Dear Dan: I’m a 21-year-old female college student going to school on the East Coast. Two days ago, I broke up with my manipulative, controlling, insecure, long-distance boyfriend of one year. I truly care for this man, but I need to live my life the way I want to, and that wasn’t possible in this relationship. The problem is, he’s been leaving voice mails, texting, and emailing me threatening suicide. I’ve told his mother about this, but I don’t think she’s taking it seriously. I feel horrible, but I don’t want to talk to him because I refuse to get sucked back into his problems. How can I deal with this serious threat without getting personally involved?
—Single And Worried
Dear SAW: Your ex-boyfriend’s mom presumably knows her son better than you do, SAW, and she isn’t taking his threats seriously. So it’s possible that he has a long history of manipulating people with idle suicide threats, essentially taking himself hostage to get what he wants. But if you’re worried — maybe his mother is neglectful and/or nuts — you might want to listen to Episode 364 of the Savage Lovecast (you can find that episode, and 363 others, at savagelovecast.com). I took a question from a man whose girlfriend threatened suicide when he tried to dump her. Jill Harkavy-Friedman of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention had some excellent advice for him. Summing it up: Alert his friends and relatives, and pass the AFSP’s hotline number (1-800-273-TALK) on to them and on to the person making the threat. I would add: Don’t respond to his texts or voice mails, consider blocking his number, and forward any truly worrying e-mails to his mother.
Dear Dan: My girlfriend snooped on my browser history the other day specifically to see what porn I had been looking at. I’ve told her I look at porn a few times a week, and she said she didn’t mind. She asked me what type of stuff I usually look at, and I was mostly honest. My viewing habits are pretty vanilla except for BBW porn. It’s not my go-to, but it was what she found in my browser history the day she snooped. She had some issues, and I don’t know how to address them. I’m not more attracted to overweight women than other women, but sometimes that type just does it for me. Compounding this, my girlfriend is overweight — not on par with the women in the videos I watched — and now she’s worried that her weight is the only reason I’m attracted to her. It’s not! How can I explain this to her and put her mind at ease?
—Busted Boyfriend Worries
Dear BBW: If you looked only at porn that featured conventionally attractive women — all those skinny bitches — your girlfriend would be worried that you’re not attracted to her because of her size. But she caught you looking at BBW porn, and now she’s worried that her size is the only reason you’re attracted to her. I don’t think you can win this one, BBW, but you can try saying this to her: “I like women of all shapes and sizes, honey, including yours — as you can clearly see if you look at all the porn sites I’ve visited, instead of just obsessing about that particular one.” I don’t think it’ll do much good, because your girlfriend probably doesn’t want you looking at porn at all — saying it’s OK, snooping, and grilling aren’t signs of “OK with porn.” So use private browsing, clear your browser history, or watch porn on a secure computer in a secret, undisclosed location.
HATE CRIME: One of the shitbags invited to speak at the gay-bash-a-thon known as the Values Voter Summit in Washington, D.C., earlier this month called homophobia a myth. He said gay people are not victims. We are the violent and intolerant ones, he argued, and Bible-believing Christians like him are the real victims. Later that very same day — Oct. 12 — a gay man was attacked in New Glasgow, Nova Scotia, in an apparent hate crime. Scott Jones was stabbed twice in the back and his throat was slashed. He survived the attack, but his spinal cord was severed and he is now paralyzed from the waist down. Scott is Canadian and has access to high-quality medical care because of socialism. But Scott faces a long struggle, and there will be expenses — retrofitting his home, loss of income — that he’ll need help with. If you have a few bucks or loonies to spare, please consider making a donation at supportscottjones.com.
Send questions for Dan to email@example.com, and follow him on Twitter @fakedansavage.