a Man

Dr. Dennis W. Neder is the author of Being a Man in a Woman's World. Got a love, relationship or man/woman question? He'll answer all letters. Write E-Mail for answers or visit:

At a Loss For Being Selfish
Being "Daddy" Without The Sugar
Can You Love If You Don't "Like"?
Do I Have A Chance With Him?
Everybody Has A Past
Exploring the Approach
Finding the "G Spot"
Focus on Yourself
Get Over Being Shy!!
Getting Over Social Phobia
Handling a Difficult Close
Have Confidence - Fake it Until You Make It!
Help Me Please Mine!
He's Hot, He's Cold, and He's Hot Again!
How Do I Get Her Out Of His Life?
How to Help Him be Monogamous
It's Time to Get Moving With Women
In Love At A Distance
Love Hurts
Making the First Move
More on Dating Two (or more) Women at a Time
My Man Doesn't Want Sex!
Playing the Game with a Game Player
The Problems With Single Mothers
Rebuilding Trust
Selling Skills = Dating Success
She Doesn't Need Another Girlfriend!
She Won't Stop Kissing Her Friends!
Speak Up! - Getting What You Want in Bed (for Women)
Stop Being Used!
10 Ways to Know When Your Relationship Is "Right"
You Can't "Own" Someone Else!
When NOT to Get Married
When Your Lover's Mother Gets In The Way
Where to Find Wonderful Women or Magnificent Men
Why are Beautiful Women Crazy?
Why Are Men Obsessed With Porn?
Other Relationship
Issues, Books

At a Loss For Being Selfish


I'm having some trouble here and would appreciate any advice you have. I have been with my boyfriend for 6 years now, he is my first and only boyfriend, and I am his first and only girlfriend. During our 6 years together, he was nothing but sweet, loyal, passionate, and adoring of me. He was very committed to me but I was always scared of commitment and told him that getting a career is more important than getting married. I have left him twice in the past for another guy, out of stupidity and temptation, and last year I left him for another guy for 8 months. Each time I did this, he begged for me to take him back, and when I did come to my senses and come back, he would play hard to get and act like I had to beg for him. 3 months ago, I left him to move to the other end of the country, something that hurt him terribly. I stayed there for 2 months and for the first month; he would call me everyday and tell me he loved me. Then, once I decided to return because I missed him so much and was finally ready to settle down with him, he told me that he needed some time apart to be on his own and get his businesses in order and he wanted to be single and with his buddies and he stopped calling me. Now I am back in my hometown and he is still not calling me. I will call him once in a while to say "Hi" but he hardly returns my calls. We decided to meet up and watch a hockey game recently, and then 2 days later, he flaunts this new girl he's seeing in my face at a bar, and I got angry with him. Now, he acts very cold and without feeling, like he's put his feelings aside and he's put up a wall. In 1 month, he has transformed into the absolute opposite of who he has always been. I spilled my heart and soul out to him, telling him that I will do anything to make this relationship work, but he brushes it off. Now he's seeing some other chick, which is 35 years old, (he's 24). He says he loves me, and he keeps asking why it was ok for me to do this last year and why I can't let him move on. I know that he is speaking out of pain and hurt, but he won't even talk to me about what's happening. The worst part is how disrespectful he is to me when he's in public with his friends. He ignores me like I'm just some girl he was seeing for a month or so, and if he knows that I will be at a certain bar, he will show up with that woman, and flirt with her and dance with her right in front of me. I try to ignore it, but I always end up leaving the bar in tears. I don't understand how and why he is treating me this terribly. It's one thing to want to break up, but still be respectful to me, and it's another to completely humiliate me over and over again. I know I need to stop calling him, but I don't want him to think I don't care for him anymore. How can he go from a 6-year relationship to another girl in 1 month? Can you explain to me his sudden behavior because he's not telling me anything? Should I stay away from the places he hangs out? And most importantly, what's the best way for me to proceed in order to leave things open for reconciliation? I want him back so bad, I gave up everything out west to come back home to him and he knows this. I just want to spend the rest of my life making him feel as special as he made me feel for the last 6 years. Please help, I don't want to make the wrong moves and hurt this situation anymore than it has been. Is there any salvation for this relationship and will he snap out of this coldness and tell me what's going on? Thank you so much for listening.

Hello! Please tell me you're kidding me - right? Let's see here. You had a terrific relationship with a caring, loving guy but it wasn't very important to you, so you left him and started seeing other guys. Then, you even left town and moved all the way across the country. Now, you're back and you want to be with him again, but you're hurt because he won't be the same, lovely, wonderful guy he was because you kept dumping all over him. What in the hell are you thinking anyway? I'm surprised he even talks to you at all! The only reason I can think of for it is that he is so inexperienced that he doesn't know that there are women out there that WILL treat him properly and with respect. I don't care how much he wanted the relationship in the past; frankly, you don't deserve him! What could you ever do now that would make for the way you've treated him? He's being far nicer to you than you deserve in my opinion. If you'd done this to me, I would never talk to you again - ever. At least he'll talk to you. This might be a good time to go sit by yourself for a while and think about what you really want in your life. Your actions here border on abuse and if you ever want someone of quality in your life again, someone that loves you, and cares for you, you'd better get yourself straightened out. A person like this is a treasure that you earn. You got lucky the first time, but don't expect it to happen again. With a LOT of work on your selfish self, you may get another chance in the future with someone else. Get started right away. Best regards...

Speak Up! - Getting What You Want in Bed (for Women)

I get a lot of reader mail. Much of it from women, complains about how men don't know how to please thier girlfriends. I always have the same response - what have YOU done about it?

Too many women feel that men should "just know" how to please a woman in bed. This is just plain rediculous! I'm convinced that there is no such thing as a "natural born lover". Making love is a skill that is learned (for both men AND women by the way - very few women are really good lovers - men just happen to be less picky about most of it!) Further, every woman is a brand new classroom. Often, the things that worked for one woman don't work for another.

Here's the reality: if you aren't getting what you want from your partner - it's YOUR fault and YOUR responsibility!

Why Women Don't Tell

Many women feel that "coaching" their partners would hurt their egos; and for some this may be true. If so, you may have to be more careful, but you don't have to put up with a lousy lover! You can broach the subject easily by first asking him what HE wants. As he's telling you, make mental notes - you can use the help too, believe me! Women are NOT natural lovers either. Many, many women just lay there waiting to have things done to them and then claim that they really know how to please a man. Sorry sister - it ain't necessarily so!

After he's given you the litany of things he likes, feel free to tell him that you have things you want too. He'll understand and probably want to know more - much more! If he doesn't, what are you doing with him in the first place?

Other women feel that he "should just know." How's he going to know what you want if you don't tell him? Should he just try everything until he happens upon the thing you really want? That's just stupid. What man is going to spend all that time trying everything, getting shot down on most of it to try to find what you want? If you take this approach, don't be hurt or surprised if he brings home another woman to try a threesome - just in case that's what you want!

Many times, I've asked lovers what they do and don't like in bed. The most common answer is, "oh, I like just about everything!" Hogwash! When a man asks you this, he isn't interested in your "range" of sexual interest - he really wants to know what things you enjoy. You should be thrilled if your lover askes. Many don't know that they should! If you don't know the answer to this question yourself, you've got some work to do.

If You Don't Say It, Don't Expect It!

If he hasn't found your hot button(s) and you haven't told him about them he isn't going to know. Period. You've got to speak up! Women's sexual response is rather more complicated than men's. Sure, it's easy for YOU to know what YOU want - but not for him. You've got to drop your guard a little and let him in on the secret.

Again, you don't need to be concerned by what you say - he's probably going to be really into anything you come up with. Men are almost always willing to try new things. As one of my female friends says, "That's why I like men - my fantasies are their playground!"

Don't Be Ashamed or Afraid

Women, you'd be surprised by how open your man probably is to new ideas. Want to be tied up and ravished? Most men would jump at the chance! Would you like to get better oral sex? Most men are very willing to help. Is he too fast or too slow? Why not say so - but do it in a sensitive, caring way with the goal of improving your sex life.

I have a friend that that had a fantasy about being a slave girl on a ship. She told her boyfriend who, a few months later rented a sailboat (he was an avid sailor), and, on a warm summer day, sailed her to the middle of nowhere, lashed her to the mast, stripped her and ravished her - more than fullfilling her fantasy (and starting a bunch more!) In fact, it was so good for her, she still can't stop telling the story to just about anyone that will listen!

Your man is probably very interested in what turns you on, so frankly, you have very little (if any!) risk in telling him.

Don't Expect Him to Jump Through Hoops

When you tell him about yours, don't set the bar too high. Some women's fantasies are quite complex, involving props, sets, lighting, etc. For example, if you've always wanted to join the "mile-high club", don't expect him to rush out and get his pilot's license so that he can fulfill your fantasy. If you really want this fantasy to come true, and the bathrooms on those commercial flights are just too cramped, YOU may have to get YOUR pilot's license, or be more creative!

You may have to help him along. Oral sex is a good example. Simply telling him you like it isn't going to get you oral the way you want it. He's likely to just dive right in. He probably doesn't understand the kind of build-up you need before getting that most inimate of kisses. Take some time and make him understand. This is the time to be specific about things - after all, it's your satisfaction we're talking about here!

If You Don't Know, You Can't Tell It

Do you fantasize? Almost every women asked this question by her man say's "no", as though it would make her a slut or something if she did. The fact is, almost everyone fantasizes - and does so regularly. Whether it's while having sex or masturbating, sitting in class or at work, driving in your car, or whatever - fantasizing is common - very, very common. So, drop the embarrassment and fear! There is nothing wrong with fantasizing - in fact most psychologist feel that it is a normal, healthy way of exploring your own sexuality.

One of the reasons why women are reluctant to discuss they needs in bed is that many of them simply don't know themselves. Whether through repression, embarrassement, fear, bad experiences, or whatever, many women never allow themselves to explore their sexual side. I have to wonder what these women are waiting for! There is little that makes a person feel so alive as sex. You are as deeply "inside" as you can get as well as outside at the same time. Why waste this tremendous gift? I can tell you that your lover doesn't want you to!

More on Dating Two (or more) Women at a Time

Dear Dr.,

I really learned a lot from your article entitled "Dating Two (or More) women at the Same Time". I have a few questions though and I'd really appreciate it if you could give me some advice on this. I recently started dating a woman. I like her but I know she's not the woman for me in the long run. She's concerned and tells me she really doesn't want to see me with other women. She teases me by implying I have all kinds of women that are interested in me (which isn't true). When this happens, I'm really not sure what to say. I don't want to hurt her feelings, nor seem like my life is revolving around just her or that I don't have any options. When she says this, I just smile and tell her how cute she is. How would you handle this? Although I don't have much experience in dating two or more women at the same time, I would like to. At least until I find one I really want to commit to. While I have learned a lot, I'm still basically a nice guy (but no longer a pushover) and I really don't want to lie to the women I date. Several of my friends feel that the right thing to do is to tell each woman up front that I do date other women so I can never be accused of lying to them, deceiving them, or setting myself up for them going Psycho on me. What is your opinion on this? What's the best thing to say? What's a guideline on when this conversation should take place? When I get a call at home, or on my cell phone from another woman, how should I handle it? How should I address the caller and how should I word it when I have to say Where I'm at and with whom? Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you so much!

Hello! First, you need to realize that this woman is trying to make you responsible for her insecurity. In other words, by implying all that about other women, she's setting you up to knock you down. She senses that you're not as committed to her as she wants so that if she finds you're dating other women, she can come back and say tell you what an asshole you are, and "How dare you take advantage of her trust like that!", etc., etc. You need to realize that you are NOT responsible for her emotional well-being - even if you care for her. She is an adult and is the only one with that responsibility - she cannot deny it, give it away, or simply expect anyone else carry this responsibility. Women do this all the time however. In the very language she uses, she thinks that she can guilt you into being only with her. My brother, not only are you NOT responsible for her insecurity, you are not obligated to uphold her expectations (or wishes) for you out of any sense of duty, honor or responsibility - as long as you haven't lied to her. I believe that a man's word is his bond. So, don't agree - even under duress - to only dating her. Instead, do just what you've been doing. Treat it as funny, while realizing that you have your own path, and she has hers. If you DO meet other women you want to date, for God's sake - DON'T TELL HER and DON'T LET HER FIND OUT! Many men do this: they leave little clues around for a woman to "discover", and believe me; she's looking constantly for them. She'll notice even small things like a different color hair in your car! Not only would it get very messy if she found anything incriminating, but frankly if you do care about her, don't set her up to be hurt. You have responsibilities in dating multiple women, so be a man, and do what you have to do to protect her along with yourself. As well, don't get backed into a corner and become forced to lie to her, or worse, over commit. Decide that if she DOES back you into a verbal corner, making you state that you either are or are not dating someone else, that you'll have a plan on what to say. Here's what often happens: a woman will build an artificial situation that you'll have to deal with, (this, by the way is called "The Test" - see my book, "Being a Man in a Woman's World" for more on this), then it will result in some anger or hurt on her part, (don't worry, this is all part of The Test). However, she's going to turn this around into something where you have to jump through an emotional hoop. Women do this because they know intuitively that us men are usually not ready to handle it. Thus, we can only do one of two things: lie or over commit. You, my brother, have to be ready for this and deal with it cleanly and quickly. Always remember that you have no specific agreement with her to be monogamous, or to not date other women. Nor will you make such an agreement! If you get backed into a corner, you've got to pull this out of your hat and be ready. Simply state it clearly, plainly, and without emotion, "I'm sorry, we have no agreement to be exclusive, and I'm not ready to make one." Be clear and to the point. As to when this conversation should take place, realize that she is going to assume that you're a monogamous couple far earlier than you will. That's why she's setting you up right now! She's trying to imply that you are exclusive, and if you fall into this trap, she's going to have ammunition if you aren't, so don't let that happen. Instead, just keep doing what you're doing - ducking the punches. If you get a call anywhere from another women when you're with her, just say on the phone, "I'm sorry, I'm busy right now and can't talk to you right now." Then, claim to her that work called, or one of your buddies, and that you "...wanted to give your entire attention to her right now..." Even better, don't carry your cell phone, or answer your home phone when you're with her. In fact, turn your answering machine to silent unless you're by yourself. Vince, believe me, you have the right to handle your relationships however you want. Beyond the commitments you've made to her, your time and freedom are yours. You just have to do some extra planning and organizing if you want to be successful at dating multiple women. Best regards...

Why Are Men Obsessed With Porn?


I need to understand why some men have are overly obsessed with porn. Is it that he is imagining he is having sex with them? Please tell me it like it is! Thank you


Wouldn't it be nice if there were a one-sentence answer to that question? The fact is it is rather more complicated. However, let me try to help you understand. To understand this, you have to know one important key about men: men are NOT monogamous by nature. This isn't my fact by the way; it was here when I arrived! It is actually one of the reasons why humans have been so successful a species! You see, in any animal species where there are few offspring born, and the infant mortality rate is high (as it is with gerbils, whales, dogs, giraffes and humans), the males are "wired" to seek multiple females for mating. This is how they help to insure that their genes get passed on to the next generation. Interestingly, females are programmed to "pair bond" - that is, to try to create and sustain a monogamous relationship! By having a second adult around to protect, gather food, and raise their young, this is how females help to insure that THEIR genes get passed along as well! In actuality pair bonding is a relatively new thing to humans - we've only been doing it for 5,000 years! Since we've been on this planet, (6 million years), we've been doing it "nature's way" for 99.92% of the time we've been here! So, what does this have to do with porn? You see, men (males) are compelled to try to mate with as many women (females) as possible. However, they want to try to meet the expectations of society by staying in committed, monogamous relationships too. Thus, porn becomes a safe outlet for men's natural instincts. By viewing porn, they satisfy their programming while maintaining their commitments to their women. You shouldn't be threatened by your man viewing porn any more than he should be threatened by you reading romance novels! In fact, it's his way of dealing with his natural programming; just as expecting him to be monogamous and committed to you is yours. Let's talk about the monogamy part, as it is important to your implied question. As I mentioned, men are not monogamous by nature. BUT - we can CHOOSE to be. So, don't try to force your man to be monogamous - you're just going against nature, and his natural programming, and you know what happens when you try to fight nature - nature wins! Instead, simply be the woman for whom he chooses to be monogamous! Best regards...

