Today's published piece is an AskMargot from

Dear Margot,
I’m in a real fix. I’m an accomplished professional in my early 40s. I live in a town where eligible bachelors my age are few and far between, so there are a handful of women who have expressed an interest in me. What’s the problem? Me! I get so tongue-tied and ham-fisted when we go out that I do stupid things like saying, “Let’s split the tab” or I pass up walking her to her door. Why? I’m scared. Of commitment. Of judgment. Of dating! Things are about to get worse because my sister is pressuring me to join her church’s singles group. So I’ve got to figure out how to relax. Any tips?
– Jittery Jim

Dear Jittery Jim,
Thanks for writing. I reckon there are more than a few dudes in your predicament. So let’s work together to turn this challenge into an opportunity, shall we? If you were sitting here in my parlor, I could just channel Cher from Moonstruck, slap you and tell you to snap out of it! But in the end, that probably wouldn’t help you much, so maybe it’s better this way. Here’s the deal: I don’t know that you’re scared for real, or that you’ve told yourself you’re scared for so long that you’ve talked yourself right out of the game.

Fact is, sugar, everybody’s scared of something when it comes to romance. Who wants to get rejected? Who likes being judged? And aren’t we all at least a little skittish about committing until some magical moment when it all locks into focus and we realize we’ve found The One? So you’re not alone. But that simple fact probably isn’t causing you to breathe easier, is it?

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Have a good weekend, everybody! Go Heels!