Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Dating Advice From Rita Rudner

While shopping with my mother-in-law today, I picked up the most recent copy of Woman's World magazine, which I prefer to a lot of periodicals geared to females. It's refreshingly free of put-downs and guilt trips.

The issue featured a quote from Rita Rudner, the comedian I had the good fortune to see on a date some years ago at Governors Comedy Club in Levittown, Long Island (where I twice had the immensely great fortune to see Lewis Black).

Here it is:

"Why are women wearing perfumes that smell like flowers to attract men? Men don't like flowers. I wear a scent called 'new-car interior.'"

That Rita. What a card. Actually, my mother was very attracted to the smell of new cars, so it would make a good aftershave, too.

Another dating tidbit in Woman's World:

"The Trick to Being Irresistible? Make his heart do this!
Race! Whether you take him to a sports game or an action movie, the latest research reveals that being beside your guy as his heart beats faster convinces his brain that he's getting revved up because of you! In tests, men who crossed a scary bridge found the woman waiting at the other end much more attractive than did the men who crossed a safer span!"

Mmmm. Now, there's something to think about.

I also recommend going to comedy clubs with a guy you like. He's more likely to fall for you if you've been laughing together rather than forcing conversation over underdone tortellini.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Auditioning to Be a Guy's Wife

Three dates into a relationship, some women figure they've got a big fish on the hook, and they'd better reel him in fast. They start doing all sorts of wacky things, desperately hoping to make themselves indespensible to the guy.

This kind of woman wants him to see her potential as primo wife material right away, so she:

-Offers to pick up his dry cleaning

-"Makes up a plate" for him at barbecues and buffets, instead of letting him get it himself

-Insists on cooking for him instead of going out for dinner

-Makes his bed

-Slowly but steadfastly moves her belongings into his house and takes over the housework

-Offers to babysit his nieces and nephews (or his children), so he can see what a spectacular mother she'd make.

Females who choose this route usually get taken for granted. They're eventually discarded. Sure, certain guys may jump to marry such women, but they tend to be those who stay out all night with their buddies and refuse to change diapers.

A man who likes a challenge and enjoys the company of an intellectual equal will quickly grow bored. Challenging women are sexy. Women who chase after men with paper plates dripping with cole slaw are not.

Once a relationship is established (and what relationship is established after three dates? How long did it take you to get to know your best friend, for example?), it's fine to offer to pick up a guy's dry cleaning. But he should also offer to pick up yours every now and then.

Don't be quick to jump into sex roles. If the man likes to cook, congratulations. By all means, let him. If you like to fix flat tires, don't suppress the urge. Be yourself. Let him be himself. Allow your relationship to develop organically. Discover who a man really is before deciding he's "the one."

Take your time. The worst thing that can happen is that you won't wrangle yourself into a bad marriage. Remember: This is your life we're talking about.

Monday, October 29, 2007

The Key to Lasting Romance

Over the weekend, I attended the funeral of a youngish and beloved cousin.

I ran into many other cousins, all of whom are still married to their first and only spouses. Either the people in our family possess a knack for making happy unions, or we're freakishly tolerant of pain.

I'm hope it's the first one.

Over breakfast on Saturday, my aunt and I reminisced about some of her daughter's many devoted boyfriends. This cousin is happily married now, but she used to have a lot of devoted boyfriends. "She's a happy person," my aunt commented.

"Happiness is attractive," I agreed.

Later on, as we drove from the cemetery to the restaurant for the post-burial lunch, another cousin, a married and strikingly handsome man (6'6, dark-haired, blue-eyed--you'd notice him) and I talked about the qualities that make for a good marriage.

"Looks don't matter," he said. "They don't last."

"Money doesn't matter, either," I said.

"Money's not that important," he agreed (and he has it).

"In the end, you need someone who can make you laugh," I said.

"That's it."