Love Hurts

Hi Doc,

Hello, I have a question for you. Back in July 2000, I met this girl from Germany. She was an exchange student that my uncle hosted for a whole year. My uncle lived in California and brought her back home. When I saw her I couldn't believe it. I felt like I knew her before I even spoke to her. She is the most beautiful girl I have ever met. I took her for a walk one night and tried to tell her just how I felt but I couldn't find the words to say. The way I feel is absolutely indescribable. She told me that she really likes me a lot but not exactly the same as I liked her. The night before she left to go back to Germany I stayed up the entire night writing. Then I gave all 21 pages to her just before she left. It told her to never forget me and explained how I felt about her. Later in an email, she told me that it made her almost cry. Everything I told her was straight from my heart and usually I am shy around most girls, but with her I felt like she was easy to talk to and easy to approach. For the first time in my life I actually found something very special. Then the fall of 2001 came and my uncle was killed in an accident. She called me and told me she was coming. She flew all the way from Germany to be with my family and me. That's the kind of person she is. When she came I held her close told her how special she was to me. I think she understood a little better about how I feel. I am in college now with a German/Business major, and she is going to a German University - the same university that I'll go to during my year of study abroad. Someday I hope to be working there in Germany. I'd give up anything for this girl. She's so special and I had the thought of asking her to marry me running through my head, but I know that she's not ready for that. I respect her enough to not rush things. She told me she doesn't feel so strongly about me as I do for her. I honestly believe if we spent more time together things would grow between us. We are already close but I think we could get A LOT closer. I think she is afraid of the distance between us right now. I have thought about nobody else as far as girls in 2 going on 3 years. Now I think there has to be something there. In fact I feel just as strongly about my feelings as I did when we first met in 2000. Let me know what you think and be honest about it. THANKS!!!!


Ok my brother, honesty is what you're going to get. You've got nothing but problems with this "relationship" and in fact it is all in your mind. She has so much told you that she isn't interested in you, even if she is a very, very nice person. You can't love her enough to make her love you back. She has to want this for herself, and she has told you that she doesn't. My brother, you're in college. This is the time you should be growing your experience with girls and instead, you're in love with someone half way around the world. Who knows how many perfect women you've passed by waiting for someone that you'll never have? Whether you're in your town or hers makes no difference, you're not in her heart the same way she is in yours. Understand this, I've been exactly where you are right now. I fully understand what you're going through, but you've got a delusional situation going on. You've got to come to grips with the fact that you're not going to be with this girl in the way you want. That is a fact. As soon as you get it into your head, you can start healing, but not one minute before. I'm sorry if this letter is harsh, but you need a real dose of reality. There is no magic in love; in fact, in it's most clinical sense, it is just a chemical process going on in your brain. The good news is that you can deal with it, get over it, and save it for someone that DOES want the same thing you do. And, that person will come along too - you just have to be open to her when she appears. Good luck, much love...

Finding the "G Spot"

Hi Doc,

I have heard about the "G spot", but I don't know where it is. How do I stimulate it? I would very much appreciate some guidance on this issue. thank you!


Not everyone even believes that the "g-spot" exists. I do however, based on my experience, and most women agree with me on this. The "g-spot", (or "Gaffenburg Spot"), is an anatomical structure located inside the vagina, usually about an inch to 2 inches inside. If the woman is lying on her back, it is located on the top wall of the vagina. You can find it by inserting one or two fingers into the vagina with you palm facing up, and curling your fingers upward to point back at you. (Be sure to have your nails trimmed!) What you'll find is a "fleshy" area roughly about the size of a quarter that has very specialized nerves, much like the clitoris. Many women report that this spot generates huge orgasms - even "female ejaculations" - a very good thing. One way to really work a woman is you insert your finger into her vagina and stroke this area, or move your finger in and out while applying pressure to this area, and lick her clitoris at the same time. Keep in mind that every woman is different. Some are so sensitive that they can't take this much stimulation, and others absolutely need it. Ask your girl what she prefers, and experiment! Good luck, much love...

Exploring the Approach


I would like your opinion about an approach I plan on using on a girl. She is very hot, but of course I wasn't going to tell her the say thing most guys do, ("Oh!, Your so beautiful.")

I realize that it is best to NOT shower girls with compliments, but I do want to get her interest, and make her think I make her feel special. Actually, I want a lot more than that, but I think you get what I'm saying.

She is a hairdresser, and she says she "adores life and never loses optimism". I was going to compliment her hair, saying that she looked like a queen with her hair like that (she had it done up in a fancy do), and that perhaps she'd look even more elegant with it down by saying, "It reveals the lustrous color of your hair. You have very beautiful hair." She describes herself as a "common girl", so that might add a different twist to the compliment that she looks like a queen with her hair like that.

I figured this is a meaningful compliment that she will appreciate, since she is a hairdresser and obviously cares a lot about her hair, and that it won't come across as bland like "You're so pretty." Hopefully it will create some interest and attraction - and at the same time I am not making myself appear desperate by making it sound like I would do anything in the world to sleep with her.

I was also going to say, "You seem to have an equally beautiful outlook on life. I can tell this not only because you mentioned it, but because of your warm smile. I bet you could brighten a dark room and make a sad person happy to be alive". Again, I'm trying to avoid sounding like I am drooling over her.

Does it sound obvious that I am complimenting her hair because she is a hairdresser, and her smile because she said she never loses optimism? Perhaps I am missing something. Perhaps these are lame compliments, and maybe they are a bad idea.

I'd appreciate your honest opinion please.


You're absolutely right about compliments - DO NOT give them. Every guy does that and every girl is wary to it. Further, if she's an "attention whore" you're just going to play right into her game.

Along that line, I'd absolutely avoid the "queen compliment". This isn't a powerful position to come from. Could you imagine James Bond, or Tom Cruise's character in "Top Gun" using something like this? Of course not! You want an approach that is direct and powerful, not weak.

You should ALWAYS stay away from complimenting someone's physical features. After all - they didn't do anything to get them - they were born with them. Thus, this is always the weakest position to take, and is seen as such by women. As well, I'd stay away from her hairdo - one of the other hairdressers probably gave it to her!

If you absolutely must compliment her (I still recommend against this), do it in an off-handed way. Here are two examples:

1) Say, "You look like you have an evil side to you! [pause] Are you into something dark, or is that just how you protect your soft side?" This will get the conversation going so that she can tell you about her - always a good thing.

2) Say, "You know, you seem like a nice person to date, but you're a little older than most of the women I send time with!"

Let's look at this last one. Here's what is going on: the reason why you can use this is that it is a pseudo-compliment, but a challenge at the same time. "Older than" is a challenge to her. You see, you've already told her that you'd consider dating her and that she will have to seem "younger". This is what you want to do - give her something to strive for! You'd be surprised how often this works.

Of course, with both of these "approaches" you're going to have to have something behind them. In the first case, you'll need to be ready for her to say either "Yes, I do", or "No, I do not" and have somewhere else to go with it. You can finish up with, "You seem like a very interesting lady. Give me your home phone number and I'll call you sometime for a drink to continue this."

With the second, you also want to "close". Here's an example: regardless of what she says, or even if she gets indignant, just say, "Well, ok - I'll tell you what. Give me your home phone number, and I'll call you sometime and you can see if you can prove that you're really younger than you seem."

My brother, it's not just in the approach, it's in the close too. Never use a compliment as an approach - it sends the wrong message, and makes you look weak. For more, check out "Being a Man in a Woman's World".

Good luck, much love...

How to Help Him be Monogamous


Does a cheating man ever change? Is "Once a cheater always a cheater?" true? If you take him back will he be faithful to you from now on?


If you've read any of my other articles or my book, "Being a Man in a Woman's World", you know that I don't believe in the word "cheating". This is because, by it's very definition, EVERY man is a "cheater". The word doesn't really describe the situation properly. You see, by nature's design, (not mine) men are not monogamous in the first place.

In any animal species where few offspring are born, and the infant mortality rate is high (as it is in tigers, squirrels AND humans), males are pre-programmed to try to have sex with as many females as possible in order to pass on their genes to the next generation.

The concept of "pair-bonds" is actually a very new feature of our society! If you consider that humans have been on this planet for about 1.6 million years, (some scientists are beginning to think it's actually much longer - about 7.5 million years!), and we've been pair-bonding only for about 5,000 years, that means that we've been doing things a different way for fully 99.69% of the time we've been here!

So, what does that have to do with your question?

This: it gives you a great tool to help your situation. You see, while men aren't monogamous, we can CHOOSE to be! In fact, many do. So, here's the key to your situation: simply be the women for whom your man chooses to be monogamous!

Many "relationship experts" use this "once a cheater, always a cheater" statement because they don't really understand the situation. Consider, that infidelity happens in many relationships. That doesn't mean that the male (or female for that matter) is always going to cheat. For many it's a one-time thing. Most often it occurs because the person is looking for something they are not already getting.

I don't know the situation in your particular relationship, but I know this: your man can choose monogamy over polygamy if he wants to - many, many men do. He just has to have the right motivation to do so.

So, the question becomes this: what does it take for him to be monogamous? I don't know the specific answer, and right now, neither do you. That doesn't mean that you can't know it however. Consider that if you become the woman that gives him everything he wants in his relationship, he's not going to be looking elsewhere to have it fulfilled.

How are you going to know what these things are? Ask him! But, when you ask him, don't just sit down and say, "Ok, tell me all the things I have to do to keep you from cheating." You're not going to get anywhere with this. Instead, strive to understand him and his needs. Get to know what things he finds important in himself and in his relationship.

Then, all you need to do is simply adopt these things within yourself.

Good luck, much love...

Get Over Being Shy!!


There's this girl at school who is a real knockout. She and I really hit it off, and I want to ask her out on a date. I've given that up now however. There's another guy that's really good looking and smooth that's been spending time with her.

I used to be quite close with her, and now it feels like he's taken her away from me, and I'm too shy to compete with this guy.

Is there anything I can do?


If you're too shy, then just lie down, do nothing, and be alone the rest of your life.

My brother, I fully understand how you feel, but you aren't going to use the "shy guy" crap with me. I know how much anxiety this can give you, but you're just going to have to get over it as it's going to affect you the rest of your life negatively if you don't.

The good news is that you CAN get over it! You're don't have to be shy the rest of your life and just suffer with whatever life gives you. You can actually take what you want, (and leave the rest to the other "shy guys" out there!)

You do this by getting yourself educated. I suggest that you read my book as a very good start. In addition, decide right now that you're not going to use being shy as an excuse any more. Just stop it. It's time to grow up and be a man. If you're not sure how to do this, that's ok - that's what the education will give you. But, don't let that stop you either.

Find a "role model" whose persona you can adopt. I like James Bond or Tom Cruise's character in "Top Gun". These are great models to follow. Then, fake it until you make it!

Just because this guy has already taken the first step doesn't mean that you're out. After all, it's HER decision - not his! Just go up to her and say, "You know, we need to spend some time together and get to know each other. Let's have coffee this week. How's either Thursday or Saturday?"

Believe me my brother - it really IS that simple! Take a few small steps, get a few successes and watch your confidence level soar!

Good luck, much love...

In Love At A Distance

Dear Dr. Neder,

I met a wonderful girl in beginning of 2002 in San Francisco on a trip from my home in Los Angeles. It felt really natural being around her. She is highly educated and graduated from the one of the best law schools in the country. She is very personable, a flirt, has high standards, good moral value, educated, mature, decisive, over-analyzing, and very courageously bold. Not to brag but the same goes for me. We both respect our Middle Eastern culture but grew up in a somewhat secular lifestyle.

We hit it off great but I had to leave after a few days. She wrote and we started the socialization process. We spent hours on the phone every night and spoke about everything and shared the same passions for nearly everything in life.

Man, I thought to myself I am not going mess this prospect up. I never had met a girl like her before. I fell in love with her almost instantly.

Three months into our process of getting to know each other and opening the way for a prospective relationship, things went sour. It happened when I asked if she wanted to me to visit her. All of a sudden she disappeared for two weeks, no phone calls and no emails.

All of a sudden she reemerged and started dropping subtle hints about her disinterest in me. About six months after I met her, I wrote a very personal email to her to which I received a phone call from her. She says her intuition told her I was not the guy for her. She said that during those two weeks she realized that there was no romantic spark with me.

I've asked a few friends about this situation. One said, "I am sure she will decide to give your relationship a chance." Another friend said, "Don't let her go if she means so much to you!"

What do I think? I think they are both right! My heart agrees and says go after her. My intellect says it's her loss if she does not allow for a prospect. I promised her that I would try to be the best friend she ever had. I care too much about her to put her in a awkward situation of having to fend off my advances.

I am going to concentrate on being her best friend without ulterior intentions. She deserves the best and I am the best friend she can have and more if she desires it. However, my feelings for her are not diminishing.

I am absolutely confused and don't know where to turn. Help!


My brother, while I'm sorry you're going through this, I hope you really feel it burn. I hope that this searing pain is going to be ingrained in you forever so that you never forget this lesson: you must NEVER become a woman's friend unless that is ALL you ever want with her. Period.

You've got yourself into a terrible situation because:

1) You're her friend; this means that you will NEVER be anything else to her.

2) She controls all the cards - not you.

3) This is a long-distance relationship. How often do I try to talk people out of this?

4) About a thousand more reasons why that I won't bother to go into here.

The reason why you want to " the best friend she ever had..." is that you're hoping to "work it from the inside". That is, you're hoping that by "being there for her" and that she'll see what a great guy you are and fall in love with you. This ONLY happens in movies - it isn't going to happen for you here. This isn't realistic.

I understand that it's difficult to see what IS real, so I'm going to help you. First, stop this madness right now! Because of the way you feel, you can never be this "friend" to her. Not only will your emotional demands be far too great on her, but she's always going to know you have these ulterior motives and will constantly be guarding herself against them. That's the way it is.

Next, you've got to cease contact with her. Until you do this (either by your own hand, or hers), you're never going to get over this. You've got to get started on healing as soon as possible. Until you do, this is just going to linger and you're going to continue to fade.

Here's something else you need to consider. I too live here in the Los Angeles area. You've found someone that you believe is your "soul mate", who happens to live in San Francisco. There are 34.5 million people that live in California; 9.6 million of which live in Los Angeles County. San Francisco County has 770 thousand people. Are you really convinced that you could never find anyone as good (or even better) than this woman when there are over 12 times as many people right in your own backyard?

Believe me, you don't have just one soul mate, in fact, you have thousands - maybe even 10's of thousands or even 100's of thousands! You've focused all your energy on a single person. While I understand why you've done this, don't delude yourself into thinking that she is the only one. While you're pining away waiting for her to call you, you're missing all the others that are passing you by!

It sounds like your friends are solidly behind you here and you should lean on them during this transition period. Let them help you get out there and work on the healing. In addition, this would be a good time to pick up and read, "Being a Man in a Woman's World" as it's going to give you new tools to help prevent this from ever happening again.

Good luck, much love...

Focus on Yourself

Dear Dr. Neder:

I am recently out of a fairly long-term relationship, (4 1/2 years). We have lived together for this time and are currently living together. My ex-girlfriend broke it off with me about a month and a half ago. I'm still not sure exactly why as she has never been able to communicate this to me. We have always had a strong bond and a genuine love for one another.

Last year, she moved out because she had more stress than she could handle and didn't know how to deal with it. At the time her Grandmother was very sick and she, a recent college grad was unable to find any work. She slipped into depression and withdrew from me in every possible way. After 4 months of living separately and having found a new job she wanted to return and all was well.

Three months or so passed and the job that paid well but did not challenge or reward her otherwise was now a major source of unhappiness for her. Once again I was shut out. We agreed to read a book about healing relationship problems. I read the book and finished all of the exercises and felt really optimistic about our future. She never read the book, (which was her idea), and claimed she didn't have the emotional energy.

I decided to move out at the end of this month and still intend to. I did not see or speak to her for three weeks and was just beginning to feel accepting of the circumstances when, she asked to spend the day with me on Sunday and I agreed. We had a nice day but I feel it has really set me back emotionally. I want nothing more than to work things out and eventually get married. However I don't know if she sincerely wants to repair our relationship or just be friends, which I know I am not capable of at the moment. Do you think I should press for her to know her intentions or just let things play themselves out at the risk of having to deal with it all again later?

