Dear Uncle Mat 

Last night, at one of those hour-less moments when both you and your significant other wake up and have a conversation — it could be any hour. You talk, cuddle, and then fall back asleep. Well, at least he fell back to sleep, while I am headed outside for a cigarette. The only thing barring me from adding a stiff drink to the equation is good sense and a long day ahead of me — the
conversation went something like this ...

Man: Honey? Your cat is over here and I don’t want to roll over on him.

Unbelievably Spectacular Female: He’s been there all night.

Man: `grunt`

USF: `calls cat`

`They roll over, snuggle, and begin to fall back asleep.`

A few moments later:

Man:  You know ... The older I get and the more women I date that own cats kinda sets a bar against marriage.

USF: What? What do you mean ... oh, bar, right, not so favorable.

Man: Yeah, you know, they have usually had them for three or more years, so you can’t ask them to get rid of them.

`Side note: I have had my cats for 16 and 1.`

`Pause needed to recover from disbelief, but shock kicks in to minimize a lengthy hesitation.`

USF: Well ... I’m sure that there are plenty of women out there that do not own cats.

Man: No ... I haven’t dated any.
`Man wraps his arms around USF and soon it is obvious that he is asleep. USF lies staring wide-eyed into the darkness with the occasional blink. Her thoughts slowly catch up with her physical wakefulness, and jump from the puffy clouds of dreamland to the tracks at the Indy 500. There they gain speed as they circle round and round and round ... anger, a bit of weepiness, then frustration ... now, USF, mentally united in the un-marriable-cat-lady-clan, seeks self-destructive cigarette.`

My questions: What the hell? Is it pointless to continue? Or is this just not-so-subtle
manipulation?  

Dammit, man! I could use some sleep.

Dear USF,

The older I get and the more men I date who have stupid excuses for avoiding commitment, the less I feel like dating. If he doesn’t like cats and he only dates women with cats he has what one calls a pattern. He chooses his women, consciously or not, to ensure that the relationships will fail. By picking what he considers to be a flawed female, he doesn’t have to worry about it being his fault. I might even guess that he isn’t that anti-cat, but finds them to be a nice, safe third party. This way it isn’t even your fault, so he doesn’t have a track record of dating bad women, either. He gets to make an earnest effort at dating for marriage, be a good guy, and all at low risk.

You could be right, he could be manipulating you. You know the guy better than me. What is his angle? Is he trying to keep you feeling a little insecure so he can cope with his codependent feelings and loss of control? Or does he just want French toast for breakfast? Even if it is an empty or harmless threat, do you want a relationship with this guy? You should encourage him to say “I love you” when he wants to hear you say “I love you,” or just ask for eggs and a side of bacon in the morning and not be so dramatic.

You should consider what you want in the relationship and if these kinds of conversations and lack of sleep are acceptable. I wouldn’t suggest couples counseling unless marriage really is on the agenda. If he’s just another good-looking guy with a decent job, charming social skills, a serviceable dick, and no other reasons for you to marry him, I vote move on. You have two cats; you are not a member of the crazy-cat-lady clan. You’ll find a hottie who likes kitties and you.

Much love and sleep,

Your Uncle Mat

P.S. There is option C: He is just grumpy and says mean things when he wakes up in the middle of the night and you need to learn to ignore him at this hour and live happily ever after.

Uncle Mat answers questions about relationships, sex, pets, and art. Email him at
dearunclemat@sacurrent.com or Myspace.com/yourunclemat. Your true identity is safe with him.


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