The Karate Kid
by: Wayne and Tamara
Direct Answers - Column for the week of March 1, 2004
I have an unexpected relationship problem. It's hard to believe it has become such an issue but it has. The whole thing started very innocently when my boyfriend and I were watching some silly action movie. The female heroine was kicking butt, and I mentioned to my boyfriend I took a semester's worth of judo classes in college and could probably give him a run for his money.
I was half joking. I didn't really think I could beat him. He has a pretty significant weight advantage over me and is an athletic guy. I'm not exactly a big amazon type of girl. I'm tall and slender. I jog regularly and work out a couple of times a week, but that's it really.
Anyway, we got going, and to my surprise I was able to fend off his initial attempts to take me down. Then I caught him off guard with a basic leg sweep and used other techniques to keep him on the floor and eventually pin him. I thought it was fun and funny, and so did he at first. We've had several "bouts" since, and I've beaten him every time.
Yes, I understand male egos are fragile when it comes to these things, but I'm getting really sick of his petulant attitude every time he loses. He seems to think it's impossible I can beat him, and he's a real pill to be around when it happens. What am I supposed to do--let him win? I'm proud I've retained judo skills, rudimentary as they are, and I don't see why I should compromise just because I'm a woman.
Jodi, your boyfriend is not learning the lesson here. He is the athlete, but he is untrained. You are trained, and you understand how to turn your opponent's strength to your advantage. If anything, the skill of self-defense is more valuable to a female because a woman knows at any time she may have to defend herself against a man.
The Chinese sage Lieh Tzu told a story about a man who lost an ax. The man thought his neighbor's son took it, and in every word or deed of the boy, the man saw the actions of a thief. Then one day the man found his ax, and he no longer saw the neighbor's son as a thief.
Your boyfriend is stuck thinking you have stolen the ax, his manhood. Actually nothing has changed since the time you first watched the movie together. Personal security expert Gavin de Becker once summed up this whole situation by saying, "At core, men are afraid women will laugh at them, while at core, women are afraid men will kill them."
It is time for you to retire from the mat as an undefeated champion. The purse, his frail ego, isn't worth fighting for. He has a problem to deal with, and it is his problem alone.
Wayne & Tamara
My problem is a love problem, as most problems are. I've been in love with this girl for a year now, and I need to know how to make her mine. We are good friends and she finds me funny, I think. So maybe that could help me. I'm not much to look at, and she is. I've thought many a time to just go for it and kiss her.
Rory, I tried that with the girl across the street when I was four. It didn't work, and I wouldn't recommend it past the age of four. Since you are good friends, you can tell her how you feel. If she's interested, she'll let you know.
A song by Bonnie Raitt says, "I can't make you love me if you don't, you can't make your heart feel something it won't." That pretty much sums it up. Tell her what you feel, then accept her answer.
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