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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Friday, July 15, 2005

Stuck with the reality check ...

By Tara Solomon


Q: For little over a month, I've been dating the most darling, fun and intelligent man, a true gentleman. I can't complain in the chemistry department either, but recently Mr. Perfect and I went on the most romantic dinner I'd been on in years. As the bill was brought to our table, my up-to-then-perfect guy rushed to grab the check, only to place it between us, as in, "We are going dutch tonight, darling." Shocked, I looked for my credit card to pay for half of the very expensive dinner. As our next date is approaching I can't help thinking about the bill situation. In a new relationship, is it ever OK to split the bill or should Mr. Perfect be shown the way to splitsville?


A: As horrifying as it may seem, there exists a species of calculator-wielding single guys for whom chivalry is nothing more than a 19-point word in Scrabble. There's something suspicious, devious even, about his introducing dutch dating on a pricey dinner date that he arranged.

To answer your question if this is OK, we can only tell you that the Advice Diva would sooner eat cow dung than date such a man. For many women, being courted — including being wined and dined — is all part of the dizzying, pheromone-charged dating ritual that, Cupid willing, leads to Falling in Love. This is not to say the female should not reciprocate with thoughtful gestures such as hosting a video night with takeout Chinese. Lord knows soon enough he'll be rooting through your purse for the valet tip or cash for the pizza guy, so enjoy the infatuation stage while it lasts, we say.

Q: My girlfriend is always so negative and complains about every possible thing. Not only does she yap my ears off about the most ridiculous things, but she puts me in a negative mood. How do I get my point across, nicely, that she is driving me nuts without her going ballistic?


A: If the girlfriend is a chronic griper, we'll bet you a pair of Bose headphones (the unigender "it" accessory of the summer, btw) that one or both of her parents share the same temperament. Which doesn't mean you have to put up with her whining, just that it's going to be more of a challenge to stage a Girlfriend Reality-Check Intervention.

The reality is that this selfish woman is more interested in hearing herself drone on about the sorry state of her world than in creating fresh experiences with you. The intervention needs to be delivered with a straight face:

"Molly, I want our relationship to work but your constant complaining and negativity is driving me away. If you want us to stay together, you are going to need to make an effort to become positive and self-loving. What do you suggest we (you) do?"

Yes, expect theatrics and accusations. Will she change? Will you stay if she doesn't? These are the questions that only she and you can answer.

Questions may be e-mailed to advicedivaherald.com or sent to The Advice Diva, Miami Herald, 1 Herald Plaza, 5th floor, Miami, FL 33132.