Dear Miss Emily:

I am contacting you because I need an unbiased female opinion.  I seem to have a problem keeping women I love from leaving me.  Twice now, I've had women I was madly in love with, abruptly end things.  To both of them, I was an extremely good and decent man, caring, considerate and kind.  One of them told  me that, one day, she was certain that I would wake up and realize that I could do better than her.  She said I could have any woman I wanted and that things were too perfect between us.  The other assumed that I wasn't serious about her and preemptively broke up with me.   I was faithful to both and completely committed to both, in  thought, word and deed.  I am an extremely handsome man.  I'm not trying to sound cocky or conceited, but that is a feature of mine I have been made aware of, and I think it may have something to do with this.  I also have a good job, I'm smart and I think I'm pretty well adjusted.  My problem is that when I really love a woman,  I lose her.  I don't know what to do.  I'm a very competent lover, a good cook, a patient listener.  I'm not these things because I feel that's what women want, but because it is who I am.  I'm beginning to fear that women really want a man who is distant, dismissive or condescending.  One of these girls left me for a man that I have been told by mutual friends is very judgmental and unfaithful to her.  I cannot be that to a woman, but I want a relationship and I fear that I must learn to be someone evil in order to keep a woman.  I don't know what to do.  Am I cursed?  Am I attracted to the wrong kind of woman?  I'm not the type that can pick women up at whim.  I am at a loss.  I don't want to think that women are horrible, untrustworthy people, but the preponderance of evidence is leading me to that conclusion.  Is it something I'm doing?  Please help clear this up for me.  Thank You.

---------------------------Miss Emily's advice-------------------------

Dear Dumbfounded:

I suppose a lot of people, reading this, might snicker.  But not this gal!  No, I’m going to give you as honest an answer as I can muster.  First, I think it shouldn’t be that hard to find someone who would appreciate all of the qualities that you outlined in your letter and, thank a higher power for their good fortune.  So you are either attracted to the wrong kind of woman (unlikely) or your air of perfection is, to say the least, annoying.  Perhaps you don’t appear as sincere as you think.  It is possible that you are trying too hard, without knowing it?  Something is definitely not right with this picture.  When people say, in essence, “You’re too good for me,” usually they mean the opposite:  “You’re not what I want, period!”  It may be pacifying to think that women want an abusive type for a mate and, to some degree, women with low self-esteem gravitate to this kind of man (this can be true for men, as well).  But women are not a scarcity in this world, and finding a loving companion who is grounded and secure should not be that difficult to find.  Women and men – we’re all-too-similar creatures.  I think you should not go down the path of believing that women are horrible and untrustworthy.  This mind-set would be a rather unfortunate conclusion, leading to hostility and possible abuse on your part.  Start seeing woman as human beings, as individuals, and not to be judged as a group.  I know men and women have their differences, but a successful relationship recognizes this fact and appreciates them, rather than seeing fault with them. When you get to know someone, it’s great to be a good listener, but it’s necessary to take what they say to heart.  On a simple level, say that she likes to cook.  Can you share the responsibility of it, and not take over with a need to impress or think that she may not be up to par?  As a competent lover, do you perform like it’s a scene from a movie, or do you really feel connected to the person?  You say that you were in love with these women.  Really?  I’m not so sure.  Maybe they pick up that you are in love with the idea of being in love, and that there is some kind of falseness to it.  I’ll never be sure what it is, but I would go to great lengths to get honest with myself, and when (if) you are, it is only then that you will find the answer to your problem.  After reading this, you decide to dismiss my advice, then the problem and answer is obvious to everyone else but you!