That’s not a typo in the headline. For a while now, we’ve been getting a lot of emails about people in various states of getting over/not getting over their exes. So this week it’s a big ex blowout (with a couple actual questions about sex), and after today, you’re on your own for a while. I won’t be entertaining questions about exes unless they’re REALLY interesting. Enjoy it now, and then move the F on.

(image via juliasegal)

Cap,
Sex – Got dumped shortly before the new year. Took me to the bottom. I’m back now, feel good about things, a few female prospects here and there, nothing major. Stumbled onto your recommendations for a fellow in recovery and I was already in the middle of most steps, just ran a Tough Mudder, eating well, and getting myself out of my own comfort zone every now and then. Things are looking up.

I live in a small town in Colorado. And my ex still lives here, too. When she broke it off I received lines like “I’m relying on you too much,” “we moved too fast,” “I don’t want to be in a relationship right now.” She was also uncertain as to her future of living here was, since she’s from WA, and I’m a native. Here we are, 6 months later, and she’s in another full-blown relationship. Interesting aside, this guy also dated my last girlfriend after I broke it off with one a couple of years ago…strange. He’s about 30, been married once, owns a wallaby (the fuck?), even seen him take it to the bar. Pretty sure that ain’t sanitary.

“You brought a wallaby… TO A BAR?!?” — Reese Witherspoon, Sweet Home Colorado

It’s damn near impossible to avoid them/seeing them although I am moving to Denver in September, that’ll help things. I just don’t know what to think, seems like I got all these bullshit lines because she’s right where she was, and maybe even more serious with him.

Dude, that’s covered in the first week of my Breakup 101 course: “I don’t want to be in a relationship right now” ALWAYS means “I don’t want to be in a relationship WITH YOU.” People say the former because the latter is unnecessarily cruel to a person who’s already getting dumped.

I know I need to stay the fuck off of Facebook, and just move the fuck on because obviously she has. Just let me know what you think…and if I’m missing looking at something.
Take Care,
ConfusedinColorado

Don’t stay off of Facebook, just click on the little down arrow on the right side of her latest status update and select “Hide all by [Heartless Demon]” or whatever her name is.

Other than that, just say “fuck it” and move on. What the fuck do you care? You’re moving to Denver, and this’ll make for a great story. “I got dumped for a guy with a wallaby.” It’s both hilarious and understandable. I’d want to party with a wallaby.

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Dear KSK,
Numerous times in the mailbag you’ve mentioned the idiocy of men in their 20s. What general advice would you give to a girl in her early 20s? Nearly every guy I’ve had a relationship with has turned out to be a complete ass. Appearance-wise I’m average height and weight and Mediterranean looking, which isn’t exactly what men my age find attractive, but women and men over the age of 45 (not exactly the target demographic) appreciate, so it’s not like I’m completely hideous.

/Googles emailer

If the Internet’s photos of you are recent, you’re much better than “not completely hideous.” I might call you downright do-able if my fiancee didn’t read this column.

I drink bourbon (I feel like every guy who writes into the mail bag trying to convince you a girl is really cool mentions her whiskey drinking) and I’m a sportswriter. I’m not saying that Ryan Gosling should be in love with me, but I deserve better than the clowns that I generally get mixed up with, so any advice would be appreciated.
Thank you,
Unlucky Lady

We all deserve better than clowns. But age difference can be a tricky bridge to gap. By the time I was 29 or 30, I had a hard time staying interested in women younger than 26. I didn’t have anything in particular against younger women; I was just more interested in people who had accrued more life experience, who had suffered through a shitty job and moved on, who had more friends than just the people they went to college with. Stuff like that. So as easy as it is to say, “Date older guys,” that may not be the recipe for success. (In fact, some older guys might treat a relationship with you less seriously simply because you’re younger. Age does not equal maturity.)

Anyway, you’re not alone in your experience. Everyone’s stumbling through the world looking for a person who’s attractive and funny and financially independent to return their affection, and the stereotypical trend in those particular stumbles is for men to be selfish boors and for women to be naive about men’s tendencies (though, to be fair, some of the men who are being selfish boors are acting that way to get over a woman who broke their heart. Everyone’s to blame). It’s complicated and fucked up and annoying, but it’s part of the process.

