Semi-confidential to E. from BG:
Though I did paraphrase Belleruth in my letter to you, I personally take full
responsibility for what was written. I do stand by the core of what I said (and
there was plenty in there that was my own), but I may have been off in my estimation
of your tone; I may also not have polished mine to the shine you deserve. Result:
I was a bit harsh; accept my respectful apologies and the props from the following
To E. and Jam from Reenie:
I am 5' 6" and a half. I strongly prefer guys about my own height or shorter.
About my own height is best, but I have dated a few shorter guys in my day (about
5'4"), and they were gorgeous, smart, funny, in good shape, great kissers, and
had none of the ego bull that people who are conventionally thought of as good
looking may sometimes bring with them. So, especially you, E, if you have stuff
in common with the men described above, focus on that and get over yourself.
If I weren't taken, I might offer to perform a little chest-stroking myself.
Oh, and on the looking-17 thing: my friends kid me that I go for "boy-toys."
But if you act your age, women will simply enjoy your youthful appearance. If
there's one like me, I know there are plenty more women out there for you guys,
so take heart.
And from Hockey Girl:
I have been through the relationship wringer this year. #1 adventure -- engagement
to a longtime boyfriend, broken by me out of necessity to preserve my emotional
well-being. #2 adventure -- flirtation with a mysterious, gorgeous Euro transplant,
which ended when he decided to stop calling me without explanation. Ouch. #3
adventure -- slightly-more-than flirtation with a wealthy, very-recently divorced
guy which he ended after I'd fallen pretty hard. ("I just need to NOT have a
girlfriend right now."). More ouch. After all that, I've decided to take myself
off the market for a little while and figure out why I just keep going out with
I just wanted to say that mysterious Euro was at least 6'3", while rich divorced
guy was only about 5'5". BG's reference to being 5'2" in skates amused me, because
I am also 5'2" in skates. I wanted to say that some women might actually find
it a relief to go out with shorter guys. Especially if these smaller guys keep
themselves in good shape. 6'3" Euro was just so towering that I felt overwhelmed
a lot. Believe me, he didn't raise a hand to me or physically force me in any
way. But I was a much better physical match with the shorter guy who came after
him. I know it must suck sometimes to be a short guy; I am a very short girl
and it sucks for me, too. But, as my hockey hero Theo Fleury (at 5'6" the shortest
guy in the NHL and one of its best players) says when people wonder aloud how
such a small guy can play pro hockey, "I DON'T THINK OF MYSELF AS SMALL!"
Wouldn't you know, I met all three of the aforementioned guys at the rink playing
hockey? Now it's hard to show my face at the rink, which is hard because I just
love to play and make every effort to leave all that stuff at the door so that
they'll take me seriously. Dating guys you play with is like dating guys you
work with; it's a bad idea either way in my opinion.But I know that hockey girls
are tough -- and that guys have short memories. I will keep skating and come
out of this okay.
BG responds: Remember, HG, Hockey means never
having to say you're sorry.
And from Leapea:
Some women actually prefer short men. Yes, it may come as a surprise, but I
seem to hold out for what I call "minis." So, you both might want to rethink
the problem and stop blaming things on your very sexy little packaging.
To Staff Sergeant from John:
I'm uncertain if it's against regulations for you to date your commander's
daughter or not. Either way, you have one option that might be futile but is
worth a shot. Let some time pass, then make an appointment with your commander.
Apologize for seeing his daughter behind his back. Tell him you care greatly
for his daughter and that your attentions are honorable. Ask his permission,
as a father as well as your commander, to date his daughter. It is quite possible
that it was the clandestine nature of your relationship that led to him overreacting
and ordering you not to date his daughter. Be a mensch about it, and
you'll impress him. Plus, I'm sure he's getting an earful from his daughter
about him sticking his nose into her business. Also, you need to think about
the above-board approach in order to figure out whether you truly care for Becky
or whether it's just a thrill to be dating the commander's daughter behind his
back, which is what he's probably most worried about.
