Singles advice guru Marnie Macauley has humorous and savvy solutions for Los Angeles singles with one foot in the relationship and one foot out the door.
My dear singles in L.A., there’s no question in my mind that dating is Mama Nature’s impish little joke. Much like a roller coaster, there are screaming highs, dangerous curves, and then the decision to take another spin or get the heck off, all while asking yourself:
* Am I in love?
* Can I fix him/her/this?
* What does this mean?
* Is there a future here?
These plus literally thousands of other questions, issues, problems plague us, along with delicious joy of romance.
Let’s look …
DATING SOUTHERN FRIED CHICKEN
Dear Marnie: I recently moved from Los Angeles, leaving my friends, relatives and a promising job market to the bug-infested South. I hate it. Why did I do such a masochistic thing? For love, of course. My boyfriend goes to school here, and I thought life would be easier if I were here with him. So now, I have no job, no friends, tons of mosquito bites and a loser life. I want to move back, but here’s the kicker. My guy has been supporting me because my job hunt is going at the speed of swamp sludge. How can I move on without breaking his heart and wallet? Please help a sweating hostage of the South!—Love Stuck
MARNIE SAYS: Anyone with your pluck, stuck? Fiddle-dee-dee. If your love’s not willing to transfer, get out. And you start by getting the Sam Hill out of his wallet or be doomed to swilling mint juleps in a helpless stupor. What you need is a plan that rivals Vicksburg.
Getting it! Your Personal Strategy:
* Decide where you wish to re-root down the road. Los Angeles? Fine. Scour job listings and employment agencies now.
* Set a three-month deadline. A time limit will get you moving. Meanwhile, take any job to get yourself off his loving dole.
* If, after three months you’ve landed your dream (OK any job) in L.A. — go!
* If you’re still looking, take the money you’ve saved, return home and continue the search where you can breathe in that refreshing smog.
* Reassure your love that between vacations and high-tech gadgets, you can stay connected. Eventually he’ll join you if it’s meant to be. If not, then all that calamine lotion would have been in vain anyway.
Now get moving! And vow never to be dependent again!
GIRLFRIEND WANTS “SPACE”
Dear Marnie: I am in a serious relationship with a girl and have been for eight months. Everything was perfect until one day she said she felt she needed space. She says she still loves me but wants to do stuff with her friends, even if it means going out with another guy. So, is she for real when she says she wants time with her friends, or does this mean she wants to date around? — Unsure in Hollywood
MARNIE SAYS: I’ll be gentle. As much as it pains me to say it, “I-love-you-give-me-space” usually means “space” — for 10 or 20 other guys. Wanting to fish for prospects is her choice, but expecting you to shlep around after her with a life preserver? No way!
Getting It! Your Personal Strategy:
* Asking you for permission to play is like asking the guy who was fired to print out his own pink slip.
* Your question is all about her. Where were you, doll? If you believed you were in “a serious-perfect relationship” and she’s seeking “space” you need a radar check, because I rate this deal “past-imperfect.”
* Radar re-tune. You’ve got tinfoil on yours, friend. Call over three gal pals. We’re going hunting for missed clues. Trust me, gals will sniff ’em out. (Serve chocolate — it’s a known fact that Godiva opens the nasal passages.)
—Get yellow pads. Stay with Facts and Acts. Take notes.
—Describe all those times: A) You “forgave her” B) You two argued and you caved C) Your give-to-get ratio favored her.
—Now, which of you blathered on more about the “future,” “forever,” or “vine-covered cottages?” My guess is that it was you.
—Be fair. Do you suck the air out of those you adore?
* LOOK AT THE FACTS AND ACTS. They’re there. Ask yourself what about you or her fell under the radar, and why.
* Finally, remove her from your speed dialer. My man, the only way to quit being a doormat is to remove the welcome mat.
Dear Marnie: I am in my 30s and seeing a man who is 52. I never thought too much about our age difference, but I just read an article in a women’s magazine by a well-known therapist that says there is often something wrong with one or the other person in a May/December romance. We’ve been dating for two years and enjoy doing things together. I love him and he feels the same way. Neither of us is looking to take the relationship any further. Do I need to see a therapist, or does he? Do you think we’ve got some sort of problem? —JBrant
MARNIE SAYS: You bet. You’ve got rotten taste in magazines. You’re reading one-size-fits-all advice in a glossy that features an anorexic nymphet on the cover. That is not to say there aren’t age issues. But any diagnosis that damns the doer — en masse — is useless.
Getting It! Your Personal Strategy:
* If you’re old enough to take this ride, you need the maturity to stand by your (older) man. Ask yourself, why the waffle over an article? Are you mildly curious or is some part of you harboring a few hidden icks of your own? Be honest.
* If this article aroused a small chill about your Mr. December, check those that apply: Does he play daddy, correcting or directing? Is he dog years ahead of you in experience, success or power? Do either of you get grumpy, bashful, sleepy or dopey in the presence of each other’s friends? Have you given up major pleasures to please one another? Are you overly dependent upon him at the expense of your own growth? Is he your “too scared to commit” card? And most important, are any of these causing you a problem? If so, then OK, check in with a counselor.
* If that silly shrink spooked a perfectly fine pairing between you and your Man for All Seasons, all I can say is cancel your magazine subscription and enjoy! Age doesn’t “doom” lovers — people do.
GARFIELDS OR THE GAL?
Dear Marnie: I’ve been dating a woman for the past five months, and we’re beginning to get very close. One problem — she’s violently allergic to cats, and I have two. She can’t be in my house for more than five minutes before the cats really begin affecting her breathing. As a result, we usually end up spending time at her place only. My cats are 9 and 10 years old and I will never give them up for anyone — no exceptions. I must admit that there could be definite possibilities with this woman, if it weren’t for the cat obstacle. Her doctor’s given her medication, but it didn’t have much effect. Should I continue a very promising relationship if it weren’t for the cats, or should I stop wasting my time? — Catmandu
MARNIE SAYS: Thanks, pal. I love it when the asker already knows the answer. (It allows me to think about tidybowling my bathroom.) Face it, you’ve made your choice, and it’s viva la cats! Let’s get down to your real question: “Marnie, am I as shallow as a Farelly brothers film festival?”
Getting It! Your Personal Strategy:
* The depth of your choices is, well — your choice, not mine or any other advice duenna’s. We all have bottom-line requirements for those we dub “hopefuls.” Protect the important ones or be forever compromised.
* You love your cats. Anyone you wish to share more than a latte with has to be able to live through the experience without a trip to the E.R.
* When a so-called irresistible force (her) meets an immovable object (the cats) either something’s got to give or you’ve got to call the whole thing off. If you can confine your ardor to places without hair balls and contain your relationship to “coasting” — at least until, forgive me — the cats meet that Garfield in the sky, fine. But, you probably can’t, so hold back love.
* A smart human doesn’t step in visible messes. So, friend, limit your potentials to the millions of women who don’t wheeze when in the presence of creatures you shall not part with. (By the way, that includes your mother.)
Copyright © Marnie Macauley / 2013 Singular Communications, LLC