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Week of April 8, 2001


Dear Mrs. Web,

I have been dating the same guy for nearly 3 years. Heís meant absolutely everything to me, and weíve done so much together. We have been in college, camp counselors, and wonderful vacations together. I was so much in love with him, and have spent many special moments with him. We planned to be married.

In the past few months, our relationship has changed. Heís left me feeling neglected. He stopped doing all of the cute, sweet romantic things he used to do and we both began to take each other for granted. Two weeks ago, we decided to take a break from our relationship. I have been sort of seeing someone who I know likes me and Iím definitely interested.

I keep feeling that I am doing the wrong thing by seeing the other man. I feel as though I should be going back to my boyfriend instead to try to resolve our problems. Do you have any advice?

The honeymoon is over. Too bad you didnít wait until you were married to have it.

You have had an emotionally and physically intimate relationship with a young man for three years. You are not married and therefore have no real binding force in your relationship except your feelings. Feelings change. It sounds like they have cooled for the both of you.

I understand why you feel like you are doing something wrong and should be running back to your boyfriend. You have given him your intimate self, your heart. Therefore, your heart still has an allegiance to your boyfriend. We are not built to easily jump relationships.

In your shoes, I would have to make a decision on whether to revive my long-term relationship. I would sit down with my beloved and decide together whether to commit to life together or to end the relationship.



Dear Mrs. Web,

How much does liposuction cost? 2,000-10,000 dollars?

I think it would depend on the area and amount to be liposuctioned. If we were removing a wee bit under the chin, it would certainly be less than sucking out olí thunder thighs.

My guess would be in the $2-10,000 range. Good plastic surgeons will be able to give you a firm price. I would make an appointment and discuss it with a reputable physician. Careful, there are many quacks out there with a compressor and a three-day workshop under their belts. Get someone experienced and board-certified.



Dear Mrs. Web,

What are some of the most important qualities men want to have in a woman?

I think the qualities valued depend upon the man. The only quality every man I have known requires in a relationship is fidelity.

Otherwise, is seems some want intelligent women, for others, it is not a major requirement. Some like independent women, others want cling-ons. Some place an inordinate emphasis on physical beauty, others really donít care or prefer an inner beauty. Some prefer women who look like their mothers, some don't.

I donít think there is a list that works with every single guy. The best way to explore the subject is to ask the favorite guy what he thinks most men look for in a woman and then ask how his list would be similar/different.



Dear Mrs Web,

I have been dating a wonderful woman, with 2 children. We have dated over 8 months. She is a good friend. My son is with his mother on weekends so I was sleeping at her house. She is a wonderful woman and someday we hoped to become more committed. She has said she loves me.

Her oldest child is 9. I like both the children but the 9-year-old often surprises us with midnight visits. When I told him that our bedroom is for the adults and he should go to his room, he got mad. I donít know what he said to his mother but she told me that our romance would have to end. She didnít invite me to dinner last Friday as per usual and I have been told I will no longer spending the night with her. What happened? What can I do?

You are telling me that when you put some limits on the 9 year-old about closing the motherís bedroom off to him, the relationship cooled. Sir, you came between a mother and her kid. Bad place to be.

You are in an uncommitted relationship with this woman with a "Maybe somedayÖfuture." You have no grounds and no standing in this family. You are a sex add-on feature, her good friend and love bug. Friends come and go, and one can love a teddy bear. So the words "I love you" donít mean much to me.

You are also in a relationship with a woman who would let an uncommitted man into her bed and play house with her family. In my opinion, this is a woman with inappropriate boundaries and poor judgment. If you want someone to love you back, be in relationships where you have some standing and influence. Make a commitment and get married.



Dear Mrs. Web,

I like this girl. She has been hurt so many times she will not give in to me. I want her and cannot stop thinking about her. How can I get her?

Not with Dear Mrs. Webís help, you... bounder, you...! Dear Mrs Web does not believe for one moment that having uncommitted sex is good for this poor girl (or you).

Of course, she will be hurt, and so will you, on one level or another. Uncommitted emotional and physical relationships have made her rightfully fearful. Dear Mrs Web supports courtship as an option for men and women. An increasing number of thoughtful dating aged singles are becoming involved. Look in my bookshelf for more information.



