Friday, September 30, 2005

Free Teleclass: Attract the Man of Your Dreams!

Want to learn sure-fire methods for attracting a man who will love you and make you happy for the rest of your life?

Do you dream of getting married to an honest, loyal, loving, successful, fun man but wind up with men who disappoint you?

Would you like to meet a considerate, exciting man who makes your happiness his first priority?

Then join me for a free one-hour teleclass on Tuesday, October 11 at 7PM/EST. I'll teach you the techniques (not tricks!) that work. The teleclass is free (your long-distance rates will still apply), but seats are limited. Write to terry@marrysmart.com to register.

This offer may not be repeated again!

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Rubbing it In

At the gas station today, a man asked me if I was "rubbing it in" because I'm still driving around with a Kerry/Edwards bumper sticker.

Well, kind of.

Terrible news about Kate Moss losing three modeling contracts due to cocaine use. This guy she's dating, the unhygenic-looking singer from the Babyshambles, is, according to last month's Vanity Fair, wrecking the woman's life. Here's a lesson for you, Girls: Stay away from druggies.

I really like Kate Moss, as far as models go. The Burberry ads won't be the same without her.

I'm supposed to be putting together a synopsis for my novel. In order to avoid this, I did a little Christmas shopping this morning. I don't think I've ever gone Christmas shopping in September before.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Are You a Romantic?

I saw Bride and Prejudice today, and it made my heart glad. If you have a chance, see it!

Will lend my copy to my amazing friend, V.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

My Lipstick is Trying to Kill Me!

My lovely friend, V, sent me a link to a site that tells you what the ingredients in household cleaners and cosmetics are doing to your body. While looking into lipstick, I discovered that my brand (my brand!) contains at least two hydrogenated oils.

I have been known to spend 45 minutes in the soup aisle reading labels to avoid hydrogenated oils (they've been linked to cancer, MS, heart attack, you name it; even the FDA says there's no acceptable level for ingestion). I've sidestepped every cookie-wielding Girl Scout who's crossed my path since those little green goblins allowed hydrogenated oils into their famous confections.

And here I am eating hydrogenated oil every single day of my life through my lipstick! I don't even go out for the mail unless I'm wearing lipstick! I'm doomed!

Thursday, September 15, 2005

He Won't Commit

Hi, Terry-

I've been dating a guy for almost five months now. We knew each other before we started dating - while we were both dating other people. A couple of weeks after I broke up with my ex he broke up with his ex. He then asked me out only about a week later. Before we ever started dating, I always talked to my neighbors, including him, about my guy troubles. We had many conversations about why I was gonna break up with my ex and what I wanted from a guy. He would then point to himself and say that he was all of those things that I wanted.

I've been dating him since May. He is the most considerate, attentive, thoughtful guy I've ever dated. My question is at what point should I expect to call each other boyfriend/girlfriend? He asked me to be patient with him because as he says, "I'm not ready to admit it, but I really like you A LOT." I'm not dating anyone else, and he knows it, and I don't believe he's dating anyone else either.

It makes me feel very insecure. In my experience, I would wait for what I wanted and would never get it. I was way too patient. I'd stay in long-term relationships forever. I'm 34 and am not willing to do that anymore. (He's 31.) I just don't want to jump the gun now and do the opposite of what I've always done for no good reason.

We've touched on the subject a couple of times, and he's just admitted that he's basically afraid of a commitment so soon after leaving his ex.

Any opinions?

-Gotta Have Him


Dear Gotta-

I'm full of opinions.

You like him, he likes you, but he's afraid to define it. I can't say I blame him since he's just broken up with his ex, and you just broke up with yours. Getting involved with a new person is scary for so many different reasons. Hey, we've all been there.

I'm not going to tell you to wait around forever, but I don't think you should push the issue, either. He's not ready to commit. Accept that. See him when you see him, but don't be available all the time. If he calls you, call him back, but I wouldn't call him too often. (I know this is easier said than done, but it must be done.)

It helps (and it's attractive) to give him a little space (and I would suggest he give you space if it were he who wrote to me about you), so that he can better define his feelings. Don't play games with him, but he doesn't need to know your every move. Give him a chance to miss you.

Go out with your friends (if you don't have any, make some), and don't always include him in your plans. People with full, happy lives are a turn-on. In the end, if it's meant to be with this particular guy, it'll be, but if you push him to hard, you'll turn him off. That'll end it.

