Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Q & A: "How should I tell her I want her?"

Q: I don't date co-workers, but last November, a co-worker persuaded me to go out with him. The week after the date, he was a sweetheart. He would call regularly (without suffocating me) and we really hit it off. He's nine years my senior, but neither of us had a problem - until his sister (my age) and his mother expressed uncertainty with the age gap. We went out again to test the waters, but ultimately he said he wanted to be friends and see if it led anywhere - no physical contact.

I'm not the type who can sit back for six months and see if a relationship develops, but I enjoy his friendship. I quit returning his calls and was very professional at the office, but didn't take any further steps. After a month, I finally figured that he'd be a good friend and took him to dinner for his 30th birthday. Quite by accident, things became physical and it felt like a date. Since then, I've come to the realization that I can't just be his friend and I cancelled our plans for Valentines Day. When we last spoke, he said I was confusing him and if I wanted to talk, I could call him. He gets along wonderfully with my family. To all of our friends, it "looks" like we're dating. Both of us maintain we're just good friends, but I know he wants to be with me - otherwise he wouldn't call and make plans. I don't want to break the "don't call" rule, but I know this man well enough to know that he won't make the first move - again.

Normally, I'd move on and forget him, but I like this one more than I've liked anyone in a while. The real clincher - he's afraid to love anyone because he doesn't think it will be reciprocated. Oddly enough, that's the whole reason I don't want to be "just friends" - I'm afraid I'll fall in love with him, too. What do I do? - More Confused Than He Is


Dear More Confused Than He Is,
Get honest with yourself before you pick up the phone. If you're not willing to play full out, to be vulnerable, take risks and give up control, don't call. However, if your desire for a relationship is greater than your fear of rejection or the fear of it not working out, then do not pass go, do not collect $200 but CALL this man and forget about the "don't call" rule. Rules, even my rules, are only guidelines. You have to follow your heart, your core values, and maintain your own dignity and self-respect. As Shakespeare said, "To thine own self be true."

In this case, you have to make the call. He has every right to be confused. You're sending this poor guy mixed signals. No wonder he doesn't know what to do. No matter what he does he can't win. Ask yourself this question before you make the decision whether to call or not to call. Do you want to be right (that you're not worthy enough to beloved and in a loving relationship) or do you want to be loved? (Being loved requires taking a risk and allowing yourself to be vulnerable by removing those self-created walls that have kept a man away from you and kept you away from a man.)


Q: I'm 19 and in my country there is a mandatory army service of 3 years, and I do my service in a closed base. There are about 90 people on the base and everyone knows everyone else. There is a girl on the base who I became good friends with 2 ½ months ago. We enjoy really great communication, make each other laugh, and enjoy each other's company. Needless to say, I have fallen in love with her. But I don't know if she's interested.
Although it can ruin the good friendship we have, I can't go on living like this and I need to know if there could be something between us. I have 2 problems: 1) Every time I start to her to tell her, I see her wonderful eyes, face and smile and I can't seem to let the words come out of my mouth. 2) How should I tell her I want her? What do I say? Should I tell her exactly what I feel which can scare her away or should I be less straightforward? Please help me. - Desperate


Dear Desperate,
The only way to find out if she is interested is to ask her. You have to tell her how you feel and ask her if there's interest on her part. However, don't tell her that you've already picked out your first-born child's first name. That will appear very desperate and needy.

Take a breath first and get that fear of rejection out of your mind and your body. Love yourself and her enough to take the risk to find out what are her feelings for you. People, at the end of the day and the end of their lives never regret what they do, but are filled with regret for what they didn't do. So go for it! Write down what you want to say to her and then take it with you. When you open your mouth, and if the words won't come out, tell her you want to read her something. Always be prepared. And you might want to bring her one flower. Women love flowers. It's not essential; it's just a great-added touch.

And don't make any assumptions about what she will or won't say. Remember, she is first your friend. So talk to her as your friend - with honesty and authenticity. When you look into her eyes and see her smile, remember that she is you friend; that the two of you have already established a bond of trust. And don't be afraid of ruining the friendship. True and real friendships can and do endure hardships and obstacles. Maybe you'll gain a lover and mate in addition to a friend.

