Serial dater always wants to take out the trash

Q: I've had a thing for trashy girls. I love the ones with all kinds of issues, tattoos, lots of drama. My last girlfriend had kids by different men and smoked. I've tried dating nice girls who have more going on for them but I always find myself back with the same kind of girl. Why is that?

Mia: You're attracted to women you consider "trashy" to maintain emotional distance. Since you consider certain women you date substandard, you can only get but so involved with them. You probably use money as a lure and a way to manipulate them. That's easier to do with them than with say, someone who happens to be a partner in a high-powered law firm. You make the choices you do because for whatever reason, you're not up to the challenges of dating someone you consider your social and economic equal so you date down.  But they're "trashy," not you. Boy, bye!

Steve: A man who likes drama, huh? Been there, done that. My parents were even worse. Life is no day at the beach. Tough enough getting through without having the burden of bad behavior and a bad brain. While I don't rule it out when you're young - shout out here by me to Peggy, my college girlfriend until the school kicked her out for sleeping with our professor - you'll find in your 30s that stability, honesty and care are what you need in a partner.  

 

Q: I've dated a girl from high school for six years, but it's all on-and-off since we went to different colleges. I love her so much and there are times when everything is wonderful. Then, out of the blue she decides to date someone else.  The guy dumps her in six months and then she runs back to me. I still love her, but how can I make her stick around? 

 

Steve: Well, as J.J. Jackson sings: "You don't know how I feel/You'll never know how I feel/When I needed you to come around/You always try to bring me down." 

Sometimes it takes women a long time to figure out what can work, what's available and what's not available. Be patient, but if this goes on for a couple years, my bet is she's never going to get things right. As Jackson sings, "Baby, you gotta gotta reap what you sow."

 

Mia: You can't make a woman stay, dude. Girlfriend either wants you or she doesn't. It's that simple. 

 

Between them, Steve and Mia have logged more than a few decades in the single-and-dating world. They're also wise to the ways of married life. They don't always agree, but they have plenty of answers. Contact them at S&M c/o Daily News, 801 Market St., Philadelphia, PA 19107 or steveandmia@phillynews.com.