Women Don't Lie,
Men Don't Listen
Archive 2006

Would Derek Jeter care if Jessica Biel Cheated?

Hey Doc,

I’m new to your columns, but I’ve found that they are full of wonderful information and advice. Congratulations on the great work.

I’ll cut directly to the chase. I have been with my girlfriend, Sydney, for about four years now. She’s very attractive, so I must have done something right to have her for so long. But recently Sydney confessed to me that she made out with a couple of other men while she was with me. She told me she could hold it in no longer, and I needed to know about this if our relationship was going to last and be about honesty.

Needless to say I was a little less than thrilled. I didn't talk to Sydney for a few days, but after a conversation with her mother, in which she told me that her daughter believes she made the biggest mistake of her life by telling me this garbage, I sat down and took a long, hard look at all of my options.

I came to the conclusion that my one real option is dumping Sydney and going after other women. That was my brain talking. My gut said otherwise. My gut has never let me down, and my gut tells me that Sydney is the girl I want.

Doc, I forgave Sydney and we are working on trying to build a stronger relationship out of this. But here’s the problem. The amount of time we talk has diminished. I also feel that Sydney’s Interest Level has dropped, inexplicably.

I understand the concept of Challenge, but how do you remain a Challenge without making the woman feel as if you do not have an interest in her? I feel that with Sydney backing off, I have to make sure that she knows that I still love her, and the only way to do that is to pursue her.

I’d really appreciate any help you could give me.

West - who feels like he’s losing ground

Hi West,

First of all, thanks for the compliment. It’s my job to coach men to see Reality, and that’s what I’m going to do for you.

Now, on to your problem with the beautiful Sydney. It’s a half-truth that you did something right to keep her for so long. You might have boosted this girl’s Interest Level to 95% in the first three months or your relationship, and then for the next three and a half years it languished at 40% to 49% and she just hasn’t decided how to leave and she’s been mentally gone all that time. Or you could have been with her for three and half years and her Interest Level was 95% all that time but for the last six months you’ve been doing everything wrong.

But no matter how it went down, now you’re in trouble, and that’s all that matters.

So, Sydney’s been making out with other men on the sly. Like my cousin Sal “The Fish” Love says, “Are you sure it was only two men she was kissing?”

Now think about this “confession” logically -- and I’m talking to all you women out there as well. Does this kind of thing raise Interest Level? Does this make the guy like you more? Can he forgive you your sins? (And no, he’s not a Catholic priest, so he can’t do Confession.)

Forget “honesty.” Sydney should have kept her mouth shut, never cheated again and hoped to God you never found out about it. That is, West, if you didn’t have her mixed up with someone who cared. Because blabbing about her infidelities actually indicates the opposite. But since you did find out about it straight from the horse’s mouth, Destiny is going to take a little turn here.

This isn’t about honesty at all, West. It’s about openness. I want you to be honest, but not open. The same goes for Sydney.

You didn’t talk to Sydney for a few days? How about not talking to her for a few years? And what are you doing yakking to her mom about your troubles? Or like my cousin General Love says, “Why are you going to the enemy’s mother?”

West, the reason Sydney made out with these other guys is because she has low Interest Level -- in you. To you Psych majors, believe it or not, girls with high Interest Level don’t want to make out with other guys. I know that’s a hard nut to swallow, but it happens to be the truth.

So after getting your head bashed in, you went off and considered your options. You don’t have any options here, West. The only option you have is “Adios, baby!” And it’s not really an option, because an option implies two or more choices.

But you did arrive at that very conclusion on your own – you have to dump Sydney. Congratulations! Perfect! You hit it right on the head. But you have it backwards, pal about what led you to that solution. Like the great Doctor Freud once said, “That wasn’t your brain talking -- that was your Intuition talking.”

You’re right – your gut has never let you down, but your gut is telling you right now that this isn’t a good deal, but due to your sky-high Interest Level, you’re want to believe it’s one thing when it’s really another. Your gut is telling you that Sydney should have “DANGER!” tattooed on her forehead. Then maybe the truth would sink in.

But what did you do? You went and forgave her instead. Very disappointing, my friend. Worse, you two want to work on a “better relationship.” Like my cousin Fast Eddie Love says, “What is she doing, taking Loyalty and Trust classes?”

The problem isn’t that you’re talking to Sydney less, Westie. You’re the problem here. Because you were too available and you put this girl on a pedestal and she got bored. Women with Interest Levels in the 90s are never bored for some reason. Why is that? But when Interest Level is 55% you’re on very shaky ground. And here you’re talking about what a great writer I am and all the wonderful stuff I’ve given you and it’s gone in one eyeball and out the other!

Finally, you tell me that Sydney’s Interest Level has dropped inexplicably. What is that, Russian for “two other guys?”

You have no clue about the concept of Challenge, dude. None. Zero. Zilch. Nada. You never were a Challenge, West. The whole idea is to make her think you have no interest in her.

What you’re trying to say here is that Sydney’s going to fall in love with your high Interest Level. But what she really doesn’t like is that you’re the opposite of a Challenge. Are you sure you read my columns?

Guys, when you’re out, you have to back off. Otherwise you’re nothing but a chump. Or a stalker.

Remember, guys: when you’re losing ground, you have to disappear.

How does 50 Cent Deal with Blockers?

Hey Doc,

Just recently I started reading your column and have found it fascinating. I wonder if you could give me some feedback on a problem I’m facing.

I was at a party a week ago at my buddy’s apartment. It was a blast at first. The people there, especially the girls, were really fun, and I thought I got a few interested in me. Soon after midnight, though, a lot of other guys showed up. I was trying to get a few phone numbers since it was late, but these latecomers swarmed over whatever girl I chose to concentrate on. They were obviously trying to grab and dominate their attention.

One girl, Deirdre, seemed like she wanted to continue talking to me, but the new guys were so annoying that she became hesitant and uncomfortable. She was clearly trying to block these guys out so that she could talk to me, but that attempt was pretty much futile.

I looked at my options: A) I could be upfront with these other dudes and tell them that I was having a conversation and to stop interrupting. B) I could give in to my frustration by starting a fight or just leaving. C) I could forget the whole thing and hang out with my friends until later that night when the party thinned out a bit.

I knew that talking to these guys wouldn’t help because it rarely does in a drunken college affair, and I would’ve appeared weak to this girl if I demanded they back off in vain. I didn’t want to try and lead this girl away because in that environment girls can be suspicious of your motives. After being hounded by these guys, Deirdre left with her friends.

Ultimately I did leave in frustration, and I know that if I had stayed with Deirdre I could’ve gotten her number, but I have a really hard time dealing with Blockers. And it seems like they are everywhere, even among my own friends. What am I supposed to say or do to get pushy, attention-grabbing guys to give me some room?

Silva - who hates to give ground

Hi Silva,

You know why my column is so fascinating? Because I don’t sound like any of the other love doctors out there. Have you guys ever noticed that?

Now, you mean to tell me you waited until after midnight to go hunting for home phone numbers? Man, you should have closed these girls when they were still laughing. Or like my cousin Sal “The Fish” Love says, “You should have been taking numbers when they were still awake.”

Pal, you spent way too much time with these girls before thinking about going after their phone numbers. Once you get anywhere from five to 15 minutes in with a girl and you have her giggling, you’re asking for her home phone number. You can’t be rapping to them and making them laugh at 9 o’clock and then waiting until dawn to take action. To you Psych majors, when you spend too much time with a girl before going for the phone number, Murphy’s Law is going to kick in – THINGS WILL GO WRONG. Guaranteed.

And it was already too late when the football team showed up bombed at the party. That’s why you should have done it much earlier. Heck, if you had just handed Dierdre your business card and a pen and yelled “HOME PHONE NUMBER!” into her face, I don’t care how many guys were swarming over her, she would have handed it right over if she had any interest in you at all. Like my Uncle Jethro Love says, “Hey, they weren’t pinning her arms behind her back, were they?”

Guy, you have to pretend like your life depends on getting those 10 digits. Or like my cousin Fast Eddie Love says, “If you don’t ask for the home phone number, why did you go to the party?”

Now let’s look at your three options. Telling the boys from Animal House to stop interrupting wasn’t going to work – they were rowdy and hammered. Starting a fight or storming out in a hissy fit would have made you even more of a loser than you ended up. Likewise for waiting around until the crowd thinned – by the time the party petered out, all the girls would have gone home, exhausted or chased off by the drunken frat rats.

But Silva, you wouldn’t have appeared weak if you told those jerks to back off. Like my cousin Sal “The Fish” Love says, “Hey, lots of girls dig macho guys. Why do you think George Clooney has to beat them off with a stick?”

Dude, girls aren’t going to be suspicious of your motives if they have high Interest Level. They won’t care what your motives are. Like the great Doctor Freud said, “My son, look at how many of them go off with Dennis Rodman.”

Silva, you should have grabbed Deirdre by the hand, took her straight outside the apartment door and said “What’s your home phone number?” Or pulled her into the bathroom, locked the door, and let the Blockers in their drunken stupor try and beat the door down as you’re getting a number while sitting on the toilet seat.

But instead, Deirdre left with her friends and you never CLOSED. The most important chapter in the Dating Dictionary is “Closing the Deal.” Looks like you didn’t read that one, Silva!

So you count Blockers among even your own close friends….Hear that, guys? Like my cousin General Love says, “When it comes to girls, you can’t even trust the man next to you in the foxhole.”

In the end, the only guy who has your best interests in mind is me.

What you have to do is this: CHANGE THE ENVIRONMENT. If you want to get her phone number and you’re surrounded by the enemy, you grab her hand and you pull. If she has high Interest Level, she’ll follow you. If she doesn’t, she’s going to slip out of your hands like she was greased.

Remember, guys: if you’re not going to ask for the home phone number, why are you talking to her?

Does David Lee Roth ever tell a Babe He's Out of Work?

Hey Doc,

First of all, let me say that your writings have been a great source of advice and inspiration for me.

Now on to my story. I am 32 years old and have been living in my apartment for some time. Last year, this incredibly hot girl, Farrah, moved in four floors above me. We ran into one another a couple of times on the stairs, but never really said more than the occasional “Hi, how are you doing,” etc.

Just recently, we started running into each other a little more frequently for some reason, and whenever we did, I managed to start up a conversation. One day Farrah even asked me to fix her car when I told her that I love working on my ’94 Chevy. I did, and it was a lot of fun just being around her.

Farrah is in her early twenties and works as an office clerk. I went to college, but as it stands, I’ve been unemployed for six months, and there’s little hope that I’ll find a new job anytime soon. And therein lies the problem. How do I get an attractive young woman like Farrah to go out with me? I haven’t told her my age yet (like I said, I’m 32, but all my friends tell me I look 25 or even younger) or that I’m out of work, because I figure there’s probably no chance she’ll want to waste time with some deadbeat who’s 10 years her senior. I’m very good at not giving other people too much info about myself too soon, but somehow I feel like a liar already.

I don’t think Farrah is seeing anyone right now -- at least she never talks about a boyfriend and I never see her with a guy. There’s definitely a great deal of chemistry between us, and sometimes I just think, “What the heck, ask her out already!”

What should I do? I’d love to take Farrah out on a date, but I’m worried that she’ll be put off by my age and lack of a job.

Slick - who’s not had much luck with girls or work

Hi Slick,

My job is inspiring, because I’m coaching you to want to go out there and win the girls as opposed to staying stuck in your rut as a loser.

When you and Farrah originally started running into each other, I just hope she was the one saying hello to you first. Because you’re not supposed to be talking to her first. (And when she was running up and down the stairs I hope you didn’t stand there gaping at her either!)

I want the girl starting the conversations. She lives in your building. You’re going to be running into her periodically. Let her come at you with the chitchat. Let her ask how you are. Let her linger when she sees you. To you Psych majors, I want her adding to her buying signals. But when the man jumps in with his big mouth and starts blabbing, he doesn’t give her the opportunity. The result is that you don’t know a thing about her Interest Level. And YOUR 85% Interest Level means nothing.

Slick, what did you get out of fixing Farrah’s car? As soon as she asked you to work on it (for free, I’m assuming, like you’re doing everything else in your life), you should have said “And what’s for dinner?” If there were the slightest hesitation on her part, you’d know she was just looking to date a mechanic (which is better than no job at all!).

I’m sure it was fun hanging around Farrah, but what about her? Did she have a fun time? Or, like my cousin Fast Eddie Love says, “Was she just impressed by the fact that she didn’t get a repair invoice for $78.56?”

By the way, my friend, are you hitting the streets with a suit and tie looking for a job eight to 10 hours a day? Are you pounding on doors? If you’re doing all that, you’re fine, guy. But let me tell you something. Let’s say you do succeed in getting Farrah to go out with you, and you do everything right for the first time in your life. And six months go by, and then you’re out of work for a full calendar year, you’re not driving a Mercedes and you’re still stuck with that old “classic.” Sooner or later Farrah’s going to start putting two and two together and saying to herself, “Where’s this guy going?”

Slick, in your deprived circumstances you get a hot young babe to go out with you by hitting the lottery. By the way, have you ever noticed that when someone asks, “How old are you,” and you say “50,” they never say, “Gee, you don’t look a day under 65!” Like my cousin Rabbi Love says, “If everybody looks younger, maybe we should lower everybody’s age.”

Being 10 years Farrah’s senior is fine, as long as you’re a corporate lawyer making $128,000 a year, drive a new Corvette and your weekend car is a spanking new SUV. I think it’s great that you don’t spill too much info about yourself, because usually when you like a girl you feel the compulsion to tell her everything about yourself in the first 10 minutes. And in your case, it means you’d have to tell her you’re at least 32 and you’ll probably never have a job again.

You don’t know who Farrah is seeing, dude. Unless you’re Donald Trump and have the money to hire someone to follow her around 24/7, you don’t know anything about her. Mister Trump can afford to check her out, but you can’t. Since you’re on unemployment compensation, you have to worry about making the monthly rent.

Farrah never talked about her boyfriend because she wanted you to fix her car first. Like my cousin Sal “The Fish” Love says, “Don’t worry, once her vehicle passes inspection, she’ll be talking about all kinds of guys.”

You’ve not told me one single thing that Farrah does to verify that she has any kind of chemistry with you. All you’ve talked about is your high Interest Level, the fact that you live in an old apartment, you’re long in the tooth, you can’t get a job and nobody likes you.

Here’s what you do. Don’t talk about your nonexistent job or that you’re on “hellfare.” If Farrah asks how old you are, tell you’re 73, and she’ll laugh, then ask her how old she is before she can call you a liar. And if she asks if you’re working, you answer “Presently I’ve got three companies on the line and I just don’t know which one to choose.” If she’s really dumb, tell her “Honey, I’m between careers.”

Remember, guys: it’s hard to work girls when you don’t have any moolah.

Does Orlando Bloom ever see a Girl's Inner Beauty?

Hey Doc,

I’m one of your old fans and I have found your “System” to be very true. However, I have a problem that I can’t find a solution to, and I hope you can help me with it.

I’ve been struggling with this issue for three months now and it’s still not resolved. No one among my friends is wise enough to give me what I consider to be solid advice.

