Question: Just not that into you…

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Anon Question: Have you ever been dating someone who is obviously more into you than you are them? How did you handle it?

That that scenario has really never come up for me. I have to be really into someone to start dating them, actually. If I wasn’t very into someone, I turned them down. I wouldn’t want to waste their time if it wasn’t going to go somewhere. And I’ve always been more about the relationship than the sex, so “going somewhere” has always been a part of any romantic equation for me.

But the “they like me more” situation is really rare for me. The vast majority of the time, I was way more into them than they were into me. I’ve usually been the crushing, not the crushee.

Question from WilJ: Have you and Steph ever considered having a child?

We’ve talked about it a lot, because this is one of those big relationship questions that you have to talk about. We’ve arrived at the conclusion of “probably never.” Stephanie has never been particularly interested in having kids. I have very mixed feelings about it. When I was young, I thought I would for sure. But as I’ve gotten older, my feelings have changed a lot. For one thing, I’ve seen some close friends become parents, and it’s been particularly hard on them. In some cases they’ve given up some significant dreams to be a parent, and that’s tough to watch. And in some cases, raising the kids has been a significant struggle. That’s also hard to see. On the other hand… there is something very life-affirming about kids. I’ve had two grandparents die in the last year, and I’ve had some existential crises about that – what am I doing, where am I going, and will I have made a difference when I die? Worrying about that eats at you. But in the past year I’ve also met my two youngest nieces and my new nephew, and watching them laugh and play and learn reminds me that as things fall away in sorrow, there are new joys that spring up to take their place. Do I want to contribute to that? I’m not sure. I do however, want to encourage my siblings to have more kids. As many as possible. Because that’s the awesome thing about nieces and nephews — they are there to reaffirm your joie de vivre, but you can hand them back when they poop their pants.

Ask me a question yourself.

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10 Dating Tips By Way of Hollywood

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1. People Who Hate Each Other on Sight Usually End Up Falling in Love ("The Way We Were," "Titanic," most Astaire/Rogers movies). Actually, people who hate each other when they first meet usually work very hard to avoid each other in the future. And if you ever really tried the sort of things Hollywood calls "meeting cute" – mixed-up luggage, mistaken identities, fender-benders – you wouldn’t end up at a table for two, but in court.

2. If the Person Isn’t Interested – Or Loses Interest – Pursue Them Twice as Hard (see above). Screenwriters must love this one – scenes of rejected suitors (chiefly men) showing up with picket signs, camping outside suburban homes with boomboxes or lying in wait by office buildings are in everything from silent comedies to "Say Anything." In Hollywood, this dedication marks you as a sensitive soul and often results in true love. In real life, of course, it marks you as a stalker and usually results in a restraining order.

3. If You’re a Man, Try Pretending You’re Gay – Women Will Become Instantly Intrigued ("A Very Special Favor," "Three to Tango"). No, not really. They may, however, quiz you on the latest Hollywood gossip, beg for exfoliating tips or ask if those tangerine capris make their butts look big. No, tell the truth. Do they, really?

4. If You’re Gay, Don’t Worry About Approaching That Straight Person -He/She Is Latently Gay Anyway, and Will End Up Thanking You ("Bedrooms and Hallways," "Claire of the Moon," almost any other indie movie). No, not really. They may, however, end up turning red, pouring their drink in your lap or punching you in the nose.

5. Looks Are Unimportant to Most Women, As Long as You’re Funny ("The Graduate," "The Tao of Steve"). A firmly cherished belief, particularly among lumpy studio executives who think they get all those dates because they’re charming. Somewhat true in real life, although it should be pointed out that Woody Allen is not just funny, but very funny – and also, conveniently, rich.

6. Looks Are Unimportant to Most Men, as Long as You’ve Got a Good Personality ("Frankie and Johnny," "The Truth About Cats and Dogs"). Actually, even Hollywood doesn’t really believe this – they know they’re shallow. Which is why, although the homely guys in their movies are always played by homely guys, the plain gals are always played by really attractive women in sloppy clothes. And a polyester waitress uniform still didn’t make Michelle Phiffer any less gorgeous.

7. Upper-class Gentlemen Are Secretly Attracted to Real, Working-Class Gals Who Show Them How to Have Fun ("Pretty Woman," "Working Girl"). Undoubtedly true if that gentleman is 103 and the real, working-class gal is Anna Nicole Smith. But, unfortunately, nothing to count on – unless you look the way Anna Nicole Smith used to and really want to date 103-year-old men.

