Robot Hearts: Finding Yourself and Your (Ugh) Sensuality

Two people ask Jack and Susan questions. And two/four people remain bewildered.

Youth is Wasted on the Unattached

My wife (of several years, I’m currently in my mid twenties) recently left me for another mate, who just so happens to be a woman. Fast forward a few months and I’ve met someone else. We’ve been dating a bit for the past 2 months, seeing one another every once in awhile. Things have really started picking up lately, and I find myself talking to her daily, thinking of her constantly. Why am I getting involved with someone after having just been in a long-term relationship? I really can’t help falling for this girl–it is a serious connection. I’m just afraid the timings not right, for me mostly. Shouldn’t I go through a bachelor (aka Jack Goes Forth) phase? I started to, but seemed to have found myself in a happy spot. Will this happiness last, or will I be yearning for freedom eventually?

-Ross Geller’d in RVA

Jack: The first thing that jumps out about your situation is not the fact that your wife left you for a woman (which I have to assume is not nearly as bad as getting trumped by another man) but it is the fact that you’re only in your mid twenties! You’ve been in a relationship with the same woman for the entirety of your adult life. My first thought about this new fling you’ve gotten involved in? Run, don’t walk, back into singlehood for a minute or two. I understand that you may have feelings for this girl and you think about her a lot, and wah wah etc. But take a step back and have an objective look at the situation. You’re in a rough spot, your wife just left you for a strap-on, and it sucks. Do you think that maybe you’re rushing into something new because you’re lonely and because your former love is already in the less muscular, yet much better moisturized arms of another lover? Are you really ready for all of the baggage and crap that comes with a new relationship?

I’m not advocating acting like I do. Hell, I have trouble maintaining this pace most of the time, but I am saying that you should experiment with being free for a spell. I get all of these divorced 30-35 year old males coming to me and saying, “Why did I settle down in my twenties?! I’ve wasted my youth!” All I can do is laugh at them and then remind myself not to make the same mistake. You don’t know it now, but you just got a “get out of jail free card”.

Go and knock out a few “practice holes” (I’m determined for that phrase to catch on), make some poor decisions. For chrissakes man! You’re so freakin young!

Susan: I agree with everything Jack just said except the following:

  1. Getting dumped because your significant other is pursuing a relationship with a member of the same sex is better than getting dumped because your significant other is pursuing a relationship with a member of the opposite sex.
  2. His wife left him for a strap-on.
  3. The word “lover.”
  4. Jack not advocating acting like he does (I guess that’s more of a “disbelief” than a “disagreement”).
  5. “Practice holes,” “practice holes,” a thousand times “practice holes.”

That leaves these two elements that I do agree with:

  1. Take some time to be alone because being married, as you no doubt already know, means another person is in your face almost all the time. I think it’s important to know what it’s like to be self-sustaining. That way you know what you really can and can’t handle, and what you do and do not need. I also really believe it will help you make a better decision down the road as to who you will choose to be with forever (if anyone). I do NOT think that means you need to get sleazy, but I don’t really think that’s how Jack means it either. We want you to find you, Ross Geller’d.
  2. Friends references. I will always, always agree with Friends references.

Jack: I don’t necessarily agree with the more Friends references. Of course I was a huge fan back in the day, but have you ever gone and rewatched an episode on TBS? That show’s shelf life was about a year. Now….it’s lame. But wait, what we’re we talking about? Oh yes, me being spot on in my assessment of your situation Ross, and Susan agreeing with me.

Other than your #1 disagreement Suze (grow a penis and you would understand why your wife leaving for another man is 10 times worse), I agree with you.

I like how Susan said “self- sustaining”. She’s right Ross G, you need some “ME” time, and I don’t mean you have to come down to my bar and man whore it up with “me”, although that option will always be there for you. You, as well as I, have a lot of living to do. It might just be time to see what else is out there.

Sensuality by Jack

I’ve been with my fiancee for almost six years, and while I feel like our relationship is pretty great all around, I can’t help thinking it’s missing something. It’s not really a sex thing, it’s not really an intimacy thing, it’s something I can’t really put my finger on. I don’t know what to call it. Maybe “sensuality?” I just want to be connected in some way that isn’t just watching TV or having sex. There’s got to be something else, I think. Any ideas on how to put that into my relationship? Do I need to spread rose petals around or something?

–Wanting some cheesiness in RVA

Susan: I almost don’t even want to answer this so we can skip as fast as possible to Jack trying to give advice on how to be sensual, but seeing as how I have some thoughts on this subject, I will keep at it. Wanting Some Cheesiness! I gave you that title myself! It’s because this subject makes me really uncomfortable. I’ve actually been avoiding answering this question all week for fear of exposing possible vulnerable layers to myself that I prefer to believe do not exist. So my official answer is: Rose petals are for losers. My unofficial answer is: Rose petals are for losers, but only because it’s a cliche. Do some other stuff. Not like, buying a book about tantric sex and sitting down at dinner and reading aloud from it kind of stuff. More like lying around in close contact post-flagrante. Tell jokes, discuss where you’d like to go for dinner, anything other than picking up your iPhone and checking your email. The idea is to create a level of closeness that doesn’t just involve one activity but does just involve the two of you. That is, JUST the two of you. No IMing, no Dexter, no pets. No outside world at all. To me, that is the key that unlocks this door, and I just used a phrase that mortifies me. I can’t talk about this anymore.

Jack: “The key that unlocks the door” ?! -Thanks Doctor Phil.

I wouldn’t doubt my expertise on sensuality Susan. Trust me, I’m a sensuous muthafucker. Just the other day I put the “Al Green” Station on Pandora and then had a hardcore montage of love-making and feeling-sharing. Then we baked cookies. We, of course means me and these beautiful piano player hands I have.

But seriously, as a never-married, young man with a small amount of long term relationship experience, here’s my thoughts. I feel like the question above may as well signal the beginning of the end for “Cheesiness” and her fiancee. Correct me if I’m wrong(which I’m not) , but shouldn’t that extra special connection, above and beyond sex and TV watching, be there from the beginning??? Why are you engaged and why have you been with this person for six years if that little spark isn’t there?

You can continue on with your partner, always feeling like something is missing, or you can find someone where that shit isn’t missing. Great sex and being intimate is pretty easy to find with anyone, but that thing that you can’t put your finger on but that you know is there? Well, that seems to be a rarity in the world of love these days. Unfortunately there are far too many people that are petrified to be alone and they will never leave their security blanket, no matter what it seems to be lacking.

Okay so that was me ranting. Here’s some actual advice: Take extended leaves from your places of work and backpack a foreign land together. Break the rut in routine and force yourselves out of the comfort zone. Have new and exciting adventures( and no, trekking out to the new Whole Foods at Short Pump does not count, regardless of how many old ladies almost kill you on Broad Street). You may just learn some things you never knew about your fiancee and then, and only then, will the cheese rain down upon you both.

Susan: I think we both just need to admit that we don’t know how to answer this question. This may be a job for my sensitive spouse (although if he chimes in and tells you all our secrets I will leave him for James Franco like I keep meaning to). I guess it’s just something you either have, or you don’t. Or you don’t want to admit.

Would you like to be similarly fulfilled?? Send your relationship questions to and start the argument. Check out past columns at Robot Hearts, and keep tabs on Jack at Jack Goes Forth.

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