Sincere regards


I see men make this mistake all the time - they want to take responsibility for someone else's feelings, emotions and bad behavior so that they can "repair" them.

Your ex seems to have a lot of drama going on in her life - most of it self-inflicted. She also knows that you're there to put on the big red nose and floppy shoes anytime she's feeling blue. Further, she can come and go as she pleases - all without any complaint from you! What I see here isn't a problem with the relationship - I see a focus problem. Her focus is her, and YOUR focus is her!

This is a good time to start focusing on yourself instead. It sounds like the situation is simply pushing you - who should be the "director" of the relationship - around. You're at the mercy of every emotional flip-flop she has, and rather than taking a stand and expecting her to pull her own weight, you're moving out.

Ok, so what should you do about all of this?

First, I'd strongly suggest that you get "Being a Man in a Woman's World" to see how women WANT their men to act. I can tell you this: it's not how you're acting right now.

Second, you've got to decide that if you're going to move out - it's for good - not for HER good! Any action you take at this point should be only for YOUR benefit - she's made her (poor) decisions for herself. You need to make some for yourself too. At this point, I wouldn't recommend that you consider marriage. Could you imagine being married and being in this same situation? That would be a living hell.

Third, you need to get a perspective of what a "healthy" relationship looks like. Again, the book will help you here too, but I'd suggest that you start meeting some new women - some that aren't so focused on their own "issues" that they can't see there is a worthwhile person with whom they can share their lives. This woman doesn't sound like one of these at all!

If you want to turn things around, you've got to change your perspective. Stop living to make things right with her and start living to seek what's best for you. Believe me, she's doing this, and apparently has been since you moved in together. Women write to me all the time and tell me that they want men that have a strong direction in their lives and in their relationships. Your direction here has been all about her - what she wants, if she's sad, her need for entertainment, etc., etc.

Healthy relationships are all about being more of the good things you already are because of them.

Good luck, much love...

Rebuilding Trust


My boyfriend and I have been together for a year & a half now. We both feel that we are truly each other's soul mates and the relationship we have is a special one that only comes once in a lifetime. But, just like any other couple we have had our rough times and "tests" to see if we are really destined to be with each other.

Eight months into our relationship we started experiencing the normal daily fights and tensions couples go through. And during that time I was under the influence of Depo-Provera, a form of birth control that lasts for 3 months and has a big effect on a woman's emotions. During that time I would cry for almost anything and I know it would aggravate my partner. Even though I would remind him that it was out of my control, he would still not believe me and think I was just blaming it on the shot. I recently found out that during that time (exactly 1 month) he was seeing someone else.

When I confronted him about it, of course he denied it at first, but then he started crying and he told me the truth about the matter and how sorry he was and that he doesn't know how he could have done that to me at a time I needed him the most. He reminds me that it was almost a year ago and he did not feel anything for her nor engage in any sexual activities with her (I called her to confirm this by the way).

Now he realizes that the shot did influence the way I was acting and he says he made the biggest mistake of his life and he is extremely sorry for it and he will make it up to me. I broke up with him and made him suffer for a whole week, but I can't deny the fact that I still love him and he has showed me he is sorry.

My problem is this: now that we are together again how do I learn to trust him and know that he will not hurt me? He claims that he has learned his lesson and the thought of loosing me just drives him crazy! Everyone tells me to forget about that incident and forgive him, but I just don't want it to happen again.

HELP ME PLEASE!!! How can I trust him again and get back the beautiful relationship we once had?


If you're looking for a relationship where there are absolute assurances that you won't be hurt, you need to forget it and just accept the fact that you'll be alone the rest of your life. My dear, there just isn't such a thing. It's impossible to have for yourself or to expect anyone to promise you.

Regarding "trust" let me ask you a question: do you "trust" him to get something up from the store that he said he would? Do you "trust" him to pick you up when he as promised? Do you "trust" him to not steal your money, and to not burn your house down? My point is this: trust is a matter of degree. You've asked me how you can learn to trust him again. The fact is, you already do.

Let's look at things a little differently. Just like you said, you "...broke up with him and made him suffer for a whole week." This doesn't sound like love to me. It sounds like revenge. Worse yet, you did this for what? He didn't even sleep with her! You confirmed that yourself! All of this drama has come about just because he spent time with her any maybe even kissed her? I think your actions are cruel and not that of someone that loves someone else.

Despite what you think, or what you wish - you can't "own" another person. Even a married person is free to make his or her own choices. You can't make him do anything and in fact, have caused damage to your own relationship by trying to "punish" him. My question is: how can he trust YOU?

The only place you can look for trust is within yourself. You need to see things from a different perspective - that YOU are in control only of YOU - nobody else. Taking responsibility for oneself is the highest way to live. Trying to make others do that for you is the lowest. You deserve better than this.

Don't place your well being in someone else's hands. What if he doesn't live up to it? Instead, come to the realization that you are worthy of his fidelity, and expect him to abide by it. If you don't get it, you'll understand that you've simply made a mistake in your belief of who he is, and you can move on to find someone that DOES meet it, with you head high, and your self-esteem intact.

Good luck, much love...

Making the First Move

Ok, so you've been on three dates together and you're ready for something a little bit more, er, "mature". How do you go about making that first move? This article will explore that important, terrifying step.

Men: unless you're James Bond (by the way - you're not!) she probably isn't going to excuse herself and "slip into something more comfortable". If she does, it's probably going to be some flannel pajamas, slippers, and a bathrobe - a sign that she's ready for you to leave!

Women expect that you know when to make your move. Further, they expect you to be sophisticated and smooth about it. Clumsy, boyish behavior doesn't fit with her image of being "swept off her feet", and you don't really want this critical step to end in laughter!

The Rules

First, let's explore the rules for The First Move:

1) Women control the speed of the relationship - and the sex - not men.

2) Women know if they'll sleep with you within 5 minutes of meeting you.

3) Even if a woman does go out with you, she won't tell you if she plans to sleep with you or not!

4) Women will usually NOT make the first move.

5) If you don't make the right move at the right time, the women will usually think you're weak, an oaf, gay, or just not interested.

6) Women and men view sex differently - women use sex to bond and create intimacy, men use sex to decide if they want to get more intimate.

How to Make That "First Move" (for Men):

Because of the rules stated above, you have to be somewhat careful of when and where to make your move. You want this to appear spontaneous, and, with the right preparation - you can! These seem to go against each other - prepare to be spontaneous? Yes - remember the 7 "P's": "Prior, Proper Planning Prevents Piss-Poor Performance!"

Give some thought to your moves before using them. This will help to make them appear more comfortable and therefore spontaneous. So, with that introduction, here are the steps:

1) Be sure you're ready - once you begin, you can't go back! Just like that move when you were in High School where you stretch and your arm "just happens" to wind up around your date's shoulder. Also, do you have a condom? You don't? Then forget it! Remember: "No glove - NO LOVE!"

2) Be reasonably sure she's ready. How do you know she's ready? You can't really be 100 percent sure, but you can get pretty close if you just pay attention. First, is she using the right body language? For example:

  • Touching you both accidentally and on purpose
  • Sitting or leaning against you
  • Looking right into your eyes, examining your face - especially your mouth
  • Leaning toward you as you speak?
  • Using an "open posture" - arms uncrossed; legs open, or if crossed, not excluding you?
  • Playing with her hair, exposing her palms and wrists to you?

Also, has she just told you she has an early-morning meeting, or has relatives staying at her place? She is probably telling you that this isn't the right time. In short, be open to clues.

3) Make sure you're in the right place. Once you get things started, you don't want to have to stop and drive somewhere else. Why not get there and then make your move - you'll keep things from cooling off - and possibly a change of heart. Also, make sure that you're in a private setting - even if you're in the back seat of your car. Nothing spoils the mood like someone watching (well, unless you both are into that!)

4) Plan plenty of time Having an appointment in 30 minutes isn't going to create a romantic atmosphere. Be sure you have enough time to really spend getting you both ready.

5) Have a proper "buildup" You don't want to show up at her door, walk in and start putting on the moves. Poor form old buddy! Plan a simple, but romantic date. Don't go to the movies or the theatre - you need time to talk and establish a connection.

6) Ready? Ok, let's go So, what's the first thing you should do? Get your confidence up. Wait for a comfortable break in the conversation. Then, take her hands in yours, draw her close to you and gently kiss her on the lips. Don't shove your tongue down her throat, and don't kiss her like she's your grandmother. Make it linger just a little too long, and give her a chance to respond. You might also want to offer a back or foot massage - these are almost impossible to resist!

7) When she's ready to move, she'll usually let you know But, what if she doesn't? Some women let you take charge when they're ready. You can start by kissing her neck and gently nibbling on her lower lip. Brush your nose gently around hers. Explore her neck and face with yours. Run your hands around her back, then slowly to her ass. Note her reactions.

8) Don't go for the "goodies" until you've spent some time earning them! If you're in a hurry to get her out of her clothes, she'll assume that you're just as fast at everything else. Let things build on their own - at their own pace. Let them move along slowly, don't force them - or get in the way of them either!

How to Make That "First Move" (for Women):

Frankly, this is a lot easier for women. You probably already know what to do. Here's a checklist:

1) Make sure you're ready. If you're trying to seduce him just because you're afraid of losing him, you're not in the best place and should reconsider. Also, you should carry condoms on you. Remember - you both are responsible for preventing the spread of disease and unwanted children!

2) Don't worry about him - he's ready!

3) Ask him to go some place more private - like your place You don't really need to go into anything more than this - the invitation is all that's necessary.

4) Let him know that you're ready If you're not comfortable just telling him (few women are!), let him know in other ways. Use open body language, get close to him and use physical contact, lay your head on this chest, use eye contact, talk "sex", etc.

5) Important - give the conversation a break! This is the most often missed aspect of the first move. If he is politely listening to you and you go on and on without a break - where's he supposed to jump in? If you're nervous, this is especially difficult. Just try to be aware of your conversation.

6) There is nothing wrong with you making the first move You absolutely can put your hands on either side of his face and kiss him. In fact, some men actually wait for this because they don't know when to make a move themselves. You can even tell him that you're ready.

7) Feeling bold? I've had many women tell me that they were ready by standing up and stripping for me, or take off their blouse and turn to walk into the bedroom. I mean, how obvious do you need to get? If this doesn't work for him, you've got the wrong guy!

8) Help him along This is a strange thing to say, but many women don't understand that their men might not know what to do - or at least what you like. If you don't tell him (or subtly show him), how's he going to know? Believe me, men don't read minds!

First-Sex Etiquette

Many people don't know what to do after the first sexual experience with a new partner. At least the first time, don't plan to spend the night. Why not? If you do, you'll probably need your regular things for the morning - toothbrush, deodorant, denture cream, (just kidding!), etc. If you whip out the overnight kit, all of your work making this a spontaneous event will be lost.

Also, don't just jump up grab your clothes and bolt! Spend some time cuddling or at least telling stories and having a laugh. This doesn't have to be deep and intimate - just spend some time saying that you enjoyed each other. You might want to grab some dessert out of the fridge, or watch the end of an old movie. Men - if you want an encore performance, this step is critical!

Finally, have fun! This isn't the end - it's the beginning!

Why are Beautiful Women Crazy?

Let's face it - sometimes we men thing ALL women are crazy! The fact is - everyone is crazy sometimes. Yes - even you (maybe ESPECIALLY you - you be the judge). That is, everyone does things that others perceive as crazy. Many women seem to be particularly prone to acts of craziness. Beautiful women are even more so.

What makes beautiful women more likely to be crazy? The simple answer is, that they are given more opportunity to be crazy, and crazy behavior seems to be more readily accepted from them. That is, they learn crazy behavior and that they can get away with it. Further, we men often help them along by allowing (even encouraging) craziness in our relationships with them.

Before we get too deeply into all of this, let's explore some concepts we'll use in a few moments:

*"Crazy" verse "Neurotic"

A psychologist friend of mine says, "Neurotics build castles in the sky,psychotics live in them, and psychologists collect the rent!"

It's important to differentiate "crazy" and "neurotic". Specifically, neurotic behavior can be thought of as individual actions that seem inappropriate, obsessive, or dangerous - particularly in the context of a situation. Crazy behavior is more of a lifestyle and usually involves psychotic activity. It affects almost every aspect of a person's life, and tends to directly impact those that come in contact with the crazy person.

We've all heard jokes about "that time of the month" or "being one boy scout short of a jamboree", etc., but you really need to look closely at a new girlfriend's behavior to see how its going to impact you in the long run. You see, she will probably not start off showing you craziness early in your relationship. If she starts saying or doing crazy things when you first meet her, walk away and don't look back - this is the best she's going to be!

Here are some examples of crazy behavior:

  • Everything is fine until all of a sudden, she goes into a raging fit over nothing important
  • She goes through your personal things and then goes ballistic when she finds something inconsequential (note: she shouldn't be looking through anything of yours in the first place - nor should you!)
  • She is obsessed with purchasing the perfect belt, handbag or pair of shoes, when she already has closets full of them at home
  • Her mood changes constantly
  • She is consumed by the fear that someone is watching her, has put a curse on her, or is going to get into a car accident
  • She showers 3 times a day, but never works out

It is appropriate to note that men can be crazy too. However, because of societal pressures on men, they don't seem to be crazy (or neurotic) quite as frequently as women. In general crazy behavior is not tolerated as readily in men as in women.

For the remainder of this article, we'll use the word "crazy" to refer to women that are neurotic or mildly crazy - not the clinically insane.

Best Sex You'll Ever Have

Yes - it's sad but true; you'll never have sex like the sex you get with crazy women. Why? It seems that acting crazy automatically reduces or eliminates concern for the views of others. They get "used to" being viewed by others and learn to ignore it, or even revel in the attention it brings. Thus, the crazy lady is more likely to be open to new ideas, especially sex. However, always remember that crazy women are not necessarily more sexual - this is a common misconception of the past.

The one exception to this is the obsessive woman who focuses too heavily on what people think. However, this tends to be more of a self-image issue than true neurotic behavior.

Crazy Is As Crazy Does

Actions speak louder than words - it really doesn't matter what she says. In fact, unless you're well versed in translating "Womenese" into English, focus 90 to 95% of your attention on her actions. Watch what she does. Does she need to rub the body of an airplane before she boards it for good luck? Does she make weekly visits to a tarot card reader? Will she avoid making decisions until she gets the advice of "Boots", her cat?

There are many highly intelligent women that are crazy. Why does this make a difference? Because, many of these intelligent women are also usually high-functioning. That is, they; despite their mental states, can proceed through life without severe barriers. They make others around them think that they are perfectly sane and rational. So much so that many people simply brush off their crazy behavior as eccentric.

You Don't Have To Buy Into It!

I have an adage that I live by - I ignore all neurotic statements made by normal people, and ANY statement made by neurotic people! Remember, regardless of how beautiful she is you don't have to put up with craziness - especially if it impacts your life!

Can you change her? Well, if you're a clinical psychologist, psychiatrist, or other health care professional - maybe. The next question is, should you? Probably not. The time and effort in trying to change someone's behavior that has likely been learned over a lifetime is enormous.

Ok, so what if you're already in a relationship with a crazy woman and you're committed to making it work? First, you should check you own motivations - I know too many men that spend their lives trying to fix their partner's problems. They do this first for their own sense of accomplishment. Then, when they fail it becomes something of a quest - they continue to beat their heads against the wall.

If you still think you can change her, the very first thing you need to do is let her know that you will absolutely not accept any further crazy behavior - in other words, you expect her to act sane. When she beings an "episode", bring her back to reality and have her confirm it. For example, a black cat crosses your path and she freaks, say, "Honey, black cats have no meaning and we left superstition back in the last millennium - right?" Frankly, for some people it is next to impossible, especially if she really has some organic problem. Remember however, we're talking about neurotic women here, not the clinically insane.

What do you do when she slips back into neurotic behavior? Bring the specific action to her attention immediately and remind her that you will not tolerate it. Then, take her home and tell her that when she decides to be rational, she can call you - but not before. In order for this to work, you're going to have to be consistent. If you let your guard down even once, you're opening the door for more of that zaniness, and you'll have to start back at square one.

