I’m a 23-year-old guy and I have been dating my 21-year-old
girlfriend for about two years. We did the long-distance thing
for a year, and after she graduated she moved from the East
Coast to the Midwest to be with me while I finish my degree.
Everything was great until she moved in with me. She has a
9-to-5 job and pays her bills. After work, though, all she
wants to do is get high, drink, and watch TV. I want to study,
talk, or go do things. I find myself cooking every meal, cleaning
up after her, and doing all the laundry. On top of this, a
very mean side of her has emerged. I love this girl, or at
least I loved her before we moved in together.
I know that we all have our shitty qualities and that I am
a complete shitbag for thinking this stuff, let alone writing
to you about it, but what should I do? If I stay with her,
then I’m neglecting my own future happiness. But if I dump
her, then I break her heart, which is something I don’t want
to do. Plus, she moved halfway across the country for me.
Boyfriend In The Midwest
is inelegantly put, I realize, but it came to mind when I
read your letter and my particular blend of dyslexia and Tourette’s
requires me to put it in print: If not break her heart now,
SBITM, then when? And if not you, SBITM, then who? Some guy
she isn’t treating like shit?
Look, darlin’, people get dumped all the time. With the exception
of the 12-year-old “brides” of creepy “fundamentalist” Mormon
fucksticks, a little getting dumped into each life must fall.
And you know what? Most of us require dumping in our 20s;
getting dumped is good for us. Yeah, yeah: hearts break. But
very few run-of-the-mill dumps at 21 cause hearts to break
irreparably. She will get over it. Which is another way of
saying that one day, believe it or not, she will get over
Now, here’s why being dumped is often good for us: After a
person is done wallowing in a pain that no one else has ever
experienced or can possibly comprehend—although others’ inability
to comprehend never seems to stop a dumped person from yammering
on and on—the person begins to examine the failed relationship
for clues. Why did it end? Whose fault was it? If the dumped
person determines that fault lies with the asshole ex, the
dumped person resolves to be on the lookout for telltale signs
of assholery in the future. Thus does being dumped inspire
a person to date smarter and more defensively.
But often a little voice in the back of the dumped person’s
head tells the dumped person that the fault is theirs—that
she, in this instance, was a stoned, drunk, inconsiderate,
mean-spirited sack of shit—and the dumped person resolves
to change or date only people attracted to stoners and drunks
So dump her, SBITM, and tell her why. Then, while she packs
and verbally lashes out and fucks your friends, remind yourself
that dumping her was the right thing to do for her and for
you. There is no other option—unless, of course, you’re willing
to spend the next seven decades cleaning up after this inconsiderate
piece of shit because she moved to the Midwest.
I’m writing to you not for advice, but to open up a
discussion. For five years I had a famous partner and eventually
lost him to groupies. I was aware that he might one day be
tempted to explore this side effect of his career, to get
it out of his system (for good I hope), so I wasn’t too surprised
when he finally made the decision to “go there.” However,
I am left with some unsettling thoughts, apart from the heartache.
To him, this is a harmless and fun chapter in his life, but
I see a darker side. I find it hard to come to terms with
seeing the man I loved and who respected me as an equal engaging
in sexual relations with girls who, by looking up to him,
place themselves beneath him. His relationships now feature
a misbalance of power. I feel a healthy adult seeks sex with
equals. To me, groupies act like unpaid prostitutes, and my
ex has decided it’s OK to use girls who adore him without
giving much in return. I can’t see how this can be of benefit
to either the girls or to him. He’s learning that it’s OK
to receive without having to give, and they learn that it’s
OK to be used. I worry that these experiences help form permanent
negative patterns. Harmless fun? I don’t think so. Any thoughts?
one, WE: How is this any of your business?
Yes, groupies are like unpaid prostitutes—but they are compensated,
WE, with refracted fame, the dubious perks of being “with
the band,” and the human papapapineapple virus (or whatever
it’s called). So I hardly see these assignations as necessarily
one-way exchanges. The use is mutual. Your ex may be permanently
damaged by this kind of attention or he may tire of cheap,
meaningless sex and come crawling back to you one day. Or,
hell, he may one day star in a squalid and depressing reality
show in which he deludes himself into believing that the women
who surround him desire his paunchy old body and his surgeon-
battered face and not a shot at reality-show fame, such as
But, again, what business is it of yours? He’s your ex and
the women he’s sleeping with are, ostensibly, consenting adults.
We can tut-tut and conclude that your ex is using these women
and that these women are no better than hookers . . . and
so what? You’ll still be his ex, he’ll still be banging groupies,
and groupies will go on chasing rock stars long after your
ex is playing the casino circuit.
In your last column, you said Bi Bi Bridie’s fiancé
issued an “irrational ultimatum” because he didn’t want his
partner to sleep with another female. He made it clear before
they were together that that was his preference. She agreed
to those terms.
Yet in a column three weeks ago, you told Confused In Canada,
a guy in a long-distance relationship whose woman wanted an
open relationship, that his reluctance to open up their relationship
didn’t mean he was jealous, just monogamous.
Maybe I’m missing something, but it sounds like both of these
guys know what they want and stated their intentions clearly.
Why is the first guy irrational for stating his intentions
and the second guy “just monogamous”?
I said so, ABC. Because, unlike CIC’s girlfriend, BBB is bi
and, yes, that detail makes a difference. And, most importantly,
because I said so.
BBB shouldn’t make a commitment that she’s already proven
herself to be incapable of honoring; that’s just setting her
marriage up for failure. But BBB’s fiancé shouldn’t extract
a commitment from his girlfriend that he knows she will either
be incapable of honoring or will quickly come to resent him
greatly for having to honor. He can say, “You can have me
or you can have this very important part of your sexuality,”
to his fiancé, but by doing so he’s setting his marriage up
for failure. That makes his ultimatum irrational.
More letters about last week’s column at www.thestranger.com/savage/bbb.
a new Savage Love podcast every Tuesday at www.thestranger.com/savage.