Monday, August 31, 2009

Online Dating: When Should He Offer to Pick Her Up?

Hi Terry!

I read your book, began visualizing, listing, etc., and lo and behold a seemingly nice guy has materialized (wow!). Ok, so my question is, since we met online, how many times should we meet (drive to our meeting spot separately) before I can expect him to offer to pick me up? Also, how do I even approach this? Ideally, shouldn't he be offering this at some point? Please let me know your thoughts.....thanks Terry!

-The Going's Good

Hi, Going-

Congratulations on meeting a seemingly nice guy!

Okay, it's possible that this fellow will be the one for you, but it's also possible that he's a dress rehearsal for someone even better.


Drive separately to meet him in some public place until you are convinced that he really and truly is a "nice guy" and worthy of your time. Play it by ear. If things go well, I imagine that he'd suggest that you travel together after a few good dates.

Please don't put any pressure on yourself or on the situation for him to be "the one." Keep affirming and visualizing. Enjoy yourself, be yourself, and don't limit yourself until you're sure that any man is the right man for you.

In other words, keep your options open.

Thinking very good thoughts for you,

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

She's Waiting For a Man to Get a Divorce and Marry Her

Hi, Terry-

I liked your book. It's simple and straightforward in the good sense.

I love it that you dispelled the American cultural myth of the men shortage. Before I came to America, I'd never heard of it either so I could very much relate to your Irish friend.

I have a question about my situation. I'm in my forties (yikes) and have been dating a great man for almost 2 years. I do want to get married and preferably to him because we've had a wonderful time and I love and like him a lot. He's separated, living in his own place, and says he wants to be with me for the rest of my life. He talks about future plans with me. But he still hasn't filed for divorce. He left her and the only contact they have is about the son. Even his mom who likes me asked him about the progress and wasn't very pleased that he had not taken any steps. Life threw a curveball, his son got very sick a month ago, and now he says that his plan had been to finalize his divorce this summer, and now it has to wait. And now he says it will be October until he gets to it. His son is still pretty ill and my bf is very stressed and occupied by this.

Now my part. I've let him know a year ago that I did want to get married. I get very down because I despair of his lack of actions. I'm too afraid to bring it up, probably because I think what he says are all excuses why he doesn't file for his divorce (you read that in all the books on dating, The Rules, it's always an excuse). I've been betrayed before and it does color how I see the situation and I might not be seeing it accurate. I also read too many scary advice emails, The Rules, and everything on the planet that makes it sound that getting married is more difficult than anything a woman could ever accomplish.

He brings up the status of his divorce progress repeatedly (I've asked him about it once) but it might just be out of guilt because he knows it's not right to put it off any longer. I never talk about the future or getting married. Should I? It's really not the same as the man doing it for me. I'm hopelessly confused. I want to get married because it's saying yes to being there for each other, to building a life together and I just can't give myself away to a man that doesn't give me this level of commitment. If he's as crazy about me as he says, then I don't get it that he doesn't move forward. My first husband married me within 3 weeks. In hindsight out of fear someone else would. Do I make it too easy on my bf by never saying anything? He's says all the right things and does the right things (calling me, planning dates), I'm his soulmate, etc. but without the action to get his divorce handled. what does it mean? Every time he says it now, I feel down and think "we'll see."

I'm confused and don't know what to do. I do have a life of my own, I seldom call him (I just can't, it feels better when he calls me), at my age I don't have men swarming around me but men do flirt with me occassionaly. According to the Rules it should progress but I don't feel it does. My fear of being betrayed which is a childhood thing doesn't help seeing what's going on. Let me know what you think. Have I given him the message he can be with me without marrying me? Thanks.


Dear Waiting-

Let me just say I don't think you've given him the "wrong message" about having you without being married to you. I don't think you're giving him a message at all.

A year ago, you told him you wanted to get married, but since then, you haven't brought it up. I don't care what The Rules says; this is your life we're talking about here, and you do have a right to communicate your feelings.

