Q: How can I tell if a woman is going out with me just for my money or for a free meal? - Confused Male
Dear Confused Male,
I'll answer your question but first here's a question for you. Are you looking for an arm charm (also known as a trophy woman) or a real gal you can have a relationship with?
Here's a great story that should illustrate my point. A man comes to the gates of ancient Athens and asks the gatekeeper what kind of city Athens is. The gatekeeper responds by asking, "What was the city like that you just left?" The man replies, "It was awful, filled with dishonest, backstabbing, money hungry, pretentious people." The gatekeeper said, "That's exactly what this town is like." Another man comes to the gates of the city and asks the same question. The gatekeeper responds by asking the man about the city and people he left behind. The man responds, "Oh, I loved my city and the wonderful, honest, caring people I left behind, but I had to go because I needed to find work." The gatekeeper opened the gates and says, "Come on in. You're going to love this city and the people. It's like the town you just left."
Like generally attracts like. So if you're looking for a woman with substance and similar core values, and you have good self-esteem, then, even you won't date gold diggers. In fact, remember one of the golden rules of dating: Men and women are like trains. The next one will be along in five minutes. So, if he or she doesn't have what you want, put your lips together and say, "Next."
Q: How can you tell if a man is just taking you out for sex and because you have a great body? - Confused Female
Dear Confused Female,
Read the letter from Confused Male. You should get together with him. You can answer your question yourself by answering the following questions:
1. Are you looking to date an investment banker? That's a man who is going to invest in you and be your banker.
2. Are you looking for a free lunch or dinner? If yes, then you can expect to be the dessert.
3. Is your mantra buy me, take me, give me, show me?
4. Or is your mantra it's all about me?
If you don't think of yourself as a sex object and you aren't looking for a success object, then you won't treat others as objects and you certainly won't let someone treat you like one.
Q: How can I get my boyfriend to stop being commitment phobic? We went to a couple's counselor to help us with his issues. He's now reading several self-help books. How do people get over being afraid of commitment?-Love a Commitment Phobic
Dear Love a Commitment Phobic,
The way to stop being commitment phobic is to decide to make a commitment, then follow through and make the commitment. Once the person makes that commitment, he or she keeps the commitment. It's that simple. Of course making and keeping our commitments takes work and discipline. But, at the end of the day and at the end of your life, those commitments are what make life and love special.
I have helped a lot people work through their commitment issues. If either of you, or both of you would like some help, give me a call at 310.394.2647 or send me an email. LINK. I do both singles and couples coaching.
Q: I just ended a long distance relationship with a man who is spending a year in Europe. Though we had only dated a few times before he left, and agreed to see other people, we kept up via phone and e-mail for 3 months. A big factor in my decision to end things was that I moved to NY right before I met him and, after 6 months have yet to really make some friends. The loneliness got to be too much for me, and so I started to put pressure on the relationship. I was no longer happy so I ended things.
I believe I made the right decision, but I wonder if I should try to get together with him for coffee when he visits the city this summer. I told him that I couldn't talk to him for a while, and need time to regain perspective. I don't want to get back into long distance with him, but maybe not completely burn this bridge. He is the first guy that I have dated who I can talk to on the phone for hours on end, and who seems genuinely concerned about me. There were problems with him talking about his exes... and forgetting my birthday, but this may have had to with our level of commitment. As things stand now, I won't see him for at least another 3 months, so I have time to think and to date other people. What should I do?-Lonely and Confused
Dear Lonely and Confused,
First of all, you are highly intuitive and know yourself. Congratulations for not rushing into anything. You were right. You can't be happy in a relationship when you're not happy with you. A relationship can't fill that black hole - "a missing piece." You have to do that yourself. And you're working on it.
New York can be a tough town. I lived there for many years. Don't let it get to you. Just keep being yourself. It may take a little time, but you'll attract good people. The key in New York is to go out and do things - go to a health club, book signings, events at the 92nd Street Y, etc.
Now let's deal with this guy. I would have dinner with him when he comes to New York -just dinner without any expectations. It's a great opportunity to connect again. If you can do this, without any expectations, then you can objectively see and experience whether; in fact, you do want to date him again. You don't have to make that decision now.
I'm a little confused. You went out a few times and then he left. You continued to connect long-distance via email and the telephone, but you were no longer dating, right? You became e-pals and telephone buddies. I have found that it is often easy to become rather intimate on the telephone or through a computer. It's much more difficult up close and in person because the stakes are much higher. One can come face to face with the "V" word and the "R" word. Vulnerability and Rejection - two of our greatest fears.
I don't think anyone should talk about his or her exes. It takes the focus away from the person they are with. As for me, I like my man to be focused on me. If you don't like him talking about other women, then tell him you "prefer" not hear about his exes. The operative word here is prefer. In a non-threatening way, without being critical of him, you can let him know that that kind of conversation is not okay with you. As for not remembering your birthday, it's definitely a red flag. But, at this early stage, it doesn't have to be a deal-breaker. If you decide that you want to see him again, after your dinner, then I would let him know that "you felt hurt" when he didn't remember your birthday. I wouldn't say, "You hurt me." Just share your feelings with him without making him wrong.
Don't burn the bridge, instead open the door and walk through - but this time for the right reasons. Let me know what happens.
Q: I feel that have a bit of a problem as far as a relationship goes. I am very attracted to a man. I think about him all the time and it seems that he has somewhat of an attraction to me also. There is one problem with this -- he is my boss. We are the same age and have had very similar situations in the past. It feels as though we are connected on a higher level than colleagues. He and I know when something is wrong with one another even when no one else does. He has not come out and said that he is interested in me but the flirting signs are surely there. So I ask you, because he is my boss does that make any possibility of a relationship off limits?-Totally Confused
Dear Totally Confused,
First of all, what's the company policy about dating "in house" and playing "house"? Second, how much do you love your job? Hypothetically, let's say that the two of you start dating and it doesn't work out. Can you say "sticky situation" and maybe hurt feelings and perhaps some anger? How well do you think the two of you could then work together? On the other hand, I have known of situations where work relationships have blossomed and the couples are very happy…together.
My advice to you is to look before you leap. Evaluate as many of the "what-ifs" ahead of time, and decide whether you want to pass or play. Remember, if you decide to play, it's up to him to ask you out, not the other way around. You're the queen bee. It's your job to attract him, let him find you, and then say "yes." If you decide to pass, then stop flirting and start creating a work friendship.
Good luck. This is really a tough one because we all connect with people daily, but there are those times when we have a special connection with certain people and we're not sure what to make of that connection and what to do with it. Step outside of your emotions right now and look inside your heart for some answers.