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Buddy heat

I was a woman-using jerk in my 20s, but I mended my ways, stopped chasing arm-candy, and sought a relationship with substance. This woman from college supplies exactly what I should want. However, on our first date, she said her last boyfriend cheated on her, and she's "quit playing the game." She's also chosen a lifestyle as "one of the guys," even talking and carrying on like them. (A lesbian soccer team mistakenly invited her to join.) Instead of trying to entice me, she was blunt on date one, challenging me to accept or reject her as a girlfriend. She even put out with no work from me.

We do have many shared interests, and started a relationship, but something's missing. Maybe if she'd been more mysterious, a little hard-to-get, I'd be more into her. Or, if she'd dress sexy instead of jocky-frumpy. When I've gingerly addressed these issues, she thinks I'm trying to "modify" her. I guess she has this fairy-tale script where Superman sweats being with Frumpy Betty because he's "so deep." But I'm not Superman — just a typical dude whose wandering mind keeps getting infatuated with girls who are smiley-cute and flirty. — Trying

When people ask, "So, how'd you two lovebirds meet?" you don't want them guessing your answer will be something along the lines of "Standing next to each other at the urinal."

Some women find a nice guy; some women just become one. Unfortunately, a woman won't keep a guy from cheating on her by wearing Carhartt or buying her lingerie in packs of three in the men's department. Some guys do like the sportier girls — the kind who camp and wear boots made for walking, and not just for those perilous 26 steps from the car to the restaurant. But, even for those guys, there have to be hints of girlyness — enough so you can tell who's the girl and who's the boy without doing a look-see down everybody's Levi's. Besides, as you surely know, it's hard enough being faithful to a really sexy woman, let alone one whose idea of staging a seduction involves undoing the top button of her flannel work jacket and burping suggestively.

Men like to chase things. They're the hunters of the species. They don't like to be gathered. But, we live in modern times! Yes, we do, but psychologically, we're all still living in the cave. So, you want to want your girlfriend, but she never even gave you the chance to try to deal her into bed. All it took was complying as she dragged you there. Then this relationship fell on you like the house in The Wizard of Oz. You never got to experience falling for her (which probably wouldn't have happened anyway, considering she shops exclusively in The I Don't Care Collection, and had an entire lesbian soccer team under the impression that the last thing she wants to do is attract a man).

As bad as you feel about being with girls for their hotitude alone, you aren't a better guy for sticking with this one for her lack of it. In fact, this supposedly noble act of yours has unhappy ending written all over it. A wiser, kinder approach is coming up with six or seven bare minimums for what you need in a partner — the stuff you can't live without, from looks to character. You can have a relationship of substance — once you admit that it has to include substances like lipgloss, and a girlfriend who can get in touch with her feminine side without hiring a private detective.

Gone with the windy

I'm still in contact, via e-mail, with a guy I met on a dating site a year ago. We went out twice, on a platonic basis. We've discussed making plans for this weekend. If he doesn't call, I may go out with another guy. Because I don't feel as strongly about the newer guy, should I first find out what feelings, if any, the dating site guy has for me, and discuss that? I'd feel like a bit of a "cheat" if something happened with guy No. 2. — Conflicted

Here you are, two lovers, torn asunder by fate — or rather, the fact that one lover totally forget about the existence of the other until he got a little high and dry on JDate. What do you tell guy No. 1? Well, first you wait for him to call. Then, if he asks you out, tell him a time that works for you. Period. Men are not known as the chattier sex. In fact, it's usually safe to assume they don't want to talk about it. Even if they're in a relationship with you. And especially if they're in a relationship with you that's best described as "We're still in contact, via e-mail."

Got a problem? Write Amy Alkon, 171 Pier Ave, #280, Santa Monica, CA 90405, or e-mail adviceamy@aol.com (advicegoddess.com). Alkon is the author of I See Rude People: One Woman's Battle to Beat Some Manners into Impolite Society.


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