My ex, whom I dated for seven months, and I have all of the same friends (of course). Out of nowhere, she dumped me in a text message saying she was confused and needed space. She took that space and immediately jumped into bed with one of my close friends two days after. When I found out, she made no apologies. She proceeded to befriend my emotionally abusive ex and tell everybody and post all over Facebook how happy she was and how much better her life had gotten. I, on the other hand, lost fifteen pounds from the stress and anxiety caused by all of it. I didn’t talk to her for almost a month until a mutual acquaintance passed away unexpectedly. I met him through her, so I sent her an IM asking if she knew what happened. The response I got was "Just because somebody dies doesn’t mean we’re talking. And I don’t know what happened." So I backed off.
Unfortunately we are both officers in our school’s equality group and again, have the same friends, so we see each other but I maintained my distance. Suddenly the other night she IM’d me out of nowhere and talked to me like nothing had ever happened. I’m not the type of person who can just say, "Eff off, you don’t deserve my friendship anymore," so I just went with it, but now I’m really confused. Should I just take the higher road and be friends with her?
Confused as hell
Anna says: I would sooner advise you to be friends with an intestinal parasite than this girl, Confused. She’s disrespectful to an almost laughable degree. She doesn’t even have the tact necessary to discuss a mutual friend’s death without negging you. She makes you stressed and anxious. If not for the misfortune of circumstance, meaning your officer duties and mutual entourage, I would say run for the hills whenever you see her coming.
If you can’t quickly amass a new set of friends (What? They do it on Gossip Girl all the time), then at least avoid the events you know she’ll be at. Hang out with individual friends, and fewer large group scenarios. When you do see her, don’t engage. Don’t be a douche canoe or anything, but make it clear that you have no interest in tolerating her selective memory of craptacular behavior.
You should only take the “higher road” if by higher road you actually mean a tight-lipped, barely-concealing-your-contempt politeness and that’s IT. You may not be the type of person who says “you don’t deserve my friendship,” but you should start. Because, for realz, she does not deserve your friendship. She barely deserves the run-off from your chalupa that you were too full to finish and she had been starving in the desert for several weeks so you decided to be generous just this once and let her gnaw on your masticated remains!
I’m about to fly across the country to meet this girl that I’ve only interacted with online, but am very excited about. We’ve been flirting pretty heavily and I think we have hook up potential, assuming, of course that the chemistry we have online is also there in person. My question is, is there anything I can do to ensure that our meeting isn’t awkward? What do you think I can do to help the situation move quickly in the short time we have together?
— Sexless in Seattle
Anna says: Where I come from, (Tucson, Arizona, aka the seduction capital of the world) custom dictates that you present this girl with some kind of offering — a bonsai tree, a two-for-one lap dance coupon, one of the Gyllenhaal siblings, etc. If you can’t easily procure a conversation starter gift, then you will just have to rest on the laurels of your sparkling wit and smudge-free mascara. I’m already impressed by you, but I can’t help but wonder if maybe, it is in fact, the Maybelline.
If you’ve been flirting you probably know at least a few things about her. Use those prior online conversations and commonalities to aid you in breaking the ice. I’m personally a fan of the hug greeting, especially when I’m meeting a stranger from the Internet, or a live-action Disney character. Except Tigger. He’s a bit too “handsy” for my taste. Hugging is not explicitly sexual, but it’s full body contact, and it allows you the chance to get a little familiar with each other’s bodies right off the bat. Actually, any activity that requires physical contact works wonders when you’re trying to convey interest. I like to pretend I can read palms for just such purposes, though you don’t have to get that creative (or steal my off-the-hook moves!) to help nudge things along. If you do try to engage her with small physical gestures and she’s not responsive — or worse, recoiling or backing away — then she might not be that into you (to steal a gross expression), and no amount of Twister or three-legged racing will help your cause.
There’s bound to be some awkwardness, which is part of the fun of life! Without awkwardness, we’d have about 78% less Weezer songs in the world, which is a tragedy too unspeakable to mention (twice). So you’d be best to just embrace it, lest it stifle your awesomeness. Whatever you do when you meet this girl, it can’t possibly be as awkward as telling people you flew across the country for a booty call. Just kidding. You’ll be great. Really. Why are you looking at me like that?
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Hailing from the rough-and-tumble deserts of southern Arizona, where one doesn’t have to bother with such trivialities as “coats” or “daylight savings time,” Anna Pulley is a professional tweeter/blogger for Mother Jones and a freelance writer living in San Francisco. Find her at annapulley.com and on Twitter @annapulley.