My boyfriend, who shows signs of narcissism and misogyny, enjoys your column, and no wonder, as you often indirectly side with men by making women look like jealous shrews. Even if you are right, maybe these women who write you need somebody to be nice to them. As for my boyfriend, his mom is a lifelong nut job, which has to affect how he sees women. It probably doesn\’t help that I didn\’t have very positive role models growing up, either. He can be a real jerk, but he\’s hot, sex can be great, and we both enjoy going to alt. rock venues. I guess I\’m in a love/hate thing with this \”piece of work,\” as an astrologer called him. Maybe he\’s my karmic payback for not wanting kids?

— Torn

\”Torn\”? Of course you\’re torn. You\’re a woman dating a misogynist — a woman-hater. This is like being a black girl dating a guy whose leisurewear is a pointy white hood, or a Jewish girl with a thing for neo-Nazis or, better yet, Elie Wiesel on a dinner date with Eva Braun. This isn\’t to say there\’s no love in your relationship, as your boyfriend\’s also a narcissist — probably prone to blurting out \”I love you so much, it hurts!\” while you gaze deep into his eyes and he gazes over your shoulder into the mirror.

Luckily, you\’ve pegged the real problem here, which is … me? And then there\’s the moon in Aquarius, Mommy retrograde, and/or what looks to be a guy flipping you the bird in Saturn. Or maybe it\’s \”karmic payback\” — the ridiculous notion that, behind the scenes of the universe, there\’s some cross of Buddha, Santa and a tax accountant calculating who\’s been naughty and nice, and doling out jerk boyfriends to the intentionally barren. In reality, evidence points to \”fate\” being pretty random: 4-year-olds sometimes die horribly in car accidents — and probably not because some balance sheet showed them sneaking cake before dinner or committing a cold-blooded triple murder.

Maybe your real-real problem is blaming everything short of acid reflux for your current situation. Come on, you aren\’t with this guy because you lacked \”positive role models\” growing up, but because you lack a sense of personal responsibility now that you\’re grown up (or, at least, taller). Lots of people have rough childhoods. At 6, I\’d already killed Jesus, or so I was told — which made me rather unpopular, and about as assertive as lettuce well into my 20s. That wasn\’t working, so I went off and worked on myself — until I could toss off the punch line, \”Yeah, I whacked him, and I got away with it, too!\”

The last thing anybody writing me needs is for me to be \”nice\” so they can feel better about draining their life into a dismal relationship. Many of the life-wasters are men. Many more are women. And if I had to pinpoint the single biggest misery-maker in relationships, it\’s women who see having a relationship as a substitute for having a self. The runner-up? People loath to admit that their relationship isn\’t exactly a hailstorm of bliss, and it\’s time they exercised a little control over what they let into their lives and what they let stay. Granted, there can be extenuating circumstances, such as when your partner seems unique and irreplaceable; you know, like one of those rare men who\’s into sex and rock \’n\’ roll. It could be tough landing that again — unless, of course, you\’re willing to pull on a tight T-shirt and spend 10 seconds in a beer line at a Weezer show.

Who\’s your daddy (Warbucks)?

My girlfriend of several years broke up with me last month because I didn\’t make enough money to support her. She just told me she regrets her decision and wants us to get back together. I still care for her, but I\’m leery because she\’s spent most of her life dating very rich men. I\’m OK financially, but a far cry from wealthy. Could there be hope for us?

— Unconvinced

Love* is all you need. (*Yacht sold separately.) Here\’s a woman with a long history of \”making money the old-fashioned way\” — sleeping with a man who has a whole lot of it. Of course she regrets leaving you, probably because she\’s letting personal feelings get in the way of sound portfolio management. But, unless you hear her expressing some newfound aversion to diamonds, furs and Jimmy Choo shoes, leery is the way to be. Sure, you both want things to be different. Chances are, you both know what she needs — to find the love you two have, but with a guy whose job perks are unlimited access to a well-staffed penthouse and the corporate jet, not free coffee and leftover pizza in the conference room.