Relationship needs total honesty
Q: Say for instance, a few years back, girl meets boy — it's love at first sight. They eventually get together, though break up a short time after, and remain very good friends for years to follow.
Guy and girl still discuss their feelings for one another and have seriously considered marriage. However, guy has been seeing another woman for the last few years about whom he has admittedly lukewarm feelings, and says he doesn't know where things are going there. Girl can really envision a future with the guy …
Is there anything she can do aside from being patient and seeing if there are new developments?
A: You get along well, but he seems distant at times. You tell yourself this is normal, yet feel increasingly isolated. You speak up. Boy says you're imagining things. You see yourself clinging and hate it. Then he says to the other girl — they're "just friends," mind you — that things with you have been kinda lukewarm . . .
It seems like a basic precaution not to make yourself available to anyone who openly declares that he's stringing along someone else. No one has everything, but every good mate will have these: compassion, conscience, spine.
Before you decide this warning doesn't apply, make sure your justification passes the laugh test; "love at first sight" doesn't. That is, unless you just prefer to have him string you along inside a relationship, instead of outside one.
Name calling is childish
Q: I'm 37 and single — not because I don't want to get married, I just haven't found the right guy yet. However, my family calls me the "career girl." This bothers me not just because it conjures Doris Day, but because my family knows better than anyone that I hate being defined by my job. I also save my money and time off to travel, see concerts, golf, go wine-tasting. So why am I not their little jet-setter?
Are they trying to make me feel bad for being single, using a term they know will make me cringe? Or am I just one of those hypersensitive singles they talk about as more likely to get killed by a terrorist than get married? Why is it that single men are "bachelors" but women have horrible names, like "spinster"?
Not Career Girl
A: Why is your family calling you anything but your given name? There may be better labels and worse labels, but all labels diminish a person, for the exact reason you cite — they slap on a terse definition. They limit.
That too, I think, is the intent of the people who use them, whether they realize it or not. There's a cheap little sense of superiority in applying a label, because it essentially says "I've got you pegged."
Unfortunately, people who tease all present the same problem: You can't laugh along if you aren't amused, and if you aren't amused, then they'll say it's your fault. This is, of course, a sure way to drive their "career girl" to wine country on her vacations, instead of the ancestral home — which is, of course, painful. Perhaps "Did you just call me that to my face?" is already overdue.
Females bring different insight
Q: I'm dating a guy who believes there's "no point" in having female friends. His theory is that anything you can get from a female friend, you can get from a male friend "without the drama."
He's crazy about me, so he doesn't understand why this attitude concerns me. It means his interest in me is purely romantic, and that it won't ever be rooted in friendship. It also means he doesn't respect women as equals. I think this bodes poorly for our future. What do you think?
A: The misogyny in his statement is breathtaking. At best he sees people as categories. So, yes, that doesn't bode well.