Q: I recently met and became attracted to a man. We hadn't dated yet, but we were making plans in that direction. One day in the course of conversation, this man mentioned that he already had a girlfriend. After getting over the shock, I told him that in my book a man with a girlfriend was the same as a man with a wife. He told me to get another book, whereupon I immediately broke off the relationship.
Can I hear your comments on this. I'm not sure if I was right in my response or if I jumped the gun and was being selfish.
A: There's an old saying: First thought, best thought. What you did and said was in your best interest, and far from selfishness. You're reading the right book.
Q: I've been divorced since last fall and have discovered in this year of recovering that I gave so much of myself to my marriage, I no longer have interests of my own. I was wondering if you could recommend some organizations where I could meet new single women and men. Just in case it's relevant, I'm 32 and love theater, travel, foreign cultures, art.
A: Who says you no longer have interests? You've mentioned four in your letter, and there are probably several others hanging around waiting to be discovered! All you need is a gentle push toward your front door and a compass to guide you to groups that are centered on those interests.
Many women get smothered in marriage because they surrender their friends and their interests -- their identity, really -- for the "greater good of the relationship." But you can have love and personhood in one relationship.
It's a challenge, and you may need to be reminded of the goal, but being an individual within a love partnership is entirely possible . . . and desirable. Love is richer when shared by two whole adults.
Q: I am 23, discouraged and at a loss to understand why not one woman I've dated has ever wanted to be anything more than friends. Plenty of women are close friends and say they're sure I'll meet someone -- but I don't.
I can understand that I'm not most women's type. I'm rather quiet, extremely ambitious and doubt I'm the settling-down type. I was a super athlete at running and bicycle racing until injuries stopped me. I'm very active, adventurous and always out to try something new and exciting.
Most people who know me think I'm going to succeed enormously at something scientific, but what I really want is a good date and, hopefully, a lasting relationship. I haven't let praise go to my head; I've had way too many humbling disappointments. I just can't understand why I can't find one woman who likes me.
A: Late bloomers get the best of life because they don't peak early and then dissolve into mediocrity; you sound as if your best days are yet to come, a thought to bear in mind during the dating famine.
For any man in his 20s, dating is a tough, because the status, power and income needed to attract most women are not there && yet. (I can hear the groans as I write this, but that's how it is in the real world, the one beyond Hollywood plots.)
It may be also that you are trying too hard to make a "good date" happen, and the over-trying pushes women away. I suggest you call MENSA, the organization of the super-intelligent, for their nearest chapter (800) 66-MENSA. And while you're exploring that new world, consider placing a personal ad describing your strong points and your interest in science. You can't force fate, but you can give it a nudge.