Advice with Spyce: Two readers dealing with two types of distance

Hi Spyce, 

So I went on a date with this guy and it went really well. Throughout the date he was very complimentary, affectionate and expressed many times how into me he was. We talked about how we were both not looking for something casual, and he talked about how much fun it would be for me to join him on a trip he was planning in a few months. This rarely happens, and I left the date feeling super hopeful about a possible legit connection with him.

I was very excited to see him again, but on our second date he had obviously pulled back — still good vibes and a fun date, but it was definitely not the same. 

I wanted to address it head on, but when I expressed my disappointment he replied that he believed pulling back was the right thing to do. He said he didn’t want to move too fast, but he wanted to really get to know me better, and was “flattered” that I had been so excited to see him again and keep moving forward.

What is up with this? I don’t understand why we would move backward on purpose. Am I being gaslit?

Sincerely, 

Extinguished Firestarter

Dear EF (not to be confused with ET)

First off let me say, congrats on meeting someone that you feel so in tune with! You are not alone in your circumstance of this kind of immediate connection feeling unique, and it can definitely be exciting and heady to experience it. AND, it can be scary, and make you doubt if it’s real, which may be what he is doing. 

What is he doing by pulling back does not seem like a tactic to me, but rather a pragmatic dose of reality. Many of us have patterns where we want to jump into something from the word go without really even knowing the person beyond a fantasy we have about them. Like really and truly, what all do you actually know about this guy? Not very much from one date, no matter how amazing it was. To just jump into being together so quickly is not only unhealthy, it’s unsustainable, unrealistic, and a good way to ruin something that has a lot of potential.

Also to be honest, that level of impulsivity is not a good look. To be so willing to dive into the deep end with a dude that you’ve been on one date with is actually kinda desperate looking. Sorry/Not sorry but you don’t want to be “that girl” who has so little going on in her life that she can be so swept away by some charming dude on one date that she is willing to throw her all at it. 

So no, chica, you’re not being gaslit. You’re being tempered by what sounds like a really smart man who is mature enough to know that love and connection takes time, and if you don’t take the time to build that, it’s going to fall flat the first time one of you metaphorically farts and disrupts your image of the other. 

My advice, slow your roll! Savor getting to know this new human. If he is truly the one, then you have the rest of your life to be with him. And that’s pretty damn exciting!

Good luck and the opposite of godspeed,

Spyce 

Hello Spyce,

I’ve been single for a while and feeling pretty lonely. I recently joined a new dating app and wasn’t getting much traction until I matched with B. We have a lot in common and he seems really great, but he is over 200 miles away! I’m not even sure how this happened because my settings only go up to a 20 mile range! 

I’m wondering if I should even pursue this as I don’t know how it’s ever going to work. But I’ve had so little luck around here that I don’t want to give up so easily. 

What should I do? 

Sleepless in Someplace Too Far Away

Hi Sleepless,

It’s always something, isn’t it? Finding the perfect person, at the perfect time can feel like looking for a straight needle in a gay haystack. It’s hard, and NOT in the way that we want it to be! 

That being said, nothing in life comes easy, and there can be so many bumps in the road on the way to romantic fulfillment. If distance is the only thing keeping you apart, maybe it’s not such an insurmountable hurdle? I mean, I’m a gypsy so I may be biased, but in my mind, what’s a little travel among friends and lovers? 

Because here’s the thing sister, there could be benefits to dating someone not exactly in your world. 

For one thing, it can help with boundaries. That’s right! Distance helps you to be balanced with the relationship, something that’s difficult to do when you first really like someone. I don’t know for sure about you, but if you have the normal human traits and conditioning, you likely want to rush into love, too. It’s fun, right? And it feels good. So why wouldn’t you?

 It can be easy to spend way too much time with someone and get very attached before you truly know much about who they actually are. Having some distance is healthy when getting to know someone new, so having them be a few hours away could help with keeping up healthy boundaries. 

Also having a lover in another place is exotic, and pretty exciting. You could even treat it like a vacation, a respite from the worries of daily life. I love getting away from my normal routine and going on small road trips, and getting out of town with a lover sounds sexy as all get out. Speaking of that, nothing makes things steamier than a good old fashioned build up of anticipation, and with that, the chemistry and heat. If you’ve got someone you’re willing to drive 200 miles for, then you better be having something ah-mazing at the end of the drive. And if you do have that, then wowza, girlfriend! You’ve got it good!

But if you find that absence makes the downstairs wander, then you will know that much sooner if it’s not worth it and you won’t have to worry about running into them in town if things go south. Win-win! 

So if you really like this person and you’re enjoying your experience with them, I see no reason to not at least continue getting to know them. Life is short and you never know what happen. A little geographic challenge haven’t stopped many people from having true love, so I think this thing could have promise. 

Rooting for you!

Spyce 




Advice with Spyce: How was your weekend?

Hey Spyce, 

So what is up with this approach as an opening line when first interacting with someone on dating apps:

“How is your weekend?” or “What are you getting into tonight?”

I have been super single and recently got on the dating apps. I finally matched with someone and his first message was the first above question. I was a bit turned off, but decided to give him a chance. However after the next exchange, he asked about my weekend again!

I guess some folks just don’t know what to say? I don’t know, it just seems super weird to me. 

Signed,

Turned Off Not On

Hi TONO,

I’ve got to admit, this is a MAJOR pet peeve of mine, too! It reminds me of when you go to Trader Joe’s (and it must be something in their employee handbook because I’ve had this happen to me at TJ’s ALL across the country for years) and they try to make casual conversation with you while checking you out. 

“So, what are you doing this weekend?” the fresh-faced young man will ask me as he’s bagging my bottles of wine (back when I was a lush).
“Oh, just two or three young men who look like you. What are you doing after work?” I’d retort (back when I would eat young men like candy for breakfast).

I say this, because what I really want to say is, NONE of your GD business! After all, I don’t know you. Why should I tell you what the hell I’m doing this weekend? Because you know what, maybe it’s nothing. Or maybe it is a sex party, or a bevy of young men coming over for a gangbang. But either way, that is information that you’re not privy to until we know each other, capisce? 

