Without further ado, I present the first edition of the The Single Life Tellin' you what to do Tuesdays, which might be a new fun feature, or it might just be a conversation between Halterwhip and myself that I'm subjecting you all to. You decide.
OK, here is my friend's problem. She started dating this guy, and he's really great blah blah. But he recently returned from the Peace Corps in Jamaica, and still has some emotional attachment to a woman there. My friend thinks she's falling for this guy, but is afraid he's still hung up on Jamaica lady. WHAT SHOULD SHE DO?!?!? (hm maybe his is a committmentphobe.)
Not exactly Dan Savage material, but we're trying.
Thanks in advance,
Well "HW", whoever you are (wink, wink), your "friend" may not like this advice, but here it goes. She thinks she's falling for him but is worried he will not be able to do the same. We're not starting this off with any slow pitches, are we? This is pretty much the relationship issue. While I don't have enough information to diagnose commitmentphobia, or the skills, if you ask one particular diagnosee (time will tell!), it is quite possible that he is not available to get emotionally attached to said friend.
Unfortunately I don't have any cookie-cutter, figure him out without asking him advice. There are some people who believe that men get over one woman by meeting the next, and there are others who believe that men take longer in general to get over heartbreak. Who's right? I don't know, but I'm going to guess each man is different. Like snowflakes.
My advice? Drum roll, please!... She should talk to him. I know this is lame, boring, Mom advice, but it's pretty much the way to go. And it will be scary, yes. But in what world do you think you can get romantically involved with someone and not have to confront some (read: a lot) of fear? That's what it's about. If it's not scary, then it's not big enough to waste your time.
I'm not saying she needs to confess her feelings. I'm just saying she needs to talk to him about what each of them wants from a relationship at this point in their lives and what each of them can give. She could say something like this... "I wonder if you are over Jamaica lady. I am interested in a full, mature relationship and that can't happen if you're not emotionally available because you're not over someone else. It's fine if you aren't, I just need to be fair to myself."
Then, and this is important, she needs to believe what he tells her. None of this, "but once he realizes how great we are together then he'll change his mind." That is called De.Ni.Al, and it will only waste her time and lead to heartbreak. If you want an emotional attachment from a man, and he's only willing to date casually, guess what? You'll settle for casual dating, all the while hoping his feelings will change, and you'll get deeper and deeper into it. And there's pretty much nowhere good that this will lead. Trust me, I've done it.
Just to cover our bases, I'll share the greatest man advice ever: If he wants to be with you, he will make that very clear. You won't need to play your hand with perfect strategy. The question then becomes, and you need to ask yourself this every day, is he the right person for me?
Also, she should make sure he's lost the Jamaica braids...
Tough love, people, tough love.
And no Halterwhip, that was not Dan Savage material. I didn't see mention of Santorum anywhere. And for that I'm not sure if I'm disappointed or grateful.
Now that I rocked that question, got any more? Post them in a comment here.
15 hours ago