I am reading "The 2003 Harlequin Romance Report." (The only word to describe some of the things they make me do around here is - unspeakable.)
I'm not exactly sure what a Harlequin Romance is.
I assume it has something to do with harlots.
The Romance Report contains all kinds of surveys and statistics about how women view things like dating and relationships.
Some of it's kind of interesting:
For example, I didn't know that a lot of women separate men into two groups - Mr. Right and Mr. Right Now.
Some of it's kind of obvious:
I mean, does anyone who has ever been to Canada doubt for a second that Canadian women would be more reluctant than American women to go on a blind date?
And some of it's kind of a no-brainer:
Q: If you like the person, but he/she isn't a good kisser, you:
a. Dump him/her.
b. Give him/her a lesson.
c. Wait for the right moment and try again.
d. Skip the preliminaries and go right to third base.
(OK, so I made up d.)
Another part of the Romance Report features a Q&A with Dr. Gilda, a relationship expert.
The problem with Dr. Gilda's advice is that it's directed solely at women.
Why she chooses to ignore the other 50 percent of the relationship equation is beyond me.
Maybe she thinks men don't read Harlequin Romance novels, which is absurd. The average male will read the entire encyclopedia if there is a possibility it contains even a single page devoted to harlotry.
Anyway, to compensate for Dr. Gilda's slight, I have taken questions put to her in the Q&A and answered them from a male perspective.
Q: What should women be doing to find Mr. Right?
Q: Do you believe that some women who think they want long-term relationships or marriage put up roadblocks to guard their freedom?
A: Who cares, as long as they don't want to get serious.
Q: How do you know if marriage or a long-term commitment isn't for you?
A: Your nickname is "Ex."
Q: Is there any key indicator about a man that guarantees a happy relationship?
Q: What's the biggest danger sign about a man that indicates he's not Mr. Right?
A: He says the key to your relationship is you wear the same size underwear.
Q: How can a woman turn a Mr. Right Now into a Mr. Right? And should she try?
A: The answer to the first part, of course, is electric shock therapy. As for the question - should she try? - I would say that all depends on how good her car battery is.
Jim Shea can be reached at
shea@ courant.com.Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun