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Dating Columns Archives

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Week of October 8, 2000


Dear Mrs Web,

Can a person fall in love immediately when meeting someone new?

You can feel an immediate bond with someone, but real love takes much more work.

Dear Mrs. Web,

I walk a beach trail every day with my dog. I always meet a man and his dog on the trail and as the dogs have become acquainted, we exchange pleasant conversation. Sometimes he even walks a bit with me when we are engrossed in an interesting topic. He is a book lover too. He seems to be retired and unmarried. How do I get to know him better?

The next time you are having one of those engrossing conversations, tell him that you are fascinated and that you would like to continue it over coffee. Have a place ready to suggest. I suspect he will be delighted.

Dear Mrs. Web,

I have been living with "Ted" for almost five years. We have even been talking about buying a house together. Last night he came home and told me he has met someone new and will be moving out this weekend. He packed a few things. He said he will be back Saturday to pick up the rest. Should I be here? I am walking from room to room and I just donít know what to do.

Change the locks immediately. Do you have a friend who can be with you when he comes back? You are going to need the support and "Ted" sounds too unscrupulous to allow back into the house alone. Begin separating your things out. One of the saddest things about people who play house is they donít even get the respect of a divorce.

Dear Mrs. Web,

 I have been dating this girl for about a month now. We were good friends before we started dating. I want to do something to show how much I care for her. We are both busy though.

 During the week, we both have school, then I have sports practices, and she has dance classes. The time we have to spend together on the weekends is limited too. What could I do to surprise her and how can I find time? . 

The gift of time is the most important thing you can give your beloved. I cannot make time for you but I must emphasize that most busy, overbooked schedules are that way because of choices we make. Nurturing a relationship takes time. 

There are seasons in our lives when, due to school or work commitments, dating relationships are not possible. One just cannot do justice to the attention and commitment they require. Usually you can have everything, but not at the same time.



Week of October 1, 2000


Dear Mrs. Web,

I am 17. My best friend is a guy I have known for years. In the past two years, we have become very close. Last year he was "in love" with me but I just wanted to be friends. Now I think that I am falling "in love" with him. What should I do?

In my opinion, the best relationships and marriages begin between two good friends. Good friends have an in-depth knowledge of each other that never is achieved in a traditional dating relationship. If your friend is someone of good character, and you both want a dating relationship, I cannot think of a reason to walk away.

Dear Mrs. Web,

I have always been the one-man kind of woman, even when I am just dating casually. Recently I started seeing three different men, two local guys, and one who lives out of state.

Should I inform each that I am seeing other men? We all are dating casually and it is awkward to bring up. I have not lied to any of them but I donít want to cause any major misunderstandings. What should I do?

I am unsure of what you mean by dating casually. If you are dating different men, the person you date Friday night has no claim over what you do Saturday night. There are no strings in the dating relationship. Exclusivity is for betrothal and marriage.

There is no such thing as a casual sexual relationship. Instead, it is people using each other to satisfy various physical and emotional needs. Relationships that include sex are often assumed monogamous because of the level of intimacy. People often get hurt with these unclear boundaries

A lot of what is going on here will depend on you. Do you want to continue to have casual dates? Do you wish to deepen your relationship with one of the three? How you proceed will depend on these answers.

Dear Mrs. Web,

I really like this wonderful, sweet, gorgeous guy. We are both seniors in high school. I am a little shy, so one of my friends told him I liked him. He said I was very pretty and nice. He said he was interested in someone else but if it didnít work out he would definitely be interested in me

Do you think he really likes me, or is he just putting me on his "waiting list"? What should I do? How can I get him?

You are interested in a young man who made it clear that his interests are elsewhere. Yes, he did put you on a "waiting list". He said that if his interest does not work out he would turn his attention to you. He was clear and honest, I respect that.

Gina, in this life there are some things we canít have, and others, we canít have right now. The one thing a young woman needs to learn is to read the information given to them by the men that capture their interest. Instead of trying to meet your own needs (I like him, I want him!) listen to him and learn to adjust to reality. Young women who are reality-based in their relationships learn to pick men based on the guyís character.

My mailbox is stuffed full of letters from women who never learned clarity. Women who chose to hear and see what they wanted instead of what was real in relationships. They and their children ended up suffering.

