Let’s Talk With Kiera

The 4th installment of Kiera McNally’s very own advice column. Published in issue 17.
Thanks to everyone who wrote in, and sorry to anyone we missed! 

Hi Kiera, what are your thoughts on open relationships? Is it possible to love more than one person at the same time? Or is one person in said situation bound to get a shitty deal?

Hello, More Than One!
Call me a romantic but I think all kinds of love are possible. And all kinds of relationships can be com- plicated and messy. Everything depends on the people involved. It’s possible, and probable, to love more than one human being, it just comes down to the specifics of the agreement and what you’re willing to handle. A person is only getting a shitty deal if they’re in a messed up, shitty relationship.

Dear Kiera, I think I have chlamydia. Should I talk to the girls I slept with a few months ago on my vacations? Or should I just drop it and not tell them or ask anything of them? I don’t know who gave it to me!

Hello Chlamydia!
I hope you had a fun vacation, but I’m afraid sexual health does not get any time off. It is extremely important to alert anyone you’ve engaged in intimate times with that you’ve contracted an STI. It may be an uncomfortable confrontation, but not as uncomfortable as the symptoms you may already be experiencing! The internet is a great resource for any questions you may have, and many sites can help you find the nearest clinic to get tested at. To wrap up this piece of advice, I will remind you how important it is for you to wrap it up as well!

What would be your advice on maintaining a relationship that is on the move—where your partner is always encountering new people—and not getting jealous or negative?

Dear on the Move,
My advice comes from years and years of experience. Jealousy and negativity will always come and go. Any relationship is most solid when you’re most solid with yourself, and loving someone else works a lot better when you’ve got self-love. I’d say try to talk about it and to find forgiveness when talking can’t happen. Keep busy and don’t think everyone your partner talks to wants to ruin your life. It’s an amazing thing to have adventures, and then come back together in love.

Hi Kiera! I am graduating high school and leaving home to go to college. I’m nervous about meeting new people. How do I talk to people, and attract the right kind? Thank you!

Dear Off-To-College,
Congratulations on embarking on the next stage of your big journey! You’re scared because what’s com- ing is new and unknown. But it’s also a situation in which everyone is feeling the same way you are. You’ve come this far by being yourself, so why not keep doing that? Follow your gut, be kind, and be open. Before you know it, you will find the right kind of thing, even if it wasn’t the kind of thing you thought you were looking for.

I’m a French girl, so please be gentle with my English. Did you ever have a long boring period in your life? Like, you’re not productive or anything and you just don’t know what to do with yourself, even if you have plans in your head? I mean, this is hard to realize your dreams and this is so depressing. Today you’re supposed to enjoy your life and prove it on Instagram. By the way, if you come to Brittany I’ll be glad to have a drink with you and talking about life and coconuts.

Bonjour French Girl!
Oh, my god, I think everyone ever can relate to this question. Being bored is a part of being alive. It can be almost magical to be bored and dissatisfied, because that state is where all ideas and dreams come from. It’s a good time to reflect, and make the smallest actions towards being productive. Who cares about Instagram! Honestly, I’m most active on social media when I am most discontent with my life. I would love to come to Brittany and drink and talk about life and coconuts.

My ex-husband has outed me as a sex worker to his group of friends. I repeatedly ask him to stop. I tell him that in the sex work world outing someone is the most grievous sin. He either completely denies it, or says that I made a choice and that now I have to live with the consequences. These people are self-proclaimed open-minded “intersectional feminists,” and yet, won’t even look at me when we happen to be attending the same social functions. How do I carry on? I can’t move away.

xoxo, J

Dear J,
Your ex-husband did you wrong. Power to you for no longer being married to a guy that does not respect the strong independent, empowered, person that you are. You work in an industry that not everyone is going to understand, whether they’re immature, curious, or scared. Hopefully, you have other friends that you have mutually respectful and supportive relationships with. If you must encounter these so-called, self-proclaimed “intersectional feminists” out-and-about, I would advise to approach them and clear the air. They may just be uncomfortable and feel guilty for not hearing about this from you. They may be curious. Maybe they just need to reminded that you are the same person that they knew before. Or, don’t approach them, because it’s none of their business anyway. Try and surround yourself with people that make you feel good about being you.

I have an issue. Last year I almost starting dating my now best guy friend, but I freaked because I didn’t want it to end badly. I told him we should just stay friends. A few months later, he started dating this manipulative girl. He’s almost broken up with her multiple times, but never follows through because he’s afraid she might do something drastic. I worry that she uses her mental illness to control him. I am in love with him and I’m almost positive he still has feelings for me, too. Should I tell him now, or wait until he and his girlfriend break up? I know I need to tell him at some point because we’ll be graduating next year, and he’ll be going off to the military and I’ll be going to college. Please help!

Hello Best Girl Friend,
So, you started dating a friend and then freaked out and broke it off? And he started dating someone else that you don’t think is right for him because you are still in love with him? I feel like it would not be appropriate for you to drop the love bomb on your friend, especially with so many future plans. But my advice to you is to be honest about how you feel about his current situation. You’re still his best friend and you’re still watching out for him and want him to be happy,right? It’s not right to break up the relationship so you can move in. Especially since both of you seem to be moving out. Friendships usually last a lot longer than relationships; timing is everything and maybe sometime in the future it will be the right time to be together.

Hi Kiera! I want to talk to you about my friend bailing on going to a dance with me so he could go with his ex-girlfriend instead. It didn’t bother me much at first, but the more I think about it, the more upset I become. Because I wasn’t given enough notice, the whole evening is ruined and nobody else is available to be my date. How should I calm myself down and how should I spend the evening instead?

Dear Save the Last Dance,
Sorry that your friend bailed, that sucks. Hopefully you can be understanding of whatever situation he’s in, and that he felt he had to do that. I don’t think I officially ever had a date for any school dance ever. But that never stopped me from going. It’s fun to get a cute outfit together and find which friends are happy to have you third-wheeling. Better yet, find a bigger group of date-less friends and roll as a crew. Or bail on the dance and have your own party instead. Just do what my mom says and “put on some lipstick and have fun.”

Kiki, you’re like one of the most inspirational people I’ve met. Also, you really answer. How did you start working for Editorial Mag, and what advice would you give people who are looking to work in a similar field? :D

Dear QT,
Too sweet! These questions inspire me! I started working with Editorial Mag because I’m obsessed with them and I wanted to be involved with the cool shit they are doing! My advice to you would to be find something that inspires you and try to get involved in any way you can. Or start something up yourself! <3

*Please note Kiera is not a trained healthcare professional, and has no institutional accreditation. Photo by Mac Demarco.