Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Q & A: "I think she might be too shy"

Q: I have a problem. I met this girl when I joined a firm as a trainee about 2 years ago. From the 1st day I met her I liked her. I tried to ask her out but she told me that she has a boyfriend who she later introduced me to. We are currently very good friends. Although I have been out with a few girls I have never felt a connection between two people like I feel with her. I think she feels it too because for the last year or so she has been encouraging me with my personal goals more than any of my other friends. Also, last week I thought I heard her say on the phone that she loved me. When I asked her to repeat it she freaked out and got off the phone. Should I ask her out again? What ever happens I don't want to lose her friendship because it means the world to me.- Afraid of Losing Friendship

Dear Afraid,
Don't confuse her caring about you as a friend with her having a romantic interest in you. I'm not sure if your situation is Fantasy Island or Real Life. However, is she still involved with her boyfriend? If the answer is yes, then that could be evidence to show you that she considers you as a "very good" friend and nothing more. I know you're crazy about her, but this is the deal. If you asked her out and she said no, would you be okay with her decision not to date you? Check in with your heart. If you can honestly answer yes to that question, then ask her out. Ask her out in a way that is honest and true - from your heart - and in a way that makes her feel safe to answer honestly and authentically. Remember that this woman is your friend-so as friends you can talk heart-to-heart.

Ever though a situation may be difficult, when a person musters up the courage to risk rejection, he has already won. Because it is only by risking that one can succeed and make their dreams come true. The truth is that in life, we never regret what we do, only what we don't do.


Q: I'm a 28-year-old African American Female, who has been seeing a 34-year-old White male for 1 month now. He has just gotten out of a 4-year marriage 6 months prior to us dating. I believe he is on the rebound. He only wants to see me when he wants to see me. If I email him, he seldom emails me back. I don't call him often for fear that I will get a bad response. Our dates are not fulfilling because it seems he covers up a lot of things. I feel I'm getting the short end of the stick here. Can you help me?- He Doesn't Communicate

Dear He Doesn't Communicate,
First of all, after one month you shouldn't be calling him and initiating the dates. Stop pushing so hard. Think enough of yourself to let him pursue you. Then let him pursue you. I would have a conversation with him and tell him "what you feel." Before you have this conversation, read my advice on the three things men don't want. This will help you in communicate your feelings in a way that will enable him to listen. In your conversation, don't make him wrong. Make him right. tell him how much you enjoy his company. Then once you've got his attention, you can them talk with him about your feelings of wanting to create better communication between you two so as to increase more emotional intimacy. Let him know your request for more open and honest communication and that it would make you happy. Then leave it alone. He no longer has to guess what you want. You've told him in a non-threatening way.

Either he will act on it or he won't. If he does listen, then your relationship will get better (as long as you don't find something else to make him wrong about). If he doesn't act on it and the dates don't get more fulfilling, then move on. Don't waste your time being unhappy and not having your needs met.


Q: I know I should be more highly evolved so that I am not supposed to care if women look pretty or not, and that it is what on the inside that counts. My problem is I think I'm too superficial. I have a plus-size girlfriend whom I am not sure I love. And I think it is because she is not skinny and pretty. Am I just a jerk or do you think it could be something else?- Am I Superficial

Dear Am I Superficial,
I don't know if you're a jerk because I don't know you. But obviously you're not sleeping too well at night because you can't face the mirror test. You look in the mirror and you don't like what you see - yourself and your beliefs. If you're not attracted to her, then why are you dating her and calling her your girlfriend?

Basing a relationship simply on looks is superficial. Do you want a girlfriend or an arm charm? Do you really want someone you can talk to or just show off? What's really important to you? That's the question you should be asking yourself. We have been programmed to want to look like or date the models in Victoria Secret's Catalog or the swimsuit edition of Sports Illustrated, but you don't have to buy into that if you don't want to.

Men are highly visual. But men with character, depth, and self-confidence in themselves, who want a partner and not a trophy, look beyond the exterior for a heart to heart connection. What kind of man are you and what kind of man would you like to become?


