Thursday, November 27, 2008

It's Thanksgiving

I love Thanksgiving. It's fun and free of the pressure of having to run around and get just the right gift for everybody from Grandma to the doorman.

Today we're headed to my brother and his fiancee's house to celebrate with all the Hernons (first time our schedules have allowed us to be in the same room together in a long time).

Whether you celebrate Thanksgiving or not, have a brilliant weekend. If you're so inclined, check out my article, Still Single for the Holidays? Lucky You.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Loving a Younger Man



Conventional wisdom used to say that only men like Jack Nicholson and Mick Jagger got away with dating much-younger members of the opposite sex, but everyday women are dating--and marrying--guys young enough to be their own sons in increasingly greater numbers.

The December issue of More magazine features a fascinating essay by E.D. Cohen, a woman who, at the age of 37, married a 21-year-old man.

Women like Cohen have become so prevalent that BBC America produced a documentary about relationships between younger men and older women called Sugar Mummies, to which the Today show devoted a segment last week. Meredith Vieira interviewed Linda Franklin of The Real Cougar Woman and Valerie Gibson, author of Cougar-A Guide For Older Women Dating Older Men.

The AARP reports that 30% of women over 40 are dating younger men.

Got you thinking? Dating coach Ronnie Ann Ryan helps you figure out which type of younger man is right for you.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

He's Cute, He Has a Great Job, But...


Hi Terry,

I met this guy three months ago who says he really likes me. He's 30 years old, handsome, and has a very nice well-paying job. When I met him, he was living in another town, but he said he has had no girlfriend since June last year. One day I told him that I would like to visit him, and he told me that I couldn't visit him there unless when he moves to a new town - which is where I live.

This guy is now in the same area where I live. His house should be about 10 minutes drive from my house, and yet he has never invited me or given me directions to his house. He calls me every few days just to say he likes me and is thinking about me. He passes through my house once in two weeks for about 30 minutes just to say hi. I have asked him whether he has a girlfriend, and he has said no. He says I am the one he would like to be his girlfriend. Since I am just coming out of an abusive relationship, I don't want to make the same mistake twice. I find his behavior very suspicious and would like to cut him out of my life before things progress.

His looks are very tempting, but I would rather consider his character and personality first since I was deceived by looks before. I ask myself why he hides his house-what else is he keeping me from knowing?

His behavior is suspicious, isn't it? I haven't called or returned his calls for over a week because of my suspicions.

Thanks.

M.


Dear M.-

Your instincts are excellent. This man's words do not match his actions, and I wouldn't waste another minute thinking about him until they do.

Since you've suffered an abusive relationship, you're right to be careful. I'm sending you an article about how one person got past a similar experience. I hope you'll find it useful.

Thank you for writing.

All the very best,

Terry

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Is This It? She Wants to Feel More of an Attraction


Dear Terry,

You are so incredibly sweet and sound so genuine. I truly appreciate how much care and dedication you put in your writing. I wish you all the succcess in the world!

I have a question which I'm sure you have an answer for. You see, I'm currently in a relationship with a wonderful man! I love him dearly. He has so many wonderful qualities, not to mention being an excellent cook and musician. I know you always tell us "not to settle," which is excellent advice, and I don't think I'm necessarily settling in this instance (although I could be wrong), but one question pops up in my mind which I've been concerned about.

I have used the law of attraction to attract my honey; however, in that process I didn't always feel a surge of romantic passion emerge. Since God has blessed me with this wonderful person, my attraction towards him has grown considerably; however, it's weak in comparison to the attraction I've felt towards men who haven't treated me nicely in the past.

Do I have this relative feeling of low romance towards him because of my own insecurities? I think that I'm going through a transition phase at the moment, hence why I was able to attract this great guy into my life, but what I need to work on is loving myself more. In that case, do you think my attraction towards who I think is Mr. Right will continue to grow? I feel so silly for asking this since it seems like I've already figured it out but I just want a confirmation from someone who seems to have her act together in this area.

Also, do you have any suggestions, or is wanting to feel greater attraction for your significant other an act of settling? Though I don't think it is, any help on this matter is greatly appreciated. Also, I really do want to make this relationship work because I believe it's the right thing to do-we both share the same aspirations, attitude towards life, and like I said I do love him dearly. It's just that I want to feel a greater depth of attraction!

