|February 26, 2003||Personal Advice Columns|
Dating Columns Archives
Dear Mrs. Web,
I am writing to you for some advice (That must shock you as an advice columnist!!). Basically I have a problem: I am single, don't want to be. I lack the two major cornerstones to change: the confidence to approach women, and the opportunities to meet them.
I'm 25, reasonably good looking intelligent and not entirely lacking in charm.
In all other aspects of life I don't lack confidence in any way, but for some reason when it comes to women, I become a weak kneed wuss. I can't even get off my stool at the bar to approach them. So any help you could offer on these problems would be very much appreciated.
One does not meet one's life-love at a bar. Bars are intimidating meat markets.
If you want to have a forever love, get married and commit to the future, you need to find women in a better setting. Dear Mrs Web recommends that you become involved in the things that are important to you. Politics, your faith, your hobbies, your interests and your extended family. Join one or two groups or organizations that you enjoy and become involved.
There are many wonderful interesting husband-seeking women out there right now looking for a loving man who will work with them to create a warm and wonderful life. They are in churches, political organizations, musical orchestras, block commissions, school committees, and the like. I know they are out there, it seems that most of them write to me.
As far as the week-knees, I think that you are probably sitting in a bar, looking at these women saying to yourself: "I have to go over there and talk to them How overwhelming!
When you have an interest you are working on together with a woman, you both have another focus and it is not such a huge task to become acquainted.
There is a great book at my website bookshelf called Love Tactics that explains this and more in detail. I recommend it and my readers love it.
When you meet your forever beloved, let me know!!
Dear Mrs. Web,
I am 60 years old and have grown children and I now live with a man 4 years younger than me. This man is very mean-spirited, doesn't like my 'kids', (the youngest is 25, oldest 45), and I don't feel well-treated at all.
Three of my children are very supportive and live their own lives without problems. However my oldest son constantly comes to me with problems, mostly financial, and the youngest has moved back home, (for 8 months now), and won't make an effort to get a job or get out of the house. I feel like running away most days!
Is it time to tell everyone to clear out?
Dear Mrs. Web,
I'm 23 years old and married with one child. I love my husband. I really do but I still love my ex-fiancť. My ex was my first love and I was his first love.
My ex and I started talking again and he has just gotten married. I'm so jealous of the fact that he is married. I don't think his wife could ever love him the way I do. Since we have talked so much recently, he has told me that he still loves me too. Our conversations have a lot of sexual innuendo. He even said," If I ever see your man out I'm gonna take his girl."
Now, It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that he's talking about me. He also said that he would leave his wife if I would. The other day he asked if I really loved him. When I said yes. He said nothing. When I retracted what I said he went all wiggy on me and acted like his feelings were hurt.
I explained why I retracted and he said he understood and he loves me. He also said that I shouldn't give up because we'll never know what the future may bring. What does this fortune cookie philosophy mean? Please help!
Your former beau and you are playing telephone titillation and are being emotionally untrue to your spouses. How childish and how unfortunate for you husband and child, not to mention, his bride.
You are playing the "what if game" that fills the mind with emotional rollercoasters and keeps you from really caring or loving your family. This is normal behavior in 14 year-olds, but inappropriate and unattractive in adults with marriage commitments and families.
I can tell you what your future will bring, I see it everyday in my email: You will decide to have an affair with this man (although Dear Mrs Web has a difficult time using as nice a word as man to refer to someone who is meeting his ego and power needs by seducing someone else's wife).
Your emotions will run amuck. You will leave your husband and break your marriage commitment to him and your child. You will live with this seducer for a period of time for he too will wreck his family.
He wonít marry you because "Who on earth wants an easy, two-timing woman?" You will rediscover all this man's lousy qualities, the ones that originally broke up your relationship, as well as his new ones, as a seduction artist. You will never be able to trust him, he will not trust you, you will eventually split up.
Your child will have gone from a stable, loving, committed home to a shuttle service life between families . The child will carry the special heartbreak and brokenness that scars divorced kids for life.
Are you sure this is worth playing telephone footsies?
Lose this man's number, refuse his calls and focus on your family. Reread your marriage vows and learn that commitment is not a feeling but is a vow, a promise that you gave to your husband, and by birthing a child, to that child.
Dear Mrs. Web,
I am a 20 woman from Alaska. My question, and I'm not sure whether you cover this, but I am sure you will have an opinionÖ
What are the rules of living with a boyfriend? My boyfriend has asked me to move in with him. We have been together for one year. Thanks!
