Women Don't Lie,
Men Don't Listen
Archive 03
 

Menstuff® has compiled information and books on the issue of Relationships. This section is the 2002 Archive of DocLove's weekly column featured daily on our homepage. Doc Love is a talk show host, entertainment speaker, and coaches men in his seminars. For the past 30 years he has asked thousands of women, "Why do you stay with one man versus another?" He is the author of the Master Series, available at www.doclove.com Archive 2004, 2003a, 2002a, 2002b, 2001, 2000.

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

Are Women Hypocrites when it Comes to 'Looks'?
The Art and Science of Interpreting Mixed Messages
Can a Man Bring the Sparks Back into a Loveless Marriage?
Do Compliments Raise Interest Level?
Does a Guy Stand a Chance When She's Still Living with Her "Ex"?
Does Love Always Have to be Such a Mystery?
Does She Love Me or Does She Love My Wallet?
Do Men Equate Sex with Love?
Don't Blame "The System" - Blame Your Inconsistent Behavior
The Five Signs that She's Interested in You
The Five Top Reasons to Dump Your Date
How to Catch the Impossible Woman
How to Handle a "Flaky" Woman
How to Pass the Physical Attraction Test

The Ins and Outs of Speed Dating
Is E-Mailing Anti-Challenge?
Mixed Messages: Should You Retreat or be More Aggressive?
The Most Dangerous Creature on the Face of the Planet
She Keeps Chatting on the Net with Her Ex-What do I do?
Should She Not be Trusted, or is it Just Your Imagination?
Should You Ever Just Tell Her Off?
The Three Biggest Misconceptions that Men Have About Women
Translating Womanese into English
When is a Broken Date Not Bad News?
When Should a Man Seek Closure?
Why Would You Stray from the Principles that Made You Successful in the First Place?

Other Relationship Issues, Books

Don't Blame "The System" - Blame Your Inconsistent Behavior


Hey Doc,

About a year ago I met Carrie, who at first I thought was the shy, innocent type, but slightly interesting and very pretty. For four months or so we were friends, nothing more. Frankly, I wasn’t all that interested in her. One time she asked about my love life, and I told her, truthfulIy, that I was going out with another girl. From that moment on she fell for me. I continued dating the other girl until things weren’t going well anymore with her. Then I stopped calling the other girl and that was the end of the relationship. Now I was officially “free,” and while Carrie had high Interest Level in me, my Interest Level in her had not risen. But some weeks passed and we started dating. At that point I began to realize that she was a really great person, and I began to slowly fall for her. I had never heard of “The System,” but I was instinctively acting the way I felt, and without knowing it had been quite a Challenge for her.

For the first month or so we went out four to five times a week, and we began a long-term committed relationship. I’d never thought of settling down, but Carrie really got to me.

As in any relationship, the first three months or so were very sweet; there were no problems, and we were very much in love. We’ve been together for six months now. The only problem I had was with my friends, who kept telling me I’d changed, and didn’t want to go out with them and act stupid like we usually did. About a month ago, I realized that what they’d been telling me was true. I wanted to change this pattern and regain my manly, careless, beer-drinking side.

At about the same time, I learned about “The System” through a friend. Suddenly I realized that I was doing lots of things wrong in my relationship with Carrie, starting with excessive “I love you’s,” showing my jealousy, talking about my insecurities, and being completely open with her.

Immediately I began to change my behavior and reverted to my old self. Before I did, Carrie was apparently happy and her Interest Level had remained steadily high. Now that I’m more of a Challenge again and have corrected what I was doing wrong, she is unhappy most of the time – complaining that we don’t see each other as much as before and that I don’t seem to love her as much. She even told me recently that there have been more bad times than quality times lately, which is not true.

Paradoxically, since I’ve regained myself, I’ve been able to keep her Interest Level even higher than when I was whipped and controlled. I really don’t know what I’m doing wrong, because when I was whipped she seemed so happy, but it was really exhausting for me. Now I’m happier than ever, but Carrie claims that I don’t love her as much and she seems to be having trouble.

Doc, I’m deeply in love with this girl and want to do whatever it takes to keep her, but I still have my own needs, and want to hold onto my Integrity and Confidence. I’m somewhat desperate about this situation. I don’t want to go back to being whipped, but at the same time I want to make this girl happy. I need your expert advice.

Douglas – who wishes he could backtrack to the beginning

Hi Douglas,

First of all, here’s a tip for you. Anytime a girl asks you about your love life, tell her you’re going out with a bunch of different girls; don’t tell her you’re going out with only one. It’ll make you seem more desirable, and she won’t have to feel like a homewrecker.

Pal, you’re seeing this girl way too much. It’s all right to see a girl two or three times a week, but only after she’s already head over heels for you, and much later in the relationship -- not straight out of the starting gate. The key here is that at the beginning of a relationship, you’ve got to spoon-feed your time to her. Think about it: if you get married, you’re going to be with this girl until you’re 85 years old! What’s your hurry?

Now, let’s cut to the core of what you did wrong with Carrie. You’re telling me you went from being a Challenge to her eunuch, and now you’ve gone back again? No wonder Carrie’s unhappy – you’re tossing her emotions back and forth like a yo-yo! Like most men when their Interest Level goes through the roof, you got dopey and forgot all about being a Challenge, Douglas. Carrie then got used to your so-called “whipped” behavior, and now that you’ve retreated in the opposite direction, she’s looking at nothing but a wimp who exhibits inconsistent behavior. When a guy is Confident, he is consistent. Carrie’s looking for consistency in your actions, and your actions are anything but. You need to be steady, you need to be true, you need to be balanced, you need to be centered. You need to be the same on the last date as you were on the first date.

Remember John Wooden, the legendary basketball coach who won 10 NCAA championships? If you watched his players and didn’t know the score of the game, you’d notice they played exactly the same whether they were 20 points up or 20 points down. They never panicked when things threatened to get a little out of control on the court. Wooden’s teams were always balanced, centered, and unruffled – all the qualities you failed to display to this girl. Wooden transmitted his rock-steady qualities to his players, and were the reason his teams were as incredibly successful as they were.

I hate to break this to you, guy, but Carrie’s Interest Level may have appeared to be high, but it was really heading due south. When a woman’s Interest Level drops from, for example, 88% to 85%, the man doesn’t sense it. When he finally wakes up to the fact that something is wrong, her Interest Level has already plummeted into the sixties – or lower. So from the time he actually picks up on trouble, he’s already 20% to 30% behind the rockslide.

The point is this, Douglas – you spoiled Carrie, and now you’re trying to reverse yourself. What you did was like handing candy to a child, taking it away, and then being upset when the kid cries! You had poor Carrie gorging on cheap Gallo wine like a thirsty drunk! What you needed to do was spread your love out over a long period of time. And another thing -- Carrie is not your mother and she’s not your therapist -- she’s your romantic lover, so why were you trying to turn her into those things? No wonder she was losing interest.

I want a guy to have high Interest Level in the girl he goes out with – almost as high as hers. But if you find that you’re tired, if you’re feeling drained, then your body is talking to you, and your body never lies. It’s telling you that you’re doing something wrong. What you should have done, instead of pulling a quick 180 on Carrie, was slowly decreased the amount of time you spent with her, gradually cut down the “I love you’s,” told her you were busy at work, and gone out with your beer-drinking buddies and had fun. But you can’t suddenly pull a 180 on any person in any relationship, because it shows you to be no better than a fickle little girl. No wonder Carrie is asking herself: “Is this a guy, or a light switch?”

Remember, guys: you have to be consistent.

Does Love Always Have to be Such a Mystery?


Hey Doc,

Here’s my predicament. Currently my girlfriend of two years is attending college some two and half hours away. On the whole, this has turned out to be a good deal, as I get to see Liz at least every other weekend. The problem is that there’s this guy at her college who she says she has feelings for, and they’re growing a little stronger, especially recently.

Doc, I know my girlfriend is in love with me because she tells me so all the time and acts like she does. In fact, she constantly compares me and this other guy, and when it comes down to it, I’m better than he is in every category -- except for how I treat her. Liz really can’t keep her hands off me, and constantly reminds me of how much more attractive I am, how much smarter I am, and how much more funny I am than this other guy. And the list goes on. Up until now I couldn’t even be jealous because I felt so superior to the other guy and didn’t even view him as a threat. But in the end, he does treat her a little better, and all she wants is to be happy.

Now don’t misunderstand me, Doc. I treat Liz very well and she knows it. But I can honestly say that I probably don’t treat her quite as well as this other guy. While he does have very little going for him, he treats Liz like a goddess, waiting on her hand and foot, doing whatever she wants to do, complimenting her, etc.

Liz is very religious and she’s much more mature than most girls her age (she’s 20). This is one of the reasons I fell in love with her in the first place. I actually thought that we were beyond the games of mystery, being a Challenge, etc. and other strategies you recommend. This girl is a classic example of marriage material and I would truly hate to let her go.

My question to you is this: should I just learn to treat her better (and I’ll be the first to admit I could stand a little improvement in this area), or can you recommend another alternative? Should I be worried about losing her? Or should I just let her go?

Billy - who is just a wee bit confused

Hi Billy,

You have a girlfriend who’s 150 minutes away from you, practically living on top of a guy who she has increasing Interest Level in, and you tell me that on the whole it’s turned out to be a good deal? I have to hand you one thing, pal – you’re really funny! In fact you’re going to be the next Rodney Dangerfield! And what you’ve got in common with Rodney is that you don’t get any respect either.

Billy, I hate to break this to you: your girl isn’t in love with you. Because girls don’t love two guys at the same time. Never. That’s a rule set in stone. Yet you believe her when she says that she does. If she told you that two and two equaled five, would that make it true? As Brother Love would say, “These ladies work the man’s ego with the skill of an acclaimed artist!”

(By the way, when Liz compares you to her college admirer, you should turn around and compare her to your ex-girlfriend. Tell her that she’s got it all over your ex, except that your ex had longer legs! See how she likes being on the receiving end of the same treatment!)

Billy, just maybe you underrated your competition – that’s not a real smart tactic in war! Remind me not to ask you to fetch the ammo while I drag the machine gun up the hill, ’cause I got a feeling you’re not gonna be there! As my cousin Fast Eddie Love once put it, “Be careful when you turn your back on the other guy!”

Nevertheless, I’m a just a little suspicious of all these claims that your girl is getting treated so royally when you’re not around. Did you plant a video camera in her dorm room to spy on her and the other guy? Or are you just buying everything this girl shovels into your mouth? In other words, where’s the evidence? As I’ve told you guys again and again, you’ve got to be a love cop on “Love And Order!” Give me a few specifics! Without the specifics, we’re like the Yankees trying to hit a Josh Beckett fastball – we’re swatting at the wind! Did it ever occur to you that just maybe she’s manipulating you for her own ends with this line of malarkey?

But let’s grant that this guy really is doing everything, including washing her dog, for Liz and making you think you should be doing the same. I don’t know about her being religious, and I don’t know about her being mature. What I do know is that she sure as heck knows men – she’s got two idiots dangling on a string!

Now, as to your main question, which is whether or not to let Liz go. Here’s my question: how can you let her go when she’s already basically gotten rid of you? Let’s face it, Billy – she’s come right out and told you that her Interest Level in the other guy is on the way up. What does that mean for her Interest Level in you? Duh! No mystery here. No mystery here at all.

What you should do is this, dude. Tell Liz to take a hike and go and memorize The Dating Dictionary. It’s the only way to really get yourself on track.

Remember, guys: If you only read her actions, you’ll never be confused.

When Should a Man Seek Closure?


Hi Doc,

I’ve been earnestly reading your columns for the past few days, and now I wonder why I never ran into this expert advice earlier, when all my dating blunders could’ve been avoided.

I met this incredibly beautiful woman, Sheila, a few months ago. We went out a few times, and I began to notice that she displayed high Interest Level in me, through gestures like pressing her leg against mine, or handing me a drawing of a rose, or telling me that she trusted me. She showered me with compliments and so forth, but I kept my distance by not calling her incessantly. We shared a lot of common interests, and our verbal interactions were lively and stimulating. I think that unconsciously I was being a Challenge, but I didn’t understand the significance of it in the wider scheme of things.

Things seemed great until our last rendezvous, when I opened my big fat mouth and said something that obviously offended her. Nevertheless, we went back to my house anyway, and she lay on my couch, but complained of a headache the whole time while I worked on a business letter she’d asked me to help her write. As soon as I finished writing the letter, she got up and left. To the end, I was very gentleman-like, and never forced the issue of intimacy.

A week and a half later I made another blunder by having a male friend dial her number -- as a prank, I suppose -- and he left a message on her voicemail. To my surprise, she called back within the minute, and left a message asking my friend in a very enthusiastic tone to call her back immediately. He didn’t. I didn’t phone her again until two days later, and when she answered she kept asking about my friend -- that she wanted to meet him -- to which I replied in a lighthearted manner that he was a busy guy and had no time. The next day I called her up, asked what her plans were, and she told me she was busy. I told her I wanted some things back that I’d lent her. When I drove over to her house, we barely exchanged words. I picked up my things and told her that I had to go, but that we’d see each other later.

Obviously, after reading your columns, I’ve come to the realization that this is a losing battle, and I’ve resigned myself to moving on to the next girl. Yet I feel guilty that towards the end I wasn’t exactly a gentleman, and basically shut the door on Sheila. I try to reason that if she thought of using me as a springboard to her next love interest, then my response to the situation was justified and I should never call her to “clear things up.” Doc, my question is this: would it be a waste of time to try and clear things up with this girl? Should I try and ease my guilty conscience and seek proper closure?

Bob - who wants to know if he should clean up the mess

Hi Bob,

First of all, when you present a love case, you’ve got to be much more specific. For instance, exactly what did you say that offended Sheila? Did she thank you for the business letter you wrote for her? Guys, you’ve got to be love detectives on “Love and Order!” Real clues and solid evidence, please!

Nevertheless, let’s take a look at your situation. First of all, having your friend dial Sheila’s number was the dumbest thing you’ve ever done in your entire life. With all the weirdoes running around in America, you’ve got someone prank-calling your love interest? You’d be better off recruiting for Osama Bin Laden. This is something out of the sixth grade! It’s so immature, I can hardly believe a grown man would resort to it!

But the fact is, it wasn’t just a “prank” you had in mind, Bob. You sensed that Sheila was slipping away, and that crank call was a lame attempt to recapture her attention.

Next, you tell me that Sheila calls your friend back – a complete stranger – and wants to get to know him better? Maybe she’s as wacky as you are. But what’s really interesting here is that your pal hadn’t even passed Sheila’s Physical Attraction Test. She’d only heard his voice – so what does that say about her Interest Level in you? You actually brought your own competition into the picture here when you were on a downhill slide! Could your moves have been any more pathetic? To you Psych majors, let me remind you -- don’t bring in outsiders when you’re trying to win her! (If you owned the girl – if you’d been going out with her for months and had a solid relationship under your feet – you could have had a buddy call up as a joke. But not until you own the girl. And obviously you don’t own this girl, Bob.)

