Q: A man my friend was crazy for just broke up with her. I kind of saw the breakup coming, as I thought they were too different, but she thinks he just falsely advertised who he really is. They met online, and he made himself out to be this guy who loves art and culture, which to her means going to museums, shows, and lectures and to him means staying home and making things. She now insists that the only way to meet people is in the activity you want them to be doing. For example, if you want a guy who likes art museums and going to cultural events (which she does), you’d better hang out in an art museum to find a date. I think it’s a mistake for her not to keep online dating, because I think she’ll meet a lot more men.
—Friend Of Stubborn Woman
A: People try to put their best foot forward on dating sites, and rather often, it turns out it’s not actually their foot.
Of course, deceptive self-marketing is not exclusive to online dating, and online dating does offer certain efficiencies that trying to meet a man at an art museum or cultural event does not. For example, people join a dating site specifically because they are looking for a partner. Some man you spot in a museum may also be looking for a partner — his wife, who was right behind him just a room ago.
It sounds like your friend is blaming the Internet because a guy she liked didn’t like her back. They maybe both projected what they wanted on each other and needed to dig deeper to find out who the person they were dating really was. This is what dating is for. It’s supposed to be a process of finding out about a person, not “I baited the hook; I caught the fish; now let’s decide what’s for dinner at the wedding!”
We often don’t need anybody to go to the trouble of deceiving us. We do that really well on our own, like by telling ourselves we’ve found the “perfect person” and ignoring any evidence to the contrary. Instead, there needs to be a vetting process, whether you meet a man online or at an artwalk. It involves asking questions and looking to see who he is and being willing to find out that he isn’t right for you. This vetting is essential because, wherever you meet men, there’s one thing many will have in common: insisting they’re interested in whatever you are if they think you’re hot. Try to help your friend see that holing up in the art museum isn’t the answer. Sure, it might be kismet that Mr. Dreamypants is standing in the lobby right next to her favorite sculpture, or he might just be waiting to enjoy the work of Sir John Harrington, the guy who invented the flush toilet found in the free public bathroom.
Q: I'm 5’8”; my fiance is just at 5’7”. I’m only comfortable when he wears lifts, especially if I’m wearing heels. It may not seem like a big height difference, but when he doesn’t wear them, he feels like my son. I know they’re uncomfortable, and he sometimes doesn’t feel up to wearing them. Mostly, though, he won’t let me see him without them, because he knows I'm way more attracted to him when he’s a tad taller. I feel bad about this, and I’ve prayed that one day, my strong love for him will let me ignore this minor “flaw.”
—Trying To Get Above It
A:The dream was tall, dark, and handsome. Not elfish, dark, and handsome. Still, the problem here could be seen another way: You need to be shorter. Unfortunately, accomplishing that is the less practical solution, as it would require a saw. It might help to understand that you want him to be taller not because you’re a bad person but because you’re a product of human evolution. In our ancestral past, height in a man likely had mating and survival advantages. (The short caveman would have been less able to reach the lion with his spear: “Take that, you big meanie!”) As for what to do in the present, elevator shoes might be the solution you’re both looking for. While lifts are inserts stuck into the shoe, mainly raising the heel, elevator shoes, which can be custom-made by a podiatrist, have a hidden platform built in throughout the shoe. The latest models are cleverly designed and appear to be normal footwear. This means that a man needn’t suffer the discomfort of tromping around in heels just to be attractive to his partner. (Next thing you know, he’ll be complaining about the scratchy red lace and underwire digging into his flesh.)
Advice Goddess Radio (“Best Of” replay): Dr. Gabrielle Principe on the science behind why the overstructured, overscheduled childhood is bad for kids. http://www.blogtalkradio.com/amyalkon/2013/07/15/dr-gabrielle-principe-parenting-sans-paranoia
It’s Amy Alkon’s Advice Goddess Radio -- “Nerd your way to a better life!” with the best brains in science solving your love, dating sex, and relationship problems. Listen live every Sunday -- http://www.blogtalkradio.com/amyalkon/ -- 7-8 p.m. PT, 10-11 p.m. ET, or listen or download at the link, at iTunes, or on Stitcher.