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Sensual Shampoos, UTIs, and a “Mutual Love of M*A*S*H”

1. I’m a 30-year-old woman who has lived internationally. My biggest issue is that I can’t seem to let exes go. My first long-term boyfriend was for four years. He took it very hard when I broke up with him and has said he still considers me the love of his life (though he has a long-term girlfriend). I am still in contact with his family, and when l last saw him (four years ago), I was inappropriately friendly.

My next relationship ended mutually after two years, but he also took the break up very badly. We are very good friends now (and have travelled together) and he has said on more than one occasion that he believes I am ‘the one’ (though he is also in a relationship). Many of our mutual friends think I will eventually come around and marry him.

After that, I had a six-month affair with a man I eventually broke it off with, because he was married (though seperated). We are sporadically in contact, and he has said he still believes I am his soulmate. I also had an ex-boyfriend contact me recently, as he had a major health issue, and let me know he still loves me and thinks we should get married. Recently I went through the hardest break up of my life with an unhealthy situation of a year. I ended it and he left the country, but we are still in at least weekly contact, and he has told me and our friends that he would like to sort himself out and then: marry me. This sounds utterly ridiculous, I know, but I seem to be that girl that guys realize they love after a break up (I’m also not really the ‘marriage and babies’ type). I recognize there’s this yucky part of me that craves the attention and I keep them hanging on … though I’m really unsure what I’m getting out of it (the thought of my latest ex with other girls makes me physically sick). I would really like some advice on how I can let go of the need to have power over these people, because I do love them and recognize that what I’m doing is horrible not only to them but to the new women in their lives (and makes me feel like shit).

I need help/advice/guidance?

Help:

The “yucky part of you” that does “horrible things” is pretty normal. You are (maybe) caught in the dramacaine, doing this horrrrrrriiiibbbllleee (but titillating!) thing, but since you are horrible for doing horrible things, why stop doing a horrible thing? You were inappropriately friendly four years ago what? You like, have some insecurities and need attention? Girl, if “getting attention from dudes in love with you” were unpleasant, it would be called “dry heaving.” Keeping them in emotional rotation, girlfriends or no, is just some common, tacky nothingness. Doesn’t that somehow make you feel worse and more motivated to stop than thinking about how world-historically horrible you are? Here is a card for your wallet you can laminate and take out when you think this is a big deal:

Advice:

There is a lot of background here, like you are maybe trying to make me/yourself think there is something mysterious you’re doing — what net of shimmering strands do your amber eyes cast around their souls; you did not ask to wield this power and it weighs heavy in your alabaster bosom. But then your actual question nugget is super interesting and perceptive: “how do I let go of the need.” And it’s really almost irrelevant if you love them or want them to be happy because hey, needing to be the boss of people whose bosses we aren’t is a good way to turn into a serial killer (and then the thing you did would ACTUALLY be horrible). This is the thing where you need to develop other deep-rooted sources of self-worth, you know that, right? I dunno, take a class, go to therapy, get religion? Have a face accident that forces you to discover the true meaning of beauty? Show us your tits? My sense of self-worth mostly comes from going to Sephora and letting the makeup people tell me I have nice lashes these days, and I am ahead of the game, I think. How do we stop needing things, though? I think the main way is that eventually they disappear and you look around and are not dead, and say, I guess I didn’t need that. Try to imagine a future in which you don’t have that power (it is coming, truth) and are not dead, and maybe loosening your grip a bit now will not seem so scary.

Guidance:

I am your guide, follow me! This has also happened to me four times, although only intra-nationally. One was this guy we called dirtyfoot, one was my ex boyfriend’s best friend who then was my boyfriend for a bit because he was my ex boyfriend’s best friend, one was this other dude, and one was this other other dude. I got so power-mad I was just meaner and meaner to them to see what they would put up with until one day they just gave up and got the fuck over me. I think the last one I made plans with to have dinner like three nights in a row and flaked twice and then the third time texted “not coming just met this other guy at a bar and my plan is to choke on his dick” and he texted back “ur a horrible person i will not speak to you anymore.” And then he didn’t.

2. I’ve been going to the same hair stylist for more than 10 years. Ever since the first time he cut my hair I have been utterly devoted to him. Normally when I go for a cut there are a couple of people working who only do shampoos, but when I arrived at my last appointment, my stylist was waiting for me at the check-in area and he took me over to the sinks himself. He proceeded to give me the most amazing, intimate hair-washing and scalp massage of my damn LIFE. Maybe even the best time anyone has ever touched me in my life. I can’t stop thinking about it, despite the fact that we are both in committed relationships. I feel like a line has been crossed from a client relationship to something that borders on sexual. Am I being crazy? Should I address this next time?

