Wednesday, April 30, 2008

She's Afraid of Commitment

Hi Terry,

I am commitmentphobic.

Why? Well, when I dated the guys who wanted to get married, they one had low-paying jobs, wanted to spend all day in church (please), wanted to get married within three months, or had mental health issues.

One man I dated had lost his job in NYC. I met him through Eharmony (or Eharmon-not). By the third date he told me he was madly in love with me. I was not in love with him. He started tell me about 9/11. Funny thing is, his story kept changing. He was always the hero of the story. Then he told me about how he would save different branches of the bank he worked for. The branches were always failing, and he would save the day.

I finally broke up with him when he demanded sex, and then said that we committed a sin and would have to get married. Right. Why I dated for a year is beyond me. I guess I kept hoping I would start to have some feeling for him. I guess I want to know what falling in love feels like. Never been there.

After the break up, things start to happen to me. Including my Dachshund being poisoned (he died). I think he was doing this things to get me to call him so he could save the day. HUMMMMM

Also, the man was always sick, had some new disease. He was always going to the doctor or Emergency Room. HUMMMM. I believe he had Munchausen Syndrome.

I am still commitmentphobic.

My question is how to I stop dating the mental cases? The guy I am dating now is kind and fun to be with. Marry him, I do not know.

-Help Me


Dear Help-

Once a man demonstrates psycho tendencies, it's time to say goodbye. The author Somerset Maugham said, "It's a funny thing about life; if you refuse to accept anything but the best, you very often get it."

It's the truth.

As soon a guy does something to seriously turn you off (like ask you to marry him after just meeting him, for example), it's time to smile sweetly and thank him for a lovely evening. It's uncanny; when you start saying 'no' to unacceptable people and circumstances, they tend not to show up as often.

You say you don't know why you hung around with the man you suspected of poisoning your dog for as long as you did. This is something you really, really need to think about.

As soon as the 9/11 stories started, I'd have put my guard up. I lived in New York at the time of the attacks, and I notice that most of the people who were really and truly witnesses to the event don't talk about it much. They're not eager to relive the experience.

Also, any person who casts himself as a hero is usually the one who knocked down an old lady while making a break for the stairwell.

About your fear of commitment: Well, at least you have the insight to recognize it. Ask yourself what bothers you about long-term relationships? What are you afraid of?

If you're happy being single, great. Two of the happiest women I know (and the most fun to be around) are in their 70s and have never been married. Men proposed, but the arrangement didn't interest them.

But if you're single, and you want to be married, and some unearthed reservation holds you back from giving your heart to a worthwhile recipient, you have to start digging.

Ask yourself, "How would my life be different if I woke up next to the same person every day? If I shared dinner with him every night?"

Figure out what attracts you to that situation. More important, figure out what repels you from that situation. Whatever it is (boredom, always being stuck cleaning the toilet), think about how you can turn that around.

Can you be open to the possibility of marrying a man who makes you laugh and considers it his responsiblity to clean the toilet once in a while?

Terry

Monday, April 28, 2008

How to Juice Up Your Dating Profile

This was pretty amusing, although I could have done without the "fudging it" bit.

When It Comes to Meeting Men, Your Best Bet Is a Woman

Has this ever happened to you?

You're minding your own business when some knucklehead tips you off that you're not quite as good-looking as your sister or friend.

This happened to me a few weeks ago. At a party for my daughter, a guest informed me that my youngest sister was better looking than me. This is nothing new; people used to stop my mother on the street when we were small and coo over my sister while I stood there like an organ grinder's monkey.

(What does this have to do with meeting a great guy? I'm getting to
it....)

I am the mother of two girls now, and it boggles my mind how people
judge little females by their looks, as if we're participating in a never-ending Miss America contest.

It's so old.

Still, it manages to divide women, to make us suspicious of each other, and to compete over nonsense (like jewelry, for instance). Ultimately, it isolates us.

A few weeks ago, I came across this gem in magazine for teenage girls:

"Subtly stand out in a sea of cousins--and send the message
that you're the cutest--with a swipe of a bright pink lipstick that's perfect for your skin tone."

So, a lot of us girls grow up disliking other girls. We view them as threats, or hang around with them only until a man appears on the horizon.

And it's a shame.

