I'm a 28-year-old guy who was broken up with via text by a girl I had been dating for two months. She is dealing with the loss of a family member and some other personal issues, and she sent me this message while out of state for a week or so. Two months is a short time, I realize, and we never discussed the nature of our arrangement. But we spent a few nights a week together and agreed that we had something special. We had a chemistry that I haven't experienced in my last few relationships. How much respect do you maintain or lose based on something like this? Would you characterize this short-term-dating text-message dumping as spineless, flaky, a reasonable reaction to the issues she's facing, or what? What are the standards of a classy exit in the digital age? — Scumbag Move, Savage?
When I listen to someone complaining about how he was dumped, SMS, what I often hear is someone complaining that he was dumped. Finding fault with how — reading some previously undetected character flaw into the method your ex employed to dump you — is often the ego acting in its own self-defense. You're hurt, she hurt you, and you've latched onto the dumped-by-text issue so you can tell yourself that you were mistaken about her, that you didn't have chemistry, that there really wasn't something special here. Nope, she's a scumbag. Dumping by text proves it.
Two quick things: Getting dumped in person sucks, getting dumped over the phone sucks, getting dumped through snail mail sucks, getting dumped via text sucks. Getting dumped sucks. It would've hurt just as much if she had dumped you via Goodyear blimp or if she had shown up in person to tell you herself. And while dumping via text was viewed as a cold move 10 or 15 years ago when texting technology was new and texts were uniformly brief and inscrutable, these days, people do most of their communicating via text. So old notions about text-message dumpings — they're not classy! — don't apply these days. A longish, thoughtful and well-written text message is now a legit way to dump someone. Particularly someone you've been dating for only two months.
Let's say your girlfriend had waited until she was back in town so she could dump you face-to-face, SMS. What if you had met someone you liked and passed on an offer to hang out or hook up in the days, weeks or months between the time your girlfriend made up her mind to dump you and her arrival back in town? Then you would be complaining about how you passed on a date with a woman who — hey, you never know — could've been your soul mate while your ex was stringing you along.
Finally, SMS, the best course of action when you've been dumped by someone you really liked — someone you would still be dating if it were up to you — is to accept the bad news with as much grace as you can muster. The world is full of couples that got back together after a breakup, and your odds of being in one of those couples shrink if you act like an asshole about being dumped (which it doesn't sound like you're doing) or if you convince yourself your ex is an asshole for dumping you (which it sounds like you're doing). Good luck.
Two years ago, I fell in love with a man. (I'm a bisexual woman.) A friend decided to take that as her cue to declare her love for me. I turned her down. This same conversation had to happen repeatedly. A few weeks ago, she was having a party at her house. She got sloppy drunk and said that if she only had a penis, I'd be with her. She became touchy-feely and aggressive. At one point, she told a man there that they needed to get me drunker so that I'd have sex with her. When I confronted her later, she said that her drinking was because I had been too harsh when I turned her down. Then she said that I'm constantly cruel to her and that's why she drinks. When I suggested ending our friendship if I'm so cruel, she got apologetic and came up with all sorts of communication strategies to try to preserve our friendship. If I am being abusive — or even if I'm not — what am I supposed to do? — Bitches Be Crazy
This is why they pay me the big bucks: Stop hanging out with that bitch, BBC, because that bitch — as you're well aware — is fucking crazy. You're welcome.
I am a 16-year-old straight male — I think. I know I'm 16 years old and I know I'm male. But I'm not totally sure about the sexuality. I'm into chicks, OK? There's nothing I love more than vagina. I have a girlfriend, and she's amazing. No argument. But recently, a gay friend told me he has a crush on me and has for a long time. He asked me to be his "friend with benefits." Plain and simple: He offered to give me head. I still haven't texted him back. I'm not totally against the idea. I've never thought about having sex with a dude, but I guess you could say I'm an open-minded person. So my question, Dan, is if I should become FWB with my friend. One of my main concerns is the fact that I'm in a relationship. So, yeah, I just don't know. —What Should I Do?
Ask your girlfriend if she'd be OK with you getting head from your gay friend. If that's not a question you can bring yourself to ask your girlfriend, WSID, then don't even think about becoming FWB with your gay friend.
As for your sexuality ...
If there's nothing you love more than vagina — really? Not your mom? Not even oxygen? — then you're definitely not gay. You could be bisexual, I suppose, or heteroflexible. But I'm thinkin' what you are is 16 years old and horny as shit. If a talking skunk with a French accent walked into your room and offered you a blow job, WSID, you'd probably say yes. Letting that skunk blow you wouldn't be proof that you're a zoophile — or a Francophile — just proof that you're so horny you decided to shoot (into a skunk's mouth) first and ask questions ("I let a skunk blow me — WTF?") later.
A sex expert I quoted in a recent column — he was responding to a question from a straight guy who wanted other men to bust his balls — observed that a person can have a kink that overrides his "usual erotic 'target interest,' i.e., women." You're not kinky, WSID, just horny. But the combination of intense adolescent horniness and a rare blow job opportunity have overridden your usual erotic target interest, i.e., women.
I'm not saying you shouldn't do this. Gay-straight FWB arrangements can work. But you shouldn't do this if it means deceiving your girlfriend. If you want to take your friend up on his offer, WSID, clear it with your girlfriend first or wait until you're single. And if you're so tempted to do this that you're considering doing it behind your girlfriend's back, WSID, that's a pretty good indication that you'll be single soon.
Confidential to everyone: Make porn! Details on HUMP! — the annual porn festival that I host in Seattle and Portland — are here: humpseattle.com. Films are limited to five minutes in length, they don't wind up on the internet, and you don't have to live in the Pacific Northwest to submit to HUMP! And this year's grand prize is $5,000!
Find Dan Savage's weekly podcast every Tuesday at thestranger.com/savage. Send letters to email@example.com.