Dear Mrs Web,

Which are better, cats or dogs?

Dogs dig up yards. Cats leave hairballs. Both have fleas.



Dear Mrs. Web,

Why doesnít any one ever have any sympathy for the mistress? I never chased him; I never looked for a married man. I did not want to take anyone's husband away. He chased me. He told me that his wife didn't love him.

He told me that he loved me and only me .Only now does he tell me - after two years - that his wife owns half his business, and he can't leave or he would have nothing left. So what do I do?

I really love him. I would do anything for him Ė I wait for his calls and wonder what he is doing every minute of the day. I am so lonely.

Letís first take some responsibility here. He chased you. You, my dear, could have ended it before it started. Just because you are chased doesnít ever mean you have to give in. Being chased by a married man is a predictable occurrence in the lives of most single women. Dear Mrs. Web remembers.

Heís a bounder and a cad. Men who step out on their wives are liars. Why would you ever think he would not lie to you?? One chooses oneís future forever love based on good character. He flunks. 

Discrimination is needed to discern a man who would be good for your life. Any woman who bases her life plans on a married man needs to have a strong dose of reality: He isnít going anywhere. Thatís why heís still married.  Women who have affairs with married men seem to not understand that marriage is much more than a sexual relationship. People are not necessarily happy in their committed relationships. The connections of marriage run deeper then love, and for many people, are more important.

That all said, my heart goes out to you. You must be lonely and sad. I am sorry. It is time you to stop worshiping this man (Dear Mrs Web defines any inappropriate centering of oneís life around something or someone as worship.) and begin building yourself a new life, one with a future.



Dear Mrs. Web,

I live with my fiancť and his three young boys and my two young daughters. My house is rented out and we have all lived together since last summer. Our plan is to get married and buy a bigger house together. We have overcome our family problems and the families are blending nicely.

My fiancť is very irritable and when we argue which is whenever we are together and away from the children. He becomes angry and says hurtful things. Later he asks me to forget it. He claims he was just mad, and didn't mean anything.

I have a hard time forgiving him and getting over our battles. I think he has many of the symptoms of depression. He has finally gone to our doctor for some anti-depressants. I am hoping this stops his anger. Do you think I am wishing on a star or could the medication help his anger?

Well, if his irritability is caused by depression, it may help him. If his irritability and lashing out is caused by lack of character and an unwillingness to learn how to change, you have a long, miserable life ahead. Anger management, and communications skills education as a centerpiece of coupleís counseling may be a good first step to address this issue.



Dear Mrs. Web,

I wrote a letter to my boyfriend, which was essentially a long good bye. I understand he has talked to a friend about the letter. He brought it up by saying "Say hi to her for me." and said we were through.

However, my friend said he did keep talking about it. He also asked that my friend not mention the conversation to me. What does he want from me? Why does he keep holding on? Should I call him?

You wrote a goodbye letter to your boyfriend. He mentions it to a mutual friend by starting the subject by saying "Say hi to her." This is an opening to the subject that you are no longer together.

Sounds like he is letting people know you both have ended. I donít see it as "holding on."What is more disturbing is that your friend would forward the conversation to you, especially after you ex asked that it not be mentioned.



Dear Mrs. Web,

You once said you believed that some people should marry early. I am an 18 year old male. I have been involved in an intimate relationship, which broke up a while back. We even had a pregnancy false-alarm. Do you mean that I should think in terms of a bride now? Before I even start college? Even if I had someone right now, how could it work out? 

I am saying that if you are old enough to have pregnancy scares, you are old enough to shoulder the responsibilities of your behavior. Each time you have sex you have a certain probability of fathering a child, even with all the protection money and technology can buy. 

You need to realize the profound responsibility of that act. Dear Mrs Web believes that every child born needs to have a father who deeply loves and commits to its mother - and marriage is the only place in this world that kind of commitment happens. Therefore, I would recommend you look at your behavior and realize that you may need to be married to live your life with integrity. 

How does a young marriage work out? Well, it is hard. It requires discipline, and giving up a lot of hopes and plans and education, or fulfilling them piecemeal. Married housing, in my opinion, should be brought back to campuses. One must realize though, that early marriage often closes off many career options. Further education can be back-burnered, indefinitely.