Your next blunder was asking for your possessions back when you did. You should have said to Sheila, okay, we’ll make it some other time, hung up the phone, and waited another week before calling back. If at that point she told you she was busy again, you throw her number away -- then ask for your stuff. As it was, you came off as uptight. Giving her the benefit of the doubt, maybe she was busy. Maybe she was having a tough day and forgot to counter-offer a date.

But let’s face reality here. If she had high Interest Level in you, she would have said I can’t make it today, but I can make it tomorrow. She wouldn’t have let your invitation drop.

Then came your next error. Why did you tell Sheila you were going to see her later when you went to pick up your things? You were on your way out, guy. It was over, the end, finito. Why make a gesture of finality and then expect to keep dating? You can’t have it both ways.

But don’t feel guilty, man. Because you didn’t shut the door on Sheila – she shut it on you. She got interested in your friend. And you made the springboard for her by setting up the call in the first place.

It doesn’t take a degree in quantum physics to crack this one, Bob. Sheila has low Interest Level in you – so there’s nothing to clear up. Would it be a waste of time to try, you ask? Go into your backyard, dig a hole, and fill it up again – that would be a better use of your time! The only thing you should feel guilty about is the stupid mistakes you made to lower this girl’s Interest Level, not the fact that she wrote you off.

One more thing. You weren’t living with this girl for 20 years, so there’s no reason to seek closure. Aren’t you going a little heavy on the “closure” bit?

So pal, forget about the “mess.” What I’d recommend is that you memorize The Dating Dictionary and start doing things right so the next girl doesn’t want to meet your buddy, who she’s never even seen!

Remember, guys: They’re never too busy to see you when they have high Interest Level.

The Five Top Reasons to Dump Your Date


Hey Doc.

I’ve been following your advice for quite some time now, and I have to say that you really do know your stuff. I’ve had more dates in the last three months than I did in the last three years prior to studying your relationship principles. I always had an abundance of opportunities with women but just had no clue that I was doing so many different inappropriate things that were turning all these women off before things even got off the ground.

I’ll admit that I have a preference for very beautiful women. Just about every one of the twenty or so different women that I’ve gone out with in the last few months have all been no less than an 8.5 or so on the 1-10 beauty- rating scale. I’m not bragging. Most of them have been high 9’s or 10’s. (I guess my ability to pull in the beauties has a lot to do with the way I look. About once or twice a week, someone I see at the market or on the street, or wherever, mistakes me for Ben Afflek – could probably get a job as his look-alike or stand-in if I wanted to.)

I know that, as you say, the more beautiful a woman is, the more troublesome and high maintenance she tends to be. Well I’m here to attest to the truth of that. I guess my problem is that I get these obvious warning signs (or red flags as you call them) from so many of these women indicating that they are trouble and not long-term relationship material. Nevertheless, I hang in there rather than dump them at the first warning sign because I’m so beguiled by their beauty.

My mind seems to tell me something like, “Ok, so this is the third time in a row that she’s shown up more than a half hour late but, well, so what? Look at her. She’s a knockout and she’s with ME, right here, right now. And look at all the other women and men in this restaurant who are looking at me with such envy and respect. Getting all this admiration and approval kind of makes it all worth it.”

But, naturally, after a few more times of the same rude B.S. from her, I do drop her because I get fed up. But then I move on to the next beauty on my list, and then of course have to deal with her particular attitude problem. Man, I’ll tell ya, Doc. It is so hard to find a real looker who doesn’t give you a hard time or try to bust your chops in one way or another.

I guess what I’m asking for is a kick in the pants and a pep talk/lecture on the main signs to look for that spell trouble when dating a beautiful woman. Also some extra inspirational info explaining why it’s best to move on and move on immediately as soon as she reveals her unacceptable character flaws. I kind of feel like an addict who needs some coaching.

Any feedback you could give me would be awesome. Thanks Doc.

Randolph – who just wants to be happy

Hey Randolph,

There are a lot of guys out there who wouldn’t mind having your problem. It certainly is an ego rush to be out and about town with one hot babe after another. And if variety is the spice of life, then I’d say that you’ve got more condiments than Wolfgang Puck.

But as your experiences in the dating trenches have taught you, Randolph, when it comes to being in a long-term committed relationship, the attitude of your potential partner is everything. A couple weeks of consistent nagging and whining from a ten and, as my Uncle Jethro Love would say, “Soon enough, sonny boy, she ain’t a ten no more.” In fact, by the time it gets to that point, you don’t even care what her rating is or was. All you want to do is get her out of your space.

You’ve got so many opportunities and so much “raw material” to work with that I know I can upgrade your relationship satisfaction level with just a bit of fine tuning. But you are going to have to be committed to straighten up and fly right. No more knowingly doing the wrong thing just to have one extra temporary fleeting thrill.

The key for you, Randolph, is that you have to make your own integrity more important, rewarding and meaningful to you than your addiction to beautiful women. You need to make a real commitment to always do the right thing and to not even start down that path of dabbling with danger and delusion when you see it laid out before you. Turn around and walk on, my Brother. Tell yourself that never again will you compromise your integrity.

All right. Since you are a student of “The System.” You probably (and should) know all of this already, but I’m giving you what you asked for: a kick in the pants, an inspirational pep talk to lead you to the truth rather than temptation. (As my cousin Brother Love would say, “Lead us not into temptation, sayeth The Lord.”) So take this to heart.

Here are The Top Five Reasons to Dump your Date:

One) She’s not a Giver: She’s not considerate or helpful. She doesn’t help you carry the grocery bags upstairs. She doesn’t bring a bottle of wine along to contribute to the picnic dinner. She’s all “Me. Me. Me.” One of the dead giveaways: she’s overly concerned with material things. To you Psych majors, she loves overpriced jewelry.

Joyful giving of herself, her time and her energy, from the heart is just not part of her language. There’s NO good reason to have a second date with one of these Gals.

Two) She has no Integrity. She doesn’t keep her word. You can’t count on her. She’s consistently, chronically tardy. She “fibs” a lot and makes things up to satisfy her own little agenda, thinking that you won’t get it or at least will let her slide. She even makes up whoppers when she doesn’t need to. To you Psych majors, she’s a pathological liar.

Yep, she’s got some serious character problems. So it’s best to weed this woman out of your garden of lovelies as quickly as you can. And I don’t care if she looks like an Elle magazine cover girl. Lose her.

Three) She’s inflexible. You want to take her to the beach, and she doesn’t want to go because the wind might mess up her new hairdo. Doing anything that takes her out of her comfort-zone is threatening to her. She can’t handle any kind of spontaneity. She won’t change her agenda to fit in with yours. As far as she’s concerned, you’re the one who’s supposed to rearrange your plans to fit her needs. To you Psyche majors, she’s a control freak.

Four) She’s a Complainer and a Nagger. You can’t seem to do anything right in her eyes. “Why do you always…? Why can’t you ever…?” are two of her favorite questions to ask. She has no conception of the value of building up a man’s ego. She couldn’t do it if you paid her 50 grand just to fake it. Down deep she’s not a happy person, and she wants to bring you down to her unhappy level.

Ironically, many of these Nagger-type girls think that they are being helpful and constructive when they do their number and have no clue that they are actually pushing men away. (Of course, the more beautiful a Nagger is, the easier it is to find guys who will tough it out, just to be around her. Now, you wouldn’t want to be one of those kinds of chumps, would you, Randolph?). Who cares about how she got to be the way she is? Let her work it out with her therapist. It’s not your job to try to fix her.

Five) You don’t have good chemistry with her, and she’s not fun to be with. The package looks perfect. She’s a knockout, and she knows how to dress to impress. She’s doesn’t really seem to have any particular troublesome character traits either. But when you’re out with her, you just don’t seem to really have fun. You find yourself working too hard to keep the conversation going. She just doesn’t ‘get’ your jokes. This is another losing situation that can be quickly perceived, evaluated and terminated.

The last suggestion I would make to you Randolph, to help wean you from your addiction (and you must truly admit to yourself that you are an addict for this to work), is to put yourself on what I call a super-babe “fast.” For the next three months, go out only with women who are high sevens or less. Do it as a righteous discipline that is going to teach you things about yourself that you never knew. When you report back to me after this 90-day period, I’m certain that you’ll have some very interesting things to share.

Remember, guys: It’s ok to leave first, HONEST!

When is a Broken Date Not Bad News?


Dear Doc,

Hi, my name is Ryan and I have been studying and practicing your principles for the last year and a half, with the dedication of a law school student who’s determined to graduate at the top of his class. I love the truth, and I recognize it when it’s staring me in the face. Doc, as far as the understanding women goes, I am convinced that you are The Master. Every single page of your Dating Dictionary is filled with profound wisdom, wisdom that should be part of the interpersonal-relationships curriculum for young men in every high school/and or college in America.

God bless you. The truth you’ve brought to my awareness has decidedly set me free. I will never go back to my old habits that only kept me in perpetual confusion and rejection. I cannot thank you enough for the contribution you’ve made to my life.

Because I’ve been practicing and applying “The System” so diligently for over a year now, I have been able to successfully court, connect with and establish an amazingly positive, loving, and fun filled relationship with a wonderful woman, Cynthia. We’ve been going out for over eight months now, and during that entire time she has never once done or said anything that you, Doc, would call a “Red Flag.” She’s a sweet, loving giver with high integrity and a low maintenance attitude.

Here’s the little glitch I ran into with her last week. As I said, Cynthia has never given me any kind of a problem. She’s never nagged me, never pouted, never criticized me. She’s always kept her word. She always shows up on time. She’s a great cook. I mean I could go on and on and on about all her wonderful attributes.

But last Wednesday night, an hour and a half before I was supposed to pick her up for a dinner date at one of the nicest new restaurants in town (It took me three weeks to get the reservation), she called and canceled, or as you’d say it, Doc, she BROKE THE DATE. This was something she has never ever done before. Her excuse? Her dog “Fido” (Yep, that’s his real name.) had started to limp in a “strange way,” and she needed to take him to the Vet “immediately” to find out what was wrong.

The thing is, Cynthia didn’t say she was sorry or suggest another night when we could have our dinner. She was just very abrupt and said she had to go and then hung up. This was very unusual behavior for her, and it left me a bit baffled.

So, Doc, What happened. Did I do something wrong? I know what a big deal you make out of broken dates. Did I miss a red flag back in the earlier stages of our relationship? Or, does it really just mean nothing because we have so much time in together? Please, help! I need some perspective.

Ryan – who is absolutely baffled

Hi Ryan,

Well, I’m glad to hear that you’ve been so dedicated in your study of my principles. And it’s good that you have such a deep appreciation of the profound signifigance of a woman’s breaking a date. Here’s the deal. If Cynthia had pulled this “My doggie’s sick” number on you at the last minute during your first couple of months of courtship, then you would have had to blow her off, rip up her phone number and flush it down the commode.

As you probably already know, Ryan, in the context of a new relationship where deep trust is yet to be built, such recklessly rude behavior on a woman’s part would have spelled nothing but disaster. Ninety-nine point nine percent of the time when a woman throws you a curve ball like that in the early stages of dating, it is indeed a Big Blazing Red Flag, and it’s nothing to be taken lightly. After committing such a serious transgression, a woman can redeem herself and put herself back in the game only by doing something extra-extraordinary. To you psych majors, she has to suck up to you, big time.

She would have to, for instance, insist on driving over to your house, preparing you a five course gourmet dinner and then massaging you from head to toe for a couple of hours as an obsequious plea for forgivenessand understanding (Of course this type of thing happens only once out of a hundred cases, and that may still be too high a number.)

But because you’ve had eight solid months of love and trust and affection in with this gal, we must look at this particular situation in a different light. In this case you’re not going to cut her off, Ryan. Yes, you’re going to cut her some slack.

I think that Cynthia was in a highly emotional state when she called you and that she was sincerely worried about her little doggie. Her doggie to her is like her child. That’s the way most of us Americans relate to our canine companions, which is very different from the way that some folks in other parts of the world do where stir-fried puppies are regularly offered on the lunch menu of many fine restaurants.

You mentioned, Ryan, that Cynthia is a flexible gal. Well, now it’s your turn to be flexible. Let’s not look at this episode as a red flag. She did nothing wrong, and you did nothing wrong. My advice is to just forget about it and move on. You’ve got too much quality time in with this lady to make a big deal out of this. To do so just wouldn’t make sense.

Now, if this kind of behavior on her part starts becoming a pattern so that every three or four weeks she slams you with another whammy, then we’ve got trouble in paradise. But for now, Ryan, stay cool and don’t drive yourself crazy trying to analyze the meaning of the “Fido Emergency Freakout.” No, just enjoy your great relationship with Cynthia. If we get a red flag down the road, then we’ll deal with it when and if it comes. But don’t walk around anticipating something negative. Remain positive and enjoy the great relationship that you have.

Remember, guys: if you love her dog, she will love you.

The Five Signs that She's Interested in You


Dear Doc,

I’ve just gotten back into the dating scene after a two-year relationship that recently ended. A few nights ago I went out on a date with a girl that I met at a friend’s wedding.

Things seemed to go quite well on our date. We really clicked in a lot of ways, and I would be thrilled to go out with this woman again. The entire time we were together she smiled at me a lot and was very sweet. But I couldn’t tell if she was really attracted to me or if she was just being friendly.

I guess what I’d like to know is: how can you tell after you’ve only spent two or three hours with a girl if she’s attracted to you or not. Even if a girl IS attracted to you, it’s rare that she would just come right out and tell you on a first date. So, Doc, how can I tell?

Bradford – who wants to know the signs

Hi Bradford,

Wouldn’t it be great if there were a small monitoring device with a scale that went from zero to one hundred that gave you an instant reading of a woman’s romantic Interest Level in you? As you discreetly pointed it in her direction you’d see the number right there: “82%” or “65%” or “0.3%.”

No more wondering, no more waiting. No more confusion, no more second guessing. Think of what the human species might be able to accomplish with the time and energy saved. We could find a way to end starvation, maybe cure cancer or even figure out why Carmen made it to the top ten on American Idol.

Bradford, you are asking the perennial question that tens of thousands of guys painfully ponder every single day: “Does she like me? I know that I like her… She knows that I like her because I went through all that initiating and risking that it took to get her out on on a date. But does she REALLY like me?”

Unfortunately, there is no such thing as a Female Interest Level Readout Monitor. But, there is something that can give you the same information almost as quickly. That something, of course, is “The System.”

Obviously you’re a new reader, Bradford and you’re not yet able to have an understanding of the power and the elegance of my principles. So let me give you a few tips that will be extremely helpful to you and will also begin to give you an appreciation of the treasure trove of wisdom that you are now beginning to access.

