When we first meet BHB, he asks, nicely, how he can be a nice guy without being The Nice Guy. The guy who women flock to… for help with odd jobs. You know, the guy whose shoulder women cry on…about other men.
Several months after that, he’s back, and he’s crushing on someone 11 years his senior — though at least, thankfully, not expressing his feelings by offering to drive her to the airport or move her piano.
Then: Another missive detailing a massive dating drought in which dry conditions also help set an old flame alight. Which would be hot except for the part where she’s married to a doofus. And now he’s got a tattoo: a tattoo of the earth on his shoulder. The world! On his shoulder! Oh, the weight! Oh, Broken Heart Bob!
And now! BHB writes from Africa! Turns out our man has joined the Peace Corps. In other words, he is building the world a loft, in a good way. Here is his latest missive, plus a bit of a pep talk from BG. (Note: This response from BG to long-time VIP/FOBG BHB is an extra-special VIP case. Please send your requests for advice to my alter-ego at AskLynn@match.com) Feel free to add your comments as well!
Broken Heart Bob here once again. I have a “situation” that I’d like some input on. I’ve once again perused your website and found some help but it doesn’t quite match what’s going on.
A while back, I did meet “the perfect woman.” Everything was great until I shipped out to Africa with the Peace Corps. We tried to make it work but didn’t. I then proceeded to fall for almost all the women in my Peace Corps program. (There were about 70.) Nothing happened with any of them, but I did wind up meeting another volunteer — let’s call her “A” — from a neighboring country. We hit it off and wound up making out, but that’s all. Then, after a big regional meeting, one thing led to another, and we had sex. (It had been a long time for her, she said.) We decided to “give the distance thing a shot.”
We don’t have regular communication, but when we can talk it usually gets very steamy very quickly. Yesterday, though, we were talking about “what’s next.” My PC service is up, so I’ll looking for a job around West Africa for a bit, then will go back to the States for grad school and probably back to Africa after that. She is going to med school to become a doctor to work with humanitarian organizations overseas.
But then she started talking about grad school on the West Coast, far from me. I said I’d come visit. She said “Really? Well isn’t that kind of rushing things?” Rushing? She’s the one who brought up monogamy; and she’s the one who took the initiative to plan to come visit me here, which is a major undertaking involving a visa and a long overland drive. She also said: “I truly do like you a lot, but don’t know if my feelings are valid or if it’s just because you’re the first man to take an interest in me in a long time.”
Do I push her about us? Is all this “not sure” and “not ready” stuff her trying to push me away so I’ll pursue her? Or does she mean what she says? If I push her I’m afraid it’ll all come unraveled, spiraling out of control and crashing into the mountain. Do I let her get here, then bring it up then? I worry that if I do that she’ll think she’s trapped cause she’s out of her comfort zone and I’m in mine. (This is my town and I speak the local language; she doesn’t and cannot get around, much less away from me.) Do I let her bring it up and pray for the best? I know if I tell her not to come visit it’ll all be over anyway.
I wonder if once again my “heart on the sleeve” approach” has set me up for another burn.
Always a pleasure to hear from you, even when you’re writing with tidings of a international “situation.”
Here is my question for you: How do you say “don’t overthink it” in Yoruba? I know it’s tempting. And I know “A” has given you plenty of food for overthought. But sometimes, yeah, we have to look at people’s actions over their words — or at least, when their actions are at odds with their words, we have to take the latter with a handful of Taghaza salt. Does this mean she is 100% sure about your relationship, forever and ever and ever? No. But is she willing to drive through Africa to see you? For now, Bob, for now, that’s all you need to know.
Does it mean you know what’ll happen when she goes home or, yuck, if you head your separate ways to grad school? No. Is her LIKElike inflated because you’re the first guy in a while to LIKElike her? Eh, whatever. Maybe. But I don’t think that would carry the day, slash, carry her over the border. Bob, you know you have it in you to meet “the perfect woman.” She is not just in your past; there is not just one. Is A the one? Who knows. But do you really like her? Yes. And she is willing to drive through Africa to see you. Okay? Enjoy it.
And if a moment feels right, and if you MUST, I suppose you could gently raise the “where you stand” question. But Bob, where you’d be standing is at the foot of the Ngong Hills. I’d advise you to just be. Deal with the rest when you’re actually out of Africa.