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Dating Columns Archives

 

 

Week of November 5, 2000

 

Dear Mrs. Web,

Why is it when a man is finished with a relationship, he just disappears instead of telling you it's over?

Because they donít have mouths?! No, thatís not it. Most likely because men do not process issues by talking. They "just do it." Moreover, breaking up is difficult and people tend to avoid the difficult: why put energy into something that is over?

 Men also tend to compartmentalize relationships. Things are put in a box and stored emotionally. None of these reasons dispel the hurt and infuriation that women feel when he has disappeared on her. Go ahead, scream.


Dear Mrs Web,

I am in love with a guy. We love each other. However, his family doesnít like me. What should I do?

It is very difficult to be married to someone whose family does not care for you. I think it is important to get your relationship with the family on better grounds before making any commitments. Otherwise, life will be hard for you and your future children. 

I have known many a daughter-in-law who has suffered greatly under the withering voices of a nasty family. Begin by finding out exactly why they donít like you. Your boyfriend will know.


Dear Mrs Web

I am a 27 year old professional. I am extremely shy and a bit socially awkward and have not dated much. Recently I met my sisterís friend, Alicia. She is only 19 but mature and we share many interests. We have gone out with groups occasionally. She is sweet, kind, intelligent, and a good listener.

I recently met Aliciaís sister who is 24. She is not as bright, and a bit demanding. She is also the most gorgeous woman I have ever met. I was concerned about what people would think if I dated a 19-year-old, so I decided to ask her older sister out. She rejected me immediately, but suggested I ask her Alicia out so I left her a message. She called back to say although her mother was fine with it her father felt it I was to old.

I realize that I really wanted to date Alicia all along. She is wittier, warmer, and smarter, if less obviously pretty. Do you think I have lost my chance to date Alicia? Is she too young?

Well, now you know how superficial you can be. Since Alicia called you back in decent spirits, I think you might have a chance. You are a bit old for her; the best way for you to develop a relationship with her is to get to know her parents. Parents tend to unbend for well-situated, mature young men with a purpose.  

Get yourself invited over for supper, help with chores around the house. Treat the family to a pizza dinner delivered (to reciprocate for the supper) and generally make yourself a fixture. Flatter her mother with flowers and talk to Dad about the things he enjoys.

Downside?? You are going to have to get used to ignoring Sister-Gorgeous, whether she comes on to you or not. Are you mature enough to handle it?


Dear Mrs. Web,

My boyfriend that said that Bob is in love with his girlfriend Tracy. My boyfriend says he loves me. What is the difference if any, between saying "in love" and "love" someone?

Some people have no difference in mind when they use the two phrases and use them interchangeably. Other people use the phrase "in love" to denote a possibly temporary state of infatuation. The word "love" is used to describe deep, committed, relationships such as marriage, child-parent...

The most time-consuming, least productive thing a woman can do is to obsess on what a man means when he says something. Instead, she should ask.


Dear Mrs. Web

I have been seeing a man for almost a year. He is honest, caring, affectionate, communicative. The problem is that he looks at and comments about other women.

He makes comments about attractive women when we watch television or go to live performances. When we are out and an attractive woman walks by he almost snaps his neck looking.

He never says anything overtly crude but he will quietly whistle or say "Wow!" I hate it. He listens patiently when I tell him how much it hurts, but he still continues to do it. I don't want to be jealous, yet I can't help the way I feel. Should I change the way I feelÖwould you help me?

You are not doing anything wrong. His behavior is rude, crude, and inappropriate. Even the most committed of men are known to sneak a peek at an attractive woman. However, they do it surreptitiously, without insulting or hurting their beloved. Your friend's behavior although not verbally crude, implies that women are there to fulfill him. It is insulting and demeaning to all women and to you.

Perhaps he is unpolished and has not had the opportunity to learn how to behave like a gentleman. Perhaps he does not realize that men are to treat their beloved as if she were the only woman in the world, no matter what he is thinking.

This is behavior to nip in the bud. It is a bad habit, like spitting. It will not get better after the wedding. If it does not get better, you had better decide whether you are able to endure being insulted by your own husband whenever an attractive woman walks by.


Dear Mrs. Web,

I have known a man for two years who is in the arts. I met him through my daughterís private school. Recently we have deepened our acquaintance. He has not asked me out but has been very supportive and has done several nice things for my daughter and me. Somehow, though I suspect he may be homosexual. He seems to have no personal life; he works all the time.  I know he is attracted to me, and I am becoming attracted to him. How do I ask him about his personal life?

There are wonderful, hardworking, creative men all over the world who are as straight as pins. However, if you have a question about his sexuality, because of your intuition or observations, you need an answer.

Getting to know someone is an information-gathering time. A time to ask questions about his family, his childhood, and his past relationships. One evaluates a friend or potential beloved based on this information. Don't commit your emotions until you have a deep, working knowledge of the person at hand.

At this time, in the culture, homosexuality and bisexuality are not uncommon. You have an absolute right to ask, kindly, as a friend. He may be attracted to you and you may have some feelings for him, but you have a world of information yet to discover before turning those attraction vibrations into the actual caring for a beloved.


