#212: Bad connection. Try again later.

Dear Captain Awkward,

I’m 24, a lady, and I have never been in any kind of a romantic relationship before, until now. I think I’m fucking everything up. Here’s the lay of the awkward;

Some mutual friends of ours set me up on a blind date about a month ago and we really hit it off, or at least he really did and I kind of did. I enjoyed our first date which was just talking, and our second time hanging out was at his apartment and was just making out, I wanted to do it and it, and I was probably no kind of good considering this is the first human penis I’ve gotten to know. But after that, that’s all our relationship has been, arrange to hang out at one or another of our places, delightful sloppy make outs that end when he comes, and then cuddling and pillow talk, (possibly dinner) before going our separate ways. Classic college hook-up and I’m pretty happy with it despite that I haven’t gotten off with him yet. He’s leaving the country in a few months for an internship and I will probably not see him again afterwards. So this relationship-thing has a built-in expiration date.

So, sometime into this hangout-hookup thing I loose my penis-in-vadge virginity to him, and it goes ok, but I was not super into it and it hurt. I bled a bit and then I was kinda sore for a couple of days. (yes we used a condom) The Awkward began shortly after that, the last time we were together; we start out at his apartment, I got to meet his roommate, we all talk for a while, then myself and the Young Man are making out in his room but I can hear his roommate and some other people in the other room.

Things proceed as they have before; he asks if I want to be penetrated again? I say no. I explain that it hurt. He is ok with this but seems put out by it. The atmosphere is not good partly because of that, partly because I can hear roommate and roommate’s guests in the other room. Afterwards we’re talking and he tells me he has to take his parent’s aged cat to the vet in the morning to be put down, so he asks if I want to stay the night with him at his parents house? as they are out of town, I say sure. So we get some groceries and go over there.

We opt to sleep in his parents bed rather than his sisters, So he gets into bed with me after making absolutely sure that his cat is in the bed too, and we’re making out (which involved shoving the cat out from between us) and he indicates that he’d like me to go down on him and I am all like “ok I can do that” only to look up mid-suck to his cat on the bed on the other side of him looking me dead in the eyes with that “what are you doing new human?” cat-expression I laugh because it’s awkward and he’s like “don’t think about it, don’t think about it” and I get back to work, by now thoroughly unaroused but willing to try. Next thin I notice he puts his hand on the back of my neck and is squeezing it.

Captain Awkward, I hate it when people squeeze the back of my neck. My Dad used the Vulcan Death Grip on me as a disciplinary tool all throughout my childhood and I have only recently learned to tolerate light friendly arms around the shoulders from trusted friends.

I hate explaining this to people, because I love my family and I love my dad. He’s been a really good dad; this was about the only form of corporal punishment I ever got as a kid. Some kids got the belt. But nobody ever playfully smacks you with a belt and expects you to like it as an informal friendly gesture and people put hands on shoulders and necks all the time. I tend to avoid casual social contact because of this, because somehow it’s not weird to not like to be touched at all, but it’s weird to not want to be touched in specific places.

Back to that blowjob, I stopped, I took his hand off my neck, I said, “not my neck please” and I got back to work. I got him off, we cuddled for a bit, didn’t talk and then I pretended to sleep while listening to him snore and wanting to be home in my own bed all night.

This is the beginning of spring break. So I go home, he takes his parent’s other cat to the vet for the saddest vet-vist ever, (this is not perv-cat) I forget to charge my dead cellphone and am only contact-able via internet for two days while I sit in my cocoon and enjoy being on vacation from people. Because I am not answering my dead phone he panics, calls me repeatedly, contacts some of my friends to inquire as to my whereabouts and comes over to pound on my door.

Which from my perspective was: somebody came over randomly to pound on my door. I did not get up. The UPS leaves sorry-we-missed-you slips if they need a signature. I live alone and was not wearing pants at the time.

So, after a day or two in the cocoon of solitude I charge and turn on my phone, it has some messages for me and missed calls. He calls me in the evening. I, not wanting to spend the night at his place again, I say I don’t want to see him right now because I am “enjoying some Me time” and could we postpone this until tomorrow? He responded sarcastically to this statement with something like “oohhh okayy, if you say you need Meee time, I guess that’s important”. I hung up.

