Keep dating -- just avoid gold diggers


Q: Bravo to "Another Nice Guy Who's Given Up!" I'd like to stand in line behind him and add another comment to his list of complaints about women:

Taking a first date out to dinner. It seems as if women had been let out of a cage -- lobster, alcoholic drinks, expensive dessert with no regard to the payer's pocket. And to top it off, the complete turn off when she opens her purse and states: "Oh, I forgot to bring my cigarettes."

The important thing in these women's lives seems to be where they can be taken, not whom they are with.

A: Add your contribution to the list of the nice guy who's given up, but don't give up on women and dating. Just make a change in the way you meet the other sex, and where you meet them counts. Gold diggers are more likely hang out at bars and dance clubs; the real McCoy can be found in hiking clubs and working for environmental causes. Refocus your sights, but don't drop out.

Q: I read your column on being the "lover" or the "lovee" with great interest. As a 42-year-old divorcee, I have had three significant relationships in my lifetime . . . two as the lovee (including my marriage) and one as the lover. It was this last one that left me so devastated I could never again allow myself to be in that position. When I finally realized my love would not be returned, yes, the sun came up and the banks stayed open, but I was never again the person I had been. A part of my heart was gone forever and I must tell you, 15 years later, I have not fully recovered.

I almost wish I had the strength to do it again. Instead, I am drawn to the safety of being the beloved.

A: To each her/his own. No one is entitled to make that choice for you . . . or to judge the one you finally make. I do find it ironic, though, that your happiest moments were also your most risky. Could it be that true happiness comes only from taking that leap of faith, and loving without thought of consequence?! Lots to think about.

Q: A letter in your column referred to an open, honest, loving communication between a woman and her children about her sleep-over lovers. Although she assures you that promiscuity, picking up guys and inappropriate behavior were not part of her life, the tone of her letter suggests a revolving-door policy about those sleep-over guests. And could she be very discriminating when her own son complains of a stinky, rude lover? What ever happened to self-discipline, planning ahead and "my kids come first"?

While open communication might be the greatest thing for a family unit or a 1-on-1 relationship, it does not teach the message most people want to convey to their children, that of values, morals and goals. Only by backing those words with examples can we get the message across.

All in all, her letter sounds like a justification of her lack of good parenting skills. Your answer, Susan, sounded like a wimpy bowl of oatmeal, while trying to push your Rule 3, and saving her letter as an alternative. Try again!

A: My stand on sleep-over lovers is well-known: Just Say No! Nothing wimpish about that, I will shout it from the rooftops. But it is not dogma, and if a single mother chooses to go her own way and follow the dictates of her instinct, well, I will not throw the first stone. Will you?

Q: I've had a very close relationship with a man for nearly three years. (He's 38, I'm 44.) He rents a very nice apartment; I own a large nice house one mile away.

A year and a half ago we decided to live together. It makes more sense for him to move into my house because of the extra roominess and it's easier for him to let a lease expire than for me to sell an urban house in a recession. His original idea for not moving in was that his company was about to fold, yet it hasn't in the time we've been talking about this, and he also said my house was old.

When we originally decided to live together, he was talking in terms of marriage, but I said I'd never marry unless I lived with the person first. Although he now says we "don't have to" marry, I feel he's asking for a similar commitment.

I love him very much and believe he loves me, and I am not afraid of making a lifelong commitment. But if he expects me to take all the risks while he gives up nothing, I'm worried that may be a signal he'll leave after a while. Should I cast caution to the winds and do as he wants or look for someone more reasonable?

A: You could call his bluff and say you've decided to move in to his apartment after all, if only to see the expression on his face. Fear of commitment is written in every word of your letter, and it's not only his -- the fear is yours as well. It looks as if this relationship is going nowhere, and that may be exactly what both people want. Nothing wrong in that, but you and he ought to know what you really want from this relationship. Think about it, be honest with yourself, and then initiate a dialogue.

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