The best part of this mailbag is also one of the benefits of working at a start-up with lots of young folk: a constant exposure to the lives of single people. See, we happily married folk tend to have simple lives filled with home cooking and Netflix. It’s not as exciting, perhaps, as sleeping with someone you’ve just met, but the emotional turmoil is also lower. There’s no heartbreak or the sinking feeling that you shouldn’t have slept with a sexy idiot — just some occasional frustrations over money or chores with someone you love. It’s steady.
So please, single people, write in about your ongoing dating mishaps and misadventures. I mean, yeah: I wanna help you. But I also enjoy the excitement of your disasters. (Married and affianced: you can write in, too. I guess.)
On to your questions!
Football: It’s pretty great, isn’t it?
(The KSK Mailbag: not afraid to answer the TOUGH questions!)
Other: My girlfriend, who I’m currently in a long distance relationsihp with, did not get her teaching contract renewed. Right now she’s very upset because she is probably moving in 3 weeks but does not have any idea where. We’ve been dating since around October 2012, but she moved down to Arizona for her teaching job in July 2013. She was living in the city I’m in. Part of me thinks I should ask her to come live with me and part of me thinks that is a terrible idea since I’ve lived alone the past 6 years and we were never staying over at each other’s place for weeks. Any advice?
I’ve said this before, but it obviously needs repeating: a long-distance relationship is akin to a prolonged deep-sea dive. Going from long-distance to cohabitation is no different than surfacing too quickly — it won’t be long before nitrogen bubbles enter your bloodstream and you live with constant headaches and seizures. Without her job in Arizona, your girlfriend should absolutely move back to your city — but she’ll need to find her decompression chamber to stay in as you two get used to being around each other.
What’s that? She can’t afford her own place because she’s out of work? Okay, but you’ve been living by yourself for six years and are used to long stretches of time between seeing your girlfriend. Now picture her in your apartment ALL THE TIME. What if she can’t find a job? The home you’re used to — your sanctuary — is changed, and your ever-present girlfriend is stressed about her lack of work. That’s going to put undue strain on your relationship.
I could see — MAYBE — you offering your place for a week or two as she looks for an apartment and work, but that could be a slippery slope. Master walking before you try to run.
Captain of Last Resort:
Fantasy first: I’m in my mid-thirties, and remain close with a number of friends from high school. I’ve been in fantasy football and baseball leagues with several of them (8 or 9 guys overlap in both leagues) since college. I’ve always been very into sports (as a spectator) though my ability and desire to remain a super-knowledgeable fan has waned over the years as my career has moved forward and I’ve married and had several children–to the point where I can’t name 4 of the 5 starting pitchers on my favorite baseball team, watch sportscenter maybe once a week, and only catch a baseball game once every two- to three-weeks.
I see nothing wrong with this. I grew up a Mariners die-hard with — at one point — 11 Ken Griffey Jr. posters in my room. I memorized stats and studied box scores and followed the batting title race on a day-to-day basis. I now go to one or two MLB games a year, watch none on TV until the playoffs, and can name maybe four or five Mariners (Felix Hernandez, Robinson Cano, Dustin Ackley, ummm … come back to me on this).
And that’s okay! We’re adults. We’ve got jobs and bills and families that are ultimately more rewarding than studying box scores or watching an Astros game in mid-August. It’s part of being a useful member of society.
In football I remain committed to watching my favorite team’s games every Sunday (leaving out team names here to protect anonymity) and always try and do something for all of the NFL playoff games, but I certainly don’t know the baseball and football leagues from top to bottom like I used to. Because of this, my once mediocre fantasy skills have dwindled and I have been a bottom feeder for several years now. To top it off, the camaraderie I once got from the leagues has also dwindled because at least half the drafts are now online (we did in-person for quite some time) and there are very few occasions when everyone sees each other during the football/baseball seasons where we could talk trash in person.
Again: useful member of society.
So, I feel I am getting very little for the several hundred dollars in league dues I pay every year (although money is not really a concern; we are comfortable). And every year I feel like I lose interest earlier and earlier in the season. That said, I don’t want to end up as a 45-year-old who lost all of his connections to his old friends because of familial obligations. What do you think–should I continue to participate in order to keep this connection to my friends?
I don’t think you need a live draft to connect to your friends. Maybe you can’t get all 12 members together for a big weekend, but you also have all season to watch a game or two or six with a friend or friends from your league. Like, I almost never see Will Leitch any more, but when he lived in New York we’d try to watch a Cardinals-Seahawks game together (as long as it didn’t interfere with the baseball Cardinals’ playoff run, of course). As you get older, you end up seeing fewer of your friends and in smaller doses, but it’s still enjoyable — you should make the effort.
And you don’t need top-to-bottom knowledge of the NFL to be successful in fantasy football. You just need to watch the videos I make and ask the helpful dudes (and gals) in the comment section of this mailbag. Oh, and also a shit-ton of injury luck.
Sexy time: I am a decent looking guy, I think. My wife (also in her mid-thirties) is quite beautiful, probably the most attractive woman I’ve ever been with and certainly better looking than I am. I was always somewhat thin but certainly not in good shape due to excessive fast food intake, smoking and drinking in college. I put on a beer gut and then some in college and never lost it or did anything to try and lose it. My wife, previously very petite, had gained some weight after having the kids (though remained very attractive, and it never negatively impacted my desire to have marital relations with her, which have always been great). Last year she undertook efforts to address her weight situation–going to the gym and eating right–and got back close to her pre-child weight. It was quite impressive. When she did it, I did it too–and then some. I am now in the best shape of my life–same weight as high school, but with more muscle tone.
