>Q: I am a recently divorced woman looking to start over and meet someone new. I have an under bite and some slightly crooked teeth and am trying to decide whether to spend a large chunk of my savings on jaw surgery and braces to create a more aesthetically pleasing face shape and smile for myself. The downside is a long recovery and hefty dentist bill. Do you think it would be worthwhile to go to all this trouble? Would a man judge the type of person I am based on my smile?
-- R.W., Buffalo
A: Our smile is one of the first things people notice about us, and if you're uncomfortable with yours, it can cause anxiety about dating and meeting new people. I don't think that it is reason alone for any man to deem you unattractive, but the most important thing is how you feel about yourself.
When we feel good about ourselves, we project an air of confidence that can be very attractive to a lot of people, even if our physical appearance is less than perfect. We all have faults and physical shortcomings, which is part of being human beings, and we are attracted to all kinds of different people.
In fact, real attraction and chemistry have very little to do with how a person looks to us; it has much more to do with chemical reactions in our brains that cause us to feel a certain way around someone. Everything from how a person smells to what their voice sounds like can have an effect on their level of attractiveness to any one individual.
The bottom line is, if you feel that fixing your dental problems will help you to feel better about yourself, give you a great boost of confidence, and allow you to get out there and meet new people, you should go for it, as it will certainly be worth the money you'll spend.
However, doing it solely for a man is not a good enough reason to ever have surgery of any kind. Make sure that anything you decide to do is for you and not for anyone else.
Husband feels like experimenting
Q: My husband and I have been married for 10 years, and recently he has confessed to me that he thinks he might be gay, or at least somewhat interested in experimenting with another man. He says that he's always felt this way, but he still loves me very much and wants to stay married, but I'm afraid that it will make us both unhappy in the end if he is really gay. According to what he is telling me, he has not yet acted on these thoughts and has asked me how I feel about it. I don't want him to be unhappy, but at the same time I don't want to do any unnecessary damage to myself, either. How can we work through this?
-- S.S., Kenmore
A: This can be a very difficult issue to work through. I would advise you first and foremost to seek couples counseling with a licensed, trained professional. This expert will hopefully be able to guide you down the best path for the two of you as individuals.
Second, I think you should take a long look at what you want, and what would make you happy. Would you be comfortable with your husband experimenting with other men while remaining married to you? Most people would consider this cheating, but there are couples that do open up their marriages. Unfortunately, this can happen with highly negative results if both people are not on the same page.
Ultimately, you need to consider your own feelings first, and this issue should be addressed as soon as possible before it escalates into a matter of potential infidelity and imminent heartbreak.
Patti Novak owns Buffalo Niagara Introductions (www.buffaloniagaraintro.com). E-mail questions to firstname.lastname@example.org and include your initials and hometown.