To be fair, I think most men don’t have any clue how to start a conversation with someone online, and they think that this is innocuous enough to begin an interaction, and who knows, maybe it is? Maybe I’m just a bitch who wants more from the world than it can ever possibly give me. That’s likely true in and of itself, but at the same time, people need to dig deep sometimes and get to the real juice of the matter, instead of just relying on casual conversation as a way to get their foot in the door. 

In this situation, I’d suggest one of two things. One would be to just not answer and move on. Two, which is what I’d normally do since I’m a ballbuster, would be to do like what I did to blush the sweet cheeks of the young man at the checkout counter and tell him something really raunchy and naughty. And then see how he responds…either way, you may get a good story out of it!

Hi Spyce,

Recently I met a guy online who I really hit it off with. We were talking and video chatting and there was a lot of flirtation, chemistry and attraction. I felt like I could be really honest with him, so when he asked me how many people I’d slept with, I didn’t hesitate and told him. He got silent, and then when I asked him how many people he’d slept with, he said five, which was much lower than my number. We logged off soon after that and while we are still talking, things have been kind of weird. He hasn’t brought it up again, but he also hasn’t really been that flirty.

What do you think? Was it really just my number that scared him away?

Sincerely,
Numbers Game Gal 

Hi Ms. Numbers,

Wow, I’m so sorry to hear that happened! Boys can be sooooo dumb, amirite? In my days of cardinal cavorting, I racked up quite the roster as well, and while at one point it really did a number on me, haha, eventually I learned to love my numeral niceness, and I stopped giving a rat’s ass about where exactly I landed on the table of tallies. 

Because in reality, what IS the correct amount of experiences that a proper young lady should have, and when exactly does she cross the line into the dirty slut territory? In my mind, it’s never. As long as you’re having a good experience and you’re doing what you want in a way that’s happy and healthy for you, you can fuck someone new everyday for all I care. 

But I think what actually happens in a man’s brain when he hears a number and it’s much higher than his is not that it turns him off, but it makes me feel inferior and afraid. However will he compete with all of the men who have cum before him? Will he be able to satisfy you and live up to the incredible oodles of porn star sex that you’ve had in your past? After all, all he’s done has been his first girlfriend, that girl he had a summer fling with, the neighbor at his apartment complex and that was just a friends with benefits, just one very drunken one night stand in college, and then his long time girlfriend who left him because he wasn’t able to satisfy her sexually. That’s a crazy cross to bear when you’ve just met a new hottie and you want to impress her. 

The real question is why do men even want to know at all if they are not going to like our answers? 

Here’s the thing: I am blunt as all get out and highly believe in addressing any issue head on, especially in a new relationship. So I would just ask him how he felt about that and try to get a true answer out of him. How he responds will inform you if he’s someone that is worth adding another number to your list for!




Advice with Spyce: What’s a poor single to do on Valentine’s Day?

Spyyyyyyyyccccccceeeeee!!!!!!!

It’s Valentine’s day and I’m single!!!!! It’s that stupid age old question: What do I do???? 

Signed,

OMFG VDAY

You poor soul! 

It’s difficult to be exactly what they say you shouldn’t be on a day that’s created exactly for everything you’re not. It’s really messed up! 

The most messed up part of it is the fact that we’ve been taught to believe this as fact. We’ve been handed over this silly burden by society. Coercing  us into believing that the only real way to celebrate Valentine’s Day is by celebrating being in a romantic relationship. And if you’re not in one, then you can’t (and don’t deserve to) celebrate Valentine’s Day. When that is absolutely not true! 

Even if we are not partnered, we can still celebrate love. And Valentine’s Day is all about love. Or so we think. 

Actually it’s based on the ancient Roman holiday of Lupercalia, which was more of a place to find love than to be bringing it with you. Luperpalooza was basically a two-day sex festival where people would draw names from a hat to meet their date, and there was even a “fertility ritual” that involved lining up to get whipped with hides of freshly sacrificed animals. Those Romans! Reminds me of some of the kinky fun I’ve had! 

But there’s a lot of pressure on all of us all year around. Holidays, birthdays, Zoom parties, oh my! And it feels bad when something happening is a reminder of the things you don’t have, especially when you want it. Even if most of our FOMO has been tempered in the pandemic, it still is shitty when you feel out of the loop on something. 

So it’s a good time just to celebrate love and connection. It doesn’t have to be with a romantic partner. It can be with dear friends, far away family, or even an activity or inanimate object. 

For example, have a socially distanced picnic with your friends and tell each other three things that you love about each other. Connect via Zoom with your beloved people in other places. Play the “tell them love” game with them too. 

What’s an activity you love? Hiking, yoga, Netflix? Do it! And when it comes to your love for an inanimate object, there’s always food! Delightful, delicious grub. And … then there’s that other thing you were pretty sure I was referring to when I said inanimate object. Because I was and now I really am. 

All the years that I did parties for VDay, it was so that we could all celebrate love and connection. I have rarely spent Valentine’s Day just with a partner. The few times I did, the lines were long and the food was overpriced. It’s a big moneymaker, but it’s really come far from the Roman fuckfest it once was. So just do you. In every way. Like the Digital Underground said in the early ’90s: doowutchyalike, tonight’s your night.

Yeah! 

Dear Spyce,

What do you think about posting ages on dating profiles? I’m a very attractive 48-year-old woman who always gets mistaken for younger. I find that men in their 30s can keep up with me better than men in their 40s and 50s. I’ve tried putting my age as 10 years younger, and I’ve found some nice matches. However, if I put my real age, men my age or older is all that I get! I’m not trying to rob the cradle, but I do want to be compatible. 

Do you think it’s ok for me to lie about my age on my profile? 

Lying for Love (or maybe Lust!)

Dear Lovely Liar,

This is an interesting one as I’m of more than one mind with it, which is not a ridiculous statement being that as a double Gemini I often see both sides of the story … but I digress in the very first line. 