Here are the top five signs that you can look for to tell if a woman is attracted to you when you’re first spending time with her:

One) She touches you. This is one of the most telling signs. In many instances you will find that the woman that you’re out on a first date with will not touch you at all. Why not? Because she’s not attracted to you. But when you’re out on a date with a woman who likes you, you will notice that in most cases, she will find an excuse to physically touch you in some way during the date.

Often it won’t be a clearly obvious move like holding your hand or taking your arm as you both walk down the street together. That can happen, however, and it’s a great sign when it does. More often though, the kind of touching from her that I’m talking about will be something as seemingly insignificant as a tap on the shoulder from her or her knee ‘accidentally’ bumping yours and lingering for an extra second before she withdraws it.

If you end a first date with a woman, and she has never touched you once in any way whatsoever during the entire time you were together with her, then chances are you’re dead in the water. But if she even just tapped your shoulder once that night while laughing at one of your jokes for instance, then you’re in play.

If she tapped your shoulder three times during the evening and then grabbed your arm for a couple of seconds to guide you over to a book she wanted you to see while the two of you were browsing Borders – then you’re in the money! The more she touches you and the more often she touches you, the higher her Interest Level is in you.

Two) She compliments you. A woman who has high interest in you, even after only knowing you an hour or two, will often give you one or more sincere compliments. And if there is a sparkle in her eye when she delivers the compliment, then you’ve got a bona fide high Interest Level sign.

Three) She exhibits genuine curiosity about you. A woman who has no romantic interest in you whatsoever will still ask you polite questions about yourself. “So where did you grow up? Where do your parents live? What kind of work do you do?”

But a woman who really likes you will show a genuine, warm, curious interest in you. She’ll want to know what makes you tick. She’ll want to know what’s important and meaningful to you in your life. As you look in her eyes you’ll be able to see the wheels turning as she’s trying to figure you out. That’s high interest.

Four) She makes a reference or references to future activities together. You tell her that you’re an avid roller blader in response she says, “I love to roller blade. Maybe we could go roller blading together sometime.” To you Psych majors, women with low Interest Level don’t say things like this.

Five) She gives you a nice kiss at the end of the date. At the end of your first date with a woman you should always make a move for a lovely kiss. No big deal, just a kiss. The way that she responds to you as your lips move towards hers will give you crucial feedback.

If she turns her head and gives you “The Cheek” before your lips can touch hers, then it’s hasta la vista baby. But if she responds warmly and enthusiastically kisses you back, then, dude, you’ve got a live one.

Remember, guys: you gotta hit at least four out of five.

Do Compliments Raise Interest Level?


Hi Doc,

I'm a woman who has read your column several times on askmen.com, and I have to compliment you on your incredible insight! When I read your column, it's like being with a psychic who can tell me things about myself that are definitely true, but I'd never really thought about. As far as my romantic tendencies are concerned, you seem to know me better than I do!

In one of your columns you advised men not to compliment women too much. At first I didn't agree with this, but after my date last Friday I think you are dead-on. Here's what happened: I was getting ready for my third date with a man whom I had High Interest Level in.

To me, the third date is an important date, when men seem to decide if they want to go forward with a relationship or not. Since I really wanted a relationship with this guy because our first two dates went so well, I put a lot of effort into getting ready for our third date. You know how brides get transformed on their wedding day? I went to similar lengths.

My friend, a cosmetologist, spent 45 minutes blowing out my hair and another 45 minutes applying my make-up (it looked very natural and just made me look a lot better). I wore an outfit that really accentuated my curves without being overtly sexual. I probably went from a 7 to a 9 in two hours.

My efforts were definitely noticed. My date gave me at least ten compliments during the course of the evening, on all aspects of my appearance. He seemed enraptured by me. What's so ironic is that this was exactly what I was hoping for, and at the time I enjoyed the compliments. Yet the effect it eventually had on me was to lower my Interest Level in him, and I really don't know why. Is it low self-esteem on my part?

Logically, I want a man who compliments me, finds me beautiful, and is crazy about me. But honestly, I would have been much more turned on if he'd simply played it cool and maybe briefly commented on my appearance by mentioning that I looked nice. The next two times he called me, I was pretty distant and on the verge of being rude.

Anyhow, I just wanted to share that with you because I'm sure many people question your advice and I wanted to validate what you've known all along.

Is there any way that you could also write a column for women? You are extremely perceptive, and I'm sure you know a lot about what makes men respond to women, and what we do that lowers their Interest Level.There is a huge group of women who could use your advice.

Paula – who can’t stand boot-lickers.

Hi Paula,

So, I seem to know you better than you know yourself. Well, Paula, that’s why they call me the first man in 6000 years to understand women. You didn’t agree with me at first because you had a knee-jerk reaction to my politically incorrect take on the mating dance. But when your own experience validated what I’ve been saying, you saw the light. I’m glad.

You mentioned that the third date is when men decide whether they want to go forward with the relationship or not. Well, my love, that’s an interesting thought, but you missed it again. The third date is one of the many junctures where the woman decides whether to go further with the relationship or not.

The man doesn’t decide. He doesn’t know where things are going until the woman informs him either subtly or not so subtlety. The man merely shows up, often in a clueless state, and waits for the woman to give him, however she conveys it, a thumbs up or a thumbs down. Get it?

And when you put all that preparatory time and effort into maximizing your strike power, it wasn’t because it was your third date with the guy. Third date shmerd date. No, it was because your Interest Level in this guy was reaching critical mass. You were enthralled and you decided it was time to pull out all the stops. Ahh, the power and inspiration of High Interest Level. See, Paula, I got you again.

The other dead giveaway of your extra high level of romantic interest in this guy was that you likened your personal beautifying efforts to that of a bride on her wedding day. Women make matrimonial references like that only when the guy they like is setting off the lovely chime of wedding bells in their ears. To you Psych majors, this is what women do when they don’t have low Interest Level.

Now we must move on to the sad part. Unfortunately, your guy allowed your stunning appearance to have too much of an impact on him, and so your romantic interest and level of respect for him irretrievably plummeted. You didn’t know it, Paula, but you were testing him to see if he would lose it when you came on with the heavy artillery. You administered the test, and, sadly, he failed. Like most men, he couldn’t control his mouth. You started to see him as a panting puppy who was too happy to be there.

And by the way, your reaction of being dismayed by the excessive number of compliments from your date had nothing to do with your having a lack of self-esteem. Your reaction was healthy and appropriate. It’s the person with low self-esteem who can never get enough compliments.

Whether you know it or not, Paula, you did the right thing by cutting this guy loose. Your Interest Level will never rise to the same level that it was prior to his blunders, even if he were to do everything right from now on, which he won’t. If he calls again, which he will, make sure to tell him to study “The System” so that he can properly and successfully court the next woman that he has a shot with.

Will I ever write a column for women? I never say never, but it’s not likely. Women understand men. Women have all the advantages in the dating and mating game. It’s men who need help. A lot of help.

Remember, guys: before you open your mouth, ask yourself, “Is this going to help my cause?”

Should She Not be Trusted, or is it Just Your Imagination?


Hey Doc,

I’ve been using your theories for a few months now. I was able to land a Flexible Giver pretty much right away and she’s great! So I have to give you thanks. I believe Lori’s Interest Level is around 80% to 85%, but I’m new at your techniques, so I don’t know exactly how to gauge it. (Any help here would be greatly appreciated.) Lori calls me every day and is flirty and affectionate when we’re together. She tries to get me to talk about how much I like her. (But I don’t like to do that. She doesn’t verbalize how much she likes me, either, incidentally.) She asks me to do something with her practically every day, and expresses disappointment when I tell her I already have plans.

The problem lies with trust. She asked if I trusted her, and I told her that I did because she’s never given me any reason not to. But I wasn’t exactly telling the truth, Doc. Maybe she’s testing me, or maybe it’s just my imagination, but lately I’ve picked up some inconsistencies in her behavior. I haven’t made an issue out of any of this, but let me give you a few examples of what I’ve noticed:

1. She told me that she didn’t want to attend a wedding she was invited to, but when I left town for a weekend fishing trip, she went to the wedding anyway.

2. One night she was three hours late coming over for a date we had. I called her house, got no answer, and the phone beeped and disconnected. She called later (at midnight), apologized, and said that she fell asleep. She said that she accidentally shut off the answering machine the night before. (I let her know that I was upset about her tardiness, but didn’t make a huge deal out of it.)

3. A guy friend of hers called while I was at her house. She gestured to me that she didn’t want to talk to him, but ended up staying on the phone with him for half an hour.

Doc, my question is this: am I reading too much into these incidents, or should I be concerned? Should I press for explanations? Thanks, Doc! You da man!

Wayne – who’s not sure what he’s really seeing

Hi Wayne,

There’s a simple reason why you can’t see the forest through the trees. It’s because somebody’s blowing smoke at you, pal! And if you don’t watch yourself, you’re going to get burned. The bottom line is this: women with 80% to 85% Interest Level never confuse their men and never give them mixed signals.

But let’s start at the top. You say that Lori wants you to talk about how much you like her. What’s wrong with this girl – does she have a self-esteem deficiency? When a girl wants you to talk about how much you like her, tell her what my cousin, Fast Eddie Love, would tell her: “Honey, I like you almost as much as you love me!”

And Wayne, you’re seeing the girl entirely too much. You shouldn’t be talking to her every day. Show a little Self-Control. Be a Challenge instead of Mister OnCall (a synonym for the dreaded Wimpus Americanus). Try letting Lori’s phone calls back up for three or four days. Then we’ll find out for sure whether it’s her self-esteem that’s lacking, or her Interest Level.

By now it should be obvious that you’ve actually got more problems in your relationship with Lori than just trust, Wayne. But let’s take a look at that issue anyway. Girls who are trustworthy never ask if you trust them. Only girls who are untrustworthy ask that question. To you Psych majors, Doctor Freud used to call it “projection.” Like the girl who says to you, “Wayne, I don’t care what kind of car a guy drives,” she’s talking Womanese! Why would she bring the subject up in the first place if she doesn’t care about your car? Remember – women don’t lie, and men don’t listen. Guys are idiots if they don’t keep their eyes and ears open.

You ask whether she’s testing you, Wayne. Sure, she’s testing you – she’s testing you to see how much more BS she can sell you before you stop buying it! What will it take to get you to walk away from the manure counter, dude?

Now, let’s take your ‘incidents’ one by one. Regarding that wedding, all she had to tell you afterwards was “Look, my sister wanted to go to the wedding. I didn’t want to go, but I owed her a favor.” Maybe it was an oversight on her part. This one’s minor, Wayne, nothing to lose sleep over. You can’t hang her out to dry on it. In the Catholic Church you’d call it a venial sin.

But regarding the second episode, this girl of yours should be writing fiction! Her powers of invention are so strong; she could be the next King or Grisham! Think about it. She accidentally shut off the answering machine? Do you know the miniscule probability of something like that happening? A girl with 85% Interest Level falling asleep and missing a date? Come on, Wayne! You’re the one who better wake up!

As far as the third incident is concerned, why didn’t you just get up and walk out after five minutes of this conversation with the guy she supposedly didn’t want to talk to? I’ll tell you why -- because she knows she owns you, Wayne, and by staying there and enduring this humiliation you proved it again.

Wayne, I have to say that yes, unfortunately you should be concerned about the state of things with Lori. And the explanation is, as I said at the beginning, low Interest Level. That’s your ultimate problem here.

Remember, guys: never rationalize her behavior.

Why Would You Stray from the Principles that Made You Successful in the First Place?


Hi Doc,

About three weeks ago my girlfriend, Tina, who is amazingly beautiful, decided that she needed time away from me. When she told me, it came as a total shock.

Let me first tell you that I was able to get a girl of this magnitude because of your “System” and the tips on AskMen.com. But then something happened. I got cocky and tossed your book, The Dating Dictionary, into the corner. I stopped reading the articles, I stopped practicing the techniques, I stopped using the principles. In other words, I kind of got lazy and slapped the hand that fed me.

Two weeks ago Tina and I decided to actually break up. Well, I was devastated and I had no idea what to do. Then I remembered you, Doc, and I knew that you would always provide the right answers and the true direction.

Well, I got back to your book and the website last week, refreshed myself on your ideas, and it’s worked! Now Tina keeps calling me. She wants to hang out with me and do things with me again, while I’m the one who doesn’t really care now. I’m ready to walk away, but on the other hand I want to stay with her -- it really doesn’t matter to me.

What do you think I should do, Doc? I do love Tina, but do you think that the way I think about her should change because she asked for time apart? That’s the part that really bothers me. By the way, breaking up ultimately was my idea -- I learned it from you, Doc. I won’t take that crap. Please advise. Thanks a million.

John - who’s baffled about what he wants to do

Hi John,

First of all, I wouldn’t exactly say that you slapped the hand that fed you. My friend, you had what I would call a case of “Big-Shot-Itis.” As my cousin, Brother Love, likes to put it: “Pride cometh before a fall.” What you actually did was become a sinner by falling into a state of PRIDE, which, as you know, is one of the seven deadlies. And you didn’t even realize it. If you had stayed humble and aware of what you were doing, pal, you wouldn’t have taken the dangerous chance of abandoning the methods that won you your success with Tina in the first place.

Every day when you open up the Wall Street Journal or Forbes magazize you can see a glittering example of some guy (or gal) who’s lost it like you did, John. Ever hear the names Martha Stewart or Kobe Bryant? Their downfalls are the direct consequence of their over-inflated egos and lack of self-control. You can just hear them saying to themselves, “I can get away with this!” They puffed themselves up like balloons until someone came along with a pin.

And you, too, thought you could get away with jettisoning the solid, universal principles that made Tina go for you in the first place, didn’t you, John?

There are three types of losers in the world as far as I’m concerned. The first is the type who buys The Dating Dictionary and then returns it. Think of it -- all this essential, time-proven Truth in his hands, and he goes and drops the ball. The second type of loser is the guy who reads the book once or twice, then throws it into the corner and thinks he has it -- but he doesn’t. To you Psych majors, it requires diligent application. And the third type of loser is you, John -- the guy who practices, who does everything I tell him to do, and then, when he lands the woman, goes back to being the shlump he was before he had any clue which end was up.

John, I want you to care for Tina. On the other hand, a girl has to know that you can leave her. When a girl knows she owns you, it’s the antithesis of Challenge. My gut tells me you weren’t a Challenge to Tina anymore.

But John, you shouldn’t even be asking questions about Tina. You should be asking questions about yourself. Such as, why did you end up turning her off when you were off to such a promising start? Women with 95% Interest Level don’t want any space. They want to be next to you. They want to be all over you. But Tina’s Interest Level dropped somewhere along the line. So what you have to do now is go back to the values that got you there, if it’s not already too late to repair the damage done. And there’s something more important -- you also have to pinpoint where you lost her. Which principles did you violate to get into trouble? Go back and study what you did wrong, then figure out how to get back to the values that won you your beautiful girl.