Failed romances teach us more about ourselves and what we like and don’t like in a potential partner. If you’ve dated nothing but clowns for a while, you should be able to identify them more readily and thus avoid getting involved with them. There are no mistakes,* only learning points.

*unless you get pregnant or an STD. Use condoms!

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Sports Bro,
Football: I’m in a ppr keeper league, was hoping Bradford would have a breakout season so I could keep him but pretty much whiffed. Only good late round guy I got was Jimmy graham. is he worth a 7-10th rounder? (can’t remember the rules/ which round I picked him).

Following his preseason buzz last year, he was gone by the 6th round in my drafts. And considering the only people who caught more passes than Jimmy Graham last year were Wes Welker and Roddy White, I’d say yes, Jimmy Graham is worth a 7-10th rounder.

It just seems unsexy to have a TE keeper when everyone else has Cam and Cruz. On the other hand I did go to a preseason game, see him play, and think I MUST GET HIM. So there’s that.

“I don’t want to keep a boring ol’ tight end who catches more passes than Calvin Johnson for more yards than Roddy White and more touchdowns than Victor Cruz. Just seems unsexy.”

Sex: I am planning on getting engaged soon to a girl I have been dating for the past 5 years. Bought the ring and everything. Problem is ever since I forked out all that money, she has been acting batshit crazy, reminding me off how she was when I broke up with her a few years back. We obviously got back together and thought she had changed, but this is scaring me because it’s the girl I want to spend the rest of my life with. Specific behavior includes passive aggressiveness and taking everything I say the wrong way. Can I just chalk it up to stress and changing of her birth control that is fucking with her hormones?

Oh yeah, DEFINITELY do that. “Well, she’s a huge pain in the ass, but it’s probably just the new birth control, so I’m gonna go ahead and ask her to marry me.” I believe that was originally Kevin Nealon’s line in the “Bad Idea Jeans” commercial.

Or should I run the other way otherwise I will regret getting married for the rest of my life?

Other things to consider- I really love her, I’m kind of a selfish asshole,

This is where the email abruptly ended. Given the information enclosed, my best guess is that his girlfriend came into the room and said, “WHO ARE YOU EMAILING?!?” forcing him to nervously click “send.”

To me, your relationship sounds like a co-dependent hell I’d never want to visit, much less spend the rest of my life in. But I’m also getting married to a sweet, funny woman who understands and trusts me completely, so maybe I just don’t understand the love that you guys have. But as a gesture of good faith, I’ll share with you two points that I’ve repeated a couple times in the mailbag before:

  1. Loving someone does not necessarily mean that he or she is the right person to marry.
  2. Erratic behavior does not go away with marriage. It only locks you into a LEGALLY BINDING CONTRACT with the person who exhibits it.
Make your own decision.

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Captain,
I live in a smaller city with a relatively condensed bar scene, a few blocks with probably 20 options for drinking. Needless to say I see the same people fairly frequently. While this is a great option for meeting up with friends/casual acquaintances, it absolutely sucks for running into exes. In the past week alone I crossed paths with two separate ones. The problem lies in that I usually try to stay friends with my previous girlfriends,

I’m going to stop you right here. Focus on your own words just before the break, and think about whether you needed to write the rest of the email.

Good? Okay, continue:

call it shallow/psychotic/whatever, which totally backfires when I run into them. Either I look like a dick for hitting on girls in front of them (if we are now friends) or I get jealous/depressed (if they dumped me).

The obvious solution here is to stop going to the same area so much, find other activities to meet people, etc. It’s just that’s what my friends and I enjoy doing, so it’s relatively unavoidable. Am I stuck in this situation and need to learn to deal with it, or are there other options?
Thanks,
Small Pond

An excellent question totally worth exploring in detail! Let’s see what the GIFs have to say.

Don’t like it? Move to a bigger pond.

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Hey Captain,
I was the guy roughly two months ago who wrote in about his ex-girlfriend needing space to figure out if she truly wanted a relationship,

(That’s like every third email in the mailbag, but I will pretend to remember you.) Oh hey! How’s it been going with that?

and I did my best to take your advice and ignore her and move on. It was a slow process, but after a couple of weeks of working out hard and going out, I started to get past it–so thanks for the help.