Life certainly has its ups and downs. Who would have expected our cousin to die of colon cancer at such a young age, for instance? Imagine dealing with that while putting up with some dour loser who complains about his job all day and always manages to screw up when it's his turn to take out the dog.

Maya Angelou told Oprah Winfrey, " I've learned that you can tell a lot about a person by the way he/she handles these three things: a rainy day, lost luggage, and tangled Christmas tree lights."

It's been my experience that people who freak out over nothing freak out over everything. Whatever you do, don't marry one of them.

Marry someone who makes you laugh.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Blame Yourself, Woman!

Ever find yourself arguing with a guy, and he starts telling you something (his socks on the floor, a strange pack of Virgina Slims on your side of the bed) is somehow all your fault? When you know damn well it's not all fault?

And then you start thinking, um, yeah, maybe it is all my fault. Maybe I am suspicious, boring, unreasonable, not good-looking enough, whatever.

Well, Darling, according to Manslator Jeff Mac, you have fallen for the Anger Smokescreen, the oldest trick in the book (if you're new here, Jeff Mac is the go-to guy when you want dating advice from a man's perspective).

For guidance, visit Jeff here.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

He Won't Marry Her, But She Knows Someone Who Will

Dear Terry,

I have been living with my boyfriend now for about six months and whenever I bring up the idea of engagement or marriage, he freaks out and shuts me out. He says he won't consider it because of our financial situation. He knows that marriage and a family are the most important things to me, but in order for me to stay with him, I have to put all that away.

Just recently, I ran into a good friend that I haven't seen in four years and come to find out he is in love with me, and he wants to settle down and have a family with me. I am so confused. I love both of these men with all my heart, but I am so scared because I have a two-year-old daughter, and I don't want to do anything to hurt her or confuse her. I don't want to hurt anyone else either.

Who should I be with? The man who will love me no matter what and wants to spend the rest of his life with me and my daughter, or the man that loves me and my daughter, but he won't say he wants to spend the rest of his life with me yet?

-Scared and Confused

Dear Scared-

You're in a tough spot, and what you really need now is space to think. You've got a guy who loves you and wants a future, and another guy who won't talk about the future. And you love them both.

If I were you (and I'm not, I know), I would gently move myself and my daughter out of my current living situation. If I didn't have the finances to rent an apartment on my own, I'd advertise for a roommate or I'd rent a room in a house where the owner allows children. Or I'd move in with my parents, if they'd let me. But I would definitely--and I repeat--gently move out of the place I'm sharing with Mr. No Future.

Then, I'd take my time and evaluate my goals (family and children). I'd evaluate my feelings for both men. I'd evaluate their treatment towards me and my child. It's possible Mr. No Future will decide he misses you and wants to move forward with the relationship. It's possible that you'll decide you'd rather marry the other fellow. Or it's possible that you'll realize that your feelings for the other fellow were just the result of your frustration with Mr. No Future. Maybe you'll marry one of them. Maybe you won't.

Let me say this: It does concern me that Mr. No Future claims that finances are preventing him from marrying you (and the freak-out-and-shut-you-out thing gives me pause, too).

Diamond rings and big weddings cost a lot of money, but modest rings and small weddings (or elopements) usually don't. What is he really reacting to when you mention marriage? The financial commitment or the commitment to the relationship? How much of a financial commitment the two of you make is negotiable. But the commitment to the relationship is something else.

Please take your time and don't jump into anything with anybody. This is your life we're talking about--and your daughter's. Ultimately, you want to be in a relationship with a reliable man you both love, and who shares your dream of providing a stable, happy environment for her.

If you decide one of these guys fits the bill, great. But, if not, you'd be better off on your own until you find someone who does.

I hope this helps.


Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Beat Shyness Before It Beats You

If you're too intimidated to get out of the house and meet people, you're probably not going to meet the man of your dreams.

Consider joining Toastmasters. In case you don't know, Toastmasters is an international organization which teaches people to let go of their fears and speak in front of crowds.

According to Warren Buffett, public speaking is the most valuable skill you can acquire if you plan to be a success in business. But it's a great means of beating shyness, as well.

