Friday, October 30, 2009

He Wants a Good Woman

Sometimes I get mail from women who insist that men don't want to commit, so it was interesting to find this bit from a guy who says he can't find a woman to settle down with. He calls himself healthy, attractive, and he says he has a well-paying job.

Get the whole story here.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

She's Not Comfortable With His Affection

Terry,

I met a warm, friendly guy a few months ago. His conversations are interesting, and he's handsome.

Problem (or is it?):

The few times we've been alone I've had to "fight him off"; he wants to kiss and caress me repeatly. I am uncomfortable with this because I'm just getting to know him. Am I overreacting? I don't want to chase him away by complaining, but my comfort is also an issue.

Please give me some feedback.

-Uncomfortable



Dear Uncomfortable-

When you say you've fought him off, have you told him what you told me: That you're uncomfortable with the affection because you're just getting to know him?

If not, speak up. See what he says. See what he does. It should tell you everything you need to know.

You did say you met him a few months ago, so maybe his kisses and caresses are true expressions of his feelings for you. Maybe you don't return those feelings yet. Maybe you never will. You may decide that you just like him as a friend.

But if you've already told him to back off, and he's ignored you, you definitely have a problem on your hands. You don't need a man who disregards your feelings. If this is the case, move on.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

He's Perfect (On Paper)

Question:

Been seeing Mr. Perfect On Paper: shared interests, activities, achievements, values.

But neither of us seems passionate about getting physically involved, and I don't feel -- and I guess he doesn't either -- that it's just awful to part at the end of an evening or a day together. We're both 60ish, were in 25-year marriages that ended (obviously): are we just gun-shy and holding back, or is this just not the relationship we need?

-Anonymous, please


-Dear Anonymous-

It sounds to me like you've met the perfect man to be your friend.

You seem to have a lot in common, so I don't see the harm of spending time together, but it seems that you're just not attracted to each other. Attraction is vital to a romantic relationship.

Is it possible attraction will develop?

Sure. Definitely. But it's also possible it won't. As long as you and your friend are having fun together, why not hang around with each other long enough to find out?

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

He Broke Up With Her to Please His Family

Hello,

I'm so confused about something. My ex-boyfriend, and I "broke up" about a month ago. We had a great relationship - very healthy. I know his family had a lot to do with his decision (our culture is very complicated when it comes to dating/marriage).

Anyhow, it doesn't feel like we've even broken up. Everything has stayed the same. I know he has very strong feelings for me - and I for him. We talk everyday, we hang out a few times a week, we take trips and everything. He still tells me he loves me. Even when he goes out without me he's constantly texting me.

This situation is making me crazy. I want to be with him, but I just don't know how to handle things this way. Why is he like that? And how should I handle it? HELP!

~Turning Nutty


Dear Turning-

You say your relationship ended because his family had "a lot to do with his decision." Clearly, he wants to continue your relationship, but he does not want to offend his family. At this point, he is trying to have it both ways.

So, he is getting what he wants. His family is getting what they want. The only person who isn't getting what she wants is you.

You need to protect yourself.

He broke it off, so break it off. Don't go out with him or take trips with him. When he tells you he loves you, tell him, "That's great, but you broke up with me. Remember? You have given up the right to tell me anything of the sort."

He has also given up his right to text you and expect you to talk to him every day.

I'm afraid that if you continue to let things go the way they're going, you're going to get hurt. And he'll be able to wriggle out of it by saying, "But I never led you on. We were broken up."

Please take very good care of yourself. Bury yourself in something you've wanted to do but have put off since you starting seeing Family Man. Treat yourself as a treasure he's lost and a better man will be lucky to discover.

That's what you are: A treasure yet to be discovered. Stop letting this guy waste your time.

Please don't refer to yourself as 'Turning Nutty.' From now on, say you're 'Turning Toward Something Better.'

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Hey, Terry-

I've got some issues here. I'm in a long distance relationship. Actually, this guy was my childhood friend and we connected together recently. He studies abroad. He fell in love with me, everything was going too fast, he kinda "made me love him," took off my icicle.

He became all I was asking for in a man. We met during summer vacations, it was awesome, and then he went back to the country where he studies. Since then, he's backing off. I don't know what happened. He calls once in a blue moon (he used to call me everyday!).

No more I love yous, no more I miss yous, NOTHING. He barely responds to my mails. We used to spend hours on Skype! I mean, he was so passionate and excited about us and the future together, he asked me to promise I'd wait for him. And I did.

And now he's backing off?! I mean... What am I supposed to do?! When I tell him about how I feel, he says that he's just busy, that he needs to concentrate and that he'll try to call me on weekends. He was busy before, too, but he used to call! I'm only asking for two minutes a day here, just to say hi and know he still cares. And he still finds time to talk to his friends and family and go on Facebook. The result is that I'm backing off too, returning to my shell. And I don't get it. One month before, he was madly in love, and now he can't even say a kind word to me?

-What is the Deal?


Dear Deal-

It's not fair that this guy warmed you up, and then left you cold, but please take comfort in the fact that you are not the first person who's suffered this crap.

Here's my advice: Stop calling him, texting him, visiting his Facebook page. Don't initiate contact whatsoever. Stop telling him how you feel (he doesn't deserve to hear it). Yes, breaking contact will hurt at first, but it will get easier. It's also worth it. Know that just as you cannot fathom why this guy came on so strong only to leave you high and dry, prolonging the agony is only going to prolong the agony.

