Lately, I’ve been getting a lot of letters from the ladies asking about relationships with semi-decent guys. Y’know, guys who are pretty darn good except for this one niggling detail.
Before I get into the letters, let’s look at an analogy. Let’s say you’re in the market to get a used car (in the relationship marketplace, there are no new cars). Let’s say it’s in excellent shape and you’re getting a fantastic deal, but the back seat has some scratches and stains. Would you still buy the car?
Okay, now let’s say the paint on the passenger door is scratched, and there’s a ding on the rear fender. Or it has a flat tire. Still okay?
Now let’s say the transmission is broken. How about now?
The point is that there is a spectrum of flaws, all the way from utterly forgivable (scratchy paint) to deal-breaking (no transmission). After all, there are certain car-like features that you would like a car to have. And without those, you basically don’t have a car.
Let us now extend this to the realm of relationships. What’s the point of being with a guy anyway? Well, you want to feel safe around him — safer than you would without him. You would want to know that he has the capability to provide for you financially, even if you have your own income. You want to feel loved and nurtured, and have someone who is receptive to your love and nurturance in return. Emotional stability is important. And ideally, his presence would catalyze your growth towards an even better version of you.
I’ve written a whole book on what you should look for in a guy, so I’m not going to get into the details of that here. But I do want to make you aware of what your dealbreakers are. The most basic one is that he hinders your growth as a person.
On the other end of the spectrum resides the “don’t hit on 20” rule, as propounded by my good man Evan Marc Katz. The idea is that in a game of 21 or blackjack, getting cards that add up to 20 is a pretty good result. You don’t want to ask for one more card (or “hit”) when the only card that can help is an ace, and there are only 4 of them in the deck. In other words, nobody’s perfect, so if your guy’s flaws are not dealbreakers, you’d do well to consider keeping him.
Some of these letters are on the long side, so feel free to scroll through them to get to my comments. And if you’re in the mood to ask me a question, writing me a letter that’s under 200 words makes the likelihood of a response go up exponentially, ahem :)
First one’s nice and short. I’ve pasted my response just as I sent it to her, no fancy caps or nuffin': (more…)