Jumping In With Both Feet?

Or just putting one foot in front of the other, one way or another.

Q: So I’ve been seeing this girl for a few weeks now, and I was thinking it just might get serious. She’s awesome, and I already have more feelings for her than I’ve had for any girl I’ve dated in a long time. But there’s an issue. The other night we were watching that stupid show “The Bachelorette” (her idea, of course), and there’s a guy on there with a foot fetish. There were a couple of scenes where he was massaging the Bachelorette’s feet and saying how great her feet were. Well, my girl was saying what a weirdo that guy was and how strange his fetish was. I got the feeling she was kind of grossed out by it! So here’s my problem: I have a foot fetish.

It’s something I’ve had since I was a teenager, and a few of my girlfriends have indulged me. But there were several more who just didn’t like it at all. I think it was part of the reason we broke up. I’m terrified that this is what’s going to happen with this one after seeing her reaction to that dude on “The Bachelorette.” What should I do? I was trying to figure out a way to tell her about this fetish, but now I’m not so sure.—Fear of Fetishes

A: Listen, most girls I know who watch “The Bachelorette”—and I’m admittedly among them—were more than a little skeeved out watching Tanner from Dallas nearly bust a nut while pawing all over Jillian’s feet. So don’t fret too much over your gal’s reaction. It’s probably not a true indicator of what she’ll do when she hears the news from you—a guy whom she’s romantically attached to.

So what do you do to avoid the fate of Tanner, who was eventually booted off the show? Make sure to give your fledgling relationship enough time that she’s into you enough to not run screaming from the room when you share the news. Be sure to play up what’s in it for her (lots of pedicures and high heels that you’ll, ahem, foot the bill for; delicious tootsie massages; naughty new adventures through which you can bond together). And try not to worry so much about it. As fetishes go, yours is pretty tame. Unless it hinders your sex life—i.e., you can’t get off without a foot being involved somehow—it’s really a harmless indulgence. 

But if she turns out to be a total prude and this is a deal-breaker for her (which would be unfortunate; you sound like a solid guy), take heart that there are plenty of gals out there who would love to date someone like you. Until you find one, enjoy the summer and all its sandaled, opened-toed stimulation.

Q: My girlfriend of two years thinks I am addicted to doing triathlons. I do train more than most people, about 15 hours a week, sometimes more with weekend workouts. But that’s pretty much normal for people in this sport. I do two Half-Ironman triathlons a year, one in the spring and one in the fall, which means I am training most of the year. The thing is, I love tris and can’t imagine not being able to do them. I don’t see it as a negative. I am careful to not let my training effect any of our dates and if it’s something very important to her, I make sure to move my training to accommodate her. I am not one of those crazy fitness guys that weighs my food and never drinks beer. I think that she should give me room to do something that is very important to me. She nags me about this pretty much every day, so I feel like this could be a deal-breaker for us. What should I do? Is there a way to save this?—Tri Guy

A: It doesn’t sound good, unfortunately. You don’t want to give up something you’re passionate about; she doesn’t want you to give you any more leeway with your “addiction” (the hell? Tell her to Google Danny Bonaduce or Mark Sanford if she wants a clue about what a real addiction is).

You’ve tri-ed (yuk yuk) pretty hard to balance your relationship with your training; doesn’t sound like it’s working. 

In my experience, relationships that tend to last are those in which when both partners enjoy a shared passion or similarly time-consuming career. That’s not to say relationships in which one partner is more involved in something and the other plays a supportive role don’t work. But those seem to have the most chances for success when buckets of money are involved; just ask any trophy wife of a professional athlete. You don’t sound like you’re on the pro track, so I’d say cut your losses with this one and focus on your next finish line.

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