ToChosen One Wannabe from Been There:
I'd say ask BG's great questions and really hear out his responses. It's easy
to supposedly listen but have this running commentary "well what he really
means is..." It's so much more difficult when dealing with someone who is clinically
diagnosed as depressed because you can sometimes second-guess his indecisiveness
as being a symptom of his mental state. And so you make allowances. I know this
from first hand experience. Whenever I asked my IG about how committed
he felt, he would vacillate and then sputter, "See? I told you I was messed
up mentally." Which is true, though in some ways a cop-out as well. I mean,
even if it had something to do with his brain chemistry (I won't analyze to
what extent), I had to ask myself do I REALLY need this kind of anguish and
frustration in my life? Now my IG wasn't clinging to the memory of some other
woman, but even without that added dimension, the relationship was tough enough.
I don't know how you could handle all that drama plus the ghost of girlfriend
past. Again, is it really worth it?
Also, ask yourself if there's a caregiver component here that you haven't addressed,
if his wounded indecisiveness is attractive and makes you care for him even
more (that "If I just wait long enough, love him more, I'll fix him, and he'll
realize that I'm the chosen one" mentality). If that sounds familiar, you might
want to take a look at yourself as well as your partner. Because if this is
a trend -- if you are continually attracted to these otherwise wonderful guys
with the fatal depressive flaw -- then you should be conscious and wary before
entering another relationship. This is in no way bashing on all of the Prozac
Nation, as it were. I'm just saying to tread lightly and be aware of the frustrations
that being with someone with that condition could entail. And in this particular
case, I would tread off into the opposite direction.
Anyway, please don't waste your time with IG, girlfriend. It's cliché,
but it's true: there are plenty of fish in the sea; don't try to swim after
this zigzagging injured creature. I tried that route, and it just exhausts both
people. DON'T feel like you're abandoning him if you do decide to make break
and go it as friends. It's best for both of you, in my opinion.
To Lois from Megan:
When I was 18, I met a sweet, cute, sensitive guy with whom I fell madly in
love. We dated for three years, and I have to say, he's the only one I've ever
dated who passed The Porch Test -- I could imagine
myself growing old with him, no problem. But when he started pushing me to live
with him in my last year of college, after which time we could settle down in
wedded bliss, I started having serious reservations. It wasn't about him --
it was about me. I knew I needed to step out on my own, get a job in a big,
scary city, and have my own apartment in order to grow into the person I am
today. I needed to "find myself," so to speak. We broke up, and he's married
to someone else now. Now and then, usually after a particularly lousy date or
brutal breakup, I think about him, and a tiny part of me wonders if I made a
mistake. But I KNOW that if I'd stayed with him and given up my dreams, I'd
wonder every single day with every fiber of my being what I could have done
had I braved the world out on my own. So no, it's a shame that you can't just
put a great guy on ice for ten years. But I learned tons from my relationship,
and, until the end, it was a healthy one. I agree with BG -- make the most of
it while it's hot. You'll know what to do about the future when the time comes.
ToMere Mortal Guy from El Guapo:
The same thing happened to me twice earlier in the decade. It wasn't nice
either time, but hey, that's life. If your girlfriend becomes a lesbian, there's
precious little you can do about it. Stand your ground, be mature, and have
your dumping missiles ready to fire. (Saying, "What does she have that I don't?"
doesn't win points. Trust me.) Sucking it up is no consolation for the queasiness
when you go to a party together knowing that she could be checking out EVERYONE
for the second relationship in a row. Love be damned; this is self-preservation.
After these two, life got better. Ridin' high in April, shot down in May, back
on top in June, dude.
To All Y'all from Libby:
Several months after a breakup, I'm actively back on the dating scene, meeting
men via friends, online services, etc. However, it seems that an awful lot
of us have forgotten appropriate dating etiquette.
First, the nice way to ask for a date is to plan a specific activity and ask
in advance. "I have tickets for the theater next Tuesday; would you like to
join me?" is so much more enticing than, "Ya doin' anything tonight?" Second,
complaining about the opposite sex is not charming and not a very effective
way of getting a potential new relationship off the ground. Bending your date's
ear about the coldness / callousness /judgmentalism of all the women / men in
NY / SF / LA / wherever probably only guarantees that a second date will not
happen. Thanks for letting me get that off my chest. Now, off to meet my prince...