This one goes out to the guys. An advice column for men, by a man – a man, astonishing though it may be, who has screwed up a lot of relationships. Good ones gone bad. Bad ones gone worse. A guy who stuck in relationships with big flashing warning lights that made mountains crumble and hope dissipate. I’ve searched for love, only to find myself alone on a Saturday night, weeping.
I’ve let good ones go, and held emotional time bombs tight in my grasp. The explosions start small, so you can get used to them. As the detonations come, each increasing in strength and scope, you build an immunity to them. After a while it’s soothing to hear those explosions, and that sucks.
For a while, I could talk easily to girls … as friends. But the transition into something, well, more than friends was too often convoluted with awkward sexual innuendos and pick-up lines that would make even the most noble nun burst into laughter. For a while I considered not getting slapped across the face a victory.
Then came the poor excuses for relationships. I always felt I would be a good boyfriend, but for fear that such a classification would put to rest the very situation I enjoyed, I refrained from terming it as such. Looking back, it’s easy to see why girls considered me “unfit for love,” or so I was told, not just once. Of the many things we consider love to be, perhaps the most telling is that love is powerful. To submit to somebody on whom you place a greater importance than yourself, to surrender your secrets most intimate makes you vulnerable. And I figured it better to be noncommittal than vulnerable. It’s scary to be vulnerable, scarier than clowns.
But I’ve recently found happiness in somebody. It was just my time, I suppose. I’m ready for it, and it’s working. I am a successful boyfriend. So, yay for me. Anyhow, some might not consider me to be the most qualified person (is anybody, really?) to dish out advice to others, but I’m the one with the keyboard and a badass mustache, so just back off.
Anticipating there will be topics discussed, the likes of which I might not be intimately familiar, I’ve assembled a team of trusted advisers – The Dude’s Panel, as it will come to be known. Together, we will represent many facets tipping the male relationship scale: Married, single, divorced, unintentionally abstinent, sexually indiscreet … the few things I haven’t experienced, these men have, and are ready to offer you advice from somebody who has been there.
While the costume is fun, The Dude is real, and my advice to you is what I wish I’d received in similar situations. No topic will be off limits, but let’s keep it (semi) classy.
P.S., the name of this column is in no way a reference to the notable character of the cult classic “The Big Lebowski,” even though that movie rocks.
Dude Wisdom is a column written by a guy from town. This column aims to flip the traditional love advice column on its head, spin it around a few times, then knock it over with a roundhouse kick. Email your relationship quandaries to firstname.lastname@example.org. Remember, this dude abides.
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