April 19, 2024

Dear Socrates,
I’m single, and my friend tried to set me up with one of her friends. We went on a date, which was cool and all, but she just isn’t my type. When I told my friend this, she said that was offensive. Am I in the wrong? Why is having a type seen as a bad thing?
– Sad and Single

Dear Sad,
I don’t want to say having a type is necessarily a bad thing; it really depends on what criteria you use to define your type. We’re all trying to pursue what’s best for us–the good, if you will–things like beauty, intelligence and humor. The way we get acquainted with these ideas is through people. We learn that we enjoy beautiful people when we interact with beautiful people, and part of the reason we enjoy interacting with them is because they’re beautiful (whether it’s physically, mentally, emotionally or some other attribute of theirs that you find beauty in). Everyone has a different idea of what is appealing, and that’s perfectly fine. Keeping all of this in mind, there’s a difference between saying certain people aren’t your type and excluding those people altogether. So the girl you went on a date with isn’t your type—there’s nothing wrong with that. But be wary of excluding entire groups of people just because you don’t think they’re your type.
Good luck finding your person,
– Socrates

Hi there, Socrates—

My best friend needed a dress for a date, so I let her borrow one of my favorite ones. Her date went well, I guess, but long story short, she ruined my dress. It was beautiful and expensive, and she’s apologized a lot, but she doesn’t work and can’t afford to replace it. I haven’t really told her, but I’m angry and upset about my dress. I don’t know what to do. Help?
– Angry BFF

Hi, Angry,
You shouldn’t stay mad at your friend. From what I understand, she’s apologized. Yes, she’s ruined your dress, but even if it was a million drachmas (or dollars, I guess), it’s ultimately just a dress. Are you really going to jeopardize your friendship with your best friend over a dress? Because honestly? It doesn’t seem worth it to me. You don’t mention how she ruined your dress, but I’m sure she didn’t mean for it to happen. Have you talked to her about what happened? If she’s really your best friend, and she genuinely seems sorry about what’s happened, then forgive her. And besides, this might become a story you two tell people for years, if you spin it right. After all, there’s no possession more valuable than a good and faithful friend.
Good luck.
– Socrates

Dear Socrates,
I’m a 20-year-old guy and I’ve never had a girlfriend, or even come close. I’ve never even been on a date. Hell, my parents had me when they were younger than I am now. I don’t have the greatest social skills and I didn’t have many friends in high school. I’m not ugly or anything but I’m not great-looking, either, but I feel like I’m just going to be lonely forever. It’s even worse because now it seems like all the guys around me have dates all the time. I just wish I had it like they do. Any advice to get a date and make life suck a little less?
– Lonely

Dear Lonely,
There is nothing wrong with being single. It may seem like the people surrounding you are all going on dates all the time, but they’re just people, too. You don’t have to have the ‘greatest social skills’ to get a date; all it takes is basic manners and a little confidence. Don’t be afraid to ask someone out. The worst thing that can happen is they say no, so you say ‘okay, no worries,’ and move on. Best case scenario? They say yes and you guys hit it off. But take my advice with a grain of salt… After all, I am the guy who said “if you get a good wife, you’ll become happy; if you get a bad one, you’ll become a philosopher.”
I know it’s cliché, but the best advice I can give you is to just be yourself.
Don’t worry too much about it. You’re going to be fine.
– Socrates

Ancient Athens finally got internet! Ask Socrates a question at bit.ly/askingsocrates or at askingsocrates@gmail.com.

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