He calls again the next day, the first time well before I am awake, I answer the second call three hours later, we jointly and tersely determine that he should not come over if I am doing chores and shopping expeditions all day.

I update my facebook page to a status indicating that I am enjoying my time alone. He calls the next day as soon as I touch my faecebook (probable use of the friend-activity sidebar) to ask if that meant that I wanted him to stop calling? The answer to that question was yes. I explain that I feel very badgered right now and that I will call him later. He explained that he was only worried about me.

So, Captain and Crew, my previous experience with dating has been unrequited crushes and occasionally meeting people from OKcupid that I never wanted to talk to again. I am enjoying these nice friendly hookups I’ve been having, despite the occasional aggravating comment from the Young Man to the effect that I am “way earthier and more free then those repressed catholic girls I (he) used to date” (which is to say that I am a slut for sleeping with him) All I want is a little sexual experimentation, cuddling afterwards, and some smart conversation. He keeps talking about names he wants to give his hypothetical children, and how much he’s looking forwards to settling down and having a family. I like him rather a lot, he’s good-looking and very smart, but I’m not crushing on him like I have previously crushed upon others, and I feel like he wants more of my time and my energy than I am used to giving up to anyone. Also the whole, won’t-stop-calling-me thing leaves me feeling like a cat that’s been chased under the sofa. As much as I do want to be with him right now, I also need my own space and for that space to be respected.

My friends think I’m over reacting and that he will probably not want to see me again at all after all this. This and they think we’re perfect for each other personality-wise (we’re socially awkward and loud nerds the both of us) so, I don’t feel like I have a sympathetic ear for this most first world of problems. Just because we’ve been going out for a month doesn’t mean I trust him implicitly and want to be around him all the time.

Should I explain that this isn’t working and be done with it? He’ll be gone for good in August anyway. Should I try and make it work? He’ll be gone for good in August anyway! This is the circle of stupid I’ve been pacing.

Thank you in advance for applying your time, attention, and editorial oversight to this matter

Sign me,

I Have No Idea What I’m Doing

Dear Have No Idea:

Here’s what’s happening: This guy likes having sex with you and hanging out with you WAY more than you like him.

I have to kill the family cat tomorrow, want to come over and have sex in my parents’ bed? While the cat watches us during some of its final moments?

There is better sex than this on heaven and earth, Horatio.

So here’s your break-up script: “I’m glad we got together, but it just isn’t working for me, I’m sorry. Can we not hang out for a good while and then pick this up down the road as friends?

Deflect any “Why” with “I’m sorry, it’s just not working for me.”

Chemistry can’t be faked. The two of you don’t have it. This has nothing to do with you, and nothing to do with sex (you’re going to have awesome sex with someone awesome, I pretty much promise you), and everything to do with this being a doomed relationship between two people who aren’t that into each other.

It’s not a reason for rending garments and heartbreak. What you got here was good information about what you like and what you need in a relationship, and the more you frame it (with him, with your mutual friends who set you up, and with yourself) as “Glad we tried that out, thank you!” the happier you’ll be moving forward.

Let me plug Jaclyn Friedman’s book once more: What You Really, Really Want: The Smart Girl’s Guide to Sex and Safety.

Go forth and sin again, my child. With someone else next time.

50 thoughts on “#212: Bad connection. Try again later.

  1. “Should I try and make it work? He’ll be gone for good in August anyway!” Not unless today is the first day of August. ai ai ai!

  2. I am picking up on a lot of “should” statements in this letter, and I want to advise/invite LW to try to disabuse herself of the notion that there is any “should” in the romance game beyond “I should date people who make me feel good about myself, if and only if dating is something I feel I want to do and is healthy for me right now.”

    Stuff like: “I have never been in any kind of a romantic relationship before, until now. I think I’m fucking everything up” and “Should I explain that this isn’t working and be done with it?” and “Should I try and make it work?”

