Friday, May 30, 2008

Another Rubberband Man

Hi, Terry-

I am thoroughly confused. A year ago I dated a man who is twenty years my senior. I am twenty-seven. It was a short but very intense relationship. We lived together for about a month.

He has a very bad relationship history (the word Casanova comes to mind), and I doubted throughout if he wanted a serious realtionship. At his age, the longest relationship he has ever been in is seven months! I thought he had changed, as he said he was tired of being in relationships that never lasted and was hoping ours would.

I disliked a lot of things about the relationship- he was very paranoid, jealous and analysed every statement I made. Even though he never said anything, and he denied being jealous, his behaviour proved other wise. I tried to alleviate his fears by trying to let him know that I thought of HIM only and so on. I would call him all the time to tell him what I was doing so he would not have to wonder and suspect anything. He misunderstood my constant communication with him as a sign of neediness and clinginess. Well, to cut a long story short he broke up with me and said he only wanted to be friends as we misunderstood and misconnected.

I was ok with that initially, even though it hurt a lot, because we did fight a lot. Just as I was beginning to get used to a life without him he then started indicating to me that he wanted more. He would invite me to social gatherings with his friends and not indicate that we were not together anymore. He would let them assume and sometimes actually confirm that we were still together, which confused me a lot since I still have feelings for him, and I would take him back if he wanted to work at the relationship.

Currently, I am the one who AGAIN initiates contact. He does not however follow our dinner and coffee dates with a call or so. He acts as though we are together when other people are, but he never makes any contact with me otherwise. I am always the one to call him to ask if he wants to go out for meals or coffee. He always accepts, always hints to a future reunion, his body language says he still finds me attractive but he never initiates contact.

What is going on here? what can I do to turn the tables. I still have feelings for him, but I am tired of feeling used. He is currently still single.

What do you think?

-G.


Dear G.-

I'll tell you what I think: You can do better than this.

Your problem is very similar to the one I answered yesterday, so please read my response there. I'd also like you to re-read your letter to me. Sometimes when we look at a situation in black-and-white we can see it for what it really is.

You say this particular man's body language indicates that he is still attracted to you. That's great. It means a better man will be attracted to you, too.

But you want this man. Why? Why? Why?

Please think about this: What attracts you to a man who is destined to disappoint you every way he can? What attracts you to a man you describe as a Casanova? Who is incapable of maintaining a relationship for over seven months? At 47 years of age?

Which brings me to another thing: His age. When you're 27, being with a man 20 years your senior can be a heady experience. Older people can be incredibly attractive when we're young; they seem smarter, wiser, sexier. But not every older man or woman has grown up from the person they were in their 20s.

Some people resist growth. And an older man who still can't manage a decent love relationship probably falls into this category.

You mention that you disliked a lot of this man's qualities when you were together: His paranoia, jealousy, and his compulsion to analyze every word you uttered. Can you imagine the living hell you'd endure if you married him?

Stop being confused. Stop calling the guy. If he calls you, tell him thanks but no thanks.

You deserve better and you're moving on.

Terry

Thursday, May 29, 2008

He Told Her She Was the Most Amazing Person He'd Ever Met (and Promptly Disappeared)

Hi, Terry:

I have been dreading to send you this mail but didn’t know where to start until I just couldn’t go to sleep as I am at the end of my journey.

I met Him in July last year. The first signs that something was wrong was when He gave me a lift home from work and said, "You are an amazing person, I’ve never met anyone like you but cannot see you again." I was convinced, but got an e-mail at work that said, “There’s something I want to show you! Is it possible to see you when you knock off?” Then we were together again. We have been to breakfasts, lakes, lunches, and all of them were magical.

That was only the beginning of my sufferings. We are so different and yet so attracted to each other. Different religion, race, he is 20yrs older …the list goes on! Magic is the only word I can explain what we both feel. But every time we spent time together he will suddenly close up for days on end, and I wouldn’t understand what hit me. As I write this tears just pour down as I know that we are only kept apart by boundaries that He knows of but is not willing to share with me. At times He says that I’m too close or He’ll say “one of these days I’ll surprise you." I don’t know what this is or where it is going….

I have fallen for him, and it makes me sad to know that He doesn’t want me. I have met wonderful people but cannot seem to go on dates or give anybody a chance. I have tried but all these are disastrous and make me feel worse. Nobody has never made me feel the way that he does… We still go to lunch once in a while, I do try to keep my distance but if we are together, every tear and pain melts away. We are not sexually active as He feels that we are not ready. This is frustrating as I‘ve read every book, am a bonafide Christian at age 32 with two beautiful girls….I need to get through this and be normal again.

He does call….but as soon as there’s any connection, He is gone. I love him and I do want him in my life even though he is a different religion. He has all the qualities I want in a man. I have prayed and am not willing to give up on him. Please help…

-Warm Regards But Not Feeling too Well


Dear Warm-

It's extremely seductive when you click with a man, and he tells you, "You are the most amazing person I've ever met." It really seals the attraction, doesn't it?

Because we women have been socialized to believe that someday our prince will come, that we are destined to spend our lives with a soulmate, that some romances are fated from the start, and so on. From the day we are born, it's expected that some man will come for us out of the blue, love us, provide for us, and make us happy.

But it's more important that we love and provide for ourselves and make ourselves happy. A fantastic love relationship is lovely, intoxicating, invigorating, and certainly helpful, but it's not necessary to our survival.

Sadly, so many of us hold onto a relationship because it just had to be "the one" because of the beliefs we've been raised with, supplemented with a comment from a guy like, "You are like nobody else," or "The minute I met you I felt I'd always known you."