Dear Mrs Web,

I have been involved with a man for 2 years. Last spring I deepened my faith and have made my faith a central part of my life. My friend does not object to my beliefs but does not want to have anything to do with them. I am concerned about our future. I want someone who will share this new world with me.

If your faith is a central part of your life, you need to find someone who shares those same beliefs and values. Otherwise, you will feel lonely and empty in the middle of your relationship. Couples who share on a spiritual basis have a different, deeper level of intimacy. 

It is hard to let go of the familiar, but in the end; it will be better for you and your future children to have two parents on the same frequency regarding to beliefs and commitments.

 

Week of October 29, 2000

 

Dear Mrs Web,

I am now 26 and am single. I am an attractive, heavy woman. I have a great personality and would be a great catch for any man but all I date are real losers. I have only dated two guys steadily. Both were terrible. All my friends are married and I don't have anyone single to go out with. I just can't understand why no man seems to be interested in me. 

I sometimes think it is only my weight that keeps them away. What am I doing wrong?

It sounds like you want to meet and have a future with a nice man. Your weight may be a factor in initially meeting someone (in our culture thin people are seen as more visually attractive) but personality and character are more important in the end. Your two past relationships tell me that you donít have a problem attracting men.

I wonder about your description of the only kinds of men who want to date you as being losers. Why? Why long-term relationships with losers? What is it about you that these men liked? What is it about them you liked? Take a good look at your past relationships and what you would want to change about them. They may hold the key to your dates with duds.

Think this through a bit. Make up a list of the kinds of qualities you find important in a man and what you want to do about him once he is in your life. These are important questions.


Dear Mrs. Web,

I have asked my boyfriend to take me out golfing this summer and we have yet to get out. I am aware that he has golfed a couple of times with his friends this summer. Now that it is the end of summer, how appropriate would it be take ask one of my girlfriends if she would like to play golf? If ok, would it be appropriate to say I'm golfing with so and so on Saturday morning?

Yes, you should go golfing with a friend if you like. Even spouses pursue interests separately. I cannot think of one reason to keep this information from your boyfriend. He probably doesnít even remember your request to golf together.


Dear Mrs Web

I am in love and dating a guy who I have been seeing for over a year. I am young, and he is the only guy I have ever dated. I have recently met a different guy and we are interested in each other.

I want to tell my boyfriend that I want to date other people but I don't want to end the relationship completely. I am afraid things won't work and I will have no one. I don't know what to do.

I do not think that dating demands an exclusive relationship. Only betrothal, engagement, and marriage require fidelity and exclusiveness. You seem to want to continue with the safety of an exclusive relationship but without the constraintsÖoften known as "trying to have oneís cake and eat it, too."

If there has been an understanding of fidelity in your current relationship, although it lacks commitment, your current boyfriend certainly might dump you if you stray. On the other hand, without commitment for the future, what good is exclusivity?

What concerns me more is why are you flitting from one to another? You donít seem to have a plan for your future in mind. Without a plan you just will get involved willy-nilly and bring nothing to your future. An enormous amount of time and energy goes into new relationships. Make sure it counts.


Dear Mrs. Web,

I have been a friend to a lady who had been rejected by her husband, an abusive alcoholic. They separated 4 years ago. They have three children.

After the separation, I helped her pull her life back together and
we became close until I told her how much I enjoyed her. She ended our friendship citing the belief that she would someday reconcile with her husband.

Her husband has made little to no attempt to reconcile the relationship and is not divorcing her because of the court costs. I have heard stories of spouses re-establishing broken marriages. After all this time, I wonder whether it will occur.

I feel trapped because I have warm feelings for her and would like to be part of her life. I also feel sorry for her because she seems to be in denial. Should I let her go or hope she changes her mind in the future?

It sounds like the lady is still committed to her husband and family. I think it is time for you to move on. In addition, relationships that have pity as a component usually do not work well. Marry your equal.


Dear Mrs. Web,

I am 21 years old and have been told I am good looking. I have never dated anyone. I have asked quite a few girls out over the years during high school and college, but have been always refused. Women friends think I need to stop worrying and relax

There are no women available to date in my work setting. My career is demanding. How am I going to meet women?

The way to meet people is to make room in your life for interests and organizations that are meaningful to you. Find things to do that reflect your values and beliefs. My sense is that you have some high standards. Examine them and make sure they arenít unobtainably high.

If you have a faith, go to church, temple, or mosque. Shop around and become involved in a volunteer organization in your community that reflects your values and has a lot of community participation. Sports, hobbies, classes, and politics, are just a few areas with lots of women. Let people know you are looking. Donít get lost in solitary pursuits.

Look at the way you present yourself to the world. What do your clothes, grooming and manners say to others. What is your attitude towards others, are you surly? Snide? Sarcastic? Unpleasant? Edgy? Painfully shy? Uncommunicative? Warm? Compassionate? Friendly? Interested? Fun?

 

Week of October 22, 2000

 

Dear Mrs. Web,

I just broke up with woman I had been seeing for the past year. We were intimately involved. She told me that she still likes me very much and that I will always be her best friend but she doesnít love me. She also said that if I ever needed anything to count on her.

