FREE TO GOOD HOME?
I’m getting pretty sick and tired of my boyfriend’s lack of interest in my problems. Whenever we go shopping together and I try to get him to give me an answer about what I should buy, you know, color, style – yada, yada, yada – he just says ‘I don’t know. Whatever you want.’ Yesterday I asked him if he thought I was getting too heavy. I’ve put on fifteen pounds in the last year, and he just shrugged his shoulders and said, ‘I don’t know. No.’ Like, what is that? How do I get him to be more responsive?
Giselle in Naples
Dear Hurricane Waiting To Happen:
I’ll bet your boyfriend’s pretty sick of you too, getting on his case every time he doesn’t give you the answer he thinks you want to hear. Let me give you a few clues.
Some men start out with definite opinions in a relationship and others just go with the flow. Sounds to me like to lucked out with guy #2. He gives you an answer. I’ll grant you that it’s not a very decisive one, but it’s still an answer and you should be happy with it or you’ll wind up making the two of you miserable as I suspect you already have.
A man is not like a house that you buy in the low rent district with visions of fixing it up into your kind of place. He comes with a set of thoughts and ideas, perceptions and personal interests already pre-programmed and built in long before you took him off the market. You came with a set of these principles yourself! It’s just that you suddenly realized the two sets – yours and his – are not quite compatible.
I get a lot of letters from women who want to change their guy. Bad idea. It doesn’t work. He won’t change any more than you will. He shouldn’t have to, either!
The perfect person doesn’t exist. The right mate for anyone is the person stepping onto that same level of inarticulacy as you. No one will ever be an exact match. So, you find that person who meets most of your main criteria.
What are the main criteria?
I always say that young couples in lust need to have a basic chat about the following fundamentals – preferable before they’ve slept together, because it alleviates a lot of heartache later on.
Topics open for discussion include (1) kids – when and how many, (2) career plans – if you want a corporate CEO and he’s happy just being the garbage man it won’t work, (3) sexual frequency, habits and fantasies – you want it once a year and missionary; he needs it twice daily in every position but, and in between trolling the net for lesbian porn (4) place of residence – you want to move to a California bungalow near the beach and he’s more at home wearing a parka in some remote outpost in Alaska, and finally (5) hobbies.
This last one often gets overlooked but it says a lot about the guy or gal you’ve become attached to. It also creates a lot of problems for gals when they discover that their man’s a sports freak who block books whole seasons to indulge in his arm chair viewing while she would rather be ballroom dancing, hiking, having a Cosmo on a beach in the south of France…you get my point.
And YES – I am deadly serious about these criteria. For the most part, I find that woman just settle for the guy they’re with – problem areas and all – then, spend a good portion of their courtship and/or marriage attempting to uproot all of their guy’s trademarks because they suddenly realized they can’t live with the boy in their bedroom as is.
Why do women do this?
If you’re shopping for clothes with a man just take it as a given that he would rather be looking at power tools, lawn furniture or DVD players than comparing pink chiffon to chantilly lace. That doesn’t make him insensitive or a moron!
So, after all that – the short answer to your question is ‘you can’t get your guy to be something more than what he is.’
The Crabby Critic
I want to get married – desperately! The problem that I have is that I always seem to attract the wrong sort of guy. I think they’re normal when I first meet them. Then something happens and I lose interest. What’s wrong with me?
Rachel in Nevada
Dear Arid Romantic:
I don’t think you’re as desperate as you’ve made yourself sound. Desperation usually breeds conflict and resolution – especially in women looking for Mr. Right. Even if you don’t find him, you do the prowl, pick a guy who represents ‘second best’ or a ‘compromise’ and then find a way to make it work because that ring finger is just too, too bare.
In your case, you’ve a discerning nature.
I also think you’ll eventually find love. But don’t lower your standards to do so. There’s nothing more attractive to a man than a woman who knows her own mind. It takes the onus off him for having to second guess every little picky detail and answer a litany of stupid questions that really don’t involve or engage him in any way.
Want my advice? If you haven’t found Mr. Right in the places you’ve been looking – make a change of venue to someplace you may not have even considered. For example: if you want a devote Christian who’s religious and church going, my best advice is that you don the white gloves and Easter bonnet and hit the holy roller’s club.
If you are the athletic type who, say, loves to cycle, why not join a local racing club or hang out with a girlfriend at the local gym where athletic guys are likely to be out in full flourish fleece and muscle tees?
Think of your search for Mr. R in the same vane as mailing out your résumé. Example: if you wanted a job as a marketing research assistant with a major design house you wouldn’t go around submitting your credentials to McDonalds and expect that they’d call you in to help pick out fabrics for the next restaurant they were opening.
I find that a lot of singles who ‘desperately’ want to marry think that just by showing up in a public venue it will guarantee their success in procuring a mate who shares their interests and moral ideals.
The Crabby Critic