Dear Mrs. Web has it covered, and of course she has an opinion!!
There is only one rule about living with your boyfriend: Find your nearest minister/justice of the peace and get married first.
If neither of you are able to make that sort of lifetime commitment, donít bother living together. Any man can ask any woman to play house with him. It is a meaningless question. There is no future in it. A future requires love and commitment. Playing house is just using each other, hurting future children, and setting your hearts up for a lifetime of pain.
Dear Mrs. Web,
I've been seeing this man for a few months. He is 15 years older than me and has a daughter from his previous marriage. I really like him but my parents are very unhappy. Though they have not met him, they constantly tell me to stop seeing him. I really would like to develop this relationship. What shall I do?
Men come and go but family is forever. I think you need to discover why your parents are displeased with the match. Is it his age? It is a major factor, particularly if you are under 25.
If he is a hardworking man without any bad habits and shares your familyís values and beliefs and you are over age 20, perhaps you should ask your parents to host him at a dinner at their house so they could meet him. If he measures up and spends quality time with your family perhaps, they will come to accept him. Donít ignore your parentís opinion when it comes to picking a suitor. They have experience and your best interests at heart. On the other hand, infatuation (and love) is blind. Listen to the people around you. They have a clearer perspective.
Dear Mrs Web,
I have a friend, Peter, who has a girlfriend who hates me. She has harassed me to the extent that I had to obtain a restraining order from the courts. My friend is now telling me that our friendship should be unconditional. I disagree with him.
I told him that if he was in a fight with his girlfriend and ended up in the hospital at 3:00 a.m., I would come to hospital if he called.
I then asked, if I got into an accident and the hospital called him at 3:00 a.m., would he come to the hospital. His answer was no.
He still says our friendship is unconditional. How can this be if it is only unconditional towards him and not me?
Your friendship with this man is not unconditional, it is on his terms.
Is that what you want?
Dear Mrs. Web,
Would you help me? I received a note at dance class last week from someone who wrote that she was my secret admirer. The note also said: "I think you know who I am because there is a chemistry between us that's hard to ignore".
Dear Mrs. Web, what should I do? I am going to the next class soon!
I would just remain cool. My guess is that she will reveal herself eventually. Be a gentleman, even if she isnít the one you hoped she would be.
Dear Mrs. Web,
I am 20 and I really like my boss who is 25. He said he has a girlfriend but people say otherwise. He told me he liked my body and wanted to sleep with me and without thinking about it I did.
I really want to be with him, but to him it was just sex. Now he wants to sleep with me again. One minute he acts nice, as if he likes me and the next minute he seems to just want my body.
I know it is crazy but I keep thinking that if I continue to sleep with him he will want more from me than just sex. Do you think what I did was wrong and do you think it would be wrong for me to sleep with him again?
I think that what you did was a mistake, because you set the relationship on a sexual footing. Why would he want more than sex from you? You are both treating each other like meat instead of human beings.
I think it would be another mistake to sleep with him again. Contrary to what you might believe, a way to a manís heart is not through his genitals. I doubt you will be able to get the relationship onto another track. I know he treats you nicely at times; any man who has hopes for a repeat performance would.
You are opening your self to a man who has no emotional attachment to you. Dear Mrs Web does not recommend becoming sexually or emotionally involved with anyone who does not have a heart commitment with you. Go to my Dating/Relationship archives (not dating column) and read the six pages of letters. There are several situations like yours on file.
Dear Mrs. Web,
I have recently asked my future sister-in-law to be one of my bridesmaids. Right after she accepted she told me she was going to have to give me the real "scoop" on life since she is 10 years older than I am. She started telling me that life was really hard and cruel, and that although I may be happy now, I won't always be happy. She talked about how all her friendís marriages have failed and insinuated that mine would as well.
She said that she wanted to spend a day with me and "explain" about how horrible relationships can be. She said she has so much experience and I know absolutely nothing about "real" life.
I have no idea how to tell her that I don't want to listen to this negative perspective. I want her to be supportive of my marriage instead of trying to make me nervous. How do I deal with her tactfully.
Isnít she a little bucket of sunshine? Whenever someone tells me that they really understand life and try to impart their wisdom to me, I duck and cover. There is a limit to the pain and suffering I can endure.
She sounds like a bitter, unhappy woman. I would kindly duck her invitations to get together; a bride can always find another appointment. If she presses you, tell her kindly and gently that you just are not ready to hear her perspective yet. That it would mar your wedding joy and she certainly wouldnít want to do that, would she?