It's hard to walk away from a line like that. (I know; I fell for one myself).

And it's especially intriguing when a guy drops a line like that and follows it up with, "I cannot see you again."

What?

And then he calls and asks you to join him in some magical adventure. And you go and say to yourself, "We belong together. It's just a matter of time before he realizes it. I'll make him realize it."

But here's the snag: He's not available.

I don't know whether religion is a factor, or if it's something else. To tell you the truth, it does not matter. What matters is that you're in pain. You're losing sleep over this guy, which means other aspects of your life are suffering, which may include your work, your children, and your ability to have a good laugh with your friends.

In my experience, men who tell you they're unavailable mean it. And that may be a good thing because if you stand back far enough to see this picture clearly, you'll quickly realize that a man who tells you you're special but can't see you again and then calls you bears little resemblance to the man you've built him up to be.

Your mind is a powerful thing. Name one thing about his man that you don't like (there's something). Now imagine having to deal with him and this particular quality on a daily basis. Because people tend to be on their best behavior when they're getting to know another person, you can pretty much bet that this bad quality is only going to get worse.

Say to yourself, "Where the heck does this clown get off calling the shots in my life?" And, "What's his problem, anyway?" (Trust me. He's got a problem.)

Please be open to the possibility that there exists a man who will think you're the most special person on earth and make himself available to be with you. Hold out for that man!

If you doubt this man exists, it's important to ask yourself why. Why can't he? Is there a part of you that doesn't want him to exist? Are you afraid of having a real relationship?

If so, why? Write down every single thing that scares you about it. Don't censor yourself. Then see if it's possible that your fears are justified. Is it possible that they can be overcome?

Very often we become attracted to men we cannot have precisely because we cannot have them (I used to be a pro at this). A little soul searching will go a long way in helping you move on from this situation.

Whatever you do, please stop eating lunch with a man who says, "Someday I will surprise you" and other cryptic nonsense, only to disappear. He is not worthy of you or your time.

I'm rooting for you.

Terry

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Gals' Cruise to Bermuda! I'm Going. How About You?


It doesn't matter whether you're single or married. Come alone.* Bring a friend. Bring a bunch of friends. Bring your sister. It only matters that you're up for a good time!

(I sure am.)

Cruise Planner Virginia DeDad, Dating Coach Ronnie Ann Ryan, and I have put together a 5-day Royal Caribbean cruise, setting sail from New Jersey on September 20, and we want YOU to join us.

We'll dock in King's Wharf, Bermuda.

Our ship, Explorer of the Seas(R) features:

-10 restaurants.
-State-of-the-art spa**
-Bars, a pub, a nightclub, and casino**
-Golf course
-Yoga and fitness classes
-2 pools
-Live entertainment
-Movie theater

(We won't be bored.)

PLUS, SINGLE WOMEN CAN TAKE ANY OF THESE FREE WORKSHOPS (WHILE THEIR MARRIED FRIENDS DO SOMETHING ELSE):

Attract the Man of Your Dreams with the Law of Attraction

Tired of dating the wrong men? Discover how you can bring the right man into your life by unleashing the power of the Law of Attraction. Terry Hernon MacDonald, author of the blog, Dating Advice (Almost) Daily, will give you the time-tested tools to attract a man who'll make you happy.

Flirt School: Increase Your Feminine Allure to Attract More Men

What makes a woman irresistible? Discover simple flirting methods and sure-fire ways to rekindle your feminine charm. Ronnie Ann Ryan, The Dating Coach and author of the book MANifesting Mr. Right, will show you how to become approachable, improve desirability, and connect with non-verbal cues. (Visit Ronnie here).

Date Smart—Savvy Tips to Find Love Now

Do you worry you’ll never find a good man? Learn the most effective dating strategies to find the love you want. Ronnie Ann Ryan will clear up confusion about dating roles, who pays, and how you can avoid the biggest mistakes women make today.

Plus:

If demand warrants, we may offer "Women Finish Rich—Savvy Financial Planning Strategies for a Fabulous Retirement," a seminar with a reputable (but not boring) financial planner in tune with women's unique financial situations.

RATES:

*Depending on availability, Virginia will be happy to arrange a roommate for you.

Inside Cabin:
$849/person, double occupancy

Balcony Cabin
$1149/person double occupancy

Includes all taxes, port charges, fuel supplements.

**Spa services, alcohol, land tours extra

$200 Deposit due by June 22nd
Final payment due on or before July 12th

To make your deposit or for more information, call Virginia with Cruise Planners (she's friendly) at:

1-800-794-0741 or 203-402-0632

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Great Flirting Tip

I found a very excellent post on Dating Coach Ronnie Ann Ryan's blog today about getting up the nerve to do whatcha gotta do when you want to get out of a rut and meet somebody.

If you're not familiar with Ronnie, she's the author of Manifesting Mr. Right, which details how she defied media gloom and doom and attracted her own Mr. Right after age 40. Check out Manifesting Mr. Right here.

Click here to check out Ronnie's blog and flirting tip.

How to Tell If He...

The search terms I find in this blog's stat counter reveal a lot, especially after a long weekend. Here are this morning's big four:

-How to tell if he likes me
-How to tell if he wants to be exclusive
-How to tell if he wants relationship
-Stood up

To shed light on the first three, it's never your job to figure out if a man likes you or what his motives are. It's his job to communicate his feelings, and if he doesn't, keep moving until he does. (And if he doesn't, you won't have wasted time on him.)