    I really think worrying about the “should” is a worry about the status quo, and it’s hard to remember that no matter what our cultural narratives tell us about what is “normal,” almost no one is, because if people really just did the same thing all the time naturally, we wouldn’t need to be brow-beaten by popular media and self-help books that tell us to DO NORMAL OR ELSE! CHECK OUT HOW GREAT NORMAL IS YOU FUCKING WEIRDO BUY/CONSUME THIS SHIT THAT WILL FIX YOU.

    We are all weirdos is what I am saying.

    Whether you start dating at 14 or 24, you do not necessarily learn and retain this information, which is why a lot of us just keep dating people who aren’t for us until we meet our Person/People Who Are For Us and then when we meet them, we are surprised that we put up with all that other shit for so long, but what can you do.

    (Also, please, cats watching people fuck is so funny, my fiance and I are always telling our cats what creepers they are when they do this, and in my experience, people who can laugh about/during sex are pretty good in the sack. I would not enthusiastically say the same for people who believe blow jobs are SRS BZNZ so please quit thinking for yourself while you’re sucking my cock despite the fact that this dying cat is giving you the side eye.)

    1. I think it was the other cat that was watching? Also, everything about this comment is perfect. I struggle with the shoulds, too, but it’s worth the struggle.

  3. o_O Drop this guy… seriously, drop him. You’re not that into him, he’s clearly into you and it’s turning him/revealing his attitude to be creepy. Also, talking about his future children and settling down? RED FLAG RED FLAG.

    1. Seriously, dood – it’s only been a month. That, and the “you…. you want alone time? TRAGEDY AND WOE” reaction is super bad news. Turn tail and leave.

  4. LW…as the Captain says, you will have awesome sex with someone awesome, but this guy is not it. Laying aside my scrunchy face (which looks like so >.< ) about the many unreciprocated orgasms, this guy is rapidly turning – or, more likely, rapidly revealing – a magnificently creepy side of him. Don't stick around to watch it go really sour and ugly, when you don't even like him that much, anyway. Doing normal, as Boots points out after, isn't that freakin' important. (Jedi hugs)

    A virgin-until-22 who doesn't regret a thing. ^__^

  5. Hmm, let’s see. He:
    -never gets you off, nor does he even try
    -hookups/hangouts are always on his terms
    -he becomes smotheringly, creepily possessive whenever you dare to have a day or two without him

    I’m not seeing many “pros” here.

    Now I don’t mean to sound, well, mean, but when I was young, nerdy and inexperienced, I dated a guy very similar to this one. I overlooked his lukewarm sexual efforts, his lies, his selfishness**, because I was pretty sure I didn’t “deserve” much better. After all, I was so awkward and inexperienced that it was a MIRACLE any guy deigned to be with me at all!

    But trust me, you don’t have to put up with him. I’m sensing from you a defeated “well, this is as good as I’m gonna get it, right?” But don’t you believe it! It can, and DOES, get better then that!

    **Mine was also very handsome and could be quite charming, but it wasn’t nearly enough.

    1. Ha! I love that you repeated “he never gets you off”, because really, what fun is all this sexual experimentation if you NEVER get anything out of it? Like, he’s not even attempting to have you get something out of it, so it’s not even that you’re learning what you like and don’t like? So basically the experiment is “giving a BJ”. Which is sexual, okay, but not worth pursuing for months with a dude who ignores your sexual and personal needs and also who you don’t really like that much.

      I also want to add for the LW, my god, get new friends. Who the hell is like, “Don’t mess this up! He’s loud like you and nerdy so you should stay with him even if you’re not into it based on one month of dating!”? Not your friends. At the very least that’s worth looking at critically.

      1. Seconding the o.0 reaction at LW’s friends. How you feel about the person you are dating, and whether or not you are enjoying it should be the measures of whether or not to continue dating, not any ostensible similarities.

        If you aren’t feeling it, dump him. Months of “well lets try” just make everyone miserable, and is not fair to either participant. Both parties deserve someone who they are into and who are into them.

  6. DTFMA.

    And good luck to you in your dating adventures. Better times are coming, I promise.

  7. Excuse the very long comment, but I have so many rambling thoughts about this I had to make a numbered list:

    1. August is a whole summer away. Summers are for scampering and frolicking and long evenings of deep conversation and chilled wine and joyous sex, or whichever subset of these is your bag. I will make allowances for geography but in most places summers are precious and you should not be wishing summer would hurry up and be over.