I have called her a few times since we ended our relationship and she seems cool on the telephone. Do you think I should continue to call?

Some people have a hard time saying goodbye. So they say "See you later", instead. Former lovers donít make good best friends and interfere with subsequent relationships. It is time to break the connection.


Dear Mrs. Web,

Why am I interested in only dating men who are not interested in me? Nice, but boring guys always ask me out. In the meantime, I ache to be asked out by guys who donít pay me the least bit of attention or donít even really know me.

Sounds like you never get what you want. Some people spend their lives never getting what they want. Part of getting what you want consists of being wise about what you pick to want. Reality-based desires are more likely to be filled.


Dear Mrs. Web,


I found out a guy I was interested in was dating my best friend and me at the same time. My friend and I discovered it and I assured her that I wouldn't let him come between us.

Therefore, I told him to stop calling me, and he did. My friend continues to see him, which is her choice. I feel hurt and angry. I thought he was a friend and feel betrayed by his sneaking behavior. What should I do?

Exclusivity is the domain of courtship, betrothal, and marriage, so I donít have any problem with him dating both of you at the same time. People who date are shopping around.

I do have a problem, however, with someone who is not honest about his other interests. If he deliberately misled you, you now have a snapshot into his character. This should be a major factor in choosing, in choosing and keeping friends. Relationships can downgrade or upgrade depending on a variety of factors. One can continue to have a more casual relationship with a person one once thought was a closer friend.


Dear Mrs Web,

I went out to a film with an old female friend from college who was in the area for a few days. Afterwards we went to a local brewpub and met up with several other friends. A woman I have been interested in for weeks asked for a ride home so I jumped up and obliged. My old friend has been mad at me for leaving her at the pub with our friends. She chewed me out and has cancelled our Thanksgiving plans. What do I do?

You behaved like a cad. One starts and ends an evening out with the same woman. Anything less is rude, sophomoric, behavior. Forgiveness for such loutishness begins with flowers and a card imploring forgiveness. Use words like "stupid thing to do", and "thoughtless". Do the right thing.


Dear Mrs. Web,

I sit at this little cubicle for weeks on end working on engineering problems. I work most weekends because I donít have anything else to do. I donít have anything else to do because I work. I am approaching thirty and I am burned out. I am sick of my company, my project, and my non-life. I canít change companies because of options. What can I do have a life?

You donít need to change your company; you need to change your priorities beginning with making yourself a life. A life consists of your family, perhaps a spouse; perhaps children, friends, and several different interests that are donít replicate what you do at work.

I am going to let you in on a secret. Many people donít have much to do on the weekend. By not going into work or signing on to the computer, you will eventually find something else to do, and perhaps someone to do it with. Also, there are some excellent interests surveys available to help you match up to the things that you would enjoy. One I highly recommend is The Personal Career Development Profile. It is a widely available test.

 

Week of October 16, 2000

 

Dear Mrs. Web,

I dated a man this weekend for the first time. He told me that he always sleeps with the women he goes out with on the second date. He asked me out for next weekend. He was nice in all other ways. What should I do? I donít want to sleep with him but I did like him.

Well in my humble opinion, you should cash in this seventies throwback and change your phone number. His demands are way out of line and indicate a selfish, self-centered personality. Dump him or be his doormat, your choice.


Dear Mrs. Web,

How do I meet interesting men?

By being an interesting woman leading an interesting life.


Dear Mrs Web,

I am very lonely and almost thirty. I just donít have a chance to meet nice potential life mates. I have demanding work, family commitments and by the time I get through with my household responsibilities, itís time to go to work again. 

I seem to end up in relationships of convenience that donít ask much or give a lot except physical release. I am tired of this life but donít know how or what to change.

Where you spend your time is what you value. You need to evaluate whether the life you have designed is meeting your needs and hopes for the future. As well as evaluating your current work, look into time management enhancers, and help with weekly chores. 

You also need to decide what your values are and go to places that have the kinds of people who share them. Volunteer organizations, churches, hobbies, and classes offer ways to meet people.  It is best to become acquainted with people when involved in a common goal.  


Dear Mrs. Web,

I am alone after thirty years of marriage. I have raised three children who are on their own. Friends and family keep telling me I need to learn to stand on my own two feet.

In our family, I have been the fixer, and the picker upper. I always have put my family first. I am finding it difficult to put myself first now. I find myself feeling guilty, like I should be doing something else instead. I have always done all the homemaking and most of the child rearing. Now things are scaled back I find that I have extra time on my hands to just sit and relax. This too, makes me feel guilty. How do I adapt to this new life?

It sounds like you have been standing on your own two feet, and helping others. Sounds like you need some balance. On one hand, you need to use your gifts of giving and helping. On the other hand, you need to learn how to give yourself breathing room just to "be".

No one can take your "guilt" away. You own it. It is wholly yours. It will leave when you replace it. Instead of feeling guilty, make yourself a big list of things to do that are comfortable, relaxing and soothing. Keep it close at hand and choose from it whenever you have extra time.

 

 

 

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