One of the very best ways to meet decent, fun, good men is through our friends, especially friends who happen to be girls. No, not 'girlfriends' we merely put up with until we snag some guy, but real friends who love us, support us, and want what's best for us.

Real friends come in handy when you're falling for a guy who may hurt
you. They'll wake you up.

I'm sure I don't have to tell you that a fool who says your sister is "hotter" than you isn't someone you should waste time with (although a friend's sister actually dated some loser who told her, "If I could put your sister's head on your body, you'd be perfect!").

I happened to be out with friends when I met my husband. Years later, these friends and still talk on the phone all the time.

Just yesterday, I took four trains (I hate driving) deep into a bordering state for one of those friend's twins' Communion party. (Where was Peter? He stayed home to wait for our older daughter to get home from a school trip -- and steam-cleaned the kitchen and bathroom floors while he waited. Now, that's my kind of man!)

One of the best pieces of advice about guys came from one my friends who happened to be a girl. She told me this when I was seriously kidding myself with a Mr. Not-Very-Likely:

"Terry, you have to picture yourself married to this guy 10 years from now. Ask yourself, is he really going to make you happy?"
The answer was no, and I broke up with him.

Thank God for friends who happen to be girls.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

How to Detect a Lie

This video by comedians Taige Jensen and Ryan Hunter cracked me up, although the statistic at the end made me a little sad. It doesn't mean you have to put up with it, though.

As for me, I'd stay home and read a book rather than hang out with a liar any day of the week.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

The Law of Attraction in Love and Weight Loss

Good Vibe Coach Jeannette Maw sent a link to the video in which The Biggest Loser winner Ali Vincent explains how she used visualization, acting 'as if,' and other Law of Attraction methods to lose 112 pounds.

What does this have to do with dating, you ask? Well, I used these very same methods to attract the house I live in, my children, and--oh, yeah--the man I married.

Check out the video by clicking here.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

The Dating Chameleon: She Becomes Whatever He Wants

Hi Terry,

I have friend who becomes whatever her boyfriend wants her to be. Her last one hated anything Science Fiction, so she hated anything Science Fiction. He collected guns, so she went from supporting gun control laws to saying, "God and Guns made us Free." He wanted her skinny, so she starved herself. He wanted a redhead, so she dyed her hair.

To my friend, her boyfriend's word was the law, she believe everything he said. But, she never meet his coworkers, his family called her a gold digger, and she has and is still dating him after 13 years. She keeps telling me he is the one, the one God sent to her.

Why do women do this? I have talked to men, and overall they do not like it. Did we learn this from our mothers, our female teachers, our pastors (who preached submission) what is the reason, and why?

I have a degree in Human Behavior, so things like this interest me.

-Gotta Know


Dear Gotta-

This kind of thing has always interested me, too. I'm no psychologist (or human behaviorist), but your friend's problem is low self-esteem. In other words, a man's never going to love her for who she really is, so she must mold herself to fit his expectations.

It sounds exhausting.

And you're right. Healthy, normal, well-adjusted men are pretty freaked out when a woman comes along and transforms herself into what she thinks he wants. The control freaks, the losers, and the abusers just love it, though. It makes them feel powerful.

Back to the question of low self-esteem: A lot of it does develop in childhood. I took some pretty wild abuse from nuns that took some conscious effort to get over, for example. But I did get over it. It can be done.

Your question about pastors is a good one. Church is great, but I don't know that it's the best place to meet men. Certain churches are a magnet for guys with a "Wives submit to your husbands in all things..." mentality that Christ did not preach but St. Paul did. (I would argue that St. Paul was a man preaching to certain people in certain times, and he was not Christ.)

And then the media program little girls from the time they can figure out the remote to believe they need a man and should cater to him mentally, emotionally, and physically. My husband often asks, "Why are women so eager to hate themselves?" I tell him, "Turn on the television."

I do hope your friend will think twice about blaming God for sending this guy her way, especially since, after 13 years, his family calls her a gold digger (nice one, by the way), and he clearly isn't interested in introducing her to other key people in his life.

If she's willing to work on her self-esteem, I recommend a brilliant book by Louise Hay called You Can Heal Your Life. She might also look into a method called EFT to help her let go of the belief that this sad relationship is the best God has in store for her. She can download a free ebook and check out a short video about the process here.

