Ask Natalie by Natalie Bencivenga

Don’t Let Bitterness Stand in Your Way

DEAR NATALIE: I've been a single guy for a long time, and I have to admit, I was feeling pretty bitter about dating and women. Recently, however, I met a new woman, and she is fantastic. But I am not sure what I want here. She almost seems too good-looking, too unattainable for me, thus my interest seems to be lagging. For the same reason I never look at luxury cars and get excited: I know I can never have one; they'll always be impossible for someone like me. I don't even fantasize about it. I seem to need something here, and I don't know what it is. She's a gorgeous, seemingly perfect woman in my age range (I'm in my mid-40s) who wants to see me again. So why am I not more excited about that? -- Should Be Happy

DEAR SHOULD BE HAPPY: Sounds like you have a bad case of the bitters. Life burned you somewhere along the line (as it does to all of us), and you just had a harder time bouncing back for whatever reason. The only cure for this? A leap of blind faith. Into the abyss. Don't think -- just jump. Sounds like you are genuinely interested in this woman, and I promise you she puts on her jeans one leg at a time like everyone else. She may be spectacular, but she is not perfect. Stop fixating on the fear of what could happen (after all, fear isn't real and exists only in our minds when we are projecting negative thoughts about our potential future), and instead just follow your gut. If your instincts say, "Call her and set up a date," just do it. Don't overthink it. Life is too short to play "what if" with chances at happiness. 

Please send your relationship and lifestyle questions to 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.)