A Labor of Love, and Other Clichés

In honor of National Cliché Day, Blane goes overboard with the fun little phrases to help a guy wanting space — a cliché in itself — and another who needs help for his lacking love life.

Q: I need a little help. How does a man tell his woman that he wants some time alone and to himself without her being offended or thinking something is wrong or thinking I’m going to see some other woman? “To boldly go where no man has gone before …” – Lost Trekkie


A: I’m writing this column on Nov. 3, which, dear readers, is not only Election Day this year – it’s National Cliché Day, too! So, in honor of this occasion – and in glorious defiance of my talented editors and journalism teachers – my pearls of wisdom will come, hell or high water, via clichés this week. Because, you know, every dog has his day, and now that every cliché does too, I’m going to take this once-in-every-blue-moon opportunity to go overboard with them.


For starters, Lost Trekkie, while I raise my glass to your use of that “boldly go” line — now, incidentally, a cliché — you’re entering territory that plenty of men have gone before, for crying out loud, boldly and not so boldly. But that’s neither here nor there. Instead, let’s shoot for the stars on a positive outcome for you.


The key is not to burn bridges with your lady, lest you return from your solo sabbatical crystal clear that you two are a match made in heaven. Hammer it home that you don’t have ants in your pants to be footloose and fancy free of her – you just need some space. (As a Lost Trekkie, presumably you’re no stranger to the concept.) Setting some ground rules – Will you be talking to each other during the hiatus? What’s the time frame? – should help calm her nerves. (And believe you me, they’ll be rattled by this news, no matter how gently it’s delivered.) But don’t even think about pulling out the mother of all dating clichés: “It’s not you, it’s me.” That whole song and dance is a real slap in the face.


On the flip side, there’s nothing set in stone here. Her feathers might be so ruffled by your announcement that she decides to just fly the coop. And, in my humble opinion, she shouldn’t put all of her eggs in your basket, in case you decide she doesn’t complete you after all. While you’re off starring in your own 2009: A Space Odyssey, she could very well find her Prince Charming, with whom she rides off into the sunset and lives happily ever after. Because, you know, all’s fair in love and war. And when someone wants space, the writing is usually on the wall that they want out for good. If your lady is a smart cookie, she probably has that figured out – if not now, in due time.


Q: My lovelife sucks … or maybe I should say, I HAVE NO LOVELIFE. It seems the older I get, the more it’s lacking. I’m not really meeting any new women and at 43 years of age, it seems to get harder and harder to do. Any pointers on a guy my age getting out and meeting ladies? – Still Looking


A: First of all, there’s no need to paint yourself into a corner over your age! You’re acting like you’re already over the hill, but don’t you know the 40s are the new 30s? Give yourself a break already – you’re 43, not 93!


As we all know, there’s usually more than meets the eye with matters of the heart. Without reading too much between the lines of your letter, sounds like you need to take the reins of your love life instead of waiting for dates to fall in your lap. That happens next to never. Finding love is less luck of the draw and more a numbers game, plain and simple.


So, getting out of your romantic rut will depend on you getting out and about. Shake things up:  Get on some online dating sites. Get your groceries at a different Publix. Get signed up for a new swing class. Just get out of your comfort zone a bit, and I’ll bet my bottom dollar you’ll start getting in front of scores of datable ladies. The bottom line: With dating – as with everything else under the sun – practice makes perfect. You just gotta give it the old college try!


Also remember that confidence goes a country mile in the dating world. However you can boost yours – extra workouts, mastering a skill, whatever floats your boat – will give you an extra skip in your step, a brighter gleam in your eye and more dates on your calendar. Last but not least, if things don’t work out with one woman, don’t sweat it. There are always – wait for it – more fish in the sea.

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