to that line of argument and I unequivocally do not feel this way). He will also threaten to go back to “the house that he pays for” and will state that his opinion clearly doesn’t matter around here because this is “my” house, and I’m the breadwinner. Two weeks ago he flat-out said I make him feel inferior.

He also has a jealous streak, which I don’t mind in small doses, but he applies a pretty harsh double standard to our interactions with the opposite sex and is bothered by all of the men I have to deal with and have become friendly with through my job. I also recently found out that he had been texting another woman with pictures of half-naked Instagram girls and saying he’d like to recreate the photos with her as the star. He swears nothing happened, which I believe, but only because she wasn’t interested.

The worst part is this is exactly how my first marriage came to an end — even though my ex made the same salary as me, he often threw my success in my face and finally resorted to hitting strip clubs 3 times a week so he could find women who would “be nice to him” and “not make him feel insecure.”

I love my boyfriend more than I have ever loved anyone (including my first husband) and really believed that marriage and kids were in our future. But even on our best days, he refuses to discuss our issues and prefers to sweep things under the rug and say “tomorrow is a new day.” I also want to be clear that we have sex pretty much anytime he wants it, and I keep myself in excellent shape.

What is going on here and what should I do?????

Everyone Loves Unicorns Until They Don’t

There’re two possibilities here. The first is that you’re behaving in a way that hurts him and he doesn’t have the emotional intelligence to tell you instead of acting out. The other is that he’s an insecure butthead and he’s lashing out at you. Either way… well, breaking up with him is the best option.

Between you, me and the comments section: I’m more inclined to believe the second possibility. Here’s the thing about women who are “intimidating”—nine times out of 10, it’s because the guy tends to be insecure with someone who’s more accomplished than he is, because it threatens his status as a man. That’s not the behavior of a grown-ass man, nor is it something you need from a relationship. And, quite frankly, unless he decides to put on his big boy pants and deal with his issues, it’s not going to get better.

Part of the problem is that at first, he’s using your success as proof of how awesome he is. Here he is with this beautiful, accomplished woman who also likes beer and sports (and oh how rare that is! How lucky he is to have found this unicorn! *gag*) and isn’t it awesome how proud of you are he is and how totally not threatened he is by it all?

And then, whoops, no he’s actually not cool with all of it and he’s starting to smoulder with resentment and jealousy because he’s bought into toxic ideas about what it means to be a man. Because he doesn’t measure up to these arbitrary standards, he’s had his manhood taken from him… and he’s blaming you for it.

Let’s look at things objectively. Your boyfriend is jealous of your success and your accomplishments and throws them in your face like you’ve done something wrong. He continually threatens to leave for a place where he feels superior because of an arrangement the two of you agreed on, presumably in good faith. He doesn’t trust you and polices your relationship with other guys and co-workers.

That’s a whole lot of red flags right there. We may not be up to Soviet Military Parade levels of warning but this relationship has all the hallmarks of one that can turn abusive very quickly. Your boyfriend’s currently a walking example of #MasculinitySoFragile—the fact that you’re successful means that he’s less of a man. And as things continue, he’s going to start punishing you for the way he feels.

Take his not-so-surreptitious flirting (because that’s exactly what he’s doing). Part of the reason proposing to recreate photos of half-naked women on Instagram is because he’s looking to get his balls back by proving his manliness in other ways. By setting up these shoots (which, let’s be honest, he’s going to try to leverage into hook-ups… which is creepy as fuck, by the by) he’s putting himself in charge of a beautiful woman and asserting his masculinity that way. And if she happens to touch his penis in the course of said shoot… well, he’s just such a massive hunk of man, how could any woman resist?

And of course, you finding out is intended to hurt too. Now he gets to blame you for “making” him do it with your castrating ways.

I’m going to be honest: I don’t really hold out much hope for improvement. If he were willing to work on things in good faith, then maybe you could both pull this relationship out of its nosedive. I’d suggest some therapy for him personally and maybe some couple’s counseling so the two of you can find ways of discussing these issues and finding ways to work together to make things better.

But if all that’s going to happen is that he’s going to blame you and try to brush off suggestions of help? Then nothing’s going to get better, and your best bet is to end things with him.

