Dating Dorks

Dear Dategirl,

So I made out with a friend on vacation. It was weird, because he is your textbook socially awkward dork: sci-fi fan, comics collector, Star Wars tattoo, etc. He drove down from Connecticut to NYC to hang out with me when I was visiting, and I took that to mean that he wanted to hook up, since the last time I saw him, he kissed me as I was leaving. So there's a precedent, even though he also claims that he doesn't remember it, he didn't think it was a "real" kiss, etc. (But I have the texts to prove it!) He also flirts with me a lot online.

Long story short, we were alone in my friend's otherwise empty apartment, and I made various overtures, including "We should make out to this song!" Eventually, I just kissed him. It was nice until he got weird because he doesn't like to make out with friends. So I got upset, I cried, and I don't know how, but we ended up making out again. The next day when we were fooling around, I reached for his crotch, and he slapped me away and played it off like he was giving me a high-five.

When I got back home, I e-mailed to say that I was feeling insecure and wanted him to tell me that he thought I was sexy and it was consensual and I'm still his friend. He was like, see, this is why I don't like making out with friends, and that I'm "great."

Why do I feel icky and CREEPY and vaguely predatorial? I feel secure in my intelligence, my warmth, my creativity, my ability to be an awesome friend, but I don't feel sexy. I feel gross. And that in turn makes me feel CREEPY. I've told our mutual friends, and they all insist this is his bullshit, not mine. Is it?

—Potential Creeper

For those of you who don't have basic cable, or do but wisely choose not to sacrifice valuable brain cells to the Bravo Gods, Miss Advised is a show about three women who "work" in the dating industry, yet have train-wreck-like personal lives. You need to watch it.

Julia Allison, the L.A.-based "columnist," will be your cautionary tale. Observe any of her staged dates, see how she behaves (leg-humping! Begging for kisses! Imploring the dude for a second date!), and vow to do the opposite. My boyfriend refers to the program as The Uncomfortable Show, because it's every bit as cringe-y as walking in on your mom blowing your dad.

You shouldn't need to keep texts to "prove" he really kissed you. Nor should you even want to kiss someone who's conflicted about making out, for whatever reason. There are plenty of men who'll want to make out. I know that can be hard to believe, but you don't need someone who's half-assed about it. I've been there, throwing myself at uninterested dudes and feeling like shit afterwards. Yes, it's humiliating, but extreme embarrassment is not lethal, or most of us would've died a thousand deaths by now. (Julia Allison, 5,000.) The trick is to move on and not do it again. If you feel "gross," take some steps to feel less gross before you get involved with anyone else, because when you feel bad about yourself, you're basically advertising that you're available for doormat duty, and it doesn't sound like you want that. Whether it's therapy, exercise, meds, or volunteer work, do something positive that makes you feel like the shit, instead of your garden-variety turd, before you date again.

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