Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Flirt While You Can

"When you flirt, you gain valuable information about the nature of another person -- his or her sense of fun, adventure, and potential as a romantic candidate. You quickly find out if he's classy, trashy, shy, leering, desperate, sweet, funny, or any combination of the above."

-Sara Tanner, Creator of the LIFELONG FLIRTING COURSE

If you're shy, tongue-tied, or have been out of the dating game too long, Sara Tanner will teach you how to wow the opposite sex.

You'll get lessons and fun assignments via email. Tuition for Sara's course is usually $47.00, but her Thanksgiving week special of $37.00 runs through tomorrow.

How to Get Over a Bad Boyfriend

Dear Terry,

This is probably one of the most stupid letters you will ever read, but I just had to write. I need a slap!

I lived with a guy for two years. He had all kinds of problems, from health to gambling. For the first eight months of our relationship I paid for almost everything. We had plans to move where I am now living, but those plans were cut short. I moved alone. One night after a lot of feelings of hate mixed up with frustration, my washing machine overflowed. I started crying, needed him to hold me, but he took the hammer and broke my washing machine. I told him to leave. I called the cops but didn't sign a complaint. He left. I left. I needed someone to understand me, so I drove 400 miles to my daughter's place (I didn't know what I was doing, what would become of my life. I even thought of ending it).

Then I drove back! I wanted to talk to him, reason with him, but when I finally got home, nobody was there. A few minutes later, there he was with his daughter. Like a bat out of hell he grabbed the satellite machine, the only thing that was his, and I got very angry. Who would do a thing like that after all I had done for him? Who would even think of taking away a stupid satellite machine? Wasn't I worth more than a satellite? Enraged, I called the cops, and he ended up in court.

He cannot be within 500 feet of me for three years! I was shocked to get this news and found out that he was living with somebody else. That should be enough for me to hate him. Right? But I think of him every day. He even came down to see me this summer but says he is afraid of me because I called the cops on him. He leaves me messages on my machine and says he cannot forget me (I'm not stupid. I have a brain).

If he really loved me, he would still be with me. Right? Why am I still thinking of him? He's living with another woman! I know deep down that I could no longer have a trusting relationship with him, and I could not have sex with him again (just the thought that he had sex with God knows who makes me sick). I wish I could meet somebody worthwhile. But I go to bed at night thinking of him, and I wake up thinking of him.

I'm fighting to survive, no job, times are rough. I cannot go out and do things due to a lack of money. Christmas is coming, and I just hate the thought of it. I have found a little job cleaning , but it doesn't pay enough to spoil my grandchild. I wish I was dead!

So, you see, I need a good kick maybe.

-Got a Big Sign Taped to My Back

Dear Big Sign-

I'm not going to give you a kick. For whatever reason, you're hung up on this guy even though he's obviously a bedbug. I'm no psychiatrist, but clearly he has problems. Perhaps he's been horrible to you because he knows he doesn't deserve the kindness you've shown him, and for some warped reason he actually resents you for it.

But enough about him.

A lot of the time we get hooked on people who treat us poorly because part of us (a buried part, I'd guess) thinks we deserve it. Or we get hooked because the person didn't treat us badly all the time; now and again, he actually made us laugh and gave us a warm, glowy feeling inside.

Since you're still obsessing about him, I suggest that you write down every single thing about him that you dislike on a sheet of paper, which you will leave on your pillow. Before you fall asleep at night (when you are tempted to relive the good ol' days), read this list and let it sink into your subconscious. Read it again before your feet touch the floor in the morning.

You might also consider changing your telephone number so that you don't have to hear his voice ever again. He knows he has an emotional hold over you (and even goes on the offensive by saying he's afraid of your behavior--huh?), and so he calls you.

He's living with someone else now, probably sucking her dry. You know perfectly well you're better off without him, but you're lonely. I suggest that you begin to treat yourself the way he should have treated you. Become your very own best boyfriend; it doesn't have to cost a lot of money. Take yourself out to a movie (matinees are fairly cheap), buy yourself flowers at the grocery store once in a while, speak to yourself as if you were a beloved child (how would you speak to your grandchild, for instance?). Write a list of your very best qualities and read it often. You have to start loving yourself. You have to start enjoying your own company.

You have the cleaning job. That's a start. Don't worry about spoiling your grandchild. Your grandchild can only benefit from having a happy, healthy grandmother, instead of a sad woman who buys presents but wishes she were dead. See your daughter when you can, but your goal right now is to stop wishing you were dead and start enjoying life, as you deserve to and should.

Is there a community center in your neighborhood where you could take classes cheaply? Perhaps you could learn yoga or something new, which would allow you to meet new people and to feel good about yourself.

My next suggestion is to volunteer in a hospital or someplace else where people are less fortunate. (I know you need money, but I'm talking about just an hour or two every week.) You would meet new people and perhaps come across a paying job opportunity. And the best way to feel better is to help somebody else feel better.

You're in a new place, and you have an opportunity to build a new life. You cared very much (and hard) for a man who didn't value you, but you have much to offer and there are other people who will value that--and you.

I hope this helps, and I wish you the very best of everything.