Thursday, May 28, 2009

When Syllables Collide (My Interview with 'How to Shop for a Husband' Author Janice Lieberman)

The week has been a blur. I've been nervously working toward a goal.

And then this morning, I interviewed Janice Lieberman of The Today Show, who just published How to Shop for a Husband: A Consumer Guide to Getting a Great Buy on a Guy. It's one of the most hopeful and helpful books I've read on the subject. Seriously.

The interview should run on Single Women Rule tomorrow or Monday (forgive me for being inarticulate in our discussion; enthusiasm for Janice's book combined with a lack of sleep resulted in a collision of syllables).

If you're the first one to comment on the podcast (on Single Women Rule), you'll win a free copy of How to Shop for a Husband. If you'd rather not wait, you can snatch one up at your local independent bookstore (that's how I like to do it -- keep that small merchant in business!).

Or you can just order it from Amazon.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Does Marriage Have to Spell the End of Love and Romance

Not if you ask Ronnie Ann Ryan, who recently spent her ninth wedding anniversary in an unconventional manner. While many couples like to celebrate anniversaries in restaurants, Ronnie wasn't into it this time. Her husband went along with her alternate plan, which left her mightily appreciative.

After the anniversary, she blogged:

I never look back at all the dating I did with regret. Some of it was fun, some of it was devastating, some of it was tolerable. And just once - I hit the jackpot."

If you're in Connecticut on May 28th (that's next Thursday), Ronnie is scheduled to discuss flirting, one of her all-time favorite subjects, in Milford. She says, "Flirting is good for your health. Single or married, leveraging feminine charm energizes you, makes you feel alive and desirable and increases your everyday joy."


Thursday, May 28th, from 7-8:30 pm

MakeupMakeup Studio
22 Broad Street, Milford on the green
(Behind Dunkin Donuts)

RSVP - 203-783-9096
The event is free but limited to 20.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Attracting the Best in Life

Yesterday, I had the good fortune to interview Loren Slocum, author of Life Tuneups: Your Personal Plan to Find Balance, Discover Your Passion, and Step into Greatness, for a Single Women Rule podcast.

I enjoyed talking to Loren because we agree that feeling good about yourself, being true to yourself, and developing female friendships are keys to attracting the best things in life (which would include good men and fulfilling work).

I also liked her book because it contains quick, effective exercises that help you make little shifts that can really add up. And you're not going to bend yourself into knots doing them.

Loren’s currently a Life Mastery and Unleash the Power Within facilitator for the Anthony Robbins Companies, as well as the founder of Lobella International, a community devoted to helping women recharge and rediscover themselves. (Loren also mentors disadvantaged children and is active in Raising Malawi.)

You can listen to the podcast now or download it onto your iPod by clicking here.

Be the first one to leave a comment on it on Single Women Rule and get a free copy of Loren's book!

Monday, May 18, 2009

More About Dating and Cell Phones

Hi, Terry:

I enjoy your column and have gained a lot of insight from it.

I went out on a fix-up date with a man two years ago. We were at a nice restaurant, and HIS cell phone went off 2 or 3 times and he left the table to answer it (at least he left the table)....He came back to the table to tell me it was a "friend" of his who was going through a rough time. I felt it was rude and unnecessary on a first date (I sensed it was the lady he had broken up with), but I gave him the benefit of the doubt.... some friends of mine dismissed it as "Oh, he was just trying to impress you....don't make a big thing of it"..... he ended up dumping me after a few more dates anyway, so I do think it's a telling sign that someone is just not "present."

BTW.... a few nights later, I was watching a sitcom and a guy was in a restaurant and gave the exact same spiel to his date about the "friend" going through a rough time. I wouldn't dream of even having my cell phone "on" for a first date unless I had children or a sick relative. I deserve better, even if it takes a lifetime to get it.

-Can Do Better

Hello, Can Do-

Thanks for writing and for the kind words.

