Q: I am in love with a wonderful man! We have been serious for 2 years and dated for 6 months beforehand. Just over a year ago he moved in with my roommate and me. At that time I expressed my feelings that I did not want to live with a boyfriend unless we were engaged. (Why buy the cow if you can get the milk for free?) However, my roommate & I had lived there 6 months and he had not gone home once. So out of fairness to them both, I agreed. He stated in this household meeting that we know we were going to get married anyway and not for me to worry. He even talks about our future and children all the time. Yet the question never seems to come.
Since then a year has passed and I have been diagnosed with endometriosis (commonly linked with infertility) so the clock is really ticking now! I have known that I wanted to marry him since he moved in and I am madly in love with him, but I don't want to keep waiting and wasting my time on something that may not ever happen. I don't want to be pushy or make him do something he is not ready for, yet I feel so frustrated. How long should I wait for him to make a commitment? Any advice on how I can handle this? - Out of patience
Dear Out of Patience,
Don't be pushy or demanding. Don't propose to him or nag him. Simply make a decision when you've had enough of the two of you living together without a firm commitment, when you're "almost" totally out of patience that you're ready to take action. At that point you're ready to have a "conversation and dialog." However, before "the talk," you need to get clear in your mind what is acceptable and what is not acceptable. Simply put, draw a line in the sand about this relationship in your mind and come to terms with yourself, that if the talk doesn't produce the results you want, namely a commitment, then you'll let him go.
And then, with openness, honesty and vulnerability and without anger or fear (because you're already prepared to walk) have a talk with him. And speak only from your perspective. Do not put words in his mouth or make him wrong. Tell him how much you love him and how fabulous the last 2 ½ years have been. And that as much as you love waking up to him and going to sleep with him, you feel you need a real commitment. Explain to him that what the two of you have is great, but it doesn't feel complete and it's not enough for you to just be together.
I know this is really scary and hard, but once you have this talk, you must be prepared to let him go if he's not willing to commit. Don't corner him and pressure him, that never works. A man will only feel caged in. However, if he needs time to think about it, then you might suggest that he move out so he'll have the time and space he needs to think about it. And I would limit the physical interaction, meaning no sex. Sex will just cloud the issue and heighten the emotions.
Q: I am in the process of going through a divorce, which doesn't bother me. What bothers me is that I have become interested in another woman. I'm 25 and she is 37. To me, age isn't a deciding factor... she also agrees, I think. My question is that I really am attracted to this older woman and she means a great deal to me for being there when I needed her, and for the fact that no matter how bad I feel about something, when I talk to her, nothing else matters in this world. I forget where I am and what I was doing and all that matters to me is this older woman. How do I show her how much she means to me? Telling her is easy, but I want to show her. - Interested in Older Woman
Dear Interested in Older Woman,
If age isn't an issue, then why do you repeatedly refer to her as "this older woman"? Are you sure you're looking for a woman and partner and not a mom? I could be wrong, and I probably am, but I'm not sure if this is a case of adult love or you just being a wounded puppy.
Women of all ages like to be cherished and made to feel special. It could be a simple as giving her a bouquet of her favorite flowers with a love note attached, giving her a special present - a small token of your affection, or making her a romantic candlelight dinner at your place. You could plan a surprise weekend getaway. If there's a play, concert, or exhibit that you know she would really enjoy, get the tickets and put them in a beautiful heart shaped box. Whatever you do, if it comes from your heart, believe me, she will appreciate it.
Q: I've been contemplating my relationship for more than a year now. I've been with my fiancé for four and a half years. I moved to California with him in 1998. We are great friends but I feel like the passion has gone. We've never had a great sex life, but for more than a year now I have had no interest in sex with him at all. I still enjoy sex, just not with him. I discovered this when I went home for the holidays and met up with an old boyfriend I cheated. I feel terrible about this, but it is not the first time it has happened. I've cheated with one other person just after our move in 1998. I know he deserves someone that will be faithful to him, but I'm afraid if I leave him I will regret it forever.- Uncertain in LA
Dear Uncertain in LA,
I'm a believer in fidelity. You're engaged, so I assume you willingly accepted his proposal, and that no one forced you to make a commitment to him. When you two made a commitment to each other, I also assume you did it in good faith and that you made several promises to each other. Did some of these promises include trust, being faithful and honest?
A committed relationship has three commitments within it. The first commitment is to yourself, the second commitment is to your partner, and the third commitment is to the relationship. As far as I can see, the only commitment you've kept is the one you've made to yourself to do whatever you want regardless of how it impacts on your partner or the relationship.
If everything else but the sex is great in the relationship and you want to "be" in the relationship, which really means being in the relationship, then suggest to your partner that the two of you go for counseling to a sex therapist who can help you bring the romance and passion back into your relationship.
No matter what you do, stop cheating on him. It's disrespectful to him and yourself.
Q: So how exactly do you get in touch with your feminine side?-Want to Become Feminine
Dear Want to Become Feminine,
Your feminine side is your "being" and your receiving side. Your masculine side is your "doing" and your giving side. So, at any moment, if you don't know whether you are in your masculine or feminine side, look at your behavior in the situation and evaluate it based on the above criteria. The first step towards changing a behavior is to recognize it. If you want to know whether your behavior is working for you, look at your results. Are you attracting the kinds of men you want to attract? Are you in the kind of relationship you want to be in?
I do classes and workshops on this very subject. In my classes, What Men Want and Are You Sexy, Smart, Successful and Still Single I discuss "how to be and become" feminine again. You might want to take one of my free or 3 week fee-based classes. To learn more about these classes and how you can register click here
Go to my dating tips and read the dating tips for women. There is a lot of good information about how to stop being an Alpha Female and start being a feminine Queen Bee.
If you want to change your thinking and behavior, you might want to consider having a one-on-one telephone coaching session with me. I have been very effective in helping women recognize their Alpha Female characteristics and then changing them to bring out more of their feminine side. To set up an appointment call 310.394.2647 or send me an email.
Q: I am a 36-year-old man. I have not dated since my divorce in 1990. My problem is this that I am deeply attracted to a woman 17 years my junior and I have no idea how to bring to subject up to her. I have always felt uncomfortable try to express my feelings. Could you please help, being alone for 10 years has taken it toll on me-Alone Too Long
Dear Alone Too Long,
Lots of men are uncomfortable with expressing their feelings. It takes courage for you to be honest with yourself and admit that. It takes even more courage for you to write to me, as you know I will tell you exactly how I see it.
No one should be alone. I can totally understand your loneliness and perhaps insecurity about going back into the dating world. Your divorce hit you pretty hard and left some deep scars. It's great that you want to start dating again as that means you've healed and ready to get on with your life. Congratulations. However, I think you would be much better off dating women in your own age group. You probably will have much more dating success. I don't think you have a lot in common with a 19-year-old girl. You're not on the same playing field; you probably don't speak the same lingo; and you probably live in totally different worlds with different expectations.
You asked for my help. Here it is. I personally don't think she is for you. Ask a woman out who is closer to your age and who probably likes the same music and movies. Go out as friends. When we go out on a date with friendship and no other expectations in mind, we give ourselves permission to be more of who we really are. When we are ourselves, we tend to open up more, communicate more, let go of some of the shyness, and even…sometimes…have a good time and enjoy ourselves.
The only way that pain in our heart goes away is to replace it with love. Set yourself up to win again and let love fill your heart.