Hello, Readers. For the die hards who’ll read this in the off-season and when I toss up a post unrelated to the Bachelor or Bachelorette, it’s nice to have you here this week. I hope you enjoyed the two hour sword fight also known as The Men Tell All Show.
Update: James is still a chach.
I’ve been working diligently this week to answer reader questions. As always, I’ve narrowed down some of these by merging some of the similar questions into one that covers what I think you’re asking me. This post isn’t ever my funniest, but it gives me a chance to interact with all of you. For that, I’m grateful. Thanks for sending me your questions.
Disclaimer: I’m not a therapist or an expert in anything. My answers are simply my opinion. I’m entitled to it just as you are to yours. Let’s get to it. Enjoy.
READER QUESTION 1: This guy I just started seeing spent the weekend with a former Playboy Bunny. I anticipate when I ask him for details he will claim that they are just friends. Should I be concerned?
Wow. . . aaaannd we’re off. I suppose I have no choice but to answer this like a lawyer. First, if “just started seeing” means that you finally relented after months of Match.com messages and agreed to meet him in a very public place with multiple accessible means of egress after letting a few friends know exactly where you were going, then this one is easy. Also, if “spent the weekend” means that he catered to her every need in a hotel suite in whatever city “The Former Miss January 20??” was signing autographs at the Auto Show, then this one is even easier. Below is my best advice on this situation.
The fact that she’s (allegedly) a Playboy Bunny is both incidental and inconsequential to the question at hand. It’s a known fact that the “other woman” in any case of infidelity is just as likely to be perceived as less attractive than the woman being cheated upon as she is to be more attractive. The real question that needs to be addressed is your new Lothario’s attraction to someone other than you. Your question seems to imply that you’ve viewed the merchandise and you may feel threatened by her Bunny status or the fact that your new guy seems attracted to her. You have every right to get a clarification on that attraction and their relationship if he expects you to date him exclusively. He also deserves delivery of that inquiry in a respectful, non-accusatory manner. In other words, he deserves the benefit of the doubt.
Jealousy is a waste of time. So is any attempt to control another person’s comings and goings. If a person is going to cheat, he’s going to cheat. It’s that simple. The only thing that “forbidding it” does is make you an anxious, controlling mess and make it more likely that he’s going to be more creative (and deceptive) about hiding the behavior in the future. Remember when your parents caught you drinking in high school? I’m certain that didn’t end because they made a few more rules or tightened up your curfew. The same is true with Miss January or whatever: clamp down on it, monitor him, or try and control it and you’ll be miserable.
The best you can do is respectfully and clearly express your feelings on the issue and ask him to clarify the relationship. If you are uncomfortable with his answer then you have the option of either accepting it for what it is or simply moving on. If you are of the mindset that you can never be comfortable with this guy being “friends” with Miss January then you need to be realistic about it and end the relationship. Why worry about it if the issue is truly yours and not his? If you’re not willing to deal with that friendship then simply don’t deal with it and end the relationship but realize that you might need to address your own trust issues in order for future relationships to avoid the same problem in another context. Ultimatums breed resentment and (most of the time) are unwarranted and unfair. Please don’t give me the "it’s either me or her" speech.
If you need to verify his assertion that they are just friends and you’re serious about him, then ask him if you can meet her very soon. Tell him that you believe him but you want to make sure you’re comfortable with that relationship. After all, if he’s honest about his relationship with you he should have no problem introducing you to his friends.
I’m certain her Turn Offs include guys who lie in addition to discrimination of any kind, bald guys, and people who don’t like cats. Oh, and if you do meet her face to face, please get me an autographed centerfold, would you? Good luck.
READER QUESTION 2: A guy I met recently and have been out on a few dates with seems obsessed with whether I own or rent my house. Any thoughts?
This one strikes me as weird. Is he a real estate agent? Does he work for the local Appraisal District? I suppose that question (Do you rent or own?) is a reasonable, foreseeable inquiry for folks who “met recently” and are making small talk. Then again, it could also mean that he’s been given a month to evacuate his parents’ attic and he needs a stable place to squat while he waits for things to blow over so he can return to the backyard in the wee hours of the morning in order to dig up the bodies and hide them elsewhere. You might want to clarify that before moving forward.
Again, if this is a guy you just met and you’re uncomfortable sharing too much too soon, than a simple, “why do you need to know that” or a “I’m not sure that’s your business yet” followed by the classic female hair flip and giggle is more effective than getting upset about it.
If that doesn’t solve the problem then I suppose you can ask him up front why he needs that answer. If you really like this guy then just address it and move forward. If not, find a guy who doesn’t care about your housing status. If you stay with him, please inventory the shovels and tarps in your garage. Maybe you could do the woman who asked question one a favor and set him up with Former Miss January.
