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Q: I have a new girlfriend who is 5-foot-7. At 5-foot-2, I am obviously very short for a man, which has bothered me for my entire life. Anyway, she is really fashionable and usually wears high heels that make her look even taller. When we are out together, she completely towers over me, and it makes me feel tiny and inadequate. She promises that my height doesn't bother her, but she doesn't see it from my point of view, literally. Would it be wrong of me to ask her to not wear heels when we are out together?

D.D., Williamsville

A: Since you're insecure about your short stature, maybe you should do some work on your self-confidence instead of blaming your girlfriend's height and/or heels for your feelings of inadequacy. She's clearly told you that your height does not bother her, so it shouldn't bother you. These are your own feelings and issues, not hers. Many short men struggle with feelings of insecurity, just as many overweight women struggle with their appearance. However, a lot of women enjoy wearing heels on occasion and I don't think she should have to stop wearing them if she doesn't want to. Until you come to terms with the height difference between the two of you, heels or no heels, this problem will persist. Kudos to her for having enough self-confidence to look beyond your height; give credit where credit is due.

> Mr. Undesirable

Q: I am a middle-aged man who's never had a relationship. The fact is I am not attractive, wealthy or very successful, and I have nothing to offer a woman. I don't blame women for not being attracted to me. Could it be love is just not in the cards for me? How can I stop desiring love, stop wishing for a girlfriend, stop letting myself down and just carry on with life? I cannot go one day without someone badgering me about my love life. I'm constantly being "set up," introduced to "available women" or tricked into "dating situations" by friends and family members, with the same result. I just want to be left alone. If I haven't found love by now, isn't it logical to think I never will?

M.H., Buffalo

A: You don't need a girlfriend right now; you need therapy. The amount of self-loathing in your email is troubling. You should be thankful that you have family and friends who try to help you, and your complaints about their efforts are juvenile and disrespectful. If you'd prefer for them to back off, tell them nicely. Regardless of how you feel right now, every human being on this planet is deserving of love as long as they are receptive to it and can learn to love themselves first.

You contradict yourself quite a bit by saying you want to be single and left alone, while complaining that you've been wishing for love and a relationship at the same time. Instead of feeling sorry for yourself, get the help you need in order to accept the fact that you deserve love. The bottom line is that no woman will ever love you until you work through the hatred you feel toward yourself. A good therapist can help you get to the bottom of these issues and help you devise a plan to climb out of this dark hole you've dug yourself into.

Patti Novak welcomes your relationship questions. Email her at pattinovak@gmail.com and please include your initials and hometown.