You should also get her into some type of counseling as quickly as you can. Many productive lives have been saved by a few sessions with someone trained to recognize and redirect neurotic behavior. Neurotic behavior can sometimes get worse if not treated.

Many men, having originally gone for the "10's" are settling for the "7's", "8's" and "9's" in order to get away from all the drama. I also believe that this is at least one of the reasons why you see so many beautiful women on the arms of older guys (besides the obvious - money, power, etc.) These guys are better able to handle all the wackiness of being with these women.

So, what's it going to be - a crazy trophy, or a sane, down to earth pretty girl? You decide.

Stop Being Used!


For the past 3 years or so I've been involved with a girl whom I just can't seem to get to the next level with. Currently we live 50 miles apart. She is a recovering drug addict living in a recovery house.

Seems to me that the only reason she keeps me around for is financial support.

The only time she calls me is when she needs cash. I see her maybe once a week and sex is an ancient and mysterious issue. It's been over a year since we were intimate, and we've had our chances. She claims she has no desire for it.

Of course I take this very personally and it's gotten to the point where it doesn't even faze me anymore. I do not want to feel this way, I like sex very much but with this girl I don't see much coming my way.

Being she is not around I've had a few chances to go out with other girls but my conscience won't let me. She says she loves me but I beg to differ. I mean to me she is like having another kid. She is very immature for her age (31) She has a lot of problems brought on by her drug use. (HIV, hepatitis, depression, etc.)

In the beginning I pitied her but now I've gotten sick of her game (the illnesses) and how she tries to use people. Every time I make a move to let go my heart gets in the way. I don't mind helping people but I've gone far and beyond the call of duty with this girl. I'm living her life - not mine.

How do I get this cat off my back porch once and for all? I don't want to hurt her but I guess there is no other way. She'll get over it and we'll both be better off. The chances of her changing for me are slim to none. I have no other choice but to let her go, right?

Tired of being used

Hello "Tired"!

For God's sake! What the hell are you thinking???

Ok, let's summarize your situation here:

1) She's a (recovering) drug addict
2) She lives in a halfway house
3) She's a long distance away from you (50 miles)
4) You only see her once a week
5) You suspect that she's only seeing you because you give her money, and presumably gifts
6) You give her emotional support
7) You have no sex life with her, and she isn't interested in one with you
8) You have no real emotional life, other than supporting all her drama
9) She's HIV positive, has hepatitis, and is a manic depressive
Oh, yeah, one more thing: you're in love with her.

Jack - you're an asshole.

There, I said it. I regret it, and am sorry to be so brutish, but it's true.

What are you thinking? The most beautiful woman on the planet couldn't even make these negatives worthwhile! Just please tell me that you haven't been doing this for months, let alone years!

What should you do? First, find her telephone number, her address, and anything she's ever given you. Next, pile them all up in the backyard, douse liberally with gasoline, add one flaming match and have yourself a "freedom bonfire". Absolutely DO NOT, under any circumstance contact this woman again! I don't care what her story is, what she needs, what she promises you - nothing. In psychological parlance, you are an "enabler" - someone that makes it possible for another with an addictive personality to live in his or her addiction. It sounds like she's simply traded one addiction (drugs) for another (abusing you).

This woman has her problems, but the REAL problem is you! Why do you think you have to live like this? What makes you believe that there is anything healthy in all of this? My brother, you seem like a nice guy - too nice. You deserve something healthy and worthwhile - and this situation ain't it!

Do you want to see how men with a healthy self-image, and ones that really care about women think, act and live? Pick up a copy of "Being a Man in a Woman's World", then READ IT!

You might also want to consult a therapist for a couple of sessions just to see why you have the ability to accept this abuse. You are either blinded by your need for her, or your need for abuse. Believe me, you don't need it or deserve it.

Next, get yourself out there and start meeting some new people - but only those that are stable. You're going to be amazed at how much your life turns around when you're immersed in the mentally healthy.

Good luck, much love...

My Man Doesn't Want Sex!


I just read your article "Breaking Up", and I found it to be very useful. It help me to understand a little of what I am going through and how to go about ending the relationship. My boyfriend and I have been involved now for 4 yrs. Our problem is sex - he is not a very affectionate person and believes you should not make love all the time. So we only make love once every 3 to 5 months or more depending on our schedules. We do not kiss much unless I ask, hold hands or make any physical contact. I myself, am a very affectionate person and need to have that contact in order to feel that he still loves me and wants to be with me. Now because of this I feel very distant from him and tend to want to venture off with other men, to fill the void that he does not satisfy. Should I break up our relationship and move on? I tried talking to him about it, but he thinks I am going thorough a phase and I will get over it soon, so he does not listen to me or make any changes. Help! What should I do? Is their any way I can get through to him? Or is it just not meant to be?

Dazed & Confused

Hello Dazed!

I'll let you in on a little secret about men - some men lose interest in their partners sexually. No, its true!

As I discuss in my book, "Being a Man in a Woman's World", men have a biological propensity to seek multiple sex partners. This way (as it is with any species that produces few offspring), he insures that his genes are passed on to the next generation. Up until the beginning of the 20th century, the infant mortality rate was about 50%. So, to counter this low birth rate with a high death rate, nature spent 1.6 billion years building the desire in men to have multiple partners. By seeking multiple partners, men help to insure that at least some of their offspring survive. For reasons that don't deal with your question, very few women posses this same drive.

Some men have turned this "hunting instinct" into something else - the innate desire to find multiple partners causes them to lose sexual interest in their current partner. I hear this from many of my readers, so you're not alone. Interestingly, this doesn't seem to have much to do with love - he probably still loves you (in his way). Further, when you're apart for any length of time, his interest in you probably grows tremendously.

I'll bet that when you first started going out together, you and he we're banging it out just about every night. Then, slowly this frequency began to drop, where now you're having sex only about once every 3 to 5 months - and he is asking for less!

Its obvious from your letter that you need the physical closeness. For many people physical closeness is absolutely necessary for mental health! In my book, in the section under "Communication" I discuss a number of communication types. From your description, I'll bet you're a "physical sexual" and your boyfriend is an "emotional sexual". Without going into all the details, suffice it to say that, you use your physicalness - your body - to protect your emotions, and you crave physical connection to support your emotions. Your boyfriend does the opposite.

Ok, that's enough science - so, what do you do?

First, you need to recognize that you're not going "get over" your need for physical expression. That's like saying that your dog is going to "get over" the need to be furry! On the other hand you're probably not going to change him to be more physical either.

You're going to need to make a decision here. You really have three choices:

1) live with things the way they are, realizing that his interest in sex and physical closeness will continue to wane while yours doesn't; 2) split with him and find another partner; or 3) stay with him and try again to discuss your needs, and, if not met, satisfy them elsewhere.

You're already living in situation #1, so I can't really give you any advice here. You've read my article on breaking up, so you know about this as well. Thus, I'll discuss the last option. If you choose this, (and, it is wrought with problems!), let me offer some ideas:

You're going to need to make a stand here. Find a time when you're not interrupting something else - you want your boyfriend's full attention. Tell him that you're unhappy with the sexual and physical part of your relationship with him. Tell him you still love him, but feel compelled to satisfy your physical needs. Explain that you're not going to "get over it". Then, be quiet and listen to, and watch his reactions.

Is he committed to making a difference? Is he genuinely concerned about you and your needs? If so, does he actually make the effort over the next few weeks and months? If things again begin to drop off, is he willing to discuss it with you and try to deal with it? If not, and you choose to venture outside your relationship here's what you need to do.

First - USE PROTECTION!!! Don't assume that your new partner will handle this - you take the lead. This is an absolute must - no excuses. It is your responsibility. Get some condoms (hidden so that he will NOT find them!), and use them every time - no exceptions.

Second - don't tell your boyfriend, or allow him find out about it! Let me explain this. Many people use their straying as an excuse to inflict damage and hurt on their non-conforming partner. Others feel guilt and try to relieve their own guilt by "coming clean". In either case, the unknowing partner is always damaged and the perpetrating partner is never cleansed. If you choose this path, you have the absolute responsibility to protect your primary partner. You may choose to stray because you love yourself, but protect him because you love him. Don't cause further harm to someone else - if you choose this path, you must also choose the responsibility it holds. You have much to consider here.

Notice, that in the last paragraph, I haven't used the word "cheat". I purposely avoid this word because I don't believe in it. I believe that there are circumstances that affect every relationship beyond any outside person's understanding of it. To judge a situation you're not directly involved with is to assume you know everything about it and view it with an open mind - quite arrogant. You (and your boyfriend) are the only ones capable of judging your relationship - not me or anyone else. Our society preaches monogamy and curses "outside adventures", but offers no acceptable alternative. Further, it doesn't recognize the huge number of dynamics involved in every relationship. By the way, men are not the only ones who venture outside of a primary relationship. Women explore outside possibilities just as often as men, but they do so for different reasons.

Even when we're in a committed, monogamous relationship, we're still on our own. You can't own or control another person in the long run, but you can control your own happiness and health. In fact, it is your responsibility to do this. I wish this happiness for you in whatever decision you make. Please let me know how things turn out.

Handling a Difficult Close

What is the best way to handle a chick that is being rude or saying smart-assed shit to you? I would think that if you just walk away from them you look like a pussy.... Any advice?


In my experience, people (even women!) usually aren't rude without some reason. For example, if you approach some woman and she reacts badly, the problem isn't you (as long as you were reasonably respectful and courteous) the problem was with the woman. You have no way of knowing what kind of day she had. Perhaps you the 8th guy that hit on her that day, or maybe she just broke up with her 5-year boyfriend.

So, the first point is this: don't worry or be bothered by it if she's rude! Just realize that she's in a bad place, and that it's not your fault. Maybe her mother never bothered to teach her any manners. In fact, you can even go the other way - give her kindness back. Here's a great example:

One time, I was in a restaurant with a date. The restaurant was full, and the waitress was hopping just to keep up. When she walked up to the table, I asked her a question. Her response? "Did you read the menu??" Now, I could have reacted and threw it back in her face. Instead, I said, "Look, it's very busy in here, and you're obviously under a lot of pressure. Everyone seems to get hungry at the same time! We're going to be here for a while, and are not in a hurry. Why don't you take care of some of the other people with less time, and we'll be here when you're ready."

She stopped and looked at me, paused, and said, "I'm sorry for being rude, it's really been a day here. What was it you wanted to know?" So I persisted, "No, that's ok - go get some of the pressure off, we're not in any hurry." She came back with, "No, really, I'm very sorry and want to help you." We got great service from that point on, and she even made a point to stop me on our way out and thank me again for being so understanding!

In a first-meeting situation, you can use exactly this tack too - just say something like, "Look, I'm sorry you're irritated - I really don't know what your day has been like. I just thought I might try to brighten it a little. I hope things get better for you." Then walk away with your pride intact.

Let's look at another situation, you're chatting up some girl at a bar, or elsewhere, she seems interested, but is trying to bust your chops. This is a completely different situation entirely. She's trying to throw you off-balance, but is expressing interest as well. Here, you want to try to use humor.

Humor is difficult for many people - some are just not funny! You can learn to be funny, but it takes practice. For example, if she were sitting with her friends and tried something like that with me, I'd look at her friends and in a loud-whisper say, "Yeah - I remember MY first beer too!"

Perhaps she says something like, "I don't talk to strangers!" My response? "Well, how do you know I'm a stranger if you've never met me?" Humor can go a long way.

The last point is that you can't just rely on one or two approaches to determine how women will react to you. It's a man's job to make the initial approach. It may seem unfair, but that's the way the game is played. You've got to go through many, many of these to gain the experience to handle them.

One idea that I teach guys in my "Hunting Sessions" is called the "20 No's". This means that you go out over a week or two and actively seek 20 "No's" from women. Why would you do that? Because; even as special as you are, you're not so special as to fail every single time! Dispersed among those 20 "no's", will be at least a few "yes's"! So what if you get 20 no's, when you've got 5 yes's to work on?

To summarize, first, don't be bothered by someone's rudeness - that isn't your problem. Your problem is to learn basic social skills and to use them. The second point is to be somewhat prepared for situations through study and experience. The last point? Dating is a numbers game. Use the numbers to get the success you want!

Good luck, much love...

How Do I Get Her Out Of His Life?


My ex-husband and I have been divorced 3 years. We were married 13 years and have 2 children. For the last 8 months we have started having sex again. He has a girlfriend that almost lives with him, but will not tell her he is seeing me. I have tried to tell her this but she won't believe me.

I want to get our family back together but I'm not sure how to show him that this is the best thing. How do I get her out of the picture, so that nobody else gets hurt?


Obviously, I don't know your family situations, but you might want to ask yourself, if getting everything back together is REALLY the best thing. After all, you divorced for some reason. Just because you're having sex again doesn't mean that the relationship will work again. Putting two people together in a live-in arrangement adds tremendous amounts of stress to the relationship, (as you already know!)

I think you've done the wrong thing by going to his girlfriend. Frankly, you don't "own" him or his relationships! If you're not getting what you want from him your choice is to move on and find someone that DOES give you what you need. Sticking your nose into his relationship is a bad, problematic thing and frankly, you should butt-out.

Thus, you can't get her "out of the picture" - that is his choice. If he doesn't see the need or the benefit, he won't make that decision. You can't create things for his life; you can only do so for yours.

Good luck, much love...

The Problems With Single Mothers


I just read the article "Read and Heed" on your website concerning dating a single mom.

It seems to be saying dating a single mom is a terrible thing and men should keep away at all costs. If a man is truly in love with a woman, he will accept the children just to be with her. Besides, the children will eventually grow up and move out of the house (hopefully) and then the relationship can continue on.

Finding someone you want to spend the rest of your life with is not all that easy. For a man to let go of a woman just because she has kids is a shame, he may be the one missing out on something great. Sure there would be challenges, but I think two adults who love each other can figure out something to make it work. I guess I'm just trying to say not to completely discourage men who may have found someone they really like but has children.


Thanks for your comments!

You're right-on on your analysis of my article "Read and Heed". I encourage men to stay away from dating single mothers at all costs. Yes, I know this doesn't seem fair, but consider it from another point of view: relationships are very difficult as it is. Adding kids to the mix raises this difficulty exponentially. Further, the laws in this country can actually make a man liable for 100% of the child's expenses even though he isn't the father! This happens all the time. Unfair? You bet! But that's the way things are in this "feminized world" we live in today. Until we get this changed (unlikely to be soon), this is the #1 reason why men should avoid dating single mothers.

Let's look at you as the mother of this kid. You didn't mention if you were married to the child's father, but it is becoming much more common for women to (stupidly) have children without being married first. Even celebrities like Madonna, Calista Flockhart, and Rosy O'Donnell are "doing it". What a great example this sets for people who look up to celebrities! I actually had a very well known author (female) tell me that if a woman's body is capable of bearing children, she has every right to do it - with or without a father, and society just has to deal with that fact!

So, let's say that you weren't married when you got pregnant, for the sake of this discussion. What does the man already know about you? First, that you make poor, selfish decisions about your kids. You see, having children outside of marriage is bad for the kids - it has been proved over and over again. You can't replace the father's importance in your child's life.

You probably have to work, (or be on welfare) to support them, which means that you aren't around for most of the time. What time you ARE there has to be dedicated to these kids, not to your boyfriend. Don't you think he should know that up front? After all, is that really fair to him? He didn't make the decision for you to have kids - you did.

What if you're divorced? This is a similar issue. Let me explain: What this tells a guy is that you pick the wrong men, or that even when you're in a critical situation (like being a parent), you can't keep the father around. Is the father a jerk? Perhaps, but again - YOU picked him!

In either case, you chose to have this baby, and for whatever reason the baby's father isn't around, as he should be. This isn't a reflection on the men you date from here on; it's a reflection on you. I'm sorry, but it's true.

Remember: there is nothing so selfish as having children in the first place! After all, the children don't ask to be born - YOU decided that FOR the child. For that reason, you owe them everything - and every possibility for success in this difficult world. By not having the father around, these kids are already at a disadvantage.

Why would a man want that much trouble? Further, just because the man loves the mother, that doesn't mean that he's going to love the children, nor must the children love the man! He has had nothing to do with their upbringing thus far, and, depending on your point of view, may have no involvement in their future upbringing either!

