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Illustration: Marina Esmeraldo

Let Us Sex-plain: Can long-distance relationships work?

Your personal wingwoman, Jillian Anthony, answers all your questions about dating and doing it in New York

By Jillian Anthony

I get it—being single in the city can be tough, and the ways New Yorkers are having sex these days can be surprising. But whatever your dating conundrum might be, I'm here to help. Consider me (Jillian Anthony, Time Out New York's Editor) your personal wingwoman, guiding you through dating and doing it in New York in our weekly “Let Us Sex-plain” column. Check out my answers to all your questions online and in the magazine every Wednesday, and submit your own coitus queries below!

I’m married with kids. Recently, my son started acting out because he had such little time with us, so I changed to overnight shifts. I don’t mind it, but my husband does. We have different schedules now, so we have no time for each other. Should I consider changing my job and taking less pay for morning shifts, or is my husband being selfish?

—Jada, Connecticut

Ever heard of a quickie? Just kidding! Thinking as a parent might, your son’s needs come first, so it makes sense that you moved your life around for him-—plus you’re getting paid more! Assuming that your husband agreed with your decision, meaning he shares responsibility for your late-shift situation, it’s still understandable that he feels left out. It’s important for the whole family that mom and dad have time alone. So before you change shifts or jobs again (and give up a schedule you seem to be satisfied with), carve out a no-excuses weekly time slot, even if it’s only two hours, during which you both can relax, talk to each other and, hopefully, have sex! If that’s truly not possible, it’s up to you and your husband to weigh the pros and cons of competing schedules and make choices from there.

I’ve been dating my boyfriend for a year and a half, and it’s going incredibly well, but I’ve been very unhappy with work. I got a job offer in Chicago, and I think it could be a good thing for me to get out of New York for a little, but I’m terrified to lose my relationship. Can long-distance relationships work?

—Kate, Bushwick

Yes, they can. But they often don’t. It sounds like this opportunity is what you want and need, and you shouldn’t let a relationship hold you back from professional goals. But your partner is a good one, so talk to him about your options as a couple. How would he feel about you moving? Would he possibly move with you, and is that something you want? If you decide to move without him, can you both come up with a clear-cut date (such as a real estimate for you to move back to NYC or for him to head your way) when you will live in the same city again? That will make your long-distance time more finite and give you something to work toward together. Good luck.

In this new age of online dating, guys are so quick to sext. I’m by no means a prude, but why is this always happening? It’s hard to tell if they’re interested or just looking for a quickie.

—Courtney, Union Square

Sexting someone before you’ve even met signals quite clearly that you’re looking for a third date on the first date. I think a lot of people act this way online simply because they can, and the relative anonymity makes it much easier to behave badly. But you don’t have to put up with it—tell guys that you would like to get to know them first and aren’t interested in sexting. If they keep talking to you and (most important!) actually move forward with meeting you, you’ll know they’re interested—in at least one date, anyway.

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Let us sex-plain

Sex and dating

Your personal wingwoman, Jillian Anthony, answers all your questions about dating and doing it in New York. Read them all here.


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