John, you wouldn’t have had to break up and “take that crap” about needing space from your girl if you were doing the right stuff throughout the relationship. Because when you do the right things throughout a relationship -- stay Confident, in Control, and a Challenge -- there is no crap to take. There’s just high Interest Level, and she can’t keep her hands off you.

Remember guys, she doesn’t want you as you are, she wants you with “The System.”

Mixed Messages: Should You Retreat or be More Aggressive?


Doc,

I’m a 23-year-old college student who started seeing Michelle, a co-ed, in April.  The first time I went out with her was when she invited me out to a bar on a week night.  She did lots of touching and wanted to take me home, but didn’t.  The second time we went out it was for dinner. Afterwards she wanted me to meet some of her friends at the bar and shoot some pool, which I did. (This date was during the week, too.)

All went well and her friends seemed to like me.  I shot pool at the bar with her again, and we went back to her house and made out for an hour, and then she started calling more often and invited me over to watch a movie on a Monday night.  After we finished the movie I was going to kiss her goodbye and leave, but she invited me to stay for another movie.  (I ended up playing with her hair for half of it.)

She called me on Tuesday, and we went to the bar to shoot pool again. Walking in, we ran into one of her guy friends. He says to her, “Hey, sexy,” and they talk for a while and agree they should get together for a drink. I played it cool and didn’t even ask what his name was.

I called her the next day but got her voice mail and left no message. That was at the end of May, and I didn’t talk to her again until I called her in July. She said she would call me, but she never did.  Her birthday was this past August 15th and I called her to wish her a happybirthday.  She was surprised that I remembered, and I figured that won me some points.

We’re both going back to school at the same time, and she said to me, “Give me a call or something.”  So, should I call her like she said to or wait to see her on campus and strike up a conversation?  Also Doc, what would you rate her Interest Level in me? It’s hard to sort out her mixed messages.

Thanks.

Garrett - who’s curious to know

Hi Garrett,

You start off by telling me that Michelle’s friends like you. Now, think about it -- what does that really have to do with anything? All we care about here is how much Michelle likes you, right?  So why did you go back to the bar just to bump into her friends again? Garrett, wake up! I’m going to give you a solid piece of advice: you ought to stay away from Michelle’s friends. The only thing you need to do is sell yourself to a girl – and you don’t need other people to do that.

And here’s another thing, Garrett. You shouldn’t be going to the same place over and over again with your date. Who is this girl, anyway -- the granddaughter of Minnesota Fats? And where is it written that you have to go along with every suggestion she makes? What ever happened to being a little bit of a Challenge?

When you date a girl, you should be making sure that she has a great time.  (The two of you shouldn’t be just sitting around watching movies, either. What can you really learn about her when you’re both staring at a screen?) Any activity where there’s a high level of interplay does the trick. Try bowling or miniature golf or the zoo. A woman with high Interest Level will never object to inexpensive activities, because all she really cares about is being with you.

Now, when you ran into that “guy friend” of hers, you stood by passively while the two of them made a date right in front of your face. Garrett – are you interested in being Michelle’s “friend” or her boyfriend? What you should have done instead with this guy friend was stick your hand out and introduce yourself, then ask him if he could bring a girl along for you when he and Michelle went out for that drink!

Garrett, you’re a very, very nice, sweet fellow, but you’re also very, very naïve.  The reason Michelle didn’t call you is because she wasn’t interested enough to pick up the telephone.  “Give me a call or something,” she told you. To you Psych majors, you had her mixed up with someone who cared! Could she be any more lukewarm?

But I wouldn’t bother going out of my way for this one, buddy, because

she’s not worth the effort. By giving out mixed messages, she proved that she has no Consistency, which makes her no good for you. And remember, “The System” tells us that “Women with high Interest Level are consistent.”

Sadly, Garrett, from her actions I would rate her Interest Level at only somewhere between 5% and 10%.  And when it’s that low, you’re not even a blip on her radar screen.

Remember, guys, that when a girl doesn’t pick up the phone and call you within two weeks, that means you’re out forever with that girl.

Can a Man Bring the Sparks Back into a Loveless Marriage?


Hey, Doc:

I’ve heard a lot about your laws of relationships from a few of my single friends. They claim that it works even when a guy is married, but I have to tell you I’ve got my doubts. Now here’s my dilemma: Lisa and I have been married for over 10 years. At first our intimate relationship was great – she was always ready to be affectionate, and so was I. Then, four years ago, my son Cameron was born. Immediately afterward there was a change in our relationship. Doc, it was like the difference between night and day. Lisa was no longer interested in spending romantic time together. I never had any affairs, always came straight home after work, and always provided for the kid. (By the way, my wife works too, at a quite demanding managerial job.) So I don’t see how Lisa could have any complaints on any of those counts.

Well, I tried to be patient, figuring she’d eventually come back to the way she used to be, but time went on and the situation never improved. Lisa is always tired (believable, but then I am, too, and we both split the child-minding duties when we’re not working at our jobs), has a headache, doesn’t feel well, or “just doesn’t feel like it tonight.” Etc. I’ve come right out more than once and asked her point blank if she’s no longer attracted to me. No, that’s not it, she insists. She’s just overwhelmed by having to take care of the kid and her job. Again, fine and well, but why am I ready to get intimate all the time? (And incidentally, when we do actually have a romantic interlude once every few weeks, it’s very, very good, so I can’t complain about the quality.)

Doc, what it boils down to is this. I’ve been thinking about a divorce. And it’s not because I don’t love my wife – I do. I just can’t stand being frozen out any longer. I’ve actually turned into a slavering dog over the past few years, begging and whimpering for affection. This isn’t right. It’s diminishing whatever self-esteem I have left, and if I don’t do something, there’ll be nothing left of me. What really keeps me here is my little boy – I would hate for the three of us to become sociological statistics, the victims of one more pathetic marital breakup. But my fear is that once a negative pattern has been established – me begging for attention and my wife refusing – it’s impossible to change. What do you think?

Jack – who’s just about to file

Hi Jack,

First of all, let me assure you that my principals work for everyone who follows them. The foundations of my method are valid for all women, period, married or single, young and old, beauties and plain Janes. So don’t worry – I’m going to help you out here.

Now here’s what I want you to do, Jack. You’re not going to touch your wife – at all. You’re going to back off. You’re going to transform yourself from that “slavering dog” into a self-respecting guy. Practice some self-control, Jack. That’s where it all starts.

Next, you’re going to start setting time aside to date your wife. Date your wife? That’s exactly what I said. Every Saturday night you’re going to hire a babysitter and make sure that the two of you have guaranteed time alone with each other. And there’s more. Once a month you and your wife are going away for the weekend by yourselves, no kiddie in tow, got it? I want you to plan this out, write it on the calendar, and get organized here. Because right now you’re not organized, and you don’t know how to schedule your life.

But Jack, I don’t want you to feel bad, because you’ve got a lot of company out there. Most American married guys are in your same predicament. Like a married friend of mine said to me once when I asked him what he was up to: “Well, I’m married,” he smiled wryly, “so I don’t have sex.” And with a 50%-plus divorce rate, you can just imagine how miserable all the women who can’t get out of their bad marriages are, too.

But I’m going to do my best to save your marriage, Jack. If your wife has at least 51% Interest Level left in you, we can turn things around with this program.

The part that bothers me the most, guy, is that she decided against being romantic after your son was born. Because it’s usually women with an Interest Level hovering between 40% and 49% who cut off intimacy after the kids arrive. And that dismal figure means that a man is in more trouble than he even realizes – he might be on his way out and doesn’t even know it. What it means is that he’s flopped at showing his male strength qualities – Confidence, Control, and Challenge. Women who stay with a man at that Interest Level are building up a well of resentment, until her Interest Level plummets all the way down to 39%. At 39%, she’s gone – history. Women with 40% to 49% Interest Level are usually Professional Daters – not in love with a guy, but willing to fleece him for whatever she wants – in the case of married women, usually kids and his every last cent. Let’s hope that you haven’t hit that point in your wife’s eyes, Jack.

Remember guys, the principles work even if you’re miserably married..

Does a Guy Stand a Chance When She's Still Living with Her "Ex"?


Hi Doc,

I wish I found out about your method before entering the relationship I’m in now.

I met Christie back in January. She was just coming out of a five-year relationship with what you call a Macho Boy, except that he is also very needy and constantly needs her approval. When we met, she had moved out of his bedroom and into a separate room in his house, and was actively looking for a way out. Within four weeks after she and I got together, we both became very emotionally attached to each other. We both had 95%-plus Interest Level in each other. But by the third week of March, Christie began to lose interest, and told me she was putting our relationship “on the back burner” while she figures out what she’s going to do and gets her act together. That just about drove me bonkers.

Since then, she and I have continued to get together. She tells me she loves me, and when we’re together she shows me the love she has for me by her actions. She has finally rented her own place and has begun looking for a job (part of the problem she has with getting out of the other guy’s life is due to several factors:

1) he’s very wealthy and she’s afraid of what things will be like if she’s away from that wealth;
2) they jointly own equipment and property; and 3) she works for his excavation firm, which does environmental restoration projects for a tribal reservation where we live).

I think my problem, now that I’ve read your book, is that I’ve been that teddy bear guy you refer to -- Wimpus Americanus. During the whole time she and I have been together I’ve said “no” maybe three times. Also, when I call her I tend to leave messages (she bought a cell phone that I’ve put on my cell plan that allows us to talk virtually limitlessly, and of course the guy whose house she’s still in doesn’t know about it, though he does know about me) and when we do talk she nearly always ends the conversation before I do. Also, I e-mail her copious amounts of messages, where in turn she’ll leave maybe one consisting of three lines. And of course, mine always seem to start and end with “I love yous” and various compliments.

But one thing that to me feels like a positive is that she typically calls me once a day to talk about her day and set up “dates” with me. These dates are usually things like going swimming in one of the lakes here or coming over and spending time together at my home, which sometimes leads to intimacy and sometimes doesn’t. (She’s told me a few times that she’s really happy about the fact that I don’t require it every time we get together, and to be honest, I let her bring it up rather than doing so myself, which leads to it occurring about half the time.)

Doc, I’ve already committed my heart to this lady. I know it’s a high-risk situation, and I really want to find a way to bring her back. Since your method speaks of using Challenge during the first 60 days or so, and I’m well past that period of time now, does it still make sense to try and use it?

Thanks to you, I’m determined to stop or severely curtail the e-mailing and compliments and such. But I am confused as to what I should use to work her back to me. I understand that Respect, Affection and Support-Romance are the keys to maintenance, but what does a guy do when the woman he’s with has backed off? I would peg her Interest Level at around 65% to 70% now because when we do get together her behavior quickly reverts to what it was during those first four weeks.

What do you think, Doc?

Pat - a guy who is really confused as to his next steps

Hi Pat,

I’m with you, pal. Had you known about “The System” before you got yourself embroiled with this woman, I could have saved you a lot of heartache. Check that – you would have saved yourself a truckload of pain and anguish.

But let’s see what we can learn about your situation and where you went wrong. Then we’ll see what can be done to clean up your mess.

The first and most important factor here is that this girl is ivolved. Big mistake to get yourself mixed up with a girl who’s already involved, Pat. What’s more, she can’t take care of herself, and the guy she’s living with controls the purse strings. It doesn’t sound as if she’s getting out of there anytime soon.

Now let’s go a little further into her situation. How do you know what bedroom she’s living in? Do you have a camera in there to verify what she’s been trying to sell you? Aren’t you taking a lot for granted here? Any chance she’s leaving something out? Are you sure it’s really over with this guy and she’s not just spouting Womanese for “I’m hanging on to his guy until a richer turkey shows up?”

Now Pat, I’m going to shed light on another pattern in male-female relationships: When the woman withdraws, most men, on account of their over-inflated or over-sensitive egos, rush straight in. And what does that overaggressive behavior result in? Yup, more frustration. Being available constantly and at her whim achieves the exact opposite of what you guys truly want. Being a doormat – Wimpus Americanus, as you so accurately put it – does NOT increase Interest Level. It’s human nature, Pat. She wants what’s not easy to get. So what you have to do is withdraw. When she withdraws, you withdraw. (And by the way, guys, when I tell you not to telephone her, it’s NOT okay to send e-mail! E-mail is a phone call without a human voice.) The point is that I want her to wonder about you, without you having your face in her face 24/7.

Your question, Pat, was what do I think…Sadly, I have to say that you’re overrating your woman’s Interest Level. It’s only between 40% to 49%, a far cry from where you think it is. When she tells you she’s putting your relationship “on the back burner,” that means it’s not cooking at all and is colder than yesterday’s sausage. She’s just playing with you, buddy, because there’s nothing better to do for the time being. But if she finds another rich boy, look out -- she’ll be history.

Remember, guys, it’s better not to date them when they live in sin with a rich guy.

Do Men Equate Sex with Love?


Doc:

Help! I’ve heard a lot about the effectiveness of your method from a friend, but I don’t know if even you can help me out on this one. I met Kelly when I started working at a large brokerage house here in New York. She’s everything I’ve ever wanted – blonde, blue-eyed, long-legged, athletic, and gorgeous. Throw in the fact that half the guys on my floor were after her (which got my competitive instincts up) and I was a goner not long after we went for a drink one night after the two of us had to work late on new marketing brochures. We got together that weekend for dinner and a movie, and the weekend after for salsa dancing at a downtown club. Then we started dating during the week as well. It was like I’d found my true soulmate -- overnight. She’d broken up recently before with a guy she was dating for the past three years. She said – and I quote – “It’s definitely over. We want different things out of life. We never get together anymore. We never even talk on the phone.”

A month and a half into our relationship, there was a phone message at home for me on Wednesday afternoon from Kelly canceling our date for the Knicks game later that evening.  Her excuse was that she needed to go out to Jersey that night on an emergency – her sister was moving into a new apartment and needed help since one of the friends who was supposed to help her bailed out at the last minute. Fair enough, I thought. Stuff happens, and Kelly had been reliable up until now. My buddy Dennis was available on short notice, and he loves the Knicks, so no money was lost, but I would much rather have spent the evening with Kelly – after all, we’d recently started getting quite intimate with each other. Now here’s where the wrinkle comes in. The next day at work, I couldn’t help but drift over to her cubicle (she works on the other end of the floor) and ask her how the move went. “Bill,” she said, “I wasn’t being completely honest about last night. I wasn’t helping my sister. I got together with Tony” (her ex) “because we had to work some stuff out. Sorry about the game.”  Work some stuff out? What the hell was that supposed to mean? I didn’t have the chance to ask, because just then my boss summoned me into his office.  Doc, it was like taking a left to the solar plexus from Mike Tyson!  I sat there hearing and seeing nothing while my boss ran a new assignment down to me.