Unfortunately, my wife fell off her diet and exercise routine several months ago, has gained some weight back, and while she keeps telling me she is starting watching what she eats and going to the gym again, she never keeps at it for more than a few days. I am concerned because (a) I am concerned for her health; (b) it negatively impacts her self esteem; and (c) she does not want to make the sex so much because she feels unattractive. While I’ve attempted to gently coax her to eat right and go to the gym again, any time I touch on the subject she reprimands me. And no matter how much I try and ignore it and continue to complement her beauty as before, she still doesn’t want to do it on any kind of regular basis (and the sex frequency was already irregular because of kids, work stress, etc.). Any suggestions?
Guy lacking creativity to come up with a clever/funny signature
So what exactly is different from before? It sounds to me like — despite some backsliding — your wife’s physical appearance is better than what it was post-kids, you’re still in great shape, and your sex life is roughly the same (too infrequent). Taking a bigger view of things, it seems like you’ve got a net positive since the initial effort your wife made last year.
Don’t get me wrong: I want to be sympathetic and give you the tools to communicate with your wife and improve your sex life. But a lot of what you’re talking about sounds like married life for a LOT of people in their 30s — kids and work take up time that you want for sex and the gym; your physical appearance is a constant battle against age and metabolism; you struggle to help your partner make changes that never fully take root. So by all means: take part in meal planning and push for healthier dinners, take care of the kids so she can go to the gym, and keep flailing against the ravages of time and parenthood until the day you die. The solution isn’t a simple conversation or a switch to flick, it will be a long and constant struggle. Life sucks that way.
No fantasy football question for me, as I don’t play. I did finish third in my fantasy hockey league this year but I can’t imagine you care so there’s no point in me even finishing this senten
As for sexy sex: I broke up earlier this year with a woman I’d been dating for about 18 months. Standard post-college, lives-going-different-directions stuff. We’ve had basically no contact since then (not hard since she’s in a different part of the country), but I am still in possession of some, uh, home movies the two of us made when we were together. I’ve started seeing someone else, but if I need to take care of business myself I’ll sometimes access the discreet, well-hidden porn folder and watch some of my old exploits.
Is this Kosher? My ex hasn’t asked me to get rid of the videos, and of course I’m not ever going to share them with anyone as I am not a monster. But is it some sort of violation for me to keep watching them? And what about now that there’s a new girl in the picture? She and I haven’t had the Let’s Define Our Relationship talk yet (and it’s not like I’m going to tell her what porn I watch) but I can’t imagine I’m on solid ethical ground here. I’d appreciate some perspective on this.
DIY Dirk Diggler
I suppose the rationale here is that your sex videos aren’t any different from porn. But they are different, aren’t they? Because it’s not the fantasy world of porn, but something very real to you. You’re getting sexual gratification from your ex while dating someone new. It’s not QUITE cheating, but it’s certainly grounds for an ugly fight and — depending on your girlfriend — a break-up.
If that seems unfair, swap roles: how would you feel if you walked in on your girlfriend watching porn? Not so bad, right? Now what if she were masturbating to a video of her fucking another guy? Suddenly not so cool.
You don’t need to delete the old sex tapes, but they should go into digital mothballs while you’re in a relationship.
Congrats on making it through the draft in one piece. I bet the amount of stupid in a sports journalist’s life plummets after round 7.
Thank you. To be fair, there’s a lot of stupid in every NFL writer’s life, pretty much year-round.
Fantasy first. I’m about to join my first league where people actually give a shit (not auto drafting, trades, trash talk, etc) and I need some draft advice. When making choices in the later rounds, how important is it to consider the timing of bye weeks? If I have a great QB or RB, do I try to get a WR or TE to compensate for their off weeks or is it better to just go for value?
Nah, just get the best players. As long as you’re not drafting backups who have the same byes as your starters, you’ll be fine. There’s a lot of excessive hand-wringing about bye weeks during a draft, when really, what’s the worst case scenario? You have one week where all your players are off? So you lose that week, and you’ve got 12 more weeks with a full roster to make the playoffs.
And now sex. I’m 26. From 19-25 I was in a relationship with my college sweetheart. On the one hand, I have much more experience with long-term relationships than most of my peers, but I’m less than clueless at being single. Hooking up at 19 was stupid easy so I never learned how to flirt with a stranger beyond “hey we’re both drunk” and I’m not great at picking up on signals.
Oh, boo hoo hoo. “I’m 26 and single with technology that makes getting laid easier than ever. What ever shall I do?”
I bring this up because I’m into a friend of a friend. We’ve met at various parties a handful of times and I think she might feel the same. Although she might just be friendly. Again, not great at picking up on signals. In any case, following recent advice from this column, I’ve decided to ask her out so my question is: what’s the etiquette here? Do I run this by my friend first? And should I send her a text right away or wait until the next time we run into each other? And how do I actually tell the difference between flirty and friendly?
-Single in Seattle
I’d like to direct you in the direction of two weeks ago, where the pertinent advice was “Just fucking go for it.” You’ve got her number, right? What the hell are you waiting for? Someone else to ask her out?
This isn’t to say there aren’t nuances and best practices. You may benefit from talking to your friend, who might give you insight to her feelings or past dating history. Maybe she isn’t thinking about you and would be surprised by a text out of the blue. Maybe she’s a romantic and wants to be called (note: NO ONE wants to be called, ever, except your parents). But all that shit is polish on the frame, when you should be focused on painting in big, bold strokes.
You’ll never have a complete handbook to the opposite sex. Some women are naturally flirtatious even when they’re not interested, some are merely friendly to a fault, and some who are interested will obfuscate their feelings. All that YOU can do, Single Man In His Twenties, is be confident, gentlemanly, and bold. Ask out women you like. Don’t worry so much about the medium, as long as you’re using one to move forward.