    2. Since you’ve only been together a month, waiting til August would mean you’d spend over 80% of your relationship wishing it would stop. BAD RATIO.

    3. He has names for your potential kids in mind. By August he will have decorated their bedrooms and decided what to buy them as graduation presents. If part of the problem is he’s too invested in the relationship the only kind thing is to stop him investing more, stat.

    4. What if you act nice and suppress your mounting resentment and THEN on the thirtieth of September it turns out he doesn’t have to go after all? Or he turns the opportunity down because he has found you?

    5. That thing with the cat is just weird.

    6. Some blokes, and this has definitely happened to me, think that a woman in a casual hangout-hookup relationship is naturally hoping to be promoted to Girlfriend Status and will be humbly delighted if this great favour is ever bestowed. Such blokes are in need of a swift kick in the assumptions.

    7. Back to the cat. Again: weird. But also, one of a number of examples you give where he has acted as though you, being all free and earthy and suchlike, are not supposed to have personal preferences about sex.

    In short: break up. It’s best for you and kindest to him and if he’s a good person it will jolt him out of his I Poked It I Own It mindset (h/t Amanda Marcotte for the phrasing).

    1. I’d very much like to second the “kick in the assumptions”. 😀
      LW, it seems you have quite a good grip on what does and doesn’t feel good/right for you, this is awesome! You needed a time-out, you took it. You told him you needed some space and you enforced that. I had a much harder time during my first relationship. Some of my experiences were similar to yours – the earthy thing (should have listened up there), his reaction when I enforced boundaries/spoke up and the settle-down-thing. He has a child now – not with me though, thank goodness – and yes, his talk about it during our relationship should have sent me walking out of the door right away. Anyway, break it up, fuck people who don’t make condescending comments about you or your sex-life (with them, which is just so weird, if you ask me – they are fucking you too, it’s not just you slutting it up… yeah, yeah, I know, gender roles and stuff).
      So, LW, best of luck with whatever you’re going to do in the future! You’ll find your people, I promise!

  8. I agree wholeheartedly with the Captain — you got some experience out of this, you gave it a try, and now it’s time for it to be over. All okay and more than okay! I just wanted to comment on this part of your letter: “My friends think I’m over reacting…and they think we’re perfect for each other personality-wise (we’re socially awkward and loud nerds the both of us).” Your friends are kind of being jerks!

    I used to get this kind of attitude too, and in time I learned to find it pretty insulting. “Oh, so you agree he’s annoying and has no boundaries, but you think we’re perfect for each other…so that means you think I’m annoying and have no boundaries also?” Now, I _know_ those things aren’t true about me (well, maybe I’m a _little_ annoying, but well within normal parameters), so I think this whole “but you’re PERFECT for each other” had a lot more to do with them needing to play cupid than it did with the actual set-up in question.

    Luckily, this mainly stopped happening after I graduated from college and whittled my friend list to people who genuinely knew me, but I still remember the annoyance of being told that some guy and I were made for each other because we both like Star Trek. Do you know how many people in this world like Star Trek? A lot, that’s how many! Anyway, don’t listen to your friends on this, and don’t take their urging too seriously. They don’t know what they’re talking about here and you sound way cooler than this dude!

    1. I dropped in to say, basically, this. I kinda want to wail YOU NEED NEW FRIENDS but I don’t know your pals, LW, maybe they’re great and think they’re being encouraging. It’s hard to say. But please don’t take their advice on this. The tone of your letter is that you kinda want to be done with this guy, and you know what? That means you kinda should be done with this guy.

      All the Jedi hugs.

      1. Gugh. People who advise against dumping get so much side-eye from me. I mean, maybe there are some circumstances when you should try to make it work, but I feel like usually in those circumstances, you really feel a desire to try to make it work. If you don’t want to make it work, what’s the point in trying? Relationships should make the people in them happy. If you feel like you don’t really want to be with someone, you should probably not be with them.

