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LoveFAQ is a weekly advice column for geeks, by geeks about love, life and maxing out your romance meter. Got questions for LoveFAQs? Send them to advice@escapistmag.com.

Dear Love FAQ,

If I were in an online relationship – where we’ve never met in-person before – would driving three hours to their house at a scheduled time to make physical contact make me creepy? Or, at least, a total loser?

Sincerely,
Your Answer Is Relevant To My Interests

Dear Answer,

Stop being all You’ve Got Mail about this. This is 2011. People meet online all the time nowadays. There’s nothing to be ashamed about. Twenty years ago, people used classifieds. Today it’s Craigslist. It’s not a big deal either way.

But that doesn’t mean you should be stupid about it, either.

If you’re meeting this person for the first time, do not meet at his or her house. Always meet in public first, preferably at some neutral place (a coffee shop, a restaurant, etc.) located somewhere halfway between.

I say this not because I’m some self-righteous Luddite who thinks all internet strangers are pedophiles and serial killers, but because lack of chemistry can squash even the most casual of random encounters. What happens if you find that in meat space, you aren’t actually all that attracted to each other? Then you’ve wasted all that gas to spend time counting Hummel figurines in a stranger’s dining room, without even the promise of sex to make it all bearable. So in love as in war, survey your battlefield first before you move in all your troops.

In addition, as with any new sexual partner, you should discuss STDs and boundaries before the clothes come off. And use protection! Casual sex doesn’t inherently mean stupid sex, too.

Other than that, go forth and have fun. Go unlock some achievements for all of us.

Dear Love FAQ,

I’ve been with my boyfriend for almost four months now. But recently, I’ve started to feel like I’m being taken for granted.

When I go over to his place, we usually have sex a few times that night, but then the rest of the time he’ll be online, or playing a computer game. I’m a gamer myself, and I’d never want to interfere with his game time. But I can’t help but think that, since I’m there, he should be spending his time with me.

I know there’s a limit to how much time you can spend cuddling between coitus, but I do feel a little neglected when he gets up to play a computer game, and I’m expected to just wait in bed. I don’t expect his undivided attention at all times, but is it too much to ask that he spend some time with me, since I made the effort to see him?

I’ve considered split-screen or co-op, but we both prefer single-player, so it’s not like we can make the gaming thing work for us. And since it’s his house, there’s nothing much I can do to amuse myself, except watch him play.
I don’t know how to talk to him about it, because I don’t want to seem needy and clingy. But I don’t want to put up with this anymore either. Help!

Thanks,
Camped for Sex

Dear Granted,

You feel like he’s taking you for granted because, well, he is. Any man who rolls over and grabs an Xbox controller and not the naked woman in the bed next to him is a) an idiot, and b) assumes your continued presence is pretty much a done deal.

So stop enabling his bullshit. Tell him flat out that if he’s conscious enough to press play post-coitus, then he’s conscious enough to hold a conversation with you. If he balks, you walk, end of story.

Don’t let him make you feel like you’re needy, or clingy, or otherwise the one with the problem. You’re not. He’s the one who has no idea how to treat a house guest, much less one gracious enough to have sex with him multiple times a night.

If he doesn’t shape up, then move on. I promise you, thousands of cute guys out there would be more than willing to share your split-screen. Go find one, and let this guy’s immaturity be somebody else’s problem.

Dear Love FAQ,

I’m a single man of 21. In the last three months I struck up a friendship with this girl. I was content to keep it that way for awhile, but as time went on, I became more and more interested in her. While I want to date her, I was trying to move slowly with this relationship, and build up to asking her out it felt right to do so.

However, I think I inadvertently scared her off. My parents like to meet my friends, love interests or not, and I told her – somewhat enthusiastically – that they’d love to have her over for dinner. It would’ve been platonic, by all means. But that’s not what she picked up on. She messaged me saying “You know we’re friends, and that’s as far as it goes, right? Don’t hate me, please.”

Not only was I surprised, but a little crushed. I reassured her that I couldn’t hate her for being honest, and I was swift to repair that leak in the friend boat. But I’m still interested in her a great deal, and I still feel courageous enough to ask her again. She seems to show interest, but I’m not sure if she’s just being friendly or she’s actually starting to like me. If either is true, could it still be possible to form a serious romantic relationship without scaring her off a second time?

Sincerely,
Pressed A Too Fast

Dear Pressed A,

You didn’t spook her. She’s not a rabbit.

She just wasn’t interested in you in the first place. What further indication of this do you need apart from, “We’re friends and that’s as far as it goes”?

Pressed, she’s not into you. She’s never been into you. She will never be into you. Stop obsessing over her and find someone else.

And next time, be honest about your intentions from the very get-go. Don’t pretend to be her friend when you really want to be her boyfriend, and then have the stones to act surprised when she’s not interested. That’s stereotypical Nice Guy ™ behavior. Don’t be a Nice Guy™. Those guys are dicks.

One last thing: Stop inviting girls to meet your parents before you even have your first date. You’re 21. An adult. You don’t need Mommy and Daddy’s approval of your sex life.

Disclaimer: LoveFAQ is written by Lara Crigger, who is by no means a trained psychiatrist or therapist or even a middle school guidance counselor – just a smart gal who wants to help out her fellow geek. LoveFAQ is meant for entertainment purposes only, so don’t take it as a substitute for professional advice. If you have real problems, consult your physician.

Got a burning question (or a question about burning) for LoveFAQ? Send your emails to advice@escapistmag.com. All submissions are confidential and anonymous.

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