Dear Dr. Date,Her…

Dear Dr. Date,
Here’s the situation. I am a normal, healthy 20-year-old college student who hasn’t had the greatest luck with relationships. I had a boyfriend for quite a long time, but we had to break up because he lives too far away. After we broke up, I had a few dates in the interim, not many, and my heart wasn’t really into it. Then recently I slept with this guy that I’ve known for several months. I didn’t think it was going to happen, and now I’m beginning to wonder if I did it for the wrong reasons. I was physically satisfied, but my emotions were closed off the whole time.
I just wanted someone to hold me and love me again I guess. My ex, who was my first and only boyfriend, was also the first person I slept with, and there are days when I miss that, miss having someone who loved me like that, so much. I still want to sleep with my ex, even though it may never happen again. I wonder if maybe I slept with this guy and then felt guilty because I was pretending that he was my ex. I don’t know if that’s what I was doing, but I have to wonder. Am I a horrible person for doing that?
Even though I’m getting over my ex, I haven’t completely recovered, and I told this guy as much. He was okay with that, and he still wanted to have sex with me. Does that make it okay? I’m really confused about the whole situation. Am I bad for doing what I did because I need to be loved as much as anyone else?
— Experienced, But Not Wise

Author Nathaniel West said in his book “Miss Lonelyhearts” that advice columnists are the priests of the modern age, espousing a moral paradigm for all the luckless in the world. I’d prefer not to take on that role for you, sweetheart. Morals are one of many intangible concepts I attempt to avoid, but, of course, I’m not immune to the temptation. I do have a few basic ideas that I deem important to living, the most important of which is to live a respectful life based as much as possible on your own rules. That means, according to me, that you shouldn’t be looking for moral answers from me. Ironically, this statement negates itself, making my moral advice valid. So …
Don’t worry, kid. We all do uncharacteristic things occasionally to make ourselves feel better. Just stay safe, don’t make it a habit, and make sure this inconsequential sex doesn’t completely replace your honest need for affection. Stop watching TV, too.