Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Q & A: "My Guy Likes Porn"

Q: I'm a 22-year-old computer technician who is devastated! I've been with a woman for 2 years now. At one point, after many months of hostilities from me I felt I had to end it. I loved her so much, but I was scared to commit, to say that she was the one. We continued to live together, which wasn't hard because my work takes me out of town most of the time. I started to want her back again, but said nothing out of fear that it would happen all over again. I decided I couldn't stand it any longer, and confessed my undying love for her. But she was already seeing somebody else. She had moved on. We continued to interact, and live together, but I became bitter and would occasionally say hurtful things that I knew not to be true, and didn't mean.

Now, after a couple months of that, she's at the end of her rope. If I would have asked her to marry me only 6 short months ago, she would have, but I wasn't ready. Now, she despises me. She hates me. She says that she never wants to see me again. She says I don't respect her and her decisions. Is she right? Do I not respect her? Or have I gone temporarily insane? Have I lost all perspective and judgment? I can't imagine my life without her. The hardest thing is knowing that I've turned somebody that wanted nothing more than for me to return her love into somebody that can't even stand to look at me. What can I do? —Now I Want to Commit


Dear Now I Want to Commit,
Life is based on the choices we make and the risks we?re willing to take. Every action causes a reaction. In choosing not to commit to the woman you love, you risked losing her. And, as a result, you lost her. She waited as long as she could. She didn?t want to wait forever and put her life on hold until you made up your mind or never made up your mind. To take care of herself and protect her heart, she made a healthy choice in deciding to move on, regardless of how much she loved you.

The action or inaction of your unwillingness to commit produced a reaction from this woman. And you don?t like the results that your choices and actions produced. I really feel your pain, sadness, and deep regret for the choices you made, but you can?t go back. Bring closure to this relationship by telling her you?re sorry for all the pain you?ve cause her because of your fear of commitment, that you love her and it was never your intent to hurt her, and wish her well in her new relationship. Then, start doing some work on yourself to deal with your anger, resentment, and fears of commitment. The lesson is to learn from our experiences so we can do our relationships better next time. Perhaps next time you?ll allow yourself to be more vulnerable, emotionally intimate, and risk making the "c" word.


Q: I've been dating someone for almost two months now. At the beginning, it was supposed to be casual. He said he didn't want a girlfriend right now because he hadn't really dated much - just had long-term relationships.

As time has gone on, things have changed. We became much closer. He let me know that The reason he didn't want a girlfriend is because he is looking for a wife. He doesn't want another dead-end 2-year relationship (we are both 31). Most of the time it feels like we are "together-together". This past weekend he even called himself my boyfriend. But then again, he didn't call me all last week. It's like he disappears for a while.

He sometimes talks about a "future" with me, but I can see that he's not 100% there. He gives some of himself, but not all. I'm wondering how I should handle this. Part of me says to end the relationship, since I don't feel as "cherished" as I would like (and deserve) to be. But then I wonder if I should just talk it out with him - see where he is. I've heard that if a relationship is "right" there shouldn't be a struggle, but is it ALWAYS that way? What about people overcoming tremendous odds to be together? They had to struggle, didn't they?

I have gotten mixed answers on this one. People who know both of us say that he is crazy about me, but others say that since he "made things clear" in the beginning, I should just give up. I'm really torn. What do you suggest? —Torn


Dear Torn,
You know I absolutely believe that it is a man?s role to cherish a woman. If a man doesn?t cherish a woman, she should just say next and move on. However, in your case, let me ask this question. Is it that you?re really not feeling cherished by him or is it that you aren?t able to control the situation and his behavior?

This is a new relationship; take the time to let it develop. You two are just getting to know each other. This is a very special time. Enjoy it instead of trying to control its outcome. Personally, I think the guy is scared of making a mistake. He doesn?t want to make another mistake; he wants to win this time. His other long-term relationships haven?t worked out, so in his mind he thinks he doesn?t have a very good track record. He wants to go slow to protect himself and his heart. He starts to jump in and then fear catches up with him and he backs off.

I think all your friends are right, but I?m glad you didn?t listen to them and instead wrote to me. Believe a man when he tells you he?s looking for a wife and not another girlfriend. That means he?s seriously looking for his partner. You?re both on the same page in terms of wanting a permanent relationship. The problem is that right now you?re only on page one but you think you?re on the last page. My advice to you is take a breath and chill. Hang in there and make him feel like he could win this time. Make him feel safe that it?s okay to be in a relationship with you.

Relationships are the most rewarding part of life and the hardest thing to deal with and do "right." It takes work and willingness to create a good relationship. So, are you willing to do the work? Let me know what happens.


Q: I write this message with a racing heart. I need to know if my relationship is in trouble.

My boyfriend and I have talked about stuff like porn in the past and he said, "all guys look at it, it's normal, it's a guy thing." So here I was on the computer and the history on it has links to cams and websites and stuff. When I was signing up to read my email, there was one for him too. I clicked on his (I swear it was an accident) and there was a message saying, "I would love to see a pic of you" sent to someone named hornygirl1.

He wants to marry me and tells me I am the only one. Is this something that is headed for trouble or should I think of it as "a guy thing?" —My Guy Likes Porn



Dear My Guy Likes Porn,
When someone looks for trouble they usually find it. Maybe next time you won?t look so hard. But now that you?ve opened up Pandora?s box, you have to deal with everything that is inside. Men who like porn, like porn. Your boyfriend told you, up front, that he looks at it. He?s being honest, good for him. In my opinion, looking at porn websites and web cams is not cheating on you, but having cyber-sex with someone else is. As for the email addressed to him that you read, don?t make assumptions about it, instead ask him. Tell him that you clicked the wrong email (I hope he buys it because I?m having difficulty believing it), you?re sorry, and that it was never your intent to check up on him. Before you talk to him, read my 3Cs. Whatever you do, don?t make him wrong. But do let him know how you feel about the email and your views about cyber-sex.


