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The best internet advice column ever!
Blaze media

The best internet advice column ever!

Ancient wisdom for the modern world

I went on two dates with a man, months apart, so they were really like two first dates. In between, we texted throughout, and I actively stalked his social media while fantasizing about a whole life with him because he’s so interesting and similar to me. The second date lasted an entire afternoon and evening, at the end of which we went our separate ways. It has been a month since then, with no follow-up. We’re both adults, so I feel childish for wasting so much time and energy daydreaming about him. How do I get over someone who does not want the same things or share the same values as me but with whom I have so much in common?

First of all, I commend you for recognizing that, although you felt a connection with someone, you did not delude yourself into imagining shared values and life plans where there were none. This is possibly the most common dating pitfall for women who find themselves in dead-end relationships, so congratulate yourself on having avoided a situation that would ultimately have been a far bigger waste of time and emotional investment than the brief period of limerence than you already experienced.

Second of all, as a general rule, you should be wary of marathon dates when initially getting to know someone. A marathon date involves spending an inordinately lengthy and uninterrupted amount of time together, which creates an atmosphere of pseudo-intimacy that may lead you to believe that you have come to know a person exceptionally well. This can result in a false sense of having established a deep connection with someone before you may have had a chance to evaluate whether you share similar values and life goals. It is advisable to make sure you are at least aligned on core values and future plans before becoming emotionally invested in a person. Always look before leaping, or you might find yourself in a romantic ravine like you are now.

Finally, to get over this person, you must follow Circe’s tried-and-true method of getting over relentless heartache, which I have covered in a previous column. This method is guaranteed to work, but you must use it very sparingly, or you will quickly become jaded. The best cure is always prevention.

When attending a party at someone’s house, is it better to be punctual or politely late, and what is the best thing to bring?

When it comes to party etiquette, context is king. The size of the event, its nature, the city in which it takes place, and the host’s cultural background all play a role in determining expectations.

The order of operations for determining an arrival time is as follows: First, what is the host’s ethnic background, and second, in what city does the party take place? If the host is German, you should arrive on time and possibly even a few minutes early to any event. If the host is Slavic, consider giving the host an extra 15 minutes if it is a dinner party and an extra 30 to 60 minutes if it is a large party.

Expectations of punctuality also vary from city to city. If you are attending a Miami dinner, 15 minutes late is on time, and if it is a larger event, one to two hours late is still acceptable. However, if you are forced to attend a dinner in San Francisco for some inexplicable reason, plan to arrive on time. Large parties in San Francisco don’t exist, so no etiquette applies.

When deciding what to bring, you can never go wrong with a nice bottle of wine or, my personal preference, champagne for any event (unless, of course, it is a sober household). For a dinner party, a dessert is also an appropriate option — one can never have enough dessert. If you have the misfortune of attending a dinner party at a sugar-free household, charcuterie or cheese are other alternatives. If, however, the household is vegan on top of being sugar-free, politely decline the invitation and consider distancing yourself from the host. Some people are simply beyond saving.

I am a charming, funny, decently handsome, well-employed, intelligent, and sociable man. I've had a string of long-term relationships that have failed, mostly due to my unique blend of issues, but now I’m also getting to an age where it might make sense to settle down. I want kids (at least I think I do), and I want a loving partner to help build a life together.
How do I convince myself that marriage and kids are right for me even though there are so many wonderful women to choose from, and as I've gotten older, my pool seems to have mostly increased? Is it because I haven't found 'the one'? Am I just too immature to understand commitment? Am I simply not cut out for monogamy? I’m not sure what the answer is, but I would love to hear your wisdom.

Despite its many negative contributions to the dating discourse, one thing that the show "Sex and the City" got right was the taxi-cab theory. The theory posits that men are like taxi cabs: “They awake one day and decide they’re ready to settle down, have babies, whatever, and they turn their light on. The next woman they pick up, boom, is the one they'll marry. It's not fate, it's dumb luck.”

When it comes to men choosing to marry, timing is everything. Some men are internally motivated to settle down, whether it’s because they’ve met a woman they want to spend the rest of their life with or because they’ve reached some professional milestone and now feel ready to support a family financially. Others are externally motivated and more driven by mimetic desire than other considerations. Typically, these men settle down when they realize they are the last guy in their friend group without kids.

In your case, it sounds like your light hasn’t turned on yet, because, whether internal or external, you’re not adequately feeling the pressures that would force you to choose. I suspect that when your hairline begins to creep northward at an alarming rate, or you’re no longer invited to friends’ barbecues because you’re the last bachelor standing (whichever comes first), that light will come on like a siren. Until then, try to avoid making too many women pay the price for your nonchalance.

What is a lucrative career path for a 27-year-old guy with good soft skills but not great at STEM?

The good news is that there are lucrative career options for people with excellent soft skills, but the bad news is, they are most readily found within STEM-related industries.

As a general rule, high-paying industries tend to pay well across the board, so you’ll want to look at sectors such as finance, tech, and health care. Most of the career paths in these industries are highly technical, but some essential roles specifically require soft skills that, to be frank, people in technical roles often lack.

If you have stellar interpersonal skills and can grasp the basics of the industry you enter, roles like sales or investor relations will generally command a high salary. But if you have no talent for anything other than manipulation, human resources could be a great fit.

What is the solution to the pain of modern life?

As an ancient goddess who has witnessed millennia of human struggles, I have it on good authority that one of the unique pains of modern life is atomization. Family formation is in decline, adult friendships are becoming scant, and civic life is practically nonexistent.

And yet, human nature has hardly changed. Man has been and continues to be a social animal. You can live in the pod. You can eat the bugs. But you cannot forego real relationships, as tempting as a simulacrum of human interaction as AI companions and social media may seem.

You must leave your house, find friends, a community, and, ideally, a romantic relationship that leads to a family. If you don’t know where to start, find some social meetups in your area or join a sports league — and if you’re really desperate, you can always try your hand at pickleball.

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Circe  Says

Circe Says

minor goddess | submit your questions to my monthly advice column “Circe Says” anonymously here.
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