Dating Has Been Super Hard Since My Divorce. Is It Me?


Dear E. Jean: I’m a D-list celebrity who hasn’t had sex in nearly four years. I’m not a prude. I’m bright, 35, divorced, don’t look terrible, have nice haircuts, get manicures, go to the gym—although I’m not obsessed with appearances either. I’m not 100 percent sure why it is that I haven’t had sex, but I’ll give you my best guesses:

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First, I’m kind of famous. That makes it difficult to use dating apps. Second, I’ve had a public fall from grace, and I’m worried about further public shaming. Third, I think men find me intimidating because I’m successful and have a very nice house, lots of books, a wine cellar, etc. I did go on Tinder recently (my photo was an inanimate object) and actually got a guy to have a drink with me. He was handsome, and there was premature escalation in the texting department—he tried to send me pictures of his genitals before we’d ever met. And you know what? He was so good-looking, and I was so lonely, I tried to overlook the obvious—that he was just a penis paparazzo.

I feel like a real relationship with a man is on the other side of the glass—in a room I can no longer enter. I’ve tried to lower my expectations, but can you tell me what exactly is wrong with me that nobody has wanted to date me since my divorce? I’m very competent and cheerful and funny to the outside world, but I’m in a great deal of pain. It’s been so long since a man touched me, I can barely remember what it was like to be happy like that. I fear dying without ever experiencing the sexual or romantic attention of a man again, and it frightens me. A lot. —Compounded Emotional Distress

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Distress, My Darling: Now, now, my girl. It frightens Auntie Eeee more to see a woman of such unstinting charm asking, “What is wrong with me?” Therefore, I propose that we take your predicament and turn it on its head. According to your letter, your life is a psychological thriller (or a kinky sex comedy, I’m not quite sure which) featuring a famous woman frightened of being without a man, right? What if we broaden your focus: What if we don’t concentrate on “a” man but extend it to include all mankind? Is that a possibility?

I ask because I believe that you should run for office. This is not the expected solution, I know. The International Society of Advice Columnists & Corset-Fitters is doubtless sending a delegation to my house to have me flogged as I write, but you, Miss Distressed, will be a fantastic candidate—a “bright,” “successful,” “intimidating” woman who is “competent,” “cheerful,” “funny,” and so well known as to be notorious.

(And here you expected Auntie Eeee to advise you how to meet nice blokes by walking a Bernese mountain dog around a rugby field on game day.)

I want you to give running for office serious consideration! The blitz of sexual misconduct cases hitting our male-dominated statehouses, proving that men possess a splendid talent for fouling up the country, is no joke. We need you, Distress—state senator, county budget director, town supervisor, congresswoman—take your pick.

Can you win? Yes. You undoubtedly have the brains for it. Are you qualified? Look at the women voted into office in the November 2017 election. Will your campaign be perfect? No. You will make heaps of mistakes, but voters adore a “fall from grace” almost as much as they love seeing an underdog rise up and fight her way to the top. Will you meet true-blue chaps while campaigning? Yes! Will the United States of America be better off if you and more women are elected? Yes!

I have not said that you should exert yourself for my sake, Miss Distress. I have not shouted, “It hurts me to see you ‘lowering your expectations’ to catch a mere man!” No. I’ve simply advised you to run for office. It will save your peace of mind, relieve your pain, expand your prospects, restore your reputation, and correct the flub-ups made by the many, many male chumps currently holding office.

This letter is from the Ask E. Jean Archive, 1993-2017. Send questions to E. Jean at E.Jean@AskEJean.com.



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