My most recent relationship was with “Sue.” She was attractive, but her chin was abnormally large and I couldn’t help but consistently notice it. She also bit her nails. I realize these are two small flaws, but for some reason they bothered me way too much to stay with her.
I really would like some advice on this. I want to find someone perfect for me, but I realize I have to reduce my definition of perfect. Please help me on how this could happen. — Searching For My Perfect
You know that everyone is flawed, and yet you end relationships over ridiculously superficial flaws that have nothing to do with who a person is, how she treats you, and what your relationship is or could be like. Dumping a woman because of the size of her chin? That’s pubescent behavior — not the act of a secure, mature 42-year-old man who is serious about finding a “perfect for him” match. YOU are the problem here. It’s YOUR flaws keeping you from having a relationship (and I’m not talking about your posture). Your flaw is your fear and until you name your fear — fear of commitment? intimacy? rejection? losing your identity as a bachelor? being beholden to someone else’s needs and wants? making the wrong choice? — and get to the root of its cause, you will never, ever find a perfect-for-you match, even if one exists.
You are looking for reasons to reject women, and instead of even bothering to get to know them as people, you are focusing on their physical traits (which is ironic, because all of us have plenty of character flaws and our own baggage that could rightfully give others pause before pursuing a serious relationship). That’s not just immature, it’s also lazy. And it’s not just doing these women a disservice, it’s doing a bigger disservice to yourself. The benefits of longterm relationships are numerous. What benefit do you get from rejecting potential relationships before they even begin? Maybe if you could name those benefits, as well as your fears, you’d finally get somewhere. I suggest doing so with a great therapist who can work with you through these questions and give you tools and exercises to help you name what you’re looking for and get you out of your own way in finding it.
What I hate is the fact I’m only wanting to go for three weeks (instead of the six he went for), but he is being selfish and isn’t going to allow me to go with one of my friends. Should I book the trip despite his feelings and face the repercussions? Or should I just not go and let him get his way? — Three Weeks is Shorter Than Six
Pardon my French — a language you might be exposed to on your trip to Europe — but fuck that shit! Your boyfriend is a TOOL if he thinks he can forbid you to do anything, especially go on the same trip he took himself a year earlier. Methinks maybe he wasn’t as faithful as he claims he was or he wouldn’t be so afraid of the way you might behave on your trip. Projecting one’s own indiscretions onto others is a common trait among tools and fools. Don’t be conned by his lame game. MOA and go on your trip. Why just three weeks? Make it six and have a great time, You’re 22 and free. Live it up, girl! I’m sure your boyfriend did…
Because habits are hard to break, and ain’t no habit like an 11-year marriage. Plus, with three kids in the picture, he absolutely will always have a legit reason to be in touch with you about his plans and whereabouts. That doesn’t mean you need to know where he is at all times! Nor should you have to even give the illusion that his personal well-being is of such concern to you that you need to hear every time he arrives somewhere safely.
Make no mistake: His reaching out to you is about him — his comfort and his habits. It isn’t about wanting you back or having second thoughts about leaving you for another woman. He has chosen her. For over a year, he has chosen her. He left you and your kids and is pursuing another woman. So, be firm, and for the sake of your kids, be strong and civil. Tell him that you are moving on and for him to respect your moving on and to stop making unnecessary check-ins with you. Let him know that he’s welcome to talk to the kids at times that are convenient to you and them, but that if he continues sending random texts that have nothing to do with them, you will consider that harassment and will not tolerate that. If it continues, mention this to your divorce attorney and get legal advice for how best to handle it moving forward.
If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, you can send me your letters at firstname.lastname@example.org.