If you're the type who freezes in front of new people or avoids parties, take note. Go to Toastmasters to locate a club near you. Then go to a meeting. The bonus: You can attend one or two for free to decide if it's for you. If so, you'll find dues are ridiculously cheap.

In order to meet men, you have to be able to talk to them. Toastmasters can help.

Monday, October 22, 2007

eHarmony Gets High Marks

Spoke to Dating Coach Ronnie Ann Ryan today, who told me of yet another couple who met on Match and were recently married. I told you a couple of months ago about my insurance agent's success with Match (he's engaged to be married shortly).

But the current issue of 1to1, a trade magazine geared to companies who want to improve customer relations, gives eHarmony high marks, as well. According to 1to1, eHarmony customer service reps are routinely invited to clients' weddings. It also notes that the company's "customer-centric approach is the catalyst that brings couples together from eHarmony's 14 million registered users--leading to 90 marriages every day."

Thursday, October 18, 2007

How to Tell If He Likes You

Check his body language.

It'll tell you more about him than mere words ever will. For instance, what does it mean when a guy seems to be blinking more than usual? Or when his feet and toes are pointed in a certain direction?

Read this entertaining and informative article to find out.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Dating an Indifferent Man

Dear Terry-

I am currently using all my willpower to stay away from a man I have really, really loved for four years. However, it has been four years of an off-and-on relationship. I must have spent hundreds of mornings trying to think of ways to face the day without him during that time.

Now, I think I've become addicted to the pattern. Last weekend was one of the most soul-destroying weekends. It has been off again for nine weeks, and I stopped all contact two weeks ago, I just can't go through any more. My finger is itching to dial his number and just hear his voice. But in all the times it has been off, this man has never been the one to get back to me without a chance meeting, or encouragement in the form of a text or call. We even were supposed to be engaged at one stage, except, despite receiving man congratulations from so many people, he didn't tell his sons!

No wonder it is so easy for him to walk when there is some real relationship work to be done, or real commitment expected. He just thinks, I'll come running back. But I need to break this now. I cannot go on like this any longer. It's such a waste of my life.

Your tips are very good advice as I'm struggling along, but have you any heavy-duty advice to get me through the really lonely sad times?

-Addicted to Love

Dear Addicted-

Your instincts are right. Do not call this man. The way you regain control over your life, your emotions, and your happiness is by not calling him.

The fact that he refused to tell his sons about an engagement he was being congratulated about is bizarre. There's no excuse for that, despite what he might have told you (although you don't mention this), that he had to consider his sons' tender feelings, etc. The man should have considered your feelings before expressing a desire to marry you, and then subjecting you to a mess.

But you know this already.

I was in a similar situation once, utterly besotted with an emotionally unavailable, yet string-'em-along-as-long-as-possible type who I just couldn't get out of my head. Like you, I was addicted. It went on for three years before I made a decision to stop being a yo-yo and move on.

It wasn't easy, but I did it. During the lonely times, I went out to movies by myself (purely for escape). I took a trip to San Francisco by myself, as well, and stayed in a B&B, where I met new people with fresh and interesting perspectives on things. I took a trip to England with a friend from work. It's amazing how travel clears the mind, so if you can manage it, please book a trip alone or with a fun friend.

At home, most of my friends were coupled-up, and therefore not available for diversionary activities, so I made more friends. Instead of rushing for the subway after work, I started accepting invitations to go out for dinner and drinks with colleagues. I looked up some old class- and workmates who I'd lost touch with and started going out with them. I even went on a camping trip with a group of new friends (believe me, I'm an indoorsy type. Sleeping in a tent was a mile out of my comfort zone, but I ended up having a great time, and I find myself reminiscing about it often.)

In short, I did new things, which filled in the holes left by not seeing, calling, or being with a man I craved. Some things were worthwhile, and some of them weren't, but each in its small way helped me get on with my life.