Because yes folks, it’s one of those kinds of nights. The kind of night where I wish I had a young man, full of pulsing energy, to make me feel full with it, too. I feel you, sister, on that! 

Certainly older men would say the same about younger women, which not everyone likes, but it’s true. It’s true as humans. We all like people who make us remember a time, a feeling, a past experience when all was right in the world. At the end of the day, nostalgia is a powerful aphrodisiac, and as you mentioned, compatibility is important too. 

So that being said, I fully support you in finding a scrumptious fledgling to get you juiced up. I’m here for it. 

What I am disputing, however, are your methods. Not because of the “lie,” though. Hey, I’ve done that, too. When I was “on the apps” (who am I kidding, I’m Gen X and proud. Our stinkin’ online dating was not a swipe right scenario), I would use what I called a “general age.” If time is just a construct, so is age. If I had focused too much on age, I wouldn’t have had so much fun over the years celebrating my 16 times two birthday, and the 18th anniversary of my 20th birthday.

 While it’s true that the thing that I think you are doing wrong in this situation is lying, it’s only because you think you need to do it at all. 

Here’s the thing: As a hot and sexy 48-year-old woman, you are the absolute fantasy of a guy 10 years your junior. There’s no way that you have to lie to get this young buck to like you! As a matter of fact, telling the truth will only pull your dream dude closer, easier. 

To many, well basically to any, sane red-blooded (and possibly even other blood colors, I don’t know all the blood colors. Sheesh! I may be Jewish but I’m not a Doc-TAH!) there is nothing more sexy than an older and wiser woman, especially one who is secure in who she is, confident to ask for what she wants, and shows up fully to everything in her life, wrinkles and all. 

If you don’t want to connect with the older men, filter them out! Or give them a chance. You never know if you might find someone your age who is like you and can keep up. And if you want to stick with the more juvenile set, go right ahead. No shame in that game! 

They may have filtered you out of their searches, but there’s nothing to stop you from finding them! If they say you’re too old, move on to the next. After all, there’s a new one being born every day. Good luck! 




Pandemic Dating: Working on yourself and disclosing underemployment

Dear Spyce, 

I have recently come out of a toxic relationship and while I know it is for the best that we split up, I am so lonely. All my friends are coupled up and with this never-ending quarantine, it feels like I’ll never see anyone ever again! In non-corona times I’d go out and join groups to meet new people but I can’t do that anymore. I want to spend some time healing from my past relationship, but I sometimes fear that I will never meet anyone else. What can I do during this time to help me feel okay? 

Sad Butt True

Aw Sad Butt…

It’s such trying times, and I feel you! As humans we are literally hardwired for connection, and it’s unnatural to be alone all the time, month after month, with just Netflix and “The Queen’s Gambit.” Especially if you’re the kind of person who is used to having a vibrant social circle, it can be really tough right now to be on your own. While this past year has felt like forever, this too shall pass. But I’d be blowing some smoke up that ass if I didn’t come correct to the fact that unfortunately it may be longer than you’d like before you can go out and do normal activities like spending time with friends or going to meetups with other recently single folks looking for hot booty time distraction. 

But the good news is that the time and space that you need for healing in this next phase of your one wild and free life, is here! And being that you literally can’t do much of anything else, you are now forced to hone in on the most important person in your life. You! 

Us humans are such dummies. We always have this idea that our value is wrapped up in other people. Who we are as a significant other, best friend, favorite sibling, wonderful daughter, productive employee. We spend so much time in life trying to impress everyone around us, and we should be trying to impress that gorgeous creature in the mirror who we wake up with everyday. The good news is that right now, there is no one to impress, no one to really try to care about, beyond that pretty bitch in the mirror. So now is the best time to look inward and see what it is that you really want and how you can move forward.

If you want to meet someone and not be alone forever, I’m here to tell you, all that and more is within your grasp. But here’s what you’ve gotta do. You need to dig deep, and come to face to face with exactly where things went wrong in your last relationship. Not in a blaming way, but in a curious way, an inquisitive way. And then slap yourself and say, “I’m never doing that again!”

So often we know from the beginning when we meet some broke-ass fuck-boi how things will end up, but for a variety of inane reasons, we go against our best instincts and reach for it anyway. Take the dirty toy and stick it in our mouths, even though we know that it’s gonna give us mouth sores. Usually because the sex is good, or because they feel familiar (trauma attracts trauma) or a myriad of other excuses that we use when we know that we are stepping into a pile of really prettily wrapped dogshit.

So now you are at a crossroads, and you have a real opportunity to do all that fun and exciting deep inner shadow work so when you do find the next person (because you will, I assure you that you will not be alone forever), you won’t get involved in another crappy relationship that will end in a toxic situation. So to me, it sounds like you’ve got your work cut out for you to be a busy little beaver with no time for anything else. 

But you’re lonely. I get it. And we can’t spend ALL our time reading the Good Girl’s Guide to How to be a Bad Ass Lady. So here are a couple of ideas for what to do in all that luscious downtime.

All those things you enjoy doing that you couldn’t do in that nasty relationship? Do those! Use being single as a time to do exactly what the hell you want, ALL the freakin time! Set unrealistic goals and who cares if you meet them? No one is there to judge you! The thing that your ex really hated to do that you loved? Do it! The food they hated that you love? Eat the shit out of it every single day! 

The most important relationship that you can have is the relationship is the relationship you have with yourself. So plan date nights for yourself each week and focus on building that inner stamina and self love. 

Besides that, there are many people who are in the same boat, and they are all meeting online. Join Facebook groups, attend an online event or class, let your friends know that you need support. 

This is precious time, and while I know that we are all over it, at some point we will be missing all these months when all we had to do was focus on the important things in life, instead of the daily distractions of our normal existences. 

******************

Hey Spyce,

I have been talking to someone for about a month and we have a first date/walk this weekend. I was laid off from my job recently and am already in school working to advance my career for the next job I take. Should I disclose that I’m technically unemployed if work comes up in conversation? Date knows about school, but not that I was laid off. Maybe I am overthinking this?

