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(Editor's Note, this letter was written before Doc's death in August, 2020 but still relevant as Doc's principles are timeless).
I need your advice on a problem.
Shannon has been my girlfriend now for almost a year and a half and I never cheated on her. Well, about two months ago I started going regularly to a bar in my neighborhood. The bartender, Gina, was very attractive and I couldn’t help but look at her. One of my friends (a woman) knows her and introduced us. One night we all went out after she got through bartending and Gina and I got close. At the end of the night I went for a kiss goodnight. For the next few weeks Gina and I went out once or twice a week. I let her know I had a girlfriend, and she said it didn’t matter. I asked if she had a boyfriend, and she said they just broke up.
Well, during the second week, Gina and I got very romantic. That night she must have given me a hundred compliments. She kept saying that I was the perfect man. One of my friends from work told me that he thought Gina was still seeing her boyfriend, and I confronted her. I let her know that I didn’t care if she was seeing someone, but that I wanted her to be honest with me. She stuck with her story that it was over between her and her ex. We then made plans to get together again.
The night of our date I called her to confirm. Hours went by and she didn’t call back. I called again and told her that I didn’t want to play games, and she finally sent me a text message that said “I’m at the hospital with my dad.” I wrote back and said “And you couldn’t have called to let me know that?” And she responded “Not to be mean, but that was the last thing on my mind.” She let me know she was angry with me. I told her I wasn’t trying to be ignorant, but when I make plans with someone and she can’t even let me know about an emergency, then it’s disrespectful, and I won’t take disrespect from anyone.
Doc, I know that I’m cheating, but Gina to me is gorgeous and I see her get hit on constantly. She’s used to getting what she wants, and I didn’t want to play that game. Do you think she’s lying about seeing her ex?
Finally, do you think I did the right thing with Gina or did I make too many mistakes? Is there anything I can do from this point on or should I just let her go?
North - who doesn’t know what he’s doing
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It’s amazing how guys will contact me when they have a problem with a woman, but they won’t contact me when everything is going well. Very few guys that I sell – probably only about 5% -- say that they want to make sure they’re doing all the right stuff, and that’s why they got the Dating Dictionary. They’re not out to snag the girl – because they already have a great one, and she’s all over him – but just to make sure they keep her happy, just to have that slight edge going forward, they buy my book.
As far as hanging around your neighborhood gin mill goes, pal, you’re allowed to do something like that once. Just once. You spot a girl like Gina, she happens to look like Taylor Hill’s younger sister, and all of a sudden you’re in trouble. All you’re going to do is go back there and look at her some more when you already have a great girlfriend. That was your first mistake. Let me tell you something: if you go back to that joint a second time when you’re so physically attracted to the bartender, you’re cheating on Shannon. (See, girls? I’m not so bad after all!)
Mistake number two was actually going out with Gina. First you’re ogling her, next you’re dating her. Didn’t it matter that you already had a girlfriend? Apparently not. And apparently it didn’t bother Gina at all. Hey, I have to hand it to you, North -- she’s a classy woman!
This red-hot bartender may have given you thousands of compliments, but your girlfriend’s got 18 months in with you. Gina doesn’t even have 18 hours in with you.
Now why the heck are you talking to a friend at your job about this total knockout? Don’t you know what a BLOCKER is, dude? You better go back to my book and look under “B.” Know what? Your friend was just trying to make a fool out of you. He was pushing you to go and get into an argument with Gina over nothing. Which is exactly what he succeeded in doing.
Of course you care if Gina’s seeing someone else – you brought it up, didn’t you? If you didn’t care, you wouldn’t have made an issue of it in the first place, so who the heck are you kidding? It’s like when a woman says “I don’t care if a guy has money or not.” Then why’d she mention it? Duh!
You want Gina to be “honest” with you? She doesn’t care if she steals a guy with a long-term steady girlfriend and you’re worried about honesty? That’s like trying to turn a tiger into a housecat. You’re a funny guy, North.
Now, when this hospital situation came up, you had to take it for what it was. Gina wasn’t exactly at the post office trying to buy stamps to make sure her business correspondence got out and she got held up because there were 30 people in line that day. The point is this: she told you that her dear old dad was in the hospital. Her story is either true or it’s false, but we’re going to give her the benefit of the doubt. So let’s say it’s true. If her father was in the hospital having an emergency appendectomy, she didn’t have to call you. So you’re completely off base on this. Gina should be angry with you for being an insensitive boor.
Ah, but you won’t take disrespect. What does it take to convince you there’s a genuine problem? A tornado? An earthquake? Get real here, North. And dude, LOVE IS A GAME. Get that straight right now.
I don’t think Gina’s lying about not seeing her ex. I’ll bet she’s already got at least two new ducks lined up for when she gets tired of you (which shouldn’t be long now). This girl doesn’t fool around.
But we should be crying in our beer over poor Shannon – not you and Gina. Because the poor girl’s Interest Level is high, and you’re going to dump her. Or you’re going to get caught fooling around.
You better tell your girlfriend Shannon to move on, guy. Do her a favor. To you Psych majors, unless you’re going to be loyal to a girl, don’t go steady with her.
You’re going to let Gina go? North, it’s not your dear old daddy who’s in the hospital! You got no say in the matter.
So here’s what you’re going to do. You’re going to buy a card and write; “I hope your dad feels better” on the right-hand side. And on the left-hand side you’re going to add, “I was completely out of line when I got on your case for not calling me. And I hope your dad feels better. When you feel up to it, give me a call and we’ll get together.” And you’re going to send it to Gina.
But you’ve got to get rid of Shannon before you escalate this thing with your “gorgeous” bartender. And you have to do a little studying. Let’s face it, buddy, you’re making blunders all over the place. You’re calling to verify dates. You’re blabbing to blockers. You’ve got a long way to go to hold onto either of these women.
Remember, guys: when you have a good one, don’t mess around.
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