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Advice Goddess

Amy Alkon drags people, kicking, screaming, and laughing, out of their misery with her behavioral science-based advice column, which runs in about 100 newspapers.

Buy her science-based and bitingly funny new advice book, "Good Manners For Nice People Who Sometimes Say F*ck" (St. Martin's Press, June 3, 2014).

Got a problem? E-mail Amy at AdviceAmy@aol.com.

Advice Goddess 

Thursday, Apr 9 2009

Wedding Bells Are Vibrating

I've been engaged to a girl for two years. For about two weeks, she's been texting a sales guy she met through work, and the text messages are in the hundreds per day. I found out from our cell phone bill, then snooped on her phone. Last night when we were out, I read one when she went to the bathroom. It said "Want 2 go out of town w/me?" I didn't see her response because I spotted her coming back and quickly returned her phone to her side of the table. She hasn't been neglecting me lately; if anything, she's been a little more loving. So, am I wrong for being suspicious? If not, how do I approach this without being a jerk in case nothing's going on?

—Unsettled

 

There are days when a guy needs to text a girl 15 or 20 times an hour — typically because he's her gay best friend and it would mean so much to him to have her there the first time he gets his eyebrows string-plucked.

But, hundreds of messages a day? Assuming she works an eight-hour day, if she sends 200 texts during her work day, that's 25 per hour, which means she's texting the guy every 2.4 minutes. So, while there's some tiny, electron-microscopic chance she isn't cheating on you or about to, it's clear she's screwing her boss bigtime. And, come on, you're a straight guy. Is there a girl in the world you have that much to say to — unless you're scheming her into bed? And then, while I can't get behind snooping, when you did snoop, the one message you saw was "Want 2 go out of town w/me?" Whaddya wanna bet his follow-up wasn't "Oh, N where R my manners? B sure 2 invite ur fiance!"?

A girl who's serious enough about a guy to be engaged to him will make it clear to other guys that she's off-limits; usually by starting sentences with "My boyfriend and I," and long before some sales dude starts sending her sonnets about her breasts with all the vowels missing. Beyond that, being in a relationship with somebody, especially when you're on the verge of making it a lifelong deal, means you put them first. Sure, you have friends of your own and stuff you do without your partner, but if you're committing to one man, there's something a little off if, during sex, you're tempted to excuse yourself to the bathroom to see if you have any text messages from another.

Now, maybe this is just a last-ditch oats-sewing before she becomes Mrs. Cleaver II, or maybe she has cold feet and is too big a jerk to do the decent thing and call a time out. Then again, maybe she just wants what she wants when she wants it. If you start by accusing her of cheating, she's likely to deny it. Take a less confrontational approach — over a week or two, so you both have time to think — and discuss whether the two of you are really ready to get married, how you'll both stay monogamous, and, oh yeah, does she have any idea whose number that is on pages one through 326 of the cell phone bill?

 

 

Mite Makes Right

In a recent column, you chronicled how women "overwhelmingly" want tall men, and included a woman's comment from an ABC News report about how she'd only date the short guy if the tall guy were a murderer. I hope you'll consider using your platform to raise awareness about this insidious discrimination, rather than perpetuating it.

—Undertall And Overlooked

 

Apparently, you'd have no problem dating a woman who's shaped like a dumpster. I mean, if you did, wouldn't that be "lookist" of you? Not everybody starts out with the same helping of genetic Monopoly money. That's just how it is. While men evolved to prefer beautiful women, it appears women evolved to prefer men who are taller than they are. You can raise all the awareness in the world about how unfair that is, but nobody dates somebody because it seems the magnanimous thing to do. Now, there are some women who don't seem to care so much about a guy's height, but no woman wants a short, angry guy. Make peace with (sorry!) what little you've got, and maybe you can become a really confident short guy, with a winning personality. Look for women who are shorter than you. If you're a biz wiz, you're especially in luck. A platinum Amex can add a good two inches to a man's height. The key to a Mercedes, maybe another inch. And a private jet? You'll be in the running to replace the starting forward of the Knicks — while fighting off international supermodels, or at least instructing their shins, "One at a time, ladies, one at a time!"

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