Your memories of Mr. Indifferent may be exciting in a life that seems colorless without him. If you're like I was, you're sitting around doing your nails, and then an image of the two of you together flashes into your mind, and you play it over and over, and before you know it, you're dying to pick up the phone and have him in your arms again. That's normal.

What you do then is not easy at first, but it will become easier: Put the image out of your head. Yes, I know it's a pleasant image, and you' d enjoy wallowing in it while you're waiting for your nails to dry. But get up, shake your hands, jump up and down (seriously). Shake the image. Pick up the phone and call your mother, a friend, your brother, the electric company--anybody but him. Or take the dog for a walk. Go to the library. Go to a movie nobody wants to see but you. Buy yourself something delicious and healthful to eat. Treat yourself as you would a beloved child.

The key to getting over your addiction to a man is to get the man out of your head!

But consider this first: In addition to being reluctant to telling his sons about your engagement, this guy has other faults. What are they? Write them down on a card and paste it to your bathroom mirror. Write them on another card and stick it in your purse. Every time his sweet face comes floating into your brain, whip out that card (I don't care if you are on the bus) and read it. Remind yourself constantly why he must remain banished from your life.

He does not make you happy.

If this isn't enough, picture yourself married to him. It's 10 years from now, and he continues to be indifferent about your relationship. Sometimes he comes home, sometimes he doesn't. You continue to take a backseat to his sons. You must initiate all conversation and physical contact. The faults you wrote on the cards have only gotten worse over the years, and now you're legally bound to him. Sometimes it's painful and frustrating; other times you're bored out of your mind. You go to bed at night wondering what the hell you were thinking when you married him.

Some other things you can do now: Read You Can Heal Your Life by Louise Hay. This book was instrumental in helping me get over my addiction a man who did not love me. You can also check out Hay House Radio for helpful shows you can listen to (free of charge) from your computer to keep you on track. I just checked the archive and found a show with Mona Lisa Schulz with the following description:

"February 14, 2007: A Different Kind of Love Song: Rehabilitating Your Capacity for Relationships So You Can Attract Love at MidLife

Have you thrown in the towel when it comes to relationships? Do you think you're better off alone since your love-life has been an exercise in futility? At mid-life, there is a way to rehabilitate your thought patterns for relationships so you can attract true and lasting love. Dr. Mona Lisa helps you identify and conquer a bad track record in love and relationships."

I don't know if this particular show will appeal to you (I'm not sure you're at mid-life, for instance, but there are probably some good tips in there, anyway), but some others shows may. Check out Summer McStravick's Flowdreaming, while you're at it, too.

By now, you know I'm a proponent of EFT, which I definitely would have tried in my effort to get over Mr. Emotionally Unavailable had I known about it at the time. Go to the website and download the free manual.

Then search the site for articles on 'heartbreak' or 'broken heart.' If you have a few minutes (seven, I think), watch the introductory video, too. It's entertaining. (I used EFT to rid myself of anxiety attacks and insomnia following the death of my mother, so I endorse it from personal experience.)

I understand that you're in a tough spot, but but with action and discipline you can get out of it. You can feel good without What's-His-Name! And, too bad for him when you do.

I met and fell in love with my husband about six months after I decided to end my addiction to Mr. Emotionally Unavailable.

Very best wishes,

P.S. If you haven't seen it already, I recommend you rent The Holiday, a fun distraction of a movie in which Kate Winslet's character makes an important discovery about her addiction to a certain man.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

How to Spot a Bad Man

On Today this morning, Ann Curry interviewed Dr. Brenda Wade about how women can tell if they're dating a pain in the ass -- er, a narcissist. Dr. Wade also revealed how they can handle him, if they're so inclined.

Watch the clip here.

Monday, October 15, 2007

The Secret to a Happy Relationship

I get letters from readers who wonder why they keep attracting men who mistreat or disregard them. I respond by asking, "How do you treat yourself?"