I figured I was past it, able to wake up not thinking about her, until said girl comes to me on my lunch break a few days ago–yes she’s a coworker, so the whole ordeal was probably a mistake–and she told me she suddenly started seeing a guy “who’s just much more compatible” within a month after said she needed lots and lots of time alone. Adding to the fun is that this guy is also a coworker of ours. Lovely.

Needless to say, I was pissed and upset the night she told me and it felt like I was “relapsing” into giving a shit, but calmed down enough the next day that we could get closure since the relationship fully ended with a talk about everything. Here’s the gist of the issue–she says “it’s not that you’re not special, I was in love with you when we were together, it’s that this guy just fits me better” and still wants to be friends; I told her she basically twisted a knife in my gut and I had no desire to be friends with her again. Essentially, it’s someone looking at the details of what happened (her) vs. someone looking at the big picture (me) and coming to a conclusion on a friendship future going forward.

In this case, I’m pretty sure I’m not going to be friends going forward, at least for an indefinite period of time, but do you think there’s ever a benefit to being friends with exes?
Thanks,
Moving forward one way or another

Not really. In the aftermath of a break-up, what we call “friendship” is actually one of two things: “pretending to be friends in the hope that I can sleep with you again,” or “pretending to be friends so I can still get attention from you and  feel better about ditching you.” Neither of those is exactly the platonic ideal.

In this case, your ex has been bluntly honest with you about liking another co-worker better, so you should be bluntly honest with her: being friends is really just an olive branch that makes her feel better about dumping you. It’s a selfish act, and if she actually respected your well-being, she’d leave you alone.

Oh, and one more thing: DON’T DATE YOUR CO-WORKERS.

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Ranger Rudolfensis,
Fantasy: Is it August yet? No? Well at least we have the NBA Finals. 

Sex: I’m going to keep this pretty brief (appropriate considering my dilemma). Essentially as a young teenage boy growing up during the birth of online porn, I jacked off a lot. I mean I masturbated so much my mother had a fur coat that didn’t need a hanger, Oohh!

You were masturbating with your mother’s fur coat?

Crappy Dice Clay jokes aside, this has led to having a hard time getting it up without porn. And when I do get it up, the stamina is seriously lacking. Did I dig myself too deep a whole to recover from this? I find myself avoiding relationships because of potential shortcomings. I understand that sex isn’t everything in a relationship, but without it you’re essentially just really good friends.
Sincerely,
I swear this never happens

Kids these days. You have no respect for the fearsome power of porn.

So first of all, you’re a dumbass for putting porn before women. As a young man, your number one goal should be getting naked with a real live woman. By saying that you’re avoiding relationships, you’re essentially admitting to not being willing to give up porn. That is FUCKED. Women are fantastic creatures, and you need to spend as much of your free time as possible learning how to attract them, how to interact with them, and how to please them. If a naked women kissing you doesn’t get you hard, you have a SERIOUS problem.

Again, at times like this, it should be noted that I AM NOT A MENTAL HEALTH EXPERT, and if you have any doubts about what I say you should seek professional help. However, if this were my problem, I’d wean myself off that shit. Think of it like a smoker going on progressively smaller doses of Nicoderm: hold out for as long as possible without masturbating, then jerk it to still pictures of porn. Do that for a couple weeks, then switch to pictures of naked women. A couple more weeks of that, then celebrity bikini pics (it’s summer, there are plenty on every gossip blog).

The key is to STAY AWAY FROM VIDEO PORN. Porn is a lie. It’s not the kind of sex that real people have, so you can’t let that imagery dominate your sexual drive. If you can’t get off without it, you’re an addict. And just like an alcoholic can’t be trusted to use booze responsibly, you shouldn’t be looking at porn.

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Dearest Captain Caveman,
Fantasy: Would you still draft a RB with your top pick? With the league exploding last year, would Rodgers, Brees, Brady, Stafford be worth top 5 picks? Also, what is the absolute earliest you would take Cam?

In order: yes, maybe Rodgers, and the end of the second round, because I’m a coward when it comes to young quarterbacks.

Sex: I’ll give you the back story on this girl that I’ve been dating. She was in a serious relationship for over two years until just before Thanksgiving, and her boyfriend broke up with her out of the blue, saying that he was freaked out by how serious their relationship was getting, and he needed some space. She was extremely upset over it at the time, obviously. Apart from the actual break-up, they appear to have had a really good realtionship up until then.