Funderemployed For Now

Hey Fun4N,

Ok, so just to be clear, you, my dear, are not special. I mean, maybe your mom would say that you always had this cute way of scrunching your nose up, but the fact of the matter is, being unemployed in 2020 is really no big whoop. The fact that you held a job months into the pandemic actually says a lot about you! A good 25% of the country (and probably my math isn’t even as drastic as it should be) has become underemployed this year, and is it any of their faults? I highly freakin doubt it. 

And you, ambitious you, are already out there being a scholastic bad-ass and trying to better yourself the moment the door hit you on the way out of your last place of employment. If that’s not pretty darn determined, I don’t know what the hell is! 

So not only is there no shame in your game, but there should be some pride in that wide smile of yours when you tell this fool that despite all the insanity of this past year, you are still pulling yourself up by those snazzy bootstraps and you are bettering yourself on the reg. 

Now of course, maybe this entire boring subject won’t come up, and if it doesn’t, I wouldn’t say that you’re under any obligation to offer up the details of your miserable sad sack status, but if it does, honesty is always the best policy. As I’ve said before in dating, it’s always best to be forthcoming about the things that make you you, because you want to be with someone who’s going to accept and support you, skinny legs and all (and if you don’t get that reference, you’re an illiterate bastard, or maybe just a Gen Z kid).

And let me just say, if dude judges, or wants to bounce, that’s on dude. That kind of negative response would show a lack of basic empathy and understanding of the reality that many are facing during these incredibly difficult economic times. If someone doesn’t understand that, their head is so far up their ass that they must be one of the world’s greatest shitheads. Hardship and discomfort is part of life, especially in COVID times. Someone’s reaction to hardship, especially when it isn’t their problem, is a good way to determine if they are someone that you want to spend time with, or if you’d rather tell them, “You’re Fired!”




Advice with Spyce: Filtering on dating apps and avoiding red flags

Hi Spyce,

I find that I get overwhelmed really quickly on dating apps, so I’m looking for tips on filtering people out. On the one hand, I feel like I can’t tell much from people’s profiles, and unless there’s a red flag or one of the few things that are a hard no for me, I’m inclined to give almost everyone a chance. But there are just so many people out there, I feel like I could waste a lot of time! Can you give some tips on how to filter? For example, do you swipe “no” on most profiles and only match with a few people, or do you swipe “yes” on most people and then filter people out through conversations?

OVER IT

Dear Over,

So as a former party girl/slutty goddess, I can tell you what techniques worked for me, AND as a lifelong sexpert, I can tell you what techniques I’ve seen work for others. 

Me, I’m a moody bitch, so it really depends on what I’m feeling like that day, and let’s be real, maybe what time of the month it is! On certain occasions they may all look super fine, and other times … well they all are a quick swipe left. But with all else being fair, I am more of a fan of having too many options than too few, so I usually swipe first and ask questions later. I’m sure you know this, but if you’re new to online dating maybe you don’t, but matching with someone does not mean that you have to actually have a conversation, go on a date, suck an appendage or get married, so I’d rather have a bunch of eggs in my basket for when I do want to play ball, or make an omelette. Because when that time comes that I’m raring to go, I know I can just dip into my pool of matches and send out the inquiries. 

But for some people, and maybe for you, having all those matches just out there sitting around waiting is like having clutter in your bedroom. And while I don’t mind a pile of clothes in the corner for months on end, it drives my husband crazy! I’m sure others feel the same way, so here’s another technique if you’re more inclined to the minimalist matching approach.

Thoroughly read through someone’s profile and only swipe right on them if they have at least most of the things that you’re looking for. Get really clear on your deal breakers and red flags, and don’t compromise. I have a whole bunch of red flags that I could share, but that’s another column. 

Once you match with someone great, message them right away and start a conversation. If they don’t respond within a day or two, write them off and move on to the next one. Ain’t nobody got time for that. I mean, if they are too busy to have the dating app open at all times, are they really that available for dating? Maybe not. 

Seriously though, I think my way is best. But it does require a thick skin and a high tolerance for tons of matches that you may never actually talk to. And, you gotta be super duper good with boundaries and cutting people off if you’re not interested. 

To be fair, occasionally I fantasize about going into my accounts and just messaging everyone to let them know that now is their chance and they better step up or be unmatched, but that sounds like way too much time, and in all reality, I really should be cleaning my clothes out of the corner of my bedroom, or dealing with the 200k unread emails in my gmail account. 

But if you have time for that, I adhere to the age-old adage that “Life is like a basket of matches,” or eggs, or balls, or whatever you prefer to keep in there, and the more you have, the more choices there are when you really just need to let loose. 

Dear Spyce,

So I recently met up with this guy on a first date. We went to a restaurant with outdoor seating and had some food. Afterward, he asked if I wanted a drink and I declined. He then left to go to the bathroom, and when he came back, he’d brought me a drink, saying that he was getting one for himself so just got one for me too. I felt bad so drank it, but then felt a little turned off after that. When I told him I had an early day the next day, he kept pushing me to stay out just a little longer, and even got a little sulky about it. Eventually I left, but now he wants to go out again and I just don’t know. We had some fun conversations, but I feel like he was a bit too pushy. I don’t know if I’m just being too picky? People have told me that I can be too uptight, but I think it’s important for me to not settle. What do you think?

Signed,

Is It Me?

Hi Me,

No, it’s NOT you! Absolutely not! Now I may be reading into this too much, but that’s my job so here goes. Run, block, ignore, don’t go out with him again! There are a few things in his behaviour that are serious red flags, and if acting like a damn baby on a first date was right as rain for him, obviously his crappy conduct is just going to get worse. 

It’s always important to pay very close attention to the way that someone handles your first no. Because that will set a blueprint for how they are going to handle every other single no from there on out. 