Because if you're always inwardly sniping about the size of your nose or your calves, or how stupid you are, guess what? You're going to attract men who treat you the same way.

Perhaps you've noticed that certain people who aren't smart, good-looking, or even decent human beings manage to attract excellent boyfriends, sky-high paying jobs, winning raffle tickets, and so on. It's because they feel great about themselves. Somewhere along the line, their mothers or fathers or somebody instilled it in them that they are God's gift, and they've been acting upon that supposition every day since. And, fascinatingly enough, so has the rest of the universe.

It's been said that you can't really love anybody else until you love yourself first, but I'd go further. Nobody can love you until you love yourself first.

So, how do you start loving yourself?

Start by treating yourself as you would a beloved child. You wouldn't call a child you love ugly, would you? You wouldn't call her stupid when she fell while she was learning to walk. Well, treat yourself similarly.

Find something to like when you look in the mirror. Allow yourself to make mistakes and learn from them. Buy things that serve you, not things you don't need and put you in debt. Eat real food, instead of the processed crap you find in the inner aisles of the supermarkets (hint: the longer the ingredient list means the more toxic it is to your health--and to your looks).

When you're in a relationship, you should treat the other person as you'd have him treat you. But he should also be treating you as he would have you treat him. Let a man's behavior toward you be the guideline in determining whether you should even be in the relationship.

Hey, sometimes you're better off being on your own. Especially if you're on your own with somebody who loves herself.

Love yourself, and your next relationship will be better. I promise.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Meet Men Everywhere

Women frequently ask me where they can meet men.

The Internet is a good place to start. Two of my male friends became engaged in recent months to women they met through dating sites.

But if that's not your thing, bars are good, too. Now, I'm the daughter of a woman who deplored bars and maintained that men didn't marry women they met in them, but here I am, married to a man I met in a bar. And the guy doesn't even drink.

I received an email yesterday from an irate reader of my newsletter who said, "I don't want a man who drinks, and I don't want a man who hangs out in sports bars."

Well, it's good that she knows what she doesn't want. However, it would be better if she defined what she does want, perhaps a guy who is kind and has a good sense of humor and lives within his means (or whatever; I'm just filling in the blanks here).

The wonderful thing about knowing what you want is that you tend to recognize it when it shows up, wherever it shows up. So make a list of what you do want. Some people claim that this sets you up for failure because no man is perfect. But are you perfect?

Look, no guy is going to meet all your expectations all the time (but he should meet your most important expectations; he shouldn't have a secret second family across town, for example). Be flexible.

Being flexible doesn't mean settling for a guy who smells funny, or who goes to bars if you hate bars. But do write a list about what would make you happy in a man and in a relationship. God knows you know what you don't want, so turn things around.

It's just as likely you'll meet a guy who meets your requirements at the Orange Julius counter at the mall as in a bar, anyway. You could meet him at the cleaners. Or at the post office. Or on a train (a good reason not to drive). Instead of huffing and puffing as you wait on line at the supermarket, think pleasant thoughts instead. You never know who might be watching.

Or course, the Law of Attraction magnetizes worthwhile suitors, too. What the mind conceives, it can achieve. Please don't thwart your efforts by telling yourself all the good men are married or dead. You pretty much ensure you won't find anything but disappointment that way.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Think Ed Harris, Not Ed Asner

This morning, I received a press release about women's true feelings about bald men. I think it's worth reprinting here. An anonymous reader sent it to me in response to a post I wrote in July about sexy bald men.

Ed Harris is sexy. Nick Hornby is sexy. Men who hide thinning hair under bandanas, baseball caps, and scary comb-overs are not sexy. Hair plugs and toupees are hallmarks of crippling insecurity.

Men, if you're bald, stand proud. Revel in the testosterone that rendered you hairless.


2007 Survey Results released on Female Opinions of Bald Men

97% of women surveyed say bald men can be sexy; 71% oppose bald men getting transplants; a bald man’s confidence is very important to women surveyed.