You're right. You do deserve better, and I'm so glad you realize it. Your friends were wrong to tell you the jerk -- er -- I mean, guy was just trying to impress you and not to make a big deal of it. As if isn't completely icky that someone would use such a pathetic technique to get you to like him.

Cell phones and dates just don't mix. When the guy dumped you, he did you a favor. He has zero manners and is probably also a liar.

Good for you.


Thursday, May 14, 2009

Romance Thrives on Mystery and Anticipation

Every day of the week, a new device comes on the market that promises to simplify life for us. For the most part, they're great. But they could also be killing your chances for love.

First, the obvious:

Men still complain that too many women whip out a device on a first date and monitor it all night long for calls and text messages.

A woman (or man, for that matter) who wants a second date shouldn't be checking a device, unless she has children, in which case she can tell the guy, "I've instructed my children (or babysitter) to contact me only in case of emergency. Otherwise, I promise not to let this thing distract me."

Second, the less obvious:

Too many women are mistaking a series of text messages for a relationship. A relationship is eye-to-eye. LOL and laughing out loud are two very different experiences.

Which would you prefer?

Laughing out loud in the presence of a funny, smart, cute man who thrills you? Or tapping out a string of characters to the same guy and finishing it off with "LOL?"

Two different experiences, indeed.

Women are texting too much. Too much texting = no mystery. How are you going to get a guy to think about you, dream about you, wonder where you are and what you're doing if you you're telling him all day long?

Remember, no mystery = no romance. If you want a guy to take you for granted, text your heart out.

Otherwise, limit texting for critical communication (you're running late, for example). Give him a reason to want to see you. If he tries to engage you in a lengthy text conversation, text back, "Sorry. Busy. Meet up sometime?"

You've put the ball in his court. You've let him know you have a life, but you're interested enough to meet him face-to-face. That way, you can gauge his interest, instead of having to wonder if he wants to be your boyfriend or just another text buddy.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Are Men Really From Mars? (Or Just This Guy?)


Men ARE from Mars!

In a nutshell..I am on one of those social utility sites ( many friends from overseas and long distance in general...a lot are guys that I have never met, but enjoy the occasional email with. So, BOY, was I surprised to receive a very long email from one of them recently outlining why he couldn't be in a relationship with me (I would have thought that was obvious. The other side of the planet being a little too inconvenient) and going into great detail about his new love..and how he doesn't want to hurt my get the idea.

This has given me the feeling that MEN certainly look at things differently from ME.

I showed no romantic interest in this guy at all. Just friendly emails..the same as I have written to my female friends who happen to live overseas.

What's this about Terry? Can you shed any light on this guy's behaviour?


Hey, Sian-

This has very little to do with you, and everything to do with him.

He mistook garden variety friendliness for romantic interest. Unfortunately, this happens all the time. A guy (or girl) is socially inept, and they misread signs. Or, a guy (or girl) thinks they're 'all that,' and they misread the signs.

And it doesn't take much for them to do it, either.

Here's an example: Some years ago, I ran into a female acquaintance who'd lost a considerable amount of weight. Instead of shouting something insensitive like, "WOW! YOU USED TO BE SO FAT. WHAT HAPPENED?," I remarked, "You look absolutely fabulous." And I smiled at the girl.

(You see, I used to struggle with my weight, too, and suffered the occasional moron who'd run up to me in a public place and bellow, "YOU USED TO BE TREMENDOUS! LOOK AT YOU! WHAT HAPPENED?" So I was thrilled for this individual.)

A few weeks later, a friend said to me, "Terry, there's a rumor going around that someone is gay, who is definitely not gay."

"Really? Who?" I asked.

"You'll never guess. It's so ridiculous."

"Tell me."

"Apparently, Lisa Jones (the girl who'd lost weight) is telling people you came on to her at the Harp & Mandolin a couple of weeks ago."

Of course I was angry, Sian, not because she'd called me gay but because she was presumptuous enough to assume that if I were gay I would be attracted to her.

For a long time, I stopped complimenting people for fear they'd 'take it the wrong way,' but this isn't fair. People want to be noticed, and they should be. We crave love and attention the way plants lean toward the sun.