It sounds like this whackadoodle is trying to hide his domineering control issues under a nice guy exterior. I mean hey, what’s wrong with offering the lady a drink, right? And what’s wrong with bringing her a drink after she’s told you that she doesn’t want one? That’s just called being nice, isn’t it? No dude. If someone tells you that they don’t want something and you essentially force it on them anyway, that’s not called nice. That’s called non-consent. And while consensual non-consent can be hot as hell (more on that if Advice with Spyce ever wanders more into the kink territory), this is not that. 

Now some could argue that you could have said no, but you already did say no, so why the eff should you have to say it again? When someone shows you who they are, pay close attention, and here is an early example of someone who may have a pattern of disrespecting your wishes, and on a deeper level, may even be creepily assessing you to determine if you will be the kind of person who will stand up for herself, or how much you will be willing to let him get away with. By drinking the drink, or staying out later, or giving in when he sulks, he’s learning that with some persistence and a pouty attitude, he can turn your no into a yes, or at least an “I guess so,” And that my dear, is the slippery slope to Dating a Narcissist! 

If you want to attract a healthy relationship, you have to be willing to speak your mind, and that means sticking to your no, even when it’s uncomfortable, or you’re concerned about how it will make you seem to the other person. Even if it’s only a drink, a ride, a hug, a handshake or a smile, no means no. That concept doesn’t make you uptight or picky, it makes you wise and powerful, the perfect combination for a successful dating experience. 




Dating Do’s and Don’ts: How to be successful at online dating. And, should she kiss her friend?

Hey Spyce,

So I’m a single guy who hasn’t been single in many years, and so I’m just now trying my hand at online dating. Back when I was single before, I would just meet women at bars, parties or through friends. This online thing, though, is no joke! I need to figure out how to get women to talk to me without coming off like a jerk just trying to get laid. I really am a nice guy and I would like a meaningful relationship. Can you give me some pointers? 

Non Douche Dater 

Dear Non Douche,

I will admit, I do not envy the male dilemma when it comes to online dating, or dating in general. Not that I’m a strict hetero, not at all, but the stereotypes that men and women buy into when it comes to dating can be at best very tiring for the male species. Not that it’s a cakewalk for women either, and that’s why I hope that I can be of service to all you lovely people out there “wookin po nub.” And if you don’t get that reference, you were probably born too late for any of the real good stuff. But I digress. 

Here are some pointers for a poor old nice guy, on how to approach women online.

For one, do not start a conversation with “what’s up” and then leave it hanging. That just makes you look dumb. On the other hand, writing too long of a response will always come off as a copy and paste. Let’s be real, it’s a numbers game to some extent, and so a little control+C can be helpful for all that bait you’ve gotta throw out to catch a live one, but you do need to make sure there is something personally specific in there to each woman so that she knows that you actually read her profile and aren’t just spreading your syllables to all the ladies in the land. 

When it comes to what exactly personal to hone in on, best to steer clear of making any comments about someone’s physical appearance in the first few messages. If you’re contacting a woman, it’s obvious that you think she’s pretty, or has a sexy smile, or beautiful eyes. When I was a little girl, people like my grandparents’ friends would always ask me, “Has anyone ever told you how pretty you are?” Being a child I didn’t know that it was a rhetorical question (and being the brutally honest person I became I don’t think it would have mattered anyway,) so I would always reply with a resounding yes. Because the truth was that I had been told how pretty I was, and I’m sure the internet hotties have heard that before as well. Listen mate, you don’t want to be that guy, Captain Obvious, who goes for the easy answer. You want to be Mr. Unique, who comes up with something out of the ordinary that shows that you are interested in her for more than just her bodacious brown eyes (eyes, I did say plural! Sheesh!).

Do read her profile and see what she is passionate about, then message her something related to that passion for hiking or photography. Keep the conversation going. Make sure there is a question in each message that she can respond to. Say a few things about yourself, but make sure that they are on topic with what you’re talking about. 

And let me just say a word about pictures, because as they say, a picture can say a thousand words, or something like that. So for god’s sake, please don’t post pics of you with your kids, your friend’s kids, your sibling’s kids, just no kids, it’s creepy! No one wants to see kids on dating sites. Especially not in today’s crazy world. Shirtless pics are also a no no, unless you are just looking to get laid. Then it’s a tell-tale sign that you are DTF. But if you’re like most of the guys who brag about it, you suck. So either way, it’s not a good look. If you’re truly looking for a nice girl to complement your good guy status, make sure that you have pics of yourself doing fun things, and pose with a goddamn dog or something. 

Just being real, and human, and using the same conversational skills that you might use in person can really go a long way. With any luck, you’ll be back to non-single status in no time! 

Dear Spyce,

I have a friend, let’s call him Ted. Ted and I originally met at work, but then when he moved on to another job, we kept in touch and still hung out often. He’s always my wing man and everytime we go out, he will pay for everything. He brings me little gifts and we talk and text every day. I know he hasn’t had a girlfriend for a long time, and I have been trying to stay single since I have a habit of getting into relationships, but I’m starting to wonder if he likes me as more than a friend, and what I should do about it. I really like spending time with him, but I don’t want to make it awkward if he doesn’t feel that way, or it doesn’t work out. What should I do?

Friends or More Than

Dear More Than,

Well…I think Ted likes you as more than a friend, but what do I know? I’m just an expert on love, relationships and human nature! But to me, it seems pretty freaking obvi. If I could put an emoji in there, I’d be rolling my eyes! 

Unless Ted is a gay man (and maybe he is and you’re his beard), he is into you. Because it sounds like he treats you like you’re his girlfriend, in every way except for the sex part. And I have a feeling that Ted wouldn’t kick you out of bed if you jumped into it with him. 

So what it really comes down to is you. You say that you easily get into relationships so it would be important to ask yourself these hard questions. 

Is this guy really compatible for you as a partner, or are you just used to being with someone, and you don’t like being alone? Do you just want someone in that role, so if you find someone that’s nice and willing, its easy to allow them to fulfill that for you? 

