Fun-Sized Advice

On more fun-sized advice

How do I stop being a pretentious douche?
Cultivate your personality instead of curating your identity.

Convince me not to stay with a guy who (mid-intercourse) removed the condom I asked him to wear less than a month after I had an abortion.
If he doesn’t respect you with his actions, then his words mean nothing. You deserve respect. You deserve better than him, and you will feel better about yourself once he’s out of your life.

You’re a lot less mean and vicious than you were even two years ago. What happened to mellow you out?
It’s not just me. We’re all growing up.

I’ve been out with a new guy on about 4 dates. He recently told me that he has never been in a relationship. We’re both 26. Red flag?
Depends on what he considers a relationship. If it means he’s never been in love, it’s not a red flag. If it means he’s never been exclusive, it’s a yellow flag. If it means he’s never gone on a 5th date, it’s a red flag.

I slipped out of my old long-term relationship and quickly fell into him. Are all rebounds doomed to fail?
The only reason rebounds fail is because they’re defined by the previous relationship. If you have enough respect for your new relationship to stop considering it a rebound, then that won’t be the reason that it fails.

I told my dad I was gay. He said he loves me but *God willing* I’d be able to turn straight one day. Please help. I don’t know what to do right now.
You don’t have to do anything. You’re fine for now. Eventually, your father will be the one to change. If he is a decent man who loves you, his ignorance will slowly start to wear away into compassion, then understanding, then acceptance. It will take time, so be patient and be strong.

Why is it so painful to exist?
It isn’t painful to exist. It’s painful to think you exist. Stop thinking, and you will stop being in pain.


36 thoughts on “On more fun-sized advice

  1. curious says:

    What’s the difference between personality and identity?

    (semi-thoughts I have: identity is what you want to be perceived as, personality is your actual behavior? Something about identity and sports.)

    • M says:

      Identity has more to do with announcing an affiliation to a group you believe you belong to and would like to be associated with. Essentially, claiming an affiliation with a group and then understanding yourself only through that lens can stifle your individualism. This often leads to a picking and choosing (i.e. curating) of multiple identies to understand yourself, which is a fundamentally poor method of self-exploration – for instance, learning the true extent of your capabilites and limitations – as an individual.

      • curious says:

        Thank you! This was very helpful.

        So how would you describe cultivating a personality? Is it the self-exploration you mentioned earlier? What is personality? Behavior? The thoughts behind behaviors?

        • M says:

          Yeah, I think a reasonable interpretation of her
          use of the word ‘cultivation’ is the self-exploration I mentioned and using the awareness gained from that to improve as a person and enrich your life. Behavior is a compent of personality but not the entirety of it. Personality, as opposed to identity, is how you individually understand and interact with the world around you.

          • curious says:

            Thanks for clarifying. I agree with your definition of personality. I’m glad she said cultivate rather than find or make, which implies that personality is fluid (understanding is constant, interaction is constant). I’ve always disliked the “fact” that your personality is set by the time you turn seven for that reason.

          • hm says:

            This sparked a thought in the realm of the pretentious douchebag’s grasp at authenticity. I might need some help on expanding this thought, but I kind of feel like there’s a direct correlation between cultivating identity and specifically searching for “really authentic” interests.

          • M says:

            No problem! (Also, just realized I made a typo up there, I meant to write ‘component’ not ‘compent’ lol.) And I totally agree. I feel like it’s a common belief that self-discovery is all about reaching this “true” version of yourself and once you’ve reached it there’s no need to continue that proccess. We seem to associate a transition in beliefs or a maturing of personality as an experience you go through as you grow into an adult. But once you’re an adult I think it’s considered juvenile to change.

            @HM: Hmm, I think I kinda get what you mean. Can’t say for sure but maybe it’s like, if you’re searcing for “authentic interests” you may already have a whole list of things in your mind you consider authentic interests? And it begs the question of how that person is interpreting the meaning of authenticity.

          • This how I see it. Authentic interests are the ones you pursue primarily because you take pleasure in them. Non-authentic interests are the ones you pursue primarily to shape other people’s opinions of you.

            The way to tell the difference is by asking yourself if you would do it if no one else would ever know about it.

  2. Maria says:

    So true that we are all growing up. I was so young when I started reading, and now I’m settling into a wonderful but much quieter life. Coke taught me how to tell someone to fuck off, and here I am having not needed to do so in over a year.

  3. Lynn says:

    “It isn’t painful to exist. It’s painful to think you exist. Stop thinking, and you will stop being in pain.”

    This is real.

  4. Nenya Bee says:

    Re: guy who’s 26 and never been in a relationship, surely it depends on their circumstances – they could have been brought up in a family in which education and work was placed as high importance in their belief system and subsequently told fun comes after achieving something their parents deemed worthy. They also could have been a carer for their family members (elderly relative, disabled child, parents, etc.) which caused their romantic life not to flourish when it normally would. They could have had an eating disorder or any other kind of mental disorder which caused them to not seek romantic endeavours or be seen as attractive if they did. Short view of my point is: each person is different, if the guy seems normal in every way and hasn’t explained why – ask him. If they then avoid the question why, then that’s a red flag.

    • Aletheia says:

      Speaking as a girl who was 24 before she went into her first relationship (I know, two years off, but): not necessarily. In my case, it was because I’m ace and just happened to find an exception (who I spent a few happy years with before parting amicably). I’d have to echo Nenya above you: ask the person. If they avoid your question (or, if you’re the person, if you avoid the questions of others), then it’s a red flag. If the questions are answered openly and honestly, not a red flag necessarily.

