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Take Me Unseriously

March 31st, 2009 | 2 Comments | Posted in Random Crap

Dear Bitter Single Guy: My man and I live together and things are pretty perfect. We used to fight a lot, but now we just have little petty fights and they’re pretty far and few. He’s very romantic and sweet and there’s no doubt in my mind that he’s serious about being with me. However, he never takes me seriously. Sometimes when I’m trying to discuss something with him on a serious level he still jokes around. The other times I try to discuss things he doesn’t want to talk about it. I feel like he belittles me and doesn’t realize it. When I tell him why I’m sad and worried, concerned, he says I worry too much.

This is not how I want to be comforted. Of course I would love to tell him all this, but I don’t think he’ll really listen, just blow it off like always. I’ve had some stupid relationships and one really bad one and though he’s put me through a lot of dumb shit too, this is the best relationship I could ever ask for and all my family loves him and knows he’s great, which means a lot to me. While I definitely don’t think this could lead to our downfall, it is a major blockage. ~Please Take Me Seriously~

Dear PTMS: The Bitter Single Guy is of an age where he recalls televisions with knob tuners rather than digital tuners. The BSG also vaguely remembers when TVs didn’t come with remote control, but that’s another scary conversation.

On these antique TVs there was a VHF dial and a UFH dial and honestly, the BSG doesn’t know what the difference was. What he does remember though, is that the UHF dial had a fine-tuner on it that allowed the TV viewer (the BSG’s dad, mostly) to make tiny adjustments in order to bring the channel in more clearly.

PTMS, you are on the right channel and are watching, or are in, exactly the program that you want. All you need now is some fine tuning. The BSG recommends a long-term plan to bring your Sweet Man around; Rome wasn’t built in a day PTMS and you won’t be able to get the results you want in a day either. The BSG recommends maneuvering Sweet Man into a situation where you know more than he does. This could be something related to your job, or a hobby, or something else about which you’re more informed than he is.

*Caution* PTMS: being an expert in how you, personally, feel and think does NOT qualify for this exercise. This has to be something where Sweet Man recognizes you as clearly more knowledgeable. When you’ve maneuvered the conversation or situation into a space of your expertise, take the opportunity to instruct him, gently and lovingly, but none the less clearly, on what you know and what he doesn’t know. This will put you, ever so briefly, into the Alpha Dog position and will be the first brick in the foundation of your own competence. At least his ability to recognize your competence.

If you’re not being taken seriously, coordinating a series of these you-as-the-expert interventions will help illustrate this for Sweet Man.  Of course, it’s also possible just to tell him to take you more seriously, but as the BSG imagines you stamping your foot and demanding to be taken seriously, even he isn’t taking you seriously, so obviously this calls for some manipulation.

Take your time turning this dial PTMS, you want to get it just right. ~BSG~


Juggling Five at Once (Poorly)

March 29th, 2009 | 2 Comments | Posted in I'm A Tool

Dear Bitter Single Guy: I recently found myself caught not in a love triangle but something far worse. I met “Matt” online and we hit it off, now he wants to take things seriously (wants me to move from the US to England with him). While my best friend “Jay” wants to marry me, and we are currently engaged.

After quite some time I realized that Jay isn’t the “one”. Then the plot thickens.*Dun dun dun…* Before Christmas I met “Mark” who is really great but sometimes I feel like he’s not completely honest with me. Then finally my newest problem, “Kaz”, who I’m not quite sure of yet but we both want to date each other, and despite my better judgment have really fallen for. I have another good friend who wants the same but I don’t share his feelings at all. Help, I’m know I’m definitely in way over my head, and it sounds like I’m a teenager again, I should know better, but alas, I’m here. ~Teenager All Over Again~

Dear TAOA: Really? Get thee to a nunnery TAOA. (The BSG and The Bard are like, tight) Are you kidding the Bitter Single Guy with this crap? In summary then:

1.       Matt is in the UK and wants you to move and marry him.

2.       You’re currently engaged to Jay, but he’s not the “one”.

3.       You’re dating Mark, who may not be completely honest. (have you been completely honest about Mark’s competition?)

4.       You have met Kaz and want to date him.

5.       You have another good friend who also apparently wants a piece of you, but you don’t have the same feelings for him.

TAOA, the BSG has to ask what the heck is happening here. Let’s all imagine for a moment that the BSG writes a column about home improvement projects. You TAOA, in this fantasy, would be the compulsive home-project-guy writing in to say that he’s started five different projects and now doesn’t understand why he lives in a construction zone.

OK TAOA, the BSG hereby declares you unfit to manage your own romantic life and he requires you to do the following:

1.       Matt in the UK: call him (emailing is tacky, even for exclusively online relationships. If you’ve never actually spoken live and he’s asking you to come to the UK to live with him, the BSG doesn’t even have time to rant about that.) and tell him that you think he’s a great guy, but that you’re already engaged (no need to mention the other men you’re juggling unless he pushes) and so are breaking it off with him. Then break if off with him.