COON RAPIDS, Minn. (September 17, 2007) The Brotherhood of Bald People Worldwide has released the results of their 2007 survey featuring opinions from women on bald men.

The 23-question survey was presented to women residing in various places within the United States to get their opinions and attitudes toward bald men, their sex appeal, dating, and overall opinions on baldness. Complete survey results are posted on The Brotherhood of Bald People Worldwide’s website at

Bret Michaels, are you listening?

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Dumped Before the First Date

Hi, Terry-

I am on an internet dating site and having a lot of fun and meeting some great men. Now and again though, I am faced with an email that I am not sure how to respond to.

Case in point: I have been corresponding with a pretty cute guy via email over the past week. Emails were fun and flirtatious, and he mentioned that he would like to meet me soon.

A day later he wrote this:

“I must let you know that I’ve recently found some success with the dating site and, while it’s early days, I want to give it every chance so, unfortunately we won’t be able to meet, for now.

Please keep my contact details as, who knows? If things don’t work out, I’ll be in touch.

Thanks again for your interest, I’m quite flattered.

Best wishes,
Internet Guy"

I feel he is trying to keep the door open by keeping me as a ‘backstop’ and has therefore lost his chance with me. Or perhaps I am being too hasty and should keep an open mind about this.

What are your thoughts? I have to say that any attraction I felt for him died on reading that email!

So how should I respond --if at all? Or should ‘no reply’ be my answer?


Chin up, Disappointed-

I don't think he's using you as a "backstop." On the contrary, I respect him for telling you the truth and not stringing you along. Look, it's very possible that the new relationship he's hoping will work out won't work out, and I think you'd do well to keep the door open because this guy has shown you three very good things:

1) He is sincere about wanting a relationship.
2) He is honest and considerate of your feelings.
3) He intends to treat the woman he's dating now honorably.

I don't blame you for being disappointed that your flirtation was suddenly cut short. What a bummer. Rejection is never pleasant, is it?

So, my advice to you is to keep on doing what you've been doing. Meet men online and otherwise. If this guy writes to you again, and you manage to resurrect your attraction, why not resume your acquaintance?

In the meantime, I'd write to him and tell him the truth: You're sorry the friendship was cut short, and that you enjoyed corresponding with him. Then I'd add, "Best wishes for every happiness in your new relationship," or something to that effect.

There's no guarantee that you'll be available to date him if things don't work out, but at least you'll have demonstrated that you're a kind woman he'd do well to look up.


Monday, October 08, 2007

Crock of Love

Last night's Rock of Love: Reunion on VH1 brought the LSEs (in case you haven't been following, LSEs are the women of low self-esteem who competed for the affections of Poison front man, Bret Michaels) back into one room to reminisce about the drama of sharing a house for a couple of weeks.

The show's winner, a bright and attractive 23-year-old named Jes, showed up, too, seemingly having come to the realization that her prize is no prize at all. Due to show rules, she and Bret weren't allowed to see each other for six months (or until the series aired, to avoid spoiling the outcome). You could liken her demeanor to that of someone who woke up with a wicked hangover after a Jaeger Meister binge: What the hell was I thinking?

She all but handed Bret back to her former rival, a stripper named Heather, who'd proclaimed her love for the follically-challenged singer. Heather was only too glad to be able to take another shot at him.

Since I do believe the theory that women who love substandard men tend to suffer poor relationships with their own fathers, I don't get Heather's passion for sleep-around Mr. Michaels. Heather seems to enjoy a happy relationship with her dad. In a previous episode, we Rock of Love viewers witnessed her and Bret slapping knees while the old man went through his repetoire of fart stories.

Why any woman would pine for Bret baffles me. Jes seemed utterly bored by him during her reunion with him last night, but Sam, the contestant ridiculed for excessive sensitivity, explained the disillusionment that resulted in her desire to pack her bags and get the hell off the show.

