Suppose for a moment that you have a nice extended family; mom, dad, sister, brother, friends, so on. Usually speaking, if something weird happens ( you get the flu, Covid, run out of gas, have a foot in a cast and so on) you can call on one of these people for gasoline, water, juice and so on , as needed. Great, right?

Let’s imagine another scenario. Mom and Dad are on vacation, your brother has moved out of state and your sister and her new husband went on the cruise with Mom and Dad. Your friends are all busy working. You run out of gas, break your toe, lose your house key – who do you call?

Someone who will help you out, willingly, no strings attached, without resentment and with no real expectations of payback (sexual or otherwise.) Do you have such a person in your life? I have found, more times than one, the people or person I could call was a gay friend, not a straight friend. I have had a number of gay friends in my life, both male and female. They have been uniformly the most giving and caring people I have met. When I really need a friend, and I hate to ask for this thing (whatever it is), my gay friends step up when I would never, ever think of asking a straight guy the same thing.

Unfortunately, straight guys seem to mix up almost everything with sex. The slightest effort at conversation at the gym is translated into some kind of pick up line. It had gotten to be so bad for me, I rarely speak to men anymore unless they speak to me first. I have been dancing at social mixers when my partner (of five minutes) is at pains to explain to me how married he is. I do believe the next time a man does that I promise to say “Oh, good, well then, you should certainly be dancing with her,” and just walk off the floor. Men confuse niceness with sexual aggressiveness all the time. Can’t tell if is fear on their part or wishful thinking.

Anyway, when you run out of gas, and need a lift, you don’t want to feel like you have to ‘pay’ for your mistake later down the line. Now, maybe you do have a friend you can call (of either sex) who is willing to help you out. Good and cherish that friendship because there aren’t many like that.

The Alpha Male – Sports

Let’s face it, what woman doesn’t crave a big, strong man-virile, husky? It harkens back to the cave hunter days when men used to hunt down dinner and drag it home.

Of course, these days we mostly don’t live on the veldt and big game hunting is sort of passing out of style…still. In modern day’s terms, how does the modern man recapture those he-man hunting days? Sports!

Any of you that spent time recently watching the Super Bowl would have to admit, I believe, that the rough and tumble of the playing field today is just about a brutal as any historic caveman would have wanted. Now, for the sidelines, us.

Tune into ESPN any day of the week (while you’re at the gym on the treadmill) and you will have a chance to enjoy a mind numbing array of programs, announcers, presenters, athletes, father of athletes, coaches, team members and on and on. Who can keep up with all the names and numbers? The entire field of sports, sports figures, their statistics and lives are daunting. Is this is what is required to be the good girl friend?

No. And neither would most guys expect you to go hunting in a duck blind or ice fishing in a hut. They love that stuff! Let them have it and enjoy, don’t be jealous. However, if you ever expected your boyfriend to go with you to a chick flick (The Proposal, The Notebook, Jungle Cruise, all Disney movies,) you need to give the Devil his due.

Important Dates: Super Bowl Sunday. Usually in February. This is the High Holy Days of sports. To miss (or dismiss) this day is almost sacrilege. Mark it on your calendar, make it an event. Someone almost always hosts a party; go, take a dish, invite your girlfriends. Make it an event and even you might learn a little about football.

Kentucky Derby Day (May) – big with horse fans. Again, host a party, women wear hats, serve mint julips. Have fun and while the men are screaming at the horses you can casually fan yourself and sip iced tea.

Opening day for baseball. (Summer) Do you have to go to everyone? No. But opening day is big. Get tickets for a local team, maybe college. The pro-games are priced for, well, pros. Again, make it an event, invite your friends, he invites his friends. Maybe one of your girlfriends will meet someone nice. Win-win. Check it off your list.

Football/soccer – opening day (fall). Again, every game? Not hardly, but how about at least one, he will love you for it. Go before it gets too freezing cold. Men love that stuff. Once you have done your duty, you can snuggle, guilt free at home with a good romance novel and paint your nails!

Sports for you – in the interest of keeping the weight down and the healthy flush to your cheeks, you too should have at least one sport. Something you like, not something you hate because then you won’t do it. Explore and experiment, what do you like? Walking, power walking, hiking, swimming, biking, bowling? Try your hand and see what you gravitate too. If you try to ‘stick’ to something you really hate, 10 speed racing, to meet men, you will get discouraged and give up. If you meet ‘him’ at one of these events, he will become disappointed that you don’t want to do this anymore. Give both of you a break, keep to what is real for you.

Too Good to be True?

He’s tall, blond, blue eyed, handsome, wow! He’s adorable, sweet, sends cards, takes you to dinner, lunch, breakfast, skiing, fishing, and, and, and. Too good to be true?

This is the time when your mom is not your best friend. She wants you to get married. Your dad, maybe, but he may be very reluctant to say anything that interfer with that important walk down the aisle. If you have doubts, who can you really talk to and get the straight, skinny? Your very best friend is a good source. That is someone who loves you so much, they are usually willing to risk hurting your feelings to help you out. Also, your minister, priest, rabbi, therapist, etc. They are one step away from the problem and can be objective. Listen to those people. Once they have spoken, you need some alone time to process, mediate, get close to who and what you really are and what you want. Does this (male) puzzle piece fit? No one can ever really tell you what the truth is for you. You need to take some time to come to terms with your own truth. This can be meditation, walking the dog, going to church, riding a bike. Someplace where you can think.

That Really Important Question (!)

Once upon a time, it was common for girls to live at home until they were married. That age could be nineteen or twenty nine! It was also common for mom and dad to ‘vet’ the suitors for their daughter’s hand. Today, if a young woman lives at home, it usually has more to do with finances than some sense of morality or convention.

Somethings are gained and somethings are lost in these changes. The gains are in independence and freedom. The losses can be in having less support from family in the matter of dating. This can be good and bad. Good in that mom and dad are not breathing down your neck every minute asking you and him awkward questions. The bad can be that you lose help from people who care about you.

The old-fashioned question Dad asked was “What are your intentions toward my daughter?” That question still needs to be asked, however; reframed in modern terms.

The question/s that need to be asked are: Where do you see this relationship going? Do you see yourself in a marriage/or getting married? Do you want to have children?

These are very direct questions and it takes great courage to ask them. It also takes good people skills and intuition about when in the relationship to ask these questions. Obviously, these are not first date questions. However, if you have been dating the same person for six months or more, the time has come. It will be up to you to decide the best time.

Know this, if these questions aren’t asked, you will be setting yourself up for failure and hurt. The truth can hurt but, really, not as badly as misinformed ignorance. Likewise, if the responses are positive, he is interested in a long-term relationship, he is interested in marriage, etc. etc., then imagine the relief you will feel knowing that the two of you are, yes, actually on the same page!

It Didn’t Work Out – You Have to Move On

So, you ask the question and basically, the answer is a no. It can be an actual no or it may be framed in sort of avoidance terms like: Well, I don’t know, I’m not sure, Oh, not right now, etc. etc. In other words, no, or certainly not on your time schedule. If you want to wait ten years for some guy, that is up to you.

Still, we are dealing with a no response from him. Ouch! Boy does this hurt. Rapid recovery? Maybe not. Stay busy, keep up your friendships, and consider a vacation.

Don’t try to drown your troubles or try a quick hookup. You’ll end up feeling hung over and dirty. Start a garden, get a puppy, try to appreciate the good things in life and what you do have. Be open to the next step.


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