As for being stood up, well, please believe me when I suggest that a guy's not showing has nothing (really; nothing) to do with you and everything to do with him. Does this make it any less disappointing?

Of course not.

But a guy who's too cowardly or self-involved or forgetful or drunk to show up for a date (or to pick up the phone and give you the courtesy of canceling it) makes lousy boyfriend material.

Be thankful he let you know it before you got involved with him.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Who Cares If You Look Like Hell? Smile, Dammit!

Hey, Terry!

You're f^cking right about feeling good about yourself being the best way to get guys' attention! Did you ever notice even when you look like total crap that if you have that 'smiley attitude' thing going on that guys are on you like bees to pollen? I will NEVER forget the night a friend and I went out for a couple of quick cocktails, and this extremely attractive and well-built school basketball coach (divorced) was already in there when we arrived.

I had on bleached-out jeans, a black shirt with white paint stains on it (my friend couldn't believe I left the house dressed like that!) and black sneakers. My hair looked like I went through a cyclone in Kansas!

This guy smiled and talked to me all night (too bad I was already in a relationship and couldn't take it further!).

I guess the point is that I went out that night with the intention of having fun and totally succeeded, albeit feeling a tad homely. Man, this dude hit on me all night! Terry, seriously, I almost blew off going out that night because of my mirrored distortions!

To hell with that!

This classic moment brought to you by...

-The Girl from Queens


Hello, Girl from Queens-

Your letter brings to mind the time I went out after my grandmother's funeral, and my eyelids were so puffy I looked as if I had chromosomal damage.

Since I'd already lined up the friends and desperately needed a change of scenery from a funeral home and cemetery, I went out anyway. I told myself exactly what you told yourself: The goal is a good time. Who cares what I look like.

I went out, had fun, laughed all night. Ended up getting the attention of one very Bono-esque Irishman. Wound up dating him for a spell.

Funny how that works.

Terry

A Side Benefit of the Postal Service


Stop me if I told you this one already:

I was in a doctor's waiting room when this Australian guy and I started talking. I asked him what brought him to this country, and he told me:

Love.

He'd been living with an American sponsor family while he was doing an internship here. The family had a bunch of children, including a young girl who seemed like a really nice kid.

He went back to Australia and found a card in the mailbox from the really nice kid. He wrote back to her. She wrote to him. He wrote back. She got older. Suddenly, she was no longer a really nice kid but a really nice woman.

A romance blossomed. He said that it meant a great deal to him that this person on the other side of the planet would take time out of her life to put a pen to paper, and then put a stamp on the envelope, and put it in the mailbox.

Real mail is so much more meaningful than email, he said.

He decided to come back to the US to see if his feelings for this woman were real. They were. Now they're married and have a son.

"My wife is the most geniune person I've ever met," he said.

There's a lesson here: Expanding one's social circle is the way to make new friendships and fortify existing ones. Sending a card or letter to a new is one way to do that. Friendships have a ripple effect. They lead to more friendships and opportunities.

I don't suggest (no, no, no!) that you ever send mail to stay on some guy's radar.

That backfires, big time (although the 'really nice kid' is definitely an exception). But do be the woman who sends thank-you notes. Drop a card in the mail to the sick lady you used to run into in the elevator at the office. Remember to send a birthday card to your ex-boss. Successful salespeople do this; they know that remembering people tends to pay off in the long run in unexpected ways.

If you show other people love and attention, that love and attention will come back to you a thousandfold.

If you want love, be its source.

Photo credit: Richard H. Stone, from his and Viveca Stone-Berry's line of Dog Captions greeting card line. Proceeds go to benefit animal charities.

Supporting Our Troops

Here's an entertaining video on the many ways we can do it:

Thursday, May 22, 2008

More About Friends



"Good friends, good books and a sleepy conscience: this is the ideal life."
-Mark Twain


I love Mark Twain. Peter and I had our wedding reception in the house he once owned, Tappan Hill, located in Tarrytown, New York. For my birthday a couple of weeks ago, we drove up to Hartford to check out the house he lived in during his peak of literary fame (yeah, I know; it's a weird way to celebrate a birthday, but we did go out for dinner afterwards!).

This week, I've been dwelling on the many benefits of friendship, and I like the quote by Twain that opens this post. Viveca Stone-Berry, a friend of mine, has published a bunch of others about friendship on her website to benefit animal programs through the sale of some very funny greeting cards.

Photo credit: Richard H. Stone

How to Deal with a Guy Who Distances Himself

Terry,

What do you think is the most constructive way to deal with distancing behaviour from a guy? He says he has some personal issues to sort out, and he does want to see me, but not yet.

I have given him the space he needs and cut contact completely. I have put myself back on the dating scene again.

If he does call in the future, I dont want to play games, but I am going to be somewhat unavailable.

Do you agree, and how do you do this well?

Sian


Hello, Sian-

Congratulations on getting back on the dating scene. Pat yourself on the back for avoiding contact. You're not waiting around for this guy, and that's a very good thing indeed. Your behavior demonstrates self-resepect, and that's attractive.

If the guy should call you again, I definitely understand your reluctance to play games (it falls under the Golden Dating Rule of "Treat him as you would have him treat you, and if he doesn't treat you as you would treat him, hit the highway).

However, if and when this man comes around, being less available is not playing games. He hasn't earned any rights to your time. Playing games entails looking hard to get. The key is to actually enjoy a full life by making plans with friends, dating other guys (as you're already doing), and keeping busy doing things you love.

