What Kind of Man Are You?

Dear Advice From Paradise,

There’s this cute guy that I work with. He has a girlfriend. We’re pretty close friends at this point, and hang out after work sometimes. In fact, he goes out a lot at night, and she’s never with him. Recently, one of his friends told me that he gets “close” to many girls, but never cheats or leaves his girlfriend. Why does he do this? Are they in love and that’s just their style? Why lead girls on and get close to them? It’s very confusing. Thanks!

There should be a word for this type of guy. How about “FBT”: “flirtatious, but taken.” No, wait! I’ve got it: “ASS,” for “always seems single.” Yeah, that’ll do for now.

I’d say one of two things is going on here. The first scenario is a somewhat mythical relationship archetype, I’ll call it “separate togetherness.” This is when a couple hardly ever needs to see each other to feel close. They go about their days and meet up solely for the overnight cuddle session, and maybe the rare weekend trip. Naysayers are always suspicious of this type of relationship, and think that this separateness signifies that something isn’t working. But who asked them?

The second scenario is of the worst-case variety, and it can only mean that our friend here is an ASS. He loves to flirt and get attention from women, but has no intentions of ever making a move. Why he stays with his girlfriend is a mystery. He is clearly distracted and disinterested, but maybe he likes the stability, or doesn’t want to hurt her, or is afraid of being single, or who knows? Determining which type of guy your friend is will be a difficult task. You could ask him, straight-up, or let some more time pass, which could reveal the answer to your question. Maybe it boils down to the classic When Harry Met Sally conversation: Can guys and girls really be “just friends?”

I have a question for you, too: What do you gain by being his friend? Is it worth it, or is it more frustrating than fun? Maybe that’s where your answer is hiding. Good luck!

Song recommendation: What Kind of Man Are You? by Ray Charles featuring Mary Ann Fisher


Going Green


I recently had a panic attack when my friends told me that I have to accept that a certain girl that I’ve been seeing has other guy friends, because we are not officially dating. Am I crazy? Thank you.

Did you know that Shakespeare named jealousy the green-eyed monster after cats, who have green eyes and taunt their prey before the kill? Well, it sounds like all these “guy friends” are taunting you in a similar way! When we’re in a relationship, especially in the beginning, we fear that the end is in sight, and the other person is just playing around with us until they get bored and break our heart. But this is an irrational fear, and right now you should try hard to exorcise it. It’s not going to help in any way, and it’s very unattractive, too. So be strong! You got this!

Song recommendation: Green Eyes by Erykah Badu

Be Cool

Dear Advice From Paradise,

Should I start a relationship with someone I know is just visiting for a month? We get along really well, and in an ideal world we would start off long-distance and then end up living in the same city. But how realistic is this? Should I just bail before things get too heavy? Thank you!

I encourage relationships to start out casually. When we put too much pressure on situations, bad things happen! People get hurt. Think of this as a friendship. You wouldn’t already be thinking about hopping cities with a new friend, right? That’s crazy. I understand that when the heart is involved, emotions can snowball, but for now, I’d just see where it leads without putting your imagination before your brain, so to speak.

Song recommendation: Bound To Fall In Love by Ponderosa Twins


Dear Advice From Paradise,

How do you get over someone you feel you’re truly meant to be with, but they claim they’ve lost all romantic feelings for you? Total blindside. It’s been eight months. Thanks.

I was blindsided once like this. I spent a lot of time asking questions that couldn’t be answered, blaming myself, then him, then myself again. I finally stopped when I realized something very simple: We just weren’t a good fit. The realization was kind of like learning a language or how to play an instrument. At some point, after many months or even years of frustration, the veil lifts and you’re like, “Oh it makes sense.” This is because a “fit” implies that both parties agree that the relationship is working. And if it isn’t working for you both, then the idea that you’re meant to be with him or her is negated.

It was especially brutal for me because of all the silly expectations I had placed on the relationship. Since then, I’ve decided that relationships should start casually (in an ideal world). Eight months is very young, and maybe you two simply couldn’t go deeper together. Too much lovey-dovey shit too soon is always a recipe for disaster.

Song recommendation: I’ll Never Fall in Love Again by Dionne Warwick