Relationship Advice

The Karate Kid

smiling blonde

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