For all this man knows, you're not all that interested in getting married. You rarely call him, you don't make dates, and you've been trained by books like The Rules to say nothing and do nothing.

Yes, he could be making excuses. He may have no intentions of ever divorcing, and maybe all his proclamations about you being his soulmate are hot air. But how are you to know?

The next time he tells you how you light up his sky, why don't you say to him, "You know, I feel the same way about you. I'd like to build a life with you. How do you feel about it?"

Then listen. Watch his hands, his eyes, and open your ears. If he gives you another excuse, then it might be time to pull back a bit, not out of some manipulative The Rules way, but out of self-protection.

This means that you can be there for him some of the time, particularly now while he deals with the stress of his child's illness, but not all the time. Occasionally, when he calls to get together, you should be able to tell him you've already made plans. Fill your time with nourishing activities, whether it's going out with friends, going to a yoga class, catching a ballet by yourself, seeing a comedy. Whatever.

It's not necessary to break up with the guy, but it is a good idea to keep him at arm's length until he figures out what he wants to do with himself.The bonus? If he figures out he doesn't intend to get a divorce, you can settle further into an increasingly comfortable new reality that doesn't include him.

As for you being in your forties, big deal. If you're feeling less attractive about it, then by all means, find a new interest. Learn a new language or something. Learning is the fountain of youth, and developing new interests gives your life another fascinating facet, and it helps keep your mind off you-know-who.

Also: Your betrayal issues. If you find they're holding your back (I'm no psychiatrist, but is it possible that part of the attraction to this guy is the fact that he's not divorced, and therefore you don't really have to worry about a betrayal?), please seek the help of a good licensed therapist.

And, whatever you do, please stop reading The Rules (or any other book that make attracting a good husband sound impossible). The authors do have a point about not being overly available (everybody wants to work a little; women want to work a little for men, too), but the business about not returning calls is complete nonsense.

To me, it all comes down to treating the other person as you would have him treat you. Then ask yourself if he's treating you as you would treat him. If the answer is yes, great. If not, it's time to make an adjustment.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

How Does She Get Over Him?

Dear Terry,

I've a huge crush on this friend of mine. We initially met online through a music community we both signed up for.

He recently got divorced few months back,and is shattered by it. He got serious in his pursuit for music only after his divorce, and he has a great career in singing now, apart from being a manager during the day.

He said he'd like to marry again in the next year or two, but it doesn't matter who the girl is going to be, 'coz his first love will always be music because music is his first priority in life (he sings very well with a very beautiful and mesmerizing voice).

I'm not fine with being that 'any girl', as I've lot of great traits which could be cherished by a noble man who has a balanced life, and to whom family life is also a top priority.

His haunting voice is taking its toll on me now, and I don't want to think about him anymore. I think I'm on the right track, but I'm not sure how to get over him. He's a famous celebrity now in my city and gives performances that I always made it a routine to see to make my week-ends joyful.

I sometimes hate music now when I talk to him, didn't have any closure as we're only 'friends.' But I can tell he likes spending a lot of time with me and is attracted to me.

Can you please give me some advice on getting over him? Do I have to break the friendship to get over him?

-Keep Me Anonymous

Dear Keep Me-

You've made a decision to get over him, which puts you ahead of the game. A lot of us want to get over a guy but are not remotely interested in making the effort it requires (forcing attractive thoughts of him out of our heads, for example, and staying away from places we might find him).

You say you want a noble man who will cherish your very good qualities, and here you are ahead again: You know what you want and what you have to offer. You know you deserve better than a man who thinks he might marry again in a year or two to some girl or another.

The thing is, you say he's been through a bad divorce. He's been traumatized, and either he's going to take steps to make himself strong enough to be vulnerable again, or he isn't. Right now, it sounds like he'd rather immerse himself in the safety of his music.

Unfortunately, his music seems to be where you find him most attractive. It pains me to say it, but you're going to have to stay away from his performances until you get over him. You're going to have to force the mesmerizing sound of his voice out of your mind.