You say you really care about Ted as a friend. If that’s the case, it would be important to determine how you are truly feeling so that you don’t hurt him and ruin the friendship in the process. Going from friends to lovers is easy. Going from friends to lovers and back to friends can be much more difficult, especially if someone is in Ted’s position and they haven’t had that level of intimacy in their life for a while. If you decided that you weren’t down for the romance after you crossed that bridge, the downgrade of the friendship (as that’s what it would feel like) would be a very difficult pill for him to swallow, and you could not be surprised if that was the end of your pal Ted. 

Could it work out that you fall madly in love, get married and have babies? Sure. Is it a guarantee? Never. Is it highly likely? Well…I don’t know if I’d say that either. Typically there is a reason that someone is just a friend, and even if you try to change the dynamic out of loneliness, horniness or what have you, it may not be as easily mutable as you’d like it to be. So that’s why I recommend some deep soul searching before you switch from pals to playmates. You can never take back a kiss, so you want to be very clear what your intentions are before you swim in the deep end. 

Hope it works out for you guys!




Advice with Spyce: Two readers seek the confidence to find love

Dear Spyce:

I have been single for a long time and I really feel like I am ready for a relationship. But I work a lot, don’t feel great about the way I look, and I haven’t had as many dates as I would like. So whenever I do get asked out, I say yes, even if I don’t really want to go, or I know the guy isn’t good relationship material. The main problem, though, is that even those dates don’t go past the first or second try. What am I doing wrong? I’m a nice person, and I would make someone a great partner. I just wish I could get a good couple dates that lead to something real. 

Wishing For Love

Dear Wishing,

Well, first things first: We need to work on that confidence, honey! You might know deep down inside that you’re a catch, but it doesn’t sound like you’re acting like that, and people can smell desperation, even if you put on a lot of perfume to cover it up! So the first step is looking at what you think that you deserve, and why you think you don’t deserve it! 

If you’re not feeling good about your look, what can you do to make some positive change? Is there really something wrong, or are you just once again, falling victim to that internal shaming voice? As for me, I’ve always been confident in the fact that I am a solid 7 on the outside, but off the charts everywhere else. And that fact alone has enabled me to always have hot people at my disposal, and my husband is so damn fine that he should be an underwear model! I tell him this all the time but he still hasn’t dialed up Calvin Klein…

Another point to address is how imperative it is to have your own personal boundaries and standards, and how much that plays into your self respect. You say that you go out on dates even if you don’t want to, and I can understand that sometimes a girl’s bored and needs some time out of the house, but if doing so is just going to spiral you deeper into a hole of self flagellation, maybe the free cosmo isn’t worth it! If you know that someone isn’t for you, or doesn’t meet your criteria, why waste your time with them at all? Why go on a date that you know is not going to bring you joy or satisfaction? Because when that date goes badly, as it inevitably will, even if it’s you who isn’t up for it to begin with, it will still create further proof to that nagging inner voice that you’re just not good enough. Ain’t nobody got time for that! You need to trust your intuition, friend! 

Here’s the thing. You sound like a lovely person, and as soon as you start believing that and treating yourself like the prize that you truly are, others are going to start following suit. So no more feeling bad about yourself. Stop that shit right now! No more placating dumb ass bros who don’t deserve you. Eff that AND the Tesla he rode in on. Stop burying yourself in work and using that as an excuse. Do the things that make you happy, and know that the person who is going to recognize you for the awesomeness that you are is going to be pretty darn amazing, and is on their way! 

Dear Spyce,

I have scoliosis that has progressed a lot over the years. Although I do a great job managing my pain and do my best to still do things I enjoy like hiking, I’m way slower than I used to be and have to be mindful about the types of physical activities I take on. 

I want to start online dating, but I am very intimidated about having to reveal this about myself, yet feel it’s important to be upfront about this so as to not surprise (or disappoint) a potential partner. So I’m wondering, how do you reveal such a thing without coming across as a person who may present like a victim of circumstance? Though it doesn’t define me, it is part of who I am. 

Also, if you read something like that in a profile, would you consider that a dealbreaker? Thanks in advance.

Dating Despite Disability

Hi DDD,

First off, I want to congratulate you on taking the first step toward finding a new relationship. You are brave! It’s difficult in general to put yourself out there, and with an “elephant in the room” that you are unsure of how to address, it’s even more challenging. So first give yourself a gigantic pat on the back (softly so as not to hurt yourself) for being willing to put yourself out there at all. 

When it comes to being transparent and upfront in dating profiles, I believe that if you are really looking for a true relationship, honesty is the best policy, as the old saying goes. I understand that it could feel like you could turn some people off with the truth, but if that’s the case, you would definitely want to know that before you even gave them the pleasure of seeing your pretty face in person. 

It’s also about compatibility. Maybe they want a partner to run marathons with. Maybe you would thrive with a partner whose primary love language is acts of service, and them knowing that you might need some extra physical care here and there would actually draw them in deeper. You just never know. 

Whether it’s the fact that you have children, another partner, a disability or were born another gender, it’s imperative to be forthcoming about who you are. I had a (very straight) friend who thought she had met the man of her dreams and was shocked when I told her a few dates in that he was in fact, transgender, and had been born a woman. Now there’s nothing wrong with that, but was it fair for him to not let her know the truth of who he is and let her make her own decisions? I think not. 

Now obviously you’re not hiding your genitalia (although I don’t advise you to break that out on your profile either) but if you’re hiding something that is an imperative part of how you operate in the world, it could lead to heartache and rejection later on after you’re already entwined with someone. So if your situation is a dealbreaker for someone, let them move along, swipe left and don’t waste your precious time.

Be proud of who you are, it’s nothing to be ashamed of! None of us are who we used to be, and often that’s a good thing. Finding the person who will love all of you, battle scars and all, is the main objective when looking for a successful relationship. 