So, don't worry about this guy and his overkill letter about his new love, and how he nobly and gallantly let you down easily. It was never about you, anyway.

Friday, May 08, 2009

Her Son Doesn't Want Her to Date

Hi Terry,

I met a man on an online dating service. He emailed me to tell me that he is interested in speaking to me. He immediately gave me his number. I called him and we talked. He called me on Monday. We had a date set up for Thursday, and my son who is grown man sabotaged the whole date by calling him on the phone telling him not to call on this number.

The guy called me back and told me that he cannot make it Thursday and will call me next week. My son does not want me to date because he doesn't trust my judgement. My previous boyfriend was dysfunctional. I read your column and have learned a lot from your advice. What can I do about the above situation with my son?

Not Thrilled

Hello, Not Thrilled-

You're an adult, so you should be able to make your own decisions. However, you mention that your former boyfriend was "dysfunctional," and since this could mean any number of things, I don't know whether your son is controlling, or if he's truly justified in wanting to protect you.

You say your son doesn't trust your judgement. Have you tried asking him what it'll take to change that? If he's right about the ex-boyfriend (notice I said if), do you see now how you might have accepted unacceptable situations and behaviors? Are you willing not to accept such treatment again in the future?

Most of us have experienced dating a person who didn't treat us well, but it's critical to not to make a habit of falling for such people. In other words, heed the signs and get the hell out of there.

Let me ask you a question: Why do you want to date in the first place? What is your goal? Are you looking for that "friendship that has caught fire," as Ann Landers (I think it was she, although it may have been her sister, Dear Abby) used to say?

Or are you looking for a man to make you feel worthwhile?

If it's the friendship-on-fire, good for you. Date people who treat you with love, kindness, and respect. If it's the man to make you feel worthwhile, please know that nobody is ever going to make you feel worthwhile but you. Self-worth comes from you. Interestingly, when women feel good about themselves, they attract good men.

Now, it's entirely possible that your son is out of line. If he has a history of controlling behavior, it's time for you to set boundaries. He shouldn't be screening your calls.

If you choose to see this new man, please remember to meet him in a public place. Take your own transportation. Get to know him (keep your eyes and ears open) before you let him into your car, home, and life.

I hope this helps.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

She Attracts Married Men

Hi Terry,

Why is it I attract all the wrong men all the time? Why do I keep
attracting married men, who I don't want?

And all the single men aren't keepers....

Magnet for the Married Man

Dear Magnet-

Sometimes we attract the wrong men because we're subconsciously afraid of attracting the right one. Attracting the right one offers the possibility of a committed relationship, and that scares the daylights out of a lot of us.

It used to scare the daylights out of me.

This may or may not apply to you, but more than one married man has told me that he suddenly became irresistible to single women once he started wearing a wedding ring. Married men can be perceived as mature, grounded, responsible, sexy, and -- oh, yeah -- off limits. And being off limits presents a compelling challenge for a lot of women. The fact that she will probably never trip over his underwear on on a daily basis appeals to her on subconscious level.

You mention that single men are not keepers. Okay, definitely many single men are not keepers. But single men with the attractive qualities of their married counterparts exist.

Which begs the question: How come you're not meeting them?

It's possible you are meeting them, but you're not attracted to them because, on some level, you don't want a relationship. It really helps to take out a pen right this minute and write the word 'MARRIAGE' on top of a piece of paper. Then, without censoring yourself, write down every single word or phrase that comes to mind.

You may be surprised what you find out. Some women find themselves with a list that looks like this:

-loss of identity

And so on.

As you can see, some of the impressions are positive, and some of them are decidedly negative. But, once you find out what you fear about committed relationships, you can face those fears and turn them around. For instance, would you have to lose your identity if you got married? Can you think of examples of women who didn't? Is infidelity a factor in every marriage, or is that an idea you picked up from a tabloid headline while waiting to check out at the supermarket (I'm not making fun of you; media messages are insidious and powerful).

Once you face your fears, it's very possible you'll find yourself attracting -- and just as important --being attracted to available men.

