Advice From Paradise: Love Advice (and Music) from Nedelle Torrisi

This week: learning how to live with your parents again, crafting the best online dating profile, and weighing the pros and cons of "the rebound."

Hi, my name is Nedelle.

I’m a musician who started playing the violin and singing in musicals at age seven. I come from a Sicilian–American family; I’m the daughter of an ex-nun and an ex-priest who ended up working at a prison. My brother is a neuroscientist and will probably discover something really awesome someday. We’re all musicians, too.

I’ve put out a bunch of albums on different labels and under different monikers: Nedelle, Nedelle and Thom, and Cryptacize. The most recent one just came out on Ethereal Sequence/Drag City under my full name, Nedelle Torrisi, called Advice from Paradise.

I also began giving out love advice semi-professionally on my Tumblr a couple of years ago, after doing it unprofessionally for friends for years before that.

Have a question? Need some advice? Ask me anything at

Hi Nedelle,

I recently moved back into my parents house—because I’m a new grad—and I’m looking for a job. I plan to move out soon. I was raised Christian, and was forced to go to church until I moved out when I was eighteen, and I was OK with that…then. But now, my mother is making me go again, and I’m twenty-three at this point. I’ve expressed dismay at being forced to go, but my mom is controlling and doesn’t respect me. This is insane. Is there anything I can do about this situation?

Clearly your mom thinks that going to church is the “price” you have to pay to live in their house again, but forcing their religious beliefs on you is going too far, in my opinion. You’re mature enough to choose your own faith, and it’s rude of her to make you follow her path. It’s as if someone continued to push a plate full of meat in front of a vegetarian over and over again. No matter your preference, it just becomes rude. Tell your mom that you’ve tried the “meat of the Lord” and it’s just not to your personal taste. You’re not an angsty teen anymore, and surely your relationship with your parents has progressed since then. You are working your butt off to get a job and leave their house, but until then, make sure you speak up, you don’t want to be stuck in a time warp.

Song recommendation: “Losing My Religion” by R.E.M.

Hi Nedelle,

I’m in my mid-thirties and I just joined an online dating site. I’m pretty accomplished in my field and don’t want to come off as pretentious or braggy in my profile. Should I keep it simple, or list my credentials?

For this question I decided to “phone a friend”: My brother is a badass neuroscientist, and I asked him what he would do. He said that there are tons of very accomplished people on those sites and you should list your credentials as need be without parsing your words. But in a personal description section, maybe you should try to be somewhat humble to show balance. Sounds good to me!

Song recommendation: “Computer Love” by Kraftwerk

Dear Nedelle, 

I just went through a breakup and there’s a new girl who wants to be “friends with benefits.” She insists that she just wants a physical thing, but I’m afraid this is just a tactic to eventually make me her boyfriend. I’m not ready for another serious thing, but a rebound would be nice. Should I avoid this girl or give it a try?

If she’s giving you strong enough signals to believe that she wants to woo or manipulate you into becoming her boyfriend, then I’d say avoid her. If you get involved with her and it becomes messy, breaking it off will probably be a big dramatic scene—and you don’t need drama in your life right now. You need healing! Best to avoid potentially awkward situations, especially fresh out of a relationship. I’d tell her it’s bad timing and be done with it. Good luck!

Song recommendation: “Let’s Talk About Sex” by Salt-N-Pepa


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