Hey Harlan: I just turned 30, bought a townhouse a few months ago, own a car and work full time at a place I love. I have one of the strongest groups of friends ever, and I am happy. I want to get back into the dating game again, but I never seem to be able to find a date who "clicks" with me. I've dated friends of friends, tried online dating, meet-ups, etc, and still nothing. I try to be the best man that I can be. I'm kind, caring, goofy, geeky, adventurous and honest. Still, with all those qualities, I cannot find a good woman whom I can treat right while she treats me well. I try talking to women, but I always become (in their words) "too much of a friend" or just not enough. I am happy with the man I have become after a long journey, but what can I do to attract the right woman for me? Harlan, I truly am a good man and a nice guy, and yet I still need a little help. - Truly Good
Dear Truly Good: You have the house, job, car, personality and friends, but you're missing the biggest part. And it's not the right woman. I've said it before - when you think everyone else is the problem, YOU are the problem. These women see you as a friend because you're not giving them the deeper stuff you only share with an intimate partner. My guess is that an ex hurt you and you don't want to get hurt again. You want to be safe, but the women you're dating have been hurt - they're just as guarded. You need to go first. You need be let these women in and possibly hurt you. That's how you find love. Throw yourself into dating with a different attitude. Date women and share intimate parts of your life that you've never shared before. Start slowly and share more with each date. Be vulnerable. Let them inside. The more you open up, the more they will open up. And that's when you'll find a connection. But you need to go first. Until you're willing to get hurt, you're not going to find love.
Hey Harlan: I'm an 18-year-old female going off to college in the fall, and I'm really looking forward to having more freedom. I want to get into the party scene, but I'm going to a largely commuter school that's not known for partying. However, there's another school about 20 minutes down the road that's pretty well-known for being a party school. If I were to go to this other school on a Friday night, what would be the likelihood of me getting into one of their parties? And would it be weird for someone from another school to go to a party at this school? - Partier
Dear Partier: I wouldn't get in. I'm too old, married, hairy and I'm a man. Men who host parties don't like older, married and hairy men. They want single, young, attractive, uninhibited and eager women excited to get into the party scene. Yes, you'll get into plenty of parties, and no, it's not weird. But you're way too eager. It scares me. College freshmen and sophomores are the most at risk of being sexually assaulted. People target women like you - especially at parties where alcohol is served. If you do to go partying with friends, make sure everyone who arrives together leaves together. Be careful. (c) Harlan Cohen 2014. Distributed by King Features Syndicate Inc.
Harlan is author of "Getting Naked: Five Steps to Finding the Love of Your Life (While Fully Clothed and Totally Sober)" (St. Martin's Press). Write Harlan at harlan(at)helpmeharlan.com or visit online: www.helpmeharlan.com. All letters submitted become property of the author. Send paper to Help Me, Harlan!, 3501 N. Southport Ave., Suite 226, Chicago, IL 60657.