Q: I have scoured your website for tips and tools to change the way I approach relationships. I am 35 and have survived one divorce and the passing of another to cancer. I am in a relationship now that leaves me wondering what in the world is wrong with me. After realizing that I follow all the rules but one, I am now asking for your help. I guess that I have overcompensated in my life for things that I was lacking by exuding too many male characteristics. I am extremely self assured and successful. I am very independent and tough. How do I soften around the edges? What suggestions to you have for me to show a man my vulnerability? I believe that I have been slowly building a wall and it is time for some serious demolition work.- Alpha Female Robin
Dear Alpha Female Robin,
First of all, being feminine is not about "following" the rules. It's about being your real, authentic, feminine self. And yes, you're absolutely accurate when you characterize your masculine behavior as a way of overcompensating for what you lack. All the masculine characteristics that you described in your letter have made you successful in business but won't make you successful in love.
From your letter, it appears that you are extremely proud of your masculine traits. That being the case, I'm sure you communicate that sense of pride to the man you're with or the ones you attract. The result is that you become competitive with your guy or he becomes competitive with you. It's the same in either case. A man will admire, respect and appreciate you for those masculine qualities, but if he is a masculine man, then he won't cherish you. If you want to be cherished by a man, you have to "do" less and "be" more. Being is feminine and doing is masculine. To become more vulnerable you have to become more okay with "who you are" and not with what you do. Being vulnerable and opens begins with first you cherishing you - cherishing and treasuring your feminine characteristics and feminine energy. You have to build your self-confidence and self-esteem as a feminine woman in order to let a man in. Right now you are hiding behind your walls, afraid of really letting a man in. That's why, as an Alpha Female you feel you have to control, initiate, do more, and be the giver.
But all is not lost. To open your heart, you're right, you have to get rid of the walls around it. Walls not only keep others out, they keep you in. It's really lonely inside, feeling all alone isn't it? I know. I was once there.
If you want to do some really serious demolition work and stop being an alpha female and become more feminine, then either take my 3 week class called What Men Want and How to Give it to Them - for Alpha Females Only or set up a personal telephone coaching session with me. To set up an appointment, call 310.394.2647. To sign up for my class, call or send me an email.
Q: I have known this girl for about six months. Up until a couple of weeks ago, I have mainly been more a big brother to her, but now it seems like she wants to get into a romantic relationship. She has been rushing me the last couple of days and I really think that it's going too fast. This is my first real relationship with a female and she has dated before. To make matters worse, we just had an argument over religion and I don't want her to think that that is why I want to slow down our relationship. I am very Christian and she claims to be Christian also, but I think that our definition of 'Christian' varies greatly.
After asking her about her beliefs, she got the impression that I didn't like her, which isn't the case. I really just want to find a way to tell her that we are going too fast for me without hurting her feelings more than I have.- Afraid
If you want to have a relationship with someone, first of all stop judging her. Let her be who she is. Just because her beliefs are different than yours, it doesn't make you more of a good Christian and her less of a good Christian. Your statement, "I am very Christian and she 'claims' to be Christian also," epitomizes you prejudice and lack of tolerance for anyone who isn't "just like you." No wonder the two of you got into an argument, she felt attacked and you probably made her feel "less than."
If you're really interested in dating this woman, then first be okay with yourself that she can be the kind of Christian she is. If you're not okay with this, then don't go out with her, because you will be acting without integrity and being dishonest with her about your true feelings.
Second, if you really do intend to take her out, tell her you like her but you would like to take the relationship slow. Be honest by telling her the reasons why you feel that way. Relationships that establish a friendship first have a better chance of succeeding because it's easier to create emotional honesty and emotional intimacy. Every relationship has three parts to it: passion-emotional intimacy-commitment. Too often relationships fail because they move too quickly from passion to commitment without first creating emotional intimacy.
The best way to talk to a woman is to first let her know that you think she is special, that you want to cherish not criticize her. Once she feels safe, she will begin to trust you. It's up to you to earn her trust. The best way to do that and get points is to be honest with a woman by telling her how you feel. Good luck.
Q: I have a question. I have a problem noticing if a certain someone finds me attractive or is interested in getting to know me. We have had some interaction around friends and she works at a business that I visit frequently. I am totally clueless when it comes to being able to tell if a woman is interested or not. What are the signs that women give to men that show whether they are interested or not, whether they find you attractive or not, etc.
