Advice From Paradise

I recently met a woman who I think would make a good new friend. We are both in relationships though, and I know you have been less than enthusiastic about friendships in these situations in past posts. Still, I find myself more drawn to the company of women and have had many platonic opposite-sex relationships, even with people who are otherwise crush-worthy. How do I let the woman in question know my intentions? I sense her aloofness and wonder if I’m sending mixed signals unintentionally. Maybe she just doesn’t think I am friend material? Help! Hi! Many thoughts come to mind. I think it’s hard to make new friends, especially after a certain age, because it’s natural that some people reach their friend capacity. (Granted, I have no idea how old you are, I’m just saying…) Secondly, committed relationships take up tons of time! Why isn’t yours taking up your […]

Hey, I am 26 and I’ve never had a boyfriend—by choice. It’s because I can’t feel. I always felt like I was a sociopath because all the indications point to that. I can’t feel anything, and I don’t care too much, but people I know in my life are starting to ask questions. I’ve dated tons of guys, but I only do it to get free food; I don’t stay with them long. Is there something wrong? Firstly, I feel like this answer needs a disclaimer, which is: I’m not a psychologist. If you can get to a real “pro” to tease out this intricate question, that’d be my first piece of advice. I definitely know some “lone wolves” who are single by choice and don’t really date at all. A couple of them have never had a long-term relationship. It’s not a bad thing. They aren’t even misanthropes, though […]

Q: I have a new girlfriend. I’ve told her everything about me in the short time we’ve been together, but there are certain questions about her history that she doesn’t answer, by saying she doesn’t want to talk about it. Why is she so secretive and how should I respond to this weird aspect of our relationship? A: The problem is not that she has secrets. I mean, everyone has a lot of their life confined in their head, like a Quasimodo castle of memories up there that no one will ever know about. The problem is that she told you she is keeping secrets from you. I operate on a “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy when it comes to this sort of thing, but now it’s out in the open to nag and gnaw at you. The best thing for you to do is to be as understanding as […]

Issues

Q:  I’ve been having issues with my relationship for a while. I don’t know what to do or where to start, but sometimes it feels hopeless, and other times it feels great. What can I do to mend a relationship (marriage, actually) that has such high highs and low lows, and it’s been like this for like ten years? Thank you. It’s been a weird night. A: Hey there. Well, it sounds simple, but I’d like to reassure you that you’re not alone. All relationships are difficult. The idea of a long-term relationship is a bit absurd if you take a step back—you put two strangers in a room, sprinkle some love dust on them, and tell them to spend every second that they’re not at work together, for the rest of their lives. And neverfight. But clearly there is something keeping you together all these years, and hopefully it’s […]

Q: 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! A: 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 […]

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