Let Mr. Not-Ready-to-See-You earn your attention.

Remember this: Every human being, man or woman, wants to date a prize. Nobody wants to date the person who jumps when the phone rings. By keeping busy, you've eliminated the possibility of being that person.

Now...

I realize that this sounds just dandy, but it doesn't mean much when you obviously like this guy, and he's made himself unavailable.

It hurts.

And it's possible that you can't fully enjoy the other guys you're dating while your heart is set on this fellow who may or may not get around to making you a priority.

The best advice I can give you here is -- and please don't gag --to work on loving yourself. I am dead serious.

You may be thinking, hey, I do love myself. Well, that's probably true to some extent, but love yourself some more. When you love yourself, the good things you attract will amaze you.

It's possible this guy who currently eludes you will pick up on your heightened self-regard and recognize you for the good thing you are. Or, it's possible you'll lose interest (painlessly) in him altogether, and you'll fall for another guy who's totally into you and never lets you forget it.

Now how do you reach these new heights of self-love, you ask? Well, I strongly suggest you start repeating this very effective affirmation:

"I, Sian, deeply and completely love and accept myself."

If you say it as you're looking in the mirror, I suspect it will freak you out. And that's a good thing because you'll realize that you have a little work to do in the self-love department. Keep it up.

Repeat it out loud (privately!) at least 25 times a day. You will feel a shift in your feelings and behavior in a week or so. What's more, you'll see a shift in the circumstances and people you attract.

If I haven't convinced you to try it, please consider this: It's been said that you cannot really love someone else until you love yourself, but I've found that no one else can love you until you love yourself, either.

You deserve the very best in life, Sian, and I suspect you already know that's quite a bit more than a guy who wants to see you, "but not yet."

Go for it.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Making New Friends Leads to All Sorts of Opportunities



I have a theory that if all the people who note on their dating profiles that they "love to take long walks on the beach" actually took them, there would be no need for dating services. They'd meet other people who love taking long walks on the beach, and who knows where that would lead.

But if you hate taking long walks on the beach, surely you like doing other things. So do them. Even if it's knitting, join a group and go. You don't know who's mother or sister is going to befriend you there.

My friend, Kristen, is a writer (among other things) who took to working from a table at Panera Bread over a year ago. Since she's hardly alone in this, she's since met a commercial artist, a doctor/astrologer (yes!), another writer, and most recently "two really cute guys who know all about computers." Kristen's married, so she's not in the market to meet two really cute guys, but surely somebody else is.

If time constraints prevent you from hanging out in coffee shops, don't despair. I made two lasting friends in other countries through Irish Penpals, a free service that connects you with other people of either sex (your choice, and nobody has to be Irish).

At the time I joined, I spent most winter days trapped in the house with two toddlers and was eager to "meet" a new international friend. I've been writing to Elaine in Manchester, England and Petra in Germany ever since.

Irish Penpals reports that at least one marriage has resulted from the service.

Viveca Stone-Berry, who founded Dog Captions cards with her photographer brother Richard H. Stone, recommends that you make a friend of a serviceperson through A Million Thanks (http://www.amillionthanks.org).

If you express your appreciation to someone in our military, you'll be doing a good and worthwhile thing. Good and worthwhile things often lead to more good and worthwhile things -- one way or another.

Photo credit: Richard H. Stone. Proceeds for his hilarious Dog Captions card collection go to animal organizations.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

The Wonders of Old Friends (and What They Can Do for Your Love Life)


"Without friends no one would choose to live, though he had all other goods."
- Aristotle
A few months ago, I met an unhappily married woman with four children, who said, "Friends? I don't have time for friends."

And I thought to myself, "Honey, if anybody needs a friend, it's you."

The husband is one of those characters who doesn't always come home. He thinks it's his prerogative to do what he wants when he wants because he's king of the castle, man of the house, head of the household, and a lot of other nonsense that has no place in a happy marriage.

But anyway...

She doesn't have time for friends. I wonder if she was one of those girls who was raised to bag a man at all costs, and to shuck the female friends once she succeeded in her life's mission.

Fortunately, I wasn't raised that way. Last weekend, Peter and I drove to a neighboring state to hang out with the friend I met over a tomato sandwich in Third Grade (I'd forgotten my lunch, so Sr. Maurice assigned her to keep me company while she made me a sandwich in the convent kitchen). Two of our other friends showed up, as well, one from grammar school and the other from high school.

It gives me peace and joy to know that these people who know and love me to my core -- who've seen me through the goofy times, the sad times, and the embarrassing times--are still with me.

I'm not letting go.

You may not know this, but I met Peter through another old friend I decided to call out of the blue (I'd been visualizing that perfect man, and the Law of Attraction kicked in). Yeah, I did meet him in a bar, but I was out that night with this old friend of mine. And the old friend knew him and provided valuable insight into his character. If you've been with me for a while, you know I'd given up dating until I attracted someone worth dating.

Now, here's an important point: I didn't call the friend to keep me company while I found a man. I don't believe in making people a means to an end. I missed her and wanted to hang out with her, and the fact that I found the right guy in the process was a beautiful side effect.

A couple of weeks ago, I got an email from a friend from college. She graduated ahead of me, and I haven't seen her since. We've been writing back and forth and made plans to get together this summer.

Our renewed acquaintance will definitely lead to new experiences. It will open a universe of new possibilities. I'm eager to see what they'll be.

No doubt you've had friends who are no longer your friends for a reason (I'm talking about the ones who only called you to whine, who told embarrassing stories from your past to strangers, and who sucked the air out of every room they entered). I don't recommend you catch up with them.

