Jun 12, 2013 KL commented on Savage Love.
Seeker -- I can't say as far as the terms with which one disagrees. But, in the context I was using them, if people aren't willing to look at the reality they've been living and the decisions and perspective they've chosen, they can often very quickly turn into the types that are blaming everyone and everything else for their problems ("there are no more good men left!" ... no, you just keep picking bad ones and won't look into the reasons why that is and learn to fix it or change... or same thing from men complaining about women).

Bad things happen to everyone sometimes, but if you start seeing patterns emerge (always fighting with co-workers at every job, keep dating losers, fooled again with another jerk, etc.), then look to the common denominator -- you. If you're not willing to learn from your experiences, then you're doomed to repeat them until you do. And, then, some opt for the dose of pity or bitter to avoid looking at the harder truths staring them in the face.
Jun 12, 2013 KL commented on Savage Love.
Seeker -- oh, absolutely agree that maturity has very little do with age. Experience has to do with age -- the older you get, the more experience you acquire. But, maturity is whether you learn from those experiences. Some will start at a relatively young age and others will spend their entire lives without learning even the most basic of lessons.

The upside is that if you're part of former group, you start to learn the tell-tale signs of the latter and avoid them or minimize their presence in your life. Maturation is certainly a choice and full of hard-earned lessons -- a path you choose to take where you will bleed willingly and joyfully (or at least realize the pain is worth the learning).
Jun 12, 2013 KL commented on Savage Love.
62/63 -- I think a lot of the issues are just maturity and truly understanding what you NEED in a relationship (i.e. dealbreakers) and what you'd like but can compromise on. In my opinion, the greatest antidote to all of that is gratitude and perspective. But you can't get either of those without some experience and probably hard knocks to really drive them home.

For me, I look for good character, sexual attraction and similar/compatible lifestyles and life goals. I'm a firm believer in that if your dealbreakers are greater than what you can count on your hand, you're not really ready to be in a committed relationship because you lack the flexibility and compassion to accept another's non-dealbreaker flaws and natural points of conflict.

Ideally, as you get older, provided that you don't fall into the pity party or bitter crowd, you have a better idea of truly knowing yourself and what you need and being able to sort out others to know if you'll fit together well. But, it's a jungle out there either way.
Jun 12, 2013 KL commented on Savage Love.
Seeker -- I absolutely agree with you on the cheating gf. No need to disclose it per se as that will only hurt the deploying gf unnecessarily. But, yeah, if your reaction to hard times is going to be to cheat -- you're not ready for that type of relationship. Figure your issues out and find a relationship that works for you. But to continue to act selfishly and dishonestly is never okay.
Jun 12, 2013 KL commented on Savage Love.
The pot issue -- I think it really comes down to whether you're smoking recreationally or daily. I've had exes that do both and I had no problem with the recreational usage, but the dude that smoked every day or several times a day -- to me, he was like a drunk. He couldn't function without the weed and it was a major crutch for him -- any time something was unpleasant, he'd toke up. He found life boring when he wasn't high. Needless to say, he had a lot more issues than weed.

I've found a lot of stoners that don't like this perspective, but I think they're addicts. Their no. 1 priority is weed -- as booze is for an alcoholic -- and it creates a barrier for personal relationships.

If you're smoking like this, then it's not so much the weed, but the volume because you're not smoking responsibly.

Now, if you gf is a teetotaler and needs 0 weed in her life, then you guys are just incompatible unless she can loosen up. I'd say the same for someone that can't handle their partner drinking -- just a bad match. For me, I'd also add in an vegetarian as I love meat too much to never share that with a partner. It doesn't mean that neither of you are bad people, just not compatible unless one of you can bend. Better to figure this out NOW before you get in deeper with one another because this issue will only get worse, not better, and the eventual break-up will only be harder.
May 23, 2013 KL commented on Savage Love.
Okay, I didn't make it through all the comments, but the thing that occurred to me with LW1 were two possibilities:

(1) She has a very sex-negative view of sex which has left her with these completely skewed perceptions. I'm not minimizing her traumatization, but she needs to understand that feeling traumatized for what she's described is not normal nor healthy. It's like being traumatized for drinking water or eating cereal -- totally normal behavior that shouldn't induce trauma, even by the most liberal reading of her letter. She NEEDS to see a counselor to help her unwind this because her compass is WAAAAY off.

