~ADVICE GODDESS~

Stopwatch in the name of love

I met a guy a little over seven weeks ago. Days later, we were hanging out constantly, sharing life stories and sleeping together. I began to \\\”fall\\\” but didn\\\’t say anything about love because he didn\\\’t. Finally, on a trip, we had a talk about how we felt. I explained that I wouldn\\\’t have slept with him more than once if I didn\\\’t see a future for us. He said he couldn\\\’t begin to think of \\\”love\\\” for many months and isn\\\’t very verbally demonstrative anyway. He basically wants to see where this goes and thinks I\\\’m kinda nuts for \\\”moving so fast.\\\” Yet, every boyfriend I\\\’ve had said he loved me within a couple weeks of sleeping together. I feel sleazy for sleeping with a man five days a week and never saying more than \\\”Have a nice day\\\” afterward. Am I headed for disaster?

—Put Off

There\\\’s falling in love and there\\\’s trying to have yourself shot out of a cannon into it.

Too bad human emotion doesn\\\’t run on a bus schedule: \\\”Let\\\’s see … two weeks, you love me, seven weeks, you let me measure you for your cage.\\\” Out here in the confines of the real world, loving somebody takes actually knowing them, otherwise, what are you actually loving? Hmmm … perhaps how well they fit into your plan to retire from dating and settle down with that special anybody?

The way you put it — \\\”I wouldn\\\’t have slept with him more than once if I didn\\\’t see a future for us\\\” — that thing down there must only look like a vagina; it\\\’s really a crystal ball. Seven weeks in, you know him, really, really well — just not well enough to have even an inkling of his approach to relationships: waiting until he develops some depth of feeling for a woman before committing to more than dinner plans for week eight. In other words, the guy seems to be looking for something real, as opposed to something real fast. Jeez, what a jerk!

Midway through a seven-week sex marathon, it\\\’s a little late to inform a guy of the house rule: Only the first bagging is free. If sex that may turn out to be, well, casual, rather than formal, leaves you feeling gypped, you should end dates with a long, steamy handshake. Since you\\\’re a bit beyond that now, the thing that should be giving you pause is not what\\\’s probably a sincere \\\”Have a nice day,\\\” but how you bought into all those week two \\\”I love you\\\’s\\\” from boyfriends past. After all, if saying \\\”I love you\\\” means two people have a future together, how come you and all those other guys seem to be having a future apart?

This guy doesn\\\’t sound like he\\\’s cold, withholding or scampering off to the bar to \\\”Have a nice day\\\” with your replacement. Why push him in that direction? It\\\’s understandable that you feel a need for \\\”security,\\\” but you can\\\’t contract out for it; it has to come from within. Also, lobbying to hear those \\\”three little words\\\” may cause you to miss those other three little words, \\\”Are you cold?\\\” Or, those 14 little words, \\\”How about I come over this weekend and sand and refinish your hardwood floors?\\\” (You say tomato, he shows you a tomahto … and who\\\’s to say the talkier way is right?) It\\\’s OK to be looking for love, but for best results, remember to actually look, and not like you would for a suitcase nuke that\\\’s about to take out Cleveland.

Talk to the handcuff

My girlfriend of eight months gets mad when I make plans with friends and tell her afterward. Even if I invite her along. She\\\’ll say, \\\”How do you know we didn\\\’t have plans? Or, that I wasn\\\’t going to take you to dinner?!\\\” Most of her friends are married heterosexuals, so I guess she\\\’s used to couples planning everything together.

—Very Independent Woman

\\\”How do you know we didn\\\’t have plans? Or, that I wasn\\\’t going to take you to dinner?!\\\” This hurts my head. When somebody wants to take you out, there are ways to let you know. Some ways — e-mail, phone call, text message — are more effective than others: mental telepathy and screaming, \\\”I hate you, I hate you!\\\” as you\\\’re going out the door to meet friends. Your girlfriend probably got together with you, in part, because she admired your \\\”Very Independent\\\” spirit. Now, it seems she\\\’s confusing \\\”Very Independent\\\” with \\\”Very Independent From Her.\\\” Gently inform her that nobody gets dibs on every moment of your life, but from now on, you\\\’re setting aside a regular date night that always belongs to her. The bottom line: You care about her, and love spending time with her; you just don\\\’t want to feel like you\\\’re serving it.

