DEAR DR. NERDLOVE: First I would like to say I’m from a South Asian country. We take relationships seriously and culturally. I have a girlfriend (4 months affair). She is my first love. but she had a boyfriend and I’m her second love. I’m really suffering that I couldn’t be her first love. But she loves me more than her life. She always tells it and I’m actually feeling that. Her ex-boyfriend was cheated on her and left her. She always tells I’m way better than him and she says “no one loved me as you do”. We have good emotionally and sexually love life. She is totally satisfied with me. But I’m really suffering.
I always feel like she lies to me because she doesn’t like to broke my heart and she still secretly love her ex because it is ‘first love things’. Sometimes I ask her that she still remembers her ex. She says no. But I can’t believe it. Please help me to figure this out. I really love her and I can’t even think that she is thinking about another man even for a moment.
Second Place, First Loser
DEAR SECOND PLACE, FIRST LOSER: Dude, if you love her, then you need to shut the hell up and trust her.
I’m going to give it to you straight: pretty much anyone you date is going to have a history. The older you get, the less likely it will be that you’re going to be somebody’s “first”. And that’s fine. There’s no prize for being somebody’s first love, somebody’s first relationship, somebody’s first sexual experience. It doesn’t magically confer significance on the relationship that nobody else will ever match or outdo. I mean, come the hell ON dude, you know this already because she’s already told you about how her first boyfriend cheated on her and dumped her. That’s such a low goddamn bar for you to clear that you could roller-skate over it.
And here you are agonizing about the fact that someone else was there first.
Here’s the other thing about firsts: they’re almost never “lasts”. No matter how seriously one’s culture takes relationships, the truth is that the vast majority of the population doesn’t stay with their first partner until death do they part. While it does happen – I’ve got a friend who’s been with his wife since they were 13 – it’s rare enough that you shouldn’t be betting the farm on it. So the fact that you aren’t someone’s first only means that the odds are better that you two might have the capability, the experience, the perspective and the emotional maturity to go the distance.
But NOT when you’re sitting there, telling someone that you love that she’s a liar when she says that she loves you and only you.
This ain’t about love, chief. This is about insecurity. This is about you worrying that you don’t measure up and that she’s going to leave you for someone else because reasons. And I’m here from the future to tell you that this is exactly what’s going to happen if you don’t quit throwing her past relationships in her face. You need to either accept that she’s being straight when she tells you that she loves you and cares for you and wants to be with you, or you need to get ready for the break-up that will be coming down the pike.
Instead of dealing with whether she loves you or not – accept that she is telling you the truth – you need to work on your self-esteem and your sense of self worth. I think the best thing you can do for yourself is to find yourself a counselor or therapist and start unpacking these insecurities you have, before they detonate something good you have in your life.
DEAR DR. NERDLOVE: I’ve been an avid reader of your blog for a long time now and I can say there need to be more people like you. Your work has really opened up my eyes on a lot of things and has helped me see people and the world in a different way.
A little background about myself: I just recently turned 19 and am finishing up my first semester in college. I have not been in a relationship yet, but I’m not worrying my ass off about not being in one since it will happen when it happens. I have a little bit of chub on me but I’m struggling to go to the gym, since my mom is the one with the plan and goes at 4 in the morning(yes 4 am), so I have been substituting my workouts with just simply walking around campus during my downtime.
Doing this allows me to enjoy my time alone since I am a quiet, shy, and introverted person. Which leads me to my question or problem depending on the way you look at it. Is me being a quiet person inherently a bad thing in the long run? I know the values of being quiet but I have heard from people, mainly toxic assholes, but also some people who are valued in life, that being quiet all the time will not get you a girlfriend.
I know I would like to have an intimate relationship with the opposite sex but, I don’t know if they will accept me as the quiet person. One of my closest female friends knows me so well as a quiet person but tells me that I am a teddy bear and a really cool person to be around. Right now I am just kinda at a loss for words, even though I do not say much. I don’t know it is my past causing me to be quiet a lot due to rejection or something else. Anyway, your thoughts and advice on what could help me would be greatly appreciated.
DEAR QUIET GUY: Nobody is gonna deny that the world favors people who draw attention to themselves, QG. Quiet folks often get overlooked because, well, the loud folks are absorbing all the oxygen in the room. But the fact that you’re quiet doesn’t mean that you can’t get a partner or that people wouldn’t want to date you. It just means that you’re a quiet person… that’s it. There’re plenty of folks out there – including some of the loud chatterboxes – who appreciate someone who’s the strong, silent type.
The key is going to be just getting people’s attention in the first place.
This is an area where lower-key dating apps like Hinge or Bumble might be to your advantage. Unlike Tinder or OKCupid, these are slightly more oriented towards folks who want a relationship instead of a hook-up or casual fling. It also doesn’t hurt that on Bumble, women have to initiate the connection; this takes some of the pressure off you to force yourself out of your shell. You’re still going to have to make a point of keeping up your end of the conversation, but being in a position where women are more likely to strike the conversation up with you can make it easier to find someone awesome and build that connection that leads to a relationship.
And incidentally, if you’re in college, then take advantage of that. You should have access to your campus gym; no reason why you can’t go work out there instead of having to get up at oh-my-god-it’s-early to go to your mom’s place.
DEAR DR. NERDLOVE: Hey Doc,
Thanks again for publishing my letter a couple weeks ago. I took your advice and spoke to my friend last night (well… it’s more accurate that she said I should spit it out instead of dropping cryptic hints). I basically told her that my last couple of relationships had ended for a very specific reason, that my life was in flux, and that for the foreseeable future (and possibly forever) I wouldn’t be able to emotionally commit to anyone. She surprised me by saying that she’d understood that from the first time I mentioned it, and that she fully intended for this to be and remain a casual arrangement until such time as something changed for either one of us. She also told me I’m not the only guy she’s dating, and was worried whether or not I would be cool with non-monogamy (I am).
So now I’m a very happy side-piece. ¡Viva la conversacion! ¡Viva la revolucion sexual!
– EX Coming Out of Relationship, Looking to Evade Opaque and Nebulous Ethics
DEAR EX COMING OUT OF RELATIONSHIP, LOOKING TO EVADE OPAQUE AND NEBULOUS ETHICS: Glad to hear it worked out, EX CORLEONE!
Just a reminder folks: most of the time, all you need is to just use your words and actually talk this out.
Please send your questions to Dr. NerdLove at his website (www.doctornerdlove.com/contact); or to his email, firstname.lastname@example.org)