I met Sandrine a year ago, and during this period we got so close to each other that we started talking about marriage. My problem resides in me, and not her. I love the girl very much, and she has every good point that you’d want in a wife except for one – her looks. It’s not that she’s unattractive, but she’s not a “10.” Unfortunately, looks are very important to me. I know that if I resolve this issue I can go forward in my life with confidence in my decisions.

This is the way it works, Doc. Despite the fact that I love Sandrine, when a Beautiful Woman approaches me I feel that there’s a hole inside me which needs to be filled, a hole that my partner, despite all of her good points, cannot fill. Why? Because I feel like I have a need for a Beauty.

I know it sounds crazy, but if I love Sandrine, why can’t I be satisfied with her? Another thing that bothers me is that if I dump Sandrine, what are the chances that I’d find a Beautiful Woman with all of her attributes? I know I’d have to be very, very lucky.

Doc, I’m not a novice when it comes to women. Sandrine is my ninth girlfriend, and I’ve seen beautiful things in both her mind and heart that I never saw in any of my exes.

I am desperately in need of your coaching.

Sharp - who doesn’t know if he should cut her loose

Hi Sharp,

Thanks for the compliment. It’s too bad that your friends can’t help you, but my job is to help you see the forest through the trees, and that’s what I’m going to do.

I just hope it was Sandrine and not you who brought up the subject of marriage, because it’s the woman who should always bring up marriage – it proves her Interest Level beyond the shadow of a doubt. But if Sandrine’s less-than-spectacular looks are a problem, then you don’t love her very much, pal. So you just contradicted yourself. Do you love her or don’t you? As the old cowboy saying goes, “You can’t have it both ways.”

So, you’ve got a fixation on hotties, and you don’t feel like man unless you have one hanging off your arm. Like my cousin Rabbi Love says, “My son, if physical beauty is so important to you, maybe you should run a modeling agency.”

But looking deeper into your impasse, what’s obvious is that we’re really talking about two different issues here. The compulsion to possess a Beautiful Woman is one side of the coin. It says that you’re a certain kind of guy, the kind who values outer beauty as more important than what’s on the inside. Like my cousin Sal “The Fish” Love says, “Naomi Campbell wouldn’t scare you off, even if you had to duck a cell phone or two and sleep with one eye open for the rest of your life.”

But then you turn around and talk about an emptiness in yourself, and that’s another subject altogether. Now I don’t have a sheepskin on my wall, but I can tell you this: that part of your problem has nothing to do with romance. Like the great Doctor Freud once said, “This is a need that’s not healthy.”

Nevertheless, you just can’t seem to feel good about yourself because Sandrine is not a clone of Angie Everhart. Which begs the following question: why did you ask her out in the first place? Why did you get involved with her at all? Why did you waste this girl’s time? (See ladies, I’m not so bad!) Like my Uncle Jethro Love says, “What the heck were you thinkin’, boy? When you met her you could see that she had a chin that belonged on a Clydesdale!”

So now you’re going to get rid of this girl and you haven’t even asked her to consider seeing a plastic surgeon. What are the chances of finding a Beauty with all of her inner attributes? Zero. You never will, Sharp. And that’s what’s sad about this letter. But you’re into looks. And let me assure you of something, my friend -- you will pay dearly for them.

But before doing something drastic, you have to ask yourself this: is Sandrine attractive? Not gorgeous, but attractive. Are you attracted to her? If you’re attracted to her, then we have a GO. The point is that with Sandrine you’re not going to have an A and you have to accept it. You’ll have to be satisfied with a B-minus. But that’s a choice you have to make for yourself.

You’ve only had nine girlfriends, Sharpy? Heck, that’s nothing. You’re still wet behind the ears. Let me ask you this: how many dates have you had? Most importantly, how many of those dates were with BEAUTIFUL WOMEN? Because you better darned well know what you’re in for if you’re going to deep-six Sandrine and chase after the Pamela Andersons of the world.

And if you’re lucky enough to snag a “10,” are you ready for your life to be ALL ABOUT HER 24/7? Because that’s what’s going to happen with the majority of the Beauties, whether or not you realize it. I suggest you go back to the chapter “BEAUTIFUL WOMEN” in the Dating Dictionary to refresh your memory of what you’re going to be dealing with. Like my cousin General Love says, “Soldier, you got no clue what you’re up against.”

In the end, if you cut Sandrine loose, what you’re going to have to tell yourself is that looks, which will fade, are more important than this woman’s great personality, which will last forever. This is what you have to convince yourself of. And ultimately this is the price you’ll have to pay. Think about it.

To you Psych majors, the girls that you thirst for on the covers of Vogue and Mademoiselle are fantasies. They’re not real people when they’re on the newsstand.

So, Sharp, what’s your level of maturity? Are you in touch or out of touch with reality?

Remember, guys: if her looks aren’t good enough for you, don’t waste her time.

Does Pam Tell Tommy She Still Loves Him?

Hey Doc,

I have a big problem. I became friends with Shania, who I used to work with. We had the best times of our lives together – at least I did -- and she also tells me she did too. After she left her husband, we started to date. We then spent two years together in a romantic relationship.

Then the unfortunate happened. I went to work one day and came home that evening to discover that Shania had moved all her stuff out. Keep in mind that no fight happened prior to this, and she couldn’t wait for me to get home from work. Later I learned that she had gone back to her ex-husband. She called me from the day she left, but I refused to speak to her.

After three months, I broke down and we talked. Shania wanted to see me again. She was still living with her ex. We hung out a few times and then stopped talking again. Two months later she began to call me all over again to tell me that she missed me and loved me more than anything and that she only hoped I could forgive her for leaving me. I told her that there was no reason for her to leave in the first place because I gave her everything she wanted in a man. And I told her it was easy to forgive but not forget.

Shania has continued to call me and sometimes-even shows up at my place, but the weird thing is that she’s still living with her ex. I still have strong feelings for her because we had the best relationship I ever had with a woman when we were together.

To this day Shania continues to tell me that she doesn’t love her ex and all she wants is me back in her life. I explained that it’s hard to accept that because she’s living with him.

Doc, all I want is advice. I know the final answer comes down to me alone, but with some moral support my decision might be easier. I’ve tried dating other women but it never works out because Shania is always on my mind. Can you help me, please?

Corey - who wants to know if love triumphs over all

Hi Corey,

I just hope it was Shania trying to convince you that you were having those “best times of your life,” and not you convincing her.

Dude, you didn’t give this girl enough time to get over her ex. To you Psych majors, even if the woman dumps the guy, there’s an un-bonding process that takes time. I don’t want you being the rebound guy.

The bad part of this process is that the woman might be emotionally ready to get into a new relationship after going through 10 guys, and you’re number 11. Then you missed the boat. But the important thing is this: she’ll eventually come to you if you stay away from her long enough. Guys, you have to be at arm’s length romantically when she’s on the rebound.

Now, let me get this straight. You spent two years with Shania and she never asked you to get married? She didn’t beg you for an engagement ring? She didn’t ask you, “Where’s this going?” Don’t you find that strange? (Assuming her Interest Level was 96%, of course!)

So -- she was gone before you knew what hit you. Wonderful. Like my cousin Fast Eddie Love says, “I’d hate to see how she would have dumped you if she wasn’t sensitive!” Here you’re walking around with 89% Interest Level, and you come home and Shania and Bekins got together behind your back and hauled everything out of there.

Corey, when you opened the door that night, did it feel like a chainsaw slicing into your heart? I feel for you, guy.

So what the heck happened? How did Shania’s Interest Level drop? Or was it not up there to begin with? The Reality Factor says that if she was on the rebound, it couldn’t be.

A very small percentage of women don’t fight – they just disappear. You happened to find one, man. It’s better that way, because at least the beheading is quick -- I hope.

Shania didn’t go back to her ex-husband. She never left him. She left you, Corey, not him. Sadly for you, you got it backwards.

But when she had the gall to come around after ripping out your guts, you refused to speak to her. Fantastic! You finally showed her you were a tough guy. Like my cousin Brother Love down in Watts says, “Why would you ever want to talk to someone who slapped you down like she did?”

But then you wore down and gave in like a real Wimpus Americanus. You mean I have to take the Congressional Medal of Honor away from you now? She might still be living with her ex, but I’m sure it didn’t stop you from jumping all over Shania!

But she wasn’t through playing with your head -- she cut you off again. Great! Inconsistent behavior is a very strong character trait in a woman.

Corey, you gave her everything she needed in a man, all right, except the ability to keep her Interest Level in the 90s.

Let me tell you something, my friend. Forgiveness and forgetting are twin sisters and they travel together. If you can’t do both, then you haven’t done one.

The only negative when Shania shows up at your place time and again is that she doesn’t have all the furniture in the Bekins truck ready to move back into your house. And, like my cousin Sal “The Fish” Love says, “We know you’d help her unpack, you weakling.”

Sure you have strong feelings for Shania – but you have to fight them. This is where Patience and Discipline come in. They’re two key factors in the Dating Dictionary, which you have to get and memorize ASAP. It’s easy to be tough when the girl looks like Rosie O’Donnell’s older sister, but when you have strong feelings for a clone of Mischa Barton, that’s the test of a real man.

You’re trying to extend these “best times of your life,” Corey, but it’s over. This girl was either imitating a basketball or she had high Interest Level in the beginning and you were too available, came on too heavy and weren’t a Challenge, and so all of a sudden the ex looked better. And remember, she originally left him.

By the way, did Shania use Bekins too when she dumped him? Heck, she must have a deal with that company, with the way she’s bouncing back and forth among men. When you told her it was hard to accept her protestations of eternal devotion, I’d love to know what she said to that one!

What you have to do now is disappear. I know she’s always on your mind, but like my cousin Rabbi Love says, “Why would you want to think about the sins she’s committing with another man?” When you ask whether love triumphs over all, the fact that you’d even use that phrase shows me how much you don’t understand about women.

Remember, guys: if they live with someone else, they don’t care for you.

Does Leonardo ever go Out with a Bunch of Girls?

Hey Doc,

First off, I want to thank you for putting the “The System” together. I’ve totally bought into your techniques, but I’m having trouble implementing some of them because I’m very much a beginner.

Here’s my problem. I met the gorgeous Lucinda at a club recently. I made sure to keep the conversation light. When we were on the dance floor some casual touching by her occurred. At this point I thought her Interest Level was at least 51%. I made an excuse to leave at the peak of our interaction and asked for her number. She gave it to me and I left. At this point I thought I was doing pretty well.

I decided to text-message Lucinda a greeting the next evening. I know you say to wait a week, but I thought one text message would be okay since I didn’t actually phone her. A few days later Lucinda called and invited me out with a bunch of her friends. I accepted because the offer was incoming.

Doc, does being with Lucinda and three others count as a date? I met them and it all went okay. Lucinda and I talked, exchanged compliments, and laughed. She mentioned that she’d be clubbing with some other people on Saturday and again invited me. I went, but the night was definitely not as good as the first one. The conversation flattened out and Lucinda seemed to refrain from initiating contact. I’ve not heard from her since.

I’m at loss as to what to do next. I definitely feel like I was way too accessible to Lucinda, providing no Challenge, but it was difficult to refuse her invitations, especially when she was the one initiating them.

Doc, what do you think Lucinda’s Interest Level is now? Have I made a total mess of this? Is the situation salvageable, or should I flush her number? If Lucinda calls with another group invitation, should I accept, or politely refuse and counteroffer? If she doesn’t call me, should I call her? If so, how long should I wait?

I know this is a lot of questions, but I’m totally confused.

Wendell - who needs a ton of help

Hi Wendell,

You should be having a lot of trouble right now because you’re in the difficult early stages of changing a lot of old, bad habits, the kind that made your earlier dating life like Custer at the Little Bighorn. It’s going to take you anywhere from two to three months to a year to get the basics of my techniques down. But I’m here to help men, and I GUARANTEE that you’re going to get better with women – a lot better.

So right now what you have to do is two things. First, don’t take women personally, and second, have fun with the process.

Lucinda’s Interest Level could have been 51%, but don’t forget that Professional Daters -- women with Interest Levels of only 40%-49% -- are very devious. They’ll touch you, but what they’re really doing is feigning Interest Level. This slick maneuver will keep you happy while she’s figuring out how long she’s going to keep you hanging around for her amusement and free food.

Regarding your text message, it’s not the vehicle that’s at fault. I want you to disappear. To be incognito. No communication. You left the country – that’s what I’d like to see. I want Lucinda – or any fox -- wondering about and pondering on this fascinating guy she met, and when you text message or e-mail or phone, you destroy all of that enticing mystery. To you Psych majors, BEING IN HER FACE KILLS CHALLENGE.

When I tell you not to communicate with this girl, you then fall into the pit of rationalizing. Why? Easiest answer in the world -- because she’s gorgeous. And that’s what 90% of men do. Like my Uncle Jethro Love says, “If she’s worth looking at twice, you saps cave right in.” But this girl’s different, you tell yourself. In real life you’re only going to be part of her history class.

Wendell, you accepted the date with Lucinda, but you should have realized that you were also going out with 19 of her girlfriends. How are you going to raise her Interest Level when she’s preoccupied with 19 other people? It doesn’t make any sense, buddy. Okay, it turned out that there were only three girlfriends, so you only had to entertain four people.

Does all this really count as a date? Sadly, yes, it counts as a date – a really bad, horrible date. And, Wendell, who cares that you got along with all of Lucinda’s friends? All we care about is Lucinda’s Interest Level. And it’s easier to raise it if you’re alone with her versus trying to sell her and her three girlfriends all together.

What do you mean you two “exchanged compliments?” It’s all right if she compliments you 50 times in one evening, but what the heck are you doing complimenting her? Like my cousin Sal “The Fish” Love says, “Dude, you got any idea how many times this chick has been told she looks just like Jessica Biel?” By the way, did she yawn when you told her how fantastic she looked?

When Lucinda invited you out a second time, it was another great opportunity for you to turn her down. That’s why I’m totally shocked that the second night wasn’t as good as the first. I can’t imagine why! You don’t think Lucinda got bored watching you chase after her every time she called your name, do you?

What you should do next is memorize my book. And, Wendell, please learn not to rationalize when your Interest Level is up in the heavens because the girl you’re dating belongs on the cover of Vogue.

There is one thing you hit it right on the head, though -- you provided no Challenge to Lucinda whatsoever. Like my cousin Brother Love down in Watts says, “There’s hope in America yet! I can’t believe it!”

Of course that’s where things get really tough for a guy. You have to refuse the babe’s invitations. Like my cousin Fast Eddie Love says, “When you have a hottie on your hands, you gotta grow some big cojones.” It doesn’t make any difference that she was the initiator, guy. I don’t care if she was begging you to marry her right that minute. You’re not doing group dates. Because all that these group dates did to you was turn you into a hanger-on -- a Lucinda groupie.

Where’s Lucinda’s Interest Level? Somewhere between 0 and 2%. I’m telling you, Wendell, you couldn’t have done any worse. The odds of her coming back would be equivalent to you going for a walk in the park and being attacked by a cougar – that’s more likely to happen than hearing from this girl again.

If by some miracle she does call, you politely refuse and make a counteroffer. And no, you don’t call her -- which means you two will never talk again. If you do decide to call her, wait until two weeks before Armageddon.

To you Psych majors, when you meet a woman and do everything right, don’t immediately start rationalizing and doing everything wrong.