For the sake of your own happiness, I don't think you can be his friend right now. You're attracted to this guy, and the fact that he's attracted to you isn't making life any easier.

The weekend will soon be upon us, and he'll be onstage once again. Where will you be? Please make a fun plan now, so that you don't find yourself tempted to watch him perform. (I imagine it will be tough to have fun your first few times out, but it will get easier.)

Better yet, pull out a calendar and make plans for every weekend for the foreseeable future.

You know what you want. Please go for it.


Wednesday, August 12, 2009

It's Raining Men

Dear Terry,

I am findng that I am starting to attract kinder, more spiritual guys which is wonderful. The problem is I am still very cautious.

I am fearful that I will follow the practices in [your] book and choose the man of my dreams that may not be the "perfect guy for *me*", but the guy I *think* is right for me. Yet, how often in life am I surprised by how things turn out, things that did not go according to plan, only to find out I am very happy. How do we know that what we want for ourselves is best? Can we trust that?

Does it come from dating and seeing what we like and what we don't? There are a few men in my life that just sort of appeared. I had been waiting and waiting, and then all of the sudden 3 at once! Now what do I do? I am a one woman type of gal and am looking for a potential partner. I suppose I am jumping to conclusions. I don't even know what these guys are looking for. I am relying on my intution, but I don't know if I can trust it and well. I guess I am just confused!

Thanks, Terry. I hope that made sense.

Brightest blessings,


Hello, S.-

You're a one-man woman who's in a very good position: Three seemingly kind and spiritually-minded men have come out of the woodwork.

You wonder if you can trust your instincts. Well, sure. Sometimes. It's important to heed your intuition but not to rely on it exclusively. That's where experience comes in.

Which means you date these three guys and whoever else comes along. You spend time with them until you know who's the real deal and who isn't. The only thing you owe any man right now is honesty. You don't have to marry anybody.

You say you don't know what any of these men wants, anyway. Get to know them, and you're bound to find out.

Take the pressure off. Don't overthink this stuff.

The benefit of dating (and of socializing in general) is that, as you get to know people, you also get to know yourself. You become surer of what will make you happy in the long run.

I hope this helps.

Monday, August 10, 2009

When He Says He Needs Space

I apologize again for not posting as frequently as usual lately. I also apologized two months ago, and I'm still having trouble getting my act together. In addition to some other writing projects, I'm dealing with eye strain from sitting too much in front of a computer.

If anybody can give me some advice on how to deal with it, I'd really appreciate it. It's not good for productivity.

Somebody left the following comment on a previous post, How to Win Him Back:

This article is helpful, but I don't know how to be strong...

My boyfriend of 4 1/2 years, my first and ONLY anything, just broke up with me yesterday and I don't know how to deal. He said he needed "space" to find himself, which I know is true... but I can't seem to understand why he needs me to be out of the picture... this is so tragic...

And I say, yeah, it's definitely tragic when someone we love turns around after a number of happy dates, weeks, months, or years, and says, "I need space," but let me tell you: The best thing you can do is give him space.

(Just so you know, I've been there, and I really, really feel for you right now.)

If you call him, text him, IM him to implore him to remember the good times and plead with him to tell you exactly when things turn a wrong turn, it will only drive him further away.

(Once again, I've been there.)

Think about it. If you've ever been in the position where you're being pursued by someone you're not sure of at the moment, does it make him more or less attractive if he keeps pursuing you after you've politely asked him to back off?

It's entirely possible that the man in this scenario just needs time to figure out what he wants. It's possible he'll decide he wants this relationship to continue. It's possible that he'll decide he doesn't.

But the only way to know for sure is to give him what he's asked for: Space. In the meantime, ask yourself what's the worst thing that could happen here (he won't come back?). If he chooses not to come back, please be open to the possibility that better things lie ahead for you.

While you let him enjoy his space, make a point of enjoying yours. This means reaquainting yourself with the people, places, and things that made you happy that may have fallen by the wayside over the past four years. It means discovering new interests and making new friends. Most of all, it means taking excellent care of yourself.

I wish you every happiness.