Dear Dategirl, I worked valiantly to save my old relationship, where the sex was terrible. So now I've been single for about six months, but I haven't had good sex (or much of any) in far longer than that. I'm 33, reasonably attractive, and I go to the gym and do yoga. So why is this so goddamn hard? Before I started with the Web dating, I was reasonably confident about my attractiveness. But after four months of somewhat constant rejection, my self-esteem is down the shitter and on its way to the nearest landfill. I thought I was good at dealing with rejection! I think I was wrong. It's incredibly humiliating to swap great e-mails with someone and then see the look of disappointment on his face when you meet in person. Even the guys I've been negotiating with for, errr, short-term relationships are tossers. Clear communication about what each of us wants, and then poof! He disappears before we even meet up. I realize the anonymity of the Internet lends itself to this kind of bullshit, but is there any way around the frustration? How hard is it for an attractive woman to get laid?! Oh, and did I mention that I'm rooming with my ex-boyfriend? It's not as bad as it sounds, but it's putting a crimp in my ability to bring people home.—Help. Me. Please.
Talk about burying the lede! Honey, you're like the newly skinny girl who insists on still wearing all her old fat clothes. Those old tent dresses go with her svelte new bod about as well as your ex-boyfriend fits in with your swinging new single life. As in, not at all. No wonder you're not getting laid—you've got to get ditch the ex. Kick him out. Move your own bad self. I don't care which way you go about it, but if you want any sweet booty action, kick this dude to the curb. I know you're thinking that these new guys don't know about the old one lurking around your apartment, doing God knows what with your dirty underpants while you're at work. You think they're just rejecting you off the bat due to a bad hair day or an ill-fitting pair of sweatpants. But the fact is, people can tell when you're not available, and by breathing the same air as this looming specter of romance gone bye-bye, you're—at least on some level—unavailable. You remind me of this guy I used to be friends with. He was smart, good-looking, well-read—by anyone's standards, he should've been catnip to the ladies. On top of that, he had a beautiful apartment, yet insisted on sleeping in a ridiculously small twin bed. He'd mope and moan, "I've got everything but the girl." After listening to him gas on about how lonely he was for the five-millionth time, I informed him he wasn't going to get laid until he got a big-boy bed that would fit two rutting adults comfortably. "I'll buy a new bed when I get a girlfriend," he'd whine. Like I'm telling you, I told him that people can sense if someone's open to having a real live relationship, and that by sleeping in monklike surroundings he was guaranteeing himself monklike celibacy. Capisce? I guarantee once you move into an ex-free environment you're going to have better luck on the sex front. One last thing—by "negotiating for short-term relationships," I'm guessing you're trawling the web for a NSA-type arrangement. While I certainly understand the impulse, there are a couple drawbacks. For one thing, pretty much every guy on the planet just wants to get laid. However—and this makes no sense at all and I realize that—the ones who actually advertise that they're only looking for a warm hole are generally the last ones you should let fill one. You might think they're actually more honest than your average guy, but the freak factor on the casual-encounters section of Craigslist is off the charts (according to my highly unscientific research, anyway). So yeah, quit looking for the quick fuck and it'll find you. That is, once you get rid of that extra 175 pounds of excess human in your living room. firstname.lastname@example.org