Remember, guys: the better-looking they are, the tougher it is.

Does Ashton ever have Trouble with Demi?

Hey Doc,

I read your articles off and on, and when I do, I always see how right you are about men and women. I’ve even bought your book and read it a couple of times, but can’t quite memorize everything yet.

I’m 25 and have had two serous relationships so far, both of which ended badly. Recently I met Hillary at a bar when she was with a group of friends. She’s 34, by the way, mature, career-minded and attractive. To make a long story short, we went dancing and Hillary was all over me. She invited me over to her beach house and we spent the next three days having what I would call a romantic time (we were in separate bedrooms, of course!). I happened to have some vacation days from my job at the time, by the way, so I was able to hang out with Hillary all that time.

After this wonderful interlude Hillary announced that she had to go to work. She’s a sound engineer for concerts and many times has to work until three in the morning. We were supposed to have dinner the next night, and suddenly she called, told me that she got stuck at work and that our date was off. I played it cool, and went out with some other friends.

She was supposed to call me to make up our missed date but she didn’t. Later that week I called her, but she seemed distant towards me. Doc, it seems like Hillary is losing interest in me all of a sudden, and I don’t know what I did wrong. She was up for a good time and so was I. What the heck happened? (I did not detect the presence of a boyfriend, by the way.)

Doc, was this just a three-day fling for Hillary? I know that she thinks that a sense of humor is important in a man she’s with, and that sometimes I wasn’t quite in the mood to be funny, but it doesn’t seem that something so trivial could be enough to wreck what started out as so promising.

The other thought that occurred to me was that since she’s so much older than me, that she might want someone who is more mature. What’s your take? Do older women really prefer younger guys or is that a myth propagated by the women’s magazines? Granted, I’m not as far along in my career as she is, but at 25 how could I be?

Lavar - who thought he had it made

Hi Lavar,

I’m sure you read my articles “off and on,” and when you’re with a woman, you’ll only be successful “off and on” because that’s the way you treat this entire process – off and on. What’s holding you back from memorizing everything in my book? By the way, when you tell me that your two earlier relationships ended badly, like my cousin Sal “The Fish” Love says, “What you really mean is that they dropped you.”

When Hillary invited you over to her beach house, you should have said you were busy. You should have said you had somewhere else you had to be. Dude, you’re supposed to see a girl for three or four hours and call her week later. So what did you do? You ran three whole days together in one shot! In other words, you took three or four months of dating and crammed them into three days with a complete stranger. Does this sound like a recipe for romantic success? Like the old cowboy saying goes, “That stuff only works in Hollywood movies.”

Then you went and made a date on a date. What’s wrong with you, Lavar? Are you sure you read any of my articles? You should have let a week go by and at least let Hillary wonder and fantasize about that great, fun time you and she had for three days on the beach. But like most men, you couldn’t wait. You PRESSED. To you Psych majors, when you PRESS, you lose with women.

So Hillary called and broke your date. Very nice – now you’ve got your first broken date. Sounds like you’re heading for your third bad relationship in a row, pal. Face it, Lavar, the way you’re handling things, it’s history already. Hillary’s already looking for another beach buddy.

When Hillary dodged you, of course you played it cool and went out with some other friends. What else could you do? You had to suck it up, didn’t you? What choice did you have?

Then she was supposed to call you and didn’t. Now let me guess what you did – you showed Hillary how tough you were by not calling her back, right? Wrong! You were on that phone faster than it took for Michael Jackson’s latest album to bomb. What a surprise! So now you’re going to do a little begging, right? Great! Hillary seemed distant towards you? Wow, that’s inconsistent!

What did you do wrong here, Lavar? You spent three straight days with a stranger off the street, that’s what you did wrong. If you had six months in with Hillary, and then spent three days with her, everything would be different. But like my cousin General Love says, “Soldier, you didn’t have a base of operations.” And like my cousin Brother Love down in Watts adds, “You didn’t need the presence of a boyfriend to hurt you, because you did enough damage all by yourself, bro!”

What happened to you Lavar, was that Hillary thought she enjoyed hanging out with you for three days, but at the end of the three days she came to realize that her Interest Level in you wasn’t all that high. In fact, it wasn’t even 51%. And so there was no reason for her to see you again. Which is why she doesn’t want to. Makes sense, doesn’t it? It’s called the Reality Factor.

You better get your head straight, Lavar. First you tell me that a sense of humor is important, and then you tell me it’s trivial. So which one is it? And this brings us to the core of your problem. You don’t know which end is up here. This whole thing with Hillary was never anything solid. It seemed like it started out as a little something, but in reality it never was anything.

Guys, maturity is always second to Interest Level. You’re off on a crazy tangent here with this older woman/younger man thing. If you did everything right, Hillary would still be seeing you even though she’s nine years older. You never hear about Demi not returning Ashton’s phone calls, do you? You didn’t do enough things right during those three days you and Hillary spent together, and that’s your problem. Like the great Doctor Freud once said, “This whole age issue is much to do about nothing.”

One thing about your career trajectory. Alexander the Great controlled half the world at your age. You’re a little behind the eight ball, Lavar.

Remember, guys: to be successful with women, you have to spoon-feed yourself.

How does Matt Dillon Handle the Waitress?

Hey Doc,

I’m a newcomer to “The System” but it’s really turned things around for me. Thank you!

Here’s my situation. My buddies and I have been eating at the same restaurant for a few years now. One waitress who works there, Brigitte, is a Beautiful Woman and a real sweetheart. About two months ago, I noticed her making eyes at me. Before letting my ego shoot through the roof, I tried to undervalue her Interest Level and kept to my usual routine, which was nothing more than “hello” and “goodbye.” A few weeks ago, some of her female coworkers began to drop her name a lot to me. They even asked if I “missed” her when she was off one night.

I took this as a good sign, so I had my birthday party at the restaurant. Afterwards I ended up being invited out by the whole restaurant crew. When I asked Brigitte if she was going, she said, “Are you going to be there?” We all went out, chatted, shot pool, and had a great time.

The next weekend I was invited to another party by the restaurant crew and Brigitte was there, attached to my hip the entire night. But for some reason she seemed fidgety and nervous. About halfway through the evening we went off alone and got to talking. She revealed that she had a boyfriend she was going fishing with the next day. I ended the conversation, but her earlier flirty behavior continued. The boyfriend was not mentioned again, nor did any of her coworkers ever mention him.

Since the party, Brigitte gets really excited whenever I see her at the restaurant, is always very attentive to me, and always gives me extended eye contact. When I leave the restaurant she always asks if she’ll see me the next time I come in. I have not asked for her home number because of the boyfriend.

What do you think I should do, Doc? Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Addison - who wonders if he should eat somewhere else

Hi Addison,

Exactly how do you know that Brigitte’s heart is sweet? You don’t really know anything about this girl, do you? Don’t forget, Paul McCartney thought his soon-to-be-ex wife was the kindest girl he ever met, too. And like my cousin Sal “The Fish” Love says, “Then he got to know her.”

Now when a girl gives you any kind of buying signals, you’re supposed to ask for the home phone number. You might own my book, Addison, but in order to make it work at maximum effectiveness, you’ve got to MEMORIZE it. You’ve got to practice it until it’s second nature. My techniques will show you that if the girl turns you down, she was just flirting for bigger tips. And that’s why you have to go for it – to eliminate all doubts about where she’s really coming from.

When Brigitte’s co-workers asked if you missed her, you should have flashed your best Christopher Walken grin and told them you were suicidal. Remember, you’re always keeping it light and funny.

Having your birthday bash at Brigitte’s restaurant was a huge MISTAKE. Why in the world would you want to do something like that? Addison, this is the definition of a GROUP DATE, and you know if you’ve read my book that group dates are always a no-no.

Dude, you don’t own this girl. Instead of being alone with Brigitte and selling her on the idea that she should dump her boyfriend for you, you end up sharing her with 20 other people. Like my cousin General Love says, “This is not what you would call a solid battlefield strategy.” When Brigitte asked if you were going to be at the party, you should have said, “Well, it’s only my birthday party, I don’t why I’d be there!”

But agreeing to go to the next party with the entire restaurant workers union was an even more HUMONGOUS blunder. After sharing your birthday party with a crowd of strangers you should have disappeared. You should have let all the others go out by themselves. You wanted to see Brigitte ALONE, right?

But this is actually where the entire situation becomes very interesting – the kind of scene a forensic love detective would have a field day with. Think it about it. Brigitte is leaning on you. She’s dancing with you. She’s bumping into you and seems to be having a fun time…but at the same time she’s fidgety and nervous and looking over her shoulder. To you Psych majors, something’s not right. Guys, you know what this means: Brigitte is faking high Interest Level.

And of course that’s when she reveals that she’s going fishing with her boyfriend the next day. Like my Uncle Jethro Love says, “Only it really looks like she’s baiting you and that you’re the big fish who’s about to get hooked.”

Addison, you should have gotten out of there the minute you saw Brigitte flashing her lure. Anytime you see a red flag and her Interest Level is dropping, it’s time to say “Sayanora.” Pal, you hung around much too long.

And who cares if Brigitte’s coworkers don’t mention her boyfriend? All you should care about is her Interest Level in you. But what you have here is a girl with a boyfriend who likes to play with other guys’ heads and egos. That’s all there is to it.

Sure, Brigitte gets excited when she sees you. But not excited enough to get rid of her boyfriend. And she’s very attentive to you as well – but only when her boyfriend’s not around.

Addison, when this cutie batted her eyes at you, you should have gone straight for that home phone number. Then, when she turned you down and said, “I can’t -- I have a boyfriend,” and you wouldn’t have had to order your meat loaf and mashed potatoes at her restaurant every night.

What you could have done then was written your number down and handed it to her and said, “Honey, as soon as your boyfriend’s circling in the sink, give me a call.” That’s the only time you hand out your phone number. The point is to get your number into her hands as soon as possible because this turkey’s not going to last. Like my cousin Brother Love down in Watts says, “That boy’s gonna be doin’ a lot of fishin’ on his own.”

Nevertheless, I do think you need a good dose of reality, Addison. Because you actually did overestimate Brigitte’s Interest Level, despite what you think. Like my cousin Fast Eddie Love says, “Man, you must be leaving this girl some monster gratuities!”

Remember, guys: sometimes waitresses fake Interest Level so they can pick up bigger tips.

Should Nick ever take Jessica back?

Hey Doc,

I’m 23 and I started reading “The System” two years ago. My older brother,

who had just recently married, gave me his copy of your book after his wedding and told me to read it and learn from it. At the time I was involved with Lisette and thought, “Why the heck do I need a dating book?” But I read it and found it really interesting. The principles worked and things seemed to be going just fine between us. I was a Challenge. We both had our own circle of friends and kept things fresh.

I started dating Lisette when I was 21 and she was 18. It was young love. She always talked about marriage and she even wanted me to move in with her when we were both attending university in the same city. I thought we were too young, and told her it was best to take things slow and put an emphasis on school first.

About nine months ago, Lisette decided that she wanted to try new things, and since she was moving away for a university work-term, she decided we needed some time apart and to see other people. I was floored. Since then I’ve been using “The System” extensively and having real success with it. I am enjoying the company of plenty of nice women. The problem is that Lisette is home and she wants back in. I know your rule is to never go back with an “ex.”

When Lisette split, she still wanted to be friends, but I declined, and eliminated her from my life. It was tough, but we never spoke from the day she broke up with me, until a few weeks ago when she came back to town. She wanted to go out for coffee and I said “No!” Then I got an e-mail from her pouring her heart out, saying she never dated anyone else when she was away and that she made the biggest mistake of her life.

What should I do, Doc? I know that the rule is to never go back with an

ex, and I also know that you warn us about young girls. My life is good, and I don’t have bad memories from my relationship with Lisette, except the sour taste from the break-up. Should I delete her e-mail? Or should I go for coffee and see for myself?

Dirk - who has to admit he’s curious

Hi Dirk,

Let me tell you something. My book is not just about dating -- it’s also about keeping a man’s wife happy. Why your brother gave you his copy of my book I’ll never understand. Like my cousin Fast Eddie Love says, “I sure hope your brother knows what the heck he’s doing!”

It was perfect that you told Lisette that the two of you were way too young to get involved. When she informed her parents of this – “I tried to get Dirk to move in with me and he wouldn’t do it because he said our education is more important” – they’d have to think more of you and you’d have to pick up all kinds of points with them.

The problem of course is that you weren’t scoring points with their daughter. To you Psych majors, whenever a girl wants to “try new things,” it’s because the “old thing” – i.e., YOU – has gotten BORING. Like my Uncle Jethro Love says, “That means you’re predictable and a snore and you ain’t no fun no more.” Lisette’s telling you that all you want to do is hang out and you never want to go out and have fun or that you’re all over her like a cheap suit. Is it just a coincidence that she wants to see other people? Darn, what a funny coincidence!

Guy, why were you floored by Lisette’s revelation that she wanted to be free? I’m floored that you actually believed her explanation!

Dude, I’m sure you’re enjoying success with my book now – with all new women. Because as I’ve told you guys a million times already, once it’s over, it’s over.

You can’t let Lisette back into your life. She had her chance. She practically came right out and told you to your face that she was suffering from low Interest Level. Like my cousin Sal “The Fish” Love says, “When a girl wants to go out with other guys, dance with them and kiss them, it means she doesn’t like you -- anymore.” Du-uh.

So how it is that all of a sudden Lisette saw the light after she decided that she could do without you forever? You know what my cousin Brother Love down in Watts says, don’t you? “When she’s got nothing to do that night, all of a sudden you don’t look so bad.” But once her Interest Level hits 49%, it’s over. Gone. Like the Reality Factor says, “It CAN’T come back.”

When she came slinking around and trying to get you to take her out, you should have told her, “Lisette, my dear, any time you want to talk, give me a call. I’ve love to hear from you and I’ll always consider you a friend.” And then you never call her. And when she leaves messages on your service, you don’t respond to them. You’ve got all those other new babes to occupy your time, remember?

It’s okay to turn down Lisette’s invitation for coffee, but it’s more effective to do it with a bit of humor. Here’s what you should have said: “I’d like to, honey, but there’s a Playmate shoot going on in my bathroom all next week and I can’t possibly break away. But thanks for asking.”

When she admitted to making the biggest mistake of her life, you should have said, “Lisette, I know you screwed up, but I forgive you, and the next guy you meet who’s really good to you, you’ll really appreciate him, I guarantee it. Good luck!”

The point is that my two rules – (1) being as cunning as a shark with young women and (2) once it’s over, it’s over -- are enough to conduct yourself by.

So…your life is good except that you have a sour taste in your mouth from your breakup with Lisette? Doesn’t sound like a contradiction to me!

When Lisette e-mails you, delete her letter, and when you hear her voice on your answering machine, just press the button and go on to the next message. Like my cousin General Love says, “Soldier, you gotta be tough!” Because let’s face it, Dirk – she’s tough on you when she needs time apart, right? The fact that she looks like Kate Moss’s sister shouldn’t give her a pass.

So why would you go out and have coffee with a girl who told you that her Interest Level was in the nether regions – i.e., below 50%? Why would you want to spend any kind of any time or effort on her – not to mention the $7 for lattes and cappuccinos -- when you could be dating a new girl, one whose Interest Level in you is higher?

