a Man

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

Controlling Jealousy
Creating A Void To Be Filled
Dating Two (or More) Women At The Same Time
Dealing With The Self-Centered Guy
The "Divide and Concur" Approach
"Faked Confidence" Revisited
The First Contact in an Email Relationship
Giving a Great Massage
Guided Visualization as a Key to Success
Holiday Pressure for Commitment
How Can Women Be Great In Bed?
How Do I Get Him To Marry Me?
How Slow is Too Slow?
How To Start When You Have No Map
How to Handle The Check, Et. Al.
It's All In The Approach
Just Can't Forget The Abusive Ex
Making Eye Contact
The Meaning of Jewelry Changes
Me, My Ex, My Friend's Ex and The Kids
Raising Boys Into Men
From "Sensitive" To "Masculine" in 4 Easy Steps
Some Women Get Mad When You Say "No"!
When To Introduce Her To Your Friends
Work Your Assets - Not Your Liabilities

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Work Your Assets - Not Your Liabilities

First of all, I really love what you're doing to help other guys. Thank you!

I need some advice on getting dates with Caucasian women because I'm an Asian guy - it's so challenging! I'm attractive but women don't seem to look at me as a possible "boyfriend". I'm not blaming on them at all - I just need some advice.

I'm 5' 7" tall, maybe that's a little bit short for a guy, and height may possibly be a factor here. I'm reluctant and hesitant to approach Caucasian women and just ask them out because I'm afraid I might get rejected. I've tried computer dating services without luck.

What are the possibilities of getting a date with a white girl? What do I need to do to really get their attention? It's very important for me to start dating white women because, although I look Asian, I'm a cultural American. I'm not even familiar with the Asian culture! Maybe I'm just not at all good with women. Any suggestions you may have would be greatly appreciated.


Thank YOU for your supportive comments! I'm just here, trying to build a better man.

Just like in every other part of life, there are people that like certain things and those that don't.

Being Asian isn't an issue. You just have to find the women that are attracted to Asian-looking men. In fact, many women don't give a rip that you're Asian or anything else about you. They are concerned about you -the person - not you, "the 5' 7" Asian guy." Frankly, this is a real benefit to men. Men are much more likely to scrutinize women visually than women are men.

In fact, many women may even find your look "exotic" and "mysterious". You should play on these factors. But don't focus on them exclusively. Focus on yourself as worthwhile and "a great catch", and let the women sort it out for themselves.

What's much more important is to learn what women want. If you've read many of my articles you know that I equate dating with selling, as the skills are very much alike. How successful would a salesman be if, he had a great product, but kept going to the wrong customers trying to convince them to buy? Obviously, he wouldn't be successful at all. I see men trying to do this all the time.

What I suggest is: 1) learn what your "customer" wants to buy; and 2) sell what your customer is buying!

In the dating world, this equates to understanding what women really want and then looking at your product (you), packaging it for sale and then reaching your customer to show them the benefits. In my book, "Being a Man in a Woman's World" I go into this in great depth and suggest that you pick up a copy.

Don't focus on the things you can't change - being Asian, 5' 7", etc. Focus on your BENEFITS to your CUSTOMER. That's all that matters anyway!

Good luck, much love...

Making Eye Contact


My question for you is: About a month and a half ago my fiancé and I broke up after 3 years. I am trying to get back into the singles dating scene but I have a problem. Most of the time when I try to make eye contact with a girl, even if I notice that they were checking me out they look away so that I can't make contact. It is hard to go talk to them without any eye flirting first, you know testing the ground, finding out if they are open to talking/being hit on. I have been told that I am good looking by girls I have dated and my female friends. I don't act conceded, and I am not full of my self. I am a little shy but once I start talking I am relaxed. Can the girls see the shyness, or (as some people have told me) intimidated by someone who is good looking, do they think I am taken, a player, or what?

I am confused; any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks


First, keep in mind that you don't HAVE to have eye contact to go meet someone. This is often more of a courtesy than a rule. I've gotten women's phone numbers that never even looked my way. However, that said, getting eye contact helps to insure you're advance is welcome. It's part of the mating game. If you're not bothered by rejection, don't worry about eye contact.

Another thing to consider with eye contact is that there are "local customs" as to how long one should make eye contact. Here in Southern California where I live, eye contact is very fleeting - just a fraction of a second. However, in the mid-west as in many other places in the world, eye contact is made for a much longer period of time.

These local customs are important in determining what eye contact is appropriate. Many men that come here (So. Cal.), from the mid-west have a difficult time reading this eye contact. As well, it took me a while to get used to the long periods that are considered normal in other areas. Thus, look to local customs as a guide. How do you know? You'll know by how other people (besides just cute girls) look at you. Someone that passes you on the street is a good example. Keep watching them until they look away. Do this with a number of people to get a feeling for the local customs.

Along with eye contact you also want to use other body language and clues as a guide. For example, when a woman looks at you then directly away, she's probably just scanning the landscape with you in it. On the other hand, when she looks at you, then down and away, that's a very good sign, regardless of the length of the contact. Another eye contact clue is when she looks at you out of the corner of her eye. For example, she's sitting, talking with a girlfriend, but looks at you (more than once) without shifting her head.

Another good sign is when she's sitting with her shoulders square to you - something like using her breasts to point at you. Likewise, if she's sitting in a way to show you her palms, or touching her hair, etc., these are good "buying signals".

The key is to combine as many signals together as you can. A single eye contact is not enough. Any woman interested in meeting you will usually throw at least a few signals. But again, you don't necessarily need any to make an approach, just don't say I didn't warn you!

My book, "Being a Man in a Woman's World" goes into a ton of this type of information - much more than I can in a single email, and there are many others. Become a student of body language, next to verbal communication, it's the most important part of the mating game.

Good luck, much love...

It's All In The Approach

Hey Dennis, 

I have been making lists of different scenarios and things I can do to