Phoebe Speaks From the Heart

Editor’s Note:
Welcome to The Minaret‘s relationship column! For her’ protection, the identity of our advice columnist is kept a secret; however, if you have relationship questions, send them to minaret@ut.edu. We’ll be sure to pass them along.

Dear Phoebe:
Where have all the good guys in the world gone? I haven’t been on a decent date in months.
-Stranded in Straz

Dear Stranded:
There are several theories in regard to this question. One, that all the men in the world have banded together to form ‘The Ancient Brotherhood,’ consisting of rules binding them to inattention and general chauvinism. The second possibility, perhaps more likely, is that these men can only be found in odd places, like under sewer covers, inhabiting large mud puddles or, as my suitemate firmly believes, buried amongst breakfast cereal (the ultimate prize). This could explain your bad date streak’mdash;you simply are not looking in out-of-the-way places.’ I suggest staking out your local library for eligible men.
But on a more serious note, a reevaluation of where you’ve been meeting these bad dates is needed.’ If you’re looking for a serious relationship (i.e., a connection on a higher level than, ‘Hey baby, what’s your sign?’), then I would avoid going on dates with men from clubs, bars and general establishments where alcohol is the main beverage. With your judgment already impaired from such libations, you will be less likely to be able to discern whether or not you’re actually going to get along with a guy for longer than 15 minutes. You might have more success meeting ‘decent dates’ at coffee shops, museums, libraries (for at least then you hopefully know he can form a structured sentence) or in your classes.’
Think of your interests and hobbies, as well as where you go to participate in these hobbies, and try to find someone with the same interests or hobbies. That way you’ll know you have one safe, intriguing conversation topic. And, as always, when you think of dating someone, pay attention to how they treat their friends, their family or even their co-workers. If they act with respect in these areas, then you have a much better chance of receiving the respect that is due to you in a relationship.
Don’t give up hope, for eventually your search will find you the right person.

-Phoebe

Dear Phoebe:
I’ve been dating my girlfriend, let’s call her ‘Rachel,’ for about six months now. She’s a really nice person and all, but I’m starting to wonder if she wants to be in this relationship. I’ve done lots of things that she wants to do’mdash;I’ve taken her shopping, seen all the movies she wants to see’mdash;but she refuses to even listen to my ideas of places to go. I wanted her to come with me to meet my friends, but she’d rather hang out with her own. I enjoy being with her, but it seems like if we’re going to be together, we have to do things her way, always.
-Unheard in Austin

Dear Unheard:
While Rachel might be a nice friend to have, she certainly does not seem like a good girlfriend. You are right to think something is wrong in this relationship: one of the benefits of being with someone is that they take an interest in the things that matter to you. You’ve done your part, made all the effort, but Rachel hasn’t. This shows that she either doesn’t grasp what it means to be in a relationship, isn’t ready for one or simply isn’t interested at all in the things you like.
‘ All of these possibilities indicate that she is not a good match for you. She might have been a wonderful friend, but her selfish behavior indicates that she should be nothing more than a friend to you. You, however, seem to have the right idea about what can make a relationship work. When you find a girlfriend that is more suited to you and willing to make compromises, then my guess is you’ll find the relationship much more fulfilling. You won’t constantly feel that your opinion is being ignored or that you’re not appreciated. Instead, you and your girlfriend will learn to balance her interests with your own so that you both feel satisfied.

Good luck,
Phoebe

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