Now, you're really going hate this: men with kids aren't the challenge for women that women with kids are for men! Why not? Because of many reasons including:

  • Men rarely get sole custody of children in divorces at the worst; they have shared custody, and often not even that, and
  • Men usually have some other "support" group to watch the kids - when they're at work for instance.

All of this considered, I stand by my article. Having children is the most important decision you will ever make in your life. Frankly, it affects your life in profound ways - including your relationships. You're just going to have to live with the fact that your choices have impacted your own possibility of getting - and keeping - a fulfilling relationship; that that it's impossible, but it is much more difficult. This isn't my rule - it was here when I arrived.

Good luck, much love...

When NOT to Get Married

Dear Dr. Neder,

I am a 23-year-old woman engaged to marry a wonderful 28-year-old man in a few months. We have been dating mostly long distance for about 4 years, but throughout that time I have had several other "flings" and even one somewhat serious relationship. He knows about all of these indiscretions, and I have been faithful for the past 9 months.

He surprised me with an engagement proposal a few months ago. I truly love him and I can picture us having a wonderful life together. Everything was fine until I went out to dinner with one of my high school male friends last week and he told me that he loves me and does not think I should be getting married now.

Unfortunately, I have been having second thoughts for about the past week. It is not that I want to date this friend at all. I can't tell whether it is because I am scared of committing to my fiancée fully or if I am just not ready for marriage to him right now period. He is everything I am looking for in a husband and eventually a father for my children. I just need some help in sorting out if these are normal jitters or a sign that I need to call off the wedding.

Please help!


If it were me, I'd call off the wedding. Yes, I know that's probably not what you want to hear, but I tell people this all the time: there aren't too many divorces, there are too many marriages!

Let's look at your situation:

First, you've been with this guy in a long-distance relationship. This is very bad, because you only get to see his "good side", not his everyday side. Until you really know a person by being with them day in and day out, how do you know that he's "everything you could ever want in a husband"? That's an important decision to make BEFORE you get married.

Next, you've had other relationships while "being" with him. It doesn't sound like you're really "with" him, despite the 9 months of commitment. As said above, what are you "committed" to: this guy, or your IMAGE of this guy?

The fact that you're getting jittery now is normal, but in light of the other issues, I'd SERIOUSLY reconsider your decision. It almost sounds to me like you're in love with your unborn children, and you see this guy as a way to get them - rather than to have a great marriage that lasts THE REST OF YOUR LIFE. If you truly loved him, you wouldn't even consider being with anyone else.

Julie, there are only two reasons for getting married:

1. You are absolutely ready to have children, (I believe that kids should only be brought into this world in a committed marriage); or,

2. You're absolutely, unwaveringly sure, that you're found the only man you're ever going to love for the rest of your life.

That #2 is a killer! How are you ever going to be sure unless you spend some REAL time together?

If you think that you're really ready to get married, not just to have kids, but for the benefits of getting married, why don't the two of you just move in together for a year or two instead?

If you decide that you want to do this, be sure that you get a "cohabitation agreement" together, and that you view this as a chance to "verify" that you should be married. If this experiment doesn't work out, you can still stay together as a couple if you choose, but you'll have a much clearer vision of where you are now, and where you'd be in a marriage.

Here's an article on moving in together:

Good luck, much love...

Getting Over Social Phobia


I don't normally comment on sites, but I need to say that your tips on dating, and relationships is the best I've seen so far. It sounds like a good combination of Psychology and common sense.

For years I thought my difficulty with women was just intense nervousness, so I would just avoid the situation, (you can imagine the results: ZERO!). I was diagnosed with social phobia about 2 years ago. Within the last year I've been going out to acclimate myself socially (i.e. concerts, clubs, etc.). I really like music! I've been using your tips to at least start to try to date, but I don't seem to be having much luck. I've been told I look way too serious when out socially. Any advice would be great. I'm also in recovery, so a few drinks to "loosen up" are out of the question.



Thanks for the kind words - you know all you can do is try, and you're never quite sure if you're reaching anyone until someone says so!

You'd be surprised how common your problem really is! Let's face it, nobody wants to get shot down, and to some degree, we all have some amount of "social phobia". The good news is that you CAN get through all of this! If your problem is organic, there are some new drugs on the market that can really help.

However, it sounds like you've got just an extreme case. So, let's look at how to deal with this:

First, recognize that dealing with any issue isn't an over-night process. This will take some time. You probably didn't get here in a single day, and you're not going to get out of it in a single day either. So, plan some time to work on this issue, set some goals, establish milestones and work to meet them. Here are the steps you want to take:

1) Get educated!

This is probably the most important step. And, fortunately, it's the first. What will education do for you? It gives you confidence. Have you ever given a public presentation or speech? If you know the subject well, you present well. If you don't, all hell can break loose!

You've taken the first steps here by studying the Internet. Have you also looked at my site? ( It is full of free information that will also help you along here. In addition, I strongly recommend that you pick up a copy of "Being a Man in a Woman's World". I actually go into this very subject in the book as well as give you some exercises to get your plan worked out - the next step.

2) Get a plan together.

Do you know the difference between goals and dreams? A time limit. That's all! You "dream" of being confident in social situations and meeting great women. By establishing a working plan with time limits to achieve the elements of the plan, you've actually set goals. Setting goals creates magic in your mind - the point of the next step:

3) Begin to program your mind for success

By programming your mind, you are actually giving it the tools to get past this phobia. Unless you have an organic problem (highly unlikely!), you've actually been using this step all along - to fail! Believe me, you're not alone - many men do this. They run "movies" in their minds of failing. Like imagining walking up to a beautiful woman and having her humiliate them. Or, thinking about what they want and actually feeling anxiety.

These examples are probably exactly what you are doing. In fact, MANY MEN DO THIS! Your mind is keen on these types of images combined with emotions. That's exactly the mechanism it uses to program itself internally! If you're doing this anyway, why not give it the RIGHT messages?

"The industry" calls this "guided visualization" and here's an article that discusses how to do this:

You need to continue to practice this over at least 3-4 weeks. It is a critical step. The interesting thing is that your subconscious mind (not knowing the difference between what is real, and what is imagined with clarity) begins to program itself for the outcomes you imagine!

4) Take small steps - achieve small successes first

As you work through the mind-programming exercises, you also need to give yourself small successes that continue to grow. Here's how: start with a goal and break it down into very small steps. For example, you eventually want to get to the point where you can easily ask a woman out and have a great date. But, that's too big a chunk to start with.

So, first begin by simply looking at yourself in the mirror. Imagine what you look like to others. Don't qualify how you look, just "see" yourself. Look right into your eyes. This is going to be uncomfortable at first, but don't worry - it will get easier as you do it a few times. Next, learn to stand straight, shoulders back, head up and look at yourself that way. Practice this and try to think about it when you're out walking around. Next, you want to add a soft smile. You may need to practice this for a while, as it often is natural when you first start out. This "mirror exercise" should take about a week if you do it twice every day.

Now, you're ready to move on. During this step, you want to look at people. Just look at them - even just for a split second. Don't worry about making eye contact yet. Just look at them. Spend about a week doing this until it feels comfortable.

Next, extend this up and actually make eye contact with them. No doubt you've been doing this already, but you avert your eyes as soon as the look at you. This time, make it last just a split second longer.

Next, combine everything so far - standing tall, head square, looking at people, and making eye contact. This might seem scary right now, but consider that it looks very confident - exactly where you want to go!

The next step is to add a natural smile when someone catches your eye. You might want to do this only with women as it may send the wrong signal in some parts of the world!

Next, you're actually going to say "hello" or "good afternoon" to people. Note that some of them will avert their eyes from you (like you used to!), some will actually grunt, and a few will say hello back to you. Don't worry about their reactions - it isn't important. What IS important is you practicing this.

5) Turn these into bigger successes

If you've been doing the previous exercises, you should be well on your way to the larger successes. Just like before, take small steps. You want to start by going to places that you were uncomfortable in the past. Such as clubs, concerts, etc. Your goal here isn't to pick up a woman - yet. It's just to talk to a few people.

Use the tools you've been practicing and begin to make eye contact, smile at women, and say "hello". You might want to add something like "Great club, huh?" or "I've head this band before - great music!" Don't push too hard, but see if anyone responds to you, (some will by the way!) That's your new goal - and exactly what you need to do to start meeting women, getting numbers, etc., etc.

6) Make success a habit

Forget the failures. Focus on the successes. When you meet some pretty woman, say "hello" and she say's "hello" back - reward yourself by feeling good about it. That is your goal! It's ok to feel good about yourself and by letting yourself - you're actually ingraining the habit of success. This is a critical step and should be added at every milestone.

7) Review and adjust your plan

As you get successes, note what happened, what you did, where you were, etc. You might even want to keep a log or journal of this information. It is your own transformation log. You can also throw in new ideas that you come up with on your own, or that you get from articles and books that you read (remember step #1).

When you find something that works, add it to your plan. Don't change your goals however. If you've done the work up front, your goals should be rock-solid. Your plans however may change regularly as you gather new information - and new successes.


You're going to have success and failures. That just the way it works. But remember - it doesn't matter! All these people you make contact with are mealy experiments, and "class work". You're training yourself. They are just "props" in all of this - do don't worry about their reactions other than to note them. You want to adjust your plan and your approaches to something more effective for YOU. Find what works, and don't give up.

Get to it ol' buddy. Believe me YOU CAN DO THIS! Keep working on it, and let me know how your progress is coming.

Good luck, much love...

When To Introduce Her To Your Friends


I've had a couple of dates with a woman who seems to have a lot of potential. What is your rule of thumb for when and how to introduce her to my friends? What sort of situations should I avoid?



Excellent question!

Women understand the importance of a man's friends AND family. My own rule of thumb is that she doesn't meet them until after the 4th or 5th date - and never before I sleep with her.

Why? Because women know that once they get "in" with your friends, they can use them to manage you. Here's an example:

Say your new woman and your friends really hit it off. Very soon (if not immediately), your friends will start inviting you AND her places. This insures that you are with her (in her eyes). Now, say you want to invite someone else. Your friends are going to start asking questions. Thus, you'll be more likely to take the previous girl rather than a new one.

On the other hand, if she's up for it, I always want to meet HER friends as early as possible. I will charm them, make them laugh, buy them all a drink or two, and generally get in good with them. When I'm not with her, her friends will be telling her what a great guy I am, (insert evil laugh).

The downside to this is that women are tighter friends than men are. Your male friends may even see her as "available" to them - and compete with you for her! (Be careful whom you choose as friends!) Thus, if you've got something solid going with her BEFORE you bring her around your friends, so much the better for you.

Regarding your buddies, make sure that you make time for them without her too! Many men get all wrapped up in the couple, and forget that they knew their friends before she entered the picture. If you take care of your buddies, they will always be there when you need them. You can't always say the same thing about girlfriends.

Good luck, much love...

When Your Lover's Mother Gets In The Way


I need help! I'm, seeing a guy and everything in our world seems right and amazing - except for my boyfriend's mother. She seems to think I'm trying to take him away from her! That's not what I want at all. He has an incredible family that he loves very much, but she is trying to ruin our relationship!

His mom has even gone so far as to expose some of my private medical information to his out of town relatives. I wrote her a carefully worded letter explaining that I did not like what she did. I even sent it to my boyfriend so he could see it and know I wasn't being mean or accusatory. He thought the letter was fine so I sent it. She went through the roof after reading it and accused me of being mean and hateful.

We have not spoken since then. I keep my mouth shut most of the time when she says or does something to upset me just because of my boyfriend. I don't want him to be stuck in the middle of things. How do I settle things with his mom to get past this problem? It doesn't bother me if we're not friends.

If she can't accept us together, is there a way to just get a little peace? When he tries to discuss it with her, she sees no wrong in what she has done. She just keeps saying that I'm trying to put a wedge in between her and him.

Can you please help?


Yes, mothers can be quite a pain sometimes!

It sounds like you've done just about everything you should from discussing it with your boyfriend to reviewing the situation with your friends and family. It sounds like your motives are non-sinister, and that mom is just trying to create some problems. Here's what I would do in the same situation:

1) Re-evaluate your situation one more time and make sure that there is nothing you're doing that may be a further cause of this.

2) Talk to your boyfriend again. It is his responsibility to deal with his mother. If he can't, tell him to go get his testicles, put them back in his pants and have a pow-wow with his mother to get her off your back. He needs to tell her that he won't tolerate this situation, as it is SHE (mom) that is driving a wedge between them. If he can't seem to find where he left his balls, have it write to me, and I tell him where to look!

3) Have a talk with mom yourself. Drop by when you know that she's free, bring some pastries and hash out an understanding with her. Explain that you LIKE their family (including her) and want things to be good for everyone - including your boyfriend's relationship with her. Say that you understand how important her bond is with him, and see that a lot of the things you love about him have come from her. Tell her that if she feels she's losing him (which she's not) that you can help insure that she doesn't. You should also drop the hint that you can also make things worse, but you don't want to. Frankly, mom's an idiot for not realizing this in the first place, and should be trying to work with you to get on your good side.

4) If mom isn't able to see all of this, just know you've done everything you can, and put it behind you. The problem is hers, and frankly, you hold the keys here. You get to decide how much time your boyfriend spends with his mom, if he's "free" or not, etc. Tell him not to tell his mother about anything in your relationship because you don't want it spread through the rest of the family (mom has already proven that she can't keep your secrets), and make him stick to it.

I know from personal experience what kind of problem this is. If you've done everything here and mom won't come around, it really isn't your problem - it's hers. You can put it aside and move on knowing that you've done everything you can. On the other hand, you and she may even become friends someday!

Good luck, much love...

Playing the Game with a Game Player


I recently met this girl that travels on the same bus that I use, and we seemed to hit it off. We saw each other every time I was going home and she was leaving for school (we are both college students, I'm 21 and she is 18). One day I asked her for her phone number. She said, "I don't know, I'll have to think about it". That was the signal for me to move on. We saw each other a few more times after that and talked. I made her laugh, and she seemed shy around me. Sometimes she'd stare at me, or would play with her hair when we talked. I believe that these were flirting signals.

One day I "accidentally" passed through the store where she works. She seemed happy to see me and we talked for a while. I asked her, "Do you remember the question I asked you on the bus one day and you said that you would have to think about it?" She said that she didn't so I reminded her that I wanted to call her sometime, and before I could finish the sentence she quickly wrote her phone number on a receipt. As she handed it to me, she said that she wasn't sure she was doing the right thing. When I asked why she just shrugged, and that makes me wonder, is she doing this because she's shy, or is she just playing games?

I waited a few days and finally called her. She had her phone off, so I left a message, and then the two nights later she paged me and left one on my voicemail. I called her the next day, and we talked, but she had to leave, saying that she would call me when she gets home, which she never did. Now, I keep getting hang-ups on my voicemail, which only started after I gave her my number, so if it's her could it be a good thing?

A couple of days ago, she said that she got my message and called to wish me a happy new year. Funny thing is, I haven't called her since we last talked!


1. Does it sound like she is truly interested? When I talked to her last she said that she would be interested in going out with me if I ever asked her;

2. She keeps paging and not saying anything. She just hangs up. Then there is that weird one about "getting my message and wishing me a happy new year also" and I haven't called her at all (which I plan to do in order to ask her out this week). I'm wondering if these hang-ups are her subtle messages for me to call her.

3. Thanks for your help and thanks for bearing with this long letter

Confused in Daly City

Hello "Confused"!


Actually, there's no way for me to know who's calling you and hanging up. Why did you give her a pager number in the first place? I climb on people about this all the time. Don't give out a voicemail-only number! That's why you have a telephone. Are you sure she didn't give you one too?

Let's go back to the beginning. She said she'd "have to think" about giving you her number? I would have turned and walked that very minute. She's telling you in no uncertain terms that she's a game player. The messages are just more of this. Frankly, you need to get this nailed down or move on. She can keep this game going forever if she wants. Is that what YOU want?

Next time you see her, ask her if the number she gave you is voicemail-only. If so, just say, "Ok, I don't have the time to keep up with these games. I'm sorry that you don't want to talk to me" and turn and walk away. If it is a real phone (that she actually answers), ask her when she's home so you can call her, but explain that you're not going to carry on a relationship with her answering machine.