So the only advice I have is to give him an ultimatum: either he talks to a counselor or he can go back to the house he pays for good.

I wish I had better advice for you. It’s clear that you love and care for him. But if he can’t handle not being the brightest star in the sky that is your relationship and he’s not willing to put in the work to improve things, then he’s just not right for you and you can’t love someone hard enough to magically fix them yourself.

Good luck.


Do you have experience with dealing with temptation in a relationship? Did you get a second chance with your ex? Share your thoughts and experiences in the comments and we’ll be back in two weeks with more of your dating questions.


Ask Dr. Nerdlove is Kotaku’s bi-weekly dating column, hosted by the one and only Harris O’Malley, AKA Dr. NerdLove. Got a question you’d like answered? Write doc@doctornerdlove.com and put “Kotaku” in the subject line.

Harris O’Malley is a writer and dating coach who provides geek dating advice at his blog Paging Dr. NerdLove and the Dr. NerdLove podcast. His new dating guide New Game+: The Geek’s Guide to Love, Sex and Dating is out now from Amazon, iTunes and everywhere fine books are sold He is also a regular guest at One Of Us.

He can be found dispensing snark and advice on Facebook and on Twitter at @DrNerdLove.

Top image via Shutterstock.


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Ask Dr. NerdLove: My Girlfriend Won’t Stop Cheating On Me With Her Ex

Ask Dr. NerdLove: My Girlfriend Won’t Stop Cheating On Me With Her Ex

Hello, Internet! Welcome to Ask Dr. NerdLove, the first dating advice column to break through to the 8th dimension with the power of the Oscillation Overthruster.

On occasion I get a reader letter that’s so complex and dramatic that the only thing to do is go through it piece by piece, peeling back the layers to find out just what happened and how extensive the damage was. It’s time to fling another body on the examining table and perform a relationship post-mortem.

This week, one reader’s roommate relationship drama means that somebody is going to have to have a conversation with the Chair Leg of Truth. Do not offend the Chair Leg of Truth. It is wise and terrible.

Everyone scrub up. Let’s do this thing.

Dr. NerdLove, I apologize in advance for this one, it’s…messy.

Whenever a letter starts this way, I know I’m in for a doozy.

I moved in with a coworker last year. We’ll call her RoomMate. She’s been involved in my life – even dating a friend of mine – for a while.

After her most recent relationship ended (she said it just didn’t click) she was single, and the day after her breaking up with the guy, she went back to her (manipulative and emotionally abusive – her words, not mine) ex, who we’ll call “C”.

Before we even get past the first paragraph, I can tell you that your next decision is going to be a very, very bad one. One that will likely involve alcohol, moments of vulnerability and awkward conversations the next morning.

Within days after them being together, she stormed home one night, furious at him. She was yelling on the phone with him about how she wants him out of her life, even went so far as going to his house with an armed friend to remove any gifts she had given him.

Do you ever write something down and then stop to wonder at what the hell you just said? Let’s highlight this sentence for a moment: “even went so far as going to his house with an armed friend to remove any gifts she had given him.”

That, my friend, is a sign that you’ve backed the wrong horse. When break-ups involve bringing over the Goon Squad, there is no way that anything following will be healthy.

Well, that night, she and I were drinking wine and listening to music (as we often did) and she leaned in, I leaned in, and we made out. Hard. I spent the night with her…

CALLED IT!

…but at that point, figured it was just a hookup out of convenience.

Fast forward one week, and she and I have a talk about “us”, and decide to give it an honest, serious try. I have never loved a woman as intensely as I love her (yes, present tense). A little under two months in, she starts talking about marrying me, suggesting I permanently move into her room, etc, and for the first time in my relationship history, I’m completely okay with it.

Hoo boy.

Remember what I said about bad signs? Your snuggle-bunny, while she may be great with making the snu-snu, is a toxic drama bomb waiting to go off. You’ve already seen how things went with “C”—a fight that lead to her going to his house with goons to take gifts back, followed by a drunken hook-up with her roommate.

And now, less than two months into your new relationship, she’s talking marriage and the two of you cohabitating a little more than you already are. This isn’t just one red flag, my friend. Your girlfriend is waving more red flags than a military parade in Tiananmen Square. I don’t care how crazy twitterpated the two of you may be, talking marriage within two months is a very big, very bad sign. Generally, when someone is talking that level of commitment that quickly, there are one of three possibilities.

