DEAR DR. NERDLOVE: I had been with my current girlfriend for almost 7 years and I feel happy and good with her. In February, I asked her to marry me and she said yes. We will get married at the end of this year. I consider everything is ok between us, but recently, a work partner (48, F) , suggested to me in a work chat that I should have a last romantic adventure. She told me I should enjoy my last chance to stay with another girl. I disregarded this and just dropped that idea but everything changed a couple days ago.
Some background … 6 years ago I took English lessons due to my job. I met there many people and I got along well with one girl in special. She was 14 and I was 24 years old. Nothing weird happened at the time, but now after 6 years, I discover I like her and she seems to like me. Everything started with a Facebook post that something like this “if you read this you should kiss me one time if you continue reading at this point, two times, and three times at this part of this text” …
Well, I consider that so funny and then I replied, “sorry but I read the full text” and that was the beginning. We have a kind of “date” last week and we spend a wonderful time. We went to watch a movie and after that, we went to a bar. There was where everything started. We had some drinks, we had some chat and then we confessed our attraction. After that, she suddenly kissed me. I have to admit, I enjoyed it and I like it too. We spend all night dancing and drinking. We had a lot of kisses too. After that weekend, we continued chatting about more intimal dates and both accepted to do “that”.
We will have our “romantic date” this weekend. She is very excited about that and me … I feel just “ok” with that. However I feel a little curious about stay with her one night. I am pretty sure I want to stay forever with my fiancée, I haven’t any doubt about it.
Of course, my fiancée doesn’t suspect anything but I feel a little bad about doing this, but I think too this would be my last chance to have a “romantic adventure” before getting married.
I don’t know if this is something I should try and I would like to know if this is really bad … please help me
Feet Getting Cold
DEAR FEET GETTING COLD: Right, so where to start.
Oh wait, I know: don’t cheat on your fianceé.
My dude, I freely admit that my views on monogamy and infidelity are nuanced as hell. Monogamy is incredibly difficult to execute perfectly and there are going to be many, many temptations in your way over the course of your life. But holy sweet f
king hell chief, there’s a giant goddamn world of difference between “I was on a trip, I had too many drinks and I failed a Wisdom saving throw” and “I’ve consciously decided to cheat on my fianceé”. One is understandable. Something you should try to avoid in a monogamous committed relationship, but not the worst thing you could do. The other is deliberately choosing to do something that you know will hurt your partner, and that’s a horrible thing to do to somebody that you love.
(And I don’t even know where to start with the fact that you first met the woman you’re planning on cheating on your fianceé with when she was 14. Yeah, I know she’s 20 now but that’s still gonna be a “YIKES” from me.)
But here’s your problem, chief: you got awful advice from your coworker. Your coworker is spreading the idea that marriage is somehow the end of adventure and the downward slide of boredom. It’s the end of excitement, the end of thrills and the end of the joy of the new. And yeah, it can be… if you go into this with the attitude that fun, adventure and excitement is something that you can only have outside of marriage. Which, incidentally, is a great way to make sure you won’t be in that marriage for terribly long. The key to a happy, lasting marriage is recognizing that it isn’t the end of adventure, it’s just the beginning, if – IF – you work at it. A marriage is only going to be as boring stifling as you make it; a decades long marriage can be just as passionate, thrilling and fulfilling as an illicit affair if you are willing to put in the effort.
Of course, that’s not gonna happen if you’re starting things off by cheating on her.
If you love your fianceé and want things to work, then you need to cut things off with your friend now. No engaging with her flirty Facebook posts, no messaging, no dates and certainly no “romantic” dates. This is a bad scene, chief and it’s only going to get worse. And like the dude who was afraid he’s settling too far, if you go down this road, then you’re going to end up realizing that you gave up a good thing… and you won’t be able to get it back.
DEAR DR. NERDLOVE: I (20’s cis male, hetero, autistic) am told by ladies that I trust that I am good looking. I just don’t believe them.
Not that I have horrible self image or wallow in pity at what life threw at me, I am just unable to look at what I have and see someone attractive and/or sexy.
How can I improve this deficiency?
No Mind’s Eye
DEAR NO MIND’S EYE: You have an issue that a lot of folks have, NME. A lot of us have a difficult time believing it when other people tell us we’re attractive. We look in the mirror and just wonder… what the pluperfect hell are theyseeing?
Part of this is because we tend to be hyperaware of what we perceive as our flaws. Our eyes lock on all the places where we feel like our bodies are too flabby or our skin is too pocked and cratered. We see the parts of us that are too big or too small, that stick out too far or that seem like they’re out of proportion to the rest of us and we wonder how the hell anybody could think somebody with these misshapen features was handsome.
But the fact that we are conscious of those things doesn’t mean that other people notice – or even careabout them. Nor for that matter, does it mean that they think that they’re flaws. The things that make you unique are often the very things that other people think make you special and desirable.
Just as importantly, many times, we don’t let ourselves accept that we could be attractive. We may feel like we don’t meet some impossible standard and so we think that we couldn’t possibly be considered attractive. Or we may think that because we don’t match some trend, don’t have the currently popular body type or even the right race or ethnicity, nobody could think that we’re hot.
I can tell you from years of working with folks that even people who are objectively handsome often can’t see it in themselves. And that’s because attractiveness and being good looking isn’t just about facial features or physical perfection. It’s about presentation, it’s about style and it’s about attitude.
Start with your grooming. Work with a barber or stylist to get a cool haircut, one that frames and flatters your face and your head. If you have facial hair, make sure that it’s shaped and trimmed and neat. Pay attention to how you smell, too; Brad Pitt may be a good looking dude, but that attractiveness disappears when people realize he never showers, so he always smells like BO and weed.
Next, find the clothes that make you feel amazing. Clothes really do make the man and when you’re wearing something that makes you feel like a sexy bad-ass, then that in turn changes how you walk, how you sit and how you carry yourself. Make sure they’re clothes that fit properly too; a well-fitting t-shirt and jeans will look infinitely better on you than a baggy, unkempt suit.
But more than anything else, you need to learn to see yourself for the sexy bad-ass that you are. Start by looking in the mirror and finding your good parts. Focus on those; maybe you have gorgeous eyes. Maybe you have an awesome smile or great shoulders. Let yourself feel proud of them, even compliment yourself on them. Telling yourself out loud that you look hot, especially as you look at yourself in the mirror, can be surprisingly powerful.
And as weird as this may sound: start getting in the habit of taking selfies. Learning to find your angles and being able to see photographic evidence that you look great goes a long, long way to accepting that yeah, you’re pretty damn foxy.
It’ll all be a little uncomfortable at first. Guys are taught that these are all “female” or “feminine” behaviors. But when you set those fears aside, you’ll start to realize just how much being willing to care about yourself can make you feel amazing.
Please send your questions to Dr. NerdLove at his website (www.doctornerdlove.com/contact); or to his email, email@example.com)