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Living In Sin: Heart Without a Home

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Every week in Living in Sin,Jen Sincero provides advice to LA's sexually confounded. Sign up for her newsletter and have it sent to you every week. Ask Jen your questions: all are posted anonymously.

Dear Jen,
I just read your short story, "My Homeless Boyfriend," and, sadly, my love life is creeping down that same path. There were times while reading it that I said, "Oh, thank god, I'm not the only one!"

My question is how to stop it before it goes too far? Or better yet, how to stop it without seemingly becoming the bitch? Or should I just let it happen and hate myself for it later?
-Helping the Helpless

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Dear Helpless,
One of the many, many scary things about that story is that when I wrote it, I thought it was just about this funny, freaky, not-so-fresh thing I did (for those of you who haven't read it, I'm going to let the title speak for itself). It wasn't until my mother called to tell me she'd read it, a sob of despair and disbelief lodged in her throat, that it occurred to me that perhaps the whole thing was a tad more fucked up than I'd thought.

It sounds like you've got a touch of the denials yourself, because thanking your lucky stars that you're not in this alone is not what you should be doing right now. That's like reading a pamphlet on gonorrhea and saying, "hurts when I pee? Yes! Butthole a burning ring of fire? OMG, that is so totally me!" While wanting to belong is a natural, human, desire, there are certain groups you do not want to be a part of. My "Homeless Dudes Clean Up Real Nice And Can Never Leave You Because They've Got Nowhere Else To Go" Club is not one of them.

There's nothing bitchy about breaking up with someone who's totally dysfunctional, but there is something incredibly self-destructive about staying with them. You can be his friend and help him out, but partnering up is a terrible idea. He needs to get his own poop in a scoop - you can not scoop it for him. All you will wind up doing is sinking down to his dysfunctional level, while spending your every last dime buying him groceries and deodorant. Tell him it's over, hand him back his shopping bags, and get on with your life.