Posted by Some Dude on October 9, 2012 at 3:24 pm
Got a relationship question you want to ask, or a situation you want thoughts and advice on? Email me at email@example.com, and watch this space for my answer! N. asks,
I’ve fallen for a bad boy. I know there’s no realistic future for us, but I feel so passionate when I’m with him. This has happened to me before; is it because I’m an overachiever somehow?
Why are these guys attractive? Bad boys can be attractive because they seem confident, interesting, and fun. Bad boys’ sense of self-worth usually isn’t tied to you, which means you don’t need to take care of them. These guys also tend to be (or seem) more sexually experienced, which can be alluring. All of this easily adds up to a swept-off-your-feet sort of feeling. This problem isn’t unique to overachievers, but I do think they get hit by it harder. Women, I think, are attracted to men who are in some way more something than they are. More entertaining, more adventurous, more intellectual, more self-sufficient, more daring, etc. Different women in different relationships end up being attracted to different traits like that, but in the case of overachievers or other high-status women, the pool of attractive guys is a little more extreme.
This is why nice guys finish last, from the opposite angle. And it’s true for basically the same reasons: reliability, courtesy, responsibility, and overall niceness are not correlated to attraction, as much as we might wish they were. “Bad boys” are often spontaneous, interesting, fun, and passionate – all traits that make them very attractive. There’s nothing necessarily wrong with dating one of these guys – particularly if you’re not looking for long-term potential and just want to have a good time. But they can be insensitive, unpredictable, unsupportive, selfish, self-destructive, irresponsible, lazy, or unfaithful, and so can be less-than-ideal relationship partners. As you’ve noticed. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted by Some Dude on August 6, 2012 at 3:08 pm
Got a relationship question you want to ask, or a situation you want thoughts and advice on? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, and watch this space for my answer! R. asks,
My boyfriend and I have been together for three years, and we both just graduated. We’re planning to stay together, we have jobs in the same part of the country, and we’re thinking about moving in together. But I’m worried that I’m only staying with him out of inertia. I don’t know if I’m ready to settle down. What should I do? Am I leading him on?
This is a complicated issue. A year and a half ago I fielded a question from a guy in a similar position. On the one hand, should you break off a relationship when nothing is wrong? On the other, does something have to be wrong for you to be unsatisfied? As Prof. Gilbert has observed, we’re really bad at anticipating what will make us happy, so don’t necessarily rely on your instincts to make this decision. You’ll get a more accurate prediction of how you’ll feel by observing what others have chosen in your situation, and how it turned out for them. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted by Some Dude on April 2, 2012 at 2:03 pm
Got a relationship question you want to ask, or a situation you want thoughts and advice on? Email me at email@example.com, and watch this space for my answer! Today, I’m going to talk about overcoming shyness. If you are a shy guy, what can you do to overcome that reluctance? And if you’re a girl interested in (or already in a relationship with) a shy guy, how do you deal with it?
Friends with Detriments by xkcd.
For afflicted guys: there are basically two kinds of you: the kind that will hang out with a girl you’re interested in, doing her favors in the (possibly subconscious) hope that friendship will eventually turn romantic; and the kind that is too shy to do anything other than admire from a distance, wondering if the object of your affections even knows you exist. And there’s a lot of overlap between them. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted by Some Dude on March 8, 2012 at 12:42 pm
Got a relationship question you want to ask, or a situation you want thoughts and advice on? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, and watch this space for my answer! M. asks,
What if you realize that you want someone, but someone else had gotten there first? How do you steal someone else’s boyfriend?
In a nutshell: you don’t. You move on.
You might think I’m saying so because it’s wrong to the third party who is currently dating the object of your affection. But that’s not actually the reason (although, needless to say, that is a good reason). I’m saying so because, if you want this guy, you need to be more attractive to him than the girl he’s seeing now, and trying to break up his current relationship will make you look desperate and unattractive: while you might succeed in ruining his relationship, you won’t be able to hold onto him afterward.
The better strategy is to move on. Look for other people. Have a good time. Be as attractive as you can be. But stay close and visible to this guy.