        1. Yes. It’s one thing if the person who is considering a breakup wants to make the relationship work, or if there are serious issues unconnected to the relationship. If someone says “I’ve been miserable for three weeks, maybe I should dump my partner” and I know that they’ve been dealing with midterms while getting over bronchitis, or just lost their job, I might say “I know you’ve been miserable, but is your partner why? Just about anyone is miserable when they have bronchitis. Has s/he been good and supportive lately?”

          Yes, you can dump someone because you have bronchitis. But if you asked me, “I have bronchitis, does that mean I should dump my boyfriend?” I’d say “not just because you have bronchitis. What’s the connection?”

  9. LW, it sounds like you consider getting some ‘experience’ to be a plus, even though he’s not meeting your lady-needs or even trying. I suspect, however, that you could get better experience without this joker. No one needs practice being used, bored, or unaroused.

    Also, any time there’s a penetration party? Both folks need to be not just DTF, but primed and ready. You said that you weren’t “super into it.” Please, please, don’t try it again until you are. You deserve so much more.

    Best of luck on a summer of new adventures!

  10. PhysioCat is almost nine years old, and still sometimes when PhysioWife and I are boning I look over and the little motherfucker is looking at us all like “What the fucken fucke are you assholes doing?!”

        1. Mine spent his kittenhood Examinining the Proceedings very intently and now tries to tongue-kiss me on a regular basis.

          It is gross.

    1. Ours was so used to being banned during Business Time** that she somehow (creepily) picked up on when it was going to occur and made a point of banishing herself from the room and sitting just outside the bedroom door with her back turned, looking disgusted. Upon receiving some kind of CreeperCat signal that Business Time had finished, she’d come back in, jump onto the bed, and assign us points for effort, execution, etc. It was very unsettling.

      **Business Time was not always on a Wednesday.

  11. Take this as a good time to experience breaking up with someone. You aren’t into this relationship, and that’s enough reason to leave. This is a hard thing to learn, but honestly, breaking up with someone like an adult is such a valuable skill.

  12. By the way, friend, it is totally not weird to dislike being touched in certain places and/or in certain ways and you don’t even need to give a reason (unless you are intimate and feel like sharing) for not liking to be touched beyond “Hey, don’t touch me like that. I don’t like it.” Imagine if you were someone who didn’t like having your feet touched who happened to be dating a foot fetishist! Imagine you are dating someone who has a tickling fetish and you don’t like to be tickled! Some people have incompatible touching. It’s ok! Sometimes you work around it, but sometimes it is one of many reasons it’s not working out between you, so you don’t.

    The important thing is, when you tell your sex partner something clear-cut like, “I don’t like my elbows touched” that their reaction is, “Ok, no problem. How about your knees?” And NOT, “WHYYYYYYY, you freak? EVERYONE loves having their elbows touched! We should work on this. Let’s work on this.”

    I dated two guys in a row once who all had this thing about trying to cut off my air during sex. No, not a typo. They liked to choke their partners. Some people are into that. I wasn’t. Both assured me their other sex partners just loved it. I decidedly did not, and told them all so. All three didn’t work out because they decided not to respect my wishes and/or tried to spring Thing I Didn’t Like on me without asking because they were trying to “trick” me into liking it. Or something. Both got dumped abruptly.

    My general feeling is, if someone is disrespectful to you in bed, they will be disrespectful everywhere else.

    1. Typo- there were actually three guys who I had this problem with (we all have our thing I guess) but they weren’t in a row, so I edited. But badly. SO please disregard “all three.”

      1. The closet to that I ever got was the guy who thought all women liked having their nipples twisted. Ouchie!!!

        1. I had something similar. I hooked up (no sex, though) with an alumni of my college who was 27 when I was 19. He knew I was less experienced (I told him that, for some reason) and while we were fooling around, he started biting my nipples. I was like, “that hurts, don’t do that” and he gave me The Lecture about how Some Women enjoy that. He tried it again and I was like, nope, still don’t like it. So, he stopped.

          But, seriously, why isn’t one “no” enough?