Put yourself in his place: Imagine dating a guy you really like but aren't sure of yet. He calls you 3 times a day, gives you a hard time when you go out with your friends (I'm not suggesting you do any of these things, but you get the picture), and so on. It's a turn off.

Go about your life, and please stop talking to your neighbors about your man problems. They only make you look like a sad sack, most importantly to yourself. Change your self-image. Tell yourself you're young, attractive, and desirable. Repeat. Repeat again.

Act accordingly.

To your happily ever after,

Terry

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Querying an Agent

I've finished checking emails, taking lessons from Martha Stewart on how to fold a T-shirt (for the second time in three days), and reading the free weeklies lying about the place.

I actually sat down and drafted the query for my novel. Of course I was terrified; just put something down, I told myself. Anything. Move your fingers. The result (and it's just a first draft) isn't bad. At least I don't think it's bad.

Send your good thoughts and prayers my way, if you're so inclined. Time to clean this house; my mother-in-law is back from Nova Scotia and will conduct an inspection some time this evening.

Your Help Don't Cost a Thing

Received a missive from Equality Now asking me to write to Pakistani officials to see that a man, who raped a woman by the name of Dr. Shazia, is prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

As I write, the slug still crawls freely along Pakistani streets, while his victim fends off death threats (from her husband's family, who feel her rape has dishonored them, and from certain factions of the government). Equality Now also asked me to email Canadian authorities to give Dr. Shazia, her husband, and son asylum.

You can dash off two emails to help her, too.

It'll just take you a minute or two. You'll be so glad you did.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

The Plot Thickens

This letter is a continuation of the story from In the Dark in Canada, whose situation we first addressed yesterday.


Dearest Terry-

The man moved downstairs this weekend, and it just left me rocked. I found myself going into his old room just to be near his smell and vibes, and now he's gone. I really love this guy.

Yes, I know if you look at the details, he looks really bad, but he used to never want to be apart from me. How do you know when to give up on a relationship?

I have been abused a few times, but this man was more than not an abuser. He was my best friend. I've hurt him deeply. I hurt my back at work three years ago and began to abuse painkillers. I went into rehab. He missed me so much that he wanted me to leave the program and come home. This is where it gets gray because I really felt he was being selfish and questioned whether it was love asking me to come home, or something else. I began to question our relationship.

I met a guy at one of the meetings who left me with that "tingly" feeling. There was very little to do at rehab, and I like to write. I wrote a little about him, and then started asking questions like "What am I thinking?" and "Affair?" As I wrote the word "affair" down, I had a strong feeling that was the wrong thing to do.

I left the program early so I could work out my relationship with my guy. He found the piece of paper! (I should've thrown it out because it was garbage.) He walked out on me, heartbroken. His feelings for were tainted. Can a man get over this kind of thing? He's treating me like I cheated on him, but I feel like he read my diary.

Got any more advice?

-Still Dark in Canada

Hello, there-

Okay, so now I know more of the story.

I'm no psychologist, but seems to me that this man had some trust issues, despite the fact that you'd happily been together for several years. I'm not quite sure why he didn't want you to continue with rehab. You needed help. He should have helped you get it.

Now, when he found the piece of paper, had he been snooping or did you leave it in a conspicuous place? Because if he was snooping,that indicates lack of trust as well. But if you left it lying around, perhaps subconsciously you wanted him to know you were attracted to another person. I don't mean you deliberately set out to hurt him, but sometimes we do things to sabotage ourselves without even thinking about it.

So, he found out about this attraction, and now he doesn't trust you. I guess you have to put yourself in his place: How would you feel if you found out he was considering an affair with another woman?

In other words, what would he have to do to win back your trust? Could he? I would think less about him being a man whose mind you have to change, and more about him as another human being whose trust you want to earn back.

But, before you do that, think about this attraction you harbored for another man. Even though you didn't have the affair, it was a possibility for you. This is what's getting the guy. You didn't do it this time, but you might another time. From his perspective, that's a scary proposition.

Just because you move into a house with a guy doesn't mean all the other attractive men in the world will slide off the planet. Temptation abounds. He needs to know that you're big enough to handle it.

If you think you are, then by all means, tell this guy what you told me: Yes, you were attracted to another man, you considered an affair, but didn't go through with it because you knew it was wrong. Tell him you love him.

Then, go back upstairs and back to your own life. Take good care of yourself and your boys. Your guy may need time to think things out in the privacy of his own space, or he may have already made his decision. He may come back, or he may not. Respect his decision and move on.

