Siren swan song

Joey Garcia

I met my girlfriend on an online dating site. She is very attractive, had a lot of offers and somehow I managed to slide through and get her attention. I know that you always tell people not to assume they are dating exclusively unless they have had the conversation. So after seeing each other for about two months, I told her that I wanted to date her exclusively. She agreed. The problem is that she still has her profile up and still gets emails from guys. She says she doesn’t look at guys’ profiles anymore, but that it’s fun to read their emails. She insists that she doesn’t respond to any of them. Am I being paranoid here? Her behavior makes me uncomfortable. I feel like I can’t trust her. But shouldn’t I trust her since she is telling me the truth? When I try to talk to her about this, she says I am being controlling.

Honey, she’s right: You are trying to control her. And you’re correct: Your girlfriend can’t be trusted. She told you she attracted a lot of potential suitors (quite common for any woman on an online dating site, actually). Of all the fish in the sea, you tipped the scale. That set you up to believe you were “The One.” But your siren loves attention. She scores a hit of excitement each time an email from an interested man lands in her inbox. A woman (or man) who desires a committed relationship would have hidden their own profile (so no one could view it) and placed their account on ice immediately after saying yes to exclusivity. She refuses. Translation: She is not ready to be a one-man woman. If she valued commitment, she would not accuse you of trying to control her ability to meet new men. Your complaints about this are a thinly veiled demand to know whether she cares about you. She doesn’t, at least not very much. Her desire to keep one toe in the dating pool proves it.

After graduation I could not find a job in my field and moved back home. Now my dad wants me to apply for anything. I think I should wait and find something related to my degree. What do you think?

Enhance your qualifications. Job skills fall into two general categories: career content skills and transferable life skills. Career content skills are learned in colleges and universities or technical and vocational schools. Transferable life skills such as group facilitation, time management, listening, decision-making, creative problem solving, analyzing, writing, public speaking and persuasion are more valuable because they are useful in nearly every job or career. So, yes, seek work, even an unpaid internship or volunteer position, to build skills that inspire your development into a competent, well-rounded individual.

I feel like such a loser writing about this, but I have a lot of acquaintances and no real friends. Is there someway to handle this that won’t be embarrassing?

Start by being a friend to yourself: drop the put-down. Then list the names of people with whom you make small talk (the essential definition of an acquaintance). Pick two or three individuals you would like to develop a friendship with. After considering what you have in common, ask one to join you for coffee or an activity. While spending time together, pay attention to whether you feel comfortable sharing a little more of your life story with this person and how they respond to hearing it. Notice whether they suggest getting together again. And, keep in mind that many people are über busy. If someone refuses your invitation, don’t take it personally. He or she is probably just practicing good self-care due to an already active schedule.

Meditation of the week
“The one who loves the least, controls the relationship,” wrote Dr. Robert Anthony, self-help author. How passionate are you about your faith?

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