Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Q & A: "he and my mother both hate each other"

Q: Help! I'm 23 years old and dating a wonderful guy who is two years older. The problem is that he and my mother both hate each other. He thinks she is the bitch from hell, and she thinks he is an immature kid. I can't please them both, and I feel like my relationship with both of them is at risk. I feel that if I break up with him, she wins, and if I tell her to but out, he wins. I just want some peace. Should I ignore it and just accept that they will forever be at war? I am confused, and my relationships are very tense- Boyfriend and Mom at War

Dear Boyfriend and Mom at War,
It seems you are suffering from the syndrome called "The Disease to Please." Stop it. Start recognizing your own self worth and start pleasing yourself. The two people who claim they love you, and I'm sure they do, are both fighting for you and your attention. Well there is only one of you, and they had better learn how to share. It's not nice not to share. And jealously is not particularly attractive. If it was, I'm sure there would be a cologne called "Jealousy."

You might want to sit them down together and tell them the story of the wisdom of King Solomon. The story goes like this. Two women appeared before King Solomon claiming that both were the mother of a baby. Since King Solomon didn't know which one was telling the truth, he proposed that the child be cut in two and each half given to one of the women. One woman agreed while the other woman refused to let the baby die. She would rather give the child up then have it be cut in half. Instantly, King Solomon knew who the real mother was.

Let them know that you love both of them and that you have enough love to go around to love them both equally. I have a suspicion that they are both scared of losing your love. Tell them you you're not going to choose between them, but rather that you choose both of them. Then, spend some special quality time with each of them individually, so they feel special and valued. And make it very clear that you will no longer tolerate any more tension. Hold your ground girlfriend, in a loving way but also in a self-caring and self-nurturing way.

Q: I'm 26 and I've been dating someone for over a year now, and have been living together for about a year. Things moved really quickly in the beginning and at first he was gung-ho about the whole getting married thing. He is moving across the country in 2 months for a job, and wants me to go with him. The problem is, now that I want a commitment, things have changed. He says he doesn't want to get married "for a long time" and sort of avoids talking about anything relating to marriage, and I don't want to rush either, but some sort of commitment would be nice before I move across the country. Should I move and just let our relationship take its course, or should I just end it now? Or, should I ask for a ring?- I Want a Commitment

Dear I Want a Commitment,
I can see that you really care about this man a lot. Tell him just how much he means to you; that you really love him, how much you've loved waking up to him and going to sleep with him every night and how much you've loved the time you've spent together. Be authentic, honest, and sincere in your communication. Don't criticize him or make him wrong for not wanting to commit to you at this time. Simply, let him know that you understand where he is at, and that you're not judging him or his decision but that you're at a different place. Be sure to communicate in a non-threatening way that you will miss him and the time you've spent together. Then move out immediately. Don't wait the two months, but don't close the door either. Leave the door open for him to come to you. Men don't like to be cornered or conquered. Men like to know that they have options. So now he has lots of options.

When you leave, just remember #1 Golden Rule for Dating. You only love those who love you. And then there's Rule #10. When a man says he doesn't want to commit believe him. Don't give up hope just yet. Remember, we don't marry the ones we can live with, we marry the ones we can't live without. Be strong and don't ask for a ring. It's his job to propose.

Q: I've known this girl for a long time and in our teen years we've grown to be pretty close friends. I've become attracted to her and want to ask her out, but I'm not sure what effect this will have on our friendship if it doesn't work out. I'm not a very experienced dater, but it seems to me that she's been dropping some hints.- Nice Guy

Dear Nice Guy,
At the end of the day and perhaps at the end of our lives the only regrets we really ever have are the things didn't do. Go for it! You have to take a risk in order to get the reward. The good news is that you were and are friends first, so you already have established open lines of communication and honesty. These open lines will serve you well in this relationship if you remember that this person you care about is your friend first and your girlfriend second.

Believe, even the most experienced daters forget the value of friendship and open and honest communication. Ask her out. Tell her you really enjoy the friendship the two of you have and that you want to take it to the next level. Ask her if she ready for the adventure and exploration? And if she says yes, fasten your seatbelt and enjoy the ride of relationship. If she says no, don't take it personally. She's not rejecting you. Only you can reject you. But if she says no, keep your sacred friendship and move on to someone new in the dating department.

Q: I just love your site! I've spent the last couple of days reading articles and the advice archive. This is my situation. I am finally healed from my divorce (second one) three years ago, and am ready to get back into the dating world. A girlfriend from work and her boyfriend set me up on a blind date three weeks ago. We doubled which helped break the ice and ease those first date jitters. My date turned out to be a gentleman; very nice, polite, and easy to talk to. We have since had a second date, emailed several times and had an hour-long phone conversation this past week.
So far, no red flags. He has met my "criteria" for a potential relationship: he seems responsible, holds down a good job, has a good relationship with his parents, isn't on the rebound, shares similar values and faith, is within my age range, non-smoker, and has a good sense of humor. My only concern is that I don't feel any overwhelming passion or chemistry at this point. I told him that I'm gun shy about getting serious, and would like to get to know one another as friends. He's agreeable, and says that he enjoys my company - if we become good friends, wonderful or if this develops beyond friendship, that too is wonderful.

My question to you is...does chemistry sometimes take time to develop? When he called the other night, I felt all nervous and flushed. It was a good conversation. When I first met him, I thought he was attractive in his own way but not my usual "type". Isn't it true that just because you feel hot and bothered about someone, that they may be really bad for you or not compatible? Also, isn't a person's character and personality more important than looks alone?

I realize it is very early in our dating relationship, and I want to continue getting to know him. I would love to hear your thoughts on the importance of instant chemistry and whether you have heard of chemistry growing later on. Thanks in advance for your words of wisdom.-- Slow to Simmer

Dear Slow to Simmer,
In all cases it is better to be friends first. Dating, relating, and mating rule #20 is "Anyone who falls in love quickly can fall out of love just as quickly. Life is not a two hour made for television movie."

You're absolutely correct that just because there's animal magnetism it doesn't mean that person is compatible with you or is good for you. It's better to be slow to simmer because once you do start cooking-ooooh! Who knows what could happen!

A healthy relationship consists of three parts - passion, emotional intimacy and commitment. There must be some chemistry; you agreed to go out with him a second time. Also, your armor is up and rightly so. You're protecting yourself from getting hurt again and from making another mistake. Be kinder to yourself. Stay in your heart and get out of your head. A woman is most trusting when she is in her heart. When she is in her heart, her intuition will generally tell her what is right. It's your job to listen when your intuition speaks.

Read in my advice archive, the column called Dating, Sex and Love

Let me know what happens with this gentleman. He sounds really nice and that something could happen, if you allow it and get out of your own way.

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