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Dear Todd Parker - (02/25/15)

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I hate how typical this is going to sound, but I don't really have anyone else that I feel comfortable asking about this. I figure at the very least, no one I know will know that I'm having an issue.

I'm native to the area; I've left and come back a couple of times, but this is really my home. And I've spent a lot of time here. So the one thing that I know for sure is that relationship pickings are slim and are only getting slimmer as I get older.

I've met this woman through mutual friends. She's smart and funny, really cute, interesting and talented. A home run, basically. But I haven't talked to her as much as I'd like, and here's why.

She is constantly surrounded by dudes. Like, constantly. As far as I can tell, she's not dating any of them, but still. It's hard to make any sort of play when the lady you're talking to showed up with three other guys. All great guys, of course; I even know a couple of them. The fact that they're great doesn't help me though.

So what do I do? Is there any way for me to get through the man-barrier and ask this girl out? Is she just looking to add one more gentleman to the seraglio? Or should I just walk away?

At a loss in Bangor

Dear Loss,

Honestly? Not that typical.

I feel sorry for you right now, dude. I do. You've stumbled into a very difficult place, one that can prove almost impossible to find your way out of. It's clear that this chick has already gotten her hooks into you, yes? Consciously or unconsciously, she has thrown out the vibrations/pheromones/whatevers that turn your crank. Fine.

Broaching the man-barrier (nice term, by the way) is easily one of the most daunting of dating obstacles to overcome. When you meet a woman who has such an assortment of guys around her, it tells you something. But why isn't she dating any of them? Especially if they're cool guys? So you need to figure out what you can offer that they can't.

Of course, you might just be another brick in the wall. You won't know that until you reach the point of no return. Will you be able to walk away if it doesn't work out to your satisfaction? Because otherwise, you're just sliding into position as the newest member of the platonic man-harem. And no one wants that.

Bear in mind, too, that at least one and possibly more of these guys are likely in love with her. They've decided that friend closeness is better than nothing, but you can bet they'll do their best to ensure that you don't wind up stealing that coveted spot beside her. Just saying. Dudes are d-bags like that.

It all boils down to just how much of an effort you're willing to put forth. If she's as great as you say she is, she's worth fighting for. Just battle through the barrier, man. And if it doesn't work out, just let me know. She'll never need the harem again once she finds Todd Parker, the one man who is more than enough.


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