It’s been two days now and I haven’t spoken a word to Kelly. She hasn’t called me either, whether out of guilt over what happened – or because of something else. The thing I can’t get out of my mind is that she LIED to me. Was that the only thing she lied about? All kinds of stuff is running through my head now. Like maybe she was seeing Tony all along. I could even accept the fact that she had to talk to him – but why lie about it? I’m in love with this girl, Doc, but I don’t want to be a fool. What should I do?

Bill – who’s confused in the Big Apple

Hi Bill,

You mention that you don’t think I can help you out with your problem. Guy, I can help out any man.  Why? Because my laws of reality work on all women, from Montana to Mongolia to Manchuria! And since these principals cut across all geographical and social boundaries, have no fear – I can help you out on this one.

Now Bill, the biggest boo-boo you made was -- to use your own words -- being “a-goner” over a Beautiful Woman. What you have to do with the most dangerous creature on the planet is learn how to maintain and raise her Interest Level – not yours.

Secondly, guy, weekend dates are only for girlfriends you’ve been out with five or six times. When you started handing over your primo weekend time to this angel, she hadn’t yet proved herself to be special. And she always has to pass that test, beauty or not.

Now, you say that Kelly was your “true soulmate.” But did she ever manifest the fact that you were HER true soulmate? Did she ever use those same words when it came to you? In other words, what was HER Interest Level? What you did, Bill, was run way ahead of yourself – and her.

And think about this, Bill – rather than spend the night with you, Kelly would rather have spent it with HER SISTER. Just because she was being “intimate” with you doesn’t mean that she had high Interest Level. What I would rather have seen was Kelly have 51% or above Interest Level in you, and NOT be so physically cozy.

“Work stuff out?”  Bill, didn’t she swear to you that it was over with Tony? Now she’s telling you the exact opposite! No woman gets together with a guy she’s allegedly broken up with to “work stuff out” when it’s “definitely over!” Hello? To you Psych majors, this girl has no Integrity.

Now here’s the really ugly part, Bill. You are a fool! The reason you’re a fool is that like most men, you rushed headlong into REJECTION. Rather than being balanced and centered and moving slowly with Kelly, you placed entirely too much on the fact that you two were being intimate. What you were blind to was that she was being intimate with you and lying to you at the same time.

Remember guys, just because they fool around with you doesn’t mean they are in love with you.

How to Catch the Impossible Woman


Hi Doc,

A friend of mine introduced me to your material about a year ago, and I just wanted to thank you. I don't know if I will ever be a master of “The System,” but what it has done for me is to allow me to see what is happening more objectively and to do damage control when I screw up and start reverting to my old wimp-like tendencies.

For the last six months I have been dating a beautiful flight attendant who works for a Japanese airline.  I live in Hawaii and she lives in Osaka, but she is here 4 or 5 times a month.  Anyway, during the last 3 months, the relationship has been getting more serious.

To all you skeptical guys out there, listen to this man, Doc Love!  He knows of what he speaks! Remember that she is a flight attendant for a major carrier on a major route, Hawaii to Japan.  She gets hit on all the time by handsome airline pilots and vacationing first-class passengers who are doctors, lawyers and celebrities.

However, I, who was until recently a lowly customer service agent for the same airline and am now a poor student once again living with his parents, am the one she chooses to spend time with whenever she is in Hawaii.

When I started going out with Yuko, I would say her interest in me was tepid at best.  Maybe 51%?  However, by being a Challenge and by not doing what all the other guys were doing I would say I am in the mid to high 70s and still moving up.

For myself, the biggest thing I needed to do was to keep from contacting her too often. When we first started going out, there was a strong temptation for me to e-mail her every chance I could.   However, I really restrained myself because Doc Love said that that would chase her away.  I would only e-mail her to ask when she was coming and maybe ask about our mutual acquaintances.  I keep the e-mails light and humorous.

After she leaves, I try to wait at least 2 to 3 days before I e-mail her again, but I never get mushy. The one thing I keep telling myself is tobe patient and let things play out.

These days I don't even bother asking when she is coming.  She just lets me know.  The date is already implied.

I’m just wondering, at this point, what’s your opinion about all this and are there any recommendations you would make?

Your Loyal Follower in Hawaii,

Danner – who is grateful

Hi Danner,

Of all the women who constantly get hit on and have heard every line in the book a thousand times over, flight attendants would be right up there at the top of the list, along with cocktail waitresses. The number of dating opportunities that are presented to these women on a daily basis is extraordinary.

But you, Danner, you popped one. You cracked the code. You overcame overwhelming odds by playing it cool. There are tons of guys out there who are richer and better looking than you, but they know nothing about Challenge. You left them all in the dust and you did it working with an initial female Interest Level of only 51%. Great job!

Let’s look at what the average guy would do were he to meet your exotic Asian co-worker. First of all, he would over compliment her and make several remarks about her body and her beauty, foolishly thinking that this would make her more interested in him.

Unfortunately, the belief that this tactic is productive seems to almost be neurologicaly wired into the brain of the male of the species. Most men never do and never will understand how this habit actually hurts their cause.

Additionally, the average guy would brag and anxiously try to impress her. And he’d try to get her to go out with him immediately or as soon as possible. If she said “no,” he would continue to push and pressure her often to the point where she would have to rudely reject him or ignore him.

This is another counter-productive habit that men curiously hold on to like a pit bull with a T-bone. The idea that persistently pestering a woman will raise her Interest Level seems to be the modus operandi of a vast majority of the male populace. Guys will use this strategy, fail miserably with it several times and never rethink their approach.

So, Danner, you are obviously way ahead of the pack. You have The Knowledge, you’re putting it into practice and you’re getting fantastic results. Just don’t get complacent and think that you can now switch to autopilot. Stay on course and hold steady. Keep studying my principles, remain a Challenge and enjoy the ride as Yuko’s Interest Level in you gains altitude.

Remember, guys: Challenge, not persistence, is the key to women.

The Art and Science of Interpreting Mixed Messages


Dear Doc,

I have been reading your column for the last year and I have found it both entertaining and enlightening, so a sincere thank you is in order. I can see how remaining a Challenge and having women pursue you is a better plan. You see, Doc, I am 31 years old, I have been married twice and after studying your articles, I see the mistakes I have made. Now my modus operandi has changed.

I write today because of my interest in a work mate. From the moment we met, there seemed to be a connection. The eye contact was playful, and every so often she gave a little flirtation that I never initiated. We are both teachers at a rather exclusive, private middle school and we work on a team, so we spend a good deal of time together. Over the past three months I have grown very fond of her. She is educated, caring, world-traveled. and we share the same interests. She has a great attitude that is giving and considerate, and she has a feminine grace about her that I find alluring.

In no way have I made a "move." I have not told her how beautiful she is or how I would like to give her after school tutoring and detention! One, she has a boyfriend, two it seems unprofessional and three, it could be detrimental to our work environment. Sure, she has caught me looking at her as the overhead projector shines in her face, but hey, I am human.

She has dropped clues that she is interested in me. For instance, she once told me that we would be great parents as we both have the same style with children. She tells me her plans for the future and asks my advice. On one occasion she said she wanted to get her masters and move to another location. I asked her what her boyfriend thought about that, and she said she wasn’t sure.

She makes little reference to her boyfriend. Though when she does, she will make comments that make their relationship seem unimportant. She has gone out of her way to give me rides to work and offered me her phone number “if anything should come up.” I have remained professional, I have never called her and I keep my compliments secular, telling her how I think she is great teacher and how I admire her dedication and professionalism. In the beginning I was just struck by her beauty, but now that I know her better, I am falling for her.

So here is the conundrum. Do I make a move or not? I know the problems that can arise at work. She is already in a relationship. What do you think I should do? What do you think her degree of interest is? Right now it is intriguing and fun, and I sure look forward to going to work.

Kelly – who wants your insight

Hi Kelly,

Thanks for the compliment. I’m glad that I’ve been able to make a difference in your life. Stick with the Doc, and you’ll never find yourself in divorce court again.

All right, now, besides death and taxes, there’s one other thing in life that’s for certain: WOMEN LOVE TO FLIRT. It’s one of the things that they do best. It’s a kind of natural ability that they’re born with. They’ll flirt with you and think nothing of it. They’ll flirt with you just because you’re there. They’ll flirt with you simply to keep in practice for when Mr. Right shows up. They’ll flirt with you so deliciously that after five minutes you’ll find yourself falling in love, while, they’re merely enjoying exercising their power.

Add to this, Kelly, the fact that your co-worker likes you, feels comfortable with you and spends a lot of time with you in a non-threatening environment (as opposed to a nightclub where everyone’s on the hunt). That’s all going to make her even more prone to giving you mixed messages.

It could easily be that she has no romantic interest in you whatsoever. But, because you’re such a good guy, she gets off on being appreciated by you and acts extra sweet and flirty and feminine around you to keep getting more of what she enjoys getting from you; appreciation.

Perhaps she feels acknowledged by you for having certain wonderful personal qualities that her boyfriend never praises her for. Maybe she feels validated by you in ways that no other man in her life validates her. All the more reason for her to create a certain kind of ‘intimacy’ with you even though she may have no intention of ever actually becoming intimate with you.

I do think it’s great that your teaching partner has all the qualities that you’d look for in a woman, Kelly. Now, we need to determine if you have a shot here or not AND how to take your shot if you do have one. Unfortunately, you’ve omitted some crucial data that we need in order to check this gal’s Interest Level in you. You’re almost remembering what that is, from your studies of “The System”, aren’t you? That’s right. Number one on the Interest Level evaluation checklist is TOUCHING. Does she touch you, Kelly, and if so, how often?

Secondly, does she compliment you too much? That’s what girl’s with high Interest Level do. They compliment you, and they do it consistently over time. If your answers to these two crucial questions are yes, then it means that her Interest Level in her boyfriend is in the 40 to 49% range, and she just may be thinking of you as her quality backup man. She COULD be grooming you for the day when her Interest Level in Mr. Wonderful hits the basement. As my uncle Jethro Love used to say, “It’s the beautiful ones that never go it alone. Why? Because they never have to.”

So, I hope that she HAS been touching and complimenting you, Kelly, at least a little. But even if she hasn’t, here’s a plan you can implement to find out what’s what.

I want you to start avoiding this girl. Yep. We need to work in a greater degree of Challenge here. I want you to start being too busy to chitchat or check in with her or join her at the cafeteria for lunch. At your team meetings, give her only a third of the attention that you used to. At the same time, let her see you giving every other female co-worker (particularly any foxy ones) lots of attention. Let her see you making them giggle. This will up the ante.

After you do this for awhile, IF she has interest, she’ll want to find a way to spend more time with you and she’ll ask you out for a private one-on-one lunch off campus, or even better, dinner! But she has to suggest it, not you. She has to initiate it. If she never does, that means there never was anything meaningful going on. But if she DOES, that means Mr. Backup is movin’ on up!

Remember, guys, as Kelly said in the beginning of his letter, “Remaining a Challenge and having women pursue you is a better plan.”

The Three Biggest Misconceptions that Men Have About Women


Dear Doc Love,

I’ve been reading your articles for almost a year now. I used to read them because I thought you were totally full of crap, and I enjoyed laughing at what a pompous jerk you were. Well, I have to admit that over time, I’ve come to realize that you actually have figured out some important things about relationships that I almost never hear anyone else talk about.

I guess I started to “get it” right after my girlfriend dumped me. I was trying to figure out what the hell happened, and that same week you wrote an article that described my situation exactly. I had been doing things that were lowering her Interest Level without my knowing it.

I’m seeing more and more now how so much of what I thought women wanted is totally wrong. Like you say, we get confused by listening to all those female love doctors who don’t understand how even they themselves actually want a guy who is a Challenge, rather than a guy who kisses their butts all the time.

I’m convinced that that the war of the sexes is real and that thousands of men are getting slaughtered every day. The only relationship expert that I’ve ever heard talk about this is you, Doc. You’re right. There’s so much bad advice out there. We lose our way. We get disoriented. We wind up either barking up the wrong tree, or just flying by the seat of our pants without a compass. So I want to acknowledge you for being a real beacon of objectivity and a reliable source for accurate information when it comes to dating and relating to women properly.

I have to say that I’m feeling a bit overwhelmed with all the rethinking and reorienting I’m having to do, now that I’ve become a believer in your “System.” I keep discovering more misconceptions that I was laboring under, So, Doc, what you would say are the most important ones to be aware of and to get free of. I need to make things simple right now.

Theo - who understands the power of simplicity

Hey Theo.

Thanks for the great compliment. I’m glad to hear that you’re getting un-brainwashed.

Ok. I’ll make it REAL simple for you. Easy as 1, 2. 3. Here are three of the biggest misconceptions that men have about approaching women:

1) “I can raise any woman’s Interest Level in me by complimenting her.” Yes, this thinking has a certain (false) logic to it. Complimenting women sure seems to work in the movies and on TV. A handsome lawyer tells Ally McBeal how smart and beautiful she is, and she swoons and wants to make babies with him. And all the girls in the X rated videos sure seem to respond well to compliments. Extra well. The only problem is that these are not real life situations. In real-life, with real women, laying on the compliments only hurts your cause. It’s anti-Challenge.

2) “I can raise any woman’s Interest Level in me by boasting about myself.” Same thing with boasting. It’s certainly true that women respond quite favorably to wealthy, powerful, successful men. So it seems logical that it would be helpful to tell a woman things about yourself that would make her think of you as someone who’s a major league player. But no matter how you play it, boasting only makes a woman feel as if you’re trying to impress her. And the operative word here is trying. Trying is the opposite of Challenge. A REAL heavyweight kind of a guy doesn’t have to try. He emanates confidence. It’s far better to let her WORK a little to discover what an amazing guy you are. To you Psych majors, keep it to yourself.

3) “If I persistently demonstrate to the woman whom I’m courting, how high my Interest Level in her is, it will raise HER Interest Level in me.” This one’s the real killer. Once again, media brainwashing is a major factor in perpetuating this myth. How many love stories have you seen or read where the plot line goes like this: Handsome guy likes beautiful girl, but girl isn’t interested in guy. Guy is determined to do whatever it takes to win girl over. After guy begs, jumps through a dozen hoops and sacrifices himself for her, girl finally realizes: “Oh, gosh, I love him!” As my cousin “Fast Eddie” Love would say, “Puke!”

Who do you think these plot lines are written for? It ain’t for anyone who can grow a beard. Women love to fantasize about guys who will do anything to win their hearts, even risk death. They like the idea of a guy who is so enchanted by their charms that he can’t control himself and won’t give up. But in real life, women want to do the pursuing. In real life, if you come on heavy, you lose. In real life, if you keep pursuing a woman after she said “No” five times, you get sued for sexual harassment or … arrested for stalking.

That should be simple enough for you Theo. Good luck and keep studying!

Remember, guys, it’s always better to be a Challenge.

She Keeps Chatting on the Net with Her Ex-What do I do?