-Terry

Monday, April 21, 2008

Bret Michaels, Peter Pan Man

Between events of the Pope's visit (I flipped it on for a millisecond, and a miracle occurred: The old guy hooked me), I tuned into the Rock of Love 2 reunion yesterday afternoon.

I don't know how much of it was staged, but it really doesn't matter. The way Bret behaves, the way some of these women behave (hello, Heather) never fails to astonish me.

I particularly enjoyed the way Wildebeast Heather reinforced the double standard by calling Daisy a whore for having sex with Bret. As for Bret having sex with Daisy? Hey, that's cool. He's a guy.

Daisy may be a highly gifted actress, but I did feel sorry for her when she said she'd become vulnerable after falling for Bret. I actually had to admire the girl when she called him on banging her yet again after he knew damn well he'd choose her rival, Ambre, to be his so-called rock star girlfriend (Bret's not really a rock star. He's a circus act).

Bret's response? Something along the lines of, "I'm a man. I couldn't help myself."

You may be a man, Dude, but you're not a nice man. Do you even have a soul?

And have you looked in the mirror lately? You look like a freaking moron in your poseur clothes and cheesy headgear. You look like you're posing, always, whether you're playing your guitar or riding a motorcycle.

You're not the real deal.

You're 45 now and still living a rock star pipe dream, but you're not Robert Plant. You're not David Bowie. You're not even David Crosby. And you sure as hell aren't Adam Levine.

You are no longer relevant.

When you're on your deathbed, will you regret not having banged just one more woman? What exactly is your purpose in life, anyway? You are the epitome of the saggy, orange-faced Peter Pan Man that no woman in her right mind should sleep with, let alone date.

Don't feel too bad. You may be woefully repellent, Bret Michaels, but you do possess a unique power:

You made an 81-year-old Pope look sexy.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Has Your TV Programmed You to Be Disappointed in Love?

I wrote this article a while ago. The previous question prompted me to post it here:

Are you a fan of the fun new American TV show, My Boys, which chronicles the life and dating adventures of an attractive 20-something woman?

Do you still watch Sex and the City?

A lot of women do. A factor these shows have in common, like most fiction, is that the protagonists are rarely satisfied in their quests for love.

For instance, on an episode of My Boys last season, the main character, PJ, met up with her old flame, which sparked warm memories. She discovered she was still wildly attracted to him. He seemed to return her interest.

She got her hopes up.

He asked her out for dinner, leading her to believe they'd get together again. But, over drinks, he lowered the boom: He'd just gotten engaged--to someone else.

Like My Boys, Sex and the City is loaded with romantic disappointment. It drives the show. Face it, nobody would be tuning in for all these years if Carrie married Mr. Big in Season One and gave birth to triplets in Season Two.

Who'd care?

Drama--conflict-- makes for great TV. It makes for good books, good movies, good art. Happiness is boring.

The problem? Take in enough of this stuff, and we start believing that happiness is unattainable (or, more important, boring). We automatically assume that love must disappoint us. We subconsciously seek out drama. We go for less than we deserve.

But just because PJ and Carrie (and Charlotte and Samantha and Miranda) can't find love, you can.

You can be happy in love (even if your friends aren't, your parents aren't, your sister isn't). You can be lucky in love. Look to people in your own life who are happily married. Use them as role models.

Boredom is hardly inevitable!

By all means, enjoy television, but keep in mind it's drama. It is not reality. Write your own script when it comes to the romance you desire. What, for example, will make you feel happy and secure in a relationship?

Do you even know? If not, it's time to give it some thought. Make it concrete by writing it down. Start envisioning yourself in the relationship you desire with the kind of man who'll make you happy.

This works.

You may wonder: What's more important? Visualizing your perfect relationship, or getting out and finding it? I'd been getting out for a long time and ending up with all the wrong men until I started visualizing. The right men didn't register on my radar screen until I did.

Please do not discount the power of visualization. It works. And it doesn't cost you a dime. To attract the right man, visualize first. Then get out of the house.

Do the things you love to do (I have a theory that if everybody who claimed to love taking long walks on the beach actually took them, online dating would cease to exist).

There's a man out there who's dreaming of a woman like you. If you want him, you can have him.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Men Scare the Hell Out of Her

Hi Terry,

I have used your techniques, and they have worked. Right now I am dating someone.

However, I have a friend who is the same age (well she is a few months older) as me, but she has never been out on a date. Never!