Nick, stop this madness! This isn't the way adults get together. She's playing you and you're letting her. What do you want from her - messages or a date? Nail her down to something firm, or move on and find someone worthwhile. Game players are never worth your time.

Good luck, much love...

Can You Love If You Don't "Like"?

Hi Dr. Dennis,

Hoping you can lend some advice on this for me! I had been dating a girl I attend school with for the last six months. Unfortunately we were both at different places, she wasn't ready for a serious relationship and I was all too ready. We tried to take it slow but ended up damaging each other with fighting, insecurity and harsh words.

In the end, there was love in there somewhere but not a lot of respect or even 'liking'. We went through a series of breakups and finally decided to just be friends and eliminate the stress and pressure of trying to maintain this dysfunctional relationship. We have been spending time together as friends.

In fact she calls almost every day, even days that we see each other in classes. The fun is coming back, the stress feels a little lighter and this is only after two weeks or so! The problem is, I am stuck being her friend and I still love her! She knows this as I've told her, she wasn't quite as deeply involved emotionally as me and now feels that I'm 'needy' simply cause I fell for her (and told her...oops).

She doesn't feel any sexual desire for me. Honestly, she must still be quite hurt and confused from our fighting so I don't expect her too. She is content to be friends as she said she feels comfortable again, no pressure. She says sometimes she wants to kiss me or touch me but isn't sure what would be ok, for her own good as well as mine.

Can this work out? We are so fun and alive together and work well together but she is not available emotionally or sexually for a relationship due to the damage. Will we be able to rebuild an intimate relationship through a friendship? Even if she is wary? I'm in love with this girl and want it to work out!

Thanks so much for your help and kind advice!


Yes, this is an unadvertised aspect of dating - you can be in love with someone without actually liking him or her!

You're going to have to make a decision here - what do you want from this girl - a friendship or a relationship (including sex)? I'm sorry my brother, you can't have both.

Depending on what you want, you're going to have to go about things differently. Let's look at the friendship option first:

Why would she want to be your friend? This is an important question to get answered right away. Consider this: by being your friend, and knowing that you're in love with her - she holds all the cards! She doesn't want a sexual relationship with you right now, but she can keep you on the hook as long as she wants. Further, she is completely free to date (and sleep with) anyone she wants because, after all, you're just "friends".

Later if she decides that she wants sex with you again, she just has to call and she knows you'll be on her doorstep like a panting puppy. The other benefit she has by being your "friend" is that she can call you anytime (like she already does) and she knows she has someone to go out with on a Saturday night if she wants an ego boost or just needs someone to entertain her. You'll be that guy with the big red nose and floppy shoes with just a phone call from her! Additionally, if she has a light bulb that needs to be replaced, needs a ride somewhere, wants some help with something, she's got you to call; her "friend".

Here's a fact you'd better get in your mind right now: Women don't make good "friends" for men; they simply become "sexless boyfriends";

Here's another: When women hold all the cards, they know it and they don't respect the men over whom they hold them.

Here one more: Women need to respect the men they date.

And one last one: Women don't want to be chased by men - they want to DO the chasing!

My brother, these aren't my rules - they were here when I arrived.

Now, if you're interested in a relationship with this woman, you're going to have to change your strategy entirely. Bear with me here - I give this advice to a lot of men, and it consistently works (if anything will!) Here's what you're going to have to do to have any future possibility with this woman:

Get scarce

When I say "scarce", I mean don't return her phone calls for at least a few days, don't pick up the phone - especially on weekends - that's what voice mail is for, and get yourself out there and get some phone numbers!

Here's the gig: by getting yourself busy, not only will you break the depression of sitting around wondering why she won't sleep with you, but by not being available to her, you instantly give yourself "value" in her eyes. Remember those rules? She wants to chase YOU - not the other way around. If she begins to think you're moving on, she's going to start putting greater emphasis on you and YOUR needs - after all, she wants to win here. All you're doing is giving her what she wants!

You might want to enlist the help of your friends. Let them know what you're up to and see if they can work with you. As I've said in many articles, if you take care of your friends, they will be there when you need them most - like right now.

When you DO call her back, or see her, keep it brief and to the point. It's much better (for you) to end a conversation yourself rather than trying to keep her on the line. Leave HER wanting more. In fact, you really don't want to initiate any calls. Try to always be the one RETURNING the calls - this give YOU back the control. Then, when you return her calls (a few days later), ask what she wants. She may say something like, "Well, I just wanted to see you - I miss you." (A very good sign by the way). Then, say, "Ok, when did you want to get together, and what do you want to do?" Make HER do the work here.

By doing this, you're creating great value for yourself in her eyes. Further, when you DO get together with her, make sure it's not just to go out and see a movie (like "buddies"). Be sure to kiss her, hold her hand - basically all the things you'd do on a date. You might make some moves toward the bedroom too. If she gives you any resistance to this, just turn and say, "Well, ok - I've got to go." And then leave!

After doing this a few times (if it's even necessary), she may say, "Are you just interested in me for sex?" To which you can tell her, "No, but sex IS a part of a mature relationship between men and woman." (If you don't feel comfortable saying this to her, tell her I said so!), "If you're not interested in a mature relationship, I'm not interested either." The point of all this is to keep HER on the run. She'll love you for it by the way. But you've got to get this started right away. Once you fall into the "Friend Zone" it is very, very difficult to get out!

I strongly suggest that you pick up a copy of my book, "Being a Man in a Woman's World" and commit it to memory. You've made a number of grave mistakes here that may actually prevent you from EVER putting things back together with her. If you're going to at all you're going to need some new tools; what I call "male philosophy". Further, you're going to need some new tools for your future. Neither you nor I want you to ever have to go through this again!

Good luck, much love...

He's Hot, He's Cold, and He's Hot Again!

Dear Dr. Neder,

I've been in a relationship with a 48 year old divorced man for what will be one year on Valentine's Day. My problem is that my boyfriend cannot tell me that he loves me. He has a history of not being in love with previous girlfriends live in or otherwise. His ex-wife left him for another man and he had trouble admitting he ever loved her.

I'm in love with him now. I'm attracted to him intellectually and physically. I also need his support as a friend and as a lover. We have an incredibly passionate sex life and he says he has never experienced anyone like me before. I'm a foreigner and I'm pursuing my career and I need all the support I can get. I haven't been able to form strong friendships in this big city because of its nature but I do have definite goals for my career.

In august after 6 months of being together, he was going to Europe for a family reunion and I told him I loved him and that I think he loves me. He said yes he does love me but is afraid of commitment and marriage because of his dealings with his ex-wife. One month later when he returned to town over lunch I said, "I love you" not expecting anything and he said, "I love you to."

Well one week later when we had an argument over a business client of his he turned cold and then a few days later over the phone said that he thinks the problem is that he doesn't love me and that he was just following me etc... We made up and got closer again.

In December he forgot my birthday, which is five days before Christmas and left me out at Christmas. After Christmas he suggested breaking up with me and then didn't because when he saw me he was swept away. Then 2 weeks ago he went out of town and he called me because he missed me. When he came back he even had someone bring me to his work when he was working late.

So he recently injured himself and had leg surgery this morning. Unbeknownst to me he decided that no one was to be there for him at the hospital etc. I asked why and I drew an answer out of him which was, that he didn't want to owe anyone anything and to let anyone(male or female) get close to him. He said that that feeling was worsening with age. So last night he came by to tell me that maybe we shouldn't see each other anymore because my depth of feeling is deeper than his. He told me that it seemed like I missed him more than his missed me when he went out of town. He also said that when we made love a few days ago, when he was climaxing I said, "tell me how you feel about me" and he smiled nervously and couldn't respond. He says something must be wrong with him because how could he be in that situation and not be able to say I love you. Of course we haven't broken up again and last night he said (even while wearing a cast) he might take me away for a few days.

I've asked him time and time again about why he broke up with all his girlfriends. Why he would live with someone for years and then decide that she wasn't "the one." One woman was too stupid for him; another woman was too neat etc. Whenever we start to get closer he goes with it and then starts to pull away. I asked why he's afraid of marriage and finally he said that he's afraid of losing his freedom. I personally just want to live together for now and I've never been married so I don't get the problem--I'm not aware of the restrictions. I feel that he is afraid of letting go or something. I don't know.

I've always felt that there was a seed of love in him for me but now I don't understand what's happening. I'm at the crossroads with everything in my life and need to make a well founded decision. This whole thing with him is wearing on me and I must straighten things out. I can't help needing a little love. Please help!

Thanks much doctor!


You both have a least a few issues going on here! Let's start with his inability to commit.

Men and women view commitment very differently. To you, it sounds like security, love, future, closeness, etc. To men, it usually means responsibility, lack of freedom, lack of options, stress, etc. Frankly, it's amazing that men want to commit - let alone get married - at all! These aren't my rules - they were in place when I got here! But, these facts remain. Add to this his bad relationship history, self-image difficulties and his inability to "share", and you've got a real problem here.

Now, let's look at your needs. As you know, men and women speak different languages - they both sound a lot like English, but they really are very different. In fact, even specific words have different meanings. Further, men and women each speak different languages amongst themselves! Confused? Hang in there...

You obviously have a need to hear the words "I love you". To other people however, they need to "see" that someone loves them, whereas other need to "feel" the love. I won't bore you with all the science behind this, but suffice it to say that some people (like you and your boyfriend) are "auditories" - needing to hear confirmation of things. Others are "visuals", and others (like me) are "kinesthetics".

In my book, Being a Man in a Woman's World I go into this in much greater depth, so I won't cover it here other than to say that this is who you are. You might be wondering if being auditory is good or bad. Neither! It just "is". The bottom line is that you have specific needs that aren't being met.

He also seems to have a need to control; and you seem to have a need to BE controlled. Consider his coming to you and suggesting that you two break it off. But he doesn't! Why do you think he's doing this? Why doesn't he just make up his mind and move on it? Because, then he would lose you. Instead, by keeping you "off balance" he has the control. Being a "controller" or a "controlee" isn't necessarily bad, but I'm sure you can imagine how this may play out in future years. It will eventually bleed into all other aspects of your life, including your career.

You should think long and hard about the following things:

1) Are you willing to live your life always unbalanced, and never quite reaching your relationship goals?

2) Are you able to let go to the point where he has total control and you have none?

3) Is being with him more important than being in a "healthy" relationship?

I need to add one more point here; that of marriage. Society puts a lot of pressure on women to be married. As you know, women often define themselves by their relationships. A good relationship means, "I'm a good person"; a bad relationship means, "I'm a bad person". Obviously, this is highly simplified, but it is true pretty much along the cultures, (more science: it is based on 1.6 million years of evolution).

I don't know what country you're from, or how long you've been here, but frankly it doesn't matter. These rules are as true here in Los Angeles, as it is in Texas, Florida, Hawaii, or Illinois, or anywhere else in the world. What I tell women is this: don't focus on the goal of being married. There is nothing wrong with that goal particularly, but it isn't the most important thing. Instead, focus on the quality of the relationship.

Is your relationship with him one of quality? Is it giving you what you need? Obviously not. The last question you need to ask is, "Can you make your relationship with him the relationship you want?" If the answer is 'no', it's time to move on and find someone with whom you CAN have what you want. After all, you deserve this!

Good luck, much love...

Where to Find Wonderful Women or Magnificent Men

One of the questions that I get asked often is, "Where do I meet a great man?" or "Where can I find beautiful women?" as though there is a place where all these people are kept.

Everybody knows about the club scene, the gym, and coffee houses, but if you're hoping that one of these will be your ticket out of single-city, you're missing the real opportunities that are around you.

Certainly, there are some places that are better than others for meeting people. For example, if you're looking for a woman to date, don't spend all your time hanging around sports bars. If you're a woman looking for a man, don't frequent sewing classes. Yes, sometimes men and women and be found at these places, but you're much better off increasing your odds by being where you expect them to be.

So where's the perfect place to meet someone of the opposite sex? Frankly, everywhere, (except your own living room!) The problem most people find is really two separate issues:

1) They don't know what they're looking for, so they don't know the right person when they find them; and,

2) They don't have any way pre-planned to meet this person.

If you spend some time BEFORE you try to meet someone, deciding what you're really looking for in a partner, it's going to be much easier to recognize that person when they show up.

In my book, "Being a Man in a Woman's World" I present a series of exercises on just how to accomplish this. For the purposes of this article however, sit down and make a list of things you're looking for in a partner. Try to be as specific as possible and visualize who this person is, and what they are all about. The more clearly you can "see" this person, the more likely you'll actually find him or her!

This works because it is a way of programming your mind. By setting out the specifics of the person you're looking for, you're telling parts of your brain to be aware of people that may fit this profile. It greatly increases the possibility of finding that person.

The second point - that of having a way of meeting someone is actually much easier than it seems at first. This is true even if you're very shy - but it takes practice.

Here are some final thoughts that will help:

Be open to meeting people - don't hide in a corner with your arms crossed, and your eyes on the ground.

Use eye contact and a natural smile to attract people. If you're not comfortable with these - practice!

Remember, people WANT to meet others - you included. Don't feel like you're imposing on someone just by saying hello.

Use all the tools available to you - referrals from friends and family, "cold contacts", business contacts, even the Internet.

If you're a woman, don't be too subtle - many men don't know when you're interested in meeting someone.

If you're a man, don't be too aggressive - many women don't send the right signals, or send mixed signals.

Selling Skills = Dating Success


I was deeply in love with a woman who said she was deeply in loved with me. I wanted to marry her and have kids with her after only being together for 3 months. She said that she was also read to settle down. After a couple of months and some power play games (man vs. woman - i.e. control issues). I began to take things more seriously and start making arrangements to marry her. She in the mean time started to lose interest in me. Twice, she wanted to brake up with me, but reluctantly agreed not to after some persuasion.

When she tried to break up with me the third time, I decided to let her go. She said that she really wants to move on with her life and date other guys, but that we can be friends and I still loves me. I told her I would not feel comfortable taking one step backwards in our relationship. She said, "So you can't be a friend but could be a lover?" This didn't make much sense to me because I was under the impression that we were both. She said that I wasn't being fair by not agreeing to remain her friend.

Is there any thing wrong with me in not wanting to end up with only being friends with her? I just want to bring total closure to this with out feeling like I am the bad guy. I loved her very much and it pains me that she has backed a way and now wants to only settle with friendship. I think it would be wise to bring closure, move on and just keep the good memories.

Confused Love/Friend

Hello Confused!

I understand fully what you're going through. Let me see if I can give you some perspective on all of this and then some advice.

First, as you mentioned, just about 3 months into the relationship, she began doing the "power play" thing with you. You survived the first two bouts of this but lost out on the third. She was trying to tell you something here. These "power plays" were what I have discovered as "The Test", and write about in my book, "Being a Man in a Woman's World". This is an absolutely textbook case!

It would take another book to go into all the aspects of "The Test" here, and for details, I strong recommend that you pick up a copy of "Being a Man...". However, suffice it to say that a test is exactly what you described - it is an artificial situation created to see who is going to control the relationship. She wanted someone that would stand up to her and take control - that is, brave risking losing the relationship for it. This is the "Knight in Shining Armor" image, and is ultimately what The Test is all about. Because she gave you 3 Tests, (2 more than some women would!) she then felt sure you weren't what she was looking for and fell out of love with you.

So, let's look at the "friends" issue. One of the main reasons why women decide that they want to be friends after all of this is that they don't want to lose some connection - just in case she's wrong about men! This is incredible, but true. She wants to go out and see if she can find some other guy that will actually pass her Tests. If she does, (and there are some of us out here), she will still be close enough to "rub your nose in it". This whole "being fair about it" is a classic symptom and the best evidence that what I'm saying is true.

So, should you be friends with her? Absolutely not! First, she feels safe expecting this of you as though she is the bigger person. Of course, she has nothing to lose! You on the other hand have your self-respect and dignity, your emotional well being, etc. There is absolutely no risk to her in expecting this of you! Further, if she doesn't find that "Prince Charming", she can always fall back to you! Does all this piss you off? Good! It should!

So, what do you do? First, if you really want to understand The Test and be ready to pass the next one, (and believe me if not her, someone else will Test you), pick up my book and commit it to memory. Second, DO NOT accept being her friend. In fact, I'd go so far as to be insulted that she thinks that she can keep you on that lead! If she wants a pet, tell her to go to the pound.