READER QUESTION 3: I noticed you mentioned The Five Love Languages several times. I read the book and it seems to me that if a person is TRULY in love with another person their “Love Language” should take care of itself?
A little background is probably appropriate here. As you’re all aware, DP travels quite a bit for work. That means I spend a tremendous amount of time in airport bookstores mulling through the NYT Best Seller selection and avoiding the Oprah’s Book Club section while simultaneously using my peripheral vision to see who is on the cover of Stuff, Maxim, or FHM Magazine. It was during one of those airline delay-induced browsing sessions that I became aware there was more than one Love Language. Years later, the SLF, and now Mrs. Some Guy, asked me to do her a favor and read the book by Gary Chapman. I obliged.
Personally, I’ve learned that one of my biggest strengths is the ability to empathize. I think anyone who knows me would say that I’m a considerate person. However, not everyone is imbued with the ability to intuitively understand the emotions and needs of other people. Not every person has the ability to think beyond his own head. I think that’s the point of the book.
Example: I once had a friend seek my advice about his troubled marriage.
“I get up early, work really hard all day, make a ton of money, pay all of the bills, and she has no budget. She has everything she ever wanted. Why isn’t she happy with me?”
“Because she never sees you or spends any time with you and you never talk to her because you’re either at work or drinking scotch unwinding from work,” was my answer.
He truly believed that by providing what he was providing for his wife that he was showing her how much he loved her. It never occurred to him that her needs were not materialistic ones; rather, she needed him to be present.
In short, no, I don’t believe a love language takes care of itself. Sometimes people (especially men) need assistance showing their emotions in a way that their partners can appreciate. Being in love with a person makes it easier to do that, but not surprisingly, love isn’t always enough. Well, unless you’re Noah Calhoun in The Notebook but even he had to build Allie a freaking house with a painting room for her to come around. You can read my review of the Notebook below.
READER QUESTION 5: Why are there so many Texans on The Bachelor/Bachelorette?
The short answer is “who the hell knows?” I suppose it’s a function of population. Texas has a lot of people running around and that means it has a proportionately large share of coiffed and plucked twenty-something metrosexuals dying to get on television. Texans, by and large, are also a personable bunch of people and I’m sure that helps in the screening sessions. Harrison is also a Texan. Beyond that, your guess is as good as mine. Yee Haw.
READER QUESTION 6: I’m 29 and overweight but I don’t think I’m too fat to be attractive to a man. Are there men who will go for a girl that’s 10-15 pounds overweight? How do I get to where I’m confident in my own skin?
This one actually made me sad. First of all, throw away whatever women’s magazines you read on a regular basis. They all feature teenaged girls practically starved into submission and made up to look much older than actually are. That look is only possible if you’re 15, 5’11”, and your diet consists of saltines, water, and cocaine.
Second, “too fat to be attractive to a man?” Wow. Men like women in all shapes and sizes and it’s often the confidence a woman shows that makes her infinitely more attractive than any outward appearance. Insecurity is far less attractive than a few extra pounds. Are you sure you didn't mean "too fat to be attractive to yourself?"
Third, the way you get confident in your own skin is by accepting yourself for who you are. If the 10-15 pounds is due to a poor diet, not exercising, or just plain apathy then your issue is likely not with your appearance but the fact that you’re not living up to your own potential. Get realistic, get a plan, and stick to it. The first two weeks are awful but when you start seeing results the rest will come easy. Being honest with yourself about why you have a poor self image is the first step.
If you have a healthy lifestyle and the “extra” weight is simply part of you and it always has been then, again, it’s time to look yourself in the mirror and be realistic about what your genetic makeup allows. Hell, I’d like to run a 4 second 40 yard dash and throw a football 70 yards but it’s simply not possible for me to do it. If I spent any time worrying about that you’d likely call me a fool. It’s no different for you to worry about changing something you can’t change. Accept yourself, make small changes, and realize that the person who finds you attractive will find you attractive for who you are and not who you think you should be. For what it's worth, I’m certain you’re lovely.
READER QUESTION 7: Is it ok for a woman to help out a man by making him get rid of all of his old furniture, clothes, etc. that just don’t work? My husband’s old running shirts were the first to go. Who wouldn’t appreciate a woman making a man change like that?
This one made me angry. Alright, get ready for a rant. Here goes.
Unilaterally substituting your own taste for your man’s taste and summarily replacing his clothes, furniture, and everything else he owns with your preferences is not “helping” a man out. It’s selfish, inconsiderate, and presumptuous.
