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I purchased your book last year, enjoyed it, and even recommended it to some of my “skeptical” friends and coworkers. The problem is I lost it...it vanished without a trace!
I’m 25 and have been exclusively dating the beautiful Natasha for about 19 months now. She’s the type of girl most guys would describe as ‘cool.’ One of our first dates consisted of a six-pack of beer and two hours of playing the Xbox. She’s not at all needy or insecure, and she’s very low maintenance. She’s happy with just a card for her birthday. She also realizes the financial burden of living almost 80 minutes away from me, and offers to pay for dinner/movies/gas occasionally. And to top that off, she’s a Flexible Giver. Sometimes she’ll surprise me with a homemade meal, or a small gift she picked up at the store when she was thinking about me. I know she finds me entertaining because she laughs at all my dumb jokes.
Here’s the problem. Lately I’ve been feeling kind of disappointed in Natasha. At age 26, she still doesn’t have her driver’s license. She got into a very serious car wreck a few years ago (her friend died behind the wheel) so I can understand that she may be afraid to drive. But she also doesn’t have a college education. She’s attending classes to obtain a GED, but she only shows up half the time. We’ve gotten into a few fights over this since I come from strict parenting with an emphasis on responsibility. Natasha keeps promising me that she’s going to get her GED, but it seems like it’s taking forever.
She also told me she’s bipolar. I’m somewhat skeptical towards people who claim to be bipolar. Her family is poor and her parents seem to be lazy and unmotivated. Last, she has a seven-year-old daughter who is spoiled. Natasha doesn’t have full custody of her daughter (I don’t know all the details, but she’s had two boyfriends in the past who were bad influences and this contributed to her not getting full custody).
I try not to let these factors cloud my judgment, because I want to believe individuals have the power to become whatever they desire, despite their environment. But over the past 19 months we’ve had two or three really heated arguments over these issues where she slapped me a few times.
I’m at a point where I’m thinking of breaking up with Natasha, but I’m also under a lot of stress from work and maybe my mind is just clouded right now. I don’t want to make a decision I will regret later, because Natasha has some wonderful traits your book would describe as essential despite the red flags. What should I do?
Calvin - who sees it both ways
You lost my book? Let’s pretend for a moment that you cut the pages out of the inside of my book and you hid $20,000 in unmarked twenties in there. Would you have lost it then?
I’m very happy for you that this girl of yours is “low maintenance.” Now I want you guys to remember those two words – I’m going to come back to them later.
And I also want you to think about what else Calvin has said here. When’s the last time your girlfriend picked up a small gift at the store for you? Isn’t that wonderful?
Well, Calvin, everything you’ve told me about Natasha up to this point is nothing short of fantastic! But what’s this about a problem? I thought Natasha was the ideal woman. I’m absolutely shocked that something could possibly be awry!
Let’s look at your concerns, pal. It took you 19 whole months to realize that Natasha can’t drive? How long did you have my book – about an hour before it vanished without a trace?
I understand and sympathize that a car wreck was involved in Natasha’s fear of getting behind the wheel. But like my cousin Fast Eddie Love says, “How many open bottles of Jack Daniels did the cops find on the floor of that vehicle?”
I’m glad that Natasha shows up about half the time to her GED class. Sounds like she’s the responsible type. And don’t forget – that’s going to be your responsible wife right there who forgot to pay the electric bill. The Reality Factor says that this girl doesn’t come from a background with an emphasis on strict responsibility.
Now Calvin, can you imagine living with this woman? I’m going to tell you why you shouldn’t, and I’m going to come from an angle you’ve never heard before. You have to remember that the woman you want has to have a GOOD ATTITUDE, a MINIMUM OF SCARS, and NOT A LOT OF BAGGAGE. Because that stuff will haunt you. To you Psych majors, you’ll pay dearly for her problems.
Your sentiments about the great potential of the human race are noble, but guy, this girl is 26 years old and she can’t finish the twelfth grade! She can’t even show up for the class!
You’re telling me that a woman slapped you across the face and you kept going out with her? Are you sure you ordered the right book?
Is all of this stuff a big red flag? Calvin, this flag could cover Nebraska!
Remember, guys: when they’ve got tons of problems, they are not low-maintenance.
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