I thank you very much and apologize for asking such a question. Most people know these things, I'm so personable and outgoing that I totally can't tell the difference between being friendly in response and someone giving me signs that they want me to ask them out. Can you help me?- Clueless Man
Dear Clueless Man,
You've asked a great question. I applaud you for your courage and your desire to learn how to date, relate and then mate better. I wrote two columns specifically about flirting. Read them: Flirting Signs and Dealing with Connection and Rejection.
As far as everyone knowing these things, that's totally not true. Unless someone is blatantly being "in your face" it's hard to really know if someone is flirting or just being friendly. We're all afraid of being rejected so we tread softly when it comes to flirting and dating. The only way you'll know if she's interested in you is to ask her out. Remember, "Only risk brings reward." You'll only get the pleasure of her company by asking her to be in your company. Now here's the deal and the two ways to protect yourself. If she says no, don't take it personally. No one can reject you but you. The second way to protect yourself is don't make assumptions. You have no idea why she said no. It could have been for any number of reasons. So unless you took your ESP pills when you asked her out, you'll never know…and the truth is-it doesn't matter. If you really like yourself and have good self-esteem, then you'll simply say to yourself - she missed out on having a date with a good guy. Oh well, next! Remember that, " Men and women are like trains. Another one will be along in a few minutes." Believe it and move on. As a man, it's your job to troll for women and find them. They are waiting to be found by you.
Good luck. Take that risk. In the end, it's worth that reward. Remember, in the end people only really regret what they don't do, never what they do.
Q: In your column, could you cover how and when to spend money for a date? I've been reading books but there're so many different opinions about it and I really want to know about yours. Based on my experiences, good men don't allow their partners to pay on date. The guys who wants to split usually turn out to be "jerks".- To Pay or Not to Pay
Dear To Pay or Not to Pay,
It's a man's job to provide, protect and serve a woman. It's a woman's job to accept, to love him and make him her hero.
Since a man asks a woman out, he is supposed to pay for the date. He is courting her and paying for the privilege of being with her. This is a dating relationship, not a business partnership.
He is showing her that he cherishes her and is trying to make her happy. In return, a woman should always appreciate what a man does for her and let him know that. She should also show him respect and admiration, as that's how a man feels loved and how he defines himself. And, once in a while, it's nice to make him dinner or do something special for him. But never try to "outdo" the man. He'll feel that you're competing with him; that no matter what he does for you it's not enough because you have to do more.
If you're more interested in having a life partner rather than a business partner, then you won't go out with men who go on dates with their calculators or keep scorecards. You'll only go out with men who want to court you and treat you special.
By the way, just because a man wants to split a check doesn't make him a jerk. After you tell him no and your reasons why, and he still insists, then that's a different story. Most of the time, it's up to a woman to help a man become better at treating her well. Unless guys have been taught by their moms, sisters, ex-girlfriends, or ex-wives the ways to treat a woman well, they don't have a clue. So be gentle with them. You don't have to make them wrong, just show them how you expect to be treated.
After all, a date (whether it's a man or a woman) will only treat you the way you teach them to treat you and the way you expect to be treated. And how you expect to be treated is based on how you treat yourself.
Great question. Thank you for asking it. For more information about flirting, dating, relating and mating, you might want to take one of my teleclasses. They are extremely informative and they give you the opportunity to get some advice on how to handle certain situations.
Q: I am in high school and I broke up with my girlfriend a while ago. I have met a new girl and we have gone on 3 or 4 dates and I really like her a lot. Her mom says that she likes me a lot too but I don't know. I want to kiss her but I am afraid that she won't like it. I mean I am not a bad kisser or anything but I'm afraid that would change her opinion about me. Can you help me? -Anxious Kisser
Dear Anxious Kisser,
Your mother has raised you well and I'm sure your current girlfriend appreciates it, and that your future girlfriends and eventually your wife will also appreciate it. You're very respectful of women and that's fantastic.
What should you do in terms of your predicament? Next time you're out on a date with your new girl, look at her, tell her how much you enjoy being with her and how special the time is you two spend together. Then ask her if it would be okay to kiss her. She'll let you know. The key is to mean what you say (and based on your email I'm sure you are quite sincere and authentic-and those two qualities are really endearing) and ask for a kiss with self-confidence, all the time being respectful of her.
She's a lucky girl. Let me know how it turns out.