Remember, guys: they only get one chance.

Did Jennifer have Nightmares about Brad?

Hey Doc,

I found your book nine months ago and it got me my first girlfriend. Cara is an ex-model, has an IQ of 155 and she’s the cutest thing ever. Best of all, she was attracted to me from the beginning. A mutual friend introduced us and we hit it off from there. For all her beauty, she’s really low maintenance. We usually either split things fifty-fifty or take turns paying for dates. I like it because it’s even and we don’t bicker about every penny. I didn’t have to buy her. (I hate girls who are feminists until the check comes.)

Here’s my problem. Lately Cara’s been making little effort to get together. It seems to me that she doesn’t care as much or maybe she’s just trying to sabotage our relationship. Now that our relationship is starting to get more serious, she’s scared of being hurt again. (Her ex cheated on her with one of her friends.) This behavior began when she told me she had a dream that I was with another girl. Cara is very superstitious. She says her dreams are almost always right, and even though she knows it hasn’t happened yet, it probably will in the future. Well, since then it’s been all down hill.

Doc, I plan to call Cara out on this. I’m going to tell her that her dreams and her ex are not my fault and I shouldn’t be held accountable for them, and unless she gives up this insanity, I’ll leave her. But I REALLY, REALLY don’t want to. This girl is Beautiful, intelligent, modest, and funny. Where will I find someone else like her? I know she’s a bit of a loony -- she even admits to it. I asked her if she wants to break up with me, and she said no.

I need your help, Doc. I don’t want to lose this girl, but I don’t want to be judged by her dreams.

Avery - who doesn’t know how to defeat a dream

Hi Avery,

Cara may be the smartest thing ever and she may be more generous than Angelina Jolie when the check arrives, but don’t overlook the fact that she’s also a BEAUTIFUL WOMAN. That also makes her the most dangerous thing ever. Guy, don’t EVER forget what you’re dealing with here. Like my cousin Sal “The Fish” Love says, “Steve Irwin stood a better chance against the sting ray than you do.”

Avery, your dating arrangement isn’t supposed to be even-steven. You should be paying for four or five dates and then the girl should be asking you over to her house for a nice dinner of your favorite dish. I don’t go for this splitting-it-down-the-middle stuff. Like my cousin Fast Eddie Love says, “Are you taking a girl out or having lunch with the bowling team?”

You tell me that Cara’s making “little effort to get together.” In other words, at one time she was all over you, and now she couldn’t care less whether or not she ever sees you. So what do we have here? Did Cara’s Interest Level happen to drop for some mysterious reason? Is that what the real problem is? You may be right, Avery, that your girl either doesn’t care about you as much as she used to, or she’s trying to sabotage your relationship – or BOTH. Have you thought of that?

But you insist on believing that your relationship is growing “more serious.” Whoa, Avery – can you pass any of that dope on to me? That’s some good stuff you’re smoking there! Dude, Cara’s Interest Level is dropping straight into the cellar and you call that serious? How can she get hurt when her Interest Level is 51% and yours is 89%? Like my cousin Rabbi Love says, “The numbers don’t make sense, my son.” With the way those percentages compare, the only one who’s going to get burned is you.

So, this girl is very superstitious. I see....In other words, she’s a very rational person! How can she know that you’re going to leave her when your Interest Level is up in the clouds and hers is right next to the Mason-Dixon Line -- i.e., 50%? It doesn’t make any sense.

Now I’ve got news for you, pal. This relationship was going downhill long before you knew it. Like most men, you don’t pick up on the signs and cues that tell you you’re in trouble. Are you sure you read my book?

What are you going to call Cara out over? Do you actually believe that you can talk her Interest Level up? Guess what, Avery? It doesn’t work. In all my years as a love coach – and I’ve coached literally thousands of men -- I’ve never seen it happen. Not once.

Cara’s dreams and ex-boyfriend are not the point here. Your lecturing can’t raise Interest Level, that’s the most important issue. Of course you’re not accountable for her fantasies and her psychological baggage, but she’s trying to tell you something. The second reason she’s getting rid of you is because of her dream. But the first – and most important reason – is because she has low Interest Level in you. Because if she had high Interest Level, her dream would be the exception to her great predictive ability.

But who’s whacky here anyway, Avery? Look at your own thinking. You can’t leave someone who already left you! Cara may be all the things you say, and one more – her Interest Level is in the toilet. Where will you find someone else like her? Like my cousin Brother Love down in Watts says, “Well, next time you might try with someone who actually digs you!”

Cara’s a bit of a loony? That’s the understatement of the century! She even knows she’s a whack-job. To you Psych majors, when she’s having weird and crazy dreams about you, stay away from her.

When this girl swore that she didn’t want to break up with you, do you really think she was telling the truth? Like my cousin General Love says, “Would you bet your life on it, soldier?”

In the end, Cara’s dream story is a big cop-out, my friend. She’s serving up a heap of Woman Talk. But remember what the great Doctor Freud once said: “Dreams are wish fulfillments!”

Remember, guys: you are the only one who can lower her Interest Level.

Does Snoop Dog ever Play the Gentleman?

Hey Doc,

First off, I’ve told friends about “The System” and helped them improve their Confidence by showing them the way. But I can’t seem to follow my own advice or yours in my present situation. I hope you can coach me.

I’ve known Katrina for four years. I met her through a mutual friend. She was in a long-term relationship at the time and we only hung out every few months with this common friend. But there was something in her looks, eyes and personality that always intrigued me.

Fast forward to the present. I’m living several hours away from Katrina and chat online with her once a week. Strangely, this has probably been the best way we’ve “advanced” our relationship, as we never really warmed up to one another in person.

Recently, our mutual friend got married and I invited Katrina to be my guest, since the wedding was near her city and it presented the chance to see if there might be more to this friendship. But here’s the tricky part. For about eight months or so, she’s been hanging out with a guy -- it’s never really been clear whether she’s dating him or using him for his car/apartment/money. She barely mentions him when we chat online and is rather sketchy when discussing relationships. Finally I realized that she moved to a new apartment with this guy – who also happens to be her long-term ex.

We had a great time at the wedding, my friends drooled over her, we both looked elegant and acted like a couple at times. During the drive, however, she never touched me. At the reception she did hold my hand, led me to the dance floor, and held my arm as we walked. While dancing, she gave me “those eyes,” even though it took several dances before she stopped acting nervous about it.

I never closed the deal. I didn’t kiss Katrina because I don’t know if Katrina is truly available or whether she’s taken by her “ex.” Honestly, I don’t know if he’s her driver, her date to parties, or if she’s serious about him. Like I said, Katrina intrigues me tremendously and it’s always seemed like we’ve had some unspoken connection. I’ve been trying to compare her good points with the red flags and I can’t decide if she’s worth my time.

Was playing the gentleman and not kissing her the right thing to do? Or should I go for it by asking her out, as I’m moving to her city in a few weeks?

Walt - who feels paralyzed by indecision.

Hi Walt,

Thank you very much for spreading the word about my book. The reason you’re confused right now is because you’re still studying my principles and you don’t have them down pat yet. Once you do that, the answers will come to you automatically. But I’m here to coach you along the way.

It’s great that Katrina mesmerizes you. Who wouldn’t be mesmerized by someone who looks like a cross between Denise Richards and Scarlett Johansson? But my techniques NEVER look at the man’s Interest Level. To you Psych majors, it’s only the girl’s Interest Level that counts.

So let’s see exactly what you’ve got here. You have a long-distance relationship, which is bad. But you want to keep it kind of warm, so you chat with the girl once a week. But realistically, you’ll only have a chance with this babe when you’re living in her city or she’s living in yours. In other words, this relationship has to be built not on her words coming out of a computer screen, but when you’re there looking right at her and watching her body language. So Walt, this is the wrong way to advance your relationship. You never warmed up to each other because you never went out on a date – she was always involved with somebody else.

Here’s something else you did wrong. NO WEDDINGS on the first date. The first date with a girl should always be a Starbucks date. A wedding is a pretty heavy deal for a first date. I know they’re a lot of fun and all, but when you’re getting to know somebody, you should stay out of wedding receptions. Like my cousin Fast Eddie Love says, “You don’t want her thinking you want to marry her – heck, you don’t even know her!”

Now dude, the last thing you want to find out is more about your developing “friendship” with Katrina. You want to be this girl’s BOYfriend. You’re using the wrong words.

You say Katrina doesn’t mention her boyfriend. Sure she does! It sounds to me like she’s been telling you about him all along. But why is she mentioning him at all? This is a HUGE RED FLAG, buddy. Like my cousin Sal “The Fish” Love says, “She’s so scared you’re going to leave her that she can’t stop talking about other men.” Gee, Walt, I’d hate to hear what she’d talk about if she didn’t like you! So let me get this straight. Katrina moves in with a guy that she got rid of -- a guy who’s still in love with her -- and you want to know if this girl likes you?

Sure, your friends drooled over Katrina. And I’m sure they wanted to do more than drool over her. But the more important question is did she drool over you? At times you two acted like a couple. What does that mean? But it certainly was classy that she accidentally bumped into you a few times on the dance floor. Maybe there’s hope for you after all!

Katrina acted nervous because she had low Interest Level in you, Walt. No doubt she couldn’t wait for the wedding to end so she could get away from you and go back to her ex-boyfriend.

The most important chapter in the Dating Dictionary is “Closing The Deal.” You knew you didn’t do it, Walt. What’s wrong with you? Are you a coward? Going in for the kiss is the foolproof way of finding out exactly where a girl stands. Walt, a gentleman would have kissed this girl. You got it backwards again. When Katrina turned her head when you tried to lay one on her, you would have known for sure that she was taken.

Let me repeat that we don’t care that this girl intrigues you. We want her to be intrigued BY you. But you insist there’s an unspoken connection between the two of you. Man oh man. You gotta lay off the pot. That stuff is doing bad things to your head. It’s making you imagine things!

And I don’t care what this other guy does. I don’t care if he’s her chauffeur, her butler, or her plumber. They use the same bathroom! Nah, she’s not serious about this turkey – she only moved in with him! Duh!

Here’s what you do. Don’t tell Katrina when you move into her city. Wait two or three days, then ask her out and KISS her after the date. Otherwise you’ll be waiting forever to figure out whether this girl likes you or she’s playing with your head.

Remember, guys: when she lives with a man, I hope you smell a rat.

How does Stedman tell Oprah she's Packing on the Pounds?

Hey Doc,

I happened to stumble across your columns when I was surfing for love advice and I thought you might be able to help me.

Jeanna and I have been dating for several years. I’ve tried to get her to marry me on occasion, but she seems content with the way things are. I still nudge her about it from time to time, but since it never works, I’ve given up and now just accept our relationship for what it is. I’m 50, by the way, and she’s 46 and we’ve both abandoned the idea of having kids, so I guess it’s no big deal.

My problem is Jeanna’s weight. She’s a detective on our police force here in New York City, and her job is very stressful – it involves investigating homicides and other violent crimes. When her duties become particularly nerve-wracking, she has a tendency to overeat – donuts, pizza, pastrami sandwiches and the like, and to do it on the run with no thought for nutrition. Then she comes home and has a few drinks to unwind. On top of it all, she might not work out at the gym for weeks on end.

Lately I’ve noticed that her weight is spiraling out of control. Her belly and butt are starting to get very flabby and she can’t fit into her clothes anymore. I’ve tried to make very subtle suggestions to Jeanna about this mess but she doesn’t pick up on them, doesn’t care, or can’t help herself.

So my question is this: how can I deal with this? I don’t want a fatty hanging off my arm, and I don’t want the poor woman dropping dead of a heart attack or a stroke. Like most females, she’s very sensitive about her appearance. Furthermore, the last thing she needs is me nagging her after a long day on the mean streets.

What do you think I should do? What can I say to her that she won’t interpret as an insult?

Thanks for your help, Doc.

Gene - who’s starting to wonder if he should look elsewhere

Hi Gene,

Whether or not you know it, your problem is right there in the second paragraph of your letter. It has nothing to do with what comes later. You’ve got an Interest Level problem here, pal – hers, not yours.

When a woman has 95% Interest Level, a guy doesn’t have to talk her into anything. You asked this girl a bunch of times to marry you and she rebuffed you. If she’s not saying yes, it’s because her Interest Level isn’t in the 90s. And that’s where your basic problem is with Jeanna.

That said, accepting your relationship with her for what it is, is fine in itself. Hey, if you guys get along and have a great time and she doesn’t want to get married, there’s nothing wrong with the arrangement. Just make sure your Interest Level isn’t any higher than 55% or you’re going to be continually frustrated by an unbalanced relationship – you’re into it, and she’s only half into it. But like my cousin Sal “The Fish” Love says, “Giving up on the idea of kids shows there’s something good about your relationship.”

Look, it’s okay for Jeanna to gorge herself as long as she’s doing it with carrots or broccoli, or she’s taking 10 strawberries to work in a plastic bag rather than a Hershey’s chocolate bar or salami and provolone submarine sandwich. Her problem isn’t overeating; it’s the types of food she’s eating. And you have to understand her problem, because there is an enormous amount of stress that goes along with being a police officer. It’s a rough, tough job. And you have to have a lot of empathy and sympathy for the sacrifices she makes every single day.

So you don’t want to make comments on her weight, Gene. That’s insulting. When she gets out of the shower and she looks in the mirror and it’s not wide enough to contain all of her body, she knows she’s overweight and she knows that she’s overeating.

But like I said earlier, there’s something else going on here. And what she has to ask herself is whether she’s overeating because of her lack of Interest Level in you. (Guys, you’ll never see this analysis in a self-help manual or a ladies’ magazine!) Maybe her Interest Level is only 45% and she’s too scared to go it alone, while yours is 89% and you’re hanging on for dear life. Again -- there are other reasons why she’s overeating.

Jeanna can’t help herself, dude. But you’re going to handle this situation by being supportive and keeping your mouth shut. And when you guys go out, you’re going to the gym. Whatever you two do together, it’s going to have the theme of getting and staying in shape (and shedding pounds). Whatever you do, you two are going to keep moving. Every time you see Jeanna, you’ll head to the gym or go running or bicycling together. You don’t do anything else with this lady. You don’t go and sit in a movie theater and polish off a bucket of buttered popcorn with a side of nachos. You don’t go out and eat barbecued ribs. Gene, you’re going to be your girlfriend’s coach. And if she wants to drop you because of that or she decides not see you, then fine – man up to it. But that’s what you’re going to do. You’re going to coach this woman to get on the right track as long as she hangs around.

To you Psych majors, nagging doesn’t work. It doesn’t work when women do it to men, and vice-versa. (Guys, you’ll never see this analysis in a self-help manual or ladies’ magazine!) So don’t even be tempted to pick at her, man. Keep your trap closed – no criticism or snide remarks or “subtle” suggestions. Keep it light and keep it funny. Your actions are going to speak for you. Every time you see Jeanna, this is how you’re going to behave.

Guy, you may have years in with this woman, but she still doesn’t want to marry you. I have to keep coming back to that harsh truth. Like the Reality Factor says, when she turns down your repeated offers to marry, it’s obvious that her Interest Level is a lot lower than yours. You want to get married, so your Interest Level is 89%. (Or maybe it’s even in the 90s where it shouldn’t be.) But hers is only what – 65%? 75%? Can you live with a woman who has 75% Interest Level? Now 75% Interest Level is decent, but it’s not in the 90s, where it should be. It doesn’t have that magic intensity.