-Confused


Dear Confused:

Thanks for the extremely kind words.

I think you hit the nail on the head when you mentioned your attraction to men who didn't-- or don't-- treat you well. In a lot of cases, women do find themselves drawn to substandard men because they suffer from low self-esteem. Other women suffer from plain old fear of commitment. They dig bad boys because on a subconscious level, they know they'll never have to look at him every day for the rest of their lives.

So, now you have a happy relationship with a man with whom you have a lot in common. He treats you well. You love him. But still you have this nagging feeling: Is this all there is? And why am I still thinking about So-and-So?

Let me be clear about settling. I wouldn't settle for a man who doesn't love me. I wouldn't settle for a man I don't love. I wouldn't settle for a man to whom I'm attracted but mistreats me.

If you love this guy, and he loves you, and your attraction is growing, keep going. See where you're headed. It's not settling.

But ask yourself if you'd like him better if he treated you worse. Really think about this. You certainly wouldn't be the first person saddled with the I-Refuse-to-Join-Any-Club-That-Would-Have-Me-as-a-Member Syndrome.

If you decide you suffer from it, do this: Imagine yourself married to one of the yo-yos you mistreated you. Bring to mind all the things you did not like about him (you know, the ones we conveniently forget when we're in the throes of a pleasant memory). Perhaps he used to go around with hair coming out of his ears, or he liked to make up his own words. Or something. You get the idea.

How would you like waking up to that for the rest of your life? Or going to bed wondering if he and his hairy ears are ever coming home?

If you decide you don't suffer from the I-Refuse Syndrome, ask yourself if you harbor reservations about long-term relationships or marriage. A lot of us do and don't even realize it. We just walk around wondering why we keep being attracted to unsuitable guys.

Ask yourself, "What would marriage look like on a day-to-day basis?" This'll help you figure out if you fear ending up horribly bored, abused, or a miserable chain-smoker in track pants like Aunt Louise. Do some digging to root out any nagging concerns that could be distracting you from your current relationship.

Examine the horrifying scenarios you come up with, and then ask yourself, "Is something like this guaranteed to happen? Can something better happen? What would it be?" And focus on that. Some people are happily married all their lives. Is it possible that you and this fellow could be two of those people?

Finally, you say that your attraction is growing for him. So give it time. What's the rush? Maybe your attraction for him will keep growing. Or maybe you'll decide that he'd make a great friend, and your relationship will turn out to be a dress rehearsal for something else.

Again, give it time. By all means, work on loving yourself more. (And if we all work on being more loving in general, the world will be a better place.)

Take your relationship day by day. Enjoy it. Let it become what it will be. Above all, stop worrying so much about it.

Have fun.

-Terry

Monday, November 17, 2008

Should She Remain Friendly With an Ex?


I have a quick question, Terry....

Do you think women should stay friends with an ex..whether that be a guy they've only dated a few times or for a longer period? I mean when the guy has been the one to either not initiate a romance, or he's just moved on?

-Sian


Hi, Sian-

It all depends on how the woman feels about him.

If she's harboring feelings for the guy, it makes it really hard to stay friends. It might be best for her to merely smile and wave when she runs into him--and then keep moving. She shouldn't be unfriendly to the guy (unless he's been a real jerk), but if being around him makes her feel uncomfortable, sad, or woefully unattractive, there's no point in trying to be his buddy (especially if it distracts her from meeting someone else who would make her happy).

But if it doesn't bother her that the guy moved on after a couple of dates, or that she doesn't light him up, why shouldn't she befriend him? They could have great times together. He just might introduce her to other interesting people and invite her to excellent parties, as well.

-Terry

Friday, November 14, 2008

She Wants a Commitment


Dear Terry:

I'm a 50 year old single woman (who looks and acts 35!) and have been "seeing" a man 13 years younger than myself. He lives in another part of the state. We have been seeing each other for 5 1/2 years now, and he shows no signs of wanting a committed relationship.

He says he is not ready to be in a committed relationship, but that he loves my company, and that it would break his heart if I stopped seeing him. When we first started seeing each other, he used to tell me he loved me all the time, but he doesn't say it anymore. As you can tell, I have been 5 and 1/2 years patient. He is a kind and gentle man and very intelligent, which is a big turn on to me, not to mention the passion we have in the intimate department.