What if your husband “did you a favor” by throwing away all of your favorite workout clothes and replacing them with whatever he felt was more appropriate? What if you came home one day to find the couch replaced with one he felt “worked” better in the space? My guess is that you’d freak the hell out.
I can hear a collective “but women have better taste” or “if he wears those jeans in public I’d be embarrassed.” Look, taste is a subjective thing. It’s what drives women to dismiss other women’s outfits in bars, restaurants, or on television. It’s what makes Ali Fedotowsky love the color yellow or Lady GaGa dress in raw meat. It’s what makes Diane Keeton dress like a man. There is no “right” or “wrong” when it comes to taste. It’s a matter of preference.
Men are practical creatures. There’s no reason for me to throw away a running shirt if all I do is run in it. There’s no reason to by 300 pairs of shoes if the 5 pairs I own suit my needs. If your practice is to ensure that your taste always wins over your husband’s taste when it comes to the outfits he wears and the house he lives in then my guess is that you have control issues. If you want that type of control over another person, have a child. Controlling everything without regard to his opinion will lead to resentment, especially if he bottles up those emotions. The problem with repressed emotions is that, like a volcano, they build until they explode.
In my opinion, you should be more concerned with how your husband feels in his old running shirts rather than how you feel about him in his old running shirts. Also, the house is an equally shared space so it should reflect the taste of both of you. Giving him a “room” or a “man cave” (I hate that term) and relegating him to a seldom used back room in the house where he gets to keep “his junk” is disrespectful. If he asks for your input you should provide feedback but the decision regarding clothes should ultimately be his. If he’s indifferent about the decorations in the house, fine, go nuts; however, if he has an opinion you’d do well to listen to it and defer to it on occasion. That’s called respect.
READER QUESTION 8: What are Some Guy’s other guilty pleasures on reality television?
I wouldn’t consider reality TV a “guilty pleasure.” Frankly, it’s something I just ended up watching. As far as new reality shows go I like the new Bear Grylls one and Naked and Afraid. I’m an outdoorsy guy and I like the premise of both of those shows. What appeals to me most about all reality television is the psychological side of the shows. Whether it’s the fear and isolation the Naked and Afraid people deal with or the follow-the-crowd behavior we see on the Bachelor shows, it interests me.
Mrs. Some Guy loves all of the Real Housewives shows and I unfortunately find myself watching with her on occasion. She can attest, however, that at some point in every show I simply get up and walk out of the room. There's nothing real about any of those "housewives."
As far as non-reality television shows go, I watch a lot of news and documentaries. I began watching Ray Donovan on Showtime (I think) a few weeks back and I really enjoy that too. Sports? I’ll watch a college football game or playoff or finals games in other sports but I don’t sit on the couch all weekend and I don’t play fantasy sports either. I’d rather be outdoors.
READER QUESTION 9: You’re from Texas where your governor apparently goes jogging with a handgun. What’s so bad about getting rid of guns? Why does anyone need a gun, especially when jogging?
Alright, for some reason your questions this week have hit on some major chords of mine. Normally, I stay away from politically charged questions in the name of keeping the blog light, fun, and controversy free. However, when Texas and guns are at issue, I’ll weigh in. I’ll address the last question first.
The Second Amendment reads, "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."
We can debate the true meaning of that language forever and, in fact, the courts have done that since its inception. However, what it doesn’t say is “. . . shall not be infringed provided a person can explain why he needs a gun.” My answer to the last part of the question is that the reason why I or any other person wants to own a firearm is completely irrelevant. I have to right to get one if I want. Until that changes, I don’t need a reason. If you're curious about me, I own handguns and shotguns. I enjoy shooting and I go dove hunting in West Texas once a year.
The problem with “getting rid of guns” is that minus the United States Army literally going from door to door like the German Army in the 30’s and physically taking the guns away, the only way to “get rid of guns” is to outlaw them and ask the public to turn them in (again, to the Government). I think even the staunchest anti-gun supporter would admit a.) getting the millions upon millions of guns away from everyone who owns one is an impossibility, and b.) only law abiding people will turn over their guns leaving the worst element of society armed.
My only experience owning guns is in Texas and under Texas laws. In Texas, a gun is like a lawnmower. It’s considered personal property and I’m welcome to sell just like I can sell my lawnmower. Licensed dealers are required to do a background check before selling to an individual. My understanding is that in other states the bureaucracy involved in obtaining any firearm can be mind numbing. Yet another reason why I’m glad I live in Texas.
Well, there it is. I hope I answered all of these to your satisfaction even if you don’t agree. I’ll be back on Monday and the Monday after that for the big two-part Bachelorette finale. Thanks for reading. Have a great weekend. DP