Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Q & A: "boyfriend has been hanging out with his ex"

Q: I met the man of my dreams over a year ago on a love personal. I had one on there and he answered my ad. We started talking and talked for about a month, then decided to meet. You know, meeting for the first time is always the most nervous part of it. We decided to meet for an early dinner. I suggested that if it didn't go we would only have to suffer 30 to 60 minutes. I have had ones before that didn't go well for some reason or another.

Anyway we had a wonderful dinner. We got along great and I thought this man is really nice. We left and he walked me to my car and shook my hand (imagine that he didn't even try to get a kiss). When he walked me to my car he asked me if he could take me to dinner the next week. O course I said "yes." We talked via computer off and on all weekend. I couldn't wait until Tuesday when he took me out. The guy I was currently dating asked me out for Tuesday and I said "no." We went to dinner at a Mexican place, which I don't like very well but since he suggested it I went along with it. Then we went back to my apartment and watched a movie. Most of the guys I had dated were usually all over me but not him. He barely touched my hand. Well that was the start of something wonderful. He was such a gentleman and still is. Opens doors and car doors for me. He loves animals as much as I do which is a real plus. And has a wonderful sense of humor.

It had been over 3 weeks of us dating and I was coming up to his house for the weekend to help him paint his computer room. I had painted stars and moons on my walls at the apartment and he liked them so I told him I would paint his. I really think he was just saying that to get me up there. I had told him before that I am really a kid at heart and I just love to jump on beds and chew bubble gum. Anyway I arrived and he took my bag to his bedroom and said that he would sleep in on the fold out couch in the living room and I could have the bedroom. When I walked into the bedroom to put my purse down there across the bed was a big X in yellow caution tape. He put an X there so that I wouldn't jump there and get caught in his ceiling fan. I knew from that moment that this was the man for me. I thought that was the most amazing thing anyone could ever do.

That incident had been over a year ago and after our second date we both quit dating anyone else. We are planning on moving in together in March when my apartment lease is up. I can't wait. I just wanted to let everyone know that there is a someone out there for them. The Internet isn't for everyone and, sure there is a lot of strange people but I have also met some good friends via the Internet.

Thanks for letting me share my story with you all.-Happy Ending Trudy

Dear Happy Ending Trudy,
Thank you for sharing your story with me. Congratulations! I wish both of you much happiness together.

Just one question, why are you moving in together? Are you planning on playing house or do you two have a real commitment that's for the long-term? Just so you know, statistically, couples who don't live together before marriage have a better track record in staying married. You may want to rethink your decision and consider long-term planning vs. short-term planning. I don't mean to be the bearer of gloom and doom, but I do feel that you should be aware of that fact.

Again, thank you for sharing your happiness with all of us. I always love happy endings and when one believes in happy endings, that's what they will see in their lives.

Q: I am in a relationship and it is going fine and dandy, but I worry about her once in awhile. Is that healthy to worry like that?-Sometimes Worried

Dear Sometimes Worried,
When we don't feel deserving of the amount of happiness, peace, and contentment that you're feeling right now, we get scared. When we get that much goodness and happiness in our lives, we become afraid that "it's too good to be true" and that we are going to wake up from the "dream" at any moment.

Start realizing right now that you do deserve this wonderful woman; that you absolutely deserve to be in a happy and loving relationship, that she really does care about you because you are lovable, and know that you created this wonderful relationship by being a loving guy and the best man you know how to be. Whenever you get worried - feel the fear but don't let it stop you or get in the way of you being and becoming more of you.

Q: I have been in love with a guy for quite a long time. I think he loves me too. We use to chat but he always stops his conversation after fifteen minutes. Now he never approaches me first. What should I do?-Unsure about My Online Love

Dear Unsure about My Online Love,
I don't think you're going to like what I have to say. Don't shoot the messenger just because you don't like the message. First of all, you're probably infatuated with this guy and not really in love with him. My take is that you have never even met - so two people at the keyboard of their computers are sharing some time together - that's not love.

Second of all, since he no longer is approaching you first, it seems to me that the handwriting is on the wall…or should I say on the compute screen? He's not pursuing you so back off. Don't approach him (even though I know you want to and your fingers are just dying to reach out and touch those keys with words of love). If he wants you, he knows where and how to find you. As long as you chase him, you'll never really know if he does want to connect with you because you're doing the chasing. Queen Bees "be." They attract the Wannabes who are the "doers (trollers). Men troll because they wannabe with women.