          1. Men who are bad in bed lecturing women on what they *should* like…I don’t miss my 20s AT ALL.

          2. “The Lecture about how Some Women enjoy that” indicates a person of either limited experience or remarkable obtuseness. There aren’t any sexual activities that *everyone* likes. Different people have very different sensitivities and preferences.

            LW, just because some people enjoy [whatever] doesn’t mean you have any obligation to enjoy it. Just because your friends think you are compatible with this guy doesn’t mean you have any obligation to date him. It’s your own personal and individual preferences that matter.

          3. Equally bad: The Lecture about how No Men Like That.

            *ahem* Beg to differ.

            Ahhh, yes. I have had that one, too. It goes hand in hand with “All Men Like This (so if you want to keep having the sex with the mens, you must get used to this!” which of course is part and parcel of the “There’s something wronnnnng with you let’s fix it” response to your (perfectly reasonable!! I cannot stress this enough!!!) request of “I don’t like this particular thing and I would rather we don’t do it.”

      1. Sorry, I just realized that could be ambiguous. YES to this part

        By the way, friend, it is totally not weird to dislike being touched in certain places and/or in certain ways and you don’t even need to give a reason (unless you are intimate and feel like sharing) for not liking to be touched beyond “Hey, don’t touch me like that. I don’t like it.”

        and this part

        My general feeling is, if someone is disrespectful to you in bed, they will be disrespectful everywhere else.

        HELL NO to your disrespectful partners.

        1. Haha thanks- and don’t worry. I wanted to make sure to illustrate that just because someone likes something in bed doesn’t mean you have to do it if you don’t like to. I also think this is super important for women, because we are socialized to be Nice and Make People Happy all of the time, you know.

    2. What the hell? That’s seriously Not Cool, and I say this as someone who likes doing this and having this done to her, both. And maybe it’s just me, but…if my partner can’t remember the, like, three things I really don’t want done during sex, the fuck am I getting out of fucking them that I’m not from masturbating? Also, how do people who ignore such basic don’ts of sex ever get laid TWICE? sdglshkdgsdlhgsg

    3. That drives me up the wall. Sex is supposed to be fun for BOTH parties. And if I don’t like something after I’ve tried it, and partner does, and demands it even if I don’t enjoy it, it’s a deal breaker. And no, it doesn’t make me a prude or frigid or means I hate sex.
      I remember a few years ago on another blog, a woman wrote in to say she hated it that her husband decided all sexytimes would end with him coming on her face. She told him she didn’t enjoy it, and he shamed her for being a prude (I gather she was religious, and he was her one and only partner), and sulked about it. Bad enough, but then the commenters piled on. Several women told her they loved it. One jerk told her she’d “get used to it.” Fuck that noise. There is so much crap we have to endure in our lives. And even if we get used to it, so we won’t go insane, it doesn’t mean it’s not crap.

  13. I agree with all the reasons above for why you should ditch this guy. Lots of other fun to be had before August! But even more, I think you should do it before you get too entrenched in the habit of passive-agressively punishing him for the awkward. It doesn’t sound like you owe this guy much consideration, but if this were a real relationship, turning off your phone for 2 days (without prior notice) and vaguebooking about how you’re enjoying your alone time would qualify as manipulative behavior. So nip that thing in the bud, LW, and move on to a liaison you actually enjoy.

    1. Yeah, agreeing very hard with this comment. If he’s driving you to engage in passive-aggressive non-communicative behavior like that, he’s not encouraging you to be your best self, so fuck that noise.

    2. I’m with this, too. It sounds like you’re just not that into this guy, which is totally cool and a very good reason to not see him anymore. But just as he needs to learn not to be clingy, it sounds like you may need some work on your break up/cool off skills. Things like suggesting that you hang out the next day and then when that day arrives taking hours to return his call and then saying you’ll be doing errands all day and probably shouldn’t hang out? Or hanging up on him when he reacted badly to you wanting some me time and then posting facebook messages about how much you’re loving alone time? Those are the opposite of using your words.

