Ask Natalie

Dating Complications

DEAR NATALIE: I have been dating two guys for a while now, and both want me to commit to “just them.” I don’t feel ready to be monogamous with either one, but I really like them both and don’t want to lose either of them. I haven’t exactly told either of them that I am seeing someone else, and I think they both think we are in a committed relationship. How do I fix this? I can’t decide who to pick, and I don’t want to lose either of them. -- HAVE MY CAKE

DEAR HAVE MY CAKE: So what’s really going on here is that you are living a double life. Aren’t you exhausted? I’m exhausted thinking about it! Unfortunately, you stand to lose both of them at this point because you have been lying the whole time. Maybe one (or both) won’t care that you are “hanging out” with someone else, but my guess is they will. In any case, the longer you put this off, the worse it is going to be. Just tell them the truth as gently as you can. Say something like, “I know we’ve been moving a little fast, and I haven’t exactly been completely honest about the fact that I’m still seeing other people ...” If one of them freaks out and the other accepts it, well then, the decision is made for you. Or, perhaps it’ll be like a Bohemian dream, and the three of you can live in happiness together. Or not. Either way, I would just tell the truth and let the chips fall where they may. At the end of the day, sneaking around is not a good look. And you may wind up with cake on your face.

DEAR NATALIE: With all of the sexual harassment all over the media, I’m starting to think that there are no good men out there. I went out on a date the other night (we’ve only gone out a few times), and I brought up this conversation. He got really upset and was like, “Not all men are pigs!” Needless to say, he hasn’t called. I feel badly because I like him, but I also feel frustrated because I’m starting to think that all men really are pigs. But I don’t want to be alone for the rest of my life either. What do you think I should do? Should I text him and apologize? But what am I even apologizing for? Nothing makes sense anymore. Thoughts? -- DEJECTED

DEAR DEJECTED: First, take a big breath. The world is not as dark and sinister as it appears. Right now, there is a purge of sorts happening, so while it may seem really bad, it’s always darkest before the dawn. I hope. Either that or we’ve slipped into a soon-to-be zombie apocalypse. It was probably tough for your date to feel as though he was saying the right thing because I think everyone feels as though no matter what they say in any situation right now it is the wrong thing. He probably felt defensive because he’s never had to reflect on this before and never had to wonder about his own privilege. But with you he had to and most likely felt uncomfortable, just as you felt frustrated. Texting him is a good idea but keep it light. Say something like, “I know our last conversation was heated, but sparks are a good thing, right?” See if he responds. But regardless, don’t give up on humanity. Don’t give up on love. It may seem grim right now, but I think an awakening takes time, soul searching, real honest conversation, uncomfortable exchanges and reflection. There are men out there willing to do the work, and I think if you put out a vibe of compassion and understanding, the right one will find you.

Natalie's Networking Tip of the Week: Not sure what to give your colleagues at work? Sometimes, a personal handwritten note on a pretty card is all it takes to lift spirits.

Please send your relationship and lifestyle questions to nbencivenga@post-gazette.com or tweet them to @NBSeen. You can also send postal letters to Natalie Bencivenga, 358 North Shore Drive, Pittsburgh, PA 15212

(This column was originally published by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.)

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