On a jealous boyfriend

I still work for my ex’s company, and I make good money and damn good connections doing so (hey, it’s LA). It’s at-home and part-time, and I don’t talk to him much, but my current boyfriend likes to throw a hissy fit every time ex’s name pops up on my phone. I do nothing but give him reassurance that our relationship is strictly business, but he’s like an insecure puppy and will give me the silent treatment whenever I’m in work mode. Plot twist: I cheated on ex WITH current boyfriend. So I guess that’s where the trust issues lie. What the hell should I do, Coke? Do I really have to quit my job?

Fuck no.

Tell your stupid boyfriend to mind his own fucking business. Tell him that if he doesn’t trust you to have a working relationship with your ex, then tough titties. His delicate male ego and petty jealousies don’t get one ounce of priority over your ability to earn.

Don’t put up with hissy fits. Scold the shit out of him when he acts like a little bitch, and if you feel like twisting the knife, tell him that if you were ever really gonna cheat on him, it wouldn’t be with the guy you cheated on with him.

On newfound confidence

Over the past year, I pulled my shit together and lost 55 pounds. I’m a totally different person, and with my lifestyle change has come a new confidence. It wavers a lot, but I finally feel good about myself and how I look. I bought a bikini with confidence! Most of my friends are very supportive but 2 or 3 of them have been very off put by it. Telling me I’m too skinny, I need to eat more, I look unhealthy when all of those are very far from the truth. This is the strongest and healthiest I’ve ever felt in my life! These same people are also telling me that I seem cocky now, especially around men. I don’t want to become someone who is cocky based off what I look like. Is my pride about my weightloss/healthy life style becoming too much? Is my confidence turning into cockiness? How do I pull off talking about it without seeming like I’m gloating? It’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done and while I am ~loving~ the confidence, pride and yes, attention from the opposite sex it’s bringing me, I don’t want to come off as a conceited asshole. Thoughts or opinions?

Pay no mind to the two or three friends who will inevitably try and take you down a notch. There’s a few in every crew, and that kind of negativity is almost always a mix of petty envy and a projection of their own body issues. In other words, it’s an expression of their bullshit, not yours.

Never worry about too much confidence. Don’t even worry about a little cockiness. The only thing you need to watch out for is arrogance, and it doesn’t seem like you’re the type to think losing a few pounds makes you better than anybody else.

You’ve earned the right to a summer filled with bikinis and a little extra vanity. It’s okay to believe that you’ve improved yourself, and it’s okay to feel happy about it. That doesn’t make you a conceited asshole.

You look fucking amazing, by the way.

On religion in general

We know your view of the Abrahamic faiths, but I’m curious to know if it extends to the other religions of the world, such as religious Buddhism, Hinduism, Bahá’í, persisting indigenous faiths, the various branches of modern paganism, etc.?

I’m opposed to any organized belief system with fundamental tenets based on revealed knowledge from a supernatural entity, and I am radically opposed to any closely held belief that allows for a supernatural entity (deity or otherwise) to be used as the proximate cause or justification for human behavior.

That said, I am not opposed to maintaining certain religious traditions as an important part of cultural heritage, except (as is often the case) when those traditions are used as the proximate cause or justification for human suffering.

On more fun-sized advice

There’s this one male cashier around my age at the supermarket who consistently calls me “sweetheart.” As I near my mid-30s these types of dismissively sexist comments annoy me more and more. Should I just let it go, or should I say something?
I think you’ll find “I’m not your fucking sweetheart” to be one of the most deeply satisfying phrases in the entirety of the English language.

When my boyfriend broke up with me, he said our relationship “filled him with existential dread.” What the fuck does that even mean? I know what existential dread is, but what does that have to do with our dearly departed relationship?
The relationship had your boyfriend contemplating the idea of forever, and it freaked him out. It was a polite (if not pretentious) way of saying that the mere thought of spending the rest of his life with you terrified him.

So, we know where you stand on cheating and being the other man/woman but what do you think about telling someone they’re being cheated on? Do you think people have a right to know or should a third party just mind their own business?
There’s a lot to be said for minding your own business, but there’s also a good case for applying the golden rule — it really just depends on the situation. When you’re trying to balance compassion with discretion, let loyalty guide you further than honesty.