She has always given excuses as "I am not ready to date." "My parents fought all the time, and I am afraid the same will happen to me." "I know what men want." "I will be raped on my first date." "I am good girl, and men do not want good girls in this day and age."

One time my friend and I went out to a restaurant and bar near where we live. On Friday night this restaurant and bar had quite a few single middle-aged men. Several men spoke to me, bought me Margaritas, and I had a great time. They also tried to have conversation with my friend. She quickly and rudely told them, "I do not drink!" "I am not interested in talking to you." "I am not easy, if you are thinking that way."

I am embarrassed by the whole situation. Not only was she rude, she dressed sloppy and out-of-date. Her excuse: "I dress this way to let men know I am not a loose woman, I am a good girl, and probably the only virgin in the southern half of the state."

I do not know what to do with her. I no longer invite her anywhere. She has not even met the man I am dating. I am afraid she will let him know she is perfect.

No matter what I say, she will stick to her beliefs. I have tried telling her she is wrong, and denying herself a wonderful part of her life.

What can I do to help her get over herself, and her perception of men? She is in her early 50s.

Her fear of meeting men is greatly out of hand. She even turned down attending her company Christmans party for fear one of the single men would ask her to dance, or join her at her dinner table.

Your response is greatly appreciated.

-She's Outta Hand


Dear She's Outta-

What we focus on in life is what we tend to get. So, if your friend believes all men are goons, she'll prove herself right every time. This, despite the fact that for every goon out there, there's also a decent man who just wants to find the right woman to love.

So, if your friend keeps believing what she believes, she'll die happy in the knowledge that her instincts about men were excellent. That's the thing about us humans: We do like to be right.

It's kind of you to want to help this woman, but she can only help herself. I'm no psychologist, but the comments she made about her parents fighting and how she's a good girl (not to mention her pride in remaining a virgin after the age of 50) lead me to think she endured some pretty wild programming in her childhood.

Programming can be overcome with the help of a good therapist, but the question remains: Is your friend willing?

Until she is, continue living your life to the fullest. If she calls and asks why you don't invite her out anymore, it wouldn't be unkind to point out that she embarrassed you and may have hurt the feelings of the men who tried to talk to her that night over margaritas.

If you feel like seeing her again, you may be better off doing it privately, but take care that her bizarre ideas don't color your own relationships with men.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

He Doesn't Know What He Wants...

Hi Terry,

I have been seeing this guy since December. He is 31, and I'm 33. The relationship started very well, but a few weeks back, he sent me a text saying he doesn't want to hurt me because I've been faithful, but he hasn't, and he'll prefer if we are just friends. I felt really bad.

He keeps calling, he still wants us to hang out together. It seems to me he doesn't know what he wants. I don't know what to do. Do I ignore his calls or what?

-Baffled


Dear Baffled-

I would definitely ignore his calls. Instead of giving you the courtesy of telling you face-to-face, this 31-year-old man texts you to say he just wants to be friends. Then, he starts calling you again to hang out, which will probably involve activities that go beyond the usual parameters of platonic friendship.

It's true; he may not know what he wants. Chances are, five years from now he won't know, either. Unfortunately for him, you weren't put on the planet to help him figure it out.

You can do better.

Terry

Monday, April 14, 2008

More About Rock of Love 2 (But Only If You Can Stomach It)

Just came upon some interesting intelligence via Reality Blurred.

Turns out Bret Michaels isn't really in love with Ambre, despite assuring us schmucks in TV Land that he starred in Rock of Love 2 to find true love. Not only that, he doesn't rule out doing a Rock of Love 3, but he'd prefer to do "a show called ‘Bret Michaels Big Rock Road Show,’ which is just rockers gone wild on the road."

Whee.

Bret might need to do something. He could need the cash now that the owner of the "house of lies" he and the LSEs inhabited is suing him for "intentional destruction of property."

At last, Bret Michaels Chooses His 'Rock of Love'

In last night's finale of Rock of Love 2, Bret Michaels, Self-Proclaimed Rock Star, chose between two finalists, a stripper named Daisy and a TV hostess (whatever that means) named Ambre to be the recipient of his "like, lust, and love."

A hopeless slut, Bret decided between the two remaining Ladies of Low Self-Esteem after going for a roll in the hay with each of them. In TV Land, viewers endured uncomfortably tight shots of his tongue swabbing their eager tonsils.