1) They are so socially miscalibrated that they don’t recognize the honeymoon period of a relationship for what it is and believe that life is like a Disney movie where getting married absurdly early is a great idea.

2) They are either fantastically insecure or incredibly abusive and are looking to lock you down as quickly as possible so as you don’t have time to realize it’s a mistake.

or

3) They are drama llamas who thrive off the conflict and excitement that comes with living life like it’s a telenovela and careen like a pinball from one crisis to the next.

I’ll give you three guesses which one this is.

Well, soon after her, ex sending her flowers and constantly texting her about how he “just wants to be friends”. As a result: she starts actively talking to him again. I told her I don’t like it (again, she had filled me in on how manipulative he is), and I even told her point blank that “C’s” motives were not friendship (red roses with “I love you” cards aren’t a typical friends gift).

Timer on the drama bomb’s ticking down…

She told me not to worry, they barely communicate, and he truly just wants to be friends.

About two weeks ago everything went to shit. She went to do laundry, and at some point that night, had a conversation with “C”. I don’t know what they talked about, but when she came home, she sat me down and told me she wouldn’t sleep (not sex, literally won’t sleep next to me) with me anymore. When I asked to know why, she told me she needed to let the part of her that loved “C” die. I didn’t push further.

And boom goes the bomb. This is the point where you should have realized that things between you and Roommate were basically over. Whether “C” is as manipulative and abusive as she says or if that’s just something she’s told you – the fact that she herself is manipulative and toxic doesn’t mean that he isn’t as well – she’s already making it clear that she’s choosing him over you.

Getting closure and “letting the part of her that loved [him] die,” usually doesn’t include cutting off the person she was quite literally just sharing a bedroom with while talking with about marriage. That is a sign that she’s made up her mind about what she wants and what she wants is… “C”.

The very next day, she came home from work for half an hour, then left with no explanation and did not return until midnight. The next day was the same, and that’s when she told me she went to have drinks with “C”.

Straight talk: those probably weren’t just drinks. Being euphemistic about it means that she gets to keep you on the string a bit longer. This, unfortunately, is not going to last.

Remember what I said about someone enjoying the drama of swinging from crisis to crisis? Things are only going to escalate from here and it’s going to end with you getting your soul kicked in the balls.

Normally, I wouldn’t have pushed any harder, but what bothered me was the night she first went to have drinks with him, everything stopped. I mean EVERYTHING. She wouldn’t even greet me when I got home from work. She would even get angry for trying to give her a kiss before leaving. I also understand people need space, so I backed off.

There is “giving your partner space,” which usually means either “not doing everything together” or at least “not clinging to her like a baby opossum,” and then there’s “cutting off all forms of physical affection.” Your girlfriend has dumped you without actually saying the words, because saying the words would mean that you might actually do something. Like get the fuck out of there.

Well, after her hanging out with “C” on a daily basis, he gets the balls to come over in person. They hang out in the living, she smiles and hugs him when she sees him, she sits snuggled with him, and gets pissed off at me for so much as touching her shoulder – even after “C” had left – before I go to a separate room before bed.

This right here? This should’ve been your biggest indicator that you need to hop the Nope Train to Fuck This Shitville. This is an unbelievably dickish thing to do to somebody that—again—she was claiming to be so in love with that she was talking about marriage. This is a matter of profound disrespect to you. And you’re sitting there taking it.

Well, we ended up breaking up after “C” showed me a conversation he had with her. The gist was they were planning to meet up at his house so she could show him she’s still good at giving blowjobs. I know what his motives were, and it hurt. I confronted her about it, and we broke up. She said she was joking, and had no intention of hanging out with him. She didn’t go to his place that night, she stayed home, but has been hanging out with him daily since.

Oh look, they’re perfectly matched dickbags. May they have many fat children together.

I am torn.

YOU FUCKING WELL SHOULDN’T BE.

I want to do the nuclear option (I have family that will help me relocate 2,200 miles away), because from past experience, it’s the only way I’ve been able to truly get over someone that I love. I tried to give her 30 days notice, and she threatened my physical well being, the well being of my PC (only valuable thing I have), and then added “You’re ruining any chance you have of getting back with me”.

