Q: To repeat what you said regarding "red flags", it is definitely very important to trust your instincts. I was involved in a 4-month relationship with someone I met online. We met after exchanging emails for 1 1/2 months. He lived 2 miles from me, and had posted his picture so I assumed that he had nothing to hide (also, why would he say he was single and date in his own backyard to risk getting caught? I finally decided that the relationship was not "reality based." I had never been to his home, he always contacted me from either work or his cell phone (said that he had cancelled his home phone service which I checked out and found that the number was only unlisted) and we were only seeing each other once every 2-3 weeks.
Three days after breaking up I discovered he is married. I had decided to run a complete background search that I probably should have done sooner, but there was his marriage in 1998. I confronted him with this and he said it wasn't him, even after telling him that the person who told me was someone who used to work with him at a previous job. The next day he went to the web site where we had first met and he removed his pictures and totally changed his profile details so I knew I was right. I decided to contact his wife but unfortunately she is in denial (she is young, 31 years of age and says that she is aware of his internet activity and his viewing of pornography), but I explained that saying you are single and dating is a different story. Anyway, I did what I thought was right and have learned to be much more careful and to ask many more questions if I decide to go online in the future.?Trust Your Instincts in Online Dating
Dear Trust Your Instincts in Online Dating,
Thank you for sharing your horrible experience. We can all learn from it. It?s important to trust your gut. I?m glad you were wise enough to trust yours and did something about it right away. I?m always suspicious when a man refuses to provide his home and office number. Cell phone numbers are good to have in an emergency, but there?s something substantial about a landline.
Too often, because we want to love someone and to be loved, we refuse to see the red flags, even when they're waving in our faces. One has to be very careful when looking for love online. It can be awesome and awful. It's easy to get seduced by an email. So listen to your instincts and trust your gut.
Q: I am confused right now about dating. For weeks or even months I go through the phase "there's no girls to date", and then suddenly it seems I want to date almost everyone I meet. I like 2 women right now. I work with both of them. One I want to ask out but I don?t know if she has a boyfriend and I don?t know how to find out. The other woman I went out with last night. I?m not sure what she thinks of me and that?s bothering me. She is ten years older than me. The age difference is no big deal. She drinks a lot. I?m not big on drinking anymore. I like her personality as I was able to be myself and I didn?t have to hide. We both had a good time and she said she would like to get together again. What do I do? ?I Want to Understand Women
Dear I Want to Understand Women,
I don?t think it?s a good idea to date all the women you work with. That?s for starters. Second, if you don?t drink, why would you want to be with a woman who drinks a lot? I know you?re kind of shy and dating is scary because of the risk of rejection. No guy wants to be rejected. That?s why, sometimes, it?s easier not to date. After weeks or months go by, you forget about "the rejection thing" and you?re ready to hunt again. Just accept the cycles.
Be more discriminating in your selection of women. You don?t have to settle for a BTND ? a better than nothing date. The best way to find out if a woman has a boyfriend is to ask her out for a date. If she says yes, then you know she?s available and interested in you. If she says no, don?t take it personally and continue trolling for more women.
Q: I have been dating my boyfriend Jesse for about four months and its gone up hill and down very fast. Right now its really good and I am very happy. I never ever thought I would find love "on-line." To me it wasn?t going to happen, and I didn?t care. At first we were fighting, then I got to know him. He gave me his phone number and I started to call him. The bill was $600.000. Of course I had a lot of problems happen, and my dad eventually gave in and gave me his blessings and such. I love my dad very much and Jesse. I haven?t been this happy since my grandmother died last month. ?Love Online is Expensive
Dear Love Online is Expensive,
I know this is a really tough time for you, since your grandmother died last month. And, that your relationship with Jesse is helping you get through your grief. It's great to have someone there who cares about you, nurtures you and makes you feel special. He sounds like a very special guy-- a real hero.