In the end, the TV hostess won Rock of Love 3, giving her the last laugh.

At 37 (eight years younger than Bret Michaels), Ambre had been maligned by her rival as being "80 years old" and "500 hundred years old." Another 22-year-old contestant Bret booted a couple of weeks ago dismissed Ambre as an "old lady."

Which really cracked me up. Obviously, these Mensa candidates didn't look long enough at Bret and his hair extensions (or whatever that phenomenon is dangling from his head) to realize that life in one's 20s is fleeting.

Now that Our Hero has at last chosen his Lady of Like, Lust, and Love, we wonder what's next for them. Are they still a couple, or has Bret already signed to do Rock of Love 3? Will we discover he's inked a deal to design a line of rockin' bandanas for Walmart? Will Ambre's star ascend? Will she go from being TV hostess to perhaps a guest corpse on Law and Order SVU?

Search engines may sieze trying to answer all our questions.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Getting What You Want Again

If you're having trouble getting the 'Getting What You Want' video to load from my post dated April 10, you can see it by going directly to the Today site.

Click here.

She Wants to Live Together, But He Doesn't

Terry-

I have known my boyfriend for 8-9 years, although the majority of the time we have been just friends. In the last six months, our relationship has gone to a one-on-one intense love.

He keeps saying that he does not want to get married, but then he started saying he didn't know if we would get along in a live-in relationship. My comment was that all we have to do is give a bit more time and to leave all our options open. Now he is saying we get along better when we are together than when we are apart but communicating by phone during the week. He knows I love being with him.

When we spend the weekends together, I have started doing half the cooking. He keeps commenting again that I am bucking for a permanent position because my cooking is so good. And he states I am doing a good job of it. But on the other hand he insists no live-in or marriage. He keeps sending mixed signals.

I tell him I love I him and love being with him. What is your opinion? I would love to live together. What you think?

-Wondering


Dear Wondering-

This man is not giving you mixed signals. He's been honest. He likes you, he likes your cooking, but he does not want to get married or live together.

I'm sure you are a great cook and otherwise wonderful company, or else he would not be spending his weekends with you. But he seems to be content to continue your current arrangement until one or both of you gets sick of it.

I understand that you harbor intense feelings for him. Even so, my best advice to you is to limit your time with him. See him just every now and then, not on weekends when it works for him. Start filling your free time with friends, movies, travel, family, books, concerts, etc. Anything but him!

Oh, and stop telling the guy you love him. Let him wonder why you don't say it anymore.

He will do one of two things:

He'll either miss you and realize that you have an increasingly full life which he may find himself squeezed out of, or he'll fade out of your life altogether.

I realize that the possibility of letting him fading out of your life seems horribly painful to you now, but, remember, no other human on the planet can make this guy change his mind about moving your relationship forward.

Eventually, he's going to do what he wants to do, and it might as well be sooner than later. It's time for you to get on with your life and find the love and happiness you truly deserve.

Terry

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Getting What You Want

I'm not usually a big fan of Cosmo, but the following video intrigued me, particularly the bit about "accidentally" touching a date's hand over dinner:

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Are You Getting Heat to Get Married?

One of the most dangerous things women face is outside pressure to get married before they're ready. This "marriage-at-all-costs" mentality often pushes them to legally bind themselves to the wrong men.

Which can either be dangerous or downright boring, depending on the wrong men they end up with.

Furthermore, it forces women to start thinking of every date as a potential husband, which is a sure recipe for appearing desperate and unattractive.

It's 2008, and still the pressure persists!

While perusing the rice aisle at Stop & Shop yesterday morning, I heard the most depressing conversation:

Smartly dressed woman: "I don't understand what these girls are waiting for. I was married at 21, and I've been married 37 years now."

Frumpily dressed woman: "I know. They all want to focus on their careers."

Smartly dressed woman: "It's ridiculous. My daughter is 23, and she
doesn't even have anybody yet."

It drives me crazy!

People with this bizarre "females must be married as soon as possible" philosophy jeopardize women's -- particularly their own daughters' -- health, happiness, and general well-being. How many women have stayed with an abuser, for instance, just because they felt they were not quite female without a man?

I distinctly remember times when I was happily single, and some clown would come up to me and tell me I would be truly happy if I was married.

