Ask Dr. NerdLove: How Can I Prevent an Awkward Blast From My Past?


Hi there Doc!

Primarily, I know this is not too serious or profound as most of your columns, but I need help!

Which is the crux of the issue.

{Before I met”Greg” (husband) I was super obese and in an abusive relationship, which I feel was based on my weight and {} fetish. |} Some of these were because he fetishized my burden, but frankly just tired of the psychological and sometimes physical abuse. Losing the weight made me feel as though I was in top of the world and I sort of spiraled. I worked in a bar at the time so opportunity was blessed and that I took it. I slept around and moved to a bit mad, frequently mixing social groups which caused a little tension between the people I was with and embarrassment on my part. Finally I met my now-husband for an unexpected place and I had been out of the game entirely…

Or so he believed.

For the first two years I craved attention. And it was not even that Greg did not give me that focus, he totally did. He made me feel like a queen and still does. I never grabbed the physical line while I was with Greg but I did cross some lines.

I flirted, I gave out my number to ghost the man on purpose, I sent boob photos merely to feel that”power” Chris sided with me following the abuse came out when nobody else did.

We started messing around when we worked together, and he saw what was happening with my abusive ex and actually helped me get out. He told me all the things I want to hear but I do believe he meant it. When I told him we needed to stop, it looked like it did… but that was exactly the identical time I met Greg.

The sexting, however, did not. They were explicit and that I wanted his attention. Well, Greg found the texts {} out. I wanted this to work out with Greg, so I made the decision to block Chris (and his close friends) on social networking and changed my phone number. We worked beyond the sexting and finally got married.

Liz is a close friend of Greg’s best friend, so I am worried that Chris will appear at events and get-togethers with her.

I feel like I will have the ability to act normally. I am really happy Chris has found a girl he is (possibly ) compatible with, and I am beyond that entire time in my entire life. I am nervous because Chris may not feel the exact same way and it appears to be just casual with Liz. I know he tried to locate me several times times after I blocked him/his buddies and changed my number, but that was four decades back. I am aware that if Greg ever saw Chris in person he would wind up in jail or we would be getting a divorce on anxiety alone.

How do I cope if everybody is in exactly the exact same place at precisely the exact same time?

-Possible Blast From Your Past

Alright there’re a few things to deal with here.

The first rule of dealing with an ex, PBFTP is easy: do not make assumptions without proof. At the moment, you are working under the assumption that Chris is a) still sleeping around and b) he has pantsfeels for you based on… well, the fact he attempted to get back in contact with you for a bit, article Nuclear Option. But that was four and years ago, and you have had no contact with him since. Hence the information you are working with is probably out of date.

As it has been so long without a contact, your mental image of him is essentially a frozen moment in time, a picture of that he was back then. But consider who you’re back then, vs. who you are now. You have grown and changed over the years; you are in a far different place than you were back when you knew him. There is no reason to think {} not just as capable of change as you are, particularly over the span of decades.

I mean sure, it is possible the dude is still carrying a torch (in his trousers ) for you and is dying for more sexts and filthy Snapchats from you… but it’s also just as possible he’s gotten over you.

In addition, it is just as possible he’s not the identical swinging single man about town he was four decades back. He might have toned things down and prefers to get a few dedicated friends with benefits. The matter is that you don’t understand. Getting worried about the chance he’s into you and may do things which could potentially make things awkward is simply borrowing trouble in the future, trouble that may well never happen. The further you get angsty over the chance — not the inevitability but the chance — of running into him at a social occasion and his making a spectacle, the emotional bandwidth you will need for actually enjoying life at the moment. In addition, that is likely to create tension between you and Greg that simply does not need to occur.

And frankly, you’ve already got a fairly good indicator of the likelihood of everyone being in exactly the exact same location. Liz is evidently a few spots removed from Greg’s social circle; she is literally”the friend of a friend”. So unless you have been seeing her regularly in get-togethers before now, I think you may safely assume that the odds of an awkward encounter are not so high that you will need to begin making contingency plans.

Then it is easy: be polite. You don’t have to be super enthused about visiting him, nor do you want to Solid Snake your way from this party in hopes that you could make it to the door without the host seeing you depart. You only have to wear a polite smile, say”wow, it’s been a while” and power during the initial awkward as you see exactly where things stand. If Chris has chilled out or given up on his hopes of getting back into your pants or your DMs, then hey there is nothing to worry about. If he has not, then you can be polite-but-distant and make the all-purpose exit of”hey, I must go talk to somebody over there.”

What I would not do is go somewhere out of the way or make plans to meet up… or perhaps necessarily unblock him on social networking. This does not sound like a friendship you are hoping to rekindle, and until you are more confident about exactly where everyone stands vis á vis the whole”yeah I was sexting you when I should not have been” issue, it is far better to play it safe and keep everything strictly aboveboard.