Like my cousin Fast Eddie Love says, “Her Interest Level is the real problem here, dude – not her figure.”

But you’re not going to bring it up. Instead, you’re going to be her personal trainer.

Remember, guys: if she eats too much, you have to take her to the gym or never see her again.

Does Alec Bladwin ever Feel like being a Wimp?

Hey Doc,

I’ve been inspired to write to you after reading your columns, and I’m going to purchase “The System” right after I send this letter. Everything you say makes absolute sense to me. Not too long ago I came out of a four-year relationship, dumped by my very first “true love.” All of your concepts explain EXACTLY why it happened! I had become besotted and obsessed with my ex. My constant chasing had killed her Interest Level, but I was too blind to see it. In short, I was a complete wimp.

I met my current girlfriend, Sheena, four months ago. I hadn’t heard of your techniques then, but my tentative actions increased her Interest Level – I was being a Challenge without knowing it. On our first dates, I was light, funny and confident. I told Sheena I wasn’t sure about getting involved. This didn’t seem to discourage her – in fact, it made her want to get involved with me. She even asked if I wanted to go back to her place and I actually said, “No, I’m not sure that’s a good idea.”

After a few more dates, she was really into me. She asked if I would phone her and I said, “Don’t take it personally. I just don’t like the phone.” From then on, she phoned me and left message after message. When I saw her, she was all over me! I teased her that she loved me but was too embarrassed to admit it. Then one evening she actually told me that she did love me. I didn’t say it back and she asked why. I said, “When I tell you, I want to be absolutely sure.”

Now, four months later, I’ve fallen head over heels. I’m becoming a wimp again. I’ve bought Sheena gifts, written e-mails, and started nagging and begging. Then I found your articles. But I’m finding it hard to use your principles because I’ve fallen hard for this girl. Going back to being a Challenge is tougher than I thought. It was so much easier when I didn’t love her! Most of all, I always want to know what she’s doing. I get insecure, wondering what’s going on.

How can I get through each day at work without worrying constantly? Most of all, how can I manage my insecurity and anxiety because I want to be in touch with Sheena all the time?

Myles - who’s desperate not to be a wimp

Hi Myles,

Lots of guys, for one reason or another, will hang back with a girl, and they don’t know it but they’re being a Challenge. What they’re going to do -- hopefully -- is continue this behavior throughout the entire relationship.

Telling Sheena you weren’t sure about getting involved with her was good insofar as being a Challenge went. But there was nothing funny about the tactic. In fact, it was heavy-handed, and we always want to keep it light and funny. What if when she brought up the topic of long-term relationships you said, “I’d love to get married, but I’m already married.” Funny, right? With this technique you don’t answer her question dead on -- you sidestep it, and then you come right back with a dose of sarcasm.

And what you should have said when she asked you to go back to her place was “If I go home with you, do you promise to keep your hands to yourself?” And then flashed her your best Jack Nicholson grin.

Same thing with the telephone deal. The point is that when a woman hits you with a hard, tough question, you have to go straight into Jim Carrey mode. Or Robin Williams’s mode. Or Vince Vaughan mode. You should have said, “Listen, honey, I’ll tell you what. When I talk to you, I want to be able to look into those big, beautiful eyes of yours. I can’t see them over the telephone line. Just go along with me on this one thing, and I’ll do everything else in the relationship you want -- honest.”

But Sheena started calling you incessantly even if you don’t have a sense of humor. Fantastic, Myles! You got her going, man! And better yet, all this attention and interest is INCOMING! She was all over you? Even better! Sheena’s Interest Level is soaring around in the 90s. To you Psych majors, this is the way it’s supposed to be. But like my cousin Rabbi Love says, “Now here’s the hard part – let’s see if she acts like that 30 years from now.”

You blew another opportunity to be a funny man when she asked why you wouldn’t say you loved her. Dude, that was the perfect invitation to come back with “Because I don’t believe in impersonating parrots!”

The problem now of course is that you’ve lost control of yourself, and your Interest Level is flirting with 90% if it’s not already there. The man’s Interest Level should stay between 80% and 89%. When it hits 90%, you poor schmucks start falling apart. Like my cousin Fast Eddie Love would say, “Love is a drug!”

Now you’ve regressed all the way back to where you were when you got dumped by your ex. You’re nagging and begging and groveling. After the beating you took at the hands of your “one true love,” you’ve insisted on going back to that self-destructive behavior. So the obvious question is this: Why would you go against the principles that got you there, you dunce? No doubt Sheena is a double for Kate Bosworth, and this makes your condition even worse. Like my cousin Sal “The Fish” Love says, “If she looked like Oprah in the morning, it would be easy for you to be tough.”

Guy, let’s clear something up. It wasn’t easier for you to be a Challenge when you weren’t gaga over Sheena. That’s a half-truth. The reality is that it was so much easier to be in control when you were tentative.

Hey, if you want to know what this girl’s up to every minute, you should become a women’s prison guard. But needing to know where Sheena is every second of the day shows that you’re already gone whether or not you know it. Your Interest Level has gone wild. It’s well into the 90s. I don’t think there’s any hope for you. Like my cousin General Love would say, “We ought to just lower the flag to half-mast, get out the bugles and blow taps. This soldier has bitten the dust.”

How do you make it through the day without constantly worrying? You have to just suck it up, pal. Say to yourself “I have to drag my Interest Level back into the 80s and get realistic here. Because I’m not the guy Sheena fell in love with. I can’t completely throw my Self-Control away over some 95-pound girl.”

How can you manage your insecurity and anxiety? Have you thought about Quaaludes? (I’m kidding!)

Remember, guys: the principles that catch her, keep her.

What does Ted Turner do when She Won't Talk?

Hey Doc,

I’ve known Candace for about eight years. Over all those years we’ve dated off and on. Every time we get together, things are fantastic for a month or two and then Candace shuts down emotionally and becomes very closed. Our conversations then tend to become very shallow and don’t go much beyond what happened at work that day, and then they disappear altogether. As you might imagine, this is enormously frustrating. Eventually, this leads to our breaking up. I simply can’t communicate with the girl.

Before we got back together the last time, Candace spent some time thinking things over to avoid past mistakes that led to our breaking up. However, after about four months we ended up breaking up again. This time, I was the one who initiated it. At this point I was beyond frustrated and tired of pretending that we had a real relationship.

Doc, to put it bluntly, I’m too old for this. However, there has always been some sort of deep emotional connection between Candace and me that brings us back together, but it seems like she gets afraid when things are good and then she shuts down and things go bad. At least that’s how I see it from where I stand.

Now I’m wondering if I did the right thing. I waited three weeks to contact Candace, apologized for my stupidity and tried to get her to talk to me. So far she has not responded. At this point I don’t know if this is the same cycle playing itself out and our deep connection is still there, or if it’s really over this time and I should just let her go and try to get on with my life once and for all.

What do you think, Doc? Any insight whatsoever would be greatly appreciated.

Riles - who wonders if his time has finally run out

Hi Riles,

Candace doesn’t really shut down emotionally after she’s been around you for a while. You’re rationalizing her odd behavior, which as you’d know if you’d studied my material is a major no-no. The truth of the matter is that this girl does a perfect imitation of a clam because she just gets tired of faking high Interest Level.

Know why you can’t talk to Candace? Because it takes two people to have a conversation and you have her mixed up with somebody who wants to communicate. It’s really a very simple matter, pal. Like Woody Allen says, “I’ve got a better relationship with my shrink, and she only says two words per session.”

Candace’s true past mistake was that she spent time with a guy who she had only 45% Interest Level in. Remember what I’ve told you guys over and over again – when her Interest Level is in the 40s, she’ll hang around with you, but don’t make the mistake of believing that you have any kind of legitimate hold on her, because you don’t. If you’d pored over my material – and it’s my bet that after spending eight years as a human yo-yo for this girl you’ve definitely not memorized it! – you’d know that a crucial mistake men make is OVERESTIMATING the female’s Interest Level. Go back to my book and check out the section called “Interest Level” again. Like my cousin Fast Eddie Love says, “Those three pages alone will save you years of torture.”

What’s interesting is that you apparently haven’t learned anything whatsoever from all the previous times in those eight long years when you and Candace rode your break-up-and-get-together-again merry-go-round. How many times are you two going to split – 87? And the question isn’t why you get back together again and again when your relationship is so lousy. (And believe me, when you’re not talking to your partner, it can’t be anything but lousy.) The real question is why did she unload you the first time?

Candace doesn’t get back together with you for any other reason than she feels a need to have a little party with you for three to six weeks (or take a break from the other turkeys she’s stringing along!) and then hit the bricks again. After all, Riles, she’s knows you’ll be back. You came back all the other 86 times, didn’t you? I don’t mean to bash your head in here, guy (Candace does a good enough job of that as it is), but you’re being a stooge.

It’s too bad you only waited three weeks to contact Candace, dude. Like my cousin Brother Love down in Watts says. “The way things are going, you should have waited 30 years!” The type of stupidity you’re referring to is a different one than I’m referring to, which is not going by the principles of “The System.” Remember the chapter entitled “Begging?” I suggest you take a look at that one again.

Why should Candace respond to you now, man? You’re out. Don’t you get that? She doesn’t like you. She never thinks about you. She’s making out with somebody new right now. Hel-lo? Didn’t you ever hear of the Reality Factor? It says, “When she keeps running away from you, she doesn’t want to be with you.” Du-uh.

And like my cousin Rabbi Love says, “There’s no eternal cycle playing itself out here or any deep mystical connection at work. Your Interest Level is 88% and hers is 45%. Those numbers don’t match, my son.” And that’s your problem in a nutshell.

Up until now Candace liked to go back and forth with you, Riles. But when she’s back with you for a while, she inevitably comes to the same conclusion. “Oh, what the heck was I thinking? He’s still the same old shmuck,” and then she leaves again.

Of course, she’s not too swift either for endlessly going back to a guy that she already dumped 86 times. Actually, now that I think about it, you two should be together. Like my Uncle Jethro Love says, “It’s a match made in hell!”

Finally, you can’t let Candace go, Riles – she’s already gone! That’s what you can’t seem to get through your thick head. Like the great Doctor Freud once said, “If I could somehow exterminate the male ego, we could cut the divorce rate by 90%.”

Remember, guys: when you’re out, you were really out a long time earlier.

Did Jamie Foxx ever get Dumped from Overseas?

Hey Doc

Let me be one of the thousands to commend you on your articles. I have yet to purchase “The System” but intend to do so in the near future. I hope you can give me your expert opinion on my situation.

I met Mora during college and we went out for three years. I am an Australian citizen while she’s from Malaysia. Last year we both finished our degrees in Australia. I stayed in Australia and Mora headed back to Malaysia because she told me her father needed help in the family business. We agreed to make our relationship work because we were so in love. We called faithfully and exchanged romantic e-mails and handwritten letters. But some weeks ago she unexpectedly told me over the phone that while on vacation she had time to herself away from the bustle of work and concluded that our relationship wasn’t going to work out because she may never come back to Australia.

I didn’t agree to this and spent the next two weeks calling Mora and trying to change her mind. I even asked her to marry me but she declined.

Before we broke up she said the following: “We are made for each other” …“I can’t live without you”…“I want to be with you forever.”

When I recounted this to her, she said she only meant it “at the time.” How can a person mean those things one day and not the next?

I know you’re asking why I don’t go and work in Malaysia. If I did, I’d have to take an 80% pay cut and, unlike Mora, my dad doesn’t own a business there. I have a better chance of becoming successful in Australia.

Mora assured me that she’s not breaking up with me because she has another guy, and I have no choice but to believe her. What’s frustrating is that our relationship died not because of incompatibility or infidelity but because of circumstance.

Mora will be visiting soon because she has to collect some things that I kept for her. Should I hope that we would be reunited, or just move on? I feel a lack of closure because it’s the first time I’ve been dumped over the phone and we never shared our last moments together.

Geordie - who’s about to go insane

Hi Geordie,

I appreciate that you’re thinking of investing in yourself. But I look at the clock and I think about the party you’re going to tonight and how without “The System” you’re not going to be as smooth as you could be. And how next week you’ll be at a singles club and there’s going to be a girl you like and you’re not going to get her home phone number. And I hear the tick-tick-tick of time and I think…“When?”

In other words, pal, you have to stamp a date on this, as in “On November 1 I’m buying this book even if there’s a nuclear war!” Unless you make the commitment to help yourself, you’re never going to do it. Losers make vague promises about the future. Winners make commitments.

The family business was the second reason Mora left. The first was because she had low Interest Level in you. It wasn’t you two who were so in love – it was YOU alone. Mora fell out of love. That’s why she crossed the ocean. If she loved you, she’d become an Australian citizen and tell pops to work it out for himself.

But Mora knows she’s never returning Down Under. And what’s all this BS about getting away from the bustle of work to clear her mind? It’s got nothing to do with Interest Level. (You’d know that if you’d read my book.) School, business, even when her mom’s really sick -- none of that lowers Interest Level. The Reality Factor says, “Only YOU can lower her Interest Level.”

You should have agreed to breaking up, Geordie. Like my cousin Fast Eddie Love says, “Why would you want to go to a party where you’re not invited?” Instead, you tried to change Mora’s mind. Like my cousin Rabbi Love says, “Once Interest Level drops from 51% to 49%, only God can move it back into the 50s.”

Look at it this way, pal. You did everything you could. You asked Mora to marry you and she said no. You have to say to yourself “I had three great years with this girl and it’s over.” But the love of your life walked out on you and you’re going to get my book “someday.” What if you met a new girl next week? Will you repeat your mistakes? So, get my book one of these days – but don’t rush into anything!

I’m sure Mora said all kinds of wonderful lines when you were together. (One of my favorite chapters in the Dating Dictionary is “Actress.” You’ll love that one!) She wasn’t lying when she said she meant all that stuff – at that split second, she did. But you lowered her Interest Level over a three-year period and that’s what you didn’t realize. It’s not actually the very next day that she didn’t mean what she said. It happens in increments. That’s how a girl can say such lovely things and then 90 days later you’re out. It’s because her Interest Level dropped -- slowly. Like the dripping of water -- eventually there’s no water left.

Hey, I’m not asking why you don’t go and work in Malaysia. Are you sure you read my articles? Didn’t you read the ones about begging and chasing or my number two rule, “Never try and keep someone who doesn’t want to keep you?” But there’s no hurry – get my book later.

There’s one other reason you neglected to mention about why you should stay put in Australia. You have to find a new girl. Because the one in Malaysia doesn’t care for you. She moved to another country to be with her father, she doesn’t know if she’s ever coming back to Australia, and you asked her to get married and she said no -- hey, this girl’s definitely in love with you!

Of course Mora won’t come out and say she dumped you for another guy. Whether or not she does is a side issue here. But I’ll tell you something – I’ll bet she’s got one!

Your relationship didn’t end because of circumstance. But like I say in my book, GEOGRAPHY IS A KILLER. If you’d had my book, maybe you could have saved this deal before Mora’s Interest Level traveled to Malaysia. Theoretically you might have been out after two and a half years, and she said to herself, “Well, I can’t dump him now because I still live here. Ah! I’ll tell him Dad needs help, then I can go back home and that will be my big excuse, as opposed to the real truth: Geordie lowered my Interest Level due to his comportment.”

