Burying the Hatchet

I always seem to date and attract jerks. I know these men are bad for me but it is like I am addicted to them. How do I stop?

– Fatal attractions

Addicted huh? Well I suppose there are worse things you could be addicted to in life.

It is important for you to figure out what exactly it is that attracts you to this certain type of man. Yes, male jerks are often good looking, suave and attractive in many ways, but this type of man often goes for women who are physically attractive and easily manipulated, usually a result of low self esteem.

For you to break this bad habit you need give yourself an ego boost say to yourself, “I am better than these men approaching me! I don’t need them to make me feel good about myself.” When you start to believe this new mantra you will portray yourself as a confident woman who will scare away the jerks and attract good, clean, confident men.

* * *

I’ve been dating a much older man, 13 years my senior, for a couple of months. I’m sick of hiding this relationship from my parents, but I am afraid of what they might say if I tell them. How and should I break the news?

– Keeping secrets

Since it has only been a couple of months into the relationship, I would not worry about calling mommy and daddy so quickly. Wait awhile and see if the relationship pans out in the long run to save yourself what could possibly be a messy situation.

But if you are dying to confess your love and let the whole world know, do it loud and proud. You are an adult entitled to make your own decisions about your life and who you let into it. If it is such a big deal to let your parents know about your taboo relationship, why have you not done it sooner?

The only rationale I can come up with for you not telling your parents about him yet is because you are either embarrassed or ashamed of the relationship. If you are either, you should rethink what you are doing in the relationship to begin with.

* * *

I have a friend who is a raging alcoholic. A couple of our mutual friends want to have an intervention to try and help him but it seems very after-school special-ish. What is a good way to try and help without putting our friend on the defensive?

-Intervention perfection

I’m picturing a group of friends gathered in a Thurston Hall study lounge and theme music from D.C. 20052 softly playing in the background.

You are right. Having an intervention, while a good way to help someone, often resembles an after-school special.

You and your group of friends should try talking to your friend causally and individually about drinking. If you all mention it on separate occasions it is possible your friend will pick up on the drinking concerns. It alleviates the ganged-up feeling of a full-blown intervention.

GW has many outlets on campus to handle situations like this. Do not overlook the Counseling Center’s ability to provide more support for you and your friends while you try to curb your friend’s raging alcoholic tendencies.

Regardless of what happens, you and your friends should be commended on recognizing your friend’s problem and caring enough to help him.

* * *

I finally got the courage to ask this girl in my class out on a date. She said yes and now I’m just terrified about where to take her and what to do.

I’ve asked everyone I know for advice, but everyone I ask tells me something different. I’m willing to do anything for this girl but I don’t want to look overzealous. Do you have any first date suggestions?

-Jumping jitters

There is no standard first date activity, but you should plan an activity that will foster conversation and will pique the individual interests of both daters.

You have to think here. Does she like nature? Possibly a walk down by the waterfront would be nice. Is she into culture and the arts? A show at the Kennedy Center or a play at the National Theater is always a winner. If she likes sports, there is always ESPNZone, where different types of games add a competitive edge to the evening.

At this point, if you are more nervous than you were before you started reading this because you are realizing you know absolutely nothing about this woman to plan the perfect date, don’t fear. Half the fun of a first date is learning about each other. You can always woo her on the second date, and it will be that much better because it will show her you were listening to all the different things she was saying the first time you went out.

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