Q: You got a great site here. Keep it up because it helps a lot of people like me. My problem is that I really like this girl in the office where I work. I'm a security guard and she's a customer service rep. I come to work at 4 pm and she's just about to go home. She stays a minute or two to chat with me a little bit. I've been working in this building for 5 months and through this little chat we shared common interests and I've come to love her warm smile. I jokingly told her that "a morning without her must be like a morning without a sunshine and she smiled at me." She always asked me how my weekend was and I also asked her about hers.

You see we've been taking like this for 4 months now but I just can't muster enough courage to tell her that I like to get to know her better, get her phone no. and take her out sometimes. I feel like I'm going to die if I don't act soon and just keep my feelings to myself. I guess it's an inferiority complex because I don't think that a lady like her will ever go out with me and plus the fear of rejection and the feeling of awkwardness afterward. Do you think sending her an e-card and stating that I want to get to know her better is a good bet or do you think direct approach is better like saying " I really like to take you out sometime and get to know you better can I have your phone. no." And what I do if she says no? I've always wanted to tell her how beautiful she looks and how her smile makes me feel warmth all over me. Can you give me some advice on what you think is best for my situation please. Thanks in advance.- Insecure Security Man

Dear Insecure Security Man,
Most men are terrified of being rejected, but so are women. But it's harder for you guys because you have to do the asking. It's scary to put your feelings on the line when you have no guarantee that the woman you're crazy about won't break your heart. It's like walking a tight rope without a safety net. Really living life and getting what you want means taking some risks. And risk taking often means taking action without a safety net.

This is what I suggest. Be a brave-heart. (Don't do the e-card thing. It's so impersonal and I think tacky.) Tell her you would like to get to know her better outside of work. Ask her for her phone number because you would like to ask her out for date.

Even though you're going to be nervous, it's better to know than not know. And you'll never know what could be between you if you don't try. So you have to take the risk.

And remember, no one can reject you but you. Don't tie your self-esteem to her answer. Congratulate yourself for asking. Not all men or women would have the courage to take a big risk where they have so much invested, but I believe you have the courage to follow your heart. That's why you're a brave-heart. Good luck.


Q: I have very little knowledge on growing-up issues, as I have been very shy about sex and sex-related issues. I have known this young woman (20 soon) for nearly three years. We are best friends, have dated once already, remained best friends and have started dating again. She is shy about expressing her feelings to me or to others in general. I am caring, understanding and a good listener...among other things. I am a very affectionate bloke and love to show it by hugging, holding and kissing. I haven't really kissed this girl yet as we have only just started dating again and I want to go at her pace. When I do show affection I sometimes worry that I might be being over affectionate.

This girl is shy and I think she might be too shy to tell me whether or not I am over doing it. I ask her if she is comfortable but when she says yes I just can't shake the feeling that she is holding back on me. Maybe she thinks that I'll be hurt or offended if she says no and so states otherwise. The thing is if she does tell one thing but means the opposite, is there some sort of body language I should look for? Now don't get me wrong I'm all for conversation, but maybe there is also another way of knowing. Plus, how do you know when a woman such as her wants affection? Once again her lack of expression to me has me going round in circles. I want to really make a go of this relationship. We have lots in common and relate very well to each other- Give Me a Sign


Dear Give Me a Sign,
You've been best friends for three years so I assume that both of you trust each other and that you have created an open, honest and safe relationship based on mutual respect, understanding and communication. Most importantly, it is up to you to create a safe space for her in your relationship. She needs to feel safe in order to be vulnerable and reveal her feelings.

My best advice is to take it slow. I know this is the second time around for both of you, but don't rush into the physical aspect of the relationship. And before you take any step forward in that direction, talk about it with her and let her know that you're crazy about her, and that if she wants to take it slow, that's fine with her. I know you're not putting any pressure on her, I can read that in your words. But keep reassuring her that you both will only proceed with what she's comfortable with. You don't want her to comply and be resentful. Trust yourself, trust her, and most of all trust your friendship.

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