Life is a series of tradeoffs. Men and women do this all the time, to fulfill their desires, obligations, and commitments. This is why people who postpone emotional and sexual entanglements are usually have a better footing in their professions.

I recommend the courtship books on my website, especially Josh Harris's book: I Kissed Dating Goodbye. He was nineteen when he wrote it. He writes about marriage, commitment, and the future as a man today. One does not have to agree with every thing that he says to get something out of the book.



Dear Mrs. Web,

I know that women are supposed to be supportive and positive always around their men. However, I would like sometimes to express how am I am feeling. There are days when I have to put on a happy face even when I am feeling sad. 

How appropriate is it for me to say how I am feeling to my boyfriend? Today I found myself wondering what on earth I am doing with my life?

I think being open, vulnerable, and transparent are all-necessary for deep intimacy. Admitting honestly oneís fears and concerns as well as asking your beloved about his feelings in these areas move relationships to deeper levels. We are not all surface, but have many levels of self. There are times to set aside the pretty masks we have constructed for public view and show our hearts and tender places to each other.

There is a profound difference between whining and being open. Whining is complaining. Being open is putting your issues on the table and admitting they scare or frustrate or whatever they do to you. In these cases, you would be looking for empathy and understanding, not sympathy or pity.



Week of April 1, 2001


Dear Mrs. Web,

My common-law husband of 12 years wants to buy cologne with pheromones in it. He said itís more of an experiment to see if it really works. He also said it would be nice to have women look twice at him. It would make him feel attractive. I am not sure this is a good thing to do. Should I be concerned about this?

Any man who is interested in seeing if he can attract outside female attention is a concern in a marriage. He is not getting something he wants, to feel attractive, within your marriage. Perhaps it is time to chase him a bit?



Dear Mrs. Web,

Many people tell me I am ugly. I feel like I will never have anyone love me because I am so ugly. There is guy I talk to often. We have never met in person and I afraid when I meet him he is going hate my looks. I am afraid I am going lose him as a friend and that he will never talk to me again. What can I do to be prettier?

When I hear someone tell me that the people in her life call her "ugly," I cringe. Because instead of looking at the reality, which is that these name-callers are cruel, mean people, the hurt person actually believes the cruel remarks. Moreover, they are lies.

Go to any church, play, or concert that has a mix of ages and look at the married couples, old and young. Are they all raving beauties? No, of course not, they are mostly, plain looking, every day people, just like Dear Mrs Web.  

Having a loving, lifelong relationship has little to do with the symmetry of your face, but has instead is about the warmth and energy you project in your life. Being truly beautiful is about health, radiance, and the spark of life you show to the world. When you are interested in others and have hobbies and passions that you bring to relationships you show the true inner grace and beauty that actually changes the muscles beneath the skin of the face and beautifies all.

Begin by smiling. Be well groomed. Pick your best feature, eyes, lips, shiny hair, attractive ears, and highlight it. By finding grace and joy in your life, and an interest in others, you will find love. I donít know how old you are, but many women blossom after high school. Donít ever let anybody determine how you feel about yourself. No one should have that kind of power over you. Stay away from people who tear you down. You are a unique gift to this world. Never forget that.



Dear Mrs. Web,

I have a friend who is being abused by her ex-boyfriend. She told me she is scared and doesn't know what to do. I have told her to go to the police and report him but she refuses. I have run out of advice to give her and I need your help!

If you are young and live at home, tell your parents. Otherwise, I would contact her parents or other close family members immediately and tell them what you know. Voice your concern for her. If you are at college, go to the counseling department, guidance office, or student health center immediately and tell them what is going on with her.

You are right; she is in harmís way and she wonít move on her own. Donít worry about losing her friendship. Getting her outside help is the best thing any friend could ever do.



Dear Mrs. Web,

I am a 27-year-old man interested in a woman at work. We are almost the same age and have an excellent work relationship. Due to sexual harassment laws and other workplace laws, it is difficult to ask someone out at work. How can I do this without risking my job?

In the old days, it was considered bad form to fish in the office pool. Attitudes changed during the 80ís and 90ís and work was filled with "pillow talk." Things seem to be coming full circle again with the assistance of the faceless government bureaucracy.