Why don’t you mail Mora’s things to her? Why would you want to see her? Haven’t you been battered enough already?

I think you should move on. While you’re at it, get in touch with reality. Like most men when they like a girl, what you do is RATIONALIZE. To you Psych majors, rationalizing is dangerous because then you’re out of control and you’re not facing reality.

You did share your last moments together, dude. It’s just that the end came sooner than you realized.

Remember, guys: don’t rationalize by believing her excuses.

Does Kid Rock ever Listen to Pam Anderson's Other Boyfriends?

Hey Doc,

I’ve been an avid fan of yours since I started seriously dating, but I’ve only just begun to apply your techniques after experiencing many failures.

Now here’s my problem. I’ve been dating Donna for a year. She’s gorgeous – the kind of girl a guy can’t take his eyes off, so I guess I should have known what I was up against. Well, the week of our anniversary I got a call from a guy who says that he and Donna have been dating for the past two months. I didn’t know what to think, as you might imagine. When I confronted Donna about it, she admitted they’d been communicating, and that she did it because I seemed to have less time for her and she thought I was seeing someone else. (I wasn’t.) She apologized and told me that she still wants to work on our relationship.

The guy had the nerve to call me again and said that Donna is still trying to play both sides of the fence. She swore to me when I asked her about it that she would stop talking to him. Then, at a party she threw, I showed up and the guy was there. I couldn’t believe it. Donna danced with him even though she knew I was there. I ended up talking with her mother, who confided that Donna likes both of us. According to her, her daughter wants to be with me in the long term, but she really likes hanging out with this other guy.

So right then and there I went ahead and confronted Donna and this other guy. I asked her if she is going to choose him over me and she said no. Later she told me that she has not been intimate with the guy, but the guy told me afterward that he’s gotten very romantic with her, if you catch my drift. (I know that your column is G-rated.)

Doc, who should I believe and what should I do? I’m going absolutely crazy over this.

Vic - who’s confused and heartbroken in North Carolina

Hi Vic,

I feel for you, my friend, but when something like this goes down, you have to figure one of two things is happening: either this other guy is lying through his teeth because he’s a heavy-duty blocker and wants your girl for himself, or he’s telling you the truth. It’s one or the other. Like I always tell you guys, you have to become a forensic love cop in order to successfully compete in this arena. Otherwise, like my cousin General Love says, “You don’t know which end is up, a distinct disadvantage when it comes to dealing with women.”

And if in fact you weren’t seeing some other girl, Donna is OUT. Like the Reality Factor says, “She has to be banished forever when your find out she’s fooling around with another guy on the side.” So what you say the minute she cops to being involved with him is “Donna, it was really nice knowing you,” and you walk. NOW. She’s finished. History. Because this girl has no Loyalty. She’s got no Integrity. Like my cousin Sal “The Fish” Love says, “How can you date the girl if you can’t turn your back on her?”

But Donna still wants to “work on your relationship.” Oh my gosh, Vic. I thought I’d heard it all, but those words are surely going to win the Woman Talk Of The Year Award For 2006. And, uh, by the way, there’s this bridge I’m looking to sell in Brooklyn….

The other guy called you a second time? Wow. I’m truly impressed. This dude’s got it all figured out. What’s funny – and pathetic -- is that you’ve got my book and he doesn’t! But maybe you haven’t finished reading it yet and that’s your excuse.

When Donna promised she’d stop talking to her other squeeze, you should have said, “No, I want you to keep right on talking to him, honey. Because I don’t want you to be alone. So you just keep going out with him. You two are going to have a great, wonderful relationship. We had a nice run, you and me, and I think you’re a heck of a girl, and I hope you make your new guy happy.” That’s what you should have said. And then turned and walked right out of there -- forever.

Unfortunately, you didn’t do that. And things went downhill, naturally, because once the moment of truth passes and you haven’t taken the correct action, nothing but bad things are bound to happen.

Vic, you don’t show up at a party when your girlfriend has no Integrity. Hel-lo? Then Donna shimmied and danced close with this guy when you were standing just a few feet away? Like my cousin Fast Eddie Love says, “This is the epitome of rubbing it in your face!” What have I told you guys over and over? For God’s sake, don’t hang around for a beating when you’ve already taken it on the nose!

Donna’s mom told you that her daughter liked both of you fellows? I’m shocked! But on the other hand I do understand it. Donna’s just going to make out with this other guy until you two have your wedding day. Hey, I can go along with that! Makes perfect sense to me!

But you still didn’t catch on, Vic, despite being totally humiliated by your girl (who happens to be very classy by pulling something like this on you, by the way). Like a good Macho Boy you went ahead and confronted her and her new beau. I hate to break this to you, pal, but there was nothing to confront. You and Donna already had your talk. Like my Uncle Jethro Love says, “You’re beating a dead horse here, boy.” She told you a while ago she’s seeing another guy. What more do you need to get it through your head? Like my cousin Rabbi Love says, “Son, when she prefers slow dancing with another man in your presence, your bagel has been baked.”

Regarding what the other guy told you about his “romantic” relationship with Donna, we don’t know if what he’s saying is true. The point is that you had a relationship with her for 10 months before he came into the picture. And at some point her Interest Level dropped through the floor and that’s why she got a backup in place for when she was through with you for good. Vic, I’d say you’ve hit the point of no return.

Who should you believe and what should you do now? Guy, you’ve got to immerse yourself in the Dating Dictionary. It’s your only hope of saving yourself from a life of sheer misery with the opposite gender. Like my cousin Brother Love down in Watts says, “You don’t really want your head bashed in again, do you, bro?” Once your girl told you that she was cuddling with somebody else for two whole months, you were dead in the water right there.

Remember, guys: if she lacks Integrity, drop her.

Does Anne Hathaway ever Change Her Mind about a Guy?

Hey Doc,

Cherry is a designer I met through a mutual business contact. I am a tile setter and did a few jobs for her. She said she would like to get together for a drink or dinner and we did. At the end of the evening we hugged, and I said I’d like to take her out again.

I called her a week later and we made a date for a lunch and a museum. I was so nervous that my hands were shaking while we were eating. I’m not sure if Cherry noticed, but it seemed that she changed soon after that. At the end of the date she gave me a hug and I gave her three daisies. I waited five days, then called her and got her answering machine, so I left a message about getting together on the weekend. I didn’t hear from her and let the weekend pass. On the following Tuesday I called again, and again I got her machine. I knew something was wrong, and thought back to my shaking hands. I said that I wouldn’t be mad at her if she had a change of heart but I did want her to understand that I didn’t want anything to happen to our growing friendship.

A few days later I got an e-mail from Cherry saying that her heart was not in a relationship but that she would like to continue the friendship. I then wrote back saying that I was sorry and that I was growing fond of her and felt bad that I made her have to write the letter in the first place.

I didn’t hear from her for a few weeks until she called wanting me to do a small tile-setting job for a client. Then she asked me to come to her home to pick out a paint color for her walls, and maybe we could go out together and pick up the paint. Now I’m getting really confused about what she wants. I know enough not to jump into anything too soon but how should I handle this? Is it possible that this is a second chance for me? I plan on just being myself and not looking for anything that isn’t there, but thanks for any advice you can give me to help my cause.

Wesley - who’s trying not to get his hopes up

Hi Wesley,

Why in the world are you telling this woman you want to take her out again? Putting aside the popular myth – perpetuated by Feministas like Oprah – that women want guys who spill their guts, let’s suppose that Cherry wants a man who plays it cool and would rather drag his interest out of him. Well then, you blew it, pal. To boot, the goal is to try and read her Interest Level, and the way to do it is by not coming on heavy. To you Psych majors, if you come on like gangbusters you’re going to LOWER her Interest Level.

It’s okay that your hands shook when you were out with Cherry. I don’t know if you’ve memorized my material yet, but either way we’re going to help you. Let’s say you knew your hands were going to shake – that it’s happened before. Well, then, you should have done something else with this girl where she couldn’t see your hands shaking – like take her to an IMAX movie. Then do it for two or three dates until you get comfortable with her and your hands stop shaking.

But of course Cherry changed after she saw you doing Saint Vitus’s Dance. Like my Uncle Jethro Love says, “She looked over at you and saw you juggling, but she didn’t see no balls in the air!” So why would she want to go out with you again?

But her lack of interest wasn’t stopping you, dude. You went ahead and presented her with a bouquet. Why are you giving this stranger flowers? We want her wondering how many women are chasing you, versus how many women are rejecting you because you’re needy and you come on too strong. How did you think this girl was going to interpret your mushy gesture? Remember, guys, unless it RAISES Interest Level, don’t do it.

But you weren’t finished. You called Cherry and left her a message. Why didn’t you just ask her to meet you at the jewelry store so you two could pick out the ring?

You didn’t really “let” the weekend pass, buddy. You act like this girl’s dying to see you. How can you say you “let” it pass? What are you trying to do, save face here? Come on, guy, don’t try and snow me -- I’ve been in sales all my life!

You knew something was wrong, all right, except that you thought it was Cherry’s answering machine that wasn’t working. But you insist that you two have a growing friendship. Guy, she doesn’t return phone calls! You call that a growing friendship? Like my cousin General Love says, “I call that Death.” Wesley, please, you have to lay off the Gallo!

Now, dude, why would you tell someone who doesn’t want to have a romantic relationship with you that you want to have a relationship with her when she just told you she wasn’t interested? Like the great Doctor Freud once said, “Did you do it because you’re a great listener?”

YOU apologized for making HER write a letter? Like my cousin Sal “The Fish” Love says, “I’m sticking the gun in my mouth right now!” I can’t believe you, Wes. You’re giving me wimp chills!

But at least you’re going to get some money out of the deal even though Cherry rejected you. It’s great that she wants you to help her pick out her paint. If it were me, I would have asked her “By the way, when you make out the check, it’s 40 bucks an hour!”

But on the other hand, you’re getting a free dinner out of it. Look at it this way. Maybe Cherry wrote you off, but she likes your work. And as my cousin Rabbi Love says, “Consider the economics of it – she keeps giving you leads.”

So stay on the business track, Wesley, and forget the romance. And by the way, how do you set tile when you’re hands are shaking?

But you’re still confused about what she wants. Dude, she doesn’t want to be with you. Her Interest Level in you is 1%. CORRECT. I said 1%.

You’re not about to jump into anything? My friend, you’ve been jumping around like a Tasmanian kangaroo! You think you’re getting a second chance? Yeah, and you’re going to win the Powerball drawing next week, too!

Wesley you’re out. What does this girl have to do, hire a hit mean for you to get the drift? Like the Reality Factor says, “What are her actions?” Hey, she doesn’t call you back!

But the good part is she’s getting you business and that’s the main thing here. You’re making dough off this woman. Usually when they drop you they won’t give you the time of day, but this one’s shooting you leads. Like my cousin Fast Eddie Love says, “The only down side is that maybe she’s looking for someone to paint her walls for free.”

Remember, guys: the key to women is not charging in.

How Long did Richie Sambora Wait Before He Moved In?

Hey Doc,

I am a new student who wishes he had your book 15 or 20 years ago as it’s really opened my eyes to the key to successful dating and it would have prevented me from making the same old mistakes again and again. I am now 35 and I hope it’s not too late to change the way I go about things because up until now my dating experiences have not exactly been what you would call successful.

Now here’s my problem. I was getting close to Sabrina, who I work with. Then she asked for some space while she sorted things out at home with her boyfriend, who she lived with. I took this to mean that her Interest Level in me dropped and that she was saying this to prevent my feelings being hurt. I backed off and was polite to her when I saw her at work and made small talk when necessary, but I tried not to let my very high Interest Level show.

Last week Sabrina moved out and has now gone home to stay with her mother. I’ve avoided her at work, as I don’t want to be in her face while she is going through what must be a very stressful time. Is this the right thing to do? The last thing I want is to put any sort of pressure on Sabrina or make her feel awkward in any way. I must stress that she didn’t move out because of our relationship, because there isn’t one. She moved out because she was unhappy, simple as that.

I guess what I’d like to know, Doc, is how you would have played things and what should I do in the days and weeks ahead? Should I just forget about Sabrina even though I really like her or should I keep giving her the space she wanted and then ask for a date in the future? If so, how long should I wait before I ask her?

One last thing. I bought Sabrina a book she’s interested in. Should I give it to her? If so, when? I just wanted to do something nice for her to cheer her up a bit.

Many thanks, Doc, for all your time and help.

Tyson - who hopes he hasn’t already screwed it up

Hi Tyson,

When you say you made mistakes over and over again, you really said a mouthful. What a guy doesn’t realize is that when he goes out with Sally, then Lynn and then Mary, and they all dump him; they dump him for some variation of the same reason. If he’s a Macho Boy, they dump him because he tries to dominate. And if he’s a Wimp, they get rid of him because they get tired of giving the guy orders. But the common denominator is waning Interest Level.

But rest assured, Tyson, as long as you’re breathing and you love women, “The System” will help you tremendously.

You say you were getting close to Sabrina. Were you trying to get close to her, or – and this is the vastly more important question -- was she trying to get close to you? Because what we have to be talking about here is not your Interest Level – it’s her Interest Level. Her Interest Level is the only thing that matters – not yours.

On to the issue of space. Like my cousin Sal “The Fish” Love says, “Man, anytime a babe uses the word ‘space,’ you’re in deep trouble.” Because when she pulls out that dreaded word, it means her Interest Level in you is drooping into the 40s or the 50s (most likely the 40s).

It’s possible that Sabrina’s Interest Level dropped, but more likely it was never there in the first place. Like the great Doctor Freud once said, “Maybe you were just projecting your Interest Level onto her like most males and monkeys do.”

Gosh, Tyson, you couldn’t really have read my book and believe that this girl’s “protecting your feelings,” could you? Where in the world did you get that idea? Like my cousin Brother Love down in Watts says, “Bro, you gotta lay off the Jack Daniels!” Again -- women only care about their Interest Level. If they don’t have high Interest Level, they could care less about you. It’s the nature of the beast. Like the Reality Factor says, low Interest Level means she doesn’t give a farthing for your feelings.

Of course you can’t put your very high Interest Level on display at your job. In fact, you should have been letting this girl come to you all along, and not vice-versa.

You think Sabrina’s going through a stressful time? Dude, her ex-boyfriend’s the one who’s freaking out – he just got dumped! Heck, Sabrina’s happy! She’s ecstatic! She’s free to do whatever she wants. She’s already looking for the next turkey, don’t you get it?

So don’t back off from her. If I were you I’d just go ahead and ask her out right now. Since she’s living with her mom now, you can just get it over with. Like my cousin Fast Eddie Love says, “When she turns you down, you can throw the number away and forget the whole thing once and for all.”

Now let me explain something to you. You can only put pressure on women with low Interest Level. To you Psych majors, you can’t put pressure on a girl with high Interest Level, because she already digs you a lot. The only reason Sabrina will feel awkward is because she already told you once that she needs her space and you want to bug her. Until she knocks on your door, you should have nothing to do with her. In the meantime, make all the other girls at the office laugh like Jim Carrey would, and leave it at that.

