Dear Carolyn:

I met this girl and we hit it off. It seemed as if we had known each other for a long time, but less than a week after meeting we spent a night in a motel. We said we wouldn't get intimate, but we did. Now I question myself and the girl. How can I trust myself or anyone else if we don't spend enough time together to build that trust? Without it I don't feel we have a significant relationship.

Nashville

That's good, because you don't have a significant relationship, and you don't have grounds, at the moment, to trust yourself or each other.

And you should question yourself. And you should question the girl. Equally, since you were equal partners in this.

But "question" doesn't mean "reflexively condemn." That's not fair to either of you. And not having a significant relationship now doesn't mean you can't go on to develop one.

Think about what happened, think about why, think what it says about you and include all possibilities -- including the one that says you're two perfectly decent people who made a perfectly ancient mistake. Can you draw any certain conclusions? Not right away, since that would take knowing this girl in a way you just can't in a week. Back to the trust thing.

But you can develop a hunch. If it says you and she are bad news, then live, learn and leave it alone. Preferably with a this-isn't-a-good-idea call.

And if it tells you this was an error of enthusiasm and you're eager to see her again, then see her again. Just admit that the motel night unnerved you and that you'd like to rewind to the getting-to-know-you part.

Dear Carolyn:

I am REALLY stumped. In the past year, I've been attracted to the bad-boy types -- the highly sought-after and charismatic ones with interesting lives and fabulous personalities. I'm in my twenties, attractive (not supermodel or Playboy Bunny, but not too far off, either), a college grad with a good job and lots of interests, friends and talents. So here's the deal: The guys date me and then dump me. No big surprise, right? It happens all the time when you go for the "big time" boys. What confuses the hell outta me, though, is that they all seem to end up in serious relationships soon after our parting, with girls who are just kind of blah. I'm wondering if there's something glaringly obvious going on here that I am missing.

J.S.

Maybe that these "blah" girls treat the guys (and themselves) as people, instead of types, stereotypes, trophies or lists of assets? It's a theory.

Dear Carolyn:

How can I tell if my husband wants to be a full-time homemaker or is just too sad/uninspired/lazy to get a job?

Breadwinner? Enabler?

I don't know. Is he sad/uninspired/lazy?

If he works at homemaking as if it were his career, and he's good at it, and he enjoys it, then he wants to be a homemaker. If money's an issue, there might be a market for his DNA.

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