So, she meets me in March, around St. Paddy’s Day, and every time we hang out for the next two and a half months is better than the previous time. She’s everything that I would want in a girl – smart, funny, laid back, fun, thoughtful, gorgeous. We’re both 26. I like her A LOT, and I know she feels the same way about me. I’ve been in a couple of serious relationships before, and I like this girl more than anyone I’ve dated before. I’ve met all her friends, and I get on great with all of them too. She’s really happy, and feels like she is moving on, and over her ex.

However, about a month ago, her ex decided that he had made a huge mistake, and will do whatever it takes to get her back.

What a piece of shit.

Understandably, her head is all over the place. She clearly still has feelings for her ex, but is not sure whether she should get back with him because of the way he ended it before, and because she has been dating me, who she likes an awful lot.

Two weeks ago we talked about it, and she said she needed to figure things out. Since then, we’ve hung out a couple of times, but it’s obviously not the same as before, and I can sense that she’s gradually starting to think that maybe she should give her ex a chance. Also, she’s really close with his family, and his sister is one of her best friends, which I guess complicates things further.

Should I try to fight for her, or should I just peace out and move on with things myself, or something in between?
Best,
Der Lubbe

That’s a tough spot to be in. If you just say, “Do what you have to do” then you’re essentially giving her a green light to go back to him. If you fight for her, you can end up looking desperate and possessive.

But I think there’s a way that you can straddle that divide while still feeling proud of the way you handle it — tell her honestly and passionately how you feel about her, and then leave her to make her own decision. “Hey, Suzanne,” — or whatever her name is, nobody even gives me a fucking fake name to work with in this goddam column — “I respect what you’re going through with Shit-For-Brains, but you’ve put me in a tough spot. You are [all that stuff about her being gorgeous and cool and everything you like about her], and I’ve never felt this strongly about a woman before. I know it’s kind of early in our relationship, but I can promise you that I would never, ever leave you hanging like he did. So go figure out what you have to figure out, but if you go back to him, I’m going to be heartbroken, and when he leaves you high and dry a second time, I can’t promise that I’ll still be waiting for you.”

P.S. The bar you recommended for Tim Tebow on 53rd and 9th – Flaming Saddles – was NOT showing the Heat/Thunder Game 4 (?!). Still though, friendly folk.

Yeah, they were really nice. Probably not the best place to watch sports, though.

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Letter from another girl! That’s two in one mailbag!

Dearest Caveman,
Anyway, this isn’t really about sex, but: My boyfriend and I are both 22, just graduated college together in May, and are soon to be moving on with our professional lives. I will be going off to Air Force basic training sometime in the fall and he is moving across the country for grad school at the end of July. Because of the strain of a long-distance relationship, especially one with no foreseeable end, and our desires to pursue our individual careers, we have agreed to break up upon his departure and keep in touch as friends. This is about to get really cheesy, but this guy is one of, if not the most important person in my life right now, and I have truly never felt what it was to love someone until I was with him. We have both made it known that if our lives cross paths again in the future we would want to be together, and to be honest there is nothing in the world I want more than that to happen. That being said, I am honestly glad to have some time as a 20-something-year old girl to see what else is out there.

About a week ago I reluctantly agreed to go on a cruise with my family the week of July 15-22, assuming that my boyfriend would be leaving on July 27 and I would have a week after I got back to spend time with him. However, he just found out he is leaving on the 24, meaning we would have only one day together after my vacation. I spend a lot of time with him as it is, but missing those 8 days that could have been spent with him (one of which is my birthday) is killing me. It’s important for you to know that I absolutely hate spending time with my family. I had originally refused to go on the cruise, but when my mother stopped talking to me and I was uncomfortable being home because of all the tension it created, I was guilt-tripped into saying yes. I know I am going to be miserable if I leave with my family that week, and I won’t be able to enjoy the vacation knowing I made the wrong decision. Should I tell my parents I don’t want to go and offer to pay them my share of the ticket? Or should I suck it up and miss out on an extra week with my boyfriend who I don’t know when I’ll see again?
-some girl

Know this: you’re going to be unhappy either way. If you go on the cruise, you’re going to spend the entire time resenting your mother and wishing you were with your boyfriend. If you stay home with your boyfriend, you might have a couple more days of happiness in the short term, but the pain will be more intense when he leaves, plus you won’t hear the end of it from your mother for the rest of her life.

