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Why do I focus on shallow, materialistic 'nit-picks?


Dear "Concerned with Coolness":

I am a firm believer that there is someone out there for everyone. I am also a firm believer that it takes time to learn what it is that you want from a significant other, and also to learn what it is that you GIVE to a significant other.

You Have the Right To Ask for Your Desires


But she has to be careful, or she could end up lonely and old like me.

You commented that your desires were shallow. Why do you think they are shallow? Is it because the guy you are dating doesn't match what you believe that you want? Or is it that you don't think you have the right to ask for those things?? What may seem shallow to one person could be a very important aspect of personality to another. Wanting a man who is cultured and arts-minded, dresses nice and is generous to other people are not shallow traits.

However, continuing to date a man and resent him because he doesn't exhibit those traits isn't fair to him – or to you.

Deal Breakers Don't Make You Shallow

There are such things as "deal breakers" in any relationship: those things about yourself that you cannot compromise on. Everyone has them. Smoking, enjoying the same kinds of events, looking at children the same way, whether you like the same music or not – for whatever reason, everyone has ideas in their mind and heart about the person that they want to be with. That does not make them shallow.

Lousy Tippers Embarrass Me

You mentioned that your guy was a lousy tipper. For me, honestly, it's always something that I pay attention to. It does alter the way I look at a guy I'm dating, based on how he tips in restaurants. I used to be a waitress ("food server" for the politically correct). Since then, after knowing what work it is and how much the staff depends on their tips, I tend to tip really well.

For me, it's a consideration of someone else, recognizing their work and honoring that person. Not to mention, if I'm on a date with someone and they are paying, if they don't tip well, I FEEL embarrassed.

That is completely my feeling and I own responsibility for it, but am I going to want to continue going out with someone when I feel embarrassed about one of their habits? Eventually, the feelings are going to be stronger – and they can cause resentment.

Public Displays of Affection

Another habit you mentioned: "gropy" affection. A friend of mine does not feel comfortable with public displays of affection towards guys she dates. She never has been that way, and that is a comfort level of hers that she has every right to. For her, it's an invasion of space and privacy and she resents it. How could that be considered shallow?

Emotions Are Never Wrong

The point is that behind most of your idiosyncrasies lies an emotion that fuels it. I am a firm believer that emotions are never wrong – it's how we act on those emotions that sets the tone. Figure out the emotion behind it, and then you will know what is important to you.

Jeannie Accept Him As-Is


There's a middle road: She can TEACH him.

However, with your current guy, you have to make the decision if you want to stay with him, even given the things that are starting to bother you. Figure out if you can be happy with him, as he is.


I disagree. All I had to do was ask my boyfriend to get a new haircut.

You have no right to expect HIM to change to suit YOUR needs and your feelings. If he is happy dressing the way he does, but you are embarrassed to be seen with him, then you need to evaluate if you can get over your embarrassment and accept him for who he is, not change him to suit what you want.

Determine Your Deal Breakers

You can't always choose the person you develop feelings for; you can't always control how you feel. But you can look at your own life, at your own personality and decide if this is someone that you can be with. Figure out what your deal breakers are, and don't apologize for them. Whether it be a good tipper, or someone who can appreciate the difference between Monet and Van Gogh, you have the right to make the choices that make you happy.

Everything boils down to how you feel about things – and why. Figure that out, and you'll understand yourself and the guys you date a lot more.




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