OK, man. I want you to recognize that this is coming from a place of concern and with the understanding that you’re cockstruck for her. But with that being said:

WHY IN PLUPERFECT HELL ARE YOU STILL EVEN ASKING ME THIS QUESTION??

It was bad enough when she was just cheating on you and rubbing your face in it. But as soon as threats were made? You should’ve been out of there like all of Hell and half of Hoboken was after you. Before, you’d just be leaving a toxic as fuck relationship, taken some ribbing from your friends who’d tease you with links to Offspring’s Self Esteem and be well on your way. Now? This is straight up abuse.

Since then, in addition to hanging out with “C” for hours on end on a daily basis, she will come into my room, sit directly next to me (legs touching and all), lean on me, kiss my forehead, she still uses pet names with me, and godfucking dammit I still love her.

No, you don’t. OK, trust me: you do not love her. Tattoo this backwards on your forehead so you see it first thing every morning when you wake up. Shave your head if you need the room. You do not love her.

You may want her. Your balls may ache at the smell of her hair, but you don’t love her. She is pulling a very classic abuser’s game. Now that she’s made the threats, she’s love-bombing you, giving you juuuuust enough hope to keep you around and under her thumb. She wants you off balance and uncertain because then she can use the potential of draining your balls as a way of keeping you there. And when you piss her off again—or threaten to leave—out come the threats. Again.

I know this isn’t a healthy situation,

OH YOU FUCKING THINK?!

and having talked with some of her former partners, this seems to be a pattern. She sells the whole “you’re the most important person on Earth to me”, then lets “C” back in her life, then drops them for him, then he pisses her off, rinse and repeat.

Yup.

But she had never brought up marriage with anyone else, or kids, and I find myself trapped.

Don’t kid yourself, dude. She doesn’t bring those things up because you’re “special”, she brings them up because she knows that’s your weakness. This isn’t a case of “sure she’s fucking around with this guy, but deep deep deep deep down she really loves you,” this is a case of “she knows just how to play you.”

And no, you’re not trapped. You’re choosing to stick around because you desperately want to believe that she’s going to come around. Spoiler alert: SHE WON’T.

Was she just using those as extra oomph?

Yup.

I want her back, and I hate myself for it, but I feel like she’s just keeping me around for 1) rent and 2) she knows I’ll take her back as soon as “C” pisses her off again.

And because she likes the drama. You’re not her boyfriend. You’re not her lover. You’re a character in the little psychodrama that is her life, where she is constantly in flux, surrounded by men who want and need her and can’t resist her.

GET. THE. FUCK. OUT. NOW.

I’ve been in plenty of relationships, but I’ve never felt this way towards anyone. I CAN use the nuclear option, and I don’t have lease terms to adhere to (month to month), but many of my friends are also hers, and I don’t want to involve them. Some of them are GOOD friends of mine (although I would hope they would understand that there was a good reason for me to “disappear”).

What should I do?

They Set Us Up The Drama Bomb

You know what you do, TSUUDB. You wait until she’s out of the house, pack your shit and get the fuck out so fast that you leave a human-shaped cloud in your wake. You don’t need to move across the country, but you do need to get the ever-loving fuck out of that apartment and away from that toxic hellbeast you’ve been living with. Stay with one of your buddies until you’ve got your own place or move back with your family but GET. OUT.

This is a toxic, abusive relationship and it’s not going to get better. Get the fuck out of it now. And in the future: work on developing and maintaining your boundaries to keep other toxic hellbeasts out of your life.

And don’t sleep with your roommates.

Get out.

Good luck.


Did you escape a toxic, abusive relationship? Did you live with a drama bomb? Share your thoughts and experiences in the comments and we’ll be back in two weeks with more of your dating questions.


Ask Dr. Nerdlove is Kotaku’s bi-weekly dating column, hosted by the one and only Harris O’Malley, AKA Dr. NerdLove. Got a question you’d like answered? Write doc@doctornerdlove.com and put “Kotaku” in the subject line.