But most of us has a good friend from the past we've lost touch with. Why not get in touch? It's very possible you'll open yourself up to new opportunities and, better yet, new friends who may introduce you to -- or may even be -- the person you spend the rest of your life with.

(Photo credit: Richard H. Stone, photographer of the Dog Captions greeting card line, which benefits animal programs. Check it out at http://www.dogcaptions.com.)

Monday, May 19, 2008

Falling in Love By Phone

Dear Terry,

Just want to know if I can find the right one just by chatting with him over the phone? I'm feeling somthing for this guy, but we only communicate via emails and phone calls. I think I'm in love with him.

How do I handle this?

-Falling Hard, Falling Fast


Hello, Falling-

Congratulations on finding someone you click with online and on the phone.

It's important to keep your emotions firmly in check. You haven't met the guy. For all you know, the heat you feel for him now will cool the second you lay eyes on him.

So meet him. You don't say whether he lives in the next town or in a foreign country, but it doesn't matter. To find out whether you want this relationship to progress, you have to meet him.

The next time you have him on the phone, say casually, "You know, we've been talking all this time. Wouldn't it be fun to get together in person?"

Then don't say another word. Let him talk.

If he offers excuses, it's a red flag. Heed it. You'd be wise to cut back on the calls and emails -- or stop them altogether. He could be married or a relentless player.

You can do better than that.

If he says he'd like to get together, go for it. Days before the date, keep a list of your good qualities running through your mind. Remember what you have to offer. There's no reason to be overly nervous.

When you meet him, smile and have a good time. Look him straight in the eye. Give yourself time to decide whether you can fall in love with him.

Terry

Dogs: The Ultimate People Magnet


I'm a cat person. I live in my head. I'm an indoorsy girl.

Over the last seven months, however, my brother and his fiancee have asked us to watch their pug, Wesley, while they travel for pleasure and business. Wesley is a bit more work than our little cat (he showed up here Tuesday with ear drops and a bottle of antibiotics for a double-ear infection), but he's a real attention-getter.

When I walk him, it's amazing how people who never spoke to me before feel free to introduce themselves and pet the little fellow.

Which is news to none of you who own a dog, but if you don't have one and you do possess the means, the love, and the inclination to care for an animal, you might want to change that. Especially if you're interested in meeting a canine-loving member of the opposite sex. A reader wrote to me about a year ago to say she'd met her boyfriend while walking her dog.

Already have a dog? Try walking her in a different direction next time. Shake up your routine. See who you meet!

Now, if you live in a tiny apartment and work odd hours, dog ownership may not be for you. In that case, you might consider doing what my friend, Viveca Stone-Berry does. She's a volunteer dog-walker for an animal shelter in her area. She not only gets the satisfaction of helping animals she loves, but she's made new human friends. She gets regular exercise and has lost weight without wasting gas driving to a gym.

Viveca and her photographer/humorist brother, Richard H. Stone, have come up with a series of amusing greeting cards (named "A Barker's Dozen," heh heh; that's one of his photos above) with proceeds going to dog and cat rescue missions. Click here to check 'em out. Or, if you'd prefer, put http://www.dogcaptions.com in your browser.

They're hilarious.

Read All About It
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Thursday, May 15, 2008

When a Man Loves a Woman

Last Friday, Peter and I went to watch a friend's band play in a neighboring town. They sounded tight, played plenty of the same stuff Peter has on his Ipod, and we were happy. Their guitarist that night was a wailer who'd played with Marshall Tucker and some other big bands. He brought the house down.

After they finished, another band by the name of Trag set up, and I said to Peter, "They have a tough act to follow."

Trag started playing. The singer blew me away; her voice had Ann Wilson's power, but it came out like cool water (check out "On the Way Down" on their Myspace page, although it sounds better live). They performed mostly originals, each one better than the last. I usually don't get into songs on a first listen, but they hooked me right away.

After the set, the drummer chatted with me. We discovered we live in the same town. He told me he was married to the singer with the major voice and met her in a university music program.

I told him they were great, bought a copy of his CD, and went home.

The next day, I played it. Five times. I read the liner notes and found that the drummer had written all but one song. A lot of them deal with his love for his wife: "Every time I see you, Nora, you take my breath away."

It thrilled me to meet yet another man who defies the "guy stereotype" the media foist upon women (Exibit A: Bret Michaels; Exibit B: fellows in Axe Body Spray commercials), a male who clearly has a lot going for him and is utterly besotted with one female.

Women, raise your expectations.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Plastic Surgery: No Way to Find Love

If one more middle-class woman tells me she's going to get her eyes done, I'm going to scream. The scary thing is, these women are usually in their 30s. When I ask them why they're going to submit their faces to objects that make them bleed, they point to wrinkles and crows' feet that do not even exist!

Eye jobs, Botox, and collagen injections are increasingly prevalent among the middle-class, and I've read they're paying for it with credit cards.

And here's what really freaks me out: I read a report about women who show up in plastic surgeon's offices with porn magazines and flip to photos of other women's vaginas (vaginae, actually). They tell the doctor, "I want to look like this!"

Many of these women insist they need cosmetic improvements to their lady parts after some horndog suggests said lady parts aren't up to snuff.

Here's a tip for you, Girls: If a man says anything disparaging about your body -- anything at all-- he is not the man for you (and probably not for anyone else, either). Do not reward asshole behavior by going into debt and putting yourself under potentially life-ending anesthesia to please him.