      In a few of my early relationships, I used similar tactics whenever I didn’t really want to be with the guy anymore but either hadn’t admitted it to myself or didn’t want to get into it with him. “I just feel really tired tonight, can we do something tomorrow instead? Oh hello, tomorrow, actually I have a lot of stuff I have to do today, so we could get together like I said but it would probably kind of suck to be running around, maybe we could do another day?” Etc. I knew that I was being a jerk, but I kept doing it because I just *really* didn’t want to go hang out with the guy. Eventually I realized that there was a much better solution to me not wanting to see a dude I was dating than continuing to date him while spending as much time as possible ducking out on doing things/feeling like I was suffocating when I was with him. The feeling you had where you were lying in his bed wishing deperately that you were at home? You should listen to that feeling. This is not the only fooling-around partner out there, and as you’ve learned, the fooling around often stops being fun if thinking about the guy makes you want to hide out in your house rather than see him.

  14. Completely off topic (mainly because everyone else has already gave the advice I would give), but do I detect a Homestuck shout out towards the beginning of this question…?

  15. “This and they think we’re perfect for each other personality-wise (we’re socially awkward and loud nerds the both of us) so, I don’t feel like I have a sympathetic ear for this most first world of problems. Just because we’ve been going out for a month doesn’t mean I trust him implicitly and want to be around him all the time.”

    Everyone made some spot-on points here, so I’m just going to bitch for a second, LW: I hate, hate, HATE it when a “friend” says “You and so-and-so are so much a like you really SHOULD get along” as if that means your lukewarm feelings are somehow invalid. Also, I’m sure your friends have “first world problems” as well and feel free to complain about them so seriously, fuck that dismissive noise. The people who trot this shit out don’t like it when it’s turned around on them.

    Also–it’s really creepy that you’ve hung out for just about a month and he (and apparently your friends) can’t understand why you don’t want to be with him 24/7. That’s. . .um. . .no.

    Also–even if he was perfect on paper in every way AND he got you off (which it sounds like he doesn’t even try) it’s totally OK for you to not be that into him. You’re not messing anything up. He needs to take a fucking chill pill, though.

  16. I see a lot of letters here that say something to the effect of “I don’t have much relationship experience, so maybe this screwed up relationship is just the way things are supposed to go and maybe I’m screwing things up out of ignorance,” and it makes me sad. I understand that some people, as a result of abuse and such, really don’t have any models of functional interpersonal relationships to go on at all. And interacting with other humans does improve with practice. But fundamentally I don’t think romantic relationships are necessarily all that different from other sorts of relationships, so people sometimes sell themselves short in the experience department. When other people come along, you do things with them that are respectful of both parties’ rights and make both parties happy. That equation doesn’t change if “kissing” or “sex” are among the things that meet those criteria (or that did meet those criteria in the past but don’t anymore).

    I actually don’t think I’ve ever been stared at by a cat while Doing It, but I have been landed on by a bird.

  17. My cat with jump up on the bed and try to head-butt us, all “HAY GUISE WHACHA DOIN???”. So now I make sure she’s out of the room and I close the door.

  18. Yep. Sex can be really fun. Good sex generally makes you finish up feeling happy.

    Having lacklustre sex with someone and having it not make you feel happy is OK too. It’s a pity you didn’t have more fun, but so is any meant-to-be-fun activity that you don’t happen to enjoy.

    Having lacklustre sex with someone, having it not make you feel happy, and having no real urge to do it again is pretty reasonable.

    If you come out of a ‘first time’ with someone, and feel like it could have been way more fun, and still feel really, really keen to see if that’s likely, then saying something like ‘We could do way better than that!’ is indicated.

    If you come out of a ‘first time’ feeling like you don’t really want a second, that’s a really good reason to take some steps back and at least leave sex well off the table until such a time as you really do feel sure that another time with the person is going to be a *lot* more fun.

  19. I’d dump a guy with whom the sex was good for pouting about my alone time, or harassing me during it. That may be because I am a heartless bitch or because I am allergic to passive-aggressive “look at me now!” maneuvers from people over age 10. At its core, though, it’s because I’m an introvert, and I will always need to occasionally enter the cocoon of solitude for a few days in order to be happy. It sounds like you need solitude, too, and so you should consider it non-negotiable that your romantic partners respect that, even if they don’t understand it.

    Partners who respect your needs are good. Partners who pout are never worth it, in my experience.

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