More on nice guy who bit the dating dust


May 08, 1994|By SUSAN DEITZ | SUSAN DEITZ,Los Angeles Times Syndicate

Q: For the past few months I've been seeing many references to a reader's letter from "Another Nice Guy Who's Given Up." What was his letter that caused such a sensation and made so many people respond?

A: The letter that sparked so much interest was written by a man who didn't like what he was seeing and experiencing in the dating world. He dropped out of the race, frustrated and exhausted from competitive pressure, convinced that women were not attracted to a nice guy like himself. He felt his niceness was getting him nowhere socially because women preferred abusers and manipulators.

Many men wrote to agree with him, most women wrote to insist they actually wanted kindness and respect, but that many "nice" men were dull and boring, so they opted for the thrill of the bad boys. My advice to the Nice Guy Dropout? Niceness can include being colorful, assertive, informed. In short, a nice guy can have a personality and be a good guy, too.

Q: I am writing to tell you how much I enjoyed your recent comments about calling a man instead of waiting for him to call, and what you said hit home. I have done that often but one man in particular doesn't call back until he is ready, which can be anywhere from a day to two weeks. This has been going on for a year now, so I've backed off from calling him. I know he likes me, but I also don't think he wants a commitment -- he has never married and is 44 years old. I used to take his actions personally, but now I realize that it's not me, it's just his way.

So I go on with my life, go out, and if someone comes along whom I feel like dating, I do. But he is really the one I care about. Could it be ME not wanting commitment, feeling safe with the situation? Maybe you can give me some insight into that.

A: Choosing a commitment-phobic partner is one thing, sticking with him is something else. Once you realized this bachelor is the confirmed breed, well, the ball's in your court. And you are taking action to drum him out of your life, as the prudent woman you are. You don't need my insight on the matter; you've already seen the light.

Q: In your column I read letters from so many women having difficulty finding men. My thinking is that many of them don't realize when they are well off. If they have an adequate income, hobbies, do some charitable work if retired, become affiliated with a church and enjoy some activities there and make friends, then I am at a loss to understand the compulsion to get a man.

In fact, the way so many men are -- selfish, show-offs, oversexed, authoritarian and often bores -- I can't understand some women's "dilemma." Perhaps some of them ARE highly sexed and must have their needs satisfied in that manner or, if younger, perhaps they feel they must have a baby.

Personally, I have never even wanted a man, and I don't feel that I'm a pervert, an oddity or even strange because of my choice to be single. I am now retired with a comfortable income. I have many interesting hobbies and interests, have a nice automobile, wear classic clothing. Also, I have a wonderful Christian woman friend who shares my very comfortable home and my interests. We share travel, church activities, etc., and we are NOT into sex. We live a celibate life quite happily.

I can't imagine why many women feel they have to be sexually active; I had a doctor tell me that I was probably healthier than many women because I have always been celibate. Sex is harder on women than men, and the diseases that can result from an active sex life are worse for women.

I lived happily many years with my dear mother, who is now deceased, so it is wonderful to have a loving, understanding best friend. I wouldn't trade her for any man, even if he were a multimillionaire!

A: To each her/his own. As long as you are not hurting anyone, your life is yours to live out as you see fit. You seem to have your needs filled, but please understand that your way of life is not for everyone; most of us want someone of the other sex as companion, partner, mate. That's what makes the world go round for the majority of us. Thanks for explaining your perspective, and the best to you.

Q: This is weird. I took a year off from dating to follow a platonic relationship with a male friend . . . then I fell in love with him. (No sex.) He's made it absolutely clear that he wants no other sort of relationship, but I do. It's tearing me up to talk on the phone, see him in social situations, and so on, without having more.

So I told him I don't want to see him anymore. Now there is a big hole in my life where his friendship used to be! Should I repair the rift and keep the friend, or should I cut my losses and go on?

A: Now you take your life off hold and begin to build it in ways that lead you to good people, fulfilling activities and interesting involvements. Out of that trinity will come the rich love you want but were denied with your platonic friend. Healthy instinct told you to break off the relationship with him, because to wrap your life around an impossible dream makes no sense whatsoever and would bring you even more pain than being apart from him.

Do what you can to avoid seeing him, and if it happens, remember that you did the right thing by ending the relationship. It could be that you fell in love because he was so unavailable; think about that.

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