February 22, 2017

'Love' Doesn't Just Mean Romance

Hey, Bonita…

Hey Bonita,

I was just writing in because I disagree with your advice to Resurfaced Feelings (Feb. 8). I think "spilling his guts" is probably the worst thing to do in this situation. Why? Because he is essentially communicating, “I don't have good skills with women, I don't come from abundance, and you can have both my heart and balls."

I'm massively over-generalizing here—there are lots of different dynamics—but as a general rule of thumb, acting this way turns women off. It is confusing, because Hollywood has fed men the narrative you are supporting: "Life is like a romantic movie! Tell her everything! She will love you back!" Personally, I think this guy should keep his mouth shut and stop putting this woman on a pedestal. If he wants her in his life, he needs to go visit her again and bust a move. If she digs it and they hook up, keep having a great time with her, but DON'T go full rom-com. Instead, just focus on living your life and staying occupied when you aren't with her.

I'm not saying be a stone-cold gargoyle, but I speak from personal experience when I say that if a woman likes you, she will inevitably bring up "the talk." By letting her come to you, emotionally, rather than you chasing her around like a little puppy dog, you communicate that you are the kind of dude who is a catch. So, do yourself and the girl a favor: Take her off the pedestal, go out and meet other women, and when you are with her, lay down pipe like Mario.

Just my two cents,

Dr. No Chill

Hi Dr. No Chill,

Thank you for this differing view. I admit that I gave my advice from a much more squishy, touchy-feely place than I usually come from. I felt that their history together would provide an ease of rapport that would make him starting the conversation easier, but you're right—this lends too much credence to the Hollywood idea of romance, which rarely reflects the truth of life. Sometimes it’s safe to take a risk, but you're also right—this guy shouldn't be putting women on pedestals and fantasizing about “what could be” instead of living his life, meeting people and making real moves. And yes, we women will make the first move if we're really feeling it, so his friend's lack of action is a bit telling here.

As I write this, it's Valentine's Day, and as much as I feel motivated to express empty, squishy platitudes, I wanna echo Dr. No Chill and remind everyone that keeping their feet firmly on the ground is really where it's at. It took me a long time (and a stint of mindful, intentional celibacy last year, but we can talk more about that in another issue) to understand that love doesn't belong to romance. It doesn't belong to people who are in love, and romance does not make a life worth living. It doesn't deserve more attention than you give to your friends, your family or yourself. It's not something that makes it worth changing who you are. Live because you love life, and someone will love you for living (almost) exactly the way you are right now. Find that person, not the one you've been imagining that person to be.

This is the first year of my adult life where I genuinely do not care about what V-Day is supposed to mean. On a day like today, the overly romantic are running through airports to stop a bestie's wedding or organizing flash mobs to ask an office-mate out on a date. I wish the best to those lofty-minded lotharios. The coupled-up are gonna spend an hour waiting to be seated for dinner, or maybe they'll just eat gelato and have sex in the living room after the kids finally go to bed. Single people might be furiously swiping right or clicking through Craigslist for a quick fix.

Me? I got my period yesterday, so I'm gonna make a taco salad, watch an entire season of “Forensic Files” and be thankful I'm alive. Maybe I'll grab a beer later with my lady friends. Hops and good company always help to relieve cramps.

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