2.       Your fiancé Jay: Break up with him. The BSG already realizes that you tend toward wishy-washiness and he believes this will result in you sitting at your kitchen table after ten miserable years (for you and Jay both), telling your best friend (as Lucy would tell Ethel at the kitchen table) that you never believed Jay was the “one”. Don’t wait to be miserable; you and Jay are done.

3.       Not-Completely-Honest-Mark: Be completely honest with him. You’re engaged, you’re seeing several other people, tell him everything. Not-Completely-Honest-Mark, if he’s like many not-completely-honest people, will freak out at the idea of your dishonesty and will flee. He’s the lucky one so far.

4.       New Guy Kaz: You’re not going to date Kaz. The BSG doesn’t care how much you both want to date. Don’t you SEE the construction site you live in because of all these other projects?

5.       Your good friend who has feelings for you: Geez TAOA don’t make the BSG come over there.  Tell him you’re happy to have him as a friend, but that you’re not interested. Then be sure you’re not sending him mixed signals because the BSG doesn’t think you can be trusted not to entice men into dating you.

TAOA the BSG has great compassion for you and is pleased that you (finally) recognized that things had gotten a little out of control, but he also believes that sometimes firm boundaries have to be set. SET them. The BSG thinks that the best thing that can happen to you for awhile is to be completely unencumbered by relationships so you can learn how this got so out of hand.

The BSG is also concerned for the karmic debt you’re incurring by keeping all these men on the leash. If this were a home improvement advice column, the BSG would have you give away all your tools and learn to live happily in your home as it is before you picked up a hammer again and started breaking things.


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Free Sexy Chick for Grabs

March 27th, 2009 | 3 Comments | Posted in What The Hell?

Dear Readers: Every now and then the BSG gets one of these letters from people who seem to believe the BSG is running some sort of personals website.  Because they make the BSG laugh, he’s sharing. This Delicate Flower titled her email as this post is titled and the entire text of her email is below:

Hi I am taylor free and single wanting a guy!

Dear Taylor: The BSG is sad to disappoint you, but you’ve apparently gotten lost in your quest for love and found yourself posting an advertisement instead of a question for the BSG. Although there is much here for the BSG to comment on, he’ll rein in his remarks and simply hope that there is some guy out there (no requirements other than that, Taylor?) who wants a girl who is free and single. Really, what’s not to love?


Bisexual and Transgendered: Dating Options

March 25th, 2009 | 8 Comments | Posted in Can't Get A Date

Dear Bitter Single Guy:  I actually just ran into your site and I’m hoping for a reply. This could get lengthy, but I’ll make it short as possible.

I’m 20, a college student, bisexual, and oddly enough, transsexual. I’m pre-op, pre-hormones, but I’m a FTM (female to male). However, the trouble is that I hardly pass as a guy, and when I say I’m bisexual, I actually mean that I’m almost gay. I’m open to dating women, and I’ve been attracted before, but I’m more often than not… head-over-heels for some guy.

I’ve only been on one date (the guy was almost three times my age and was too sexual/creepy to begin with) and my longest lasting relationship was two months.

The problem is that, because of my transsexuality, I’m sort of a fetish object and it really annoys me (I want to be liked for who I am, not what I am). I want to be in an openly gay relationship as a man, and I’ve tried nearly everything to find someone. However, I seem always to fall for straight and/or taken guys.

There are people who are interested in me, but they’re either too scared to say anything or I’m not interested in them. One guy, though, is pretty decent, and even though I’m not very interested in him. 

Honestly, I don’t know where to start or what to ask, but… What exactly should I do? When’s the best time to tell someone about my gender situation (before or during)? ~Not Sure of The Rules~

Dear NSTR: The Bitter Single Guy is blessed by having some friends who are trans, so he finds that he’s actually had a chance to think about situations just like yours. That doesn’t really mean he has an easy answer (answers are rarely easy, NSTR).  But here are some ideas.

Much of what you’re describing is true of any relationship regardless of gender and sexuality. Sometimes you’ll be attracted to people who are not attracted to you, and sometimes people will be attracted to you who you’re not attracted to. Honestly, the BSG doesn’t  know how anyone manages to connect sometimes.

One solution to your concern is one the BSG hopes has already occurred to you: spend time in a community of like-minded folks. This is true if you’re a devout Catholic, deeply into Jack Russell Terriers, or if you’re transgendered.  If you’re not already in contact with a group of other transgendered folks who are faced with similar dating conundrums, find them. Granted, the BSG lives in a good-ish sized city, but he’s surprised sometimes that there seems to be a community for everyone. Find yours NSTR.

As far as fetishism goes, the BSG finds that the line between festish and attraction is somewhat vague. If you only date people with brown hair, that’s an attraction, but if you want to spend hours brushing your partner’s hair then it becomes a fetish. The BSG points this out because you should definitely avoid folks (like the creepy one you mention) who fetishize anything about you (gender, weight, hair color, whatever), but know that there are folks who will find themselves exclusively attacted to people like you (in your case: FTM Trans) and you don’t want to write them off as potential dates. They’ll be much easier to date than educating someone new every time.

