A few days ago, I got just such an email from a reader who put a p.s. at the bottom of his email which said "I beg you not to post this on your blog". However, after we'd exchanged a few emails, we came up with a slightly modified version of his original email that he is happy for me to post. The email is as follows:
I only started following your blog last year but I've already gone through all the past issues since 2005. It's entertaining and I just wish you'd post more often (you've been slacking off lately) despite you're increased work load, but I understand, we all have to work.
Anyway, I can't believe I'm doing this but I need your advice. My life's full of weird drama and hormones. lemme explain the situation and please tell me what I should do.
- I'm madly in love with someone that I've never spoken to
- I think I may be going mad because it is a truth universally acknowledged that a single man in possession of the good fortune of youth must be in want of only sex, and tonnes of it. Though I enjoy sex, I prefer the intimacies of a relationship which is most likely because I've never been in one, as opposed to the healthy doses of sex that I've received already. Normally this type of behaviour occurs in middle-aged men who've accumulated enough wealth and are enticed by the prospects of settling down with Angie the barmaid and starting an atheist family.
- I'm in my late teens and, as is the case with most of my age-mates, I'm suffering through enough hormones and drama to make the cast of Skins shave their pubes for once.
- I also happen to be the third wheel in a gay sex triangle, which means I often feel left out.
The Jane Austen quote made me laugh :-). But having read this email a few times, I wouldn't mind betting that quite a few readers will see the phrase "... healthy doses of sex that I've received already" and think "lucky b**tard, I wish I'd had too much gay sex when I was a teenager". Of if they're in a monogamous relationship, a few readers might think "although I love my boyfriend, I wish I was like this teenager again and able to have sex with other guys whenever I want to".
The problem here is simply that one craves what one doesn't have, and what one doesn't have always seems more important than what one does have. It's a case of "The grass always looks greener on the other side of the fence". However, it's usually just a trick of the light, because when one climbs over the fence it's often the case that the grass isn't as green as it looked and the grass back on the original side of the fence looks a lot more lush!
Another important point is that desperation to be in a relationship is deeply unattractive. I've mentioned before that some people use so called 'dating rules' which specify things like not phoning a guy back for three days after a date. As far as I can tell, the purpose of those kind of rules is simply to help the desperate and the uncool appear like cool guys after all. So when the reader does find a guy that he's keen on, he should take it slowly.
However, regarding the guy that the reader is madly in love with, getting to that point without ever having spoken to him is taking things a bit too slow! I'd say that if you fancy a guy, the cool thing to do is to find a way to start talking to him :-), rather than living a rather strange existence full of unrequited love. After a couple of conversations it should be possible for the reader to work out whether the other guy has any interest in him. If not then at that stage, having given it his best shot, hopefully the reader will be able to move on.
I guess that my main message to the reader is that he should just try and relax, chill out, and continue having large and healthy doses of sex :-). Since he's still a teenager, he's got his whole life ahead of him to find a nice boyfriend to settle down with, so there really isn't any rush. For what it's worth, I still believe in the Gaydar advantage, so with a super cool state of mind he should simply be open to any relationship possibilities if any opportunities present themselves. And in terms of his gay sex triangle, that sounds like a recipe for deep unhappiness so I reckon he should avoid the other two guys as much as possible.
Have I cyber-slapped the reader? If so, it's for his own good :-)! Anyway, do any other readers have any thoughts on these issues?