Buddy, you don’t have a relationship going with this girl. She had low Interest Level in this other guy and she wanted her space. She got her space by breaking up with him. And she told you she wanted her space and that’s why you think you’re going to be pressuring her. Psych 101.

Once you found out Sabrina was living with a guy, you should have backed off until she moved out. But you were hustling her while she was shacking up. Big mistake.

I wouldn’t ask this babe for a date in the distant future because you already asked her once and she said no. If she’s interested in you she’ll come on to you. The death knell was her use of that terrible word -- “space.”

How long should you wait before you ak her out? Like my cousin General Love would say, “Until Armageddon!”

Now why would want to give a gift to a girl you’re not dating? Unless you’re seeing her, you don’t give her anything. In the second place, you don’t spring for a gift until she’s in love with you. You’re so far ahead of yourself it’s not even funny. Are you sure you read my book?

Tyson, let’s get real. You don’t really want to cheer Sabrina up. You want to trumpet your Interest Level like most guys do. You could care less about showing Sabrina sympathy. Why don’t you just give the book to someone else in the office who doesn’t care about you, or somebody you don’t care about? Think about it.

Remember, guys: when she’s living in sin, forget it.

How does Julio Iglesias Handle her When She Yells at Him?

Hey Doc,

I reference your book whenever I have relationship problems, but I’m having trouble finding something that pertains to the one I have with my current girlfriend.

Holly and I have been together for four years and we have a good relationship despite some ups and downs. We date three times a week and talk by phone twice a day. Sometimes Holly’s Interest Level dips, and when that happens I try to make myself more of a Challenge. It usually works, but sometimes she responds with lots of anger.

Recently Holly has been more naggy, less affectionate, and she’s snapped at me, though she still asks to be with me and calls a lot. I respond by being indifferent to her bossy remarks and I’ve also stopped taking her orders when she wants me to hang out with her instead of with my friends.

Last night the tension reached a climax. Holly wanted to be with me, but I planned to go out with my friends. As a compromise I told her that she and her friends could come over and that I’d make them drinks and they could go out afterwards. But she tried to convince me again to go out with her and became very upset when I told her no. I gave her valid excuses, but this sent her into an uncontrollable rage. I was able to calm her down and eventually told her I had to leave, but not before she laid into me for 20 minutes.

I know that Holly will come around, but I don’t think it’s okay for her to yell and treat me badly and for me to continue to act like it never happened. I want to make her happy, but I need to get my own emotions out too or I will end up bitter. Any suggestions, Doc?

Leo - who’s at the end of his rope

Hi Leo,

I occasionally get letters and e-mails from guys who complain about the same thing you’re complaining about: “Help! I’ve read your book three times and can’t figure out which end is up.” Make no mistake about it, guys -- the answer to ANY question about women and dating IS in the book. But let’s go ahead, and if the answer isn’t there, I’ll apologize.

You say have a good relationship with Holly. Leo, this should be a GREAT relationship. A SPECTACULAR relationship. There shouldn’t be ANY ups and downs. When you hook up with a babe, why would settle for something that’s not incredible and exactly what you want? Like my Uncle Jethro Love says, “You got 50 years for trouble once you get hitched!”

You and Holly get together and talk on the phone HOW often? Dude…one-third of “The System” is Challenge! You two are so on top of each other all the time that there isn’t any room whatsoever for Challenge. Excuse me a second while I go drop a Quaalude!

Trying to make yourself a Challenge now is like closing the barn door after the bull got out. You should have stayed a Challenge from the get-go. Right now you’re more like a yo-yo. You play hardball with Holly and get her to come at you, then when she does you go straight back to being a wimp because you think she’s changed. You don’t see that it’s being a consistent CHALLENGE that’s affecting her, putting her exactly where you want her.

But as it is, Holly is getting really ticked off at you. A big part of being a Challenge is HUMOR. I hope you’re handling this situation with a good dose of humor, pal. Because when a girl’s Interest Level is down to 51% to 55%, and it’s headed toward 49%, you’re going to need all the gentle humor you can muster. Remember – Jim Carrey, Vince Vaughn, Robin Williams, and Owen Wilson – they’re the guys you want to channel when things get heavy.

When Holly displays all this contradictory behavior, you have to disappear. Don’t take her phone calls. Don’t return them. Once she starts dissing you by screaming and yelling, you have to CUT IT OFF. You’re not dropping her, but you’re going to disappear for a couple of weeks and see if it shakes her up.

Let me get this straight. You’ve got heavy-duty relationship problems and you’re arranging a group date? After you own the girl, when everything is perfect, you can have the U.S. Navy over if you want. But when you’re mired in difficulties the last thing you want is an audience complicating things. With the kinds of stuff you’re battling, you shouldn’t have invited Holly over at all. Or like my cousin Fast Eddie Love says, “Better yet, invite all her friends and don’t invite her.” That’s playing super-hardball!

But you’re up against a woman displaying uncontrollable rage. Let me ask you a question, Leo. Is a woman in the grip of an uncontrollable rage – when she’s stomping on your ego out like a smoked-down cigarette – loving? And Holly doesn’t show the least bit of restraint when she attacks you. She lets you have it with both barrels. Like my cousin Brother Love down in Watts says, “I’d hate to see what she’d do if she didn’t love you!”

This behavior of Holly’s has a lot to say not just about how low her Interest Level is, but also the way she does combat. Which means that every time you have an argument with this banshee, this is what you’re going to have to deal with. Like my cousin Sal “The Fish” Love says, “Good luck, man. By the way, have you considered switching girlfriends?”

By the time this debacle was over, you’d endured 20 whole minutes of a vicious tongue-lashing. Worse, you hung around to take the beating. I don’t know what it is with you guys. Like the Bottom Line Factor says, “They give you the tiniest morsel of hope, then they beat on you nonstop.” Amazing.

But you still think Holly will come around. Leo, her Interest Level is nowhere near decent right now – because it’s down in the 40s. What can you going to do with an Interest Level that low except wait to get dumped? Her screaming and carrying on is part of her bad attitude. And the worst part for you is that it’s completely separate from the fact that she despises you. You’re on some la-la tangent here if you think this situation is going to take a turn for the better. What you need to do is get out of town. Let Holly chase you, then you’ll see if there’s any real hope left.

You’re not here to make this girl happy, buddy. You’re here to raise Interest Level. While you’re trying to make Holly happy, her Interest Level is swirling around the toilet bowl. Like the old Chinese proverb goes, “So why are you on this road, grasshopper?” It’s obviously the wrong one. Are you sure you have my book?

Leo, right now your Interest Level is 100%. And you’re just grasping at straws. So forget about your emotions and being bitter. Those are the last things Holly cares about. Do your homework and study my book.

Remember, guys: until she wants to apologize, she doesn’t know how to find you.

Does Nick Lachey ever Criticize his Dates?

Hey Doc,

I’m writing to you to try and figure out where I went wrong. I purchased your book six months ago. I read it once and every once in awhile I look through it. So far so good.

I met Michelle at the store where I work. She used to come in for years and we were always cordial to each other. Finally she gave me her phone number and I waited six days to call her. Things went well and we hit it off. We went out on a bunch of other dates over the next few months and they were also successful.

Now here’s where the problem comes in. This past Saturday we went out on a date and we had a little argument because she smoked pot with her friends a few hours before she saw me. I told her that I didn’t like her smoking pot. She told me not to tell her what to do. I said okay, you have a right to live your own life. The evening ended and I took Michelle home. She gave me a hug and that was that.

A few days passed and we didn’t speak to each other. Finally we connected online, and to make a long story short she said she doesn’t want to continue to date me. In the past she told me that she really liked me and had a crush on me for four years.

Now I’m confused. I called her and asked her what made her feel this way, and she told me that “things just got weird between us.” I felt needy then and asked if there was still a chance for us. She didn’t say anything.

Doc, I thought that Michelle’s Interest Level was higher than 49%. It seemed that she really liked me just a week ago. She put notes on my car telling me she missed me. I was cool with her and was never the Macho Boy or Wimpus Americanus. Now it’s all shot to hell.

I would really appreciate it if you gave me some feedback on this situation. What did I do to make Michelle leave?

Chuck - who’s still scratching his head

Hi Chuck,

You didn’t just buy my book, pal. You made an investment in your future. You didn’t know it at the time, but you took precautions to protect your long-term mental health.

And that’s why it’s disappointing that you read The Dating Dictionary only once. Dude – this material has to be memorized! I don’t know what it is with a lot of you guys. You think that just because this powerful manual is merely in your possession that it’s enough, and now you have it made with the girls. But what you don’t get is that it’s a tool. If you don’t pick the tool up and use it, practice with it, and get comfortable with it until it brings out the manly strength qualities in your personality, you’re going to continue to make mistakes. And that’s why you’re in the boat you find yourself in right now.

And Chuck, it’s obvious you haven’t memorized my book because I tell you in The Dating Dictionary to keep it light and funny, no heavy subjects, and no put-downs. Which of course is exactly what you didn’t do with Michelle. You put her down for something she likes to do, which violates my principles. Okay, so she’s into wacky weed, and you’re not a pothead. Like my cousin Brother Love down in Watts says, “Nobody’s perfect.” You can withdraw from the relationship gracefully and not ask her out anymore if you don’t like dopers. And by the way, why are you getting into arguments with a girl on a date when the reason for a date is to increase Interest Level? As the Chinese proverb goes, “Dates aren’t for proving a point, grasshopper.”

Of course Michelle doesn’t want you telling her what to do. Can you blame her? She hit it right on the head when she told you to take a hike. Hey Chuckie -- I’m shocked that she doesn’t want to date you anymore!

Like I said, if you don’t approve of her lifestyle, the solution is simple. Forget her. Don’t take her out anymore. But you didn’t do anything of the sort. You let Michelle dump you instead. Like my cousin General Love says, “You won the argument, but you lost the war.”

But here’s what’s weird about you, Chuckles. You don’t care for babes who do reefer, but you’re calling this one up and begging to see her again. Like my cousin Rabbi Love says, “My son, you don’t even go by your own principles!” To you Psych majors, you can’t have it both ways.

Even though Michelle told you that you were history, you whimpered about whether there was still a chance for you. She just told you that you were out, didn’t she? Does she have to explain to you that her Interest Level is 10,000 feet under water in the deepest part of the ocean before you get the drift? (And yeah, Chuck, I totally believe that you read my book only once -- your lousy performance proves it!)

You’re absolutely right that Michelle’s Interest Level was higher than 49%. Hey, it was way up in the 80s and 90s for four long years. The problem is, you went and opened your mouth.

And it’s also true that Michelle dug you as recently as a week ago. But the operative words here are “a week ago” -- she doesn’t dig you anymore. And she used to miss you, my friend, but that’s over too. Like my cousin Fast Eddie Love says, “She’s already telling the new guy she misses him.”

Chuck, I’ve got news for you. You were BOTH guys you thought you weren’t. You played Macho Boy by trying to dominate Michelle with your high-handed values, and then you turned Wimpus Americanus by going down on your knees and begging. Like my cousin Sal “The Fish” Love says, “When you’re that wishy-washy, it’s no wonder everything’s shot to hell.”

Here’s what you did to make Michelle leave: you told her what to do. And if she told you what to do, you wouldn’t like it either. (See girls, I’m not so bad!)

Remember, guys: if you don’t like what she does, throw her number away -- but don’t harbor any illusions of changing her.

Is Kiefer Sutherland ever Afraid to go in for the Kiss?

Hey Doc,

The girl of my affection is a secretary at the company I work for, where I’m one of the senior employees. Caitlin is 25 and I’m 32. We talked for the first time at a party. I had bought a new cell phone and she started playing around with it, using it to take pictures of me and the other guests. She said, “I see my phone number is missing from your address book. I’ll add it,” and then she typed in her number.

To me this indicated high Interest Level. But a couple days later I learned that Caitlin has a boyfriend. This confused me a bit, but I still proceeded to invite her on a date. While driving home afterwards, I made the big mistake of talking about one of my past relationships that ended in a “let’s just be friends” disaster. (I did not own “The System” at the time.) I’m sure this is what made Caitlin’s Interest Level drop very quickly. She then sent me a small book called Friendship. The next day I told her that I had to forget her. She said that “maybe” we could become more than friends in the future. I mostly ignored her from then on.

A couple months later Caitlin left her boyfriend. We started seeing each other again. Suddenly she was sending me all kinds of buying signals (holding my hand, visiting me in my office every day, looking for excuses to be with me more, etc.). We went out on a couple of dates that always ended nicely, but I did not go in for the kiss. I had a gut feeling that something wasn’t right, and that feeling stopped me from going in.

Two weeks ago, I went on a vacation to Africa. While I was away, Caitlin cared for my dog. She drove me to the airport and also picked me up when I returned (she had to take a day off to do that). Two days later, my best friend at work told me that Caitlin told him that she has a new boyfriend, another guy from our office, but that my friend was not to share this information with anyone. Of course she knew he’d tell me.

I know I won’t be able to avoid seeing Caitlin at the office. I’m confused all over again. Was it a mistake not to go in for the kiss? Was she waiting for me to kiss her? Or was she just playing with me, using me as a stopgap measure until something better -- a new boyfriend -- came along?

Hank - who’s back to collecting phone numbers

Hi Hank,

When Caitlin typed her number into your phone, you should have asked whether it was her home phone number or her cell phone number. Then you would have known right off the bat where you stood.

Hank, how can you say that one item – just one, single item – indicates high Interest Level? You need 60 items, guy! You can’t use just one buying signal, you need TONS of them. Like my cousin Sal “The Fish” Love says, “Dude, you’re a little too happy to jump on any scrap of affection. Didn’t your mommy love you when you were a little kid?”

That said, it’s good that you got Caitlin out on a date despite the rumor of a boyfriend. Because you want to hear about this other guy directly from her lips. You don’t want to hear it from a stranger, or worse, from a blocker.

I’ve told you guys over and over NOT TO TALK ABOUT OTHER WOMEN OR PAST FAILED RELATIONSHIPS IN THE EARLY STAGES OF DATING. But since you didn’t own “The System” at the time, you’re off the hook. But pal, keep it in mind in the future – it’ll save you lots of anguish.

The real issue though, is not that your blabbing made Caitlin’s shaky Interest Level drop quickly -- it’s HOW FAR you made it drop. So this isn’t a good thing to do, my friend. Like my cousin Brother Love down in Watts says, “How many times do you have to get your heart carved out before you stop spilling your guts?”

Another problem with this scenario is that you’re putting yourself down. You’re telling this babe how you were such a loser that another girl had no choice but to dump you. And then she starts thinking, “Gee, I wonder if I’m going to have to do the same thing? Am I overrating this turkey? Maybe I should be dumping him.”

See, what you guys don’t realize is that when you put a little bee in a girl’s bonnet, she’s going to look at it, play with it, and attack it from 50,000 different angles. And like my cousin General Love says, “Before you know what hit you, you’re in trouble.”

Instead of the great hint Caitlin dropped when she gave you the little book called Friendship, she should have sent you the volume called Goodbye, Hank! Because she was definitely trying to tell you something, man. And then you go and tell her you have to forget her or you’ll die? The girl has a boyfriend, you’ve been out with her all of once or twice, and now you’re so tragically in love with her since she’s not available that you’re losing your grip. You can hardly stand to look at her anymore or your heart will break. Like the old cowboy saying goes, “Man, I hope you don’t own any sawed-off shotguns!”

