Turning The Screw
37

Ask Polly: I Am So Jealous Of This Other Girl!

Dear Polly,

I am hoping you might help me with a peculiar personal problem. I apologize in advance if this is a bit vague. To begin with, I am your average 28-year-old fun-time party gal who is often overly drunk/brash, 'one of the guys,' sensitive to criticism/weirdo childhood and thus live a smaller life which I've overall been happy doing with great girlfriends of my own, cool hobbies, owning my own home, working a well-paying not particularly prestigious helping-people job that affords me lots of free time to do whatever I want. I definitely need therapy & a journal, which I plan to do, soon.

I've lived in a certain [...]

13

Ask Polly: I'm 40 And No Man Would Want Me Now!

Hi Polly,

So, I was dating someone long distance (YES I KNOW). Though I thought it was going well, he ended it—and now I’m not sure if it’s good for me to be friends with him (YES I KNOW JUST HOLD ON).

I’m a 40-year-old gay guy who’s never dated anyone longer than 9 months. This year I finally felt ready to settle down (not immediately! this takes work!), though I know that may not be possible at this point. I’m smart and ambitious, but with some major problems I’m finally working on (sorting out issues from my college-era drug use, always had difficulty maintaining friendships). Though I’ve always made [...]

16

Ask Polly: Help, Our Friend Is Marrying An Evil Harpy!

Dear Polly,

My boyfriend's longtime friend, who is also my friend, is getting married to a woman we dislike. And by dislike, I mean, good Lord we think he's getting himself into a world of hurt and abuse, and we don't know the best way to address it to him.

Our friend is a caring, thoughtful, capable man in his early 30s. He's from a middle class American family, but he's far from home and not wealthy himself so we usually hang out in cheap dive bars and hole in the wall restaurants (until he met his fiancée). He's kind of shy and a little awkward around women. He can [...]

31

Ask Polly: I Feel Violently Ambivalent About My Boyfriend… So Should We Get Married?

Dear Polly,

My ex and I broke up nearly a year ago, after five years together. It was mutual, yet for different reasons: he was depressed with and questioning his life choices, which our relationship was tied to (living a vagabond life, etc.). I realized that I had been questioning our relationship, and my lack of desire for him, for some time; I was finally offered a way out. I’m not sure if I would have gone through with the break-up if it wasn’t something he wanted as well. It was sad but amicable, and we remained in intermittent contact.

Several months later, he came to me and said he [...]

33

Ask Polly: My Best Friend Keeps Recruiting Me To Join Her Multi-Level Marketing Scheme!

Hi Polly,

Over the past several years, my best friend and I have remained close through some huge life changes. I made the decision to get a divorce from my abusive spouse and she was right there with me, offering me a place to stay and moral support. She experienced an unplanned but welcome pregnancy which resulted in the birth of her first child. She also got engaged to the love of her life. I am now heavily involved in plans for her wedding. I love her dearly. However, there is one major problem with our relationship.

Both her and her new fiancée are active members of an international Multi-level [...]

52

Ask Polly: Should I Give In And Be The Other Woman?

Appearing here Wednesdays, Turning The Screw provides existential crisis counseling for the faint of heart. Because you can't always do who you want.

Dear Polly,

I am catnip for guys with girlfriends. Six times a guy I really felt a connection with has informed me that he has a girlfriend after we've flirted/kissed/went on incredible dates, etc. Last weekend, I met Number 6 through a friend at a music festival. We totally bonded, hung out casually all night, flirted while he walked me home and then he kissed me. Like, a "holy shit I feel like a damn woman" kiss. A feel it to your toes kiss. And [...]

102

Ask Polly: Give Me One Reason Why I Shouldn't Cheat On My Wife

Polly,

I'm a new reader and dig your crazy no-bullshit advice. But I'm writing not so much for advice, but to throw down the gauntlet. My understanding is that always ends well.