I just figured out that nobody has The Right Answer because there’s no such thing as The Right Answer, and it has me feeling real fucking lost. I didn’t realize how much I’ve always depended on other people to make decisions for me until now, yet I don’t trust myself to make those decisions either. How do I recover from this?
Recover? No, there is no recovery. You wouldn’t wanna go back even if you had the option. You aren’t lost. You’re just burdened by the philosophical equivalent of adolescence and what you imagine to be your own free will. Just go be a good person, and don’t be afraid to keep growing.

I’ve been going on a bunch of dates recently and while I have fun, the guys are nice, the conversation is interesting, the sex is good, I just feel so … hollow afterwards. I feel very distant from the experience. What gives?
Pretty simple, really. Casual dating (while occasionally fun) doesn’t satisfy your desperate craving for a deep spiritual, physical, and emotional connection to another human being. The hollow feeling is just a friendly reminder.

Nothing makes me feel smaller or uglier or more like a piece of shit than someone I care about showing romantic interest in me, and I don’t know why. I wish I could get people to stop.
The reason it makes you feel small and ugly is because you consider romantic interest to be an unsolicited sexualization of a platonic relationship. It’s a shift in how you think a person values you, one that degrades your own self-worth. It doesn’t have to, though. The trick is in realizing and fully accepting that you’re not doing anything wrong. You’re not the one betraying the fundamental nature of the relationship. They are.

On picking your battles

I am addicted to You Tube beauty vids (I know) and one creator, Coffee Break With Dani constantly refers to “hookers” “prostitutes” “lady of the night” and “cholas” in a negative and unflattering way. I’ve left her comments about how shitty it is (in a respectful way) and how often sex workers sometimes (not always) are either victims of abuse or exploitation, etc but she just says something really shitty in return. I know I could just not watch or not comment but I wonder if there is way I could get her to understand that she comes off as super ignorant and insensitive.

Stop it. Just stop.

You’re never going to change someone’s mind by scolding them from the comments section, especially the rambling, candy-headed personification of a Forever 21 knock-off. (Honestly, how do you even tolerate ten straight minutes of that shrill twit?)

Don’t waste your time trying to “get her to understand.” She’s made it clear that she doesn’t give a fuck about your politically correct opinions. Let it go.

In fact, you should fuck off completely. (You’re just as insufferable as she is for thinking it’s your place to whine about your personal politics on her cartoonishly trivial YouTube beauty channel.)

We live in a world brimming with ignorance and insensitivity. Learn to pick your fucking battles already.

On a proper goodbye

Thanks for the good moments. I’m deciding it’s time to quit you- it’s taken me quite a while but I’ve realized that I need to get past reading your touchy yet hypocritical, faux-politically correct perspective that reminds me too much of the double standard upheld by the diehard social justice kids in college.

You are the clever, highbrow intellectual + lowbrow snark manic pixie dream girl that never fails to get tumblr wet. I totally get the appeal and the hero(ine) worship, having fallen for it myself for a spell. But it’s time for me to grow the fuck up and decide what’s right and wrong for myself instead of blindly lapping up what you say. I’m starting over in a way, and it’s time for me to stop living vicariously through your fever dream of a life and get that it’s not actually what I want nor what I can have, and start completely living my own life.

I’m glad I found you to be able to inch my way out of this dark space of being lost and helpless, and to realize now that I don’t need it anymore. You really are excellent at the relationship and life direction stuff, but I’m finding I can’t make myself agree with your social arguments anymore (a damn good thing for me!).

Thanks for writing and for this blank space to work out my head space. Best of luck to you with the rest of it all.

Best of luck to you as well. Thanks for reading, and thanks for taking the time to write. I’m impressed by your ability to talk just enough shit while sincerely expressing gratitude. Clearly, you learned something.

Usually this is the part where I tell you to stay wild, but it’s not like you’ve got a fuckin’ choice, so just go have yourself a lovely life.

Now get the fuck on out of here.

On fun-sized advice*

I’m insecure. Super fucking insecure. Need people to like me insecure. I recognize the problem. I want to change. How?
It’s not that you need people to like you. It’s that you need people to approve of you, and you don’t know the difference. Stop seeking approval.