Please recognize the fact that he does not love you. He is not capable of loving anything other than his Girls Gone Wild collection.

If you happen to look in the mirror and see something you don't like on your face, consider the possibility that obsessing about your looks has kept you from addressing another genuine issue. And if you find yourself continually comparing your nether regions to some porn star's, it may be time to find better uses for your time.

Start by getting a library card.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Dealing with the Loss of a Love

Several years ago, a friend lent me a book about EFT, or Emotional Freedom Technique, a method that has been shown to help people free themselves of emotional and physical pain and addiction.

A few months later, I met Alison Held, a certified EFT practitioner, at a networking event and learned she did EFT and became even more intrigued. Alison and I got together socially, but I never thought to seek her services in helping me through the death of my mother, a situation which had prevented me from sleeping through the night for over a year.

Eventually, I did talk to Alison about helping me with another problem: My fear of public speaking. We got together to address it, but we ended up dealing with my insomnia instead.

After one session, I slept throught the night. (Yeah, I know it sounds too good to be true, but don't knock it until you've tried it.)

I've since used EFT on my own to address other issues, and that's the beauty of it. You can use it on your own. Go to Gary Craig's website and download the free ebook. While you're at it, check out the introductory 7-minute video.

If you scout around a bit, you'll find articles that address issues that range from ADHD, addiction, fear of flying, insomnia, and, oh, yeah, heartbreak (pop "broken heart" into the search engine).

If you'd prefer not to go it alone, contact Alison Held. She's a gentle soul, and she can help you in person or by phone.

I've mentioned EFT before, I know, but it's just too effective not to mention again.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Change Your Personality to Attract Men?

Dear Terry,

In your newsletter, you mention that it is important to imagine the type of man one wants to be with and think about it often.

I was wondering how this relates to your method. I would like to know if there is supposed to be some spiritual connection, if so is it religious, if it's religious what religion is it based on?

A little bit about me, I see myself as a misfit with most guys because I'm self sufficient. Have my own car, and I work at a prestigious organisation, so a lot of people think I'm rich.

Some men want you to be dependent on them for everything it seems. I'm studying for a masters degree. However, I'm quiet and shy, and spend a lot of time at work and studying.

But I do assert myself and have a few close friends. I keep getting loads of advice because a lot of relatives can't wait to see me married.

Some of the advice ranges from don't be too picky (and this is advice from a woman who is in her 40s never married and now feels that her time has passed), pamper men with treats eg. cookies, cakes because men like food (tried it and it didn't work), go partying, change your personality. I'm willing to change, and I'm working on the shyness. But I really want a man who can appreciate me for me and my quiet self.

The way I see it, not all the girls who marry are loud extroverts, I truly believe that there are guys who like girls that don't club 24/7 and want to live a good life and are independent but respectful.

I guess I'm interested in your method because you keep saying 'focus on your idea of a perfect man'. This goes against the 'don't be too picky philosphy' which I hate. I hate it because I don't know what the limits are in 'not being too picky', I've dated a guy who was less educated but absolutely georgeous, and I loved him or had a serious like for him, and he ended up making his ex girl pregnant.

I tried a "good" boy from church who is just as educated as I am, though he didn't have a car at the time (which I think bothered him), but he ended up mistreating me, which left me in shock because I didn't think he could ever do that to me because of his strong position on Christianity. Not to take too much of your time, since I'm sure you have a million emails to read, I really just want my perfect match.

So I don't have to dumb myself down or compromise myself. That's all I want which sometimes feels like I'm asking the impossible. I want to be happy the day after the wedding, knowing that I made the right decisions. I haven't been in a lot of relationships and don't want to be in alot of relationships, so I tend to chase guys as I realise something about them that I don't like. Seems like I've made a huge statement, please let me know any advice you have for me.

Regards,
Patiently Waiting


Dear Patiently Waiting-

Wow. You've asked a lot of questions, and I hope I don't miss any of them.

First off, I do not have a Master's Degree, but at one point in my life some men actually told me I was "too smart." One guy actually told me he really liked me, but he needed a woman he could "mold." (This broke my heart because I really, really liked him.)

However, it had been my experience that people who pretend to be something they're not, who mold themselves to meet somebody else's expectations, are not ever happy in the long run.

It wasn't until I decided that I would be happier by myself than with someone who didn't love me for who I really am that I met the man who was right for me.

If you've been with me for a while, you know that I struggled with shyness (and still do). I'm an avid reader (just finished Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett's Good Omens and dived into Mark Twain's The Personal Recollections of Joan of Arc).

I do like to socialize, but I tend to spend a lot of time in my head. I like to learn new things. I have a million opinions that I am compelled to express.

So I definitely appreciate your desire to attract a very specific type of man: A guy who enjoys the fact that you're intelligent, serene, and curious.

As for men wanting women to be utterly dependent on them: Yes, some men do. The wrong men do. Let me tell you, a widower I know has recently started dating again. He is not interested in the women who come bearing casseroles. He is attracted to smart women his own age he can hold a conversation with (the one he likes now is in thegym at 5AM, has her own money, and is not available every weekend because she has a second house she spends time at in another state).

The idea that you're being too picky is wrong. The idea that you should be baking cakes and muffins is wrong. Think of it this way:If a guy constantly showed up at y our house bearing little trinkets,would you appreciate it, or would you think, "What's wrong with this guy?"

It's been my experience that the guys who constantly send flowers, buy expensive jewelry for women they don't know well are not lucky in love, and the same goes for women who give too much to men.