But then there is Greg. I’m not positive whether you’re being hyperbolic about Greg or when he is still holding onto that level of anger… but for fuck’s sake, it had been four decades back. I don’t deny that the dude his right to be hurt. He has certainly got a right to be cynical, not to trust him or to just plain not like the man. But if you are not exaggerating for effect and Greg is still nursing the sort of grudge that would result in violence or a blow-up with you that could end your marriage? Then Greg should be talking to a person about how to learn how to let go and let things heal.

If nothing else, he wants to trust you to not make a new error with a previous error.

TL;DR: do not assume that Chris is still going to attempt to knock you, or that you are even likely to encounter him. Should you see him be considerate, if he does hit on you, then be firmly distant and do not respond.

Very good luck.

Hey Doc,

I am looking into getting into online dating shortly.

I’ve bought your book on it and have begun reading it, but I have a couple questions on choosing photos for my relationship profile.

For the primary photo that individuals will see when first looking at my profile, you said no mirror selfies, but it’s okay to still only use a telephone? Or if I ask a friend that has a real camera shoot some photos?

Secondly, for the other pictures I need to be updating/rotating via semi-regularly of me doing hobbies and being busy, how many should I have? I am not one to take photographs, so the library of possible photographs I have is limited.

In addition lots of my hobbies do not lend themselves to many photogenic moments. My hobbies and activities include martial arts, doing improv, playing D&D, and dance. I don’t take photographs at martial arts since I am there to work out. And I don’t take photographs during D&D since I do not play it to post about it on Facebook or social websites, and it is not something I’d probably ever post photos of. Photos sometimes get taken of me when I am doing improv, so I really could use some out there (but they generally are not from great angles or have the best lighting for pictures). When I’m dancing it’s usually too dim in the area for any photos to flip out.

Have you got any suggestions for how to start getting more photographs for an online dating profile? Do I simply need to begin getting used to shooting more photos? Should I ask my friends to help me take some when I am doing these activities? I just have difficulty taking photos because I am generally focused on doing the action as opposed to attempting to catch it for memories or for social media.

-Pics or it Didn’t Happen

Funny thing about photographs, PoiDH: a whole slew of factors dictate how we appear in pictures. Photographs are a rendering of a 3D object in 2D space by means of a convex lens; this implies that distortion will occur. If you have ever opened the selfie-camera in your phone rather than the rear camera, then you understand precisely what I mean; what looks kinda horrible and warped. So, yeah, the sort of camera you use will make a difference. A DSLR or Micro 4/3rds camera with changeable lenses will give you slightly — but not unnoticable — gaps in relation to a point-and-shoot or a smartphone. It’s a lot easier to control for focal length, light and depth of field when you’re able to switch the lenses out.

But in this day and age, the majority of us are using our mobiles for 90 percent of our photo-taking. And honestly? So if all you have to work with is the iPhone, that is not a bad place to begin.

Now the amount of photos you need to have is a matter that is up for debate. You will need more than one and ideally at least 3 or 4 to provide a general idea of who you are and what your story is, and your best limit will be dictated by the relationship program; some limit you to a max of 6 to 8, while others will allow you to connect your Instagram accounts… potentially offering countless photographs for anybody who is interested enough to click through.

How many times you will want to update them will be a bit more variable. If you are doing some A/B testing to find out what works best for your profile, then you might choose to give it two to three weeks, to determine which get you the very best responses. If you’re pretty satisfied with your profile and the results you’re getting, then I would suggest maybe every few months or whenever you’ve undergone a significant change to your look. The advantage of rotating in new photographs and rotating out older ones is that it activates the algorithm on many dating programs; the programs prioritize active accounts and retaining the photographs fresh means that individuals are more inclined to see your profile.

You definitely need to keep your photographs present — over six months or so; there is nothing more annoying than going through and finding that someone’s photographs are no more representative because they were initially taken in 2016 or what-have-you.

In terms of getting more photos? The simplest thing is just to begin being The Photo Guy and getting pictures with friends and family. While ideally you need pics that show you to your very best advantage, do not underestimate the value of getting photographs that show you and your friends having fun. Some Tales from the Table photographs of you and your buds playing D&D can work… and if you do not feel this is something people’d discover appealing, I’d point to the sheer number of girls who LOVE D&D as a result of Crucial Role, The Adventure Zone and other popular campaigns on Twitch, YouTube and podcasts.

(Also: if you are good at dance or martial arts, for fuck’s sake get some images… or even better, video. Tinder and other apps allow you to upload animated gifs, and a gif of you burning up the dance floor will be similar to catnip to many, many girls.)

Another choice is to cover it. You will find photographers out there today who specialize in photographs for dating profiles — not only posed portraits but”candids” also; see what is available locally and when they have a portfolio you prefer, then it could well be worth the investment.

But here is the thing about getting more photographs: it will be good for you in general. Not for your dating profile or getting more enjoys on Facebook or Instagram but since they are mementos and memories, moments of your life frozen in time. Even if they are not great for getting you dates, they will be a superb reminder of the time in your life.

Trust me: there is nothing like having the ability to return and look over the great times from yesteryear.

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