Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Q & A: "he cheated on me with a girl I have never liked"

Q: I was going out with this guy for over a year and then he cheated on me with a girl I have never liked. When I broke up with him he never called again. Recently he started coming around again. He says he's very sorry and that he still loves me and all that stuff. Should I give him another chance? Please help. –Patty

Dear Patty M,
The easy answer is to not see him. He betrayed your trust and he could do it again. Don't delude yourself that it could never happen again. It could, but that doesn't necessarily mean it will happen again.

If you still really care about him, and you probably do, because you're asking me for advice, then be open to revisiting the relationship. After all, we all make mistakes. It's the lessons we learn from making those mistakes that help us grow. That's how we change our behavior and ultimately our life.

Before you make a decision though, have an honest, direct conversation. If you like what he says and you really want him back in your life, give him a chance. But take it slowly and let the relationship unfold over time. Build a solid foundation of friendship, trust, mutual respect, and emotional intimacy.

Don't hold back. Tell him, in a nice way, how you felt about his betrayal. Don't make him wrong (man are like cornered animals when we make them wrong) but communicate how you felt then and how you feel now about him. Talk about the issue of trust. Let him know that he will have to work to rebuild the trust that you both once shared.

But the most important thing you have to remember is to give him a chance to "show up" in an authentic way. It's your job as a woman to create the feminine space that will let him feel safe enough to show up in an authentic way.

I suggest that before you see him, forgive him in your heart. This is between you and your heart. You can forgive him without forgiving what he did. Forgiveness doesn't mean you have doormat written on your forehead. It means, that you no longer have any attachment or charge on the situation. This lets you move forward. Forgiveness clears the space for something new to happen between you two. It's an authentic way of "getting over it!" So either get over it or move on.

Q: I met this wonderful young lady about a month ago. We both like each other beyond just friendship, and we both know it.

The problem is this; she had been engaged to a guy for four years (a significant amount of time considering she's only 21), and about four months ago, their relationship suffered a catastrophic meltdown. He betrayed her, and stole most of their collective belongings. Now as a result, she is hesitant and afraid to be in an intimate relationship.

I told her how I felt about her, and I told her that I felt that she was worth waiting for, and I do, but sometimes it is difficult to be patient. I feel as though I'm walking on egg shells, trying not to be too demanding or frighten her off.

How long do I keep this up? Is it fair to either of us for this to continue much longer? I really do like her a lot, and I would hate to break it off, but I just don't know if there is a future in it. –Waiting

Dear Waiting,
It seems to me that you're only willing to wait if it's a short wait and if you have a guarantee that your patience will pay off. There are no guarantees and everything has a risk associated with it. In matters of the heart, too many people are afraid to risk having their hearts broken, so they never really love fully. Instead, when things get rough, they simply walk away before they ever find out what could have been. It takes courage to love.

You write to me that she is a wonderful young lady. You tell her that she's worth waiting for. What is your own truth? Make up your mind, is she or is she not worth waiting for? Once you figure out the answer, then make your behavior consistent with your words.

It is often hard to wait when you really care about someone, but, it's only been a month. Give her, yourself and the relationship time. Betrayal and breach of trust are not something one just gets over in a weekend.

It will take her awhile to renew her faith in men and to trust herself and others. But you can help her by being a man of integrity, always being honest with her and, keeping your word. Build up some trust points with her. Make her feel safe when she is with you and when she talks with you. Women need to feel safe in order to blossom.

When you come from a loving place in your heart, you won't be demanding nor will you frighten her away. Instead your love will create a nurturing environment which will give your relationship a real chance to grow. Instead of walking on eggshells, be authentic. Be yourself and allow her to be herself. And don't forget to let her know how much you care about her.

However, if all this seems like too much work, then move on because you're not the man for her and she's not the girl for you.

Q: Here's my question for you. There is this girl at work who I find very attractive. We have made eye contact and I feel there is something there. Now the problem is that she doesn't speak English. How would I go about having a relationship with her -- Lance

Dear Lance,
First question. What's the company policy regarding dating co-workers? Let's say it's permissible, the next question is how closely do you two work together and what would the impact be on your jobs and working environment should "the dating thing" not work out? You need to look at these two issues first.

Now, concerning the issue that you two don't speak the same language, get a dictionary. In order to have a relationship you first have to date. Start learning enough words to talk to her or at least to ask her out. Once you start talking, you can teach each other how to communicate in your native languages. What a wonderful way to build a bond.

Be aware that, in addition to language barriers, there are often cultural differences to deal with. But challenges and obstacles are easier to overcome once you identify them. And, love has its own language.

Now that I've said that, it's doable but it ain't going to be easy. Then again, love isn't always easy even when you speak the same language.

Q: Hi. I've been reading your website and I need your help desperately. I'm in love with one of my friends. It's a complicating situation so I'll try to explain. I'm 20 and he's turning 21. We are both extremely shy (him more than me). We belong to the same group of friends. We are quite good friends. Sometimes I can feel that connection between us, like when we're dancing or hanging out, and other times there is nothing.

The other day it was my birthday. All of my friends (his best friends) kissed me happy birthday except him. I don't know what to do. It feels as if I recently can't quite connect, please help me for I'm going insane, and you sound quite wise.

I see him often as we go to same parties. What do I do? I'm at the point of no return. Either I do something or I let it be. Do you think I stand a chance or not? Please help me - Karen

Dear Karen,
You're the Queen Bee. It's your job to attract him, to draw him in, to magnetize him to you. Don't run after him. It's a man job to run after you. You can encourage him, and be receptive to him, but no chasing. When you chase a man, you give away your power. And besides, if you're doing the man's job, what's he going to do? He'll always expect you to make the first move and run after him. Is that what you want? I don't think so, my dear!

Start thinking more of yourself-because you're worth it. You deserve to be treated like the magnificent woman you are. Don't settle. If this guy doesn't chase you, you don't want him. Remember golden rule of dating " you only love those who love you.

Girlfriend, take back your power. Recapture your self-worth and self-respect. When you see him be feminine, and receptive. Let him know that you're interested. (a guy, especially a shy guy, will always look for "the sign" that it's safe before he advances because he's afraid of rejection. Then again, who isn't afraid of rejection?!) If he doesn't pick up on those feelings or he's brain dead, say "Next!" Remember the other golden rule: men and women are like trains, even though sometimes you don't think so, another one will be along in a few minutes.

Whatever you do, get rid of those "needy" feelings because how you feel on the inside always shows up on the outside. (I hate when that happens but it always does.) Our lives mirror our feelings.

Play up your strengths and downplay your deficits. I'm sure you have some wonderful and really attractive qualities. Neediness just isn't one of them.

So the short answer is:
A woman who genuinely likes herself, attracts a man who likes her. So the question isn't whether you have a chance with him, but rather, whether he has a chance with you. After all, you're the Queen Bee, so start acting like it. A man is a wannabe. Men know where it's at, they wannabe with a woman.

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