Health

Everyone Dies Alone: Advice from So Sad Today

"I mean, even though some people die with others at their bedside, don't we all face death alone?"

by So Sad Today
Aug 18 2016, 2:40pm

Illustrations by Joel Benjamin

Illustrations by Joel Benjamin

Dear So Sad Today,

In my boyfriend's YouTube search history, there are "girls big butts with yoga pants stretching." This, along with his phone wallpaper of nude ladies with big butts, with their butt cracks partially covered with palm tree leaves, are making me feel that I'm not enough for him. He's been a great boyfriend, telling me how I'm "the love of his life," but I can't help but feel inadequate. I've looked up articles about this whole "boyfriend watches porn" issue, and they advise to focus on the time we spend together and the sex we have, but why is that not enough for him? Is "men have higher sex drives" a valid reason? Or is it just an excuse? Am I just an uber-monogamous insecure loser?

Sincerely,
Not E-Fucking-nough


Hi Not E-Fucking-nough,

Different people have different takes on porn. For me, it's not a problem for a partner to watch porn, because I highly value the presence of a fantasy life. I live so much in my own fantasy life that no one person could ever fulfill it. I don't even think that ten people could. That's what makes it fantasy. So I respect that I can't be everything for a partner, either.

Also, masturbation is healthy and normal. Even when you are in a relationship, it takes the pressure off of needing to sate all of your sexual desires and proclivities with one human being who may not be into everything you're into and/or not in the mood.

That being said, if your partner is watching porn to the extent that it is interfering with their physical, mental, emotional, or spiritual well-being, then it could be a problem. Anything fun can become a problem if we make it the answer to life's stress or develop a compulsion around it. But the fig leaf nudes and YouTube vids sound pretty tame and like they aren't eclipsing his life.

In the end, though, it's really about what makes you feel comfortable. I would ask yourself some of these questions that you are asking me. Why do you need to be everything to your partner? Would that make your life more meaningful, or you more OK with you? If the answer is that you are trying to fill a hole inside yourself, it's not your partner's porn that is the problem. But if the answer is that porn is not aligned with your values, then you might want to address it with him—and if he is resistant, consider another partner.

xo,
sst



Dear So Sad Today,

How do I deal with dying alone pls respond

Yours,
dying alone


Dear dying alone,

I'm still working on this one for myself, as I, too, am going to die alone. I mean, even though some people die with others at their bedside, don't we all face death alone? We can't take anyone with us.

But maybe that's just it. Maybe there is some measure of solace in knowing that everyone dies alone. Look at the people around you. They're all going to die! You may not feel psychologically or spiritually equipped for your own death (I know I don't), but there are so many people who are even less psychologically and spiritually prepared than we are. If they can do it, we can do it.

I wish you nothing but the best, including a peaceful death in your sleep.

xo,
sst


Dear So Sad Today,

I just started hooking up with this guy, and I think he might be emotionally abusive. He did some things that were scary, and when I told our mutual friends about it he got mad, like he was trying to control what was said about him. The problem is, he's also addicting. So I find that I keep begging him over text to take me back.

Yours,
ugh


Dear ugh,

Well the best advice would be for you to cut him off and be alone for a while, as well as find a good therapist who specializes in the areas of healthy relationships and intimacy. But let's be honest: We don't usually let people go without finding someone else first. Also, there is plenty of time for personal growth later, once we've repeated the same patterns so many times that we finally hit rock bottom.

Another thought is that you deserve to be with someone who treats you well and to find someone who is kind to you, but I'm thinking that you aren't looking to go that direction. So for now, my suggestion is thus: Find someone who is almost as shitty as this guy, but who does NOT do scary things to you. There are plenty of people out there who suck in their own special ways without being emotionally abusive. Find someone who is both really hot and a shitty communicator, someone who only texts "lol" and "k." That should do the trick in terms of finding a temporary new obsession. Consider it harm reduction.

As a final note, I think it's important for you to continue to be honest with your friends about the situation. If you don't feel safe doing this with mutual friends, make sure there is one friend (or, even better, a professional) with whom you are being totally transparent. If you don't feel capable of cutting him off, there should be a safe person in your life who knows everything that's going on.

xo,
sst


Dear So Sad Today,

For the first time in my life, I met a boy for whom I had real emotions, and I could see he felt the same way. Everything was perfect until something weird happened—I depressed him. He started telling me about how he feels life is meaningless. It was like listening to myself from one year ago. Has this ever happened to you? My friends tell me that he is just fucked up, which he obviously is, since he is involved with me (he is the good type, though).

Sincerely,
An overthinker


Dear overthinker,

Are you sure it's you who depressed him? It seems more likely that you are likeminded souls, and your similar world views brought you together in the first place. There is also the possibility that you were both attracted to the illness in each other. In my experience, I've found that we ill people tend to sniff one another out—even if we don't verbally share about it right away. I don't think this is necessarily a bad thing. We can find compassion, simpatico, and deep connection through shared experience. But when it is the only thing we have in common, that can be less healthy and what some might call "trauma bonding." It sounds like you guys have other areas where you connect, so that might not necessarily be a problem. And yes, just because someone is fucked up doesn't mean he or she can't be "the good type." But the opposite can be said as well.

xo,
sst

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