Who Was That Masked Man?: Non-monogamy and dealing with a pandemic-induced dry spell

Hi Spyce,

So, I am a happily married gay male and have been non-monogamous with my husband for many years. A couple of years ago I met someone, and we developed a really intense and connected relationship. It was amazing, thrilling and life changing. The only issue was that he had a really hard time with not being my one and only, even though he actually liked my husband and even became friends with him. No one else in his life supported our relationship because of our lifestyle, so eventually, it just became too much for my boyfriend and we had to stop seeing each other. It was very sad and hard to stay away, but I had to. 

We had stayed in only casual touch but a few months ago (right before the pandemic hit), he said that he still loved me and wanted to try to make it work. He said he’s changed and is okay now with my marriage and not being my one and only. I want to believe him, but I’m not sure. It was so emotionally intense and draining last time, I’m not sure I can go through with it again. However, I do love him deeply and crave his presence in my life. 

What should I do?

Signed, In Too Deep

Dear Deep,

Ah that pull to those intense relationships; I can feel the craving, too! Who doesn’t want to be with someone who makes them feel alive? It can be quite enticing, and keep us staying in situations that are not quite ideal. Sounds like you’ve been there and done that and are really only up for this journey again if he’s truly changed, and therein lies the question. 

We know what they say, that you can’t change a man unless he’s still in diapers and that sounds like something no one wants to see. And I must say, I’ve had other experiences in life that speak to the contrary, and give me hope. I’m always optimistic that the good in people can come through with enough effort and that in some cases, people really do change. 

Now you don’t want to just take his word for it, but what you can do is relax, be patient and let him show you. If he’s different, you will be able to tell. The proof will be swirled in the pudding of what comes up, because things have a way of coming up, don’t they? Those intense and meaningful, delicious and devastating relationships are there specifically to bring about intense and meaningful, delicious and devastating feelings, which is the precursor to healing. And once healing happens, people really do change. So maybe he has had some opportunities for healing since you split and will be more able to stick around. 

I’d also check in around his friendships and the other relationships in his life. Has that changed in any way? Has he had any new experiences with the non-monogamous lifestyle? Has he dated other people? Is he dating other people? And what about his family and loved ones? Have his people gone from being unsupportive douche nozzles and become ready to support him in what makes him happy? And then that question…does this make him happy? Will he be able to be satisfied with what you’re able to bring to the relationship or will he always be wanting more? It never feels good to be pining away in love, so you will both have to be committed to working with that feeling if it arises, or when. 

My main advice is tread lightly, and go slow. And hey! We are in the middle of a pandemic so you can use that to your advantage. Give him opportunities to see how things can be different now, and if they will. Make sure it feels good to you. If it starts to feel bad, pull back. Slow down. You may have a lifetime of karma to unravel with this man, so no need to rush the process, because everyone is getting nowhere fast these days anyway. 


Dear Spyce, 

I’m feeling really horny right now, and I feel a little guilty worrying about this during a pandemic. But it’s summer, it’s hot out, and I just want to have sex with EVERYONE and I can’t have sex with ANYONE! To top it off, I keep seeing hot guys with masks on and it’s reminding me of the sexual fantasies I’ve had about faceless men. Everyone has those, right? Typically I date a lot and now … I haven’t had sex in months!! I’m a nanny so I have to be super safe. What do I do? I’m so horny!!!!

Horny AF

Oh HAF,

I feel you … those masked men CAN be a huge turn on, can’t they? The mystery, the intrigue, the knowing that they are compassionate and caring people who believe in science … I gotta agree, it’s pretty sexy! So first off, there is nothing to feel guilty about! 

Many people react to stress by wanting to de-stress, and becoming focused on sexual energy can be a very exciting thing that distracts us from our stress. Also, there’s something called biology, which makes us want to get down when the heat is on. And different times of the month, stages in life, yadda yadda. Suffice to say, you feeling horny is a very normal and human thing. So please do not feel guilty about wanting to get you some. As mentioned, there’s nothing like a good distraction when we’re stressed. And who isn’t stressed right now? 

So here’s a few ways to get sexy and be safe, which meant something so different a few months ago. 

I’m not going to dwell on the obvious too much, which is rub your own damn kitty! But I will say that focusing on fantasy life (yes, we all have wild ones. I’ve heard many when I was teaching my sexy fantasy class) and trying something new and wild even with yourself can be very exciting, even if it is all in your head.

The next one is a different take on the obvious which is “go for a known quotient.” You know that friend that you really trust and like that you never really thought like that about but I guess they are kinda cute? Yes, it might be time to chat with that friend about their COVID protocols and see if you can reach an agreement. Like you know the TikTok where “people try to kiss their best friend” thing? Like that but, well, maybe not if it’s going to ruin the friendship. So maybe not your best friend, but someone on the periphery who you could ditch once the pandemic is over. 

Beyond that, if you decide that you do want to meet strangers for possible dates, make sure that you have a very clear idea of what you are and aren’t comfortable with, communicate that to any interested parties, and make sure you stick to those boundaries. Have a good list of questions of what’s important to you, and don’t be afraid to ask them. We are ALL in this mess, so the more we talk openly and honestly with each other, the more this pandemic can bring us closer together, not further apart.




Advice with Spyce: Texting relationships and condom free in corona

Dear Spyce,

I met this guy online and we immediately hit it off. We exchanged numbers and started texting, pretty quickly getting to the point where we were texting all day, every day. Because of quarantines and such, we weren’t able to meet up for a few weeks, but by that time, I felt like we knew each other pretty well. So finally the day arrived. I was ready with my hand sanitizer and mask, and we found a place to meet outdoors. And it wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t great. First off, he didn’t sound like I thought he would, and the conversation just didn’t flow the way it does in text. He was cute enough, but I didn’t feel the wow that I was expecting. I made my way through the date, but figured that would be the end of it. But as soon as we parted, he started texting again and it felt good again. So now I’m confused. Are we just better off as text friends, and never taking this to the next level? 