But not to worry. Caitlin is a gal with a heart. She said you might become more than friends in the future! Great! You know how I love definite maybes. And you know how well they work out!

But good for you that you tried to ignore Caitlin after she told you she only wanted to be friends. Too bad you didn’t keep ignoring her. When she dropped her boyfriend, you took her back too soon when she gave you a couple of buying signals. The bad part is that girls with Interest Level of 40% to 49% will do that. And remember, you were going back to her. What have I always said about going back to a girl? YOU CAN’T DO IT.

Now, on to your main question – whether or not you should have laid a kiss on Caitlin. Buddy, on the second date you go in for the kiss – all the time. No exceptions.

But your gut was right. It was telling you that this girl didn’t like you and that she was just wasting your time. But that doesn’t mean you still can’t kiss her. To you Psych majors, no one’s perfect.

It was very sweet of Caitlin to care for your mutt. But did you kiss her when you left the country? Did you kiss her when you got back? That’s what I want to know. You know why she was so generous to you, Hank? Because she’s a secretary and you’re a muckety-muck at your company.

Yes, it was a boo-boo not to go in for the kiss. On the other hand, Caitlin wasn’t waiting around for you to kiss her. She was just playing with you because you’re the boss. Like my cousin Rabbi Love says, “My son, she was either waiting for a new boyfriend or a promotion.”

Remember, guys: you can’t go back – ever.

Do Girls ever Distance Themselves from Usher?

Hey Doc,

I’m a senior in high school and I love what you do. You always have really good advice, whether it’s in your column or on your radio show. Keep up the great work.

Here’s my problem. I started hanging out with Natasha about a week ago. We hit it off from the start. She’s drop-dead gorgeous, but she’s also well-rounded and has a great personality, too. Doc, I really, really like her. This past Saturday night her friend threw a party and Natasha and I went together. We talked for a while, and by the end of the night we were being very romantic and she kissed me three times on the lips without my making a move. Natasha said she really liked me, so I figured this one was in the bag. She doesn’t go to parties and hook up with guys all the time, so this was definitely something special.

I told Natasha I’d call her the next day. So I left a message on her answering machine on Sunday and she didn’t call back. Later that night she sent me a text message saying she was too tired to talk, but that we’d see each other the next day at school.

Here’s what I don’t get: Natasha was all over me Saturday night, but she wouldn’t even phone me back when I called her. Today when we saw each other in school she was a little awkward around me and she stayed close to her friends a lot more than usual. We agreed to hang out this weekend but she wasn’t that enthusiastic about the idea.

Doc, I really like this girl and I’d love to have a relationship with her. I don’t want this to be just a one-night hook-up and nothing else. So how do I communicate this to her without coming on too strong?

Thanks for any help you can give me.

Jose - who doesn’t want to say the wrong thing

Hi Jose,

Thanks for the compliments. And let me suggest that The Dating Dictionary should be required reading for every senior in every high school. If it were, there’d be a lot less problems in the world, guaranteed.

Now Jose, with “The System” we don’t “hang out.” We go on dates. We get dressed up. Sprinkle on a few drops of nice cologne. Shine our shoes and brush our teeth. Then we paste on a big smile, and when we get to the door, we say “Showtime!” We want the girl to know that we’re after her, but in a subtle and nonverbal fashion. We’re going to say it with our actions because we don’t believe in talking about heavy stuff and giving our power away.

I’m sure Natasha is all the things you say, Jose. No doubt she can pass for Maria Sharapova’s younger sister. And she’s one more thing: she’s 17 years young. Which means she’s not fully-grown, and we all know that a young girl is nothing if not dangerous when it comes to falling in love. She doesn’t know what she wants yet. She’s just a baby, and so are you, but that’s all right. We all have to start somewhere.

And I have no doubt that you’re crazy about her. She’s drop-dead gorgeous, so who wouldn’t like her? But the more important point is this: what’s HER Interest Level? Does she touch your arm five times whenever she sees you? Does she tail you around the halls at school trying to get your attention? That’s what you’re not telling me. And it’s the only thing that matters.

Your big date with Natasha was more like a big mistake, buddy. And your first blunder was going on a group date. What have I told you guys a zillion times? No group dates. You should be taking this girl to different types of places around town. Unusual, unique places. Far-out restaurants. The zoo if there is one. Doing things that other high school guys don’t do. You’ll stand out in the crowd, believe me.

I’m sure too that Natasha said she liked you – but she didn’t say it after 10 years of marriage. If she did, then you can do somersaults and back flips. But she said it after two hours. Two hours isn’t enough. Two hours is nothing.

Jose, I hate to break this to you, but Natasha does like go to parties and hang out with guys – she kissed you, didn’t she? Let’s get real here. How do you know what she does? Have you had a camera on this filly for the last 17 years, watching her every move? And she’s drop-dead gorgeous to boot? This girl’s been chased since she was 12, man. She’s heavy duty. And you’re putting her way up on a pedestal. The truth is that you know nothing about Natasha. Absolutely nothing.

And of course you ran and called her the very next day. Hey, she looks like she should be on the cover of Seventeen, right? Why don’t you just ask her to go steady already? Say, “Natasha, let’s go steady because I can’t wait – I’m in a real hurry!”

What you should have done was not answered Natasha’s text message at all. Like my cousin General Love says, “Withdraw, soldier!” But like most boys with big egos – and I’m talking about 45-year-old boys here too – you had to charge in and try and “fix” things. Anytime you get a mixed signal from a girl and you sense a drop in intensity, you should be GONE. Out of there. Like my cousin Sal “The Fish” Love says, “You’re the newest member of the U.S. Federal Witness Protection Program, living in Podunk, Nebraska.”

Natasha didn’t call you back? Heck, I can see it. It’s really tough to make a phone call. She had to pick up the receiver, which weighs all of 14 ounces, then she had to punch in the digits seven times and she had to say, “Listen, baby, I had a great time, and I’ll see you at school tomorrow. I’m dying to see you again, but I’m just out of gas. I don’t mean to be rude, but I knew you’d understand, because I took the 30 seconds necessary to call you due to my high Interest Level, and because I’m a classy girl and I’m always up front.”

But she didn’t do that, did she? This beauty was all over you for one night – and that’s all. I want her all over you for 10 dates. One night is nothing. Remember: UNTIL YOU GET TO 10 DATES, NOTHING COUNTS.

Know why Natasha didn’t phone you back? Because you’re pressing her. She’s a knockout. She’s dying inside for a Challenge, and all she finds is little boys pressing, pressing, and pressing. You smooched three times and here you are falling in love forever. Like my cousin Brother Love down in Watts says, “Bro, it’s time to grow up!”

You should have phoned in sick to school the next day. You should have made her wonder where you were. Yet you’re forcing Natasha to get together on the weekend. Here a girl is pulling back, and you keep pushing her. To you Psych majors, pressure never works in a romantic relationship – period.

Jose, if Natasha isn’t enthusiastic about getting together again, call her up on Thursday and break the date. I dare you.

You say you listen to my radio show and you read my column and then you make the statement that you want a long-term relationship. Apparently Natasha wants just a one-night hookup and nothing else. But no, you’re thinking, you’re the only one. You’re the first one. No one’s ever rapped to this babe from the time she was 12 to the time she turned 17. No other guy’s ever kissed on a Saturday night. Dude, you keep thinking that. And keep smoking whatever you’re smoking.

Like I said, it’s time to move to Broken Butt, North Dakota. Because pal, you want Natasha pounding on your door, pleading with you to come out, calling you, begging to know what’s wrong because you haven’t gotten back to her and she’s left you three phone messages, texted you six times and you’re not giving her the time of day. Like my cousin Fast Eddie Love says, “When she’s going nuts over you, then maybe we’ll give her another shot.”

Remember, guys: when you sense a discrepancy in Interest Levels, it’s time to load up the car and buy a farm in North Dakota.

Does Jude Law ever Confess when He Cheats?

Hey Doc,

I’ve been in a relationship with Jill for eight months now. In the fourth month of our relationship I cheated on her with my ex-girlfriend. I haven’t talked to my ex-girlfriend since. I felt guilty about it the minute I did it and told Jill that I was unfaithful with a girl a week after we met when we weren’t committed yet (obviously it was a lie).

This has caused a lot of problems in our relationship. I continued to feel guilty about what I did, and just a couple of days ago I told Jill that it was actually my ex-girlfriend I was unfaithful with. She promptly asked me to get out and said she doesn’t want to be with me anymore.

I used to follow “The System” when I was in college and it was a great help with women, but I got overconfident and forgot the basics. When I opened your book yesterday, I realized how much I should have kept studying it. Doc, do you think that my relationship with this gem – Jill -- is over because of my mistake? Do you think that even if it works out she’s probably going to want to get back at me to make sure things are “equal?” What about the chances that she’ll cheat on me?

I know that Jill’s Interest Level was off the charts at the beginning. She begged me to move in with her and talked about having my kids and getting married. Can my blunder drive Jill’s Interest Level from the 90s to 49%? Should I bother trying to make it work? If so, how can I do it?

I know I’ve hit you with a ton of questions, but I would greatly appreciate any responses that you can give me.

Josh - who messed up big-time

Hi Josh,

You cheated with your ex? What were you thinking? You’ve got a good, loving girl, and what do you go and do? You allow your ego to lead you into breaking your contract with this girl. And even worse, you did it with an ex! A double no-no.

To you Psych majors, you have to ask yourself this question: why am I playing with fire? Why am I doing something dangerous like this when I have such a good deal? Your situation reminds me of when Hugh Grant cheated on the delicious Liz Hurley. A year and a half after he committed his peccadillo, it was over. It took a little longer for Liz to get rid of Hugh than for Jill to dump you, but that mistake finally killed it.

Now let me tell all you guys something. I’m against any kind of fooling around when you’re going with somebody. But if you do happen to cheat, do you actually believe it’s going to up your girlfriend’s Interest Level? And it’s not just guys who tempt fate -- women can be prone to the same thing. And then you blurt out, “Don’t take this personally, honey, but I got together with my ex behind your back. Please forgive me and love me more!” If you have to tell somebody about what you did, tell everyone else in the world, all 6 billion of them, but just don’t tell Jill, for Pete’s sake.

So, your little indiscretion caused problems for you, Josh? Well, there’s the understatement of the year! Feeling guilty shows you have a conscience, though and that you’re not completely numb. At least when you told Jill what you did you left out the gory details. I’m glad – you did something right.

Then she asked you to beat it. Well, what else would you expect? Reverse the situation. How would you feel if Jill confessed infidelity to you? What would you tell her to do if the shoe was on the other foot?

It goes without saying that you should have stayed with “The System,” man. I’ve told you guys again and again that you have to study it every night for 10 minutes before you go to sleep unless you’re married. But Josh, you got all full of yourself and decided to skip the basics. There’s your ego running amok again. Or like my cousin Brother Love down in Watts says, “It’s the ugly devil raising his head!”

Again, you Psych majors, this stuff has to be memorized, and you can’t just walk away from it when you feel like you’re on top of things. But in your favor, you realized that you should have kept studying. Like my cousin General Love says, “There’s still hope in America!”

Now, let’s get on to the ultimate question. The truth is that yes, your relationship with Jill is probably kaput. But I’ll do my best to save it.

Of course she’s going to want to equal the score between you. It’s human nature, Josh. You’re going to have to take a beating every time there’s an argument – over anything. Whenever there’s a disagreement over something as small as which restaurant to go to you’re going to hear about the terrible thing you did with your ex. Like my cousin Fast Eddie Love says, “This girl’s going to give the term ‘nagging’ new significance!”

And sure, she’ll probably be tempted to cheat on you. Some girls will still hang around you and then go into revenge mode, just to make sure you really feel it. And when she does, like my cousin Sal “The Fish” Love says, “You’ll have to sit there thinking about all those lonely guys hanging around the bars and clubs that she might run into.”

Guys (this is not addressed only to you, Josh), Interest Level is ALWAYS off the charts in the beginning. The problem is, it ends up on the floor when you deviate from my principles.

When Jill was in love with you she begged you to move in and have her kids. That, dude, was 100% Interest Level. This babe was crawling all over you. But you tossed “The System.” You walked away from the techniques that got this girl.

A really, really good question is where your blunder will drive Jill’s Interest Level. Half the time when a guy screws up like this, it will go straight into the 30s or 40s. But let’s say you lucked out and it hasn’t dropped to 49%. Let’s say it stopped plummeting when it touched 51%. And let’s say you’re hanging by your fingertips from the side of a cliff, and Jill’s interest is hovering somewhere between 51%-55%. What you have to do in that case is disappear, and every time she calls you and dredges it up, you have to say, “I apologize, dear, and it will never happen again.” And buddy, you’re going to have to be ready to say it 100,000 times, all through your marriage to this girl -- if she takes you back.

And here’s what the other love doctors don’t tell you. They say that you can rebuild the trust bond after it’s been ruptured, but I say it’s a half-truth. Now are you ready for this? Jill’s Interest Level is going to stay out of the 80s and 90s. Maybe it’s even going to stay out of the 70s. At best it will be 67%, 68%. Because since she was burned, she can’t give you that other 30% to get it back to where it was.

On the other hand, with time and good behavior and your ability to endure the constant punishment you’ll be subjected to, what could happen is that Jill might even allow her Interest Level up to 80%-85%. But it will never, ever go into the 90s again. And there’s a good chance it will never even hit the 80s. It depends on the individual woman. Good luck, Josh. You’re going to need it.

I always try and help you guys, as you know. My friend, you can try and make this thing work, but you’re facing real nasty odds. You’ve got to stay away from Jill. She has to call you up and you have to ask her out. And then she’ll say, “No! I just called you to tell you again what a jerk you are!” And you’ll have to say okay, honey, let me have it with both barrels. And she’s going to browbeat you for 20 minutes and then hang up. And you’ll just have to keep putting up with that until she gets some of the pain out of her system. But she won’t ever get it all out.

Meanwhile, Josh, you’d better hustle other women, because your chances with Jill are so lousy. And you have to ask yourself one more question: do I want to live with a woman whose Interest Level will never be in the 90s?

Remember, guys: if you’re Catholic, save it for the confessional.

©2006, DocLove Dot Com

Other Relationship Issues, Books

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I present myself to you in a form suitable to the relationship I wish to achieve with you. - Luigi Pirandello

Doc Love is a talk show host, entertainment speaker, and coaches men in his seminars. For the past 30 years he has asked thousands of women, "Why do you stay with one man versus another?" Archives for 2005, 2004, 2003, 2002, 2001, and 2000.

DocLove will answer all of your romantic love questions from a man’s perspective. So set your ego aside, learn to laugh at yourself, and visit www.doclove.com or e-mail me at doclove@doclove.com or call me at 800.404.2644 and I will give you a snappy answer to your silly love question – one loaded with truth. You do what I say, and Miss Right will rob banks for you. When I get done with you, you will need more security than Julio Iglesias. However, to protect the guilty, I promise to not use your real name, or give it out. All questions will be answered, but only the ones of general interest printed. Please be specific and don’t ramble.

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