We call each other every two weeks or so, and visit each other once a month, more or less. Sometimes I want to tell him "I can't see you any more because I deserve to be loved by someone who loves me just as much or more than I love them....", but I feel like there is no one else out there for me. I go out dancing almost every week end with friends (love to country western dance!) but have not met any one worth giving time to. Any advice?

-Dancer


Dear Dancer:

You do deserve to be with someone who loves you as much as you love him, but there's no point in telling it to the guy you're seeing now.

If you've been with me for a while, you know I believe (from my own experience) that the best way to get what what you want is to know what you want. So far, the guy you've been with seems to have most of the qualities you want, minus one: The ability or the inclination to make a commitment.

If you decide to stop seeing him, I don't know that you have to make a big announcement about it. You might just taper off your calls and visits. If you decide to keep seeing him, ask yourself if your passion for him will hinder you from moving on to someone else who's hoping to meet a woman he can love and marry.

So, let's work on meeting that guy.

First, get over the belief that there's not another man out there for you. There is.

Then write an affirmation which includes the qualities you want in that man:

"I, _________________, am happily married to a faithful, fun, passionate, intelligent, (fill in the blanks) who loves me and never lets me forget it."

And feel it that "reality" with all your senses.

Then act "as if:" What would your day look like if you were with such a person? More important, what would it feel like? What would it be like to wake up beside this person in the morning? What would you see? Hear? Smell? Taste? Touch?

You'll find that, with practice, your imagination will fill in the details. As time goes on, you'll convince your subconscious that this new man and this relationship is real in your life--and then watch out!

You've been wise to keep yourself busy by dancing with your friends, doing something you love, but why not shake things up a bit and add something new to your routine, as well. Why not check out an open mic night at a coffee shop or become a regular in a bookstore cafe? The great thing about bookstores: You will look perfectly normal hanging around there on your own.

By all means, keep dancing. But remember that wonderful men can show up anywhere: in the supermarket, at the bank, at the cleaners. Wonderful men can also turn out to be the friends, cousins, and brothers of the people you meet in those places.

So, be sure to spread love, kindness, and good humor as you go about your day. It will come back to you in kind.

Above all, don't worry about being 50. If you keep yourself in good shape and radiate a youthful attitude (and apparently you do), nobody really cares. If you're young at 50, chances are you're going to be young at 60, 70, and 80. (This will remain to be seen of a 30-year-old, who may think herself into old age by 40.)

Keep loving yourself, loving others, and getting out of the house, and you'll do just fine.

P.S. This just in: Check out Jeannette Maw's Good Vibe Blog to find out what Oprah had on her vision board. What a great Story!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Jerks Who Sometimes Show Up in Bars


Today's "Dear Abby" featured a letter from a psychologist who has lately been getting calls from men looking to talk to one particular woman.

Apparently, the woman meets these guys in bars. Either she's too timid to reject them outright or she's a sadist, and so she hands them a trusty phony phone number which, it turns out, belongs to the psychologist. Now the psychologist is rattled about having to field numerous texts and messages from Miss Chickenheart's ardent admirers.

I've known women who do this sort of thing, and I've heard there's even a phone service they can use to do their dirty work. They use some guy for free drinks all night and give him the service's number instead of their own. Then, when he calls, he gets some horrific canned message announcing that the object of his affection never wants hear from him again.

Not funny.

But guys pull this crap, too. A good friend of mine once seriously dated a guy who bragged about going to bars to see how many women's phone numbers he could collect. At the end of the night, he'd count them up and rip them into pieces. What a rush!

Seemed a bit psycho to me at the time, but the fact that he'd kept my friend's number made her feel like she'd bagged a shimmering prize. She continued dating him until she found out he was seeing someone else: His stepsister.

Which made me wonder if the stepsister was the type who imparted fake digits to unwitting admirers. Because a girl like that has something in common with the guy who collects phone numbers with the sole aim of destroying them.