Is this it? Being social, having friends, making small talk, it just doesn’t appeal to me anymore. Not that it ever really did, but I never thought I’d be so bored with everything at 25.
Go DO something, asshole.

Every time I tell my partner they’re doing something that upsets me, they take it as a personal attack of me reminding them how “fucked up and terrible” they are. What do I do?
Stop putting up with manipulative bullshit from an insecure partner.

Am I bi if I only sleep with women and don’t like dick, but fool around with men I feel comfortable with?
I’m not sure whether you’re a predominantly homosexual woman coming to terms with incidental heterosexual tendencies or a predominantly heterosexual man coming to terms with incidental homosexual tendencies, but it’s entirely up to you whether you choose to identify as bisexual. You can if you want, you don’t have to if you don’t, and no one else gets to decide but you.

Lesbians with daddy issues. Please explain.
You know lesbians have fathers, right?

That was a pretty scary looking message you got, so I’m wondering… do you get a lot of really vicious stuff in your mail? I know you get plenty of morons but that stuff is outright stomach churning.
It wasn’t scary at all. It was sad and desperate. Usually I ignore the angry letters, but if someone says my advice added to their friend’s trauma, then I take that kind of thing seriously. There’s a time for snark and there’s a time for genuine empathy.

Please don’t compliment people when you get scared of them, it just looks pitiful — either hold your ground or fight back.
You’re as terrible at reading the situation as you are at giving advice.

I love how you start sucking up to the person who wants to punch your face in.
I love how you think you know what you’re talking about.

* Whoever keeps sending links to that Dennis Prager video about Israel, thank you for allowing me the opportunity to peer into the abyss of your willfull ignorance. Just so we’re clear, Prager is a sanctimonious blowhard, and that video (like everything he does) is cheap propaganda for right-wing simpletons. The very fact that you think it “informs” is terrifying. Please go away now.

On not wanting to fight

Do you wanna fight?

Seriously, shall we go to the nearest dark alley and drop our weapons, raise our fists and throw down?

I’d win, because you’re a frail bitch with a coke problem (not very good circulation, I’m afraid; you’d black out and I would crush your fucking ribcage). I’d love to see you coughing up black, shaking your head and trying to regain reality while your drug-infused brain dipped between past and present. I’d love to crush you sober, too, throwing repeated punches to cranial arteries and that damaged bit of cartilage you call a nose.

"Check my privilege" seems to be your favorite phrase (god, it’s fucking annoying), but you don’t really follow through. You bask in the attention of celebrities at le Chateau (jesus, anyone who’s seen those fake butterflies knows it’s kitsch as fuck), but after skimming through most of your articles I’ve come to the conclusion that you never really HAD any privilege. You’re (white?) cogent enough to string together a few sentences, but you still come across as that tacky-ass girl who went away to finishing school after sixteen and came back trying to fight the privilege she still hasn’t gained. Really, you’re just a cardboard mock-up of someone you want to destroy, and you’ve spent the last decade or so trying to distract from the societal implications you believe come along with such an achievement. Aww.

We all know you were assaulted by men at gunpoint. Yah. I’m sure that has nothing to do with your anonymity (I don’t blame you) but perhaps everything to do with the fact that you’re still seeking revenge on every idle internet fuckface who stumbles on your blog during a search for “sleeping with my boyfriend’s friend.”

Check your privilege? Please. Don’t use that as the catch-all phrase for other people with ambition who don’t really give a fuck what tacky cling-ons like you think. Checking.your.privilege would mean ditching the drugs, showing your face (shutting the fuck up, as well), making meals at home.

I can tell by your writing style that you’ve written in before. (Each time, increasingly angrier.)

I’m pretty sure the last time you wrote in was a few days ago to tell me about the situation with your friend and her negative experience with my advice. (You have a very distinctive voice — intelligent, insightful, and seething.)

You’ll find your last letter added to the comments section of that post you quoted. Look for it. You’ll see that I already extended an apology to your friend. It was sincere, and if there really is anything I can do to make it right, please don’t hesitate to let me know.

