Lost on Love

He’s all wrapped up in how long it takes to fall in love with a woman … but I suspect there’s a lot more going on than timelines here. And my rant on those overrated “amazing connections … “

Q: I have a problem with my love life. I am a straight male. I had many one-night stands with many women. I am 38 years old right now. My question is how long does it take for me to fall in love with the right female woman and actually settle down with my best friend for a lifetime commitment in holy matrimony? – Lost About Love

A: The mystery of love, said Oscar Wilde, is greater than the mystery of life. Indeed, there are plenty of question marks about the whole affair, and one of the most common is if we’ll ever find “the one.” Some people (they seem to concentrate in Hollywood) fall in and out of love (and marriages) at Mach speed; others tie the knot with their high-school sweethearts and stay together for life. Some people never get married, some by choice, some ‘cuz, sadly, it just didn’t work out. All of which is to say it’s impossible to say what will happen for you, when, with whom.

But … It’s an intriguing coincidence that I found your letter in my inbox mere moments after watching a show about high-powered politicians coming out of the closet. Maybe it put my gaydar on overdrive, but my first instinct was that you’re struggling with something much deeper than wondering when the right person will come along. There’s something very forced — and therefore cryptic — in how you emphasize all the supporting facts about your heterosexuality: that you’re straight, right off the bat; that you’ve bedded dozens of women; that you feel pressured about finding the right “female woman” (is there any other kind?) with whom you can build a “lifetime commitment” and share “holy matrimony.”

Your letter also has the rotten whiff of religious brainwashing: namely, that the only love that’s recognized by God is between a man and a woman, and blah blah vomit blah. If that’s the case, and my suspicions are correct, you’ve got a long road ahead of you. But it starts with understanding that true happiness only comes with realizing your true self — you only get one shot at this life, after all. Then again, I dunno — maybe your true self is just a straight-up player who’s perfectly content going bedpost notch-for-notch with George Clooney.

Still, if your interactions with women have solely been of the 24-hour variety and you’re craving something more, it’s time to take a hard look at the “why” — and forget, at least for now, about the “how long does it take to fall in love” question. That’s the symptom, not the problem, here.

Q: I’ve been dating this awesome guy for about six weeks. During that time, we’ve been hanging out a lot, and we have an amazing connection. When we don’t see each other, he e-mails me or texts to say he misses me, and calls me every day. But now I’m worried, because it’s been almost a week since he cancelled our last date and I haven’t heard from him. I know he’s very busy at work, but couldn’t he at least call or text? He’s not replied to my calls or texts. We had such an amazing connection. What. The. Hell? – Hate This

A: Here’s What.The.Hell: You’re a victim of the Disappearing Act. Out of nowhere, the guy seems to simply vanish into the night like the Dickless Horseman, no text, no call, no nuthin’, never to be heard from again except in dating legend and lore.

Don’t get wrapped up in a WTF cycle of speculation and rationalization; instead, reframe the situation. His actions speak volumes about his character, or lack thereof. Beyond common courtesy, this is about respect — a critical component of relationships. Anyone who ducks out when things gets tough — as in, telling you that, for whatever reason, his feelings have changed — isn’t an “awesome guy”; he’s a total turd. And unless you’ve omitted a critical detail from your letter (“All I did was ask him what he wanted to name our kids”), take heart that you’re rid of this chump after just six weeks.

And you know what else, people? I’m tired of hearing this whole “amazing connection” schtick. As in: “He only calls when he wants to come over at 2 a.m., but we just have the most amazing connection.” “She’s a raving lunatic, yes, but dude — we just have the most amazing connection.” “Okay, so he’s been unable to commit for nine years, but I can’t let go of our amazing connection.” That’s a lot of incredible B.S. enabled by a lot of amazing connections. I’m not saying there shouldn’t be chemistry, but too many good people are falling all over themselves talking about their “amazing connection” when it seems to me they’re just trying to justify not being treated right. Can we puh-leeze just get over all these “amazing connections” already and try to see situations as they are? As in: He’s not interested anymore; move on.

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