~ADVICE GODDESS~

 

Sowing Her Mild Oats

 

I’ve always gotten terrible crushes on exciting, ambitious, bold men who never want anything to do with me. I gambled that being with a good, reliable man would cure me of my pointless crushes, and married my best friend. He’s in love with me, and I love him as a friend and figured I’d grow to love him as a husband. Besides, I want kids and I’m short on time. On a recent business trip, I met a man with everything I’m attracted to; for example, big manly shoulders, a confident bearing and wit. My husband’s the opposite, pulling his shoulders forward like he’s trying to hide his head between them. While he’s funny, he’s timid and socially awkward, and only mutters witticisms under his breath. Luckily, the new man doesn’t threaten my marriage, but only because he doesn’t want kids. My husband sensed something was up, and now worries whenever I travel. Could I eventually develop an attraction to my husband? I’d hate to lose my best friend over this.

—Crushed By Crushes

I love asking couples how they got together, but, in your case, I’ll guess: "I just got super-tired of drunk-dialing business executives (I mean, they all eventually block my number), and at that moment, I happened to glance at my watch, and went, ‘Holy moly, I need sperm!’"

Some women marry for money and position; you married to avoid self-examination. On a practical level, this is like curing bleeding gums by buying a new lip liner. No, never mind asking the obvious, "How come I keep throwing myself at all these Big Men who show little interest in me?" Instead, you "gambled" by marrying the man you consider a stoop-shouldered loser of a "best friend" — hoping that you could love him as a stoop-shouldered loser of a husband. Perhaps you haven’t heard, but best friendship is supposed to mean you’d do almost anything for somebody, not almost anything for them.

Regarding your desire to have kids, don’t be too quick to consider your diaphragm a quaint souvenir. You don’t just "have" children, you actually have to parent them. There’s more to this than the thrill of dressing your little girl as your tiny clone; namely, 20-plus years of sacrificing your needs for those of your spawn. If that doesn’t dissuade you, sample parenting’s demands by moving in for a week with a family with young children — like my neighbors, who haven’t eaten at a restaurant that has waiters instead of clowns for the better part of a decade. If you’re honest, maybe you’ll admit that your urge to have adorable little things running around would be better served by dressing your dog up as Pocahontas.

Could you eventually develop an attraction to your husband? Sure you could, if you divorce this husband and marry one you’re attracted to. Of course, that guy’s bound to be unsuitable in his own special way. And isn’t that the point of all the supposed "pointlessness"? You aren’t so much looking for love as you’re trying to look like you’re looking for love; probably because you’re terrified of rejection. Until you work through that, avoid committing to more than a time and place for pointless sex. And while, in yet another outpouring of concern for your needs, you say you’d hate to lose your "best friend" over this, it’s probably the sweetest, kindest thing you could do. Who knows, the guy might stand up a little straighter for a woman who marries him because she can’t keep her hands off him — not because she can’t keep her hands off firemen, police chiefs, loggers, astronauts, corporate presidents, and broad-shouldered traveling salesmen.

 

Here Comes The Bribe

 

I’m a 20-year-old guy, and I like this girl a lot. I think she likes me, but I’m not sure whether she’ll go out with me. Should I buy her a necklace with her birthstone for her birthday, or is that coming on too strong?

—Interested

The shortest distance between two points does not involve a detour to Zales. Point A: You’re interested. Point B: You want to know whether she’s interested back. Hmm … do you buy her jewelry and try to read her thoughts as she opens the box? Or … think big, go straight to her dad, and ask whether he’ll take 40 goats and 20 cows for her hand in marriage? Or … here’s a novel concept: ASK HER OUT! Yes, it really is the thought that counts, and if you buy jewelry for a woman you have yet to date, her thought is likely to be that you’re too needy, desperate and lacking in confidence to think your company and a couple mojitos would be enough. Of course, there are women who will overlook such things — those who see you as the shortest distance between them and cash, prizes and maybe a new washing machine.

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