She said, that at the beginning of the taping, she'd hoped to forge a "mental connection" with the Poison singer, but she soon saw that it was impossible, especially since she'd learned he'd been having sex with another contestant, a troublemaker named Lacy. He'd also engaged in a three-way with two other contestants.

"I could never trust you," she earnestly told Bret. He sat there and nodded, too dumb or depraved to understand that she'd insulted him in the worst possible way on national television.

But she told the truth.

In the end, I felt sorry for old Bret, grasping at the last straws of fame under his bandana and pancake makeup. He doesn't get that it's not sex and booze that make for an enduring rock career (ask Springsteen). It's the ability to grow as a person and as an artist. The music has to go beyond the sentiment of "Talk Dirty to Me."

Honesty helps, too.

Show us what's under the bandana, Bret.

Friday, October 05, 2007

She's In Love With an Older Man

Dear Terry-

I have an unusual and stressful problem, not to mention complicated. My ex is now 50, and I'm nearly 21. We finally became a couple last year after years of dancing the tango and him not admitting how he really felt--we were together and finally happy.

I got ill in the summer and ended up in the hospital, and he stuck by me through thick and thin; however, we split up after I came out--from what I can piece together this is my father's fault because he put all the blame at my ex-boyfriend's feet and caused him a hell of a lot of grief. G (my ex-boyfriend) couldn't sleep and was phoning all the time to find out how I was doing but had nothing but grief from my family who wouldn't let him see me.

A year later, we are becoming closer again, but she says he loves his ex--an ex that has been married for 15 years. They did used to have an affair, but that stopped over 10 years ago, and I think he is using her as an excuse to avoid being with me, or the heartache from my father.

We stood in the kitchen together last night while my dad was cooking, and G had his arm around my waist. My dad came up and took his arm from around my waist and told him to keep it off because I "could take it the wrong way."

Now, if G's starting to subconsciously want to touch me and hold me, then I do think he still cares and wants to be with me, but with the interference from my dad it's becoming difficult, that and the old scars from his past relationships. Now, if he still loved his ex last year, he wouldn't have begun a relationship with me. He's not that type, so I do think he's hiding behind her for several reasons.

So the question is this:

How can I subtlely get him over the past and back on track? I love this man with all my heart and want to marry him, but I need him to get over the past for us to begin a future.

Kind regards,
In Love and Longing

Dear In Love-


Did I read it right when you say you're almost 21, your ex is 50, and you finally got together after "years of dancing the tango?" How old were you this tango started?

About your father: It seems to me he's desperate to protect you from getting hurt, and he doesn't trust your ex. Now, you're a grown woman, and you can make your own decisions, but your father is seeing red flags.

Be honest with yourself. What red flags might your father be seeing? Whether you choose to heed them is entirely your decision, but please slow down long enough to at least acknowledge them.

Now, about the grief your father is throwing your ex-boyfriend's way: Your ex is a 50-year-old man. He should be able to endure a little resistance from the man who helped bring you into the world. Your father loves you and is rightly trying to protect you (wouldn't you try to protect him?). With a little determination, your ex could stand up to your father and prove himself worthy of you.

That is, if he's so inclined.

About your ex's ex: She may be married for 15 years, but that doesn't mean anything if your ex still cares about her. If he says he does, take him at his word. Yeah, I know it hurts. I know it's not what you want to believe. But, trust me, it beats wasting your life torturing yourself over a guy who may be wholly incapable of loving you the way you deserve to be loved.

Now, what if I'm wrong, and he does indeed love you? Well, it is up to him to come to terms with his feelings and act on them. Is it intelligent to love somebody and walk away from her? No, it's not.

If he loves you and is an intelligent human being, he will find a way to love you in spite of his fear. You will not have to search for evidence of his affection for you. You will see it, feel it, hear it, touch it, and taste it every day of your life.

About marrying him: At the risk of sounding ageist, he is 30 years older than you. When I was in my 20s, I was besotted with a professor 31 years older than me. My mother sobered me up fast. She said, "Yeah, he seems pretty great now, but you could end up one day taking care of a very old man."

