Ask Dr. Nerdlove

Am I Being Played?

DEAR DR. NERDLOVE: I’m gay but not really out to a whole lot of people and in my late 30’s.  I like to think I’m ok with my sexuality but something’s just not there yet with revealing it to everyone just yet (still).  I’m also overweight and while I think my face looks ok I kinda hate that I don’t really exercise and always eat the right things.  But my hatred of exercise is for another topic.

I also play a lot of a very popular MMO. I’ve also met someone through playing that game that I really, really really like.  It’s another guy, and he’s off overseas in the army in Hawaii (but will be moving back to the mainland early next year). Now I’ve also not ever really let myself get into a relationship with anyone before. Yes I’ve had sex with other guys before so I’m not a virgin, but it’s always been with just hookups via dating/casual encounter type websites from people in my local area. Never found anyone via that method that stuck.

Anyways, so I met this guy playing the game about 10 months ago, by joining their group of friends in a server for raiding. This turned into becoming friends in game, and the more we talked the more I liked him and the more I asked about him.  So I find out that he’s bisexual, and says he is polyamorous and doesn’t want to be limited to one partner.  He has a male partner he sees and sleeps with on a regular basis in Hawaii that’s in his unit (and shares other sexual encounters with the girls they bring over), and he also is dating a female gamer in our server who lives in Alabama. He’s also in game married to her and they have date nights, and she’s even gone to visit him in Hawaii (which didn’t really turn out all that well for them but yet they continue to want to date each other).

I’ve also professed feelings for him (i.e. i’ve said I love him and he says he loves me too). But he doesn’t want to make the girl he’s seeing jealous because even though he is polyamorous, she absolutely wants to keep him exclusively to herself.  She knows of his poly mindset but doesn’t want to acknowledge it.  He does not like that she does not acknowledge it.  I have to watch what I say around her sometimes so that she doesn’t catch on so much that I’m in “love” with him too.  I get envious of their date nights and I’ve asked if we could have date nights and he’s said no (because of her), but there are plenty of times in game when she’s gone to bed because she’s in central time, I’m in mountain time and he’s still up for awhile because of Hawaii time so I get him all to myself for a bit before he or I log off.

This is part of my dilemma. The other part is I’ve never had a solid male relationship before so I’m not sure what i’m feeling is true love or just like, but it sure as heck feels like it. And he’s so damn cute too boot too, but I feel like I’m ugly in my fatness compared to him. He says he’s ok with different body types.  I don’t know if I’ll ever meet him in real life but I really want to.  we’ve exchanged pictures and had a couple really awkward face time chats.  Am I emotionally immature still even at 38?

There are days when I’m bursting at the seams with feelings for him, and I try to express them to him but it doesn’t come out right and he’s not always as responsive or expressive as I am. We all show our love differently tho but we still say “love you” before going to bed/logging off from gaming.

I hope i’ve thoroughly confused you with my letter and maybe if you can pull some sense out of it I would certainly appreciate your learned thoughts on the matter. Cause I’m really not sure what my next step should be.  

Is this red flag city? Or just try to keep going and see how it turns out?


Confused in The Dating World

DEAR CONFUSED IN THE DATING WORLD: Hey CDW, I’m here from the future and I’ve got an important message for you: this isn’t going to work and it’s only going to make you miserable.

There’s not just one red flag here, there’s enough red flags waving around to make it look like you’re running the bulls in Pamplona.

Let’s start with the first and most obvious: you don’t know this guy. Yes, I get that you’ve chatted a lot in the game and you’ve had the occasional Facetime convo, but let’s be real: you don’t know him. You know who he’s presenting himself as. You aren’t dating him, you’re dating his avatar. His persona. I realize that many, many people meet via MMOs – World of Warcraft may be responsible for more relationships than Plenty of Fish – but the fact is, until you meet him in person, there’s a whole host of things you simply don’t know about him. One of the tricky things about online dating, whether via OKCupid or Final Fantasy XIV, is that it’s impossible to gauge physical chemistry from online interactions. It’s easy enough to assume that you’re soulmates because you have great chats and steamy text sessions, but you’re not getting many of the signals and indicators that you only get from meeting someone in person. I’ve lost track of how many people I’ve known – myself included – who’ve had incredibly powerful connections with people online but found we had all the explosive chemistry of a wet fart in person. So let’s not put the cart before the horse here.

But then, there’re all the little things that spell trouble. Like the fact that you’re his (virtual) side-piece. So let’s be clear here: he’s apparently committed to this Alabama honey despite her being uncomfortable with his being poly. Meanwhile, he’s banging chicks and dudes in Hawaii (and share them with his Army bro) while “married”1 to her and seeing you on the side. If we assume everything is exactly as you present it, we’re looking at one of two potential scenarios here. Either he’s cheating on his girlfriend – she’s not cool with his being poly, after all – or he’s lying to you and hurting her regardless. In the former, he’s promised to be monogamous to her and is being a cheating piece of crap and is keeping you as his dude on the side.  In the latter, he’s dating someone who he knows can’t be in an open relationship and doesn’t care that it hurts her.

Neither of these are the hallmarks of someone worth dating. Ever.

