Q: It seems the only women I meet are in need of "saving." They love it when I fix and clean and carry the heavy stuff, doing all the dirty work (all the things I assume are loving-partner activities). Then they leave me to be with some guy who does nothing for them, who tells them to "just hire someone to do that stuff." Is it true that the jerks are the ones who end up with the girl? I really enjoy "doing" for the woman I care for. Am I just a chump? -- Jack, 53
Dr. Susan: Not every guy enjoys doing those kinds of things for someone they love. And some women don't value such activities nearly as much as you seem to think they do. Maybe one female will prefer having long foot massages, while another wants her partner to save her money by doing heavy housework or home repairs. Most women do like it when the routine tasks are shared, but don't necessarily expect their mates to be knowledgeable handymen. You may be too quick to offer your services, thinking this is what's going to get you the girl. Maybe you're doing all this too soon in relationships, without noticing the cues that your feelings aren't being reciprocated. There's nothing as marvelous as a mutually caring relationship in which each partner does all he or she can to please the other. Jerks who end up with nice girls usually end up divorced. Jerks who end up with users have gotten what they deserve. And so-called chumps sometimes wise up and seek out women who appreciate them for themselves.
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Advice for Her
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Susan K. Perry, Ph.D.
Susan K. Perry, Ph.D., is a social psychologist, relationship expert, and bestselling and award-winning author. Her books include Loving in Flow: How the Happiest Couples Get and Stay That Way, and Kylie's Heel, a novel for adults.
Pamela G. Chollet, Ph.D.
Dr. Pamela Chollet has a Ph.D. in clinical psychology and Master degrees in educational psychology and fine arts. Her passion has been helping people face and get through those times when they feel trapped and unable to move forward.
Anna Charbonneau, Ph.D.
Anna Charbonneau, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist, stress management expert, and author. If you're feeling overwhelmed, stressed out, or struggling to make changes in your life, Anna can help.