As far as when to tell a potential date about your gender status, the BSG wants you to think about what you’re asking that potential date. If you don’t broach the subject until an intimate moment (the BSG is blushing), then you give your date mere seconds to figure out how he feels about your revelation.  This is a lot to ask during what is likely already a highly pressured situation. For that reason, the BSG recommends having the conversation sooner rather than later, even though this could mean fewer second dates.

Even as he provides this advice NSTR, the BSG wants to reiterate his point about finding a community. The BSG can pronounce platitudes about the details of dating in the trans community, but the truth is you’ll be best supported by folks whose experience is more like yours.  But he’s still pretty pleased that you felt good about coming to the Bitter Single Guy…where all are welcome.


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One Paw Forward, One Fear-Based Step Back

March 23rd, 2009 | 4 Comments | Posted in Tips For Love

Dear Readers: The BSG doesn’t usually answer letters this long, but Bitter Coupled Gal has been a faithful commenter on the BSG’s blog, so he’s happy to bring her some advice.

Dear Bitter Single Guy: Oh how I love coming to you for answers BSG. Your harsh reality makes well to bring out important questions and answers when emotions are involved.

My Dog-Lovin Dude and I have decided to increase our little family (as we call it) and adopt a second dog. As excited as we both are I have some apprehensions. I live in a small apartment and together with DLD and Current Pup. I know that a studio apartment for four (two humans two dogs) will only work in the short term. I have hinted to DLD that we need to consider getting a bigger place together if we adopt a second puppy (and by hint I mean blatantly stated “this will work short term but we need to consider a bigger place together for the dogs and our sanity”). When the subject is broached DLD tells me he feels a bit overwhelmed and we drop the subject for the time being.

As much as I want a second pup I’m happy to wait until we are both sure we can live together officially in the future. We technically live together now but he still has his own place, and even though he merely uses it as a storage center for his belongings, he still has his own place to go to. I know DLD had a bad experience in the past living with someone and I believe part of the apprehension is due to this. I think the other half are his own commitment issues (yes, due to fear I’m sure) and him being a Libra always has to weigh every issue back and forth. It takes us 20 minutes to pick out canned olives at times. While his careful consideration in all aspects of life do help us make accurate and smart decisions, but sometimes we don’t always have the TIME to hem and haw. We’ve been together a year now.

I’m in no real rush BSG but we were accepted to meet a foster puppy and will have to make the to adopt or not to adopt decision soon. He is thrilled at the idea of our little family as he calls it but, again, is apprehensive about discussing moving in together. I don’t want to overwhelm him but I just can’t rightly bring in a new pup unless he can see us moving forward together. How do I broach this again without coming on too strong? I don’t want him to think because we get a dog and move in together I think we’re destined for eternity together, but I do happen to see this as a commitment step. I know he must have weighed out the pros and cons about getting a dog with me, but sometimes I wonder if his excitement over a new pup is overshadowing some important conversations. I am very ready for this with him, knowing it won’t always be puppies and rainbows but am ever so willing to work on continuing a healthy relationship. OH BSG, you are a male – how would you want a female to come to you with this very important decision. ~Bitter Coupled Gal~

Dear BCG: The Bitter Single Guy appreciates how life’s little things often end up being inextricably wrapped up in life’s bigger things. In your case, this is obviously not about whether to get a puppy or not; it’s about how your relationship is going to advance.  Nicely presented, BCG.

First, the BSG has one random point: he cringed when reading that it takes you 20 minutes to pick out canned olives. Really BCG? Canned olives? Just stop that. Buy good olives. Life’s too short. Sheesh.

OK, back to our regularly scheduled programming. Your question for the BSG is how you should approach this issue and he thinks you already have approached it.  If, in fact, your prerequisite for canine acquisition is a larger living space, you need to state that. One way to keep it from being overwhelming for Dog Loving Dude is to determine if there are options beyond the one-dog-partial-cohabitation-commitment or two-dogs-full-cohabitation-commitment. In other words, is there a way to have more space for your growing family without Dog Loving Dude freaking out?

Maybe his place is bigger and you two could spend half (or more) of your time there? Maybe he’d be willing to help you get into a bigger space while still keeping his place? In other words BCG, the BSG wants you to get Dog Loving Dude involved in the solution here.  Here’s an idea for how this could go:

“Hey DLD! Like you, I am quite pleased by our growing family of dogs and people, and the idea of adding another pup is quite neato in my opinion, but we need to figure out how to get more space for all of us. We could spend our time at your bigger pad, we could both contribute to me getting a bigger pad, or we could officially cohabitate and get rid of your pad. Which of these seems likely?”

The BSG thinks that if Dog Loving Dude isn’t willing to even have a conversation about options then you should put your *ahem* paw down and just say no to new puppies. If 20-minute-olive-choosing guy can’t step up to this conversation, the BSG says no puppy for him.


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