(2) I haven't seen this in any of the other comments (though I only read half), I'm wondering if she was raped or otherwise sexually assaulted or molested and that's why she's having this extreme reaction -- both to the incident itself and her holding onto it for 7 years later! I can totally see her totally blocking out such a trauma and displacing it on other things -- projecting it on to this terribly innocent incident. The trauma of violation may be valid, just not originating from this source.
Feb 20, 2013 KL commented on Savage Love.
EricaP -- yes, I understand they're not looking to steal the alpha women away from their husbands, but in the immortal words of Paul Newman, "Why go out for hamburger when there is steak at home?"

The big paycheck men are sought after for their big paychecks, not their prowess in the bedroom...so if she's looking for a hot night in the sack, it's unlikely to come from the colleague after a seminar.

If she's got her own cash, there isn't much appeal to the big paycheck men -- they're just like any other dude hitting on a chick in a bar. Not that special.
Feb 20, 2013 KL commented on Savage Love.
@90 I think there is such perception in such worlds, but ironically it is a perception perpetrated by men in those fields. By the women in those fields (at least based on my and my friends' experiences), we have to respect the men we're with, but that's not necessarily defined by his paycheck. He has to be in our general ballpark or have some other enviable skill/passion (like a man that's good with his hands and can build stuff goes a long, long way) to earn that respect -- coupled with being excellent in the sack. Those two things and he's golden. We don't mind helping out with the finances so long as we can be the girls in other circumstances.
Feb 20, 2013 KL commented on Savage Love.
The ring -- trust me, $1000 in 5 years is going to mean nothing to you, but the symbolism of the ring likely still will matter to your husband/fiance. Plus, you do want something to last.

For my ring, I don't care for diamonds and opted for a yellow sapphire because it has symbolic relevance for me (whereas diamonds don't). But, we did put a good deal of money into the setting as, in my opinion, that's where the true workmanship is. So, I have a ring where the setting is literally 4-5x more expensive than the center stone, but who cares? It's what I like and where I feel the value lies.

I'd highly recommend sapphires as center stones because they're almost as hard as diamonds (9 vs. 10), so they won't crack under normal daily wear unlike some of the softer stones (emerald, opal, anything in the beryl family, etc.). Plus, there are a variety of colors -- blue, yellow, pink, even white if you like the look of diamonds but don't want a diamond itself (and will be like 90% cheaper).

Diamonds have an inflated value thanks to DeBeers -- there is no real intrinsic value to them if you're not using them to cut glass or something similar (like in a diamond saw). So, don't worry about it. Get what you like/want and let the rest of the naysayers go to hell. The only other person that matters is your fiance -- I would try to find something that you both want and reflects his desires too, because the ring can be important to many men as well as a sign of their love, commitment, etc. Don't underestimate or dismiss that.
Oct 24, 2012 KL commented on Savage Love.
KateRose -- Yeah, I agree that's unequal. Just like it's "unfair" to some extent that women have to bear the children and men don't -- it's just the biological reality. But, I'd say the same thing to a woman bitching about how "unfair" it is that if she wants to be a parent, she has to bear a child (other than surrocacy). Yeah, it is unfair. Welcome to life. There are plenty of inequalities, but that doesn't mean we should be dumping resources into figuring out for medical science to make men pregnant so it can all be "fair". That would be equally ludicrous in the name of "fairness".

I can see your perspective on having to go it alone, especially if the man is unwilling. You can't force a man to be a father anymore than you can force a woman to be a mother, but you can enforce them to be fiscally responsible -- at least to the extent possible. And if they're broke or it becomes to cost prohibitive to do so, it may be better to just not bother (like suing someone that can't pay a judgment -- it may not be worth it pragmatically to pursue your claim, but it doesn't make it okay for them to get off scott fee either).

I feel very much the same way as you do personally and if it were just about me, I'd do the same -- but, I also realize that when a child is born, it's not just about me and the father anymore. It's also about that child. And child support is the right of the child, not the custodial parent. I'd also try to facilitate a good relationship with the father, for the sake of our child together, regardless of my personal feelings for him.

I realize a lot of people don't do this -- they let their feelings of hurt, pride, whatever get in the way. But unless the other parent is unfit or dangerous for other reasons, I'd do my best to facilitate a relationship because the child does have a mother AND a father, even if the mother or father is a shitty human being.