Relationship Advice


woman with red scarf

When I met her, I had two months before my student visa expired. The first two months were nice, as they often are. She said, "Why don't I come back with you when you return home." Neither of us had anything to stay for, so she came with me. I then discovered she could be difficult to a point that stretched belief.

My friends were flabbergasted; they thought I had lost my mind. We would have spectacular fights, only to realize at the end of the day we had nowhere else to go except the bed in my room. We always made up because we slept beside each other every night, only to try to kill each other the next day.

She left six months later due to her inability to legally work in another country. It was an extremely sad airport farewell, though I looked forward to being free of this massive source of stress. However, from the other side of the world she continued to dominate my life through the telephone and email.

I worked hard to save up enough money to move overseas again to live with her in a place where we could both legally work. Two weeks after reuniting we were at each other's throat. We were now trapped together in one of the most expensive cities in the world, and I could not get a good job. I'm just not good at getting good jobs.

I feel trapped. I make hardly any money. I live on loans, inherited money, and my parents. I have put down two months deposit on our shared apartment. I cannot afford to move out, and neither can she. I have not cheated, but I have met someone else.

She is beautiful and affectionate and genuine, and I daydream about building a life with her. I want to take her to meet all my friends and family because I want to bask in the pride of having found someone so charismatic and attractive. What do I do?


Boyd, in the child's game Crack the Whip, children form a line while holding tight to the person in front of them. As the leader begins to skate, the line gains momentum and it becomes harder and harder to hold on. Once the leader cracks the whip, children at the end of the line are flung in all directions.

You are going through life at the end of the line. You've let a woman you can't live with dominate your life, and now you want to bask in the reflected glory of a charismatic person. What will she tell her friends? "I have found a wonderfully directionless man who can't earn a living."

Women want a man, not a suckling child, and a man needs to have something on which to stand. He cannot steal it or borrow it from another. A man needs some wherewithal. He needs to do things which make him feel good about himself. He needs to feel accomplished.

Your task is to go through the ritual of becoming a man. At a minimum that means acquiring a base skill which allows you to make your way in the world. At a minimum that means focusing on becoming a person who has much to bring to a relationship rather than being the person who has much to take from a relationship.

For the last century we have explained human behavior in psychological terms. That has led to an advance in knowledge. But something has also been lost. The old ways of speaking about life—in terms of character, honor, and love—are disappearing.

One of those old ways and old words describes what you need. Courage. You need courage to stop looking to others for what is lacking in your life. You need courage to become the kind of man you would admire, because that man will attract the kind of woman you seek.