Q: First off, love the column and the advice you give. Background on me, I like to treat my girlfriends well and respectfully. I'm in college and lately I've been finding myself on the losing end of a break-up. Most of the reasons I get are the same things, like, “I have so much stress right now. I can't do this” or the one that has come up more often than not, “I just feel like I don't match up. You deserve someone better.” This has been happening for a couple years now dating back to my high school days. So my question is, is there such a thing as treating a girl too well?
A: First off, thanks for the love.
I genuinely respect the chivalrous demeanor you uphold. And no, that's not an obligatory return compliment. It's important to clarify that at no point should treating a woman respectfully be spun as a negative thing. Theres already far too few proper exchanges between the sexes and that's not a social norm I want to endorse or reinforce on any level.
That said, you're playing a little bit beyond your years at this point. You've been navigating the dating scene as a teenager into your early twenties and frankly, a lot of girls are seeking douchebags and heartbreak prior to neglecting the drama in favor of a sustainable relationship.
So in short, my answer is yes; in the early years, there may be such a thing as “treating a girl too well.” Take this with a grain of salt. Chivalry isn't dead, it just takes a while for girls to truly comprehend and appreciate it. At this stage, its best to employ the “tough love” approach if you will– a happy medium between being niceguy.com and dickhead.org.
(Sidenote, my curiosity got the best of me and I felt inclined to know exactly what was going on at the latter web address. If anyone is interested in purchasing a website, the domain “dickhead.org” is in fact for sale. I digress.)
Treat your lady with respect. Always. But when having an opinion and standing your ground, initiate your (metaphorical) strong arm. Displaying that you can't be walked all over (read: easily cheated on) and aren't “just, like, really nice” (read: boring) will do wonders for the longevity and strength of your relationships as you've come to know them. Keep the dream alive, chivalrous breau.
Q: Hey babe. I've been seeing this girl for a few months now, almost six come Christmas. Problem is I'm ready for things to come to an end but the holidays seems like a shitty time to do anything about it. What do you think? Is a Christmas breakup acceptable or is it protocol to wait until after?
A: Your apprehensions are not without reasons when it comes to what's fair in love and breakups. To make the analogy relatable, I think its best to refer to an airfare calendar: See, Delta airlines and your relationship actually have a lot more in common than you might think. Namely, their blackout dates.
One week prior to Thanksgiving all the way through the New Year is simply a no-go. Unless you want to forego your skymiles, wait in extra long lines shlepping your (emotional) baggage and pay twice as much for your normal flight home, it just can't fucking happen.
You can't send her home with the guilty conscience of turning her holidays into nonstop tears and Ben and Jerry's binges. Not to mention the nagging questions you'll have to endure on your end from your mom, aunt, high school friends and other people you don't want to tak to. Of course there's a lot to suffer through: gift giving, New Years kisses, etc, but if you were serious about cutting the cord you should've done it sooner.
Similarly if you wanted to use your frequent flier miles, you should've booked your flights for November 17th-26th and January 2nd-5th.
No? Maybe I'm losing you here. Anyways, destroying your relationship during the merriest time of the year is really more of a hassle than it's worth. Period. You can give it a try, but remember that I never hate saying, “I told ya so.”
Q: So I've started talking to this girl, and we always have some great drunk sex. Now this past week we tried to have sober sex twice but for some odd reason I just could not get fully hard and into it. The classic whiskey dick with no whiskey?? Now she thinks she's doing something wrong and its weird. Have you ever heard of this happening?
A: Sobriety-induced stage fright? Sure. Classic tale. Not ideal, but also not totally unusual or to be unexpected.
Think of it like karaoke; you go every Friday with your friends after four hours at the bar and crush your favorite Shania Twain ballad. The crowd goes wild. You remember none of it.
Imagine attempting the same performance in broad daylight without an ounce of alcohol streaming through your veins and I doubt you'd yield the same results. Albeit fun, it's sometimes a curse to get into a routine of strictly drunken boning. It sets a precedent for uninhibited free-for-all sack sessions that can't be achieved sans alcohol, unless previously attempted. This is a recipe for hookup failure. I'm not suggesting you never have sex after drinking again, but if you're planning on continuing relations with the same girl, do make a conscious effort to intersperse some sober hookups between the sloppy drunk one. Expectations will be clear and your dick won't be all, “Whaaat I'm too nervous for this shit!”
Yep. Just imitated your dick talking.
Q: So my girlfriend of three years has a horrible history of giving me useless and generally not great gifts. How do I prevent this from happening for yet another holiday?
A: Egh. Poor gift-giving abilities puts a bad taste in my mouth. Something not disimilar to licorice-fIavored tequila or kitty litter.
I feel like as a dude it matters a little less to be on the receiving end of shitty gifts considering how much more heavily girls weigh on these sorts of things, but I'm sure it wears thin nonetheless. Unless you're trying to end the relationship you really can't flat out tell her you hate all the presents she's ever given you. It won't work. Instead you'll end up with an unconsolable and forever resentful girlfriend who cries on every future holiday “from all the pressure”. Frankly, unless she reaches out for advice to a buddy who already had your wishlist on hand, it's gonna be pretty tough to organically shift her habits. So we make it a group effort. Rather than exchanging gifts this year, suggest a mutually beneficial experience. Dinner at a fancy restaurant, a couples massage, a weekend in the mountains if you really wanna get fancy.
Not only will you benefit from some romantic bonding, but you'll have the added bonus of one less pair of long underwear, DVD set, or love fern.
[Happy couple wearing Santa hats image via Shutterstock]