Buddha & Fletcher

Dear Steve,

Sidetracking a bit from the theme of “why don’t men call,” you had recently referred to a “certain psychological itch that needs to be scratched” (having something to do with women who are attracted to men who don’t call).  

Here’s my question: What advice do you have for an attractive, intelligent woman who has been to therapy and, on an intellectual level, understands completely the root of her certain psychological itch that causes her to again and again fall for men who make her life a living hell? How does this woman, who understands completely that her poignant ache has little to do with the man whom she is currently pinning away for, finally begin to find love that makes her happy?

Grateful for your insight,


Inertia. Inertia is the problem and inertia is the solution. Inertia and will-power. God, I hate that word, but it’s true. You have a bad habit, one that millions of us share. Namely, you are attracted to the wrong people. The most difficult part of giving up any bad habit is the beginning. That’s when you need the most will-power. Once you have a beginning, then you start to create a new habit. Then, after much time, you will have inertia working on your side. But like most bad habits, attraction has a powerful hold over our minds.

“As a fletcher makes straight his arrow, a wise man makes straight his trembling and unsteady thought, which is difficult to guard, difficult to hold back…
It is good to tame the mind, which is often difficult to hold in and flighty, rushing wherever it listeth; a tamed mind brings happiness.”

Personally, I have no control over my mind. My mind is like a classroom full of five-year-olds with guns and liquor. Still, I think ol’ Buddha has the right idea. In the final analysis, we can only control ourselves. Which is good, because it’s wrong to control other people and it usually makes them cranky.

Dear Steve,

I had a really good female friend, that at first I had no desire toward, but as we got to know each other the more I wanted her. I was not sure as to how to approach this, so I just came out and told her how I felt. I now recognize this as the bad “Stu” move that it was. When she told me she did not want to risk the friendship, I told her I need some space from her. That was in January and I have not spoken to her since. Is there a way to worm my way back into her life without becoming a friend again?  

First, it’s not a good sign that you use the word “worm”. It suggests that you have an agenda (which, clearly, you do) and women can see an agenda coming from a mile away. So, you’re not going in undercover. Besides, the boat has probably sailed on playing it cool. However, actually getting over her is still a possibility. I suggest you refer to the Buddha quote above. When you’ve had feelings for someone for a long time and those feelings are unrequited, then you become alienated from that person – that’s a good recipe for obsession. I suggest you find a hobby right away. Anything is good as long as it’s non-violent and doesn’t get you into debt. Perhaps astronomy, or masturbation. Maybe you could learn a new language.

Whatever you do, work on making your own life better – don’t work on getting back into hers. In the end, you’ll be a wiser, stronger person. Then, if you choose to return to your good female friend, you can return as something other than a worm… like an ocelot.


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Filed under Advice, Philosophy

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