It’s time again for “Shortcuts,” wherein I answer readers’ letters in two sentences or less. Sometimes the answer to a person’s question is so obvious and the need to hear it so great, being as clear and frank as possible is simply the best way to go. Today we discuss the burden of virginity, busybody in-law types, and burying the hatchet with an old friend.
I am a 25 year-old virgin. That’s right. 25 YEARS OLD VIRGIN. I obviously haven’t done well with men. I feel as if my virginity is a disease I can’t get rid of. Its like a burden, my cross in life. Every guy I tell that I’m a virgin, tells me “Oh, its OK! We’ll wait until you’re ready….” HORSE S**T! I never hear from them again. After awhile it starts to affect my self-confidence (not that I have much to begin with). I am constantly judged. I know that I should be grateful that I didn’t lose it to one of [those] morons but still. I feel like it will never happen for me. My best girlfriends say it’s a great thing to be a virgin but they don’t know what I go through. What should I do? — Helpless Virgin
Quit making a big deal out of being an OMG, 25 YEAR-OLD VIRGIN, and other people will too. And quit dating jerks and find a genuine nice guy — not the best-looking or the most popular guy or the guy who sleeps around, but a nice guy — one who will appreciate you for who you are and won’t define you by what you have or haven’t done between the sheets.
My boyfriend and I have recently been talking about getting married. We currently don’t live in the same apartment. However, we both would like to move in together before we do get married. My boyfriend is reluctant to do this because of his parents’ religious beliefs. They believe that a couple should not live together before they get married. Neither him nor I agree with them on the issue. My boyfriend is afraid to disappoint his parents. At the same time, he is afraid that if something isn’t done it will affect our relationship negatively. I love him with all my heart, but I just don’t believe we should have to wait to live with each other. What should he/we do? — Family Ties
Good lord! It’s time for your boyfriend to cut the apron strings and start living his life by his beliefs, not his parents’.
About five years ago, a close friend of mine from high school lost both of her grandfathers in one week. At the time, I had just started the relationship that I’m still in now and I was in a selfish honeymoon phase. I was supposed to go back home to visit her (about an hour and a half from where I live), but I flaked on her. I know this was a horrible thing to do, and it hurt her terribly, and the friendship ended shortly thereafter. I was also suffering from depression at the time, and the medications I was on were making me a bit manic, and I ended up leaving school for a while. Since then, I have stopped taking (and needing) the medications, gotten physically and mentally healthy, and am going to graduate soon and start a new job in my hometown. Last night, I got a Facebook friend request from her, with a nice message asking to catch up sometime. In the last five years, I have thought about what I did to her a lot and have felt awful about it, but I was afraid to contact her because my apologies weren’t really accepted at the time, and I didn’t want to keep hurting her. Here’s my question: I know that if we do meet up, I should express the fact that I know I was wrong and I truly regret it, but how much crap is fair for me to put up with? I did the wrong thing, but it was almost five years ago, and now that I feel good about myself again, I don’t want to start hating myself again for mistakes that happened in the past. — Older and Wiser
If, after a face-to-face, heartfelt apology five years after the fact, you find that your friend still holds a grudge or treats you with any resentment, this isn’t a friendship that is ready to be resurrected yet (or ever).
*Do you have a relationship/dating question I can help with? Send me your letters at firstname.lastname@example.org.