The subject is me cheating on my wife. I'm sick of feeling guilty about wanting to, and rationally I'm having a hard time figuring out why I shouldn't because I think it may actually help our marriage and improve the chances of us providing a happy home for our children. Clearly a convenient conclusion but one I've done a lot of thinking about.

Here are the supporting facts:

1. My wife is no longer interested in sex. [...]

32

Ask Polly: Help, I'm The Loneliest Person In The World!

Dear Polly,

Let's start this off originally, to match the unique snowflake that I am: I'm an extremely socially handicapped lady, 25 years of age, with just a handful (maybe 3 at best) of friends, and in a lonely place in my life.

To paint a bit of background: I have always been very shy, introverted, and fucking terrible at connecting with others. I was comfortable with my alone-ness, though. I've always been a bit (of a lot) of a closet romantic, so I can't really remember any long period of time since the fourth grade when I didn't have a crush on someone. But mostly, those were either boys [...]

44

Ask Polly: How Do I Find True Love And Stop Dating Half-Assed Men?

Polly,

My question is a simple and boring one: How do I find love? And, more importantly, how to I cultivate self-esteem? I'm in my late 20's, and I tend to get into relationships with dudes that are only half interested in me, and then I badger them to death about their half-assed interest until the relationship slowly dies. What I want most, MOST, in the world is a happy family. Children that I feel joy with. A genuinely happy marriage that lasts until I kick the goddamn bucket. I grew up with very unhappy, miserable parents that immigrated to the states, and I don't even know what to look [...]

23

Ask Polly: I'm Dating A Girl, But I'm Falling In Love With a Man!

Dear Polly,

I am a 23-year-old queer girl who has spent the last yearish in a polyamorous relationship that recently turned long-distance. When we first started sleeping together both she and I were involved with other people, it was pretty casual, we were good friends who cared about each other and were attracted to each other, so we figured why not, right? Anyway, time went on and while we were still both seeing other people (she had a few regular sweeties in other cities, I was seeing one guy who turned out to be seriously allergic to his feelings, as you would say, and having some random one-night stands in [...]

39

Ask Polly: My Best Friend Is A Lunatic Who Owes Me An Apology!

Polly,

I’m part of a three-way best friendship between two ladies who complete me. B is a fastidious, engaging, honest lunatic and L is a messy, cuddly, gregarious, drunken, motherly lunatic. I’m a mix of the two maybe? (Definitely also a lunatic.) We fit together and have for the past 15 years. Over those years we’ve traded boyfriends, towns, apartments, clothes; we’ve stayed up countless nights together; we’ve seen each other through petty and epic break-ups. I mean, we were all in our 20s together: it’s been crazy. B & L are my sisters.

Currently, I’m being driven a little crazy by a situation with B that I can’t seem [...]

24

Ask Polly: My Great Job At A Top International News Publication Sucks Ass!

Dear Polly,

I’m in my mid-20s, two years out of school, with a seemingly dreamy job at big fancy news organization, but I feel so stuck. I feel like a hamster spinning my wheel and going nowhere. I can’t figure out if this is a normal early-20s feeling.

For our entire lives up until we enter The Real World, we have classes and semesters: variety. Every couple months you have something new to work on, a new group of people to be around. But in The Real World, you have a job and you do it for years, the same thing day in and day out. And just two years [...]

24

Ask Polly: Should I Give My Commitment-Phobic Boyfriend An Ultimatum?

Dear Polly,

Is it possible for someone to have commitmentphobia while simultaneously professing enthusiasm for commitment—all while not doing much about commitment, either way?

Let me explain. For the past year and a half I've been dating a man in his early 40s. I am in my mid-30s. Most of our friends are married, cohabitating, have kids, have houses. You know the drill. I have never pushed on these issues, mostly because I don't feel the need: I have a career I like, friends and family and hobbies I love, a nice place to live, the ability to pay my own bills. My life is full and rich, and [...]

