Q: I've been dating an amazing guy for a month. Our first amazing date turned into an amazing night, which turned into an amazing month. We completely adore each other. Every time we hang out feels like the greatest day with a best friend. The problem is, I work and go to college full time, and I really wasn’t ready for anything more than fun and sex. In fact, “more” is freaking me out. Because we’d initially agreed that we were only looking for something casual and short-term, I told him that I was developing feelings for him and gave him the option of walking away, but he actually seemed happy to hear how I felt. I have such jitters now because I cannot afford to risk getting distracted from my studies. When I think about this, I sometimes get so anxious that I feel I need to ditch this amazing guy, which is the last thing I want.
—Good Reasons To Avoid Getting Serious
A: Love sometimes calls upon people to do more than just show up to bask in its glow. Take that emperor, way back when, in India. When he wanted to memorialize his beloved wife, he built the Taj Mahal, not the Taj Ma lean-to.
Luckily, Mr. Amazing won’t have to muster 20,000 workers to spend 20 years building an “elegy in marble.” What you need is a boyfriend who’s willing to have what amounts to a long-distance relationship while living only a short distance away. In other words, he’ll have to be up for long walks on the beach — by himself — while you’re back in your dorm room, in bed with both Geoffrey Chaucer and William Shakespeare. And as lovely as it is when a man “says it with flowers,” when you need to pry yourself away from him to get back to your studies, he should show you that he loves you by handing you a single red crowbar.
It’s possible that spending the next few years as your sainted boyfriend will wear on him and cause him to walk. If, however, he does stick around, it’s either because he prefers martyrdom to checkers or Ultimate Frisbee or because you two have something special. It’s easy to be supportive when a big bed and a couple of mai tais are all that’s on the agenda, so it says a lot when a guy’s always got your back, and not just because he’s looking to unhook your bra. Be sure that you don’t take this for granted and that you regularly express your appreciation. It won’t be easy to maintain your job, schoolwork, and even a muted form of a relationship simultaneously. The stress may leave you needing to lose the freshman 15 pounds, but if your amazing relationship is as amazing as you say, there’s a good chance you won’t need to lose the freshman 165
Q: My girlfriend is a smart and accomplished 33-year-old woman who wears little girl-type clothes. She always looks pretty, but there are times I wish she would dress more like an adult. For instance, last week, we had dinner with my boss, and she wore a pink Hello Kitty T-shirt and pigtails. How does a man ask a woman to sometimes dress a little more sophisticated?
A: I used to worship Hello Kitty, and then I turned 7. Some women do work the head-to-toe little girl look longer than others, but 33 sounds a little late for it. Maybe your girlfriend has gotten in a style rut and hasn’t noticed that she isn’t pulling off 22-going-on-12 like she used to. Then again, she might be wearing these clothes because she’s aged out of them. (Paging Alanis Morissette, because isn’t it ironic?)
Clothes say a lot about a person, but there are times your shirt or skirt or whatever really needs to shut the hell up, like when you’re accompanying your boyfriend to dinner with his boss. This would be the time to dress to make him look good (more business casual than monkey bars casual).
Tell your girlfriend that you always love looking at her and that you aren’t asking her to change her style entirely, just to dress more sophisticated on occasion, especially occasions for your work. She probably has something passable in her closet, but you might offer to take her shopping for a few new additions to her wardrobe. If she’s just forgotten to look up and notice she’s 33, a new little black dress might lead her to realize it’s time to say Goodbye, Kitty, and start dressing in a way that suggests she got out of college about 10 years ago, and not the stroller.
Advice Goddess Radio (“Best Of” replay): Sex therapist Dr. Brandy Engler on what’s really going on in the erotic minds of men. http://www.blogtalkradio.com/amyalkon/2013/07/22/dr-brandy-engler-inside-the-erotic-minds-of-men-women
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.