Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Q & A: "I find your tips on dating to be utterly insulting"

Q: You say that men do not like a woman who is tough, complex, strong, aggressive, decisive, self-sufficient, is able to speak for herself and can and or will go on the attack. While I do agree that some of these traits are "male" and "unattractive", I do have to disagree with the "decisive" and "self-sufficient" traits being "bad". If a woman does not have these qualities or if she gives them up for a man the likelihood of her falling into an unhealthy relationship is very high. Trust me, I know from experience that if you let go of a natural tendency to be strong... you can become too weak and let a man overpower you in a way that tears you down. In other words, I let those things go in a relationship that was abusive. It wasn't in any way good for me to win him over that way. Besides... if a man doesn't like me for who I am... I don't want to be with him anyway. Thanks for your time, but I think your advice is lacking. -- Danielle

I find your tips on dating to be utterly insulting. Why, after all women have gone through to obtain respect in their relationships, would you give such barbaric advice? Women need to know that they have the right and obligation to stand up for what they believe to be right. A woman does not have to come across stupid, having no opinions, and subservient to get a man. And, any man that wants a woman like that is not worth trying for. It is impossible not to come off as a "doormat" when you never critique, blame, or disapprove. And lastly no war has ever been won by losing all of the battles involved. --Elissa

Dear Danielle and Ellisa,
Thank you for your letters. I am not suggesting at all that a woman should become a doormat and let a man walk all over her. Nor should you ever let a man tear you down. A woman should know her own mind and be very clear about who she is. Feminine energy is quite powerful, and being feminine doesn’t make a woman weak, if anything, it makes her stronger because she is being authentic. She doesn’t have to expend unnecessary energy being something that she is not. A feminine woman who has healthy self-respect and good self-esteem doesn’t have the need to flaunt her self-sufficiency and independence in a man’s face. She just knows that she is a goddess and a warrior. She also knows that her receptive femininity complements a man’s masculinity, which is the reason men are drawn to women. Whether a guy knows it or not, a woman’s feminine energy balances out a man.

Q: My question is simple. I've been dating this guy for a couple of weeks and managed to fall head first. He's a nice guy but he said today he isn't ready for a big commitment. When I asked him why? He didn't know. He's been married, but he swears he's seeing no one else. I am ready to settle down. I have been for some time now. I don't know whether to just walk away or wait. I mean I know it's early but well, I guess that's where you come in --Jana

Dear Jana,
Girlfriend, take a breath, you just met this guy. I hate to break this to you but relationships take time, a lot more than a couple of weeks. What’s the rush? You don’t have the time to get to know him? Do you think it’s commitment time just because you’re ready, he’s available, and fits nicely into your agenda and timetable?

I know you want someone to love and to love you back. Get a puppy or a cat. You’ve got more pressure going than a high voltage pressure cooker. Not only are you putting enormous pressure on yourself to get a guy, but also I suspect you are putting that same kind of heat out and pressure on every guy you meet. I’m just surprised that that this one hasn’t run away by now. You may be in love, but I suspect it’s more like infatuation and desperation. I think the reason you so desperately want a commitment from this man is because you are afraid that no on will love you. Blow-up that belief! There is a wise ancient saying "You already are everything you are looking for." Start loving yourself more and you’ll find those around you loving you more too.

Q: You have got to help me. I have never been involved in a relationship with anyone before and recently a guy started to show interest in me and I really like him. The problem is that he is married. He has never hidden this from me and I like him for doing that. I told him we can be friends and he was okay with that, but I wouldn't mind being more than that at times and I can tell he wouldn't mind either. The thing is that I'm still a virgin and I don't know if I want my first time to be with someone who is already committed to someone else. Please help me, I don't know what to do. -- Virgin Blues

Dear Virgin Blues,
In my book, it’s W-R-O-N-G to date a married man. When you do decide to give yourself to a man, I would think you would want to be the main course and not a side dish.

Q: I need some advice on whether to stay and stick it out or to leave. I do love her very much but it seems like I am doing all the work to fight for our relationship. I want her to be happy with or without me. I don't want to put her through the painful recovering process to rebuild a relationship if she would be happier with a new man who has not cheated on her. Do women ever fully forgive the husbands for all the pain and hurt? Is the relationship stronger and better than before? How do I know when it is the time to let go and move on! Thanks for any advice -- Steve

Dear Steve,
The immediate answer to your question is yes, it is possible for partners to work through their pain, hurt, and betrayal and rebuild their relationship. It takes love, work and commitment though. I suggest you both get counseling immediately. Seek a therapist who is committed to creating a space where it is safe for both of you to share your feelings. During therapy, our deepest fears surface. And when those fears come up, (if the therapist is really good then I promise you that they will come up) we usually are afraid to share those feelings. The paradox is that only by identifying and working through our fears are we free to love fully.

Your wife feels hurt, angry, resentful, abandoned, and betrayed. You’re doing all the work because, in her mind, you created all the pain by cheating, and now out of resentment, she wants to make you suffer. She has so many feelings inside of her that need to be released. She needs the tools to release them and to feel safe again within the relationship and you need to deal with your feelings. It’s worth doing everything you can to save your marriage, that is, if both partners make the commitment. Good luck.

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