As for the advice to change your personality, I cannot think of worse advice. The message is that you've accomplished a great deal (education, position, possessions) in your life, but it doesn't mean much when you haven't landed some man.

Wrong, wrong, wrong!

I truly believe on this planet there exists a man who would be thrilled to be with an accomplished, smart woman like you. A man who will be grateful he doesn't have to do all the thinking all the time, that he truly has a partner he loves, who loves him, and who "has his back."

The question is: Do you truly want a partner who treats you as an equal? Would you consider him less of a man if he weren't somewhat turned off by your accomplishments?

(I'm just asking. I'm not suggesting it's true of you.)

I surely do not recommend you date a man who mistreats you in any way. You may have been shocked to have been treated badly by the Christian, but Christians come in different stripes. There are the "Treat others as you would have them treat you" Christians and there are the "Wives, submit to your husbands in all things" Christians. And there are the "We hate everyone who isn't like us" Christians.

I happen to be a Christian and choose to hang around with the "Treat others..." crowd.

If you're going to meet a man at church, choose wisely. Remember that some men are attracted to church because they think it's an ideal place to meet a deferential woman who won't expect much. Remember also that when you go to church, people are on their best behavior.

As for my method, it's not based on any religion, although Norman Vincent Peale wrote of the Law of Attraction from a Christian perspective in "The Power of Positive Thinking."

By all means, know the qualities you want in a man. "Feel" yourself in that relationship. Know your own good qualities. Treat yourself as the most wonderful man in the world would treat you: Where would you go together? What would you do? How would his hand feel in yours?

This is the method that worked for me. Critics (who haven't tried it) snipe that the Law of Attraction is wishful thinking. It is not.

It requires discipline to bring that "relationship" to mind before you put your feet on the floor in the morning and before you drop off to sleep at night. It takes effort to fill in the details.

You said, "I tend to chase guys as I realise something about them that I don't like."

Yes, that is a huge statement. I suspect two forces are working in your life right now: Your desire to marry and your desire not to marry.

I strongly recommend you sit yourself down and ask yourself what exactly you fear about marriage. (Your fears are normal, by the way, but they can be overcome.) Is it boredom, childbirth, negotiating a career and motherhood, being pressured to change your name?

If so, decide what you want out of YOUR marriage. Your marriage does not have to be like your parents' marriage, your next door neighbors' marriage,or anybody else's.

Visualize a marriage to a man who has similar values. Open yourself up to the possibility that he exists. In the meantime, limit time with people who make you feel "less" because you're not married (despite your accomplishments), or that imply you must change who you are to make yourself acceptable to men.

As for attracting the perfect man, remember a perfect man does not exist, but the perfect man for you does exist.

Friday, May 09, 2008

Today to Fix Up Three Viewers

It should be interesting, especially with Kathie Lee Gifford on hand to offer commentary.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Her Boyfriend Committed Suicide

Dear Terry-

Firstly I would like to say that I love your newsletters.

My problem started 3 years ago when my boyfriend committed suicide. I was devastated because I loved him with all of my heart. We had been together for 4 years. I believe that he was my soulmate.

I started dating younger guys a year later, even though I fell in love with 2 of them, it was never like my boyfriend who died.

I have 2 problems: The first one is that I can't seem to love any other guy the way I loved my boyfriend. I keep comparing every guy I meet to him, and I need you to help me please, help me stop this bad habit. And another one is that I keep attracting younger men, and I'm at a point in my life where I'm looking for a guy that is more my age. How can I attract guys who are more my age? Must I act in a different way or should I have a sign on my forehead that states my age? I am really desperate, please please help!

Regards,

Desperately Waiting


Dear Waiting-

Yours is probably the hardest letter I've ever had to answer.

I am so sorry about your boyfriend's suicide, and I can only guess the emotions that overwhelmed you after you heard the news. A friend of mine had a brother who killed himself, and her emotions went from falling-down grief to anger to self-blame ("I should have known!"). And then the circle of emotions would start over again.

And your loss is even more profound because you lost the man you loved, your soulmate.

You don't say whether you've gotten professional help to get you through the shock and pain of this event. Please do not discount the peace, comfort, and relief you can achieve by talking to a grief counselor or by joining a bereavement group. You have endured one of the worst blows life has to deal, and I can't imagine you'll be able to move on until you work your way through it.

(An acquaintance of mine lost her sister to suicide, and she runs a bereavement group at her church. Although she will always love and miss her sister, she's been able to move on with her life -- happy marriage and a child-- and now runs the group to help others in her situation).

I did a bit of web surfing and came up with a website for Survivors of Suicide. To view it, click here. I truly hope it helps.

As for your tendency to attract younger men, I suspect it may have something to do with the fact that they sense you're not really available for a serious relationship. Emotionally, you're still with your boyfriend (which sounds pretty normal and natural to me).

I believe you will attract more suitable men once you've come to terms with the terrible ordeal you've suffered.

Thank you for the very kind words. I sincerely wish you every happiness in the world.

Terry

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Meeting Men With Brains

I recently received an email from a woman whose friends and family have told her she's too picky, and that she should worm her way into men's hearts by baking them little treats. In 2008!

She said she tried it, and it didn't work (of course it didn't work; talk about begging a guy to take you for granted).

She describes herself as successful, shy, and introspective. She doesn't want to meet men in clubs. I don't blame her; it's impossible to tell if a guy is worth your time when you can barely hear him over thumping music.

I neglected to recommend that she spend more time in bookstores (I'll write to her again to remedy this). Bookstores are perfect for meeting people because you never look funny going in alone, or even sitting alone in the cafe looking through a book and listening to music. And books make great conversation starters.