Hi Doc,

I am a big fan of your column, and I have been doing my best to learn and use “The System.” I would like to ask for your advice on this situation I am going through with my girlfriend. We have been dating for about six weeks or so, and we seem to be hitting it off real well. We’re pretty serious for a couple in their late twenties who’ve only been going out for that long.

My problem is that I am jealous of her e-mail relationship with her ex-fiance. After breaking up two years ago (she initiated the break up), they recently decided to reconnect and be friends. They e-mail each other regularly and chat on Instant Messenger. She has told me about this and assures me that they are just friends and that she has no romantic feelings for him. She says that they do not see each other or talk on the phone.

I told her that I was a little bothered by it and that I thought it was a little strange. I asked her, “Don’t you think that this could turn into more than just e-mailing after a while?” However, I didn't want to make too much of a big deal about it for fear of appearing too insecure and jealous and hence less of a Challenge. She told me that she knows it’s a little strange but that she hasn’t known me long enough to stop “chatting” with him because it bothers me. And I again said that it does bother me but that it is up to her to decide whether to stop e-mailing him or not.

What do you think Doc? Should I persist and insist that she stop the e-mail relationship, or should I trust her when she tells me that it is nothing to worry about? I really like this girl, and I don't want to appear to be too controlling and insecure. But I can't help thinking that there will be trouble down the line if she and her ex fiance continue to chat via e-mail. But then, again, if I appear too jealous and insist that she stop, she could simply tell me she stopped and continue e-mailing him. Know what I mean?

Please help me out. I really don't want to screw this up, and I could really use some expert advice.

Thank you.

Stan – who’s sick of all this chi-chat

Dear Stan,

You’re smart not to buy into what your girlfriend says when she tells you that her e-mail relationship with her ex is no big deal. This kind of situation is like a termite infestation, if you don’t nip it in the bud, you’re gonna have BIG trouble later on.

But before we get to outlining a strategy to deal with your problem, I want you to understand something very important that you’re just not getting. Something’s rotten in Denmark. Or as my Uncle Jethro Love would say, “There’s a dead cat in the closet, and all the air freshener in the world ain’t gonna make it go away.”

What am I referring to? Take an objective look, Stan. Your girlfriend is giving considerable time and attention to a guy that she REJECTED! Why would she do that? The answer is that she’s addicted to getting all the male attention she can. She doesn’t care that she’s stringing along this guy that she once dumped. She doesn’t care that her continual e mailing with this guy bothers YOU. She doesn’t care about ANYONE else’s feelings.

She wants what SHE wants, and SCREW everyone else. She’s a woman who just can’t tolerate the idea of possibly having to emotionally go it alone, so she keeps potential ‘backups’ in her orbit, feeding them just enough to stay hooked. Talk about a lack of integrity!

Stan, what would happen if you tied the knot with this gal and then later wanted to go bear hunting in the backwoods of Montana for fourteen days with your buddies? How comfortable would you be leaving her alone? What would a woman like this be doing during that time while she was left unsupervised? Sitting at home alone reading Nancy Drew stories? Visiting girlfriends to exchange recipes? Or, …going out to nightclubs, just to dance of course. Get my drift?

All right. But let’s see what we can do. Despite missing a crucial element here, you did great when you didn’t get uptight and throw a Macho Boy tantrum or give your girlfriend any ultimatums. You calmly and honestly told her that you were bothered by her behavior and what did she do? She dissed you. To you Psych majors, she did him wrong. Fine. Now we’re going to take a different tack. Or, as my cousin Sal “The Fish” Love would say, “When they don’t want to see your side of things, it’s time to play hard ball.”

I don’t want you to try to reason with her any further. No need to get into any more debates. Now your actions are going to speak louder than your words. You won’t appear controlling or insecure if you make your point non-verbally. Here’s the plan: I want you to stop taking your girlfriend out on the weekends. This will be a strategy of withdrawal. No more weekend dates with her, for now. That includes Friday, Saturday AND Sunday. You’re only going to see her on a Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday.

If your girlfriend has any brains at all, she’ll put two and two together and realize that her selfishness has caused you to withdraw. Then we’ll find out how high a priority you really are on her list. If she doesn’t change her behavior after this, then she’s not really as “serious” about your relationship as you thought.

Remember, guys, if you’re going to go the distance with her, there can’t be any boyfriends in the background.

How to Handle a "Flaky" Woman


Hi Doc,

Well, I’ve been getting more phone numbers of attractive girls every day, thanks to your coaching. But I’ve run into one that I’m not 100% positive on what to do about.

I met this cute girl, “Darla,” at the campus bookstore. I heard from some of her acquaintances that she can get any guy to do whatever she wants. Well that’s fine, but not me. Knowing in advance that she might be that type, I still went for it. I figured that if she really was a spoiled brat, then at least it would be interesting to see how well your theories would work on that kind of girl.

We went out on a first date, costing me only $15. (I got us a lunch at an Italian takeout place and we had a picnic on a great summer day.) We both had a fantastic time, and this girl couldn’t stop telling me how much she wanted to go out again. She touched my arm and my leg at least a dozen times. Being fairly proficient in your “System”, I didn’t respond, and I could see it was driving her crazy, in a good way.

I waited a week and called her and tried to set up a date for Thursday, but she told me she was “working.” But she said that we could do it “tonight” since she had “nothing to do”. I told her “Okay, tonight works out fine” and ended the conversation. Later, about an hour or so before I was to be at her house, she called and cancelled and gave me some story about why she couldn’t do it and that she was “so sorry.”

She counter-offered for Saturday, but I politely told her that I was busy. She then gave me even more information that she was going to be out of town on Sunday. I said, “OK” and that I had to go but that I’d talk to her “later.”

Doc, I’m confused at this point. I’ve seen some of the things that you’ve said telling me to wait two weeks to call a girl after she gets flakey on you. But I have also seen some articles saying that I should just wait it out, and see if she calls me or not and just judge our “relationship” off of that.

What should I do Doc? This chic is fine, but I don’t want to waste my time.

Bailey - who’s a bit confused

Hey Bailey,

Although you’ve run into trouble with this cutie, overall you’ve handled things pretty darn well so far. You’ve obviously got a respectable working knowledge of my principles. We just need to tweak your technique and tighten things up a bit. But before we get into that, let’s look at what you’ve done right here.

First of all, you were wise to not react to what Darla’s “aquaintances” were saying about her. Often, when you’re first dating a girl, all sorts of people will come out of the woodwork who have some kind of agenda based on your NOT being successful with her.

But in this situation, Bailey, you remained neutral, and you took a “wait and see” approach. That’s the way to go. Whatever anybody else says about a girl that you’re first getting to know, whether it’s negative OR positive, you should always take it all with a large grain of salt and check things out for yourself. To you Psych majors, the proof is in the pudding.

The other great thing you did, Bailey, was that you showed this gal a fun time while keeping the cost of the date to a minimum. The picnic idea was perfect. Too many guys spend too much money on a first date, thinking that doing so will raise the woman’s romantic Interest Level. It’s like trying to beat the Market by following “hot” stock tips. It’s supposed to work but it never does. Guys, you should wait until she totally “gone” over you before you take her out for the big ticket activities (if you must.)

Now, Bailey, you got some very strong buying signals from this babe on your first (and only) outing with her. That’s great and it makes you feel great when that happens. There’s nothing like being out with a cute girl who can’t keep her hands off of you.

But before we’ve gotten past the two-month mark with any woman, things are just too new to rate. What we look for is CONSISTENCY, and this girl is about as consistent as Madonna’s hair color. When she flip-flopped on you and broke her date with you at the last minute, she blew it as far as winning your heart goes.

Still, I also want you to be aware that you set yourself up for trouble when you accepted her counteroffer to go out that same night. You lost your posture and made yourself look too available, too eager. Don’t do that again, with any woman.

What I need to pound into your head, Bailey, is that this girl, “Darla” violated the sacred commandment: “Thou shalt not break any dates -- especially on short notice.” This is not a misdemeanor. It’s a felony!

If she had merely told you that she was too busy to go out with you that week but maybe next week, then I’d say give it two weeks plus and try calling her one more time. But, Bailey, SHE BROKE THE DATE. That’s it, adios, hasta la vista and sayonara too.

Remember, guys: a broken date is a deal breaker.

The Most Dangerous Creature on the Face of the Planet


Doc,

I've used your philosophy and its worked wonders on my life. There’s one thing I’m curious about, and maybe it's a more unusual dilemma than most.

I dated this unbelievably beautiful Colombian woman about a year and a half ago. From the gods, it seemed. She is quite literally a knockout in looks and body, drawing attention to herself wherever she goes. Unfortunately, this woman had a bad habit of not being faithful. So taking your advice I had the backbone to dump her and cut contact right away, once I knew. Several months passed, and life seemed to move on.

One day she called me out of the blue. I didn't want to talk to her. I told her at the time I had met someone, and I hung up. Ever since that time she's called my family, friends, left messages, showed up at work, my apartment, hoping to work things out. Challenge gone awry you could say. This has gone on in frequency every couple of weeks or so for many months on end. I have had no way to stop it.

She tells me she wants to be friends (her Womanese for a physical relationship). But I know her to be quite possessive, violent, and a chronic cheater.

Each time she initiates her campaign, I ignore her and walk away, but she persists. I have made it clear to her many times that my interest is zero and honestly feel nothing emotional towards her. My problem is that I've never had an extremely attractive woman chase me, and honestly she still turns me on quite a bit in the physical sense.

I am very tempted to try something simply physical, but my fear is that I am going to bury myself. I don't want a relationship with her at all. She is Miss Wrong. Doc, the temptation of a beautiful woman is overwhelming. What is the best way for me to handle this? I will clearly follow whatever you say as it has always worked in the past.

Kirby - who is tempted, but not stupid

Hey Kirby,

Well, it sounds as if you’ve really gotten yourself into one mixed up mess of a dilemma with a triple threat:

Your Colombian Cutie is one deeply troubled, unstable, bona fide nut case. To you Psych majors, she ain’t clinically sane.

On top of that, she’s a beautiful woman. (Can anyone doubt why I say that The Beautiful Woman is the most dangerous creature on the planet?) Her power to control, intimidate and seduce is awesome and you are dealing with the Latin version of the species, Kirby, which only adds more fuel to the fire.

She knows that right under the surface of your “I’m done with you” façade, you’re still hooked. All she’d have to do is get you alone, get naked and rub up against you once or twice and you’d be capitulating faster than Roger Clemens’ can toss a curve ball. (Actually, I’m surprised that she hasn’t already tried this tactic.)

The reason that she’s comin’ after you, Kirby, like a jungle leopard relentlessly stalking its prey is because you are the first guy in her life who wouldn’t kiss her butt and let her get away with her usual games and deceptions. As my cousin “Fast Eddie” Love would say, “Rejection is the ultimate Challenge.”

Before we get to the solution here Kirby, I want to commend you on the tremendous strength of character that you have demonstrated so far. When it became clear that this girl was no good for you, you got rid of her. Most men don’t have the guts to do what you did. Doing that took real courage and conviction. God bless you, my brother, for your commitment to your own integrity and for not giving in to addictive impulses.

That said, we need to extricate you from this mess, Kirby. Not only has this gal become a major stress in your life (which you do not need), but you could actually be in physical danger if you don’t pull this poisonous weed out by the roots.

I’m certain that you’ve wracked your brain and brainstormed with your brothers as to what the heck you can do, obviously to no avail. Here’s the point. You’ve got to do something different. Saying “No” to her in new and creative ways is not going to change anything. In fact, if you haven’t guessed already, the more you say “No,” the more determined she will become. So let’s play it smart here and twist this whole thing around to your advantage.

What I want you to do is to go ahead and go out with her. Yep, that’s right. The next time she contacts you, set up a date with her and take her out somewhere. Have a long “heart to heart” talk with her about how you see that you’ve really just been afraid of intimacy and that you now realize that she is indeed the love of your life. Our goal here is to come on heavy and turn her off.

The next day after the date, call her four or five different times and leave messages telling her how much you love her and how you can’t stop thinking about her. Tell her that you have to see her again, right away. Send her flowers. Buy a stack of different mushy romantic cards and send her one every day for a week. As my cousin Sal “The Fish” Love would say, “When I’m done with her, she’ll be droppin’ me like a rotten mackeral.”

However challenging this recommendation may seem to be to carry out, just do it anyway, Kirby. You can pull it off. Fake it till you make it. I guarantee you that after a week or two of “the new you” she’ll be so turned off, you’ll be wondering what ever happened to her. Remember, guys: if you want to turn her off, come on heavy.

Does She Love Me or Does She Love My Wallet?


Dear Doc Love,

My girlfriend Lisa and I have been going together for almost ten months. Our relationship seems to be sailing along quite smoothly. We’re very compatible. We always have a lot of fun together. She never nags me. She’s beautiful and classy and charming. (All my buddies rate her as a solid ten.) And all of my friends and family are quite impressed with her. They all think that I’m one lucky guy to have found her.

All right, I know what you’re thinking. So what’s the problem? Well, there IS just one little fly in the ointment so to speak, or as you say Doc, “There’s no such thing as a clean deal.” I didn’t really notice this when we were first dating, but now it’s becoming an issue for me. I’ll explain.

We spend a lot of time together at my place, but I also take Lisa out about three nights a week. We like going to nice restaurants. We also go out to a lot of plays and concerts and I always get front row seats for us whenever possible. I’ve also just recently treated her to a ten-day vacation in Paris where we stayed at one of the nicest hotels in the city. (She speaks fluent French, but had never been to France. So you can imagine how thrilled she was when I first told her that I had the tickets.)

Now I was happy to pay for the entire trip to France. I enjoy being in the role of provider and it feels really good to be able to take my sweetheart anywhere we want to go without any consideration of how much it might cost. I guess I’ll just mention that I’m a real-estate broker, and in the last few years I’ve been making some very serious money. So having a limited amount of cash is not one of my problems.

The thing is Lisa has never offered to pay for ANYTHING, not once. Not a dinner, not a movie ticket, not even an ice cream cone. And I’m noticing that I’m starting to feel resentful about it. I don’t need her to spring for some big gift or anything like that, but some small gesture of giving and generosity on her part every so often when we go out would make a big difference for me.

She thanks me for the things that I do for her maybe one out of four times, but that’s as far as it goes. I guess if she cooked for me or gave me a massage once in awhile, that that would make a difference, but she doesn’t cook and she’s just never offered to rub my back.

I’m considering the idea of asking her why she never offers to pay for anything, but I wanted to check with you first, Doc. Do you think that she never offers to pay for anything because it’s just proper female behavior to her? She IS pretty traditional and conservative in a lot ofways. Or, do you think that she’s really just selfish and kind of using me in some way, like she’s not a “giver” as you would say.

The confusing thing is that she’s very affectionate otherwise. What do you think Doc? And should I try to discuss the situation with her?

