Q: I'm a 26-year-old guy who’s been on 30 dates this year in hopes of finding a woman to build a long, healthy relationship with, but I only ended up with a few notches in my belt. Last night, I went out with a girl who shook my world. I've never fallen for somebody so quickly, and the thought of her not liking me tore me apart inside. We met on a dating website when she wrote to say my profile was “cute” and so was I. On our date, however, I got the impression she wasn’t too interested because she rarely made eye contact and didn’t smile much. I couldn't sleep last night, as I was so depressed at the thought of her not liking me or being in my life. So, how should I healthily pursue her? She said she wanted to go out again, but many girls say that and don’t mean it. I’m waiting 48 hours to call so I don’t seem desperate. I'm an emotional guy, and the thought of her not liking me is SO hurtful that this will take a while to get over — if I ever do.
A: It can be devastating, the prospect of losing a woman after building a life with her and weathering tough times together. As for this woman, what have you weathered together, whether to take a table or sit at the bar?
Yet, after a single date, you whimper, “The thought of this girl not liking me is SO hurtful that this will take a while to get over — if I ever do.” What are you, 12? Okay, it’s frustrating and even depressing to keep looking for “the one” and only come up with the one-night stands, but get a grip. You’re coming to the conclusion that you might have to date more, not that you’ll die trapped under a rock unless you hack off your right arm with the business end of a drinking straw.
While you can feel instantly blown away by somebody, an immediate obsession with a woman you’ve known for maybe three hours stems more from where you are in your life than anything real and substantial about her. But, say you knew her better. Pursuing her in a healthy way would involve merely preferring that she want you back. Demanding it (or your life will be ruined, just ruined!) is irrational, misery-producing baby behavior — the equivalent of stamping your feet and huffing, “The universe should be nice to me! In fact, the universe should give me a cookie!”
Waiting 48 hours before calling might make you seem less desperate — assuming you don’t pass the time by hyperventilating that you can’t possibly live without her. (Sure you can. You’ve done it for 26 years.) There’s a good chance you’ve already leaked enough desperation to set off her creep-dar. Short of finding yourself a doctor who can induce a coma with telephone privileges, you’ll have your best shot if you can calm yourself enough to come off like you’re just hoping to spend Friday night with her, not the rest of your life. In the future, if you can’t be more realistic, at least be more practical. It can be reasonable to decide that some woman absolutely must be yours — if she’s the sort of woman you pick up in an adult bookstore, then take home and blow up with your bike pump.
Q: I’m the classic hourglass-figured woman, with very large breasts. I recently discovered that my boyfriend is into women with boyish bodies and flat chests. In fact, he finds big breasts “vulgar.” (I saw a YouTube video he made with his friends this summer, and he was very vocal about his preferences.) This confirms my suspicions that he isn’t physically into me. I’m ending it, but wondering why we’re even together.
A: You’ve got what so many guys want — that classic movie star body. Unfortunately, the movie star body your boyfriend goes for is that of the guy who plays Harry Potter. He’s probably bought into the idea that it’s shallow to dismiss a girl just because she’s got cantaloupes in her bra instead of raisins. Maybe he thinks he can work up an attraction if he just makes enough of an effort. Unfortunately, that’s not how attraction works. And, good intentions aside, it’s cruel to be with somebody one secretly finds “vulgar” from the neck down. Luckily for you, the problem of having an hourglass figure and “very large breasts” is right up there with the problem of owning way too much beachfront property. The sooner you end it, the sooner you’ll be reminded of that, and the sooner your boyfriend can get with a woman he’s really into — one who’s less classic hourglass than classic Heineken bottle.