Before you talk to him, though, consider whether he ever really trusted you from the very beginning. It's hard to build a house on quick sand, you know. And it still bothers me that he took it out on your boys. None of this was ever their fault.

Terry

Monday, September 12, 2005

Scrape Him From Your Life Like a Bush/Cheney Bumper Sticker

Dearest Terry,

I'm 36 years old with two boys, 13 and 15, from my first marriage. I've now been married twice and had basically five failed relationships in 21 years. This last one was 4 years. It seemed like one of the better ones, as he never raised his voice or his fist, worked steady, had a good sense of humor, but some things were not right.

He never wanted to go anywhere and hung out in the bedroom all the time with the TV and the computer. Basically, he ignored the kids. He would never help me out around the house we bought a year and a half ago. He would complain if I asked him for anything. I was unhappy in a lot of ways. I could not pull a compliment out of him, and if I cooked him a nice dinner, I would have to ask him if he liked it, if you know what I mean (like one of your comments on your blog "if you have to get the guy to marry you you'll have to get the guy to do stuff for the rest of your life).

Now he wants out. I really loved and trusted this man, believed him that the life we were building together was forever blah blah blah. Now I have my two kids, two dogs, two cats and I have to sell my house I have wanted so badly and tear everything apart.

I am stuck in the same house with him because we cannot afford to move apart until we sell it. Judging by how little he has done in the past, I can't see him moving too quickly on this.

He is staying in the bedroom beside me and acts like I don't exist. He doesn't talk to me unless absolutely necessary. He would rather hang out with the tenant that he dislikes than me. Now all of a sudden he has a newfound social life that doesn't include me (obviously).

He went to visit his mom for six days, and that time was quite glorious. I really felt that I could move on without him. Now that he's been back, I'm starting to feel upset about the breakup again and wishing we could work it out. I don't want to be dumped. I don't want to let my "baby" go. I don't want turn my life and my kids' life upside down.

We agreed he would move into the suite downstairs; that would make him self sufficient, and I wouldn't have to see him constantly. But he hasn't made the effort to move. Is there any point in trying for the umpteenth time to ask him if he'd give us another chance? On top of all this I lost my job of five years three days ago. I don't have it in me to tell him. He already thinks I'm a loser if he's dumping me-- this will just confirm it.

What's wrong with me? Why can't I find real happiness? Can this be salvaged, or am I even an idiot for wishing so? I really feel like I'm in hell. Got any advice?

- In the Dark in Canada


Dear In the Dark-

Do I have any advice for you? Where do I start?

First off, stop thinking of yourself as a loser. Immediately. You're not a loser. You've made a bad choice in letting this guy jerk you around, but that doesn't make you a loser.

Your description of him scared me a bit: You said he "seemed like one of the better ones, he never raised his voice or his fist, worked steady." The fact that he never raised his fist doesn't make him a decent man! It merely means that he may not be a terrible one. What I'm getting from this statement is that you have a history of dating abusers and men who can't hold a job. Come on! You have to set your standards higher than this.

Now, this guy wants out of the relationship. Well, good for him. The sooner you stop "looking after him," perhaps the sooner he'll move into the suite downstairs. If you're still cooking for him, doing his laundry, packing his lunch, it's time to stop. Indeed, if you were both working and contributed to the purchase of your house, it was never your responsibility to do it anyway.

It seems that he does very little for you (and why should he? You have been quite willing to do everything). I've read your letter at least five times, and I'm still trying to figure out what you ever got out of this relationship.

Let's put things in perspective:

1) He doesn't help around the house
2) He never wants to go anywhere
3) He ignores your children
4) You make a nice dinner, and he doesn't thank you for it
5) He doesn't talk to you and pretends you don't exist
6) He has a social life that doesn't include you

You mentioned that he went to visit his mother for a while, and you found the time away from him "glorious" (not "miserable," "tolerable," or "just okay"). You actually used the word "glorious." Glorious! So, where is the conflict here? Get rid of this loser (yes, he's the loser. Not you).

You also mention that you don't want to "get dumped." Why? The guy is doing you a favor. What? Are you afraid your neighbors will think you're damaged goods? Undesirable? Put back on the shelf? A sad old maid? Who cares! Chances are, the ones trapped in their own miserable relationships will envy you your freedom.

I also have to wonder how letting this individual continue to share your home affects your sons. His sorry behavior toward you teaches them that they can disrespect women and still get what they want. And his rejection of them has to be damaging their self-esteem.

Do all you can to encourage this guy to move downstairs: Inform him that he will no longer be living with you and your children. He'll have to manage his own meals. He is no longer welcome in your part of the house.