When the father of a friend asked me at the age of 24 when I was going to "finally find a husband," I told him I was too young.

If people are giving you the heat to hook up and find the right guy already, I advise you to tell them the same thing, and I don't care if you're 71.

You will attract the right man only when you are ready. And I mean peacefully ready, not desperately ready.

Monday, April 07, 2008

More About Rock of Love 2

I clicked off the TV last night too soon. I missed the death notice for Destiney's father.

Very sad news.

The Bandana Comes Off!

If you're looking for dating advice, scroll onward to previous posts, as I interrupt this blog for an update on the sizzling TV show that causes eyeballs to boil in their very sockets!

Viewers who tuned into Rock of Love 2 With Bret Michaels last night were treated to seeing our hero without a bandana!

At last!

Which prompted my viewing companions to cry, "Put it back on!"

To make it ready for prime time, the man's "hair" had been blown and tortured into a block of banana ice cream. The remaining LSEs, Ambre, Daisy, and Destiney tried not to notice and promptly commenced kissing serious ass.

Bret, probably having looked in a mirror, ran for cover under a fresh bandana (and possibly a hat; I don't rememember) and announced that he'd invited the LSEs' families to the "house of lies" so that he could get a better sense of who should be the lucky winner of his love.

Unfortunately for Ambre, her Dad innocently revealed that she is 37, not 32, as she'd claimed on an earlier episode (to be fair to Ambre's father, his lips got loose after coping with some sakis as the Donald Trump of Rock mauled his daughter at the dinner table).

Bret claimed to be put off by Ambre's lie, since he has been honest about his age from the outset.

But he lies. In the season opener, he claimed to be 40. Last night, he revealed his true age of 44 (at the time of taping, that is).

My viewing companions and I smelled a rat. A rat named Bret Michaels, who is allowed to lie and slobber all over every woman he wants, while his woman must be truthful and fixated on him and his weird hair.

As for the other constestants, things continue to look good for Daisy, the dancer we've learned shares a place with her ex-boyfriend but hasn't had sex with him for two years.

Destiney, however, got the book, despite her father's announcement on last night's episode that he suffered from liver cancer and was not expected to live past March. It really was a very sad and odd moment on the farce that is the Rock of Love 2.

It's April. Let's hope he beat his prognosis.

Friday, April 04, 2008

How Do I Get Over Him?

Good Day, Terry-

I have learnt a lot from your articles. I have a problem of my own. I have been with my partner for 9 and half years. We have a 7-year-old boy, who's such an angel and a blessing to me. My boyfriend promised to marry me for years, and one time I felt like cheating, and I did it then he found out. We had our fights and sorted things out. It's been 2 years now and no quarrels. He uses every opportunity he gets to go abroad on work related issues, and I only find out when he comes back with gifts.

I'm tired of receiving gifts. I need to be loved and given attention, but it's not happening every time I talk to him. He goes to a casino the whole night and comes back in the morning to prepare for work. It's a year now I have packed and moved out of the house and all is well. My mom told me the affair is over, and I have to accept it but its hard. How do I do that after nine years of my life? I feel so miserable and empty without him.

Kindly advise.


Hello-

I don't know your mother, but I suspect that she loves you and dearly wants you to be happy.

Since the affair does indeed seem to be over (and that's not a bad thing because you're not getting from it what you need, anyway), the time has come for you to take extremely good care of yourself. Okay, you cheated, and I'm sure you're sorry about it. It wasn't your finest moment, but you can't turn back time.

It's time to love and forgive yourself for past mistakes, and to move on. I know this hard, but if you are ever to get the love you deserve I suspect you'll have to stop waiting to get it from a man who goes to the casino all night.

Since it seems you've been continually disappointed in your relationship (he promised to marry you for years, for example), it occurs to me that you may be used to being disappointed and even expecting to be disappointed. This can set a low bar for circumstances in all parts your life, your job, your friendships, and, yes, your next relationship. I'm not a psychologist, but I did go through a period of dating disappointing men, so I may be able to relate here.

You may have read in past articles how I built myself up by treating myself as my own best boyfriend. It's been said that you can't love anyone else until you love yourself, but I truly believe that no one can love you unless you love yourself, either. So start loving yourself.

