I'm an African-American gay woman in my mid-20s. I initially had relationships with men, but I'm just not attracted to or compelled by them. Women make me feel alive, exhilarated, connected and challenged, and sex is the bomb. So, I know I truly love women ... but most lesbians, including my current girlfriend, are crazy. I can't deal with their constant breakdowns because I didn't call enough, compliment enough, rub enough, or whatever else I should be doing but am not. Things felt more emotionally balanced with men (probably because I didn't really care). I feel stuck between engaging in meaningless relationships with men and living a life of passion and disappointment with women. What would you do if you were in my little gay pink slippers? — Fed Up
I think you need to follow the Internet traffic. A substantial portion seems to be those forwarded lists — from both men and women — explaining why whichever sex they're dating compares unfavorably to dogs. Clearly, we should ditch these complicated human relationships for a simpler kind of love — the one we'd share with a partner who's beyond happy as long as we keep throwing it a dirty tennis ball and dropping pieces of food on the floor.
The sad fact is, anyone who can't describe himself or herself as "cocker spaniel-curious" has a problem. According to women, men's emotions run the gamut from H to H (Hungry to Horny), they think the correct place for a wet towel is "wherever it happens to fall when they're done drying off," and they leave the toilet seat up and still manage to miss the bowl. ("Why, why, why, when you have a pee device shaped like a pointer?")
Men find women naggy, controlling and prone to verbal excess — that is, when they aren't expressing themselves with pouting and drawer-slamming. The man's left to parse whether the acting out is just a fun feature of her monthly Mr. Toad's Wild Hormone Ride — or indicative of some crime on his part, like the failure to celebrate their second weekiversary (that all-important two-week anniversary of their second date).
You've been dating women for what, 22 minutes, and a handful of emo chicks later, you're ready to pack it in for emotionally dead relationships with men? Women tend to be more emotionally demanding — probably because they evolved to look for displays of commitment from a partner. But, women aren't your problem and men aren't the solution.
Like a lot of people in their 20s, you're probably a crappy gatekeeper — prone to rushing into a relationship because a woman's hot and fun. Before getting serious, you need to do the rationality and groundedness entrance exam: "What kind of circus are we entering into here? Will somebody be swinging from the chandelier because we got her the 'wrong' birthday card?"
That said, a healthy relationship involves taking pleasure in doing the little things that please your partner — even if you find them somewhat silly. If you get tired from all the rubbing and complimenting or whatever, go to lunch with a bunch of straight women and you'll be reminded that anybody who dates anybody has it rough.
Custer's last nightstand
My boyfriend still shares a weekend/vacation house with his ex-wife. He just framed a photo of me and put it on the nightstand next to his bed, the spot where he previously put unimportant photos — ones of his dogs and trips with college friends. All the photos of his family members (and of his now-ex-wife) are along the stairway. Should I say something? — Hurting
Are the throw pillows plotting against you? Has his trash been talking trash about you again? It seems you're a Couch Whisperer, blessed with the rare gift for understanding the secret language of household objects. You know better than to find it sweet that your picture is the last thing the guy'll look at before he falls asleep and the first thing he'll see upon waking up. If he really loved you, he'd have his ex's picture on his nightstand and stick yours between fat dead Uncle Joe and the fishing picture of his pimply cousins. Or, better yet, he could just forget that the house is a shared space — shared with his ex-wife — and post a picture of her replacement over the fireplace. Should you say something? Absolutely ... to a therapist, before your toxic fear and festering insecurity drive your boyfriend to relocate your photo to a place many will see it — if they remove the note taped over your face reading, "Yard Sale, everything on this table 50 cents or less."
Got a problem? Write Amy Alkon, 171 Pier Ave, #280, Santa Monica, CA 90405, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org (advicegoddess.com). Alkon is the author of I See Rude People: One Woman's Battle To Beat Some Manners Into Impolite Society.