I can't tell you the correct words to say. Listen to your heart. Your heart will tell you the right words to say. But I would tell her how much you love the time the two of you spend together, how she makes you laugh, how you think about her wonderful eyes and radiant smile. Tell her that you know you're taking a risk and risking the friendship, but you just have to do it. No body in this world is guaranteed tomorrow. All each of us has is today and we have to make today count. Tell her you're crazy about her and would like your relationship to be more than friends. Then ask her how she feels about it, but don't pressure her. Make her feel safe and give her the space to answer from her heart. Good luck.


Q: Why is communication and decision making important in a relationship?-Communicating


Dear Communicating,
Great questions. Before I answer them let me first define what is a relationship. It is a particular type of connection and involvement existing between people. And the way you establish connection is through communication. Communication is the exchange of thoughts, ideas, and messages either verbally, visually, in writing, or through signals and behavior.

The purpose of communicating is to express yourself in a way that is clearly understood by your partner. Communicating is the vehicle through which two people connect with each other. Without it, you don't have a relationship, and without it being open, honest and authentic, you can't have a healthy relationship.

Decision-making is using your power to determine what choices you want to make. Only you are and can be responsible and accountable for decisions you make. Everything in life is a choice and how you operate in any relationship is always a choice. Therefore, the decisions you make always impact on the kind of relationship you have. Now you can see why communication and taking responsibility for one's decisions are essential parts to any relationship.


Q: To be honest with you, I've never done this before. I've always been very good at giving advice to others in matters of the heart, but it seems like I can never help myself. Here is my problem. I'm one of those nice guys that always finish last. I'm one of those rare guys who believe in chivalry. I'm courteous, honest, funny, intelligent and educated. I've had many women tell me I'm cute and physically attractive. I guess one of my problems is I'm very picky with the women I'm interested in. I look for women who have a sense of humor, and are very opinionated, who are strong willed, independent, yet romantic. I've always been a sucker for buying roses and picking up the tab at dinner. It's been over 2 years since my last relationship.
I met a girl who came onto the job about a year ago and we became fast friends. I wanted to pursue a relationship, but I had promised myself never to get involved again with a co-worker. We continued to become closer and closer friends, and it was finally revealed months later that she had feelings for me. Unfortunately, because of my stubbornness to not date a co-worker, she met a guy and they were now dating. Still we continued to get closer and now we can't go to bed unless we say goodnight to each other on the phone. We've shared out feelings for each other but she still cares for her boyfriend. Both of us have very high morale standards and we don't believe in cheating.

I feel that we're in a bad situation, and have considered and discussed with her about leaving the job or giving each other some space. Yet, we are still close friends and neither of us wants to sacrifice that. You can see how complicated all this is. I wish her boyfriend would do something stupid so she would break up with him. I'm a constant temptation for her and when they've had a fight, she always seems to turn to me.

She has admitted that if she were not seeing her current boyfriend, that probably I would be her boyfriend now, which makes me regret my promise years ago. She has told me she does not by any means want me to wait for her. But there seems to be no one else I'm attracted to at this point. Don't get me wrong. Things at work are great. Everything is great when we're together. Although let me stress we've never done anything at all physically, but is our feelings for each other cheating anyway? I'm just very confused and I wish I knew what to do. Some of my friends tell me to totally cut my ties with her until she is single, and some tell me to bide my time for now. I would really appreciate some advice. I don't want to lose her, but I'm thinking it may be the best thing for the both of us if we part ways.- Morality Stinks


Dear Morality Stinks,
She gets to have her cake and eat it too. She's on the playing field and she has you waiting in the wings. No, your thoughts are cheating. You've maintained your integrity, dignity and self-respect by not crossing the line of putting your thoughts into actions. Good for you. I'm sure that requires an enormous amount of self-discipline, but more importantly, you have core values and a healthy belief about yourself.

Sometimes the truth hurts, but here goes. If she wanted to be with you, she could break up with her boyfriend. She does have free will and choice. I don't think her boyfriend is forcing her to stay in the relationship.

You made a decision to not date co-workers. Now you regret that decision. You can't take back that decision, but you can forgive yourself for making that decision and move on with your life. My advice is to make a clean break. Cut the ties with her. And tell her the timing is wrong. She's just not available, so you're moving on. If there comes a time when both of you are single and available then perhaps you can start dating.

Right now your relationship is toxic. You're waiting for her to break up with him so you can start living. As long as you talk about living, you're not living. My suggestion is to start living now. You never know what can happen while you're living your life.

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