He’s not what I thought he’d be
I met a man on the internet and took my time to get to know him. We’ve been corresponding for a year now and I suggested that we finally meet face to face as I’d started to fall in love with him.
But when I met him I was very disappointed as he doesn’t quite look like the pic I’ve seen. I’ve always been a physical person and physical attraction to someone is important to me.
He’s not much to look at, although he’s kind, sensitive and honest. But I know I can’t have a romantic relationship with him as he just doesn’t turn me on. He was very taken with me though and it’s clear he wants to pursue the relationship. I feel ashamed but I can’t go on pretending there’s a possibility of a relationship.
- Rachel, email
Dr Louise’s advice
You’re fortunate to have met a kind, honest and sensitive man on the internet. But, as you’ve now experienced first-hand, how well you get on with someone when you’re communicating via email, social media or some other messaging service is not necessarily an indication of how you’ll feel about someone when you’re in their presence.
You may get on well while messaging someone but then find you don’t feel the same connection face to face. The chemistry between two people can be a mysterious thing – and you can’t manufacture good chemistry when it’s not there.
What’s important now is how you explain your feelings to him. The best is to be honest, but not brutally honest. Tell him you like him very much as a friend and would like to continue your friendship with him, but you don’t love him in the way romantic partners love each other.
Cupid can’t be told what to do – love either happens or it doesn’t and that’s that. Don’t tell him you don’t find him physically attractive as this would be too much information and (most importantly) unkind.
If he’s willing to be friends, you’ve gained a friend. If he doesn’t see his way clear to being just friends with you, you’ll have let him down gently.
How do I get a break?
I completed my BA degree last year and had high hopes for the future. I’ve been applying for jobs but have been unsuccessful.
How do young people get a start in life if nobody wants to give us a break? Something else that’s bothering me is that if I do get a job the salary is likely to be very low – probably around R7 000 or so, and I’m not willing to work for that amount of money.
What do I do?
- Alfred, email
Dr Louise’s advice
You seem to have set your sights high regarding a salary. Keep in mind that it’s often a good idea to take a position even if the salary is less than you expected as the job itself may open other doors for you.
You should also look at courses you could do that would make you more employable by equipping you with skills that are needed in a variety of industries – such as computer courses, administrative courses and project management courses.
Also have a look at what skills would be most relevant to the field you’re interested in.
The important thing is not to give up – even part-time work, whether as a waiter or shop assistant, can be a stepping stone to something else. Money in hand is better than no money at all.
I chase them away if they want sex
I got divorced four years ago and afterwards wanted nothing at all to do with men as my husband had been unfaithful to me.
About two years ago, at the insistence of my friends, I started dating again. I’m now in my late thirties.
The problem is that most of the men who ask me out want to have sex on the first date – almost as if it’s some sort of payment for the dinner they’ve bought me.
And if I’m not forthcoming they aren’t interested in seeing me again.
As a result I’ve become very abrasive towards men and if they suggest sex I simply chase them out of the house. How do I meet someone who’s willing to get to know me first?
- Anne, email
Dr Louise’s advice
Instant gratification has become what we expect in today’s world and this has extended to romantic relationships as well, with many men and women ready and willing to have sex on the first date.
While it’s understandable that this bothers you because you want to get to know the person better first, it’s not necessary to be abrasive towards a man if he makes advances.
Rather see it as a compliment and simply explain politely that you’d prefer not to rush into sex.
I’m sure there are men who’ll still want to date you if you explain to them that you just want to take your time. They might even be relieved to know you want things to develop slowly.
As for those who’re only looking for a one-night stand – well, they’re out of luck!