The earth is dying, global politics are in disarray, and we're all just trying to get laid...so welcome to Trueself help! This is a column dedicated to answering all your pressing questions about dating, sex, and relationships. Below are our answers to real questions from real people (as much as anyone on the internet is "real").
If you have questions you'd like answered anonymously, email them to [email protected]
"Dear Trueself Help, I am very confused about texting. How long is too long to wait to reply, and when should you double text? Does not receiving a text back for two weeks mean you have a license to sleep with someone else? Is not receiving a text back for two weeks enough to qualify as ghosting? How do I care less about texting? How do I not let texting ruin my life? If the guy who didn't text you back only realizes he likes you once he sees you with someone else, is that a good sign? Is it creepy if a guy writes you an entire multi-paragraph note on his phone? Please help."
—From "Frowny Face Emoji"
Dear Frowny Face Emoji,
First off, I would say unless monogamy was explicitly agreed upon prior to the period of two weeks when you didn't hear from this guy (who I will from now on lovingly refer to as "notes app guy"), then your sexual behavior is up to you. If monogamy was explicitly established, or you feel like it was established in an unspoken way, then two weeks without contact is ample reason to firmly let notes app guy know that you need more information from him. Maybe you could send something like: "Listen, I haven't heard from you in a long time, and so I think I need to check in about the state of our relationship."
I understand the anxiety about texting. It's a form of communication fraught with miscommunication and strange, unspoken rules. But it's also a valid form of communication between two humans. People like to trivialize text exchanges as unimportant or childish, but the truth is that texting is one of the primary ways we communicate these days. If you had previously been texting regularly with this person, and then he suddenly disappeared, it's valid to be confused and upset. The fact that the communication that mysteriously ceased was in the form of texting does not make his sudden disappearance somehow less legitimately hurtful. It sounds to me like it's not texting you'd like to care about less, but this person's rude behavior that maybe you don't feel like you have the right to be offended by. It's absolutely valid that you were stung by his "ghosting," particularly if you had established a precedence of communication.
As for double texting and reply time, don't listen to anyone who tells you to wait 30 minutes before replying as to not look too eager or any of those arbitrary rules. All we can ask of other people is honesty and compassion. If you have something to say and you've already sent one unanswered text, why be wary of sending another? Sure, you don't want to pester him, but that doesn't seem to be a concern here.
As for the issue of creepiness, the most important question is whether or not you found it creepy. Were you moved and charmed in person but just thought the idea of a person reading a heartfelt note a bit creepy in theory? Or did you feel uncomfortable at the time, as well?
It sounds to me like it's up to you to decide whether or not you like the notes app guy, the rebound guy, neither, or both. If notes app guy is no longer appealing to you, then you should absolutely disengage with him. But there's also nothing wrong with giving it another try if you decide that's what you want. Of course, it's worth noting that its' not great that this guy thinks he can just withdraw from your life without notice and then reappear in tears when he changes his mind. It's particularly troubling that this reappearance seems to be driven by jealousy, not genuine interest. At best, that indicates bad communication skills, and at worst, perhaps a bit of gross male narcissism.
Best of luck!
"Dear Trueself Help, I never had a slutty phase because my parents had a healthy relationship, so my expectations were too high. Now I feel ten steps behind all my peers. What do I do?"
Dear Unhappily Picky,
"I'm more satisfied with my vibrator than I am with my boyfriend. Should I end it with him?"
Dear Bored in the Bedroom,
"My girlfriend asked for a threesome with another dude, and I'm a little too into the idea. I'm definitely attracted to women and enjoy having sex with my girlfriend, but does it mean I'm gay if the idea of having a threesome with another guy really excites me?"
—From "Visiting the Eiffel Tower"
Dear Visiting the Eiffel Tower,
Who cares why it excites you? Who cares if you aren't 100% straight? Sexuality is a spectrum. Enjoy what you enjoy! It sounds like a threesome with another man could be a pleasurable and exciting thing for you and your girlfriend, as long as you make sure you communicate and set ground rules beforehand. You should be happy that you and your girlfriend have such an open and exciting sex life!
"Every time I wipe my butt, a finger goes through the toilet paper, and I'm starting to worry I'm doing it on purpose."
—From "Confused in the Commode"
Dear Confused in the Commode,
I think Mary Oliver said it best in her poem "Wild Geese:"
"You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees for a hundred miles through the desert repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body love what it loves."