And special guys are the ones who are supposed to call--not you. If you're read my columns, articles and dating tips for women, then you know that you're the Queen Bee and he's the one who is supposed to be pursuing you -- not the other way around. He's the one who should be calling you. Let him know how much he has helped you through this grieving process. Show him that you admire, respect and appreciate what he does for you and what he says. Then let him do the calling, at least most of it.
How about letting Jesse court you? Try writing letters or emails or sending love notes. Stop spending your life on the phone. And start living your life. If Jesse is a LDM (long distance man), and it sounds like he is from the telephone bills, then start putting more things into your life, so you're not so dependent on Jesse to make you happy. Start making yourself happy. Men don't like needy women. So don't be needy and don't pretend that you're not needy. Instead, start loving yourself more.
Give your father a BIG kiss and a hug and tell him what a great dad he is for caring about your feelings. Let him know how much you appreciate him being your dad. It sounds to me that you?re a very lucky lady to have two great men in your life. I know for sure that one of them definitely treasures you. Now let?s have the other one do the same.
Think of it this way. Your life is a pizza. And on it, you put all your favorite things you love. And Jesse is one of the toppings. He's not the only topping. Otherwise you'll get tired of having the same pizza all the time. Get the message? Write to me and let me know how it turns out.
Q: I met a guy at work. We work at different locations. We have known each other since January. About two months ago, he asked me out. He approached me very slowly and cautiously. During the last two months, we went out only three times. He has had two serious relationships at work before. The most recent one was last fall. He said his ex wants to get back together but he doesn't want to because he knows it's not going to work. He told me that he still misses her and has feelings for her. It really bothers me a lot. Even though I really like him, I am very disappointed and upset. I just can't understand if he is interested in me and has intention to pursue a relationship with me, how come he says that he still has feeling for his ex? I'm very confused. I'm a very faithful person and I expect him to be like me. Do I have to give him a chance? —Can I Still Trust Him
Dear Can I Still Trust Him,
This guy is being totally honest with you and you can?t handle it. You?ve decided that he?s "it" for you and you want to be his "it" girl. I can understand you disappointment because you?re not the center of his universe, but you?re moving too fast. You have only had three dates. You?re not in an exclusive committed relationship. He said he wanted to take it slow. Listen to him instead of trying to control the relationship and make it the way you want it to be. As far as expecting "him to be like me," do you want a partner or a clone? You?re not really giving him a chance to participate in this relationship. It seems to me that you have some trust issues, particularly since you?re already questioning whether he?s faithful and you can still trust him. Based on your email, he hasn?t given you a reason not to trust him. The basis for a lack of trust is fear, having been hurt, and really not trusting yourself and your decisions. If you?ve made bad decisions in the past or have been attracted to men who are not good for you, then notice your patterns and when you start to repeat them, stop yourself. In regard to this man, slow down, get to know him and establish some bonds of friendship instead of jumping to conclusions about who is and isn?t.
Q: A guy who works in the same building I work at has taken me to lunch 3 times. We both had a good time at the lunches. After the last lunch, he asked me if I wanted to "maybe do something next weekend." I said sure. He said we would see each other in the building next week and talk about it. When I saw him the next week he said that he thought we would be able to do something over the weekend but he was not too sure. He said he would let me know. I spoke to him a few times after that during that week. (We see each a couple times a day). He never raised the issue of the weekend date. His friend told me that he has said he is interested in me and likes me. He said he does want to take me out. (He has told me he is shy and I have seen evidence of that)
But, his behavior confuses me. He has never asked for my number. Sometimes when I walk past him, he only says hello. He does not try to begin a conversation. Other times he stops me to talk. Sometimes when I walk past him, he acts like he does not see me (I'm sure he does). Other times he maintains eye contact with me and gives me a huge smile. Also, he did not follow up on the weekend date offer.