Lastly, only you know if there is even the most remote chance of being with her again. If so, stop all contact with her right now. She's going to need some time on her own - alone - to remember what a great guy you are. Second, when she does call, you need to be out and having a great time. This is where you want to get your buddies to give you a hand. Have them help you get out and start meeting other women. If you've taken care of your friendships, they will be there for you - and will understand what you're going through. Especially, don't answer the phone on weekends. Get scarce! Your friends and family will understand if you don't pick up and have to call them back.

Then, when she does call, be ready to pass her next test!

Good luck my brother....

Do I Have A Chance With Him?


Four years ago I met a man in the strangest way possible - while driving home from vacation! He pulled up next to me and just looked at me! He handed me a CD through the window. It was a local boy-band, and when I looked at the picture - he was one of the band members! I finally turned off and he continued driving ahead.

On the CD cover was an address, so I took a chance and wrote to him. Shortly after this, I got a call from him and we talked for a long time. He wanted to meet, and I agreed. He came by to pick me up a couple of days later and, because he didn't want to be interrupted by fans, we drove 50 miles to a restaurant way out of town.

Since I was in town only for a while, I continued to write when I went home. He never wrote back, so one day I got angry and wrote him a nasty 10-page letter. I didn't hear from him for a year, and then one day he called! I was in shock! He asked me when I was returning to his city, and I was actually planning to be there in 3 days. When I arrived, we began seeing each other, but never alone - it was always with the other members of his group, friends, fans, etc. I tried to get him to go out by ourselves, but he kept saying that he just didn't have the time.

During this, I discovered his email password and began reading his email - even after I got back home. He kept getting mail from girls that went to his concerts that had only one thing on their minds - sex. He stopped returning my emails and I lost touch with him for another year. After awhile, he dropped out of the music business and began working in Foreign Relations. At the same time, he a number of dating sights (I knew because of his email!) I signed up for the same services, and began talking to him.

After awhile of talking to him anonymously, I told him who I was. He asked me if I was married yet, and I told him the truth - no. Before my confession, he was writing to me everyday, after this, he stopped writing again, except very infrequently. In one of his messages, he told me that I knew him better than anyone else - like I was his sister!

Being his sister is not really what I had in mind, but after all these years of back and forth, I'd really like to be with him and try to build something. I told him about reading his email and that I knew all that he had done, and he didn't even get mad!

We continue to correspond, but he's told me some things I didn't know before like that he is divorced. I've asked him if we can get together, but he doesn't respond to any of this. On the other hand, he has told me a great deal about his personal life and seemed to open up to me. Do you think I have a chance with him? Either way, I just want him to know that I care for him and don't want anything bad for him at all.


Let me try to answer what I understand your questions to be:

Does he care about you?

When a man cares about a woman, he tries to use as much of his creativity as possible to show it. Of course this includes spending time with her, sending her notes, email, etc., to let her know that he is thinking of her, calling, etc. Frankly, I don't see much of this from your description. He may care about you, but I doubt that he loves you.

Regarding what you can do to show him your intention is not to hurt, and that you care:

You could continue to do what you are already doing, but frankly, why? Are you hoping for a future relationship with him? It doesn't sound like that's his goal to me. I seems that you'd be much better off just moving on.

I believe the bottom line is whether you want this kind of up/down relationship with someone that isn't really committed to you. Are you willing to invest your emotional well being in something as unorganized and uninvolved as all this? I don't recommend it. You could spend years of your life only to wind up with no more than you have right now.

I think you have another issue here too - trust. Why did you start reading his personal email in the first place? That is wrong, wrong, wrong! You don't have the right to go through his personal things - even his email - anymore than he does. You might see it as innocent - just trying to find out what he's thinking, but it is an invasion of privacy.

Good luck, much love...

Being "Daddy" Without The Sugar

Hello Dr Neder,

I read your piece on Breaking Up with much interest and seek your advice as offered in the article.

In about two months my partner and I will be celebrating our three-year anniversary. Discussions on marriage have started and I expect we will be making decisions about our future together soon.

Recently I have been experiencing doubt about our relationship as we have being spending a considerable time apart as my partner is studying overseas. I care about her very deeply but am concerned that this does not equate to love and am struggling to define the difference between the two.

Unfortunately my partner's family is a mess and the relationship with her separated parents is shallow and unfulfilling for her. I suspect that I am filling a father figure role, as I am six years her senior (she is 25) and supporting her financially so that she can study full time.

Deep down I do not respect her as an equal and probably have taken on the father figure role out of my own need to be needed. I know for my own fulfillment that I need to have a partner that I respect and consider equal. This has led me to thoughts of breaking up.

Is there a way for us to re-balance the relationships and change our current roles? Longer term I am afraid that if we continue in our current pattern I will feel trapped and alone in a relationship that is one-way.


As I keep telling people, the problem is not that there are too many divorces - there are too many marriages!

People seem to get married for all of the wrong reasons - and there are a ton of them. By contrast, there are only two reasons that I can see to get married:

1) You've decided that nobody else now, or in the future could ever be "the one" for you and you're willing to put aside any possible future interest in any else to make this so, (highly unlikely by the way); or,

2) You want to start a family.

That's it!

As you've already mentioned, you are probably in this relationship for all the wrong reasons. I'm deeply concerned that you're paying her tuition overseas. This is bad all around. Why are you doing this? She's 25 years old. Do you think that she won't meet someone over there while she's away?

Not likely. Remember your own college days? Sure, you wanted an education, but was that the only thing you wanted? She's likely to return to the states with her degree AND her new boyfriend! Of course, you'll have paid the bill for it all!

You seem to have nailed the essence of the relationship - she wants a "daddy" figure (sugar-daddy?) and you want to be needed. This is not a healthy foundation on which to build a relationship! Neither is the "pay for play" model by the way.

You see, people spend more time planning their vacations than they spend planning their relationships. Isn't this ridiculous? What you have here is a relationship that has taken it's own course without much "direction" from you. Now, as things are getting serious, you're beginning to re-evaluate your involvement in the relationship. You should have done this before monogamy set in!

In my book, "Being a Man in a Woman's World" I go into this planning process in depth, so I'm not going to re-iterate it here (actually it spans 3 chapters of the book itself!) But suffice it to say; first you've got to decide just what you want - specifically and clearly. If you don't want to get married, my brother - DON'T! No good can come of it. Likewise, if you don't want to get married to her - DON'T.

The first step is to sit down and really determine what you want in your life. Until you do this, you're always going to be at the mercy of everyone else's ideas of just what's best for you. This includes your girlfriend, your friends, your girlfriend's parents, your parents, your minister, your pet goldfish, etc., etc., etc. Next, look at the relationship and see if there is hope of getting these things from it. If not, it's time to move on.

If you want to try to re-organize your present relationship, you need to run (don't walk!) down to your local bookstore (or go to our website) and get my book. It is full of "male philosophy" on how to begin to properly manage your relationship including what it takes to direct and manage your relationship in the long-term. It also covers how to meet someone that better fits your needs.

My point here is not to give you a sales pitch, but to give you some options. After 3 years of this pattern, it's time to make some changes - either in your relationship with her, or in yourself. Either of these are going to take some work, but it's worth it. Otherwise, you're just going to go from this situation right into another just like it.

So, here's the bottom line:

1) Decide what you want from your life and your relationship(s),
2) Decide if you CAN get it from this current relationship,
3) If so, make it what you want by expecting the change and implementing a plan (I'd start with finding a new funding source for your girlfriend's education),
4) If not, get out and start meeting some new people as your construct your "exit plan".

Life is not a dress rehearsal. You don't want to find out 5 years from now that you're married to someone that you shouldn't be, and those that meet your needs are no longer in reach.

Good luck, my brother!

It's Time to Get Moving With Women

Dear Doctor:

I've put off going after girls for years. I was shy, and I never had the courage to take the next step: dating. There was a good dozen or so times in high school when I could have done something, but I choked. I think I was afraid of the commitment, and I made all kinds of excuses.

Now, I'm 21 and I feel like it's really time to start doing something about girls. I've tried to change my attitude, and get over my shyness with some success. My only obstacle is connecting with some girls. I thought that it would be good to go out with my buddies to do some prowling, but most of my friends have stereotyped me as a prude, so they aren't interested in helping. I'm slowly changing that too. Plus, they think I'm too much of an amateur.

Recently, I started playing squash with a new buddy. He's in the same boat as me, so I feel like we have something in common that we can work together on. We've both agreed that we need to start building a network of girls, but we don't know where to find these girls. Maybe are standards are too high? We thought that we could go cruising and check out different kinds of places like dinners and bars to start off. Comments?


Thanks for the comments on our site - we are very proud of it and are working on a bunch of updates that should be posted sometime in the next month or so.

My first suggestion is that you need some tools to get started. It's kind of like trying to build a house. So you and your buddy show up on the property one day and decide you probably need some wood - so you go gather a bunch of it. Then, you figure it's got to go up somehow and you start stacking it. Of course, the wood doesn't fit together, and you don't have anything to hold it up, so it falls. Now, you've wasted an entire day with nothing to show for it.

Dating is like this. You need tools, ideas and techniques to make things happen. Consider this: women are relationship experts - much more than we men are. Would you jump in the ring with Mike Tyson without one hell of a lot of preparation? I'd hope not! Thus, you want to be prepared when you meet women too - otherwise, they'll just blow you out of the water!

One of the best things you can do to learn these tools is to read my book, "Being a Man in a Woman's World", (sorry for the sales pitch, but it really IS the best place to start!) Here, you'll get some of the best ways to meet women, what to say to them, how to get home phone numbers, how to set dates, how to manage your time - especially when dating 2 or more women at a time, how to structure a relationship, and most important, how to know what you're looking for in the first place. You can get the book from our website, or you can also get it from your local bookstores.

Regarding where to find women - EVERYWHERE! Believe me, they don't keep beautiful, single women in only one part of town. They are any- and everywhere. So, rather of thinking you need to go somewhere to meet them, have your tools in your back pocket first. Then, when you DO meet them - wherever you are - you're ready to get things started.

Lastly, regarding you and your friend working together - it is a great idea. Once you both know what you're looking for in women, you can begin working together to find them. You do this by switching off. One night your friend will help you to meet someone, the next night; you will help him, etc.

To do this, find a pair of women (they usually travel in two's, three's and more's) where at least one fits your (or your buddy's) "profile". Then, your friend helps you separate the girl's friend(s) from her so that you can move in and use your new tools. It doesn't matter if the friend is attractive or not. If she and your buddy hook up - great, if not, he just "takes one for the team", even getting her number if he can (for practice), while you move in and get the target's number. Then, the next night you switch off. Works great!

Good luck, much love...

She Won't Stop Kissing Her Friends!


I am in a serious relationship of over one year. Over the course of our relationship, my girlfriend and I have spent most of the time that we have been together without the company of our respective friends. Once in a while we are in a situation where one of my girlfriend's male friends is coming or going and her standard greeting or send off is a kiss on the lips.

I don't kiss anyone on the lips other than my girlfriend. I find it unsanitary. She obviously doesn't. She does insist on all shoes being removed in the apartment and street clothes not being worn on the bed (even on top of the comforter).

I have gone along with her need to feel a sense of cleanliness, but she refuses to discuss her lip-planting all of these guys she is friends with. She says that's just the way she is, and tells me to get over it. I can't. I do not feel respected or comfortable not to mention grossed out!

-Cold Sore Patrol


This is ABSOLUTELY a matter of respect (or disrespect on her part)! Just like they say you're having sex with every other partner your girlfriend has had, you're also kissing them too! Further, she's giving you the dreaded "Test"!

If you've read any of my articles, you know that I talk about "The Test" all the time, and it is a matter of utmost importance that you get it handled once and for all, or it's just going to get worse! Regardless of how she sees it, you don't feel comfortable with it, and frankly, that's all that should matter.

To handle this you're going to have to put your foot down and tell her, no more kissing other guys on the lips - period. Further, if she kisses some guy on the lips, you're not going to kiss her until after she takes a bath! You should also have a long talk with her regarding respect. (By the way - I once got a chick I was dating to stop smoking by doing this! She had to fully brush her teeth every time she smoked before I would kiss her - outside of course. What a pain in the ass!)

If this doesn't get you anywhere, you might want to illicit some of your female friend's help - at least those you'd want to tongue-kiss. Of course, you've got to make sure you do this only in public, and hopefully around her friends, as the humiliation factor is the primary key.

The reason why this is so insidious (and she knows it is!) is that she can easily come back with "but we're only friends - YOU must be insecure!" How do you defend that statement? This is why it is so imperative to get corrected immediately. You might also want to pick up a copy of my book, "Being a Man in a woman's World" as it goes into handling these kinds of tests in great depth.

Let me know how things turn out, my brother...

Help Me Please Mine!


I have been with my fiancée for about 2 years now and our love life has diminished. I care about nothing but pleasing her in bed. I want to know every fantasy (no matter how exotic), she has. I've tried talking to her about trying new things like using toys or lingerie, but she has no interest in any of these.

A few weeks ago I took her to an adult store for her first time and let her look around. I hinted a few things out that she might enjoy but it was useless. She was ready to leave immediately. I love her to death and want to be with her for eternity, but I want our love life to get better.

Lately she has been trying to make love more often to me than usual, but she always wants it her way, (missionary). I have tried ordering lovemaking videos to watch one time and she watched and that was that. I can't even get her to look at nice softcore porn. Also, she loves for me to go down on her. I'll go down on her for hours at a time until my lips are soar, and I cannot get her to go down on me. It's like the joke around here. She refuses. I've tried everything even not mentioning it for 3-4 months but still nothing.

Could you please help?


Hello Tony!

This sounds like a case of "selfish lover" syndrome. Interestingly, it is more often men that do this!

By this I mean, she wants it when she wants it, how she wants it - or nothing. She doesn't sound likes she's interested in pleasing you in bed at all. Does she even bother to ask you if what she's doing is working for you?

As you're probably already aware, women's sexual response is much more complicated than men's. Further, her sex drive can vacillate all over the place - sometimes she's hot and other times she's just not interested.

Many times, women's sex drive is influenced by the relationship itself. If the relationship is good, and she feels loved, the sex is good. If the relationship isn't what she wants (or hopes for), the sex can suffer. Of course, I don't know enough about your relationship to say that this is the case, but it is a possibility.

Another thing that can cause sexual problems is outside relationships. I get many letters from guys where the sex has dried-up, or has just become boring only to find out she's actually seeing someone "on the side" and focusing her sexual energy there instead.

A final possibility is a chemical or emotional one. Many women get involved with relationships and gain weight, or just let themselves go. If she doesn't feel good about herself, she will tend to focus on things like, "I wonder if he thinks I'm fat", or "What if he just wants me for sex, but doesn't love me?", etc. Or, perhaps she's got some other things on her mind that she hasn't talked to you about.

Again, I don't know the particulars of your relationship, but it sounds like you don't know all of it either. I'd strongly recommend that you sit down, turn off the TV and have a long, heart-to-heart discussion. During this talk you want to express to her that you're dissatisfied with your sex life, and to find out how she feels about it too. There must be some common ground you can reach. If you can't find it, you may have to either move on, or find it elsewhere.

The real key here is to have that talk, and really get to the heart of the problem. Don't make assumptions - make discoveries.

Good luck, much love...

Everybody Has A Past


I have been with my boyfriend for almost 2 years now and he is a wonderful man, and he plays Bass in a band at this club. In the beginning his ex-wife and her 2 kids use to go there to bother him. Last weekend even his ex-mother in law and his ex's best friend showed up! I know he wants nothing to do with them, but he walked over and gave them all a hug. That really hurt!

Later, they walked over to our table and told him that his daughter is getting married and that he should be there. He doesn't speak up to tell them to leave us alone and that he wants nothing to do with them anymore. Those weren't even his kids to begin with.

Well, we ended up in a huge argument that night. He always tells me that it doesn't matter and that he will never go back to them, and I know that, but I don't understand why won't he tell them he doesn't want bothered anymore. And why does he still hug them and treat them like friends? I feel so uncomfortable going there anymore, but I love to dance and I love to go and support him and his band.