8. Upper-class Ladies Are Secretly Attracted to Real, Working-Class Guys Who Show Them "What It Means to Be a Woman" ("Woman of the Year," "How Stella Got Her Groove Back"). Possibly true for brief periods of time, particularly if it’s the last night of her Jamaican getaway, and you’re a tight young hardbody. But just because it worked for Taye Diggs doesn’t mean it’s going to work for you.

9. Breakups Are Inevitable But Can Usually Be Resolved by Chasing the Other Person Down the Street or Embarrassing Them at Work ("Love With the Proper Stranger," "An Officer and a Gentleman," "love jones"). Actually, that’s more likely to result in another one of those restraining orders. See Lie No. 2.

10. On the Rare Chance You Really Break Up, When You Finally Part for Good – Or Meet Again Later – You’ll Share a Significant, Bittersweet Moment ("The Way We Were," "Now, Voyager," "Casablanca"). Extremely doubtful, really, compared to the chance that you’ll share a few flung insults, or dishes. As a highly impressionable film fan, though, there’s an excellent chance you will trudge home in a foul mood, open up a pint of ale or ice cream and watch more movies – and wonder, once again, why your love life can’t match them quite so neatly.

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What is Wrong with Being Single?

I’m twenty-nine years old, and I’ve been single for three years. And the truth is that I’m happy about that. I just came to that epiphany today while I was doing my dishes, alone in my apartment with the Romeo and Juliet soundtrack playing on my stereo in the background. I don’t want to be single forever, but I am comfortable being single right now, and want to stop feeling anxious about my single status.


I’m comfortably in a rut, as my friends would probably describe it, going to work during the week and spending my weekend alone writing, and reading to my heart’s content. I really like the way I live. My apartment is uniquely my own, and a sanctuary to me, filled with the things I love.

Everything is in it’s place, and I know where everything is. It’s not organized to the point of obsession, and I need to learn to put things away immediately after I used them, but I’m happy. I clean when I like, and leave things a mess when I like. If I had a girlfriend, all that would change, and I admit that bothers me.

I cook for one, which means I make a side dish rather than a meal, or get something from take out. In fact, I think I’ve lost all of my cooking skills in the past few years. I grew up as the oldest girl in a family of eight, and I used to come home from school, prepare the family meal, set the table, and clean up while everyone else trooped into the living room to watch TV. I’m sure my resentment of that responsibility has contributed to my cooking patterns now. But the fact remains that I once could cook a Thanksgiving dinner, and now when face with a simple meal, I’m at a loss. And I don’t mind that at all.

My Family Background

I think the reason I value my time alone so much, that I fiercely guard it, is because I grew up in a house where I was never alone. I shared a room with my little sister and a house with four brothers. There was noise all the time, everywhere.

I learned really bad communications skills that I still need to work to undo: the sense that no one was listening to me gave me the habit of repeating myself over and over, as well as the habit of interrupting and speaking louder when trying to make a point. I’ve lost some of those habits from living in the real world, but I still fall back on them at times.

I had no privacy growing up unless I was in the bathroom, and that only lasted until someone started pounding on the door to get in. Now, I love nothing more than lighting candles all around my apartment and sitting in relative quiet with my thoughts, especially after I’ve interacted all week with people at work.

All My Coupled Friends

Up until this point, I’ve been fearing there’s something wrong with me for not pursuing a relationship strenuously, for not making it a priority in my life. And my friends have certainly reinforced my fears.

My friend P., who has known me for about six years, I think, was grilling me on this subject in the bar a few months ago. She had just broken up with her girlfriend of many years, and confessed to me that the two of them had been analyzing me in their spare time, trying to figure out why I was single. "You’re attractive, humorous and you have a decent personality…"

Of course, this analysis immediately made me self-conscious, and rather than defending my comfortable lifestyle, I immediately focused on the word "decent," questioning whether she was suggesting there was something wrong with my personality, and suddenly filling with a self-doubt that I never feel when I’m alone; only with my friends.

It doesn’t help that I made a ton of new friends this past summer, who at that time were single, but quickly paired up when winter came. I used to get phone calls to run around and do something every day. Now I’m lucky if I see my friends once a week. And when I do, the awkwardness of the triad is always the elephant in the room that no one wants to talk about.

I’ve become a single burden to my coupled friends, and as a result, they either avoid spending time with me, or try endlessly to set me up with someone else. In fact, the last relationship I was in three-years ago was with a woman my friend P. set me up with. And I’ve been tricked into every conceivable setup situation since, so that I’m suspicious whenever someone’s single friends are around.

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