Am I wasting my time in thinking about this guy? Does it sound like he is just slow and shy? (The 3 lunches were over the course of 1 month.) I don't know what to think. Help! ?Am I Wasting My Time
Dear Am I Wasting My Time,
One of the greatest fears for men is rejection. Men have fragile egos. And do you blame them? They are the ones who have to do the asking and who risk getting shut down and shut out. Having said that, he did have the courage to ask you out for lunch, not once but three times. And then he almost asked you out for the weekend, but he never followed through and he didn?t even have the courtesy to mention it. Hmm! This is a tough one because of his "shyness." Based on his behavior, he doesn?t sound like a man who follows through or a man of his word. So you have to ask yourself this question, do you want a wishy-washy guy who you can?t depend on?
Having said that, he does seem interested. So how can you find out? Flirt with him and let him know that you really liked those times you had lunch together. It made the workday so much better. Then, if and when he picks up the hint and invites you to lunch, let him know that you?ve got some open time over the weekend. If he jumps at the bait and ask you out ? great! That means it?s a definite ? no more of this maybe stuff. If not, move on and don?t make any more excuses for him.
Q: I met a woman at my work. I have seen her around, and we have exchanged hellos in passing, but not until recently did we become friends. We would chitchat at lunch, and on breaks, and so forth. After I while, I was feeling that maybe she was interested in me. She would give me a great big smile, and wave to me through the huge glass windows separating our departments, and I would kindly return the greeting. One day in general conversation she made it known that she was single, and her cousin was trying to fix her up on a date, but she had no intentions of going out with him, and dwindled on this subject, I assumed that she was letting me in on this information for a specific reason.
But, being my normal self, I panicked and didn?t follow up on it. After debating it inside my own mind that evening I decided to rekindle the conversation, and attempted to ask her out on a date. But I blew it. She was no longer the same towards me, no smiles, no "Hey what?s up?"? nothing. At first I figured maybe I was totally wrong about it, but I have always been a "people reader" and I could have sworn she was throwing me the right signs, I just messed up! Now she is engaging her time with another fellow, whom I already disliked for other reasons, and my question is how should I go about bringing her attention back to me. How should I go about letting her know, she's on my mind 24/7? —Bedazzled By Her Beauty
Dear Bedazzled By Her Beauty,
When she dropped the hint about her cousin trying to fix her up, she had hoped you would take the bait. When you didn?t, she felt rejected and hurt, so she pushed you away. She then set her sights on another guy. Don?t be angry with this other guy. It?s a waste of time and energy. And it?s not like he stole her from you.
Stop thinking you messed up. With that kind of thinking you?ll never feel confident enough to ask her out. You learned a lesson that is "feel the fear and do it anyway?seize the moment." You may risk rejection but in that same moment is the opportunity for reward. Flirt with her. Smile and compliment her. Keep complimenting her and making her feel special. Then ask her to lunch. If she says yes, great! If not, move on and find another woman to take to lunch.
Q: My girlfriend and I have been dating for about 3 1/2 years now and have shared many great experiences together. Recently, there has been a sudden change as I have started college at a University and she has stayed at the same community college where we both attended last year (made things more stressful), and now we are unable to spend nearly as much time together. I used to think that she depended on me too heavily, wanting me to do everything for her, and now since I've left she has become more independent. However, for some reason I keep feeling sorry for myself and worthless to the relationship and I feel if she senses this, she could become less interested in me. What can I do to look more on the bright side of things and be more confident about our relationship? —Not Feeling Like a Manly Man
Dear Not Feeling Like a Manly Man,
Whether you know it or not you are being a manly man. You take your manliness and masculinity to heart. You know it's your job to provide for, protect and serve your woman. And that's what you did. Now that you're away, you're afraid she won't need you anymore. Asserting her independence because you're not around is good. You gave her the confidence to do that. But, let me tell you -- she still wants you as much as before. Now you have a partner, someone who can build a life with. Congratulations! Keep making her feel special. Every woman wants to be made special by her man. And continue to encourage her and be supportive. But remember, in her eyes, you'll always be her guy - the one who, when push comes to shove - who has always and will always protect her, provide for her and serve.