Q: Hi Meredith,
I've recently somehow managed to attract a rather lovely woman. This doesn't happen too often these days, as I am somewhat beastly. As such, logic would dictate that I take advantage of this situation to its fullest. The problem is I just have no drive to get out there and date.
A couple of years ago, I was almost married to an ex-girlfriend (letís call her "She Who Shall Not Be Named"). After about 5 years together, I discovered she was cooking in another dude's kitchen. I was wrecked.
I'm rapidly approaching 40. Never married. And although I had several relationships when I was younger, the urge is just gone.
Some of it is the somewhat irrational belief that every woman out there is a ticking time bomb of heart stomping fury. The rest ... well ... let's just say that when I was younger I was a bit of the old "Knight in Shining Armor," and somehow I've morphed into Shrek.
I'm a chubby, bald, hairy dude who snores, drools on the pillow, and has some random health issues that make me unreliable for plans. Also, I've got a low grade job for low grade pay. (Seriously, I wouldn't just have issues paying for decent dates, I'd have issues with the money spent on the GAS I'd have to use to date.) Not that I'm cheap, I just don't have much extra at the end of the month.
And, of course, since I'm a guy, I have no interest in a female ogre (Continuing the Shrek theme). You can't choose what you're attracted to, and I'm attracted to females of the non-ogre variety.
Basically, aside from being a nice and occasionally funny guy, I don't feel like I've got much to offer anyone. I've talked to a couple of therapists in the past who claim that there are plenty of women who would be happy with just a nice, occasionally funny guy. Personally, I think I'd have an easier time finding Bigfoot.
Sadly, "love" has always been the most important thing in the world to me, and without it, life's just a big steaming pile of "meh."
As for the woman who's interested -- I'm feeling a combo of "I have nothing to offer and since I've got nothing to offer, I'll end up getting hurt in the end if I pursue this."
– Salem Shrek
A:Come on, SS.
Life without love is "meh." But now that an attractive woman is interested in you, you're behaving "meh." Even Shrek had more motivation.
The first thing you need to do is to start looking for a new job. It's important that you feel less "meh" about your life.
Then, after you've sent out a few resumes (and I mean this week), you need to call this woman and ask her out for coffee. Coffee is cheap. You said she's already into you, which means she knows what she's in for. There's no way she's expecting a three-course meal. And, if you follow my resume rule, you'll be able to describe yourself to her as someone who's looking to advance his career.
And here's the tough love part: You must, must get over yourself. We all get older. We all get chubby. Many of us get hurt by somebody who winds up in somebody else's kitchen. And many of us are dealing with chronic illnesses. This self-deprecating routine isn't going to be endearing for very long. You're wasting your 30s wallowing in meh.
You can't be lazy about love. Shrek (the Shrek in the sequels) would tell you to get off your rump, start improving your situation, and call yourself what you are -- a thirty-something, employed single guy who can crack a joke. That doesn't sound so bad, right?
Also, please talk to those therapists about why you feel so meh. If there's some depression stuff here, especially concerning the random health issues, you should figure that out sooner than later.
Readers? Should he call this woman if he's not happy with himself? Is this about the job, the illness, or laziness? Is this about dealing with aging? Do we all go from being Knights to being Shreks? How do you treat the condition known as meh? Discuss.
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Meredith Goldstein is a Boston Globe columnist who follows relationship trends and entertainment. She offers daily advice on Love Letters — and welcomes your comments. Meredith is also the author of "The Singles," a new novel about complicated relationships. Follow Meredith here and on Twitter. Love Letters can be found in the print edition of The Boston Globe every Saturday in the G section.