The office pool is again off-limits. If you work at a company with a personnel office, I would ask them for relationship guidelines. A number of businesses protect themselves from harassment lawsuits by not allowing employees to fraternize, especially employees in dominant and subordinate jobs. 

There are both federal and state laws to consider here, so I would not begin to guess what applies. I think you would be wise to clarify your position and responsibilities. Remember, girlfriends either becomes former girlfriends or wives. An angry former girlfriend could be a walking lawsuit.



Dear Mrs. Web,

How long should a couple date before marriage?

I think it depends upon several factors including your ages, the length and depth of your acquaintance; what your parents and siblings say about an impending marriage; and how well both your families are incorporating both of you into their family structures.

You need to know each other as a friend, as well as a beloved. I do not believe in long engagements, but I do believe it is important for both members of the couple to take responsibility and do their homework about each other. Marriage is a life-long commitment so it is important to have agreement about the major issues in life.

Use Dear Mrs. Webís Questions to Explore with Your Beloved to help you learn more about each other. I believe couple should talk at length with all the people who know them well and listen to the information that they receive. The love-struck are often blind.



Dear Mrs. Web,

My boyfriend is a professional who is working with a group of men on a lucrative, long-term project. The men held their first meeting at a local, well-known chain which features waitresses not burdened with an excess of clothes.

I donít like the idea of him working in such surroundings and have asked him whether he could change the location of subsequent meetings. It seems disrespectful to our relationship for him to be in those surroundings. We had an argument about it.

What more should I say about this issue? Am I insecure?

I donít think you are insecure. There arenít too many women who would be eager to have their beloved snacking in the shadows of nearly naked women. I think you are having a normal reaction. I would say kindly: " I love you. When you go to restaurants featuring undressed women, it feels disrespectful to our relationship. Our sex life, in all its aspects, is sacred to me. This creates a wedge in our lives."

You cannot forbid him, you can only tell him what is on your heart. Your boyfriend will make his own choices. If he makes a choice you do not like, you will need to take a hard look at the differences you both have in the values you hold. You will need to decide whether you can live with them.



Dear Mrs. Web, 

I am involved with a guy I used to date in high school. He is newly divorced and has three children and I have two kids. He loves to talk about his kids. He says he always has loved me and that I was his first love. He says he never loved his ex-wife. He is a good man and cares for the kids while I am at work. He treats me like a queen. Do you really could still love me after all these years?

I donít know if he really loves you. I stopped doing long-distance mind reading. Dear Mrs Web considers commitment to marriage prime evidence of love. Dear Mrs Web also does not consider it healthy to have a boyfriend involved in your childrenís lives! I certainly hope he is working and you re not giving him a free financial ride.



Dear Mrs Web, 

There is a man I just canít stop thinking about. He flirts with me and we enjoy each other when we see each other at the local bar. About a year ago, we went home together one night. Since then, we had two other nights together. We donít date, or even talk on the telephone. We just see each other at the bar or in the neighborhood.

I discovered recently that he is engaged. A friend of mine confronted him and he denied it, but I through others, I now know it is true. My problem is that he is soooo nice to me. He flirts and compliments me. I am so upset he is involved with someone else, but I canít get him out of my head. I am desperate. What should I do?

You have seen this man at a local bar and over a yearís time you had three sexual encounters with him. No commitment, no connections Ė just sex. His emotional commitments are elsewhere and you feel betrayed. My dear, you opened yourself emotionally to a bar pickup.

No strings sex is just that Ė no commitment. Just because he is nice, doesnít mean he has anything but sexual interest in you. Most men are nice with the women they want to use sexually; it gets them farther. What I canít comprehend is why you are desperate over a person you were involved with in casual sexual encounters. It seems you have mistaken sex for affection or even love. Just because someone has sex with you doesnít mean that any affection exists.  

Sex can drive one's heart. That is why sex is precious. Only have sex when you are in a relationship with someone who loves you, who cares for you, and who will appreciate the gift of your body and emotions.

I think you need to readjust your dating methods. First, become emotionally connected, and then have a sexual union - preferably in the bonds of marriage.

You need to stop obsessing about a man who gave you crumbs. You may want to list out what you want in a loving, committed relationship and hold out for it. There are plenty of wonderful, men out there who are looking for commitment and love. I know, they write me.




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