Harris O’Malley is a writer and dating coach who provides geek dating advice at his blog Paging Dr. NerdLove and the Dr. NerdLove podcast. His new dating guide New Game+: The Geek’s Guide to Love, Sex and Dating is out now from Amazon, iTunes and everywhere fine books are sold He is also a regular guest at One Of Us.

He can be found dispensing snark and advice on Facebook and on Twitter at @DrNerdLove.

Top image via Shutterstock

http://www.amazon.com/New-Game-Geeks…

26 Facts About the Science of Love You May Not Know

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In this video from the Mental Floss YouTube channel, host Adriene Hill explains how love and science are intertwined in a long-standing affair of their own. You’ll learn that staring into someone’s eyes will actually increase both of your affection toward each other, love is similar to OCD on a chemical level, over-analyzing romantic comedies with your partner can actually strengthen your relationship, and both men and women experience an increase in nerve growth factors during the first year of a relationship—explaining why your significant other might give “butterflies” early on. Now take your newfound knowledge and get experimenting in the relationship lab.

http://lifehacker.com/how-the-five-l…

26 Facts about the Science of Love | YouTube

26 Facts About the Science of Love You May Not Know

Is it love that you’re feeling? Or just a chemical reaction? It’s both! Here are 26 fascinating facts about the science of love.

In this video from the Mental Floss YouTube channel, host Adriene Hill explains how love and science are intertwined in a long-standing affair of their own. You’ll learn that staring into someone’s eyes will actually increase both of your affection toward each other, love is similar to OCD on a chemical level, over-analyzing romantic comedies with your partner can actually strengthen your relationship, and both men and women experience an increase in nerve growth factors during the first year of a relationship—explaining why your significant other might give “butterflies” early on. Now take your newfound knowledge and get experimenting in the relationship lab.

http://lifehacker.com/how-the-five-l…

26 Facts about the Science of Love | YouTube

26 Facts About the Science of Love You May Not Know

Is it love that you’re feeling? Or just a chemical reaction? It’s both! Here are 26 fascinating facts about the science of love.

In this video from the Mental Floss YouTube channel, host Adriene Hill explains how love and science are intertwined in a long-standing affair of their own. You’ll learn that staring into someone’s eyes will actually increase both of your affection toward each other, love is similar to OCD on a chemical level, over-analyzing romantic comedies with your partner can actually strengthen your relationship, and both men and women experience an increase in nerve growth factors during the first year of a relationship—explaining why your significant other might give “butterflies” early on. Now take your newfound knowledge and get experimenting in the relationship lab.

http://lifehacker.com/how-the-five-l…

26 Facts about the Science of Love | YouTube

26 Facts About the Science of Love You May Not Know

Is it love that you’re feeling? Or just a chemical reaction? It’s both! Here are 26 fascinating facts about the science of love.

In this video from the Mental Floss YouTube channel, host Adriene Hill explains how love and science are intertwined in a long-standing affair of their own. You’ll learn that staring into someone’s eyes will actually increase both of your affection toward each other, love is similar to OCD on a chemical level, over-analyzing romantic comedies with your partner can actually strengthen your relationship, and both men and women experience an increase in nerve growth factors during the first year of a relationship—explaining why your significant other might give “butterflies” early on. Now take your newfound knowledge and get experimenting in the relationship lab.

http://lifehacker.com/how-the-five-l…

26 Facts about the Science of Love | YouTube

Move Past a Breakup With the “Must Have-Can’t Stand” Exercise

Breakups are tough, but they’re also the perfect time to start fresh. The “must have-can’t stand” exercise can help you move on with a clean slate and avoid any past mistakes.

In this video from the TechInsider YouTube channel, dating expert Andrea Syrtash, author of He’s Just Not Your Type (And That’s a Good Thing): How to Find Love Where You Least Expect It, suggests a breakup is a perfect time to re-evaluate what you really want in a relationship. Making a “must have-can’t stand” list will help you move on, look to the future, and help you reflect on your deepest values. List five things you must have in a potential partner and five things you can’t stand. Go deep with each item on your list so you’re not closing yourself off from possibilities. Don’t write “my future partner must have brown hair, blue eyes, etc.” Go with something more open like “my future partner must be attractive.” While you’re fleshing out your “can’t stand” list, look back on your exes and see if there’s a pattern you should avoid in the future.

http://lifehacker.com/the-science-be…

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