Dear Margo: I am a pre-law student who is intelligent, articulate, caring, outgoing and fun to be around.
The problem is that I believe that because of some of my qualities, I am never asked out on dates . . . or if I am, I get ditched by the second or third date.
Guys that have liked me become less interested and never call back.
A platonic male friend (10 years older and married) told me I have an intimidating personality because I am smart, attractive and know what I want from life. I don’t understand how this could be a deterrent to so many guys. Am I expected to dumb myself down and give up my goals so I can fit into someone else’s life better? I am not prepared to do this, but what can I do differently? — Rejected in the Midwest
Dear Rej: Girls and women who are good-looking, smart and know what they’re about actually are man-magnets.
(Don’t ask me how I know this.) I think the only guys who feel intimidated by these qualities are nebbishes, and I can’t imagine your school’s male population is composed solely of the neb variety.
By all means, do not dumb down; then you would be flying under false colours.
Without being a fly on the wall when you’re on a date, I have no way of knowing what it is that’s going off the rails, but it has to be something. Is there a chance you’re being too aggressive?
Perhaps ask a close girlfriend if she has any ideas. The only blanket suggestion I can make is to be a good listener.
“They” find themselves endlessly fascinating, and it is commonplace for a man who has talked about himself all night to then tell a friend how really interesting his date was.
There’s also the possibility that you’ve been shopping in the wrong aisle.
Try giving a guy whom you might initially write off a chance. For what it’s worth, I have found an inverse proportion between good looks and smarts. (Note to handsome guys: Don’t bother writing to complain; there are exceptions.) — Margo, historically
Dear Margo: I live with my boyfriend in a small studio apartment in Switzerland. We have a happy life together; he studies at the university and I just landed my first real job.
My boyfriend is Swiss and has parents who are very involved in his life. This is fine with me, except when they want to come visit.
They always insist on staying with us in our 400 square foot apartment, claiming it’s cheaper for them. I find this ridiculous, as they are both retired teachers, and in Switzerland that means you are financially quite stable.
Am I being unreasonable?
How do I politely tell them that I don’t want them cramming on top of me every time they want to visit their son? Keep in mind, this has to be translated to German. — Cramped in Zurich
Dear Cramp: I don’t think you even have to worry about translating your request into Deutschen because I don’t think you should be making the request. Your freund should be the one to step up to the plate and tell his parents that it’s really not comfortable — for anyone — to have four adults living like sardines, or sardinen, in their language. You don’t sound unreasonable to me.
In fact, I’m trying to visualize four people, one bathroom, a tiny kitchen and what? Two air mattresses on the floor?
With luck, you can find an inexpensive bed and breakfast or a small hotel not too far from you. — Margo, sensibly
Dear Margo:My husband and I met online in 2001, moved in together in ‘03 and married in 2006. He’s wonderful in almost every way, but we’ve had some huge problems due to his need for sexual attention. Right after I moved in, I found he had a lot of porn, plus dozens of girls and women (ranging from teens to 30s) on his contact lists for IM. There were photos of some of them nude and clothed. I thought all this was over in 2005, but he was still getting calls from women and going into the bedroom to talk privately. (And also talking to his ex and trying to get her to have phone sex. She told me and he admitted it.) For the past year, he has been watching porn every morning on a particular site, where he has several favorite women. (Then he tries to delete the history.) When I found out, he said he liked them because they looked like me (they looked nothing like me), and that he only went there because I’m usually too tired for sex due to caring for our six-month-old son. I am tired, but we still have great sex two to three times a week. He’s been extremely devoted since I got pregnant, aside from the everyday porn, but since he tries to hide that, I wonder what else he may be hiding. I really want to keep our new family together if possible. — Waiting for the Other Shoe To Drop
Dear Wait: Your husband’s concentration on sex has probably crossed over into addiction. I am not one of those who believes that as long as a married man isn’t physically getting it on with some babe he is being true to the marriage.
I suggest you get guidance and information from a group meant for the family and friends of sexaholics — the people affected by the sexual attitudes and behavior of another person.
S-Anon’s web address is www.sanon.org. Good luck. — Margo, explorationally
Dear Margo is written by Margo Howard, Ann Landers’ daughter. All letters must be sent via e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. Due to a high volume of e-mail, not all letters will be answered.