Girly man

Joey Garcia

How do you tell a guy that he’s überfemme? I met this man through an online chat room and exchanged some great witty e-mails. We seemed to have a lot in common, so we decided to meet. He is good-looking, well-dressed, well-employed and literate, but if I didn’t know better I would definitely think he was gay. His mannerisms and tone of voice are totally gay. I like really masculine guys, so there’s no way I would ever be attracted to him. I told him that I wanted to be friends, but he keeps pressuring me to give romance a try. Should I tell him the truth?

Um, no, because you can’t give what you don’t have. The thought that this man is not man enough for you is an opinion, not the truth. Plus, it says everything about you and your blind acceptance of the cultural expectations of men; it says little or nothing about him. According to you (and American culture), real men have deep voices and macho mannerisms. This is the same mentality that suggests that anger is the only emotion real men express. Parents buy into these lies and insist their sons not cry from disappointment over a bad play on the sports field or over a broken heart from a crush. Decades later, the guy is in therapy because he can’t express feelings except during sex. Well, duh!

Do this guy a huge favor: Leave him alone. The invitation to friendship makes you sound oh-so-cool, but hanging out with a guy who wants more than friendship from you will only intensify his interest and his frustration. He deserves better.

I am graduating from college soon and I am freaked out about the job market because of the economy. I hate my parents and refuse to move back in with them after college. I am getting so scared about my future that I don’t even want to get out of bed some days. Please help!

“Fear thrives on powerlessness, the belief that we have no options,” writes psychotherapist and author David Richo in his new book, Everyday Commitments: Choosing a Life of Love, Realism, and Acceptance. Richo advocates practicing what he calls the Triple A’s: admit, allow and act. He writes: “We admit to ourselves and to someone we trust that we are scared, rather than deny it or call it by another name, for example, cold feet, discomfort, worry, uneasiness, nervousness, and so on. We allow ourselves to feel the fear fully rather than try to avoid it or drown it out with drugs or other distractions. We act in such a way that the fear does not drive us to do something or stop us from doing anything.”

Use the Triple A’s whenever your confidence falters. Remember, too, that fear is a normal human experience and, like any other emotion, it’s temporary. Let it pass through you; don’t behave as if it’s your boss. Instead, recall other periods in your life when you were beset by fear. You survived and eventually thrived, right? (If you didn’t you wouldn’t be graduating from college, yo!). The whammy right now is that you are afraid of your own death, the end of the person you know, the college student. You are also terrorizing yourself by pretending you will be forced to return to your parents’ house. I want you to be kinder to yourself. Stop mourning your imagined losses; fire up the courage and commitment to delight in birthing a truer version of yourself; be grateful for the opportunity to discover and fulfill your life purpose. Yeah, get outta bed, baby. The world needs you.

Meditation of the week
“Wave your hands in the air like you don’t care. Glide by the people as they start to look and stare.” I like that old-school Cameo song “Word Up.” How free are you to be silly? Or are you always concerned about what people think of you? Why do their opinions matter so much?

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