I don't know what to do anymore. This has been dragging on for too long without him saying anything to them. I kept telling him that they are NOT going to leave us alone unless he stops associating with them. I don't want to start trouble, but I'm tempted to say something to them myself, but I thought he would stick up for them and not me.

Please Help!!!!

Confused and Frusterated!!

Hello "C & F"!

Oh no! Not another bass player! (I'm also a bass player - and we're the WORST!!! - just kidding!)

Everybody has a past - you, me and your boyfriend. There is almost nothing you can about that. Actually, the fact that he's friends with his ex girlfriend's mother, friends, etc., should be a GOOD thing to you!

As you already know, when a band plays a club, the club owner is counting the number of bodies in attendance. This is because bodies = sales; and let's face it; he doesn't hire the band to promote the arts! Thus, having your boyfriend's ex, her family and friends is actually good for the band, and therefore, your boyfriend.

I fully understand how you feel about his friendliness toward them, and they may be coming: 1) to support the band; and 2) to get your goat; both of which they have accomplished. However, your boyfriend has made certain promises to you, and it sounds like he is sticking to those promises.

Thus, you may just have to come to grips with the fact that he has had relationships in the past (just like you), and these people are part of this life (just like you).

Here's another idea taken directly from an old middle-eastern quote: "Draw your friends close, and your enemies closer." What this means to you is, why not get to know his ex's mother, her friends, and even her! At least this way, they'll get to know you, and perhaps even respect you. Yes, I know it's much easier to be catty, but you'll gain so much more - in their eyes, and your boyfriend's, all while being able to deal with things "from the inside".

Believe me, this isn't easy, but it just starts with an introduction. The next time he plays and any of them show up, just walk up, and say hello. Introduce yourself if they don't know who you are, and explain that you just wanted to get to know them as a part of your boyfriend's past. Then, go pick up your boyfriend's jaw from the floor.

Good luck, much love...

You Can't "Own" Someone Else!

I have been with the same guy for 9 months. He has been married twice and has 4 children. The first 6 months things were really good. We became serious and I fell in love with him and I told him so. That's when things got crazy! He has never told me he loves me but when I confront him about it, he says he is scared of saying it because he thinks things will go bad.

The past three months have been pure hell - a rollercoaster. Three months ago he ran away scared. I didn't talk to him for a couple of weeks and then he sent me an email and made his way back into my life. The second time he just stayed away for a week. I phoned him and we were okay again after that. He keeps saying he doesn't want a girlfriend because he doesn't want to get close. After the second time he started to go to counseling. He was doing really well until last Sunday when the same thing happened again! This is a pattern for him. He will probably call again once he gets out of his gray period, and I want to know what you think about this situation.



This sounds like a rollercoaster for sure!

Many women have all sorts of hang-ups too. For men, the #1 hang-up is commitment. This is because commitment has such a negative connotation for us. For you girls, it means security, future, marriage, etc. - in short, all of the good things in the relationship. For us, it means responsibility, problems, time away from our work and friends, and a lack of freedom. I'm sure you've heard all this before, but try to put yourself in a guy's shoes. Try to imagine what we go through. Believe me, those words; "I love you" are important to you, but terrifying to us!

So, let's look at your particular situation. First, if he isn't willing to commit to you, there really isn't much you can do. From your description, this sounds less like a simple fear, and more like a religion! You said he's been in counseling for this, but not whether he still is. If so, you're going to have to realize that it's going to take some time - possibly a long time, to get over it all. Your real question should be "can you wait"?

Unfortunately you can't own another person - even through marriage. You can't set goals for him, nor can you make him do anything he doesn't want to do. If your goals are a stable, comfortable relationship with a guy that's at ease with telling you his feelings, this guy may not be the one for you.

On the other hand, if you're willing to wait (possible a long time), and willing to live with someone that doesn't want to commit, and won't tell you that he loves you; this guy's a dream!

My point here is that you've got to decide what YOU want in your life. You can't base it around what someone else does or doesn't do. I understand that this "on-again, off-again" relationship is driving you crazy and you've had good things in the past, but don't use THAT as a yardstick of the future. As I tell people all the time, don't listen to his (or her!) words - watch their actions!

One last thing you might want to do. *If* he calls, and *if* he's still in counseling and *if* he agrees to it; you might want to contact his counselor and get a professional opinion on this guy. That's a lot of *if's*, but *if* these things come to pass, you might gain great insight into his particular situation (and your possibility for a future). However, I wouldn't count on these things. Decide what YOU want in YOUR life and make them happen for YOU!

Good luck, much love...

Have Confidence - Fake it Until You Make It!

Hey, it's me again.

There is one thing I kind of struggle with, and that is confidence.

Everyone knows they are attracted to confidence, but what exactly is confidence? How do you show you have confidence?

Thank you

Hi "Me Again"!

You're absolutely right about confidence - it is the #1 thing that women report as finding attractive in men. In fact, I do a lot of interviews around the country. Every time there is a women host, or one working with the host, I always ask her this: "What is the single thing you find most attractive in the men you meet?" They don't say, "money", "butts", "eyes", "cars", or anything else most guys think. They always respond with "confidence".

Confidence is an interesting thing. It's hard to fake having money if you don't have it. It's hard to fake having a great body. It's EASY to fake having confidence! Why? Because confidence is really just two things:

1) Posture - both physical and mental; and,

2) Presence - your affect on people in the room.

Both of these can be faked very, very easily. This is because people have a hard time telling the difference between what is real and what is an act. 

Let's take an example from the world of acting. Actors talk about "breathing life into a character", but for most of them, this is a bunch of hooey. Most actors learn that all you really have to do is just "walk the walk" and "talk the talk" of the person bang portrayed. It is the rare individual that can spot the difference between going through the motions and actually becoming the character.

Confidence is like this too. If you simply adopt the body language, and have a bright, engaging personality - even if only for a little while, you are perceived as having confidence! Of course, the more you do this, the better at it you become, and the more confidence you gain, becoming even better at it, getting more confidence to get even better yet.... etc.

This is a common rule of humankind. The problem is that most of us use it to our detriment rather than our benefit! We are scared, so we tend to "act" differently than we really are; we avert our eyes when we walk into a room, we act nervously when we meet someone new. Guess what - this is actually practicing to fake a lack of confidence! Then, by faking this, we get better at it. Then, we lose confidence in other situations, thereby practicing that body language, and losing even more confidence, etc.

So, how to you actually show confidence - even when you don't have it. Again, take a clue from acting: first, you imagine a situation where you've felt completely confident - any situation will do. You can then boost this by imagine a hero of yours doing the same thing. For example, how would James Bond act in the same situation?

Second, simply adopt that posture and presence! Become that character - if only for an hour or so in the situation where you lack confidence. This isn't hard to do if you have a reasonably good imagination! Further, by practicing this, you're going to get better and better at it - and earn more confidence at the same time.

The trick with confidence is to "fake it, until you make it."

Good luck, much love...

10 Ways to Know When Your Relationship Is "Right"

I spend much of my time pointing out where things went wrong with this person's approach, or that person's relationship, etc. I thought it might be time to look at what makes a relationship "right". That is, how do you know you're in a relationship that can last? Here's my top 10:

10. You feel good about yourself and your world

A good relationship makes you feel great. It should fill in your "gaps" and make you feel whole. It should give you emotional strength and help you to feel that everything is ok - and will continue to be. Another good sign is that you're better able to survive disasters at work, at home, etc. - not because you know someone will be there to solve them, but because you know that YOU can.

9. You look forward to spending time together

Far too many couples stay together out of habit. They don't really look forward to being together and try to find ways to avoid it. For example, they always try to include other friends, go to an event so that they'll have something to do, etc. Another sign is fear of the "conversation lag" where nobody has anything to say. If your relationship is "right", you'll enjoy spending quality time together - even when it's quiet.

8. You respect your partner, and "talk him or her up"

Is there anyone that agrees with everything someone else says or thinks? (I can tell you - nobody agrees with everything I say!) There's no reason you have to agree with everything your partner says or thinks either. However, you should RESPECT them for it - right or wrong.

Further, when you respect someone - really respect them - you find yourself "talking them up" to people. You say things like, "You know, my girlfriend said something that I don't agree with, but it really made me think" or "My husband really knows about wood working - you should ask him about it."

What this really shows is your focus - if you find you're always talking about yourself, you're not focused on your partner - or the relationship.

7. You are really interested in what he or she thinks

Along with respect, you'll find that you are interested in your partner's thoughts on different things - and you ask. You might have heard the President of your company say something and you ask your wife to get her take on it. Or, you may have come up with an idea that you want your boyfriend to think about - and you're not afraid of getting shot down.

6. You are aware of, but ignore their quirks

Everyone (even YOU bunky!) has his or her little quirks. Your partner's quirks might even appear cute to you, or at least harmless. If they're getting to you, you should look more closely at your relationship in general.

5. Problems don't make you think about breaking up

All relationships have problems. It's natural and healthy. However, if every time you fight you feel ready to break up, you should re-think your relationship. People that have good, solid relationships see disagreements as a chance to learn more about their lover, and to get closer. Thus, they don't fear them, but they don't create them either!

4. You aren't scared about losing him or her

Once you start investing your feelings in a relationship you risk being hurt. This isn't my rule - it's just the way it is. However, if you dwell on the possibility of being hurt, you can't really enjoy the relationship. Further, you shouldn't be concerned that your lover isn't happy. If the relationship is secure - you'll know it.

3. You're together "just because"

Many people start dating and then coordinate their lives such that they have to be together - either for finances, kids, family, work, the dog, etc. Is there something keeping your relationship together? If you're together just because you both want to be, you've got a good reason to stay together! If you're together because you have to be, you'll likely to start having problems.

2. You appreciate other attractive people, but aren't interested in them

There is someone more attractive than your boyfriend, girlfriend, husband or wife. I don't care whom you're with! If your relationship is good, you still like the way other people look, but don't find it necessary to compare them to your partner. After all ...

1. You are in love

If you don't know that you're in love, you're not. Love is very difficult to explain, but one of the best explanations I've seen is this:

"Love is when you are more concerned with the well being, safety and happiness of someone else than your own."

That's a pretty powerful idea, and something I hope everyone gets to experience.

Good luck, much love...

She Doesn't Need Another Girlfriend!

I read your article "What are your goals Girl-Friend or girlfriend?" and it relates to my situation. I met this girl a couple of years ago in an art class, the signals were clear that we were both interested in each other. We went out a few times but I always held back from becoming too intimate or talking about the possibility of being boyfriend/girlfriend because she was leaving the country in a month.

She invited me to visit her overseas, gave me her address and number and asked me to write. We wrote for a few months before I decided to go visit her. I knew I was interested in her but was afraid of falling in love for the wrong reasons, so I decided to go but not cross the line with her - no sex, no kissing, etc. I wasn't my usual self when I was there - very reserved and not talkative. She invited me to sleep in her bed with her but I was again adamant about not crossing my line so I didn't try anything.

After my vacation was over and I was leaving, she tried to get me to tell her how I felt. I was still afraid not really knowing how I felt yet and having no more time with her. My feelings for her grew and I decided I really liked her and needed to tell her. So, I wrote her a letter. I called and we spoke about it and she was very angry. She was frustrated with me not opening up. She said my last chance was when I was there and it's too late now.

I was planning on going back to see her unannounced with flowers on New Years Eve to see if I could change her mind. A friend of hers got wind of this and tipped her off. She wrote back ending the relationship and told me not to call her because she doesn't see me as anything more than just a friend. I hadn't heard from her for about 7 months when a letter arrived out of nowhere. We started casually writing again. She told me she was planning to come to the states that summer to visit, and would be staying with a girlfriend of hers.

When she arrived, we went out. We had a wonderful time, talked and laughed but only as friends. We spoke on the phone after she went back to her country and explained my reasons for not crossing the line. She told me she still sees me as a friend however. I still feel that I want to be with her. My plan is to build intimacy, trust and closeness through email and phone calls.

Her birthday is coming up in December and I am thinking of contacting a friend of hers to have her arrange a surprise party and I'd show up and surprise her. What do you suggest?

Hello Bobby!

My brother, I'm sorry to tell you - you totally pussed out! If you care to know, I can tell you exactly what she's thinking - she was hoping for a boyfriend, and she got another girlfriend instead. In fact, that's exactly how she's treated you after you went to Europe the first time. Sorry to be so harsh, but someone has to. It might as well be me. You have totally bought into the "feminization of men" that I talk about so much in my interviews, books, and articles.

Bobby, I get letters every single day from women complaining about the same things you've done. Women DO NOT want men that are "sensitive", "take it slow" or "spend time getting to know them". They want strong, confident men that have a direction and are willing to make things the way THEY (the men) want them to be. Women have had to take the relationship lead for the past 35 years or so, and frankly, they aren't happy about it. Believe me, they tell me this all the time.

This girl isn't happy about your choices either. If you DO put together the surprise birthday party, don't YOU be surprised if she shows up with a boyfriend! I mean, how much do you expect the poor girl to take? Short of jumping on you she did everything else. Why wouldn't she go the "extra mile"? Because, she was disappointed with the idea of being in a relationship with someone that couldn't make any moves - let alone even the first ones! You've made just about every mistake I can think of, and a few new ones. If you ever want to have a future with women, you've got to get this problem solved.

Bobby, again, I'm sorry to be so harsh, but you've got to get this mistaken (and misplaced) sense of respect and courtesy corrected. You haven't done her any favors, nor have you done yourself any. No wonder she was so angry with you! This doesn't mean that you shouldn't be respectful when dealing with women, but you've taken this so far to the extreme it's ridiculous! You'd better get some direction. Unfortunately, it isn't her job to "make the moves" - it's yours. That's the way it is. She's given you every possible opportunity to make them, and you've ignored each one.

So, what should you do? First, drop the "falling in love with her for the wrong reasons", and "to build intimacy, trust and share" plans. Yes, I know that's what "popular media" says you should do. My brother, you've been watching too much Oprah, and the Lifetime Network. Women are just as confused about what they want today as men, so at least you're in good company. But, you can't use THEIR messages as an example of how to deal with relationships with them! Fathers and older brothers are supposed to help you get this understanding, but too often, they either aren't in the picture, or have bought into all of this crap themselves. Think of me as that older brother that's here to help - finally.

To be honest with you, I doubt you have any more chances with this girl. If she ever gives you another chance, consider her that Saint of Saints! Frankly, you're better choice is to find someone local and begin pursing them with all the problems solved.

I also believe that you have another issue going on here - fear. Why did you choose so difficult a target as someone living overseas? Are you thinking about moving there or hoping that she'll move here? She has a life there, just like you do here. I doubt she's going to up and leave her friends, her family and her life to rush off to the States and be your buddy.

I think that you've been afraid to make your move for fear of rejection. What if she turned you down? An even bigger question is, what if anyone turns you down? It's going to happen, if not now, in the future, so what are you waiting for? Get moving! Meet some new girls and start getting numbers.

I often give this advice to men: if you've got problems being afraid of rejection, don't look for "yes's", look for "no's". What do I mean by this? Set a goal for yourself to get 3 "no's" from women every week. Actively try to seek them out. Why would any sane guy want to do this? Because, you are special, my friend. However, you are not SO special as to fail every single time! Scattered in amongst those "no's" are going to be a bunch of "yes's". Go back and re-read this paragraph.

Here's a quick summary of these thoughts:

1. Get your head on straight about women - in short, get your testicles back in your pants where they belong, and stop trying to make them do all the work to protect your ego. You've got to get into the game - don't sit on the sidelines!

2. Get your "relationship plan" completed, (you'll learn all about this in my book), and get your "seduction knowledge" up.

3. Get your relationship life on track - get numbers and start dating! Stay with this girl as a friend, but don't invest everything you have in her. I doubt you have any further chances.

Bobby, I know I've taken this in a different direction than you expected. However, the problem isn't in HER reaction to YOUR actions - it's in YOUR philosophy. Until you get this corrected, you're never going to have anything going on with this woman, or any other. Please mull over this and let me know what you think.

Good luck, much love...

© 2002, Dr. Dennis W. Neder

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Relationship is a pervading and changing mystery...brutal or lovely, the mystery waits for people wherever they go, whatever extreme they run to. - Euroda Welty

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