But the fact of the matter is, this dude is so full of crap that his eyes turned brown. Regardless of which way this falls, he’s lying to someone – his girlfriend, to you, or to everyone. You’re his dirty little secret and you’re left begging for the scraps of his attention. You don’t even get dates or the ability to be affectionate with him in public – or at least as public as FFXIV gets, anyway. For all intents and purposes, you’re dating a closet case who has no intention of ever being honest with you or the people around him.

(And that’s assuming that he’s even who he says he is. I have my doubts; everything about this sets my Spidey-sense tingling.)

Straight talk, CDW: I suspect part of the reason why you’re hung up on this guy is because he’s “safe”. He’s thousands of miles away. He’s unavailable in just about every way possible short of being dead. As a result: things can’t get “real” with him. Because you’re unlikely to ever meet in person, you never have to worry about whether he might reject you because of you’re “ugly” or “too fat” or whatever. In a lot of ways, it’s easier to have a relationship that you know can’t work than to try to date someone closer to home and risk getting hurt. This guy can always be a fantasy to you.

But like I said: that heartache is coming, regardless. Even if he’s 100% telling you the truth about himself, he’s a lying, cheating piece of s

t. The only question is who he’s lying to.

Ditch this guy. You deserve someone who’s going to love you, be honest with (and about) you and be proud to call you his boyfriend. The sooner you kick this guy to the curb, the sooner you can find someone who’s far better for you, in every sense of the word.

Good luck.

DEAR DR. NERDLOVE: So my girlfriend is amazing. She’s a great girl and I’m glad that she’s in my life.

However she’s the first girl I’ve had sex with.

She’s had sex before and she’s fooled around with multiple guys before me. I have never cared about this and I know its not my right to either; because she’s a great woman and she’s with me now.

We often talk freely about things from our past, so recently she gave me a bit too much detail on the number of guys she’s been with and the things she’s done with them. This made me really uncomfortable.

I do not judge her one bit for these things and it isn’t my right to either, these are things from her past. However it made me feel insecure and dare I say, a bit ashamed of myself.

I’ve unfortunately internalized the fact that as a guy I should have had a lot of sex by now, I’m in my early twenties. I know guys who have had a lot of sex on a regular basis and I tend to lionize them reflexively. Also I feel like the more sex they’ve had the more validated these guys are, i.e they have been approved by women as fit (from an evolutionary perspective). Now if this is the way I tell the story of course it reflects very poorly on me as a man. I feel insecure and even ashamed. I feel insecure because my girl is great and I feel like men who’ve had more sex will obviously seem more fit in her eyes as well. This makes me feel inadequate.

Its unfortunate that I feel this way, because I’m actually a great guy; I look good, I can be funny, I’m smart and in control of my life and I’m physically fit.

But the way I say the story; if I am all these things and I still didn’t get laid all these years, then there must be something really wrong with me that women can just sniff out. I’ve always held the fact that I haven’t had much sex against myself and that puts even greater pressure when I try to flirt with women and take it to the next level. If I’m with a guy that has had a lot more sex than me it immediately affects my self esteem and if we both are talking to women I assume the backseat myself. Because somehow I’ve told myself that the only thing that matters is how much sex these men have had.

I’m trying to overcome it and I could use your advice.

One Trick Pony

DEAR ONE TRICK PONY: Here’s something to keep in mind, OTP: Ron Jeremy has slept with more women than he’s had hot meals. Does this make him a better, more desirable fit for your girlfriend than you do?

The story you’re telling yourself about how much sex you’ve had and how much you “should” have had is bulls

t. As I’ve said to others: it’s seven different types of bulls

t from cholera-infected bulls and all of it stems from evo-psych crap that barely works in the animal world and definitely doesn’t work as soon as you try to apply it to humans. And the first thing you need to do is realize that women aren’t magic. Vaginas aren’t Mjolnir and only give entrance to the worthy. Women don’t have a virgin-detecting sixth-sense that causes them to sense flawed men and discard them. Many times, the reason why a woman decides to have sex with someone has nothing to do with that person in the first place – just like men do. Women will decide to sleep with someone because they’re angry at their partner and want to get back at them, because they feel unattractive and want someone to make them feel pretty or because they’re horny and somebody was the nearest, least-objectionable warm body.

Similarly, guys will be virgins or had few partners for many reasons that have nothing to do with whether they’re “worthy” or not. They may have decided to wait until marriage. They may have had a long-term monogamous relationship and only been with that person for years at a time. They may simply not be that into sex or only have sex with people they have a deep and emotional connection with. None of this makes them any better or worse than dudes who’ve had dozens or hundreds of partners.

And let’s be real here: having lots of partners also doesn’t mean that this person is any good at sex. It could well be that they’re the sort of person who may be good at attracting women but is absolutely lousy in bed; they may get a lot of first time lays but never get an encore performance.

But all of that is secondary to the main issue: your girlfriend has chosen you. The fact that you were a virgin clearly didn’t bother her, seeing as, y’know she’s dating you. The only person who seems to think that your lack of experience is, well, you. You need to start trusting your girlfriend and taking “yes” for an answer because this amazing, beautiful woman has been telling you that clearly you have what she wants.

Have a talk with her. Tell her that you’re a little insecure about your sexual history (or lack thereof) and that in the future, you’d really rather not have all the dirty details. And then take her straight to bed because the number of partners you’ve had in the past is far less important than your relationship with the partner you have right now.

Good luck.

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