Good luck.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Get Back With Your Ex: A Guy's Approach

Today I'm letting John Garett, author of John's Dating Tips Blog, do the heavy lifting. Here's an approach he recommends to men who want to reunite with their exes.

Why should you, Female Reader, care? Because John points out a critical element in getting an ex back: Maintaining dignity. It's not about playing hard-to-get; it's about remembering human nature. Every one of us, male or female, wants to date (or marry) an individual who demonstrates self-esteem. We all want a prize.

At the end of the piece, John recommends setting up a meeting, and this is where we part company (not wild about some of the photos he uses to illustrate his posts, either). Guy breaks up with me? I'm not making an appointment to see him.

But if he made an appointment to see me? If I missed him, John's right. I'd go.

Guys: 3 Simple Steps How to Get Back Together With Your Ex

I'm going to give you three easy and simple steps how you can get back together with your ex. The best thing is you can use this right away. However, this is just the "quick and dirty" method that should work for the majority of breakups.

But if your situation is a little more tense and has more variables in it... then you need to try the more advanced techniques.

But to keep things simple... I'm going to stick with these three simple and easy steps that you can implement today.


Alright. First of all, breaking up really, really sucks. And it can hurt... a lot... and you are probably missing her in a bad way.

Some of you may actually fall into a depressed state and feel like your world is just about to fall apart.

And those feeling may cause you to make rash decissions such as calling your ex and begging her to come back to you. As you will find out, this is a very bad idea!

I can't begin to emphasize how much calling, emailing, and texting your ex-girlfriend is going to turn her off... on you.


And the key word here is desperate. That is what she will see if you are doing this. Desperate and needy...

And the only thing going through her mind is... "Eww!" And she can't get away from you fast enough.

So grow some stones and remember you are a man... act like one.

But does that mean you can't get her back? Absolutely not! There are techniques that you can do to put the ball on your court and massively increase the chances of getting back together with her...

So without any futher explainations here is the 3 simple steps you can do right now to get back together with your ex.

1) Accept the fact that you broke up.

It happened. And it happened for a reason. But the key thing here is to let her know that you are OK with the break up and understand that you both need to "move on." It does seem a little counter-intuitive but what this does is calms the waters of the break up. She can sit back and think about the relationship without any pressure from you. And doing so, hopefully she will realize that she still loves you and guess what? She will find a way to get back together with you.

2) Leave your communication devices alone.

Don't call her. Don't email her. And don't text her. Do what Yosemite Sam always suggests, "Just back off!" This is the thinking time for her. Let her mind do all the work for you. Pressuring her is just going to push her further away from you.

So stop contacting her. Give her some time to miss being with you again.

3) Plan now for the get together.

Of course you aren't going to be sitting on your hands during this time. Start planning on the get together. And by get together, I mean where you both should meet and what you will say to her when you do meet. This get together will give you an opportunity to gauge if she still loves you and if there is any chance of getting back together.

To sum it up, be cool about the break up. Give her time to think about you. And plan for the get together.

Now here is another bonus tip for you... never, ever lose your cool and don't argue with her either.

If you're looking for more ideas to improve your love life, check out John's blog for dating books review, dating tips, and random thoughts.

John's Dating Tips Blog

Friday, May 01, 2009

Adventures in Dating a Pathological Liar

Dear Terry:

A friend of mine suggested I write to you about my bizarre experience. I like your techniques for visualizing a healthy, positive relationship with a wonderful partner. I was in a serious relationship for three years. I ended that relationship three months ago. I acknowledge that my ex had major issues and was a codependent. He did not communicate in a forthright manner and I had trouble trusting him. I can accept that he was not ready for commitment. But I am still trying to figure out reality. I need help with this other mess so I can put the final nails in the coffin. (I am seeking therapy, taking dance classes, went on vacation with old friends, etc. to refocus on myself).

