Ask A Woman: How to make the best of a less than ideal situation.
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I am an educated man (UCLA ’03), who currently, after a string of reasonable bad luck and a stretch of mostly treating my twenties as an excuse to be a lazy vagabond with sporadic work experience… well currently I am living with my parents. In the house I grew up in. I’m 33.
I am currently employed 3 days a week at Dick’s sporting goods and receiving Social Security checks for Bipolar illness. All has calmed down and I’m ready to start back into dating life again. I am starting to spend what I can on clothes upgrades and good grooming habits, getting a respectable resume together, etc. and I want to take that next step into a positive relationship that will continue to move me forward in life (meet new people, explore things, have great sex) rather than backward.
Any tips for a guy in my situation?
Well the good news is that there are more and more people in your situation. Wait a minute. Is that good news? Maybe not for society but it’s good news for you, since your situation is becoming less a Wayne’s-World-cautionary-tale and more the standard. In other words, twenty-somethings (and some thirty-somethings) all over this country are taking longer to graduate, find stable employment, move out of their parents’ home, commit to long-term relationships, and do all that other stuff that we’ve decided makes humans into adults. There are several dozen theories about why this is the case (see articles here, here, and here). In your case, let’s add a serious health issue (bipolar illness) to the mix and say who cares that you’re coming late to the party, we’re glad you showed up.
Ladies…the pleasure of their company could be yours. Get in line.
You say you’ve started to take care in your dressing and grooming habits, which is great, and that you’re working on the resume, another important step. I’m not going to tell you living at your parents’ house is not going to affect your dating life. It will. There are many women for whom this is a deal breaker. They won’t give you the time of day. You probably guessed this, right? For the remaining women who are more…open-minded?…you’re going to have to strike a balance between being honest, being optimistic, and having a sense of humor about your situation. Do not, do not, do not lie to potential dates, whether through online dating services or gals you meet out and about, about the truths of your current life. No need to make it the first thing you talk about, but if the topics arise, you have to come clean.
Here’s where you need to master nuance. Be upfront, make a joke about it, say you’re working to change it. You need to show these women that you’re not satisfied with the status quo, but you’re also not a sad sack who’s feeling sorry for himself. And you have to be self-deprecating. Don’t pretend that it’s not a little funny, a little pathetic that you’re living at home. Make a joke, but don’t linger there.
Again, it may be hard to meet women given what you’re currently going through. But keep at it. Keep working on improving your life, too. It’s fine to try and convince women you’re not that guy, but make sure other areas of your life prove it, too. Get involved. (Regular readers will recognize this as my impression of a high school guidance counselor, a frequent occurrence on AAW.) Develop your interests and hobbies; read stuff; follow a team; exercise; learn how to cook; volunteer. If you can make the rest of your life and self interesting and desirable, you’ll be a guy who just happened to have some bad luck but is turning things around.
Good luck meeting your Cassandra. Who’s Anthony, who’s Anthony?
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