Winston – who wants to know what to do

Hey Winston,

To start, let’s go over some basics. One of the ways that you evaluate a woman’s Interest Level in you when you’re FIRST dating her is to observe what she does when the two of you have finished eating at a restaurant and the check arrives. The odds of her having high interest in you aremuch better if she allows you to pay without bringing up the idea of sharing the cost.

When she lets YOU be the ‘sole provider’ in this context, it means, on a deeper level that she’s SURRENDERING to you. (This is all true, unless of course, she’s a mercenary which is a whole other can of worms.)

Now if she OFFERS to help out with the bill, that’s usually not a ‘flag’, although you should decline her offer. But if she INSISTS that she pay for her “share,” that means that you’re basically dead in the water. She wants to stay in control and NOT surrender. To you Psych majors, she’s a control freak with low interest level.

So in the beginning, we’re looking for her to not be pressing to pitch in. But as we start moving into the second month of dating these rules begin to shift and we DO want her to be making a sincere effort, every so often, to contribute to the cost of the date in some meaningful way. If she’s a giver, she will automatically do that. If she’s a taker, it will never enter her mind.

Now considering all of this, Winston, your girlfriend Lisa obviously does not qualify as a giver, although she appears to have a high level of interest in you. Now we need to determine if she’s just being lazy and inconsiderate, or if deep down she’s a narcissistic gold digger who thinks she’s entitled to be spoiled. Since she’s an “A” she can have just about any guy she wants, but she’s chosen YOU. Why? Is the essence of her deep love and caring for you high interest, or is it based on mere physical attraction and what you can buy for her?

But I want you to realize, Winston, that YOU are also part of the problem. If she has been thanking you for things only a quarter of the time instead of most of the time, then you should have busted her on that months ago. Ten months of this and you haven’t said anything to her about it! What’s up with that? Has her beauty intimidated you? As Denzel Washington said to Ethan Hawke when he wanted him to grow some cojones, you need to “Man up!” You failed to call her on her on her lack of consideration and now she’s programmed to think that her behavior is acceptable. So now we’re going to have to try doing what I call “cleanup.”

Let’s apply some indirect pressure and see if she becomes more demonstrative in the gratitude department. Maybe she can be re-trained. So, when she calls, ask her, “Did you forget to do something?” When she says, “What’s that?” say, “Thank me for the nice dinner last Thursday.” Do this kind of thing two or three times and see if she gets the hint. You could also ASK her to massage your shoulders and then observe whether she whines and does it with reluctance or with enthusiasm.

Additionally, I want you to suspend taking her out on any more expensive dates or trips until she starts appreciating you on a consistent basis. But be prepared. When you cut down on the high priced activities, you may see a side of her that you don’t like. You may discover that she has a higher interest in your wallet than she does in your heart. But let’s see.

If and when she starts to respond to the new training program, she may, hopefully, also begin to reciprocate with more than just verbal acknowledgements. That would be optimal. But the odds that she WILL aren’t good because giving doesn’t SEEM to be part of her nature. And no, I don’t think her lack of giving has ANYTHING to do with her being “traditional.” But it DOES have a lot to do with the fact that she’s a ten.

If she doesn’t respond well to the new program, Winston, then you have to make a choice. If you have tons of money and can overlook her take, take, taking, then marry her. But I think that would be a tough row to hoe. There’s a high potential for resentment to build and kill all the romance. So let’s hope we get some results from our new game plan.

Remember, guys, givers are more fun than takers.

Is E-Mailing Anti-Challenge?


Dear Doc Love,

I can't begin to thank you for your advice. Before learning your philosophy, I never realized how much girls walked all over me.  I'm an average-looking guy but I'm now going out with above-average-looking girls, thanks to your coaching.

I'm currently in a graduate school in Boston, which is filled with young, beautiful women. My graduate program is 80% female, which definitely works to my favor. For a couple of months, I set myself up to be a Challenge. I would throw in a funny comment during class discussions every once in a while.

When the girls were in the hallways during breaks, I would stop, say something funny and walk away. I could hear them saying how funny I was when I was almost earshot away. After class, I would always be the first to leave. After a while, one of my male classmates told me that a good portion of the girls in my program often talked about me in a positive way.

Eventually, I did go in for the kill and asked for home numbers and went out with a couple of girls in the program. No big romances, but I had a lot of fun and saw how your relationship rules were reinforced.

It's summer now, and without class to bring us together, there is less opportunity to meet face-to-face to ask for home numbers. Because we are in a college setting, e-mail is the popular method of communication. I recently e-mailed a girl in the department, said that we should go out sometime and asked for her home number. She e-mailed me back with her home number, work number, her address, her work schedule and best times to call her. Like you always say, Doc, when they're interested, they make it easy.

I'm still going to wait a week before calling her, but what should I do as far as how often I e-mail her? Do telephone rules apply to e-mail? I am interested in knowing what you think about the use of e-mail.

Dylan, who is beginning to understand women

Hey Dylan,

First let me commend you. You did a fantastic job of playing it cool and building up your personal mystery quotient in your classroom environment before you made any moves. You knew that you had a captive audience, so you took your time and let the kitty kats become intrigued and curious about you, which ultimately made your job much easier and effective when it came time to “close.”

When classes resume, don’t get lazy or complacent and abandon this strategy. As my Uncle Jethro Love would say, “When it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” Although you didn’t find the love of your life last semester, that doesn’t mean that you won’t wind up hooking up with your soul mate next semester simply by employing the exact same strategy that you used before. To you Psych majors, don’t go against the principles that made you successful.

All right, so let’s get clear about this e-mail thing and the frequency of the phone usage versus the frequency of e-mailing. Dylan, when I tell all you guys to stay off the phone and not to spend time chit chatting and ‘sharing’ with a girl that you’re interested in, what I’m really saying is to keep communication (while you are not in her actual physical presence) to an absolute minimum.

Your love interest, Dylan, whoever she may be, is dying for Mystery from her potential mate. Although she’s not aware of it, she wants to be wondering about you. Wondering where you are, who it is that you are doing it with and whether you really like her or not. But, most importantly, we want her to be wondering how many other women you’re going out with.

So, the more time you spend communicating with her between dates, the more info you’re giving her about yourself and your activities, which actually inhibits the rise of her Interest Level.

Dylan, as far as e-mailing goes, the same rules apply. If you’re doing the Internet-dating-service thing, then you can e-mail back and forth three or four times to get aquatinted and then setup a ‘meet-for-coffee date’, but once the date is set that’s it; all communication ceases. And before you end that coffee date you should ask her for her home phone number.

And if, as in your case, Dylan, you already know the girl but you still don’t have her home phone number, then ONE e-mail to ask her out is all that is needed. No e-mail’s before the date to tell her how much you’re looking forward to seeing her. No e-mail’s after the date to tell her what a great time you had or to let her know that you found a copy of that book that she was looking for, or whatever! Let everyone else on the planet e-mail each other back and forth ten thousand times. That doesn’t need to affect your behavior in any way whatsoever.

Actually, as far as dating goes, e-mailing is much less preferable to the telephone as a means of communication. Plenty of e-mails get lost in Internet limbo land for hours or even days.  You e-mail her and then you have to wait for a response, which can take hours or even days.

And when you’re e-mailing back and forth, not only can you not get any reading on her body language while communicating with her, just as on the phone, but you can’t even hear her voice. You have no sense of the auditory tonality of her communication. E-mailing to get a date with a woman is filled with pitfalls and several disadvantages.

Let’s put it this way, Dylan. E-mailing should be used only when you don’t yet have a woman’s home phone number. Once you get her home phone number then stick with the phone instead of the Internet. Call her. Make your date and then, remain cool, lie low and give her time and space to wonder what’s going on with you as her anticipation for her next rendezvous with you builds.

Remember, guys: e-mailing is anti-Challenge.

How to Pass the Physical Attraction Test


Dear Doc,

You say that in order for a woman to be interested in a guy at all, that he first must pass what you call “The Physical Attraction Test.” You say that if she’s not physically attracted to him, then the guy is pretty much powerless to raise her Interest Level above the critical 50% threshold. I mean you really make a big deal out of how you might as well give up any hope of getting anywhere with a girl if she’s not physically attracted to you, which makes sense.

But, in other articles of yours I notice that you encourage guys to always go for the 9’s and 10’s if they feel confident enough to take the risk. You seem to be telling guys who might rate only say a 5 on the looks scale, who don’t have a chance of passing a 10’s looks standards, to try anyway. I’m confused. If ‘passing the physical’ is the number one prerequisite that must be fulfilled before anything can go anywhere, then why should a guy ever pitch a girl who’s way out of his league?

Clarence – who just doesn’t get it.

Dear Clarence,

I like your question.

Let’s start at square one. Ok, so you’re a single guy, and you want to get yourself a girlfriend. The first thing you have to do is put yourself in an environment where you can meet single, available women.

Once you find a place to meet women where you feel comfortable, whether it’s a ballroom dancing class or a biker bar, you should approach and strike up a conversation with as many different women as you can. Some of them may be 6’s, some of them may be 10’s but you should talk to all of them. Why? Because you never know who you’re going to click with. To you Psych majors, chemistry is everything.

I don’t recommend that you fixate on only the most beautiful women. You may meet a 6 1/2 who has a 10+ personality, and wind up having an incredibly wonderful committed relationship with her. Remember, the Reality Factor says that the lower a girl’s rating on the beauty scale, the higher her level of giving, sweetness and flexibility tends to be.

Now, on the other hand, I encourage you not to be intimidated in any way by the 10’s. It’s bad policy to look at a drop-dead-gorgeous woman and tell yourself that she’s out of your league. Why? Because you never can tell what kind of guy she may find attractive. You may think of yourself as a 6 but she might see you as a 9 because there’s some quirky thing about you that just rings her bell. Good looks are subjective. How many times, Clarence, have you seen a strikingly gorgeous woman with a guy who ain’t no big deal in the looks department?

There’s another reason to always pitch whatever woman you’re interested in, including the 10’s. It could turn out that you just barely pass the physical, but you do squeak by. Once you do, you can then use “The System” to slowly but surely raise her Interest Level. “The System” gives you a huge advantage over the hunky pretty boy who comes on too heavy too quickly and can’t keep his hands off a woman.

The point I’m making is that you never know whether you’re going to pass the physical with any chick, a 5 or a 10, until you check it out. Every woman is different; every single one is unique. Cindy likes tall, thin blonde guys, but her twin sister, Sandra, will date only stocky Latin men. Go figure.

Also, remember that the only reason you’re pitching so many different women is so you can find the one for you. All you need is one. You only need to keep greeting and meeting new babes until you find Miss Right (and get past two months with point with her.)

Remember, guys, you never know who’s gong to like you until you check it out.

The Ins and Outs of Speed Dating


Hi Doc,

For several months I have enjoyed reading your weekly columns. I would also like to say “thank you” to all the contributors to your column who continue to practice and prove to other readers that your philosophy really works.

I would like to make a small contribution to all the Doc Love readers if I can. I know that there are a lot of new students to “The System” that may get discouraged when they try Internet Dating. I like to call Internet Dating “The Rat Race.” Why? Because I’ve discovered that on the Internet, in the 26 to 40 age group, there are usually about seven men for every one woman. This means that the woman has more men to "choose" from than she can ever go out with.

An important key for the man who is new to your principles, is to only be going to places where the odds are at least even, otherwise he will get discouraged.

One new dating phenomenon I discovered that actually seems to be working in men’s favor is "Speed Dating. It’s something that appears to be growing all around the country. It’s kind of cross between musical chairs and a Chamber of Commerce mixer as a way of having a quick few minutes to meet potential new romantic partners. I was skeptical at first thinking, "Oh Great! I have to get to know if I like a woman in less than three minutes and there are going to be more men than women there, as usual."

Well, the reality was FAR different from my preconceptions. The four different Speed Dating events that I participated in were more like 65% women and 35% men. Yes, men, 65% of the participants were women. Not bad huh?

It’s tough to get a good read on another person in less than three minutes, but if one applies your principles in the Speed Dating situation, Doc, it can be a favorable and enjoyable experience. Some of the guys I've seen at these Speed Dating events are very nervous, wondering how they’re going to make a good impression on that cute girl. Some are worried about saying the wrong thing to the girl to the point of having “the jitters” which of course is going to work against them. Again, they just need to study and master your materials.

But anyway, Doc, I think that Speed dating, overall, is a fun and easy way to meet and check out a lot of different women without having to do much work at all. You certainly don’t need to do much driving. I guess what I’m saying is that as far as time and money goes, it’s very cost effective. So what do you think Doc?

Chad – who wants to spread the word

Hi, Chad,

Thanks for sharing your experience and your insights.

Here are some things to keep in mind when participating in a “Speed Dating” event,

  • Take charge of the conversation. You’ve got only three to five minutes initially. So smile, keep it light and positive. Stay off any heavy subjects and try to crack a couple of good jokes if you can. Ask her interesting questions about herself, not the usual clichéd ones that every other guy will be asking, In fact, make it a policy that you will not ask her any questions like the standard, “So what do you do?” Instead, be different. Be clever. Try to work in a taste of the kind of zany and outrageous things that Jim Carrey might say or do. And, then, carefully observe how she responds to your playfulness and humor. It will tell you A LOT about your compatibility and chemistry with her. And by the way, if SHE happens to start in with some of those heavy, inappropriately personal questions (You know the kinds of questions I’m talking about: “So, have you ever been married? Why not? What kind of salary do you make? How many kids do you want to have? What kind of a relationship do you have with your mother?” etc. etc. etc.) Don’t get flustered, pressured or intimidated. Simply use humor once again to diffuse the situation. Remember, this isn’t a courtroom. It’s a supposed to be an easy, fun and leisurely way of just getting to know people.
  • Always observe whether or not she asks you any questions about yourself. If she doesn’t ask anything about you, you're dead in the water. But don’t despair. It's only three minutes before you move onto the next speed-date participant. So if she obviously has no Interest in you, crack a quick, vaguely facetious joke or just say anything to get her to laugh. Make the best of it by asking her something like, “So do you have any girlfriends for me?”
  • Some women will wear very revealing low cut blouses to test you. They’ll want to see if you’ll pant and drool and lose self-control. Don't fall into this trap. Remain a Challenge. Look only into her eyes and remember to smile when you do. You’ll gain points by not reacting, especially because every other guy will be ogling her, After each Speed Date Event, keep track of each woman you interactedwith and those you sensed had high Interest Level in you. Also objectively assess your own level of interest towards each them. Soon you will receive an email with the results of the event. When you get the results do NOT email or immediately call any of the girls who have picked you. Follow “The System” and wait week to call. All the other guys she said yes to will call her immediately and set up a date as quickly as they possibly can. Let Them! Their low level of self-control will take them out of the running in no time. If there was a hot girl there that you really liked but the e-mail results revealed that she did not choose you and you still think that you want to see her again, do not attempt to contact her. You are seriously wasting your time. She may be drop-dead gorgeous and she may ring your bell like a fire alarm. But if it ain’t there, it ain’t there. And no trick or hypnotic strategy is going to make the magic happen. If for some reason you received an email indicating that NONE of the women you chose at the Speed Dating event wanted to see you again, don't get discouraged. Go back and replay Doc Love’s CD’s, re-read “The System.” Or, as my Uncle Jethro Love would say, “Boy, you gotta get yourself back up on that there saddle and take another crack at it.”

