Best-Of Advice

On grabbing a tiger by the tail

i’ve been dating a girl for about six months now. we basically live together, the sex is great, and i generally enjoy her company. Thing is, we never really had that “talk” that most relationships i’ve been in have started with. you know, the adult version of “wanna go steady.” We’ve talked about not having it, though, and both of us are kind of more comfortable without it.

She’s a gigantic flirt and a true-blue hustler of menfolk everywhere; she works (i mean like once a month) as a dancer, so she’s got regular customers that come into town and take her to dinner, you know the deal. whatever we have would definitely not work if i were the jealous type. i’m comfortable enough with the situation that it doesn’t make me crazy when she spends time with other men; it’s her bread and butter, she was doing it before i came around, and i know that she’s gonna be sleeping in my bed. And she says she appreciates the fact that i’m “the only boy who can tell her no.”

Thing is: lately she’s seemed way more attached to me than usual; i’ll be writing something and she’ll come sit facing me and just stare, or slooooowwwwlly kiss my cheek, or say “i love you” in a really tiny voice (we both crossed the ‘iloveyou’ bridge a while ago. thank you, ecstasy.)

it’s not that i’m looking to sleep with anyone else, but i don’t think i’m ready to be needed this much. i’d imagine that the time for the “talk” is nigh, but i’m not sure how to communicate my side of things without sounding… mean? heartless?

i’ve been “there for her” through a bunch of different problems, and i’d like the relationship to stay the same — casual and fun and supportive. but i don’t want to get any further down Serious Street.

what’s a guy to do?

Mean? Heartless? No, no, no. The word you were looking for is childish.

Not ready to be needed this much? Dude. Don’t flatter yourself. You’ve got one of the cool ones on your arm. Good for you, but don’t let it go to your head.

You may have learned how to grab a tiger by the tail, but that doesn’t mean she’s tame. If you show her weakness or disrespect, she will still eat you alive.

Listen up. Casual, fun and supportive isn’t a stage in a relationship, it’s a style of relationship. You guys could buy a house on the other side of Serious Street to raise a fucking family and your relationship would still be casual, fun, and supportive.

We all know what your real problem is. Deep down, you think you’re too good for her. She’s great for right now, but a whiny little voice in the back of your head keeps saying shit like, “the mother of your children can’t be a stripper.”

That, my friend, is the real problem. You know it, I know it, and don’t think for a second she doesn’t know it.

If there’s anything you need to do here it’s silence that little voice. Thing is, it probably sounds like your mother, so that’s a whole year’s worth of therapy right there.

That voice is wrong. It’s poison. It’s going to prevent you from being true to yourself, and it’s going to keep you thinking like a boy instead of a man.

Trust me on this. I’m sure in all other ways you’ve made a smooth transition into manhood, but this last little thing is holding you back.

You’re an open-minded guy who doesn’t get jealous. Good for you. You’ve lucked into a fantastic relationship with a strong, wild woman. Good for you. Don’t fuck it all up by making this about her “needing” you too much. This is your confusion, not hers.


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