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Women often fall back on the same easy excuse when descending into a dissatisfying relationship. I heard it from Trish when she was lamenting the loss of a guy hardly worthy of her. “I still love him,” she told me.

“Love is not enough,” I said. “You know what? I love chocolate. And chocolate is delicious, but one cannot survive on sweetness alone. A nutritionally balanced relationship requires a helluva lot more than love.”

When giving advice, I always leave the final decision to my girlfriend. In this case, I posed a direct question for Trish to contemplate.

“Your choice in a partner says as much about what you think of yourself as it does about what you think of him. So, are you a five-star tasting menu or a bag of Cheetos?”

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aquarimary June 11, 2009 @ 11:31 a.m.

This is so true- and men are aware of it more than women. Most girls act so excited when anyone shows an interest in them that they forget what it is that they want- they just go for it without thinking maybe they could do better!


pinkshoes June 10, 2009 @ 7:30 p.m.

Again. Wise words for all of us. Thanks!


MsGrant June 11, 2009 @ 9:08 p.m.

It makes you wonder - why do friends that are gainfully employed, educated and non-residence challenged wind up with these manipulative losers who come on strong and eventually strip away every ounce of self-esteem they had? I've seen it in action, and it is scary. I had a boyfriend like that myself. I went in the top dog and came out with my self-respect in shreds. But I learned a valuable lesson. Like you said, date someone who you think yourself to be. You may surprise yourself.


Barbarella Fokos June 12, 2009 @ 8:52 a.m.

Interesting point, aquarimary, I hadn't thought of it that way. But it does seem that women are more preoccupied with whether or not they're "worthy" of a man's attentions, rather than the other way around. Societal? Cultural? Probably a little bit of everything.

And MsGrant, so true. I don't think it's coincidence that I ended up with a man like David after I started valuing myself on a level I never had before.


cece5650 June 14, 2009 @ 1:48 p.m.

Your story is so on the money! Could have used this advice 20 years ago. Settling was always my biggest downfall! I love this column and I love the advice you gave in it. I am away from San Diego now, but read the Reader weekly. It either hurts, or helps my homsickness. I read all your stories. You write and entertain. Thank you so much!


Barbarella Fokos June 17, 2009 @ 9:39 a.m.

Thank you, Cece! I only hope more women would hear their "inner pragmatist." I'm happy that technology makes it possible for you to continue reading, even if you're not in sunny San Diego. :D


Stephapalooza June 17, 2009 @ 4:13 p.m.

Thank you for writing what (IMHO) may have been your best column ever. If there is a woman out there who says this topic hasn't applied to her at least ONCE in her life, she is lying. Why do we do this to ourselves?!?!?!?

I printed out your column, and sent it with a Super Woman card to all of my favorite females to remind them that they are not now, and never will be...bags of Cheetos. Absolutely loved the metaphor, keep up the good work!!!


Altius Aug. 4, 2009 @ 1:30 p.m.

I think it's harder nowadays when everyone feels compelled to get sexual after a date or two. It's flattering to be found sexually attractive, and the glow of that flattery often blinds us to unattractive traits in bed partners that make them unacceptable as life partners.


traci_madison June 18, 2009 @ 8:05 a.m.

And that trait which flatters the most (the guy falling for you fast and furious) can cause an inbalance in the relationship when you begin to think of him as a devoted, but clingy, puppy.

Read a good description of "Borderline Personality Disorder" and see if a few of the traits apply to you or your partner.


Robert Hagen July 7, 2009 @ 12:56 p.m.

The mystery man waited. Protocol required that Kato come and console him, which was when the mystery man would lunge for him. However, Kato was not concerned with protocol. Instead, he tried to wend his way around to the passenger door, and get back in the car.

'There is a cop across the street, and obviously the Dilbert is upset over the damage to his limousine.' thought Kato.

When the mystery man detected Kato moving away, he sprang up and after him, screaming in Chinese. Kato took off, around to the front of the limo. The mystery man gave vigorous chase, but immediately began losing distance, due to his dress shoes. Kato circled around the car, and on the second lap around the car, when the mystery man was running for the front, and Kato had turned on a burst of speed going around the front and drivers side toward the back, he clicked a remote to open the trunk, hopped in and closed it. The mystery man's back was turned. He never saw a thing. When he realized Kato was gone, he skidded to a stop, throwing his fists down in a tantrum.

"KATO!!!!!!!!!! KATO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Where have you gone?!"

'Aha' thought the mystery man. He's in the trunk. Jauntily, the mystery man walked back toward the trunk.

"I calling the cops right now, Kato. I'm very sorry."

Kato jumped out of the trunk and the mystery man sprang on him like a tiger. Missed him by that much. The foot race resumed around the Mercedes. Then Kato picked up a little speed, but not so much as to make the mystery man stop running. Once again, Kato put on a burst of speed. When he had the mystery man's back for a moment, he hopped in the sun roof, and began retracting it even as he plopped into the front passenger seat.

The mystery man skidded to a stop. Kato was gone. 'Not again' he thought.

Tim Versace was watching the whole thing. Then Veronica came strutting out of the showroom. She came loaded. Her chassis was finer than a Mercedes Benz. Her front to back weight distribution would never get a man twisted out of shape on a dangerous curve. Was she top heavy? Just about enough to blow you away, man.

But what Tim Versace loved about her the best was her sweet disposition, and ability to collate messages. She not only knew how to take a message, she could tell Tim basically where the caller was all about. She was totally amazing, and the general manager refused to let her out of his sight.


Barbarella Fokos Aug. 4, 2009 @ 4:15 p.m.

That's a great point, Altius, and most likely accurate. On a side note, my most serious and healthy relationships have been those that did not begin with sex in the first few dates. I can't help but think that has something to do with it.


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