Cerealously, I am trying to imagine how that conversation would go down in any way that were not dreadful. Whaaaaaaat in the world would you say? Play that tape forward, bunny. Best case scenario, you alienate the guy who cuts your hair, and then he’ll fug you up and you’ll never get good touches again. Worst case scenario, he’s like, “damn right it was sexual,” and you guys start boning and your partner leaves you and eventually hairguy gets disenchanted and lazy and starts fucking up your haircuts and you never get good touches again. Go get you your sexy hairwash. There are plenty of places where we have to be like BOUNDARIES, but possibly sexy hair washes you actually enjoy are really not one of them. If he cops a feel, bite his arm. In either a sexy or not sexy way, depending on your plan.

3. Is it okay to be mad at my boyfriend when I have a UTI? Is it okay to ask him to help pay for it? And is it appropriate to want to be treated extra special when I get a UTI? Not like, fancy dinner, but like, maybe bring me some ice cream, or flowers or something?

Yo is he rubbing dirt on his cock before he puts it in you.tumblr.com? Then no, it’s not crazy to be mad at him. Otherwise, yeah, it kind of is, but sometimes people have crazy feelings and that is okay. Just keep your anger secret. Don’t actually give him a hard time about it, or he’ll start washing some hot wench’s hair and we all know where that leads.

That said, some kind of special treat while you’re sick is the No. 1 reason to live with another human. Sometimes when people don’t get UTIs, though, you have to tell them “hey, these suck, please be nice to me?” And then they usually are, but not if you’re being a total bitch because you’re angry at them for their dirty penises.

4. My question pertains to an old beau of mine. I am happily married as of March 31 this year and ladies and gents, I caught myself a winner! Rest assured my husband is as lovely you might hope for another human being and I am in love with him from his nose to his toes.

A week or two ago I randomly came back into contact with a guy I dated for a while. We dated post a messy break up from a long term relationship and I wasn’t very steady on my feet. He is lovely and we had a very good time together but ultimately I broke it off because I was a bit messed up in the head and worried about hurting him. I met my husband a few months later and things started to blossom with him. The old beau had been keeping in contact because I think we both thought that we’d get back to each other one day when I was less of a train wreck. When things started to get serious with my husband-man, I conveniently was able to set up the old beau with this awesome lady that I had managed to meet. I knew they would get along splendidly and they managed a two year relationship out of it! They split amicably earlier this year after she had to move away for university. They still keep in touch.

Anyway, the point is he and I went out for drinks last night. We had an hilarious time, playing pub trivia and bonding over our mutual love of M*A*S*H and to be honest, it felt like we were on a date. We just get along so well and even though nothing remotely romantic happened, I felt a slight betrayal of my husband somehow. At the end of the night we awkwardly hugged and I pretty much left on a lovely high. Now I am not actually feeling regret or pondering ‘what if’ I am more curious as to whether it is plausible to maintain a friendship with this man? I really want to and I am really keen for him to become friends with my husband and a part of our friend group but I am concerned that my admiration for him might make my husband feel uncomfortable and that even though he knows I am married that I could somehow be leading him on. I do have plenty of platonic male friends. One of my closest/dearest friends is a straight male. I guess I am worried because he was an old flame that flickered out and what we had ended on wonderful terms and … what am I meant to do, lady?

(For reference I am 26 although I feel about seven years younger coming to you with this probably-non-issue).

Really, this all turns on whether or no you have lived internationally. If so, you are playing with fire. If not, you are okay. Also, nose to toes? I think that unless you also love your husband’s forehead and scalp this marriage is going to be a painful slog.

So. You dated a guy for a bit but it wasn’t a huge thing then it was a long time later and everything was cool, but you talked about M*A*S*H and think he is great and you want him to meet your husband and your friends but it might make your husband uncomfortable? Okay. This turns on two variables.

(1) Is your husband a jerk?

If yes, he might have a problem with this and give you a hard time about it.

If no, he will either be like, cool, new friend! or will be like, this is a little weird but I recognize that is probably my own ish so I am going to hang back. I dunno, I guess you get some brownie points for reassuring him? I mean I would not even, why make a thing out of something that isn’t a thing.

(2) Are you ACTUALLY into fucking this guy?

If yes, hey, nbd, we gets all sorts of thoughts, including about fucking people, they don’t have to mean a whole lot, don’t take a thought about fucking him as an indication that you have Major Shit to figure out. If you don’t listen to that and start thinking your ideas mean something and do start fucking this guy, dude, don’t make your husband hang out with him, that is mean though I would watch that porn.

Also I fucking hate “leading on.” No one is leading anyone on unless they’re like, meet me at place X to fuck and then don’t show. People toe the line between flirting and inviting in different ways, and it’s a bunch of different lines anyway, and just own your own arousal and deal. Not that you didn’t. This is just a rant. L8r!

Previously: Jealousy Mutations and the 2.5 Day Game.

A Lady is one of several rotating ladies. Do you have any questions for A Lady?

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