Remember, guys: winners don’t quit.

Translating Womanese into English


Hey Doc,

I am sure you get tons of questions like this but I need some good pointers.

I’ve known this girl for a year, ran into her every so often on campus and we would talk casually. Then one day my buddy hands me her phone number. She gave it to him and asked him to have me call her, so I did. It took awhile but we finally got in touch.

We talked on the phone quite a bit for a few weeks and then I ran into her at a local pub. While there, after a few bottles of liquid courage, I asked her "So do you think we could ever date?" She said “Yeah, I think that’s possible.” She also said, “I really like you for your mind" which surprised me. I’ve never had a girl tell me that before.

Since then, which was 6 weeks ago, we’ve talked a lot more on the phone and have been hanging out together quite a bit. We’ve had in depth conversations about family, growing up, our backgrounds, our life goals and dreams. We get along fantastically and laugh a lot whenever we’re together. Anyway, to the meat of the question.

We were talking about a rather serious issue the other night and I told her that I’m there for her and that even if it’s at 4 am in the morning she can call me for support. So she stops, turns to me and says: " I really enjoy talking to you and I am having fun getting to know you more, and I want to continue to get to know you more, but I want to take it slow and take my time. Do you understand what I am telling you?" I told her that I understood and that that was cool.

So what I want to know is, is there good potential here and how do I go about keeping her interested in me and make sure that it’s going to develop into a relationship all at the same time? I really, really think she is special and I want this to go in the right direction. I don’t what to put in a lot of time to have it only develop into another pretty female friend relationship because I have plenty of those.

Give me what you got doc.

Donovan – who needs to know if he’s on the right track

Hi Donovan.

Your girl friend wants to take it slow? Donovan, if you took it any slower you’d be in a state of rigor mortis. I mean, dude, If you laid back any further you wouldn’t be breathing. But let’s start at the top.

You knew this girl for a year and you never asked for her phone number. What were you waiting for, a sign from the heavenly hosts? Luckily for you, she had such high Interest Level (at least initially) that she did your job for you and got the ball rolling. If she hadn’t, the two of you would still only be chit chatting during accidental encounters on campus.

Then, once you had her number you talked with her on the phone for “a few weeks” and never asked her out? Donovan, you’ve got about as much gumption as a slug. But, unfortunately, this story gets even worse.

Even after the alcohol cut down the fear factor for you, you came up with one of the weakest, most wimp-assed, wussified ways of asking a girl out that I’ve ever heard of: “So do you think we could ever date?” No wonder she responded so half-heartedly and then gave you that “I really like you for your mind” line. “I really like you for your mind” is Womanese for, “Not if you were the last man on the island.”

After that, you were back to your favorite addiction, the phone. I think, Donovan, that I’m going to have to rename you Mr. AT&T. Listen, you’ve got to wean yourself from this telephonic crutch, guy. Of course, considering your state of ignorance, what I just said may not make much sense to you. Please allow me to explain.

The telephone is a technological device that is, in the context of wooing women, only to be used to set up your next date. You should only spend five minutes max on that sucker and then get the hell off the line. Yes, guys, beware. Talking on the phone is dangerous. It’s like juggling with nitro. One slip and the next thing you know, things are blowing up in your face.

Never have an extended chat-fest on the phone with a girl you are courting. Or as my Cousin, Sal, “The Fish” would say, “The less she knows about you, the more she’ll want you.”

Donovan, I regretfully must inform you that, as far as romance goes, your relationship with your girl-friend is DOA. If you just take your head out of you the sand and take an objective look at the facts, you’ll understand what I’m talking about.

Look, there you were, offering her unconditional love and support in her time of emotional stress and at that very moment she drops a whammy on you! A girl with high Interest Level would have hugged you warmly and thanked your for your commitment and support. But what does this girl do? She tells you, in Womanese, that she wants to distance herself from you. As Shakespeare would say, “Something’s rotten in Denmark.”

Donovan, you say that you don’t want to put in a lot of time into this relationship, only to have it develop into “another pretty female friend relationship” because you have plenty of those. Well, Donovan, as far as I can see you don’t seem to have any problem putting unlimited time into it. You took a year to go out with her. You’ve talked on the phone with her for weeks and weeks and have spent hours and hours with her and as far as I can tell, you haven’t even tried to kiss her. But at this point, to try would be an exercise in futility.

And the last bit of bad news, Donovan, is that what you’ve got here IS “another pretty female friend relationship.” This is your life. This is your pattern with women. You stay as passive as you can, terrified of risking any kind of rejection and you don’t let women see the real man that you are. We’ve got to start building your confidence and raise your testosterone level.

Please, for the love of Pete, start studying and practicing “The “Sytem.” If you do, soon you’ll no longer be playing the role of butler, therapist and “Mr. Shoulder to CryOn” in your relationships with women. Instead you’ll be getting’ some real action.

Remember, guys: don’t volunteer to be the victim.

Are Women Hypocrites when it Comes to 'Looks'?


Hi Doc,

I subscribed to one of those Internet dating services and posted my photo along with a fairly comprehensive personality profile of myself. After getting no real action for some time, I decided to run a test. Yes, Doc, I did the morally reprehensible thing and substituted a photo of a much better looking man for my own.

The results were alarming. A number of women immediately responded with some of the real ‘lookers’ proclaiming their love, even after the exchange of only a few lines of text. Never in my regular life as a decent, honest, and hardworking man had I ever received such attention. It shook me to the core of my being like nothing else.

Such love freely offered to the better-looking man. Funny that he had the same personality as me. I guess that doesn't matter though. Anyway, I’d be very interested in any thoughts you might have about all this, Doc.

Kenneth – who thinks it’s all pretty unfair

Howdy Kenneth,

Your experience reminds me of that of another one of my students. Let’s call him Bill. Bill is an average looking guy. On a scale of one to ten, most women would probably give him a seven, at best. But as far as personality goes, Bill is a ten. He’s very intelligent, funny as hell and a genuinely good-hearted guy.

Every Sunday, Bill goes to a non-denominational Science of Mind type church in L.A. This particular church has a very charismatic minister and a kick-ass choir that is always accompanied by a rhythm section of world class studio musicians. It’s a very hip, happening kind of scene with a certain edge of glamour to it. Most Sundays you will find two or three celebrities in attendance amongst a congregation of several hundred people.

As you might expect with such a scenario, the place is stocked with an abundance of babes. But even though these girls are spiritually oriented, they’ve still got a bit of that L.A. ‘attitude’ thing going on. They tend to be somewhat guarded and standoffish when guys try to connect with them. Many of the most attractive women there leave as soon as the service is over rather than stay for coffee, muffins and socializing during which they might have to deal with grabby guys who want a ‘friendly’ post service hug from them.

Now Bill attends these services, primarily for the inspirational and spiritual benefits that he derives. But, naturally, he’s not been oblivious to the potential there for meeting women. The thing is, even though he’s been a member of the congregation for over a year and a half, he’s never gone out on a date with one girl that he’s met at his church. He’s had nice conversations with several women there that he’s gotten to know over time, but he’s never gotten any romantic ‘buying signals’ from any of them.

One day, not too long ago, Bill brought his friend Lance to church with him. Lance, who had never been there before is about 6’2’’ with long thick hair down to his shoulders. He looks like a Viking king who now earns his living doing Calvin Klein underwear advertisements.

After the service that day, Bill asked Lance if he enjoyed his experience there. Lance said to Bill, “Yeah, the minister is great and I loved the music. But what’s with the women here? They’re so aggressive! I’ve been hit on three times since I got here. One girl wouldn’t let me go until I wrote down her phone number!.” Yes, Lance was complaining. Moments later, one of the real beauties of the congregation who had never even smiled at Bill once since he’d been going there, walked right up to Lance and said, “Hi! Are you new here?” As you might imagine, Bill’s mouth dropped open in disbelief.

So, both you and Bill, Kenneth, had similar experiences, and both of you had similar responses to it: utter shock. Why? Because the behavior of these women was completely contrary to the values that the sisterhood of womenfolk espouses. When asked about what qualities are most important in a potential mate, most women will tell you that a sense of humor and intelligence are at the top of the list. And according to the majority of women, it’s men who care most about how a woman looks and least about her personality.

But as every good student of “The System” knows, in order to get to the truth, we look at people’s actions primarily, rather than their words. And in this case, here’s is the obvious conclusion that we must arrive at: Women are motivated by ‘looks’ just as much as men are, regardless of what they say. They overlook personality in favor of physical appearance, exactly as men do. Women’s shaming of men for being looks obsessed is a bunch of hypocritical hogwash.

All right, Kenneth, so how does an average looking guy deal with all this? Yes, it’s easy to feel bitter and frustrated. It’s easy to feel resentful, but none of that is helpful. If you, Kenneth, had the face and body of Bill’s friend Lance, then you’d have legions of beautiful women coming after you. But you don’t look like Lance and you will never have the kind of attention from women that Lance does. That’s reality, so don’t fight it. You are who, you are and you have to work with the cards that God dealt you.

If you’re going to continue using the Internet dating services as a resource for meeting women, then you should, of course put your own real photo back with your profile. But I’d have some of your friends and family give you some objective feedback about the picture of yourself that you were using. Does it represent you at your best or is it of poor quality? It’s always best to have a pro shoot your photo for you. With a better photo of yourself, you may start getting a measurably improved response rate.

If changing your photo doesn’t help, then the Internet just ain’t your niche. You have to find your niche. It may be Sierra Club hikes, dance classes or psychic faires where the women outnumber men five to one. Just keep swinging, Kenneth, till you get a hit.

Remember, guys: you have do the best you can with what you’ve got.

Should You Ever Just Tell Her Off?


Dear Doc,

I have a question about how to end a date that’s going in the dumper. Let’s say that you’re out with a girl that you’ve already spent some time with and you totally follow “The System” all the time that you’re with her. (You keep the conversation fun and light. You keep your hands to yourself. You’re a total gentleman while still being slightly mysterious, etc., etc.)

Then at the end of the evening, you go to kiss your date, and she turns away. That, of course, tells you that she doesn’t and never did have any interest in you. And if this happens, Doc, you advise remaining cool and not getting uptight. You say its best to just go home, throw her number away, move on to the next adventure and not bother trying to get her to see how dishonest she’s been.

Here’s my question: Why not just say, "Why did you waste my time and jerk me around like this? Go rot in hell." Or, "I think its best that I tear up your damn phone number now! (With optional "you stupid bitch".) I mean, why beat around the bush? Why not just tell her off? Let her know that you're not buying into her little shell game. You might add in something more like, "Do you do this with all your dates? No wonder you're not married!”

Now, I know you're over there saying, “You’ve got to be a gentleman.” Well, yeah, sure. But if you're never going to see her again, why not just let her have it?

What do you say Doc?

Nate – who wants to just tell it like it is

Hi Nate,

Listen, I understand the impulse to want to verbally strike back at a woman who has knowingly misled you. You think, “Man, she should have to burn a little bit here. She needs to know that there are consequences for such offensive behavior. Maybe she just doesn’t get it. I’ve gotta make her understand how she’s dissed me. She needs a dose of her own medicine, damn it!” Etc. etc. etc. But as you’ve already surmised, Nate, I do not recommend going down this path, and I’ll tell you why.

But before we go on, let’s get clear about who and what we’re dealing with here. Who is this woman who engenders such rage and frustration? As you longtime readers know, I call her The Professional Dater. The Professional Dater is a woman who accepts and goes out on dates with men in whom she has no romantic interest whatsoever.

She enjoys the all expenses-paid-night out on the town with door-to-door car service. She enjoys being wined and dined. She enjoys getting attention and compliments from yet another male suitor. She delights in the feeling of being wanted by various guys who will do anything to get close to her (like a stripper who really likes her work.)

And …. she’s a self-centered, self-serving user who’s only showing up for her own pleasure and entertainment. She has no regard for the feelings of any of the men she exploits. She’s morally and ethically corrupt.

But because the Professional Dater has such finely honed flirting skills, it’s darn near impossible to tell that you’ve got one of these deceitful divas on your hands until you’ve spent three or four hours with her. Fortunately, by using my principles you CAN weed her out by the end of one date. Normally it might take you three or four dates, or even more before you finally discovered that you had a P.D. on your hands.

Now, on your quest to find the woman of your dreams, Nate, you’re going to have to do a lot of dating; and if you do a lot of dating, you will have numerous encounters with Professional Daters. They are NOT a rare breed. The dating jungle is filled with them. Here’s the point: whether you run into one or a hundred different P. D.’s it’s not your job to be their daddy and to try to teach them the error of their ways.

If their own fathers didn’t teach them to be respectful towards men, why should you try to take on the task? It requires too much energy expenditure, and a Professional Dater simply does not deserve any more of your time and energy. What you need to do is keep your own Karma clear and clean, bow out gracefully and maintain a positive attitude and a positive energy flow. To you Psych majors, just because she’s a low-life doesn’t mean you should be one too.

Here’s another point. When you start getting invested in having her understand how terribly WRONG she is you and how righteously RIGHT you are, then you’re just getting yourself emotionally hooked into her. Needing her to ‘get it’ is still needing something from her, and why would you want to put yourself in that position? One other thing to keep in mind is that if you start bad-mouthing her and putting her down, it not only makes YOU look bad but it also gives her ammo to use against you. For instance, you might say, “You’re nothing but a lying skank who hates men!” That then gives her the opportunity to say something like, “I knew you weren’t a nice guy. Do you see now why I didn’t want to kiss you?”

In an instant you can find yourself on the defensive before you even know what happened. So don’t put yourself at risk. Take the highroad. Stay cool and centered. Besides, you might see her again in a social context in which you wouldn’t want her to be saying anything bad about you to others. Don’t give her any motivation to want to be whispering negative things in the ear of another woman you meet, say, at party that she’s attending.

If you’re having trouble with this concept of staying cool, Nate, think of it this way. If you were to run across a rattlesnake on a mountain path that was coiled and ready to strike, you wouldn’t get in its face and tell it that it shouldn’t be so hostile. No, you would calmly and cooly disengage from contact with it and get out of its way.

And if you need to vent about what a two-faced-no-good scumstress your ex-date is, then do it with your buddies. Rail and rant and rave to them all you want about how she did you wrong. Get all the resentment out of your system, release it and move on.

Remember, guys: you always want to show class.

© 2003 DocLove Dot Com

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



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