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Dr. Max, Professional Therapist* *Not really
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Going the Distance April 2, 2002

Dear Dr. Max,

I seem to have a problem with geography, and I am not speaking euphemistically about naughty bits. Or perhaps I am, but I will leave that to your professional judgment.

Since graduating from college, most of my significant relationships (i.e. seeing a woman naked without paying) have involved long-distance. I'm not talking about long cross-town commutes or that annoying situation where we're in the same area code but still have to pay extra for phone calls. No, I'm talking about a minimum of 450 miles to traverse each leg of the nookie run.

I've been through every possible permutation. Some have started with girlfriends moving away, others have ended with them moving to town. I've even had some girlfriends live far away, only to move to destinations even more remote. I've covered three different time zones in the US alone, and I'm about to get on a 12-hour plane ride to pursue the next romantic interest.

Is there something wrong with me, Dr. Max? Other people seem to get plenty of dates within the city limits, yet my love life is a half-step above getting a mail-order bride from Taiwan. Am I doomed to wander the Earth like Caine, always looking for love somewhere else?

My confusion is exacerbated by the fact that our counseling must also take place long distance. When are you going to start making house calls?

Frequent Flyer

Dear Freq-y,

Perhaps your out-of-town paramours feel obliged to put out; you having gone to great lengths in tracking them down. This wouldn't be a bad courting technique if you had a Gulfstream® V on call. Of course, a Gulfstream V purring in the driveway is itself quite a chick magnet.

Along with the distance effect, you have something else working for you: traveling lets you shed your day-to-day persona, its faults and insecurities. Your inhibitions shrink, your confidence swells. Shamzam! You're channeling Casanova.

So your success on the road is not that suprising. What about your frustration at home? Maybe you simply drive the gals off (I'm guessing this is true figuratively and literally -- you probably even pay for gas).

You don't live with your mother, do you? Because that's what's known in this industry as an important thing to leave out.

The frustrating thing about being an online advice columnist... (to my chagrin, I recently found out that I am an online advice columnist, instead of an online therapist; since I don't maintain confidential, one-to-one relationships with my clients. As I was saying, the frustrating thing about being an online columnist) is that you have to dance around the obvious in the name of being polite. Like the one where the guy walks into his doctor's office, raises his arm, and says, "Doc, it hurts when I do this" and the doctor says, "Don't do that." The problem is, "don't do that" doesn't take up column inches; doesn't take up space between commercials.

OK. You've made it this far, suffering my prosaic indulgences. The least I can do is to pass along the secrets of attracting women (in your vicinity).

In no particular order:

  • Maintain good personal hygiene
  • Don't eat onions or garlic
  • Don't eat spaghetti while on a date
  • Maintain a nice apartment (cleaner is better than bigger)
  • Keep clean linens
  • Get a nice car (one that's not too macho, perferably without a center console, trucks are OK, but refrain from "tricking" yours out)
  • Don't be too clingy
  • Don't be a dick
  • Ask for dates positively (good: "Would you have dinner with me Friday night?" Bad: "So, hey, you got any plans this weekend?")
  • Read The Rules

- Dr. Max

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