Wednesday, March 21, 2007

How to Lose at Love

I have a friend (let's call him Jimbo) who is a total loser with women. He's not the greatest-looking individual, but he's hardly repellent. He's a kind soul, he's intelligent, and he comes from a good family. He also makes a decent living.

He's also extremely generous, which is his downfall. The minute he comes home from a first date, he calls a florist to send the woman an enormous bouquet of roses. He follows up with gifts of jewelry, and in one extreme case, he bought a woman a car.

The person on the receiving end of this largesse reacts in one of two ways. Either she smells desperation and hits the highway, or she takes him for all he's worth and dumps him. The guy can't win.

Jimbo watches shorter, balder dudes with unfortunate complexions marry and have children, and he decides that God must have it out for him. Nobody (and, believe me, plenty of us have tried) can convince him that it's his clear lack of self-esteem that puts women off.

Certain females suffer from the Jimbo Affliction, too. They kill whatever attraction a man felt for them by buying him gifts too early in the relationship. They anxiously offer to babysit his sister's kids in a sad attempt to show that they're excellent mother material (in which case the guy will be turned off, or worse, he'll figure he's found an excellent slave and propose).

My brother once dated a young woman who made his bed, but he pined for another who didn't know how to cook and didn't care to learn. He came to find the bed-maker about as exciting as an old slipper.

This isn't to say that, if you're dating a person, you shouldn't be kind, help out with children, make a good meal, or buy a lovely present when it's warranted. But being overeager kills love and romance every time.

Everybody wants a prize. The prize has to be you, and not just the things you buy or do.

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