They're jerks, and they deserve each other.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

There is No Such Thing As Mr. Perfect

I found the following comment on the post Law of Attraction in Action and will address it here:

I am also quite fussy in choosing the right clothes, right college and now right person to date....ok I have lot of years still to meet Mr.
Perfect!...I have finished college and am now working in the corporate world and earning cool money but I am lonely at the end of the day! ...
And Boy! What all I have done to meet that Mr. Perfect...tried Facebook, MySpace, Match.com, but somehow in the end its always that I end up thinking that he is not good enough for me...Of late I have started using another site - as I heard that it's much better to help meet Mr. Perfect...so let's see what it does...

I sometimes hate myself to be so damn choosy...but I am like that since birth...I seek perfection ...what should I do?

-Choosy


Dear Choosy-

First off, stop hating yourself. Hating yourself always leads to making bad choices, which in your case may mean isolating yourself from people and experiences that might make you happy.

Or, it may not. It's entirely possible you're not ready for a relationship. As you said, you're young. Guess what? Today people marry later. A lot of us want to finish our educations and establish ourselves in careers before we bind ourselves to another human for life. This can be a good thing. Educated and financially sound people enjoy a lower divorce rate than their less educated and wealthy counterparts (please see the video below for more on this).

Now, you say you seek perfection, and you've scoured almost every available Internet source in search of it. But guess what? No man is perfect. I'm not perfect. You're not perfect. It's not fair to expect perfection from another human being.

Sure, it's wise to know what you want in a man. Presumably, you want someone honest, kind, who values education as you do, and so on. Perhaps you also want someone who's funny because life, as I don't have to tell you, has its ups and downs, and we all need a laugh to get us through the bad times.

So, know what you want and don't settle for anything less. For example, if you want a kind man, don't settle for a guy who gets in the elevator and bangs the CLOSE button 10 times so he doesn't have to wait for the old lady humping along with a walker. Don't settle for a guy who lies or makes you wait in restaurants for him or doesn't call when he says he will.

But don't expect that the right man will never have a bad day, that he'll say or do the right thing in every situation, or that he'll look sharp when he's come down with a bad cold. Seek a man who you can love who'll love you and make your happiness a priority. Seek a best friend to whom you can be a best friend.

Treat others as you would have them treat you, and only hold them to the standards you can hold yourself. Again, not one of us is perfect. To pretend otherwise will only prevent you from enjoying life and the people who make it interesting.

Check out the video I mentioned:

Friday, November 07, 2008

How Can Emotional Freedom Technique Help You?



Here's what health authorities are saying about the easy-to-learn, easy-to-use technique that cured my insomnia:

"EFT offers great healing benefits."
-Deepak Chopra, MD

"EFT is at the forefront of the new healing movement."
Candace Pert, PhD
Author of Molecules of Emotion.

"By removing emotional trauma, EFT helps heal physical symptoms too."
Norm Shealy, MD
Author of Soul Medicine.

Click here for my Single Women Rule interview with EFT practitioner Alison Held. She'll explain how EFT can help you, too.

If you're suffering the loss of a loved one (or from a broken heart), trying to lose weight, or dealing with chronic physical or emotional pain, check out my interview with EFT practitioner and nutritional consultant, Alison Held.

EFT stands for Emotional Freedom Technique. According to its founder Gary Craig, it's "an emotional, needle-free version of acupuncture that is based on new discoveries regarding the connection between your body's subtle energies, your emotions, and your health ...."

Alison helped me beat a bad case of insomnia and anxiety after the death of my mother. And, believe it or not, she did it in one session. The great thing about EFT is that you can do it yourself by yourself after using the free resources Alison suggests. Or, if you prefer to have someone walk you through it, Alison will offer listeners 20% off an initial consulation.

Click here to listen to my Single Women Rule interview with Alison.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Break Up Advice From a Reader

Terry-

Your newsletters on breaking up came at the perfect time.

The man I adore has gone quiet. This is not the first time he's "run away." But this time, I decided to simply let him go. Of course, my mind sees him everywhere, hear his voice in songs, etc.

When that happens, I simply hold him in my heart and silently say to myself, "I love you with all my heart, and I let you go." Sometimes there are a few tears, but always there is peace.

What is love, anyway, but being able to give the other person freedom without our "wanting" them to conform to our wishes and ideals?

-It works


Dear Works-

What is love, indeed?