      • Nenya Bee says:

        Also, we’re assuming the asker is female. It could be a guy asking about another guy. If it is, there could be many reasons why it’s his first relationship at 26. For instance, he could have grown up in a small town in a deeply religious environment where being homosexual isn’t tolerated, let alone accepted. So rather than trying to fit in or lead someone on by pretending to be straight (if that’s the case), he stayed single. Say he then worked, saved and eventually left where he’s from and only now he’s left he feels it’s possible to approach an open, honest relationship in a new, safe environment where he doesn’t have to hide who he is. Either way, they’ve been on four dates already. So, he’s not unable to hold a conversation or someone who behaves in a way the asker finds unattractive. Regardless of the asker’s gender, they wouldn’t have known about it being his first relationship unless he’d been open and honest enough to tell them this piece of information. Like Coke has said before (to paraphrase) “communication is key.” If the guy can – and has been – honest with you so far, ask his reasons why and see where it goes from there. Good luck!

    • Nenya Bee says:

      Not a red flag. It all depends on context – why have they never been in a relationship? what’s their reasoning? It could be any number of factors, trust issues, cultural identity, upbringing – e.g. seeing domestic violence and thinking if they avoid relationships they won’t get hurt physically or emotionally. It could also be influence of religius doctrine, other incidents in their past, identifying as a non-hetero individual in an environment where they’re the only person in the vicinity who openly or closetly identifies that way.

      Point is, so long as you have some personality and behave in ways that are deemed socially-acceptable, you’ll likely meet someone. However, if you’re staying home all the time, not socialising or doing anything out of your comfort zone (say trying a new sport, joining a club, something involving team work where you would meet new people from a variety of backgrounds – easier if you’re in a city, sure, then you won’t have any kind of relationships – romantic or platonic.)

      If you have responsibilities that stop you being able to participate in the above suggestions – try and see if there are any programs – for example if you were a sole carer for a family member, you could ask at your doctors’ office or at a hospital about respite care which would result in you having time off, someone qualified caring for the individual and could be organised for the time you need for the above activities to take place providing you with a break and the opportunity to meet new people.) If you try and it doesn’t work, it’s no biggie. It doesn’t mean you failed. The only way you fail is by not turning up and not trying. Good luck!

  5. KK says:

    The guy removed the condom mid-intercourse? Ugly. I would be angry and remove that guy from my list of high-quality people/people I hang out with.
    Why do you even need advice on this?

    The 26 y/o without a relationship:
    I wouldn’t consider it a red flag. I know about four male friends who have been virgins till their late 20s. Reasons were shyness, shyness plus living abroad, focus on studies plus living abroad, depression. Three of the friends are in their mid-thirties/fourties and have fine relationships now. One of them has continuous bad relationships.

  6. Lilac says:

    There’s nothing wrong with never having had a relationship at 26. Some people just have other priorities and shit to do. I ended up being my husband’s first relationship. There were things we had to work on because of it, but it’s just not an issue. He spent his young adulthood traveling, becoming a wilderness expert, and more. He tried a few times to date, but it never felt right. I came into the picture, and he never looked back. Dating around never felt right nor appealed to him, so he focused on himself and let the right person come along when they were ready to.

    This culture of having to date around in order to be happy is ridiculous. If it just is NOT who you are, there’s nothing wrong with it.

  7. Z says:

    RE: all the comments about the 26 year old, I think that Coquette was getting at what this guy means by a relationship. Somebody who thinks that five dates = a relationship (and somebody who’s never gotten that far) is somebody to be a little wary of, romantically speaking.

  8. YB says:

    This is like the third condom removal submission I’ve seen. Is this seriously a thing? Does no else see this as borderline sexual assault?

      • Margo says:

        No, I’m sorry, but removing a condom without permission could even be deadly. Your partner is disregarding your life. That is worse than rape. That could be murder.

        • CharChar says:

          It isn’t worse than rape, it just is rape. I imagine that a lot of rapists don’t wear condoms, which makes rape pretty much exactly this deadly in general.

          The only place this asshole isn’t a rapist is in his own mind. The writer consented to sex with a condom. She did not consent to unprotected sex. When he chose to change the terms of the agreement to suit himself without asking her, that consent became null and void.

  9. Penny says:

    Meanwhile, Steak is now so rude that I cringe when I read her asks. I’ve stopped at this point. Nobody deserves to be talked to the way she does her readers.

    • Mil says:

      sometimes we need tough love though; furthermore, her circumstances are WHEY different than Coke, who has been meticulously anonymous this whole time

      imagine the incessant badgering from people who want to discredit her success and claim she would have none of it without her husband; and hatred; and violent threats – don’t even wanna think about that :[

      I’m not attacking you for making the remark, I’m just defending someone who’s blunt non-anonymous opinion I have always respected (even when I don’t get the answer I want)
      I would agree that she will polarize a lot of readers (0ld & new) and there is merit in calm, well-reasoned advice; it’s palatable to the masses, that’s for sure

      • Penny says:

        I agree with you … those blunt, tough love answers are why I used to love steaktalk. But it feels different now.. maybe I’m more mature and I’m seeing it as an outlet for a supposed feminist to be a catty bitch to other women.

  10. dk says:

    Anyone who won’t keep a condom on should be IMMEDIATELY dumped. Period. This isn’t a “red flag” on this issue. This is absolutely disrespect for your health and needs and indicates a douche-bag. You should expect anyone – boyfriend or casual sex partner – to respect those needs. Please stand up for yourself.

  11. J says:

    The difference between identity and personality is so underrated and so relevant. Can’t wait to spread that shit like butter.

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