If you want to travel, book a trip for you and your son. If your mother is willing to babysit, think about going by yourself. (Nothing like solo travel for getting a fresh perspective on things.) If you want to see a movie, see it alone if you have to. Get used to your own company. Learn to love your own company. It's when we dislike being alone that we stay in rotten relationships.

If you have it, get over the idea that you need a man to make your life complete, worthwhile, or anything else for that matter.

When it comes to this particular man, remember "Out of sight, out of mind." Seriously. He's your son's father, so you'll see him, but when he's not around, don't let him live rent-free in your head.

If you find yourself thinking of him, stop. Fill your time with new friends of all sorts; you don't know where life will take you when you make new friends. If you have an old friend from a job or school you've lost touch with, give her a call. Expand your horizons.

You'll find that getting over this relationship will get easier over time. You've invested nine years in it already. Why make it ten?

I hope this helps.

Terry

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Are You in an Exclusive Relationship -- Or a Harem?

Just before Easter, I made the acquaintance of Scot and Emily McKay, two dating coaches who met online. I particularly liked this refreshing and empowering article of Emily's:

Relationships can be so confusing sometimes, especially when communication is not at its best.

It's easy to automatically think that the other person feels the same way we do. The fear that we may be wrong prevents us from talking about it. So many people believe they are in an exclusive relationship when the other person just sees him or her as one of many available options.

There are at least 5 very easy ways to avoid confusion as to where you stand:

1. You and a man you are seeing should have a talk about your feelings about each other and about how you two feel about seeing other people. If he does not want to share you with other men, he will make sure you know this. But make sure he will reciprocate. Sometimes a man is capable of building a harem with women who are faithful to him while he still allows himself all the ladies he wants. If he wants a harem, then you are free to date whoever you want. Just remember the two of you are no more than friends with benefits.

Last night Scot and I went out to a live music dance club. This place is special to me because it is where he made me more than just a friend. Scot let me know his intentions to be good to me and protect my heart. He asked me to be his girlfriend--for us to be in an exclusive relationship with each other. This was made very clear without doubts.

Remember: If you have to ask, then you are not exclusive.

2. If a man is focusing on you alone, he will want to see you as often as he can in a week--especially if you live in the same city and work allows free time. Seeing each other at least three times a week portends this fairly accurately. Men and women only have so many days out of the week to go out on dates. Are those times spent with you or are they shared with a list of other women? If you only see him every other week, then most likely you're not the only one he is seeing.

3. A man who is interested only in you looks forward to making plans for weekends with you, and may be planning trips for the two of you to go on. While it's true he may be spontaneous and call you at the last minute to join him for an outing, a good sign thathe has a harem is that he always waits until the last minute to ask you out. This usually happens because he's not so sure if the one he asked as his first choice will show up. Maybe she even canceled on him.

Don't confuse this with spontaneity. I'm not talking about a surprise or a gift; I'm talking about if the "last minute notice" is a habit. He is waiting to see if someone better to go out with will be available, as being pinned down to plans does not leave him options. Think about this if he calls you Friday at 6:00 to invite you to a concert for that day, and he had the tickets for 3 months. Why would he not give you more notice?Because the person he planned to take flaked out on him, that's why. If you did not know about it at all then it absolutely was a girl who flaked out, not one of the guys.

4. As his exclusive girlfriend if you need to reach him for something important, he is ok with you calling him at home or on his cell phone any time of the day or night. But if you are part of a harem, there are rules like not calling at night or on his home phone. Also you always seem to get voice mail, having to wait for when it is convenient for him to call you and talk. If he leaves on a trip and will not talk to you while he is gone, then this is a red flag that he has at least one other girlfriend or maybe even a wife.

5. The famous words of a harem builder are, "I would love to settle down when the right woman comes along". This statement is used to pose a challenge to you, which will make you feel that you have to prove that you are the right woman and that if you stick around he will figure that out eventually. After you have been dating for a few months things should be moving forward, in an exclusive relationship. Not that you have a ring on your finger yet, but that you have conversations about the future together, kids, and getting to know one another. This also needs to be demonstrated with actions, not just words. An example would be going from seeing you once a week inthe start of a relationship to increasing it over time to 2, 3, or 4 times a week.


If a relationship you are in has been on for a while but is the same as day one, it's time to consider what we've talked about today as a very possible reason why.