I’m 33 years old. At this point in my life, I wouldn’t want the fucking hassle from my mom (who in this hypothetical is a bitch, I guess?) just to have seven more days with someone I was breaking up with. But you’re 22 and starry-eyed and romantic about what the future holds, so I don’t blame you if you ditch the cruise. But I wouldn’t do that. It’s a CRUISE, woman! Being drunk on a boat is one of the most fun things in the entire world. Go get drunk and tan and make out with strangers. If you’re going to move on with your life, might as well start now.

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Captain Caveman,
Football: Call me a horrible fan or whatever, but I’m a fan of two different NFL teams. On the one hand, I like the Redskins. Most of my friends, including my roommates, like them. So I always watch their games. On the other hand, my parents and a lot of my family are originally from Denver and thus are Broncos fans. So that’s the team I was raised to like despite being 2,000 miles from Denver. My question is, with both teams allegedly on the rise thanks to actual quarterbacks coming to town (not a good offseason for ex- Florida QBs) is it time for me to suck it up and go 100% all-in on one? Obviously they’re from different conferences, and they don’t play each other in the regular season until 2013. So do I get one more year to decide? I probably would say I’m more of a Broncos fan than Skins fan. But then again, I can’t see myself not rooting for the local team (apologies for the double negative).

I don’t really give a shit because it doesn’t affect me being a fan of the Seahawks. But know this: every REAL die-hard — a fan who’s monogamous with one team — will scoff at you (either secretly or openly) every time you say you like two teams, because you can never love one team the way that they do.

I say pick the Broncos. ‘Skins fans are awful.

Relationship: Recently I dreamt that I was

A fucking email about DREAMS? Jesus Christ. Okay, tell me more, Bella Swan.

trying to prevent an ex-girlfriend from getting married to a douchebag golfer, kinda like Shooter McGavin (a weird specific nemesis, but whatever). In the end I was successful and got the ex back. Now this “ex” did not look like anyone I’ve ever dated or hooked up with, nor did the golfer asshole remind me of anyone in particular I dislike. In fact, the girl in my dream reminded me vaguely of Kristen Stewart,

!!!! I honestly didn’t know that was coming when I called you Bella Swan.

whereas the only girl I’ve seriously dated, Jennifer, was blonde.

Great detail!

So after waking up, I thought nothing of it. But then one of the first things I did that morning was to log onto Facebook. And lo and behold one of very first items on my newsfeed was a picture someone took of Jennifer, enwrapped in the arms of some dude while wearing a bikini with the caption “schmadorable.” So apparently she has a new boyfriend.

People who calls things “schmadorable” should get the death penalty.

Now Jennifer broke up with me unexpectedly a year and a half ago, and I took it pretty hard. We then tried getting back together for a bit about 11 months ago, but that didn’t work. I’d like to think I’ve gotten over her – I’ve gone on dates and hooked up with other people since the last time I saw her, despite none of those leading to lasting relationships. But ever since I had this dream (which again she was not in) she keeps creeping into my thoughts. For example, every time I go out to bars, I keep expecting to see her, and every time she pops up on my Facebook newsfeed I get a pang of nostalgia.

Is this mailbag over yet?

Does this mean I need to completely cut her out of my life (aka delete her on Facebook)? It really seems like defriending her is letting her know she “won the breakup,” however juvenile that sounds.

Do people seriously not know how to hide their friends’ updates from their feeds? That’s the ONLY way I can tolerate Facebook.

Or should I not worry about this, since it will all go away once I start a new relationship. The third option, trying to win her back like in my dream has an infinitely small chance of succeeding and thus isn’t really an option. (Sorry that I don’t really have as cut and dry a question as my football one; I just had to anonymously share my strangely timed dream on the internet).
-James from NoVa

It’s not a strangely timed dream. It’s a stupid meaningless dream just like all other dreams, the detritus of your subconscious that happened to be sitting around when you woke up. Hide her updates from your timeline, and never tell anyone about your dreams, because they’re super-boring and don’t mean anything. Good luck!