If he's not trolling for you, then he's not interested. And if he's not interested, then you don't want him. Remember that: "You only love those who love you." Since men (and women) are like trains, another one will be along in a few minutes. And, if a particular train doesn't stop at your station…then guess what! It's not your train.

Q: I'm hoping you can help me. I just started getting to know this great guy I met, Todd, last month. He's been doing all the calling / pursuing...lots of phone calls, but only one date so far due to conflicting work schedules, relatives in town, etc. We get along great, are very attracted to each other, and have tons of stuff in common.

The only problem is that his ex just moved back to town. (Ugh!) They have been hanging out a few nights and when I asked him point-blank (because that's the way I am...I don't mess with guys who have girlfriends or with relationships that I know aren't going to go anywhere, why waste my time?) he replied "I don't know...we haven't talked in about a year and a half, so we're just getting to know one another again."

I guess my question is "what should I do?" End things even if he calls again? Do I ask for a status report the next time I talk to him?

I'd also like to know you're thoughts / experiences with people going out with exes again. My feelings are "if it didn't work the first time, obviously there was something wrong. Why would it work a second time around?" But I know people mature and all that... So what do you think? Please help!-In Limbo in Seattle

Dear In Limbo in Seattle,
How do you know that a "relationship" is or isn't going anywhere...after only one date? Most people have to date a while before they even begin a "relationship." But you're amazing. You're better than my crystal ball, which, unfortunately, is in the shop right now for polishing. Otherwise I would definitely ask it about your one date "relationship."

It sounds to me (now don't shoot the messenger just because you don't like the message) that you're a bit afraid of opening your heart because you've been burned in the past. You don't live in the realm of trust and so you go into every date and relationship with doubt and fear that it won't work out. You're so afraid of getting your heart broken again that you overprotect it to the point of not really letting anyone into your heart. Tear down the walls or at least let's put some chinks in the armor. Here's the good news - even the Berlin Wall eventually came down. So there's hope for you.

I know you want a guarantee when it comes to love and relationships, but there aren't any. Magic happens when you live outside the box and give up control (and wanting a guarantee or one year warranty). You need to open your heart and keep it open. You need to start practicing the V word…vulnerability (I know what you're saying to yourself, "No, not that. Anything but vulnerability.").

He is a free agent so he has the right to see and talk to whomever he wants to, including ex-girlfriends. As far as relationships working out the second time around, I believe that sometimes you can go home again and sometimes it's just better to move to a new neighborhood or city and create a new home.

Sometimes the timing isn't right the first time and so you give it a second try. It's better to give love a chance the second time around rather than living a lifetime of regrets. Believe me, it's so freeing to know rather than just wishing.

Other times, the things that made the relationship not work the first time usually cause it not to work the second time…that is, unless both have done some work on themselves and are ready to really have a relationship. Great relationships have passion, emotional intimacy (which has nothing to do with sex and everything to do with both people's willingness to be in the relationship - including being honest with themselves and each other, being present in the relationship and communicating openly and honestly from the heart), and commitment.

Here's a suggestion that can help you in every aspect of your life and with virtually every kind of relationship. When you ask a question of someone…be open to the answer. Don't answer your own question. If you think you already have the answer, then you're certainly not open to what someone else has to say (even though you asked him or her the questions) which means you may hear people but you really don't listen.

Good listening skills are essential to any relationship. So learn to listen to people when they are talking with you. Learn to really be with them. Good listening skills are critical for effective communication skills. The success of all your relationships - professional and personally - depend on your ability to communicate effectively.

In the meantime, turn off your Alpha Female style and become your feminine self. Keep all lines of communication open with him. Don't burn any bridges. But, at the same time, don't put all your eggs in one basket. If I were you, I would take his phone calls but I would make them very brief and get off the phone first. I would appear a little less interested and really allow him to pursue you. I wouldn't mention his ex. Right now, as a free agent, he is acting like a free agent. He's exploring all options just as you should be. Become really self-confident. Don't be or even appear needy and desperate. Bee authentic - be the Queen Bee. I know this isn't easy, but I know you can do it.

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