Interestingly a cruise planner, with whom I hope to put together a getaway for fun-oriented females, told me today that the manager of a major chain bookstore informed her that his busiest 'adult nights' are Wednesdays and Thursdays.

If I hoped to meet an intelligent guy, I'd make a point of popping into my favorite bookstore on an 'adult night,' finding a couple of books to look through, and sitting down with a big fat latte. And I'd become a regular.

My favorite bookstore happens to be a newly-opened independent, and already it's becoming a hub for fun and interesting people. In addition to books and good coffee, the owner offers a roster of author appearances and a weekly workshop for fiction writers.

Monday, May 05, 2008

Today Wants to Fix You Up

According to Today's website:

"If you or someone you know is single and wants to be matched up, we want to hear from you! Tell us about yourself or your friend or family member, including location, interests, hobbies and ideal qualities for a partner to have. Then, with the help of matchmakers, TODAY will send some lucky singles on a date with a hand-picked mate! Please also attach a photo of the hopeful single to the personal e-mail message that appears and send."

Despite the use of the terms "hopeful single" and "hand-picked mate," I guess it could be fun. If you're interested, click here.

Friday, May 02, 2008

How to Get Over a Bad Breakup

Hi Terry,

I have enjoyed your blog for a long time - and enjoyed your ebook - that is, until it disappeared from my computer when I moved!

But the concepts of visualization and firm planning that I recall you describing helped me become more focused on how the type of person with whom I could forge a wonderful future with- until I found him, but it didn't work out.

I currently face the challenge of having to fall *out* of love with him - with the man who was *perfect for me* -and for whom I was the same. I'm divorced and 49- we've been friends for 20 years, but for the past three, a flame that surprised us both burned steadily between us, deepening our friendship and sense of mutual trust. Until he ended it.

Do your concepts work to fall out of love? Is it even possible? How can I *un*visualize the perfect future with the perfect man for me? And handle the devastating fallout in a healthy way?

-Challenged


Hi, Challenged-

I'm very sorry about the breakup with your boyfriend.

One of the toughest things about getting past a breakup is visualizing the future without the one you love. You may feel like you're staring at a brick wall. You may feel like your life is over.

It isn't! To see over that wall (and get through it):

1. Write a list of all the things you loved to do by yourself or with the old boyfriend (surfing, reading, talking to your plants, dancing, going to the theater, travel).

2. Do them. Regularly. Do not wait for a friend to become available. Do them by yourself, if necessary. (Solo travel, for example, is great for putting things in perspective; I know because I've done it!).

3. Write a list of your ex-boyfriend's bad qualities. Be honest; he had a few. Put them on paper. Bring to mind a particularly boring, unsettling, sad memory about him that has nothing to do with the breakup.

4. Every time his adorable face pops into your head, bring that memory (or one of his unattractive qualities) to mind.

5. Remove all reminders of him from your house, your car, and your wallet. If he drank from a particular coffee mug, for example, throw it out. Get rid of all photos immediately.

6. Slightly (or completely) rearrange the furniture in your house to make a conscious break from the past. Paint a wall.

7. Write a list of your very excellent qualities. Tape it to your bathroom mirror to remind yourself how happy some lucky man is going to be to get you one of these days.

8. Eat nourishing food. Stay away from energy-depleting, depression-inducing fast and processed food (if it has partially hydrogenated oil, MSG, or high fructose corn syrup in it, it is not for you!). Eat cleansing foods like organic fruits and vegetables.

9. Speak to yourself as you would a beloved child. Use the affirmation Louise Hay recommends, "I, ____________, unconditionally love and accept myself." (This works. Say it out loud in the shower and while you're putting on your makeup. Say it at least 25 times a day. After about a week or so, you should feel a shift in your feelings and in the circumstances you attract.)

10. If a song reminds you of your ex, get rid of it. If a smell reminds you of your ex, get away from it.

11. Look at your new life as a blank page. Be open to the possibility that your last relationship wasn't "the one" for you. Be open to the possibility that it was the dress rehearsal for something so much better.

12. Write an affirmation about your new life and, if you can do it without thinking of your ex, your next relationship (hint: use of the qualities you didn't like about the last relationship and use its opposite to write an affirmation for the next one).

13. Read nourishing books. Listen to nourishing CDs. Keep your mind in the present and out of the past.

14. Treat yourself as a treasure that's yet to be discovered.

Give yourself 30 days to follow this program and then see how you feel. If you fall off the wagon (you find yourself daydreaming about him or driving past his house), get back on again immediately. Remind yourself that setbacks can be overcome, but they do slow you down from finding the peace of mind and happiness you deserve.

Also: If loverboy has an epiphany and decides he doesn't want to end things between you after all, please do not fall back into his arms without careful consideration. The relationship is not to be just on his terms. Don't be overly available.

For instance, if he asks you out for Saturday, make plans to do something alone or with a friend that day. Tell him you can meet him for lunch on Sunday. Limit your time with him to 60 minutes (yes, this will take discipline) and get the heck out of there.

It'll kill you to do it, but you'll be glad you did later.

The rest of the time, continue to use the 14-point plan. Treat yourself with love, respect, and kindness. Limit time with people (friends, family) who want to discuss the old boyfriend or the breakup. Tell them, "I'm moving on, and I prefer not to discuss it."

By the way, I found your order for my book and audio. I've resent you the download.

Thanks for writing. I wish you the very best!

-Terry