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Straight Up 

Dumped to dissed

I'm in my mid-40s, straight, never married. Ten months ago, my girlfriend of three years dumped me. She got bored with the relationship and is generally not the marrying type. The breakup was amicable. I still love her and miss her. Last week, I wrote her a letter saying that I still love her and want us to get back together. She wrote me a nice letter back saying she doesn't feel passion for me and we're never getting back together. Over the past few months, I've started dating another girl. She's pretty, smart, sexy, and kind. If I proposed, she'd probably say yes. I want to get married. The problem is that I don't have the passion for her that I had for my previous girlfriend. So do I "settle" for Girlfriend #2 or start my search all over? Please don't give me the bullshit that love can happen at any age. At my age, the number of single women without kids is low. How many married people "settle" for someone who is a good person but not their true love?

No Clever Acronym

There is no settling down without some settling for. While passion is a great feeling — totally intoxicating — it also tends to be ephemeral. It's a hard feeling to sustain over the long haul, and marriage is theoretically the longest of hauls.

You felt strongly about your ex, but she didn't share your feelings. You don't feel quite as strongly about your current girlfriend, but you would like to be married — to someone, maybe her — and Girlfriend #2 is a good candidate. I wouldn't suggest proposing, because most sane women view early, impulsive proposals as red flags.

The idea that a "true love" is waiting for us snuffs out more good-and-loving-and-totally-worth-settling-for relationships than anything this side of cheating.

My girlfriend has started seeing other partners. It makes her happy, and in turn I'm happy for her. It's taking me a bit of time to adjust to the new situation, but she's happier than she's been in ages. We love each other and are crazily compatible. Today she came back from a hotel with bite marks on her breasts. I know she's been with a few people over the last few weeks, but being reminded of it each time I look at or touch her makes me uncomfortable. What's more, the guy who did it knew she was part of a long-term couple. Do I need to get over it for the sake of my girlfriend or do I make an issue of hickeys?

Boy Really Unnerved In Seeing Evidence

If you and the girlfriend have a don't ask, don't tell policy about her hookups with others, BRUISE, then hickeys and other slow-fading marks violate that agreement. Those kinds of marks amount to a nonverbal "tell." You have a right to point that out that she has a responsibility to remind/warn her outside sex partners that leaving slow-fading marks is out of bounds.

Don't inspect your girlfriend post-hookup for marks that fade quickly after sex, as that would amount to a nonverbal ask.

My first refractory period — the time it takes me to get ready to have sex again after my first orgasm — is shorter than the time it takes me to lose my erection. I was in a relationship and wasn't using condoms anymore by the time I figured this out, so it was just generally good times — I'd blow my load, take less than a minute to catch my breath, and be ready to go again. But now that I'm single and entering the dating pool, I'm going to be wrapping it again. Obviously. But I'm not 100 percent sure it's safe to blow two loads into one condom. I'm not sure how much ejaculate I'm producing the second time I come, but it's surely less than the first time. I'm not confident that "second" erection would survive the whole taking-off-the-condom-and-tying-it-up-and-then-putting-on-another-condom exercise, but I would like to avoid that rigmarole. Is it safe to blow two loads in a single condom?

Two Pump Champ

The failure rate for condoms when used correctly is low (2 percent), TPC, but the failure rate for condoms used incorrectly is high (18 percent). Leaks are the most common way condoms fail, and slamming your cock in and out of someone with a fully loaded condom wrapped around it will result in leaks. Reusing a condom is a recipe for disaster, impregnation, disease transmission, or all of the above.

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