Dear Mrs Web,

I am involved with a genuinely kind man and we are planning a future together. He doesnít have any great wants and tends to go along to get along. He is very tenderhearted and I love him dearly. We have talked about him going back to school. Today he said he was just as happy to stay where he is, he clerks in an electronics store. I have a good job and can support us both comfortably. However, I am concerned about his lack of interest in the future. I guess I am having some doubts.

I have known a number of strong women married to gentle souls. At first, they enjoyed the control they wielded and freedom they had in their marriages. They never expected, however, they would always have to carry the burden of the family. 

They were exhausted for they juggled work, finances, and the decisive role in childcare, home maintenance and homemaking. They were the decision-makers. These women were all close to their husbands, but the men didnít have or want to take a leading or partnering role in the relationship.

In healthy relationships couples roll balls of responsibility between them so no one gets stuck. These women felt stuck. If you are thinking of marrying this man you need to realize that this is as good as he gets. Be honest with yourself Ė can you live with it? Forever?


Week of September 24, 2000

Dear Mrs. Web,

I have been attracted to this much younger woman who works at my health club. I am divorced for many years and in my early fifties. She is in her late twenties. I have been debating asking her out but wonder whether a fifty year old man will find a lot of common ground with a twenty year old woman.

Probably not but why donít you spring for a dinner and find out for yourself.

Dear Mrs Web,

I am living with an unusual, but sweet man. My family does not like him but they really donít understand him the way I do. He has a temper but he has never hit me. He wonít come in for my familyís parties. He just sits in the car, reads books, and listens to music. 

My family mostly ignores him but my sisters want me to leave him so sometimes they go out to the car and bug him and make him angry. Then he screeches off and I have to beg a ride to our apartment or take a cab. It takes me quite a while to calm him down too. I donít want to give up my family, but I love him.

I am always concerned when a woman says "no one really understands him the way I do". She is setting herself up to be dragged away from her life and family in her mission of "understanding". 

A bad-tempered man who canít get along with your family is a poor choice as a husband or a father for your children, no matter how much you think he needs you. If you think his personality is going to improve over time, you are kidding yourself. If you need to be needed go volunteer at  the pediatric unit of your local hospital, but chose a life-mate for the good, loving qualities he exhibits toward you and others.

Dear Mrs. Web,

My ex-husbandís father, my former father-in-law just called. He just asked me out on a date. He is still married to his third wife. I told him no thanks and not to call again. What should I do? Should I tell my ex-husband and father of my two children?

There are men who will hit up a telephone pole if it is unattached. So over one telephone callÖno. However, if he has a pattern of annoying you, defined by Dear Mrs. Web as two telephone calls, I would notify the father of your two children.

Dear Mrs. Web,

I have been with my boyfriend for almost 2 years now, and have lived with him for about 2 months. I love him very much and feel that he is the man that I was meant to be with for the rest of my life. The only problem is that I don't know if he feels the same way about me. We have joked around about getting married, and occasionally he has jokingly called me his "wife", but I don't know if he is serious.

I wouldn't want a big wedding and he said he didnít want one either. How can I find out how he feels about marriage? I donít want to pressure him. I have even thought of proposing. What should I do?

I cannot come up with one good reason why he should marry you. He has everything a marriage provides: a warm woman for his bed and someone who will help with the household. You have nothing with him. You are not even engaged. While you hang onto every word he utters about marriage, heís playing house with you. Youíre telling me plans for your wedding and he is cracking jokes!

You should not pressure people to get married. However, you should care enough about yourself to get your needs met at each stage of a relationship. This happens through honest communication. If you are afraid that saying what you want will scare someone off, you never had him or her. You were silently hoping for marriage as you moved in with this man. It is time to get real.

If you want something from this man you need to stand for yourself put it on the line. In your shoes I would move out, tell him you what you want out of life and that you will only live with your husband. Then listen to him instead of projecting your needs and hopes on him. Begin making yourself a life. He needs to arrive at a decision and you need to commit to your needs, with or without him.



Week of September 17, 2000


Dear Mrs. Web,

I am totally in love with a guy. I have known him for a year and have slept with him occasionally. He used to blow me off all the time.