I worked in the same office as my ex for three years. He said that his Catholic family would have a hard time dealing with me because I am not a Catholic. Due to his rigid boundaries, I never saw the inside of his apartment. I met his family when he moved back home but was introduced as his co-worker. We were very private and slow in revealing that we were together because he had supervised me at one point and did not want accusations of favoritism. A year into the relationship I went to grad school in another state and we became long-distance. That's when I found out through friends he was engaged to our former boss. I always knew my ex was good friends with this woman, although I did not get along with her. He withheld information from me until I confronted him. He admitted to being engaged but said it was only for immigration purposes because he was under threat of deportation. Because we all worked for an immigrant rights organization, I believed his story. He said I had expectations of marriage and that's why it was easier to be publicly engaged to a friend. I had never observed any flirtatious behavior between them. A year later I found out through friends that she was telling people she was married to my ex, there was no immigration case, and that I was a stalker. But my relationship with him was always consensual. I told him point-blank that I would not be romantic with him if he were married. At the time of the engagement, my friends and I had made some calls to him, his family, the supposed wife, his workplace, and the supposed wife's family to figure out whether the gossip was true. I never harassed them. I was simply on a fact-finding mission. I wanted our relationship to work. He told me his maybe wife had poor mental health, had started believing that she was married, and was in denial that I was his girlfriend. I thought by him talking to her she would put to rest these rumors. But close to our third anniversary, friends mentioned that the woman still acted like they were married, living together, with no immigration hearing. I searched state marriage records and no evidence was found to indicate they were legally married. I tried talking to her but she never returned my calls/emails. I tried calling his lawyer and the courthouse and no records were found on his deportation hearing. Given his close working relationship and long history with her, what am I supposed to believe?

Was he an evil man who played two women against each other? Or is his story true, that he is dysfunctional in his personal life and being silent comes easier to him than humiliating his boss/good friend? He was gentle, nice, charming, and cordial to all my friends/family so I fell for it. Where was his wife when we were all over our home computers carrying on conversations? Did his sister who befriended me know he was married? Either way he was disloyal, deceptive, and selfish.

Was I attracted to a manipulative sociopath/compulsive liar? Or was he simply a passive coward, and the truth is stranger than fiction?

With your experience, I hope you can help me solve this mystery. I want to avoid repeating the same mistakes. Your response will help me move on.

Thanks for listening.

Gotta Know the Deal Here

Dear Gotta Know-

First off, congratulations on getting therapy and taking steps to move on with your life.

You pretty much summed it up when you wrote, "Either way he was disloyal, deceptive, and selfish."

He was, and that's all that matters, really. Whether he and the former boss were ever married is irrelevant. The guy has shown himself to be disloyal, deceptive, and selfish, and you deserve much better than that.

Just so you know: You're not alone. I've known other (two just off the top of my head) women who were conned by seemingly charming men who came up with some ridiculous fairy tale with regard to some other woman in their lives. And guess what? In the end, both of these women ended up being confronted by the other woman (or, really, the wife or the true girlfriend) who called them -- guess what?-- stalkers.

This seems to be a technique of pathological men: Pit two women against each other and sit back and enjoy the show (to be fair, I've known women who love to get men to fight over them, too). It's narcissistic, pathetic behavior.

The good news is, you know what you don't want: A guy who's disloyal, deceptive, and selfish. So now you know what you do want: A guy who's loyal, honest, loving, and generous.

To stop yourself from 'making the same mistakes,' write an affirmation around what you do want:

"I am happily married to a loyal, honest, loving, generous, fun man."

What would that look like, feel like, smell like, taste like, and sound like? Bring it to life in your imagination (at least) twice daily. Over time, the details will start to fill themselves in.

(This sounds simplistic, but it really does work.)

Definitely keep seeing your therapist. Keep the focus on enjoying life. Keep bringing this new and fresh relationship you desire to mind, filling in details as you go, letting your subconscious mind accept it as fact. (Also, by honing in on what you do want, as opposed to what you don't want, you ensure you'll recognize it when it shows up).

Napoleon Hill said it best: What the mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve.

Good luck. I'm thinking good thoughts for you.