If she continues to press you about it, she is being boorish. Give her a kind but firm no thank you and change the subject. Talk about the wedding, the dresses, or those cute reception favors you chose. Best wedding wishes for a peace and grace filled marriage!
Dear Mrs Web,
I am engaged to a man who cannot use the word love. It is beginning to really bother me. He doesnít use with his own family and wonít even sign a card to me saying "Love, John." He assures me that he does have these feeling for me. I know I should feel more secure. I have tried to accept this but it is becoming more difficult.
You have a guy with a problem with the "L" word. Ultimately, you have to decide ultimately whether you can live with someone who cannot express this emotion verbally. In your shoes, I would need to see a lot of non-verbal expression of love to make up for it.
Dear Mrs. Web,
My boyfriend told me he loved me. Then he dumped me for another girl who lives in his town. He and I live over 1000 miles away from each other. How do I get him back?
Distance often breaks up relationships. I donít think there is a way to change the situation. The reality is if he really loved you, he would not have "dumped" you.
Dear Mrs. Web,
Why do you have so many different kinds of questions? You have dating and marriage questions, in-law questions, and even children questions. Why donít you focus in one area?
I am a generalist. Why? Because life is not lived on one note.
Dear Mrs Web,
I am a single man aged 44. I have never married nor have I any children. I am dating a never married woman with 3 school-aged children. She has a crazy ex-boyfriend whom she has a protective restraining order against.
I am interested in the problems related with such a relationship. Should I marry a woman with children? I have no idea what I am in for. Your opinion?
Some men become wonderful and loving stepfathers to their belovedís children. However a ready-made family comes with its own history and habits and there will be places you will fit, and places you wonít.
When I hear about "crazy exís" and restraining orders, my first reaction is that this family has possibly had a very tumultuous life. Sometimes families that have lived in this sort of turmoil tend to continue to have constant turmoil in their lives. In your shoes, I would look for signs of that sort of ongoing turmoil.
The problems and solutions of step-parenting are many and diverse. I could not begin to list them here but would be happy to answer different questions. Scan through the Step-parenting section of my Bookshelf for recommended books.
Dear Mrs. Web
I donít care for some of my boyfriendís friends. Should I tell him? Sometimes he asks me to spend the evening with certain obnoxious friends and their wives. Should I just pretend I enjoy the evening or should I speak up?
I imagine when a man hears his friends criticized he feels just like anyone would, annoyed and also criticized. There is a big difference between criticism and just telling someone that you have a different outlook than they do. There are people we should never spend time with, criminals, and cruel, abusive, or morally repugnant people. However, people with whom we just donít see eye to eye, or who are different than we are; we tolerate occasionally for the sake of our beloved.
You donít have to enjoy his friends, just be polite to them occasionally, two or three times a year. You can be busy other times.
Dear Mrs. Web,
How can I help my husband? He got me and another woman pregnant three years ago. He then chose to marry me. He is now also supporting the other child who lives with its mother.
He recently asked me whether the child could spend the weekends with us. I am not sure I am ready for this. I still resent my husband for cheating on me while we were dating. I donít trust him with the mother of his child and I think this constant contact keeps them close.
Please tell me how I can forgive and support him. He has on several occasions, asked for forgiveness and I believe his sincerity. But I still harbor resentment, anger, and hurt. Please help.
You made a baby with and married a man who has a history of dishonesty and cheating within your relationship. You state you still resent his behavior from over three years ago and do not trust his relationship with his other childís mother.
You say he has asked for forgiveness and you have granted it. Did you both run away from your problems or did you face them squarely? Did you tell him about your hurt and pain? Did he beg forgiveness and did you both get to the point of vulnerability and renewal? Or, are you still scrunched up in pain? When renewal happens in a marriage, it is a kind of a honeymoon, but with new level of wisdom, self-knowledge, knowledge of the beloved, and acceptance of each other.
This kind of work takes a fair amount of time. In the meantime, there is trust to be built. Therefore, your husband should not be alone with your former lover. You will need to accompany him when he picks up the child to come home with you for the weekend. You may even find yourself doing pick up and delivery yourself.
You married a man with not only a financial commitment to another child, but he also has an emotional and fatherly commitment to this child, who is your own little oneís half-brother or sister. This womanís child is part of your family, and in some ways she is too. So it is time to make peace and go forward, parenting your own child, being a wife to your husband, finding kindness in your heart for your step child and extending peace towards its mother.
This is the life you signed up for when you became pregnant by this man and married him