So now I'm saying the same thing to you.

Think about it. If you're lucky, you'll be 50 one day. This guy will be 80. Can you picture him today in a relationship with an 80-year-old woman?

I didn't think so.

Now picture yourself taking care of an 80-year-old man: Your friends want to go the theater, but your husband wants you to stay home, feed him his pills, and watch him fall asleep in front of the news.

Whatever you decide to do about this man, know this: It's not possible to "subtlely get him over the past." Only he can get himself over the past. Only he can get himself over whatever it is that's stopping him from giving you what you want out of the relationship.

There are other men out there, you know. Please be open to the possibility that one of them might make you a lot happier than this guy.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

What's Not Fun About Being Friends With Benefits?

According to an article in yesterday's New York Times, being friends with benefits has drawbacks. Read it here.

In other news, this morning's Today Show featured a story about single guys in their 20s who've had vasectomies to ensure they don't ever end up wearing a backpack with a small human in it. Check out the video here.

Considering that some fathers of four in their forties fear submitting their tender bits to flinty untensils, I'd say these fellows are mighty brave.

Toby Byrum, the vasectomee interviewed for the Today piece, said that despite the fact that he's sterile, some women still think they can convince him to reproduce.

For some reason, I think it's probably not a good idea to try to persuade a guy who's gone to desperate lengths not to have children that he'd make a great father.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Dazed and Confused

Dear Terry-

A certain guy I have been friends with for many years approached me and told me he is interested in me, and that he cares about me. He said with time, he surely hopes something will materialize. He said he is a serious guy and wants a serious relationship, but he indicated "soon."

Am a little confused as to what he is thinking.

He calls now and again, sends emails and texts and sometimes he goes quiet. When he sees me chatting with another guy he gets jealous.

What should I do? Please help.

-A Tenderheart in Need of Guidance

Dear Tenderheart-

Keep chatting with other guys, not to make this one jealous, but because you're not involved with him and have every right to enjoy the company of other men.

If he truly wants something to "materialize" between you, well, then shouldn't he see to it that it does? What is he waiting for?

You say you're confused as to what he's thinking. Guess what? It's not your job to figure out what he's thinking. It's his job to communicate it to you. Keep your responses to his texts and emails brief and to the point. If he "goes quiet," don't attempt to contact him.

He said cares about you and wants a relationship. Let him prove it. Until then, have fun and keep moving. If he ends up losing you, he'll have nobody to blame but himself.


Monday, October 01, 2007

Mock of Love

It came down to Heather and Jes on the finale of Rock of Love last night. At long last Bret made his decision, but not until he spread his man-seed around one last time.

Parts of last night's episode proved truly revolting. After spending the night with Bret, Heather warned Jes, who was on her way out for her date with Bret, to remember where his mouth had been the night before. Jes made some allusions to Heather needing a shower earlier on, complaining that she smelled of "rotten _______."

My stomach is still turning.

Jes "won" Bret (as if anyone really considers him a prize) when she passed his last and final test. As she and Heather stood before him for the ordination phase of the show, he asked if they'd consider sharing him.

Our hero requested Heather's answer first. Poor fool probably figured that saying 'yes' would ensure her safety; after all, Bret confessed to finding girl-on-girl action hot in a previous episode, and by the way he'd been throwing his bod around, monogamy didn't appear to be his strong suit.

"I'd love to," she told him.

Wrong answer.

Jes told him what he wanted to hear, that she could never share a man she loves. It just wasn't "in" her.

And so Bret told Heather their love was not to be, which sent her running to her limousine, probably back to the strip club whence she came. She launched into a hilarious tirade about what an a-hole loser he turned out to be, and worried what the hell is she going to do with his name tattooed on her neck.

Meanwhile, the rest of us are left wondering exactly what vinyl-like hair substitute our hero had peeking from behind his bandana. Surely, VH1 could have thrown the guy a decent toupee.