You're an incredibly smart woman, and a lot of us will learn from your experience. Thank you so much for writing.

Terry

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Office Romance: Should She Ask Her Boss Out?


Good afternoon, Ms. MacDonald-

Hope all is well. I love reading your articles, they definitely give me insights on how to move forward with relationships. Today, I need your advice. I am a single mom in my mid 40's and have had no luck in the love arena. I am very skeptical of starting relationships in today's corrupt society.

About a month ago, I went to a job interview and was sparked by the hiring manager; it was like an instant connection. Did not think anything of it afterwords because 99% of those individuals are married. However, within a few days of starting at my new job, I learned that my hiring manager was a single parent.

I feel very attracted to him but do not know if he even looks at me that way. I am one to believe that men are the ones that will make the move, but I am not sure if that will happen. What would be the protocol? What advice can I get from you on how to go about this? I have thought of dropping a line as a secret admirer but do not know if that is appropriate. Perhaps, I should just tell him how I feel but then, what is he going to think of me?

My other concern is how this could impact my job since he was my hiring manager, and I now work under him. Look forward to your words of wisdom and advice. Thank you for your time.

-New Hire


Dear New Hire:

Thanks for the kind words. Call me Terry, please, and congratulations on your new job.

My best advice is this: Don't make a move on him. The rules of romance are quite different when you're at work, especially when the man in question is your boss. It's possible the man is as attracted to you as you are to him; however, it's not in his best interests (or yours) to start something when you're brand new to a company. People are watching you to see how you shake out as an employee, and they're watching him to see if he's made a good hiring decision.

It's possible that months from now, when you're secure in your position, when the two of you have developed a rhythm in your work together, that things may change. But, right now, concentrate only on establishing yourself at the company. It won't be easy, but keep your mind on your work and not on your attraction to this man. It's possible that after working with him for a while, you'll realize you're not attracted much, anyway.

The first thing that popped out at me in your letter was this:
"I am very skeptical of starting relationships in today's corrupt society."

Let's examine this. I've been reading a bit of history lately, and one thing that hits me over and over is the fact that all societies have been corrupt. Read a couple of paragraphs in the Old Testament, and you'll see what I mean.

Evil people have existed since the beginning of time, as do others who operate only with their own best interests at heart. Clearly, you should not start a relationship with anybody like this.

But know that good people also exist. They always have, and they always will.

It really helps to know (put it in writing, please) some of the qualities you'd like in a person with whom you would enjoy a relationship. Often, women will say, "Well, he's got to be no shorter than 5'10, make a decent living, and have a great smile." (Seriously, they say this stuff.)

But a man who's 5'11, makes 150K+ per annum, smiles beautifully, yet can look another person in the eye and lie, who cheats, or is congenitally unable to pick his underwear off the floor probably won't cut it for you.

So, know what you want. What qualities exactly attract you to your new manager? Write them down. Do you want someone who's kind, has a sense of humor, is generous, faithful? Write that down, too.

It's amazing. When you know what you want, it's so much easier to recognize it when it shows up.

Also, since you're skeptical of starting new relationships, please be open to the possibility that so far you have chosen men who will confirm your suspicions by disappointing you. Ask yourself what scares you about waking up to the same person for the rest of your life. Boredom? Losing your identity? Infidelity? Fear of abandonment? Fear of being smothered?

These are all pretty normal fears, but if you can face them head on, you can get around them. If you're afraid of being bored to death, for example, ask yourself, "Is it possible I wouldn't be bored to death?" Think of examples of married or committed couples who still enjoy each others' company for inspiration.

If you can't think of any couples who fit the bill, write a scene between you and your perfect man and set it 10 or 20 years from now. What would you be doing? Would you be laughing? Would you be alone or surrounded by other people who love you?

Read this scene twice a day and bring it to life in your imagination. Use all your senses: What would you see? Hear? Taste? Feel? Smell?

Truly, what the mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

A New Day in America

Well, I did it.

I voted, and I've got a warm feeling all over. Just hoping we'll know the results of the election tonight instead of sometime in December (can't go through that again. Noooooo....).

Election Day means the kiddies are home, and my aunt will stay for dinner. Instead of writing a proper post, I'll refer you to Single Women Rule, where today we discuss, "He stood you up? Here's how to handle it."