Q: First, I just want you to know how much help your site and advice section have been. I have even recommended it to some friends (both male and female). Thanks for providing such a great resource!

I am a 30 year old single female, and have been close to a special man for a couple of years - which have unfortunately been punctuated by my crazy travel schedule and some overseas assignments for a few months. Because of this, we have never gotten to the point of being "exclusive boyfriend-girlfriend" - but when we are together all other romantic potential relationships seem to evaporate after a few weeks. It's magical.

Recently, I have chosen to stop the traveling - not just because I missed him, but because of some other personal reasons. During this time, he has also left his job, and is looking for another one, and I have all the confidence in the world in him.

Unfortunately, he does not share my confidence, and this has hurt our relationship in that his "insecurities" about not having a job have made him not feel like dating right now. We are casually seeing each other, no pressure, not much in the passion department either.

His pushing me away has consequently given rise to some insecurities of my own. Is this really about his lack of a job? Are men that task-focused? Doesn't he understand I don't care about that; I just want to be with him? How can his masculinity and self-esteem be so tied up in a career - he has a bit of savings, and is doing well. Or is all this just an excuse - he really doesn't want to be with me? —Baffled



Dear Baffled,
Thank you for telling your friends about my site. I?m glad the information has been helpful. Now I hope I can help you. Men don?t think like women and we have different values. A man defines himself by his job. His job tells him who he is and reinforces his self-worth and opinion about himself. Men also believe that the world, including their women, see them and judge them in terms of their jobs. Since a man knows his role is to protect, provide and serve a woman, then part of fulfilling that commitment is to have the means to be able to do that. That means being employed.

I?m sorry but your guy is a guy! Don?t take his current actions and behaviors personally. They aren?t about you. He?s dealing with his own insecurities, self-worth, and self-respect. And he?s dealing with them the best way he knows how. And yes, his masculinity and self-esteem are directly tied to his career. A man usually doesn?t feel amorous when he doesn?t feel good about himself. Don?t press him. He doesn?t want to have to worry about performing. (I know you and many other women are going to think this is silly, but it?s absolutely true ? men do worry about their performance. The think about and worry about their ability to sexually please a woman).

So what to do? Love him by not putting any additional pressure on him. Make him feel admired, respected and appreciated. I know this won?t be easy because when he distances himself from you ? it hits one of your hot buttons and you take it personally. Don?t worry, it happens to all of us. The people we care the most about are the best at hitting our hot buttons (even when they don?t realize it). Believe me, he isn?t intentionally trying to hurt you or push you away, he?s just trying to deal with his life as he sees it.

We all want to live in the Magic Kingdom but magic isn?t that easy to achieve, so cherish what you two have. You?re both lucky to have each other. You obviously have something very special.


Q: I have been internet dating for about 8 months now. I have recently met a man who I would like very much to meet. The men I've met so far have always come to meet me here in my town. This new guy lives about 100 miles away. He's also very interested in meeting me. I have a sister who lives at the half-way mark and he would like me to meet him there. I've never traveled to meet a man and don't know if I should. I do go to see my sister and wouldn't mind combining meeting him and also visiting with her. He has suggested I ask my brother-in-law for an idea about a nice place for us to meet, have dinner and get to know each other in person since he is unfamiliar with the area. He has called me on the phone 5 times over the last 2 weeks and we have talked over 2 hours on those calls. He has given me his home number but I've never called him...I'd prefer he call me. He has been appropriate and I like the vibes I'm getting from him. So my question is...should I agree to meet him halfway? Would I be giving up being pursued in doing this?

We have talked about if we are interested and open to a distance type of thing and both feel equipped to handle something like this, at least for the time being. We are both seeking something meaningful and long-term too. What are your thoughts about this? ?First Meeting in a LDR


Dear First Meeting,
You already know my answer. He should come to you. You?re the woman and you?re either going to be the pursuer or the pursued. There?s no half-way point. Remember, how you start a relationship is how you?re going to be in the relationship.

Whatever you do will set the precedent. How willing or eager is he to have a LDR? It?s one thing to say you?re interested and open, and another thing to put your words into practice. If he?s really interested, nothing, not even 100 miles will keep him from you.


Q: I have been going out with this girl for 11 months now, and am having a problem with trust. I am really close to her. My problem is with her past. She?s had 3 one night stands in her past, and has been involved with many other guys. She is my first girlfriend and I just can't seem to block out her past. I have a feeling she is going to cheat on me. I don't know what to do. If I don't trust her 100%, should I stay with her, or should I move on? I am really having trouble here. Hopefully you can give me some advice. ?Can I Trust Her


Dear Can I Trust Her,
How do you know about her past? Did she tell you? If she did, then she trusted you enough to be honest, vulnerable and revealing about it because she felt you cared enough about her not to judge her. Has she cheated on you? Probably not. The reason you don?t trust her is because of your own insecurities. You feel inadequate because you don?t have as much experience as she does, and you think she?s going to lose interest because of that. That?s what you?re really afraid of. Based on your email, you haven?t given me -- even one reason why you shouldn?t trust her. It is truly an honor to a girl to be a guy?s first girlfriend. Does she know that she?s your first girlfriend? If not, tell her ? that to you ? she?s now and forever will be the most special girl in the world, because she is your first girlfriend.

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