Just Not That Into Him

Dear Just,

Ah, you trespassed over one of my most important dating rules! DON’T START A TEXT RELATIONSHIP! Yes I know that everyone wants to just text like rabbits and “get to know” each other virtually, but there are some people who are great writers, and then are just not great talkers. When you connect so deeply via text without ever even hearing someone’s voice, the cadence, the tilt, the tone, you can build up all kinds of ideas of how they will sound when you do finally get to hear the silk of their words caressing your ears. But until you actually see them talking, you don’t even know if they look funny when they say certain words, or have a strange tic.
But to be fair, I’m sure there was a lot of pressure from both of you for this to be the perfect meeting, and if stars didn’t shoot out of your eyes and puppies and kittens didn’t drop out of the heavens as soon as you saw each other (from 6 feet away of course), it can be natural to feel like something was wrong. When in fact, real connection takes time, and it can be a good while before you feel comfortable with someone in live skin-covered human form when you only have a disembodied fantasy text version of them in your mind.

Here’s the thing: he’s still the same person, and the things that he said to you should still hold the same weight. Maybe try to be more relaxed with the situation, and he can relax as well. Try video chatting to get more comfortable with each other’s faces. Great connection is hard to come by, and it would be a shame to throw it away without fully giving it an opportunity to mature. 

Dear Spyce,

How do I respond to a partner who doesn’t believe we should bother practicing safe sex during COVID? We started dating right before the pandemic hit and we both got negative STI/STD tests then. We haven’t been seeing other people, so he says there’s no point of using condoms, as I can’t get pregnant. I can see his point, but it is so foreign to me to skip condoms until I’m very serious with a partner. I don’t want to hurt him, but it just feels too fast. Advice?

Condom Free Corona Love

Dear CRCL,

As much as I can see his point when it comes to the safety aspect as well, it really comes down to what you are comfortable with. You have a right to have your wishes respected, even if someone doesn’t like them. There’s no reason that he should take it personally, and if he does, that’s on him. 

I think the intriguing question could be for you to look at exactly why you don’t feel okay with it. It sounds like the condom free situation signifies to you an emotional connection that you don’t yet feel with this person. Could it also be that it makes you question the relationship, and if it’s what you truly want? Does it point out other inconsistencies or red flags in the relationship? 

Our uncomfortable feelings are always indicative of something when we look underneath the surface, so I would say to pop the lid off and take a deeper look as to where your feelings for not wanting to get more intimate with him come from. 

While they may be pointing toward something in the relationship, they may also be pointing to something deeper in yourself that can lead to introspection and deeper clarity. Either way, it sounds like this could be a great opportunity for you to discover what you really are desiring, and approach it without guilt or remorse from that place. 

Good luck! 




Advice with Spyce: Navigating polyamory and avoiding getting catfished

Hi Spyce, 

I’m in a non monogamous relationship with a wonderful woman. We do a form of polyamory called “kitchen table poly,” and I currently live with her, her husband and their two kids. Things are going well with her, except that there are times when I don’t feel respected and accepted, especially by her husband. Furthermore, I don’t know how much I respect him. I want to try and stick it out, because I love this woman, but I’m not sure. Is love enough to make it work?

 Perplexed Providence Poly

Well PPP,

I can understand that this could be confusing. The truth is that everyone brings something into a relationship, and it’s really up to us to determine whether a relationship has too many dealbreakers, or if the “baggage” is something that we can work with. This situation is very nuanced because even though you are not romantic with your girlfriend’s spouse, you are still essentially in a relationship with him too, and in order for any relationship to work, all parties have to be consensually involved. 

So I’m curious if that’s the case. Is he down with the “kitchen table poly” or is he just not down with you because of personality clashes? You also mention that you don’t really like him either, and if that’s the case, I’d be asking why you are so intimately engaged with someone you don’t like.

 If you want to be with his wife and the two of them have that agreement in their marriage, then fine. But as long as you are living with them, you are directly engaged with him as well. I would never recommend that someone bring together two partners who don’t like each other and force them to engage, and I think as the hinge in this V, your girlfriend has the responsibility to be more clear about the dynamics, rules and comfort of both of the people who are bending their comfort levels to be with her.

Dear Spyce,

So in the normal world, which we are no longer in, things like sexting and video sex gets a bad rap. For one thing, it’s impersonal, and for another, is it safe to communicate with someone like that? In these days of cyber stalking and the like, I’m a little concerned that my picture could end up somewhere I don’t want it to. But since I can’t meet anyone in person right now, this is seeming like the best way to “date” someone and because I’m trapped inside and horny, I am more likely to let things progress to the “next level.” I have needs! But one of them is to figure out how to “do it” safely.

Unsettled Safe Sexter 

Dear USS,

I absolutely understand your trepidation, and agree that you should be cautious. In today’s world you do have to be careful who you are giving your pertinent info to, and if you don’t know and trust someone well, it could easily get into the wrong hands, and you may find your fine ass displayed up on a highway billboard for all to see. Now that might be fun in some cases, but if Grandma drives by and recognizes your identifying birth marks from when she changed your diaper … AWKWARD!!!

So here are a few things to do to keep yourself safe when you want to exchange sexy pics with strangers. First off, don’t just accept their pictures at face value. You seriously have no real way of knowing who you are talking to. Have them write down a phrase on a piece of paper (“I’m Spyce’s sexy bitch” has worked for me in the past) and hold it up in a picture to you. This ensures that you are truly talking to who you think you are talking to. Next off, don’t give up too much incriminating info from the start. So no bragging about your awesome job or your cool apartment right by the lake, that you jog around everyday at 5pm, or you may find yourself being watched when you least expect it. Another thing … don’t be too eager. We are all going stir crazy, but letting a stranger know that will not serve you well. If you really want to get to know someone new, do it first with your clothes on, and don’t send any dick pics indiscriminately.

But let’s say you DO want to share your load with a new friend, for the love of God do not send anything from your cellphone or email with your real name attached to it! Make a fake email, use a Google voice number, or download so many of the handy apps these days that you can use to send pics anonymously.

It’s very easy to get catfished in today’s world, and you don’t want to become an internet celebrity without your consent!