Now, as for your increasingly violent tone, this shit needs to stop. I get that you’re angry, but pointing it in my direction is a waste of everyone’s time. I respect your eye for human weakness, but all this venom you keep spitting my way is doing you a helluva lot more damage than it is me.

I’m sure it feels momentarily therapeutic, but whatever it is you’ve got going on, sending me letters like this is just an exercise in projection. You say I’m a cardboard mock-up of someone I want to destroy (fucking amazing line, by the way), but it also seems I’m a cardboard mock-up of someone you feel comfortable openly fantasizing about murdering with your bare hands.

Dude. Get a fucking handle on your shit. I’m actually a living, breathing human being over here. I know you know that, which is why you’re coming dangerously close to crossing a line with letters like this.

To answer your question, no, I don’t want to fight. This little corner of the internet is the nearest thing to a dark alley in which we’ll ever find ourselves, and the kinds of weapons you and I have we can’t drop.

Instead, how about you take a step back and count to ten. I think you’ll realize that I’m not the one here seeking revenge. You are.

On abusing generosity

Why is it wrong to get a to-go box at the Chateau? I understand the girl was a ratchet prostitute, yet what if a regular person does it? For as much as they’re charging for steak, shouldn’t someone be allowed to take home the leftovers? We’re not all wealthy with cocaine habits.

First of all, what the fuck is a regular person? Are sex workers (ratchet though they may be) not regular people to you?

Second of all, there’s a time and a place for to-go boxes, and I’m sorry, but a terrace dinner party at the Chateau ain’t the fuckin’ Cheesecake Factory.

Besides, this girl wasn’t paying for her meal. My friend who hosted the dinner was picking up the tab, and she knew that. She abused his generosity in every little gross and greedy way possible, from ordering the most expensive items to drinking more than her share of wine.

It wasn’t like they offered to box her shit up. She went out of her way to ask for a doggie bag so she could take a few bites of steak back up to the hotel suite. It really was the last fucking straw.

My fundamental problem wasn’t with her being gauche (though she was, repeatedly and to a magnificent degree). My problem was that I don’t like watching wannabe hustlers try to take advantage of my friends, even the wealthy ones with cocaine habits.

On the way things are

I am 43, attractive, successful and fit. I have essentially been single since my divorce four years ago. I seem to run up against ageism over and over from men my own age! What gives? Are men in their forties all fucked up or am I expecting too much to want to partner with a man around my own age? #frustrated

I’m sorry to be the bearer of bad news (otherwise known as reality), but 43 year old single men who are also attractive, successful, and fit simply do not date women their own age. That just ain’t the kind of world we live in.

Here in Los Angeles, attractive and successful forty-something men date women in their twenties. Not sure where you live, but best case scenario they date women in their thirties. If you find yourself a divorcee who’s already had kids, you’ve got a better shot, but only if he’s a serial monogamist who’s done with his mid-life crisis.

If you want a serious relationship, start looking at men in their fifties. If you just want to have some fun, feel free to start cougaring it up and sport-fuck a few twenty-somethings. (Yep, you can do that now too.) If you absolutely insist on partnering with a man your own age, then short of moving to a remote Alaskan mining town, you’re probably gonna have to just lower your standards.

I understand why this is frustrating, but whatever you do, don’t live in denial or let this shit make you bitter. Accept it. Come to terms with it as soon as possible, and know in your heart that there’s really nothing you can do to change the way things are.

What does “I don’t necessarily want to break up, but we should start seeing other people” mean? Because the way he says it, it sounds like “I really want to break up, but I also want to keep you as an emergency booty call.”

Yes, that’s exactly what it means. It also means your boyfriend is a selfish, apathetic coward who cares so little about you and your feelings that he can’t even be bothered with the inconvenience of ending your relationship.

The problem is that he’s not lying. He doesn’t necessarily want to break up, which means he might put just enough energy into the relationship to keep you around, so the next question is, how low are your expectations? Do you have the strength to say, “No. Our relationship is exclusive. You cannot be with me and also see other people.”

That’s the shittiest part of scenario. If you’re a strong woman with self-respect and the courage of your convictions, then he’s setting you up to be the one who ends things. If you happen to be a weak-willed doormat, that’s fine with him too, because like you said, he can always string you along as an emergency booty call.

Read this column over at Nerve.com