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Parallax - Advice

April 23, 2001

The Right Man

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A famous English actress once commented, 'Personally, I think if a woman hasn't met the right man by the time she's twenty-four...she may be lucky!' You'll probably empathize with her after you've read through this week's letters. There's a misogynist, a narcissist and an egoist and issues of women and love and monogamy and trust. Our altruistic advisors are generous with their help, but not with their sympathy!

He wants a 'great girl.'
Who wants him?
 Date: 04/23/01

Playing the Monogamy Blues.
But wanting to play the field!
 Date: 04/23/01

He's a Houdini.
She's a doormat!
 Date: 04/23/01

More from last week...

He wants a 'great girl'

Dear Conversely,

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Over the past few years I've developed this unexplained obstacle when it comes to meeting women. I have traced some of the cause to the women who are currently in my life - my mother, friends on campus and my boss's daughter. The latter is the largest source of the confusion in my life. I've worked for her father for three years, and during the ENTIRE time she has expressed an unconcealed affection for me. I have no interest in this girl and have made that clear to her, the office staff, her family and God. Yet she persists. She's not at all attractive - at least to me - and she's one of the most conceited women I know. She has a goddess sticker on her car! I'm not asking what I should do since my current plan of 'ignoring her completely' is working, but I wonder what would drive a seemingly intelligent person to go this far? This situation has further damaged my social life. I now believe that all women are this way - just like my nagging mother who makes my father miserable. I know it's not true, but I look for these traits in the women I meet and dismiss them accordingly. I've never had this problem before and can't seem to shake it. My family asks questions like, 'When are you going to settle down?' and 'Are you gay?' I have no idea when I'm going to settle down, I'm not gay in the slightest and I'd like to shake this silliness from my mind and find a great girl to spend my life with. Any suggestions?

Her view:

Dear Not-Gay,

Yes, snap out of it! I'm not sure I've ever heard anything ridiculous. Do you fear all world leaders because you have knowledge of Milosevic? Have you given up movies because you've seen Waterworld?

What on Earth has led to your leap that all women are like this horrid beast from your office? Where would you get such a notion? I can only think of one answer: subconsciously, at this time, you are not interested in dating…so you've identified a foundation to support your lack of interest. There's no need for that - just take a healthy break until you're ready.

It's okay if you don't date right now. Everyone goes through times when they lack interest in the 'dating dances.' But why go through the mental gymnastics? A simple 'I haven't met anyone I'm interested in' approach works.

I think your family should shut up - tell them you're debating a sex change and you'll let them know when you've made a decision. Furthermore, you should lighten up. Who cares about the office monster? Every office has one - of both genders. Don't waste your mental energy because she's not worth the typing required to ask your question.

Give it a rest - a suitable girl will come along. They always do. Somehow you'll just bump into her and you'll know - this is the one.

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His view:

Dear Not-Gay,

The answer to your first question is easy. The reason the boss's daughter doesn't give up is that you are playing hard to get - the moment you show any interest she'll get bored and move on. This means that your current strategy of ignoring is, at best, sub-optimal. Then again, you'll need a lot of self-confidence to try the alternate approach.

As to your other question, I see a clear pattern of blaming others for your own problems - a rather unhealthy approach to meeting women. My first suggestion is that you stop doing this immediately.

My second suggestion is that you stop looking for the 'ideal, great girl to spend your life with' in every woman you meet. This girl most likely doesn't exist. Even if she does, God has probably found her a better match...some guy not as existentially challenged as you.

Perhaps if your expectations aren't always so high, you won't be as judgmental and instantly find grievous fault with these women.

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