Today I said the words “selfish and honest” and wondered suddenly how that had become one of my many credos. Then I searched my inbox and found this email I once (last year) wrote to a girl in need of advice. Now I’m showing you. Not in full, but enough of it to save me answering some of these inbox questions (even though I love your inbox questions, usually, I do).
You eventually made the right choice and got nothing; he lied and kept everything. Everything except, to your great credit, you. From this distance I think you should never speak to him again. Don’t tell him you’re never speaking to him again. That’s like fighting for peace. It’s never true, it does not work, it is literally the thing I am surest of in this whole email. DON’T DO IT. Put down your phone and get really good at masturbating or crocheting** or something.
There aren’t many nice ways to say this so: you are getting fucked over in part because that’s what guys in their 30s think girls in their 20s are for. You can try to be the exception to that rule (I tried and eventually it seemed I’d succeeded but I had not) or you can just not play the game. Games are stupid. Be the girl sitting in the corner of the field picking daisies. Be open. Be selfish and honest. Do everything possible for yourself. Having your own ideal life is the only way to meet the kind of guy who’s into who you want to be, not who he wants you to be. This distinction is so crucial and so often realized too late. Don’t get fucked over the same way twice.
Another thing is that if you are trying to choose between two people the correct answer is almost always “neither.”
Finally, you’re 23! Think of all the heartbreaks you have to look forward to! One after another, crystals slipping off a chain. Don’t save the pain. Find new mistakes to make. Know that everything has a price but you have already paid more than most girls. Love is owed to you.
**ED NOTE: Don’t crochet. That sounds gross.