Once you successfully dislodge this person, it's time to start treating yourself like your own best boyfriend. You must learn to love yourself and enjoy your own company before you can ever hope to attract a man who'll do the same (read this sentence again, please). Money may be tight, but that doesn't mean you can't cook yourself a delightful meal, or buy yourself flowers once in a while. In other words, treat yourself as the most perfect man in the world would.

If friends, coworkers, relatives bring you down about not having a guy, it may be time to phase those people out of your life, as well. You may want to join a reading group at the library (or some other free activity) to make new friends. But you're not to date any of them until you've had time to learn to like being alone!

Spend time with your boys. Have fun with them! By loving yourself and taking care of yourself, you give them a gift. Whatever you do, don't feel guilty because there is no longer a man in their life. The man you're trying to unstick yourself from never really was.

I wish you the best of everything. You deserve it.

To your happily ever after,
Terry

P.S. When you look for a new job, please set your standards reasonably high: You need money, for sure, but you also want to work in a place where they pay you well and treat you with respect.

Friday, September 09, 2005

Another Reason to Book That Vacation

On August 30, I told you how Ellen Schultz will donate a percentage of her commission when you book your next vacation through her website. Well, as you know, things have gone awry in a certain part of this country since then, so Ellen has switched gears.

She'll donate her commissions from now until the end of 2005 to the American Red Cross for the benefit of the victims of Hurricane Katrina. You can book tours, cruises, and flights through Ellen's site, and you can buy travel insurance through it, too.

Got the itch to see Tuscany? London? How about a Hawaiian cruise? New England in the Fall?

Check out Ellen's site and go for it.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Clueless Quote of the Week

"What I’m hearing, which is sort of scary, is they all want to stay in Texas. Everyone is so overwhelmed by the hospitality.... And so many of the people in the arena here, you know, were underprivileged anyway, so this is working very well for them."

- Barbara Bush, mother of the President of the United States, observing the mulitude of newly homeless families living it up in the Houston Astrodome.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

He Left His Wife--- Now What?

Terry,

I fell for a man twice my age, who is married. I decided that he was a no-go, as my parents wouldn't approve. Secondly, he has children my age (21).

However, to my suprise he has left his wife. What do I do now?

-Baffled




Okay, Baffled-

He's left his wife. Ask yourself:

1. Is there any chance he'll go back to her?

2. How do you feel about dating a man his age? How would you feel about it 20 years from now?

3. If things progress, how would you feel about being a stepmother to people your own age?

4. Do you love him (or like him enough to find out if you could)?

5. Do you think he is capable of being faithful to you?

6. Since your parents' opinions matter, will they approve of your having a relationship with an older, divorced man with children?

Only you know can answer these questions. Proceed accordingly.

To your happily ever after,

Terry

Friday, September 02, 2005

Her Long-Distance Relationship

Hi Terry,

Two years ago I met a wonderful guy, but I was going through a phase and things didn't work out. Destiny seems to have put us together again, although now he lives in Montreal and I live in Mexico. He now has a job that will bring him to Mexico once every two months.

On his first trip, he was supposed to be here for a week, but he has been here for two-and-a-half and will be leaving on Monday. We've had a really wonderful time together. I really want to make this work, but I don't want to pressure him. He seems very happy too.

What is your best advice on long-distance relationships? We want this to work!

Thanks-
Out on a Limb in Mexico


Okay, Limb-

Before the man heads for the airport, tell him the truth: You care about him, and you hope to hear from him often.

Then let it go. The ball will be in his court, so let him take the initiative and contact you after he gets to Montreal. If he calls and you're not in, call him back. (If you don't hear from him, wait a few days and call to make sure he got home safely. But only call once.)

The man should definitely know that you care about him, but he should never get the sense that you're sitting by the phone waiting for him to call.

While he's away, try not to focus on him as if he's the last bus out of the depot. Make a point to do the things you love. Treat yourself well. Go out with your friends, but keep your conversation about Mr. Montreal to a minimum. Do not obsess over him.

Take comfort in this: You cannot make any relationship, long-distance or otherwise, happen. It will develop in its own time, if it's meant to be, and if you don't push it.

Have a wonderful last weekend with this fellow. When you kiss him goodbye, make sure he knows that you'll miss him. Then walk away and leave the next move up to him.

To your happily ever after,
Terry

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Horror in New Orleans

Can't bear to watch any more of the suffering in that magnificent city. All that's left to do now is pray and donate to the Red Cross.