There are multiple benefits:
Most obviously, if this guy becomes single again, you’ll be obviously present, available, and attractive, and therefore ideally positioned – and this works especially well because in this scenario he’s the one who chooses you, which will create a relationship with more staying power than if you were jumping through hoops and making a huge effort to win him over from someone else. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted by Some Dude on February 11, 2012 at 11:00 am
Hi all! You may know me as a prolific commenter on HarvardFML; this is my new and improved means of doling out relationship advice! Got a question you want to ask, or a situation you want thoughts and advice on? Email me at email@example.com, and watch this space for my answer! Today, a Valentine’s Day Special, featuring advice for the single and advice for the taken!
The Oatmeal's Valentine's Day Comic - click above to read the whole thing.
I don’t know what to get my boyfriend/girlfriend for Valentine’s Day. Help!
It’s perfectly okay to stick to the classics – if you’re shopping for a girl, flowers, chocolates, or jewelry are all highly acceptable. Just about anything from Lush works. And remember: you live so close to Burdick, it would be a crime to buy her Godiva. Don’t be afraid to be a little spicy, either (for instance: I’m getting my girlfriend a Snuggie and a copy of the book The Snuggie Sutra). Just a Hallmark card is a cop-out; but just a nice handwritten card is lovely. A nice dinner out works perfectly for both sexes (if you go to Upstairs on the Square on Valentine’s Day you might see me there), but reserve ASAP since it’s a popular night to eat out. Gifts for guys are trickier, because guys typically don’t get into Valentine’s Day as much; when in doubt, just a card is fine. Something token but masculine would work well: for instance, if he’s a snappy dresser and has shirts with French cuffs, get him a pair of cufflinks. Guys often like practical gifts, but a pantygram is cute, too. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted by Some Dude on February 7, 2012 at 11:30 am
Got a relationship question you want to ask, or a situation you want thoughts and advice on? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, and watch this space for my answer! Anonymous writes,
Nice article. Do one for girls too, Some Dude!
I’m not going to sugarcoat it: in the post-college dating world, men have it easier. Women tend to mature earlier, which is great for them at the time, but over their 20s men are finally catching up. There’s a silver lining to that though: the quality of the best men available increases, so don’t fret if you haven’t met someone you really click with yet: he could be worth the wait.
So, how do you meet those higher-quality men? As I recommended to men last week, the solution isn’t to go looking for places where the best single guys look for girls. Why not? Multiple reasons, actually. The competition, of course: it’s easier to stand out when you’re standing alone, rather than in a pack (and you’re also more approachable that way). But also, in places where women go looking for relationships, you will often find a lot of opportunistic guys looking for just sex. If what you really want is a relationship, don’t settle.
Instead, look for places where single guys congregate when they’re not looking for a date — not necessarily only guys, or even only single guys, so long as single guys are part of the mix and there are very few single women looking for single men. My favorite go-to example is PAX East, an annual video game conference in Boston. There will be many undateable guys there too — but any woman present will have first pick of any guy she wants because there are so few women. (Yes, even the best quality men play video games.) Similar situations can be found at a variety of volunteer projects, particularly outdoorsy ones that are more likely to attract guys. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted by Some Dude on February 3, 2012 at 9:53 am
Got a relationship question you want to ask, or a situation you want thoughts and advice on? Email me at email@example.com, and watch this space for my answer! T.B. asks,
I’m a male graduating senior, girlfriendless, and freaking out that after Harvard, the dating pool is gonna shrink faster than a water balloon thrown at a bed of nails. Now, the clever bit: I am only really interested in Harvard girls — and maybe actresses but that’s another story — picky and vain, but it’s who I am. I’m running out of time and all the hot girls have boyfriends! Can you give me hope?
I can indeed, T.B.
First, you needn’t worry too much: there is indeed an after-college dating world, and it is awesome. It seems scary because there won’t be so many single women your age all living within the same square mile you do, but it’s really not any harder to meet them.
Another thing playing in your favor: as men continue to mature emotionally through their 20s and beyond, they tend to become more desirable – this is because personality tends to affect women’s attraction to men more than vice versa. Since you’re so particular about your tastes in women, that will help you as you get older.
You’re right in your observation that the most desirable girls tend to have boyfriends, but clearly not all of them do, although those that are single tend not to stay single long. But as Randy Munroe helpfully articulated, you have more time — a lot more time — than you think. Read the rest of this entry »