Tuesday, May 21, 2013

"Bromance" Getting In The Way Of Budding Romance

Dear Tazi:

I have been dating "Tod" for six weeks now, and we click very well...except for one thing. Tod's best friend "Jerry" has a bad habit of crashing all of our dates. I met Tod at a party, and we hit it off well. He was joking with me that he was Jerry's "wingman", and that his job was to distract me while Jerry hit on my friend. At first I was taken aback by his abject honesty, but decided to give him a chance. Within the hour I was glad I did, and was pleased that he told me that "Jerry picked the wrong girl".

Well, I don't think Jerry picked the wrong girl because just like my friend I have no interest in him, either! Jerry has commented to Tod that if it weren't for him, he and I would never have met, and that I should set him up with one of my "cute friends". When I told him I was not comfortable setting him up with anybody, he started showing up at events Tod and I happened to be attending. At first I thought it was just a coincidence that Jerry was taking in a movie, going bowling, or out to dinner all by himself until his appearance at our date sites became more and more frequent. On evenings that Tod and I stay in, Jerry just happens to stop by Tod's place to "hang out", whether I am there or not.

Tod is getting annoyed with Jerry, but will not tell him to leave us alone; he feels badly that Jerry is single and looking while he found me purely by accident. He admits that Jerry can be overbearing and sexist, so he understands why I don't want to set him up with any of my friends, but he doesn't have the heart to tell Jerry that this is the reason why I am not comfortable setting him up with someone.

Tod and I are talking about taking our relationship to a more intimate level, but I am afraid that Jerry will somehow end up in the middle of things - not literally, but close to it. I can picture him knocking on the door to come in and hang out at an inopportune time. Can you think of any way to unload Jerry? I don't want him out of Tod's life; just out of my hair.

Stunted Romance

Dear Stunted Romance:

From the way you describe Jerry it sounds like he has all the subtlety of a sledgehammer. It is obvious that he is lonely for female companionship and comes on very strong, which turns off a lot of women. He struck out with your friend while his friend hit a home run with you. This has to be killing Jerry's ego and putting him in the painful position of seeing his "wingman" torn from his side. The purpose of the wingman is to distract the less attractive friend and keep her company while another guy hits on the better-looking friend; men usually trade-off in playing wingman. It is both demeaning and sexist, and I am happy to see that Tod turned out to be a good guy, and not a shallow creep like Jerry.

I am going to go out on a limb and suggest that you talk to Jerry yourself. Ask him plainly what he is looking for in a woman. In fact, ask him to make a list of the traits he is seeking in a female companion.Once his list is complete, ask him to make a second list, this one of all of the traits that make him worthy of his ideal woman.  If nothing else you will have an exact picture of who Jerry is and what he is expecting should you decide to shop him around to your friends and let them decide it they want to take a chance on him. I realize that you are not comfortable setting up your friends with someone you find distasteful, but that does not mean you must play the role of the Gatekeeper. Just like Tod found you to be the more attractive friend one of your friends may be drawn to Jerry.

On the other hand, there is a possibility that Jerry will draw a blank on the second list, the one where he itemizes the qualities that make him desirable to your "cute friends". At that point, you can suggest to Jerry that he work on a few self-improvements that will relieve him of the need to be set up (because women will be chasing after him, not the other way around).


Ask Tazi! is ghostwritten by a human with a Bachelors of Arts in Communications. Tazi-Kat is not really a talking feline.

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