with Agony Aunt

Exciting changes abound, readers! This week I, Miss Lonelyhearts, have entertained my first ever write-in guest: PSU’s Agony Aunt, author of the popular advice column, “Ask Auntie.” We had such a wonderful time writing together that we couldn’t give you just one of our letters. Offered in the stead of my normal column, then, is a charcuterie of council — a panoply of pointers — a few short letters to get you through your day.



Dear Miss Lonelyhearts,

I am just coming out of a long relationship (over a year and a half) and don't know how to feel. Any advice?

— Footloose and Fancy Free

MLH: Footloose, it’s natural to be conflicted when a chapter of your life is closing this way. Part of you is regretting the end of an era and the inevitable loss of intimacy with another human — no matter how necessary this end was — while another part of you is already thinking of clever OkCupid screen names.

AA: Instead of focusing on the past (and your past relationship) by agonizing over how you should feel, look forward to the future.

MLH: Like your OkCupid screenname. I think I’d be “LonelybutLooking.” Just like you  — reflecting on your past, certain in the knowledge that it’s not the same as what you’ve got now, but not feeling pressured to have any particular feelings.

AA: Embrace that not knowing how to feel is a way to feel. No relationship is black and white and neither are the feelings surrounding it. Accepting your uncertainty and any other feelings that might arise is the first step in moving on.


Dear Miss Lonelyhearts,

My boyfriend really wants me to do this sex tip he found in Cosmo. Overall I think Cosmo sex tips are kind of gross, but I want to make him happy. Help!

—Magazine Maiden

MLH: Here’s my question, Maiden: why does your boyfriend have a Cosmo magazine at all? Not because I think Cosmo is only for girls, but because I don’t think Cosmo is for anyone.

AA: But don’t let your preconceptions about Cosmo totally overrule your boyfriend’s suggestion (after all, Cosmo often has tips that focus on pleasing yourself, not just your partner).

MLH: Ok, so give Cosmo a chance. That’s fair. If you look over the sex trick and still think it isn’t for you, though, don’t sweat it. You should only do exactly what it is you want to do, and you boyfriend should understand that.

AA: Even if it means him missing out on the Devious Dracula.

MLH: Or that tried and true Cosmo classic: “touch him on the penis!”

AA: Better yet, pick something new together, whether from Cosmo or another source. Being open about your preferences and fantasies is the easiest way to guarantee a sex life that will make you and your boyfriend happy.


Dear Miss Lonelyhearts,

One of my professors is distractingly attractive. I've never been attracted to a professor before and feel so weird about it. How am I going to make it through the semester?  

— Enamored in Eliot

AA: Enamored, even if you’ve never been attracted to a professor before, don’t stress about it too much.

MLH: Who hasn’t had a crush on a prof at one point in their college career? My guess is if you asked around, almost everyone at Reed could think of that special scholar. So don’t worry — you’re not out of line here.

AA: Far from it. Colleges are stocked with fantastic, intelligent, and funny profs, and there are, shockingly, some hotties among them. My guess is that as soon as you stop fixating on how weird it is to be attracted to your professor, your obsession (and consequent distraction) will start to die down.

MLH:  If all else fails, try keeping your eyes on your notebook rather than whiling away conference staring at your professor. Good luck!