He came over to my house the other night and finally expressed his feelings for me. He told me he cares for me, that Iím everything he wants in a girl, and that we were going to start all over again. It was very romantic. He apologized repeatedly. He even spent the whole night with me, a first.

We had plans for today and he blew me off. I am crying and waiting by the telephone. He is so confusing. If I am with another man, he gets mad and jealous. What should I do?

You sound like someone who wants to be loved and, frankly, will pay almost any price to have it happen. You have found a young man, whom for the most part has "blown you off" and you have made a decision, for no apparent reason, that you are "in love".

Of course, he has told you that you are everything he wants in a girl. You will settle for almost nothing. He can pretend he has a relationship with you when you are with others to fulfill his masculine fantasies. He can ignore you except when he has an itch to fill. A truly loving man is considerate and thoughtful, not self-centered and hurtful. Many men say nice words and give hugs. They are fulfilling their own needs.

One truly judges whether someone loves you by their character not what they say. Loving, kind, and caring men place their beloved at the center of their lives, not as an add-on feature or a sex depository. Men who truly love sacrifice themselves for their beloved ones.

You can sit by the phone and weep or you can realize that you gave yourself to someone who didnít value you enough to keep his promises. You can promise yourself better. You deserve more. Any woman does.

Dear Mrs. Web,

I find myself attracted to mean women. Ones who date others behind my back, or who treat me poorly. I never go out with the nice women from my church or work. Instead, I am only attracted to women who actually donít like me very much. My sister pointed this out to me. I want a home and family. How do I change?

Find a therapist who works with men and relationship issues. Your priest or minister should be a good resource. There is a reason you are attracted to rejecting women.

Dear Mrs. Web,

I know this kind, well educated, financially secure, thoughtful and thoroughly wonderful man. We have been friends for a couple of years and now I find there is a spark between us. Dear Mrs. Web, he is a paraplegic and is in a wheelchair because of an auto accident years back. I donít know whether I should even begin to get involved. Would he be able to father children? He seems open to a relationship. I really like him butÖ

Most folks come with baggage. Your friend is sitting on his. When one becomes involved with someone with a major disability, it is different. You will need to decide what you can live with. As far as fathering children: some paraplegics are completely sexually able, others are limited.

You could do a lot worse than kind, well-educated, financially secure thoughtful and thoroughly wonderful man who happens to be in a wheelchair. Why donít you have a few casual dates and get to know him better?

Dear Mrs. Web:

I met a wonderful man and we had our first date yesterday. He alluded that he had not dated in quite a while. He also left the impression that he last been involved in a relationship that had ended badly for him. He is exactly the kind of man I have been looking for. How can I tell if he likes me and we may have a chance to become closer; and possibly have something more meaningful in the future?

You say you think he is wonderful. For some unknown reason, perhaps his financial position, career aspirations, inheritance possibilities, genetic make up, scholastic achievement, or hunky good looks you think he is "just what I have been looking for all along"Öafter one date. I am amazed.

I am not reading here the careful, tentative evaluation women need to make to determine whether to carry on a relationship. You don't seem to be looking at his character, habits, family, attitudes towards children, faith, values, beliefs, or any of the other numerous major issues that can make or break a marriage. You seem to have your mind already made up. He is fitting some basic criteria and you seem to be hoping for a future with him already. You are not seeing clearly, girl.

In this stage of a relationship, the way you tell whether he likes you is the same way you tell whether anyone likes you. Do they want to be in your company? Do they initiate some contact? Is your relationship like a tennis game with the ball going back and forth between you? Or on the other hand, are you lobbing all the balls over the net with very few return shots?

Men can smell a desperately eager woman at sixty paces. Guys tend to treat them like dirt. A friendly, interested, reserved woman who is fun to be with interests men. A woman who takes a lot of time to really see the man, and not project her hopes onto him.

Dear Mrs. Web,

I met an interesting woman at a barbecue this weekend. We spoke for a long time and shared a table during the meal. Before she left, she asked me for my phone number. I very happily gave it to her but I neglected to get her number. She hasnít called yet. Should I call our host, track her phone number down, and give her a call?

I would give her until the weekend to call. If you still are interested, look her up then and call. If you want to get her attention sooner delivered flowers often work.




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