46

Ask Polly: How Do I Stop Meeting Arrogant, Mentally Ill Pricks?

Hi Polly,

I finally have been hired for my dream internship, in my field, and utilizing my educational background. In a large international megapolis. But….

After years of dating, I am writing to you for some guidance on how to approach dating abroad/in a totally new place. I recently broke up with the last of a slew of asshole, arrogant, mentally ill prick boyfriends. One of whom raped me, resulting in years of difficult, but productive therapy. I feel like I am in a good place and want to date someone who is professional, reasonable and you know—cool. Not a meanie.

I am just really worried about ways [...]

15

Ask Polly: We Had The Best Sex Ever, But He Won't Be Mine!

Dear Polly,

I'm at a point in my life (24 years and a month, to be exact) where I'm finally slipping out from my romantic ideas of the world and starting to accept hard facts. Things like preparing to be alone forever, me not giving a shit about impressing people who don't deserve my time, etc.

However, I'm in a funk right now that I can't figure out, which is horrendous because I'm a logical thinker who wants to solve every problem anyone has right away. Six months ago, I was living with my boyfriend at the time in the small, shitty college town where we went to school. He [...]

43

Ask Polly: These Tortured Intellectual Boys Are Torturing Me!

Polly,

I'm a 26 year-old woman living in a big city.

I've been in 3 serious relationships. The last one—the big one, the one that broke my heart and my soul and almost made me give up on love and all that junk—ended over a year ago. I'd been in love with him for about 2 years before we started dating. Once we did, it was a whirlwind of love and romantic weekends (we were long distance for most of the time). I felt that he was the one. I KNEW he was the one. He was smart and funny and honest with this biting pessimistic (and yet painfully accurate) [...]

35

Ask Polly: Am I Just A Booty Call?

Dear Polly,

When is it too soon for an ultimatum? What is a good sign to leave something that's showing complications?

Although it is early, I have been seeing this guy for around 5 weeks. He lives down the road from me (1 block) but we ironically met online.

He is a 21-year-old bachelor, a major player who has never had a real relationship, not to mention he has been with more girls than my fingers and toes, doubled. He is a guy living with guys who has moved out of home less than 12 months ago. He is extremely passionate about his job, to the point it [...]

50

Ask Polly: I Feel Bitter About All Of My Exes And I Can't Get Over It!

Dear Polly,

I'm a 32-year-old single woman. I love my life—my friends, my job, the city in which I live. I have a creative outlet and I exercise and I have a lot of passion for living. But inside I have a problem with bitterness. I feel bitter every single day. I can't stop thinking about the men who have hurt me, and I think about at least two or three of them every day (not always the same ones), sometimes during the day, but mostly at night when I'm trying to fall asleep. I think about when things were good, and then how they hurt me, and I wonder [...]

21

Ask Polly: I'm a Drunk And No One Likes Me!

Dear Polly,

I'm 24 and female. I graduated last year and moved to New York City and I'm hopelessly single with no real friends. I know, pretty original. I've been here for a year, and I work at a great start-up and I feel suicidal. I'm also an alcoholic.

I feel so insecure that no one likes me. I'm lucky to work at a great company with incredibly smart people. I do customer service, and it's an investment company, so the questions aren't always super easy, but I entered the position feeling very, very stupid compared to my coworkers. Six months in, I still feel insignificant and nervous around my [...]

61

Ask Polly: I'm Almost 30 And I'm Terrified Of Losing My Looks

Dear Polly,

I’m a woman who will soon be 30. I am terrified of watching my physical beauty deteriorate over the next decade.

I’m conventionally attractive. I don’t believe that being pretty translates to any tangible social power, but I do get positive attention from people, which I enjoy. I love being gazed at. I don’t mean street harassment or anything like that, but the way that people (of all genders) get these dreamy, enraptured looks on their faces when they see me. I think beauty has some magical quality to it, and it makes me feel alive. When I look at myself, too, I sometimes get the same sensation [...]