(There are men and women who get off on 'the chase.' They determine to make someone fall in love with them, woo them until they do, and then move on because the fun is over. I don't know if this guy falls into this category, but it's possible.)

Fill your time taking care of yourself, doing things that make you happy and keep your mind off this person. If he should contact you, guard your heart and resist making yourself overly available. Think very hard if it's worth letting him into your life again.

Is he worth it? Does he deserve you?

I hope you won't let this unfortunate experience prevent you from finding happiness with a man who does deserve you and doesn't ever take you for granted.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

You Can Change Your Life

Dear Terry:

At 18 I had a love at first sight relationship, and we were great friends, but after two years on-and-off, we ended it. I had a few fun relationships in my early 20s, but then some disastrous abusive relationships. I chose to return to university for fulfillment and achievement. However a number of factors led to a nervous breakdown, and I moved back in with my parents.

My father was repressive and domineering, and my self-esteem and sense of independence were shattered. In my mid-30s I returned again to university to earn a Masters Degree. However, my efforts have been impeded by homelessness, financial bankruptcy, and abusive and repressive attitudes when I should have been able to celebrate my achievements. As a result, my 30s were ruined because I was trying to survive. I was not free to enjoy supportive relationships or to have children.

Most of my male friends disappeared, and I miss those friendships. Not to mention the fact that I want a real relationship.

While working on my MA , I had an awesome encounter with a man I used to work closely with. We have met since, but he is married and lives on another continent. My emotions are in turmoil.

I have just turned 40, and only three friends wished me a happy birthday, although they are all aware I require some support. I don't actually meet men I like, as the situation has been too stressful, and I've had to put all my energy into finding accommodation and living expenses.

Any advice?

-Want a Fresh Start


Dear Fresh Start-

I edited your letter for clarity and hope I've done a decent job of it.

I have to get this out of the way: I am not a licensed health professional. I do suggest you get the name of a good, supportive, caring therapist whose goal is to help you move on with your life as soon as possible.

Since you know you struggle with self-esteem issues (which lead to all sorts of other issues, including the loss of friends, getting involved in bad relationships, and other self-destructive behavior), I suggest you take out of the library You Can Heal Your Life by Louise Hay. It's an effective, easy-to-digest book that's helped many people (you might also be able to borrow the DVD by the same name; it's good, too).

As far as your friends go, I do not know how you've treated them, or even if they were really friends or just acquaintances, but one of the most powerful things we can do when we feel lonely and abandoned is to be a friend to someone else. There is a human being out there who needs a friend even more than you do.

Can you find the time to be a friend to someone else? If you can, it will do wonders for your self-esteem. It may also lead to wonderful opportunities.

As for the man with the wife on another continent, the encounter may have been awesome, but how much time would you really want to spend with an individual who cheats on his wife? I mean, if you were married, would you want your husband to cheat on you?

I don't care how bad things look right now. You can do better than a man who cheats on his wife.

Once again, please do get hold of an excellent therapist who can help you build the self-esteem you deserve. I wish you every happiness.

-Terry

Monday, October 05, 2009

He Wants Her to Do Things He's Not Willing to Do For Her

Dear Terry-

I am dating a nice guy, but I AM feeling a big BUT here.

I don't know why. Something just doesn't feel right about all this for me. I can't put my finger on it. You would think after dating him exclusively for for five months, my opinion would change. The sex life is so-so, not fantastic. There are things he wants me to do that he won't do for me! (I've discussed this with my doctor and he suggests that I don't do these things, either!)

I am entrepreneurial, motivated, driven and focused. He is not. He is semi-retired and has a great (according to him) pension.

-Uncertain


Dear Uncertain-

I have a big problem with any man or woman who expects a partner to perform any act (even if it only involves hanging curtains) that they are unwilling to do in return.

No. No. No!

Both parties in a relationship should be treating the other person as they'd like to be treated themselves.

If something doesn't feel right, guess what? It probably isn't right. You're entrepreneurial, and your comment about this guy's "great (according to him) pension" indicates that you're not thrilled with his lifestyle. So why twist your own arm into continuing the relationship?

You say he's a nice guy, but how nice is he really when he expects you to do things for him that wouldn't even consider doing for you?

Thursday, October 01, 2009

An Omen That They're Not Meant to Be?

Terry-

My boyfriend popped the question that we should live together. Right afterward, I fell and broke my wrist. His come-on line was. "You like my house and my dog, right?" We have only been dating four months and I only see him once or twice a month. By the looks of things I probably won't see him until mid-October.

I never answered him when he asked me to move in. I just got really scared, and then I had the accident. I shattered two bones. He wanted me to have surgery in New York so he could take care of me. I wanted it at home where I could take care of myself. I felt like a prisoner in his home until he heard surgery was gonna cost me $2,500 US, and then he couldn't get me home fast enough.

He hasn't returned to see me since. He was supposed to come this weekend, but he had a prior engagement that was rescheduled for the same time, so now I probably won't be seeing him until mid-October.

He calls nightly. When I was recuperating, I didn't always take the call if I was resting. Honestly. The pain meds knocked me out. I was looking for a sign when we walked in the woods prior to my fall.

Was my fall a sign? If so, what did it mean?

-Clueless and Over the Border


Dear Over the Border-

I don't know if your accident was a sign from the universe, but clearly you have serious reservations about this individual. Listen to your intuition.

Why would you leave the country to move in with some guy you've met only a handful of times?

The line about you liking his house and dog was very romantic, by the way.

Terry