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Emily McKay is a dating coach and Internet radio talk show host with X & Y Communications. Her latest program, Click With Him, empowers women to find and attract the right man, online OR offline. It can be found by clicking here. Emily and her husband, Scot, are also available for personal dating and relationship coaching by phone. For information, click here.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Guys Who Can't Get It Together

I came across a brilliant quote from actress Tandie Newton in New York's Metro Weekend the other day:

"I have a couple of girlfriends who were involved with guys who just couldn't get it together. They did the right thing and realized, I can't be with this guy. And many of the guys resolved to get their s--- together."

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Is He Emotionally Unavailable?

Hi Terry,

I have been “seeing” this guy for about 6 months now. He lives about two hours away. I try to go there whenever I can but he has been working overtime, which means the weekends and only has one day off. I do not work on the weekends. I have been out there about 6 times or so, spending the weekend every time I am there. We talk on the phone almost everyday, and constantly text/email throughout the day. This past weekend I was invited to go with him to a wedding, and it was amazing. We spent all weekend together and among his closest friends who are either married and pregnant or engaged.

I am only 22 and he is 30, but that does not make a difference to us, age is only a number. Anyway, every time we try to have the “talk” nothing ever gets resolved.. its always like “well why ruin a good thing that we have right now?”

But I’m thinking.. it would not ruin anything it would just make it better or at least give me a peace of mind as to what is going on with us. I just do not understand why he doesn’t want to be serious, especially since he is at the age when it might be time to settle down and all of his friends are. He has told me that he has never been in love, wants to focus on his career right now, that were in different parts of our lives.. blah blah.. but I still do not get a definite answer as to whether we should stop talking/seeing each other or just continue down this confusing path.

So I am not sure what to do. I guess I should suck it up and just talk to him, tell him that I want things to progress or at least tell me what he wants and if were not in the same boat, then bail out when I can? I think I’ve put up with it for a while now, and I think any other girl would’ve been like no you either tell me you don’t want me or tell me you do. Maybe I should do the same. I really enjoy him, seeing each other for so long, so I def don’t want to lose that.

Best wishes,
A.



Hello, A.-


You're 22, he's 30. I don't see this as an issue at all; some people are more mature at 20 than some others are at 45. However, the fact that this man you're seeing is 30can perhaps make him even more attractive to you than he would be if he were, say, a guy your own age. Let's face it; when you're 22, dating a 30-year-old guy can seem downright glamorous.

Now, his friends are marrying and having babies, but he says he's never been in love. He says that you're in different parts of your lives. He says he wants to focus on his career.

Okay...

My advice to you is to stop wondering what to do. Sucking it up and talking to him will probably resolve nothing and will only distance him further from you.

(Here's an analogy: You're in a restaurant. You think you want the salmon, but the waiter keeps telling you to have the steak. You insist on the salmon. He insists on the steak. Eventually, you either throw your napkin on the table in a huff and leave, or you eat the steak just to make the waiter stop haranguing you. Neither is a good option. Don't be the waiter in your relationship with this man).

The only way this guy is going to see you for the attractive, smart, fun person you are is if you stand back enough to let him get a long look at you. In other words, be less available. Be pleasant about it, but definitely text less, phone less, visit less (yes, I know he lives two hours away, and your time together is limited as it is, but who's doing most of the traveling here? You or him?).

One of two things will happen. He will indeed realize what a great deal you are. He'll miss you. He won't want to lose you. No more nonsense about not ever having been in love!

Or...

He will not realize what a good deal you are. He will fade out of your life altogether. If this is the case, his disappearance would be a fabulous thing indeed because he was never capable of giving you the love you deserve in the first place. You will have saved yourself a great deal of time.

I hope I haven't ruined your day with this information, and I ask you to please consider the possibility that Mr. Not In Love is doing you a favor here. Have you met his family, for example? Do you know how his father treats his mother? How he treats his mother? (My mother taught me that you can tell a lot about a man by the way he treats his mother!)

Project 10 years from now. If you were to marry this guy, would you be happy? Or would you stuck with a man who takes you for granted? Would you be soothing yourself with reality television and junk food you'd become too numb to taste?

Consider the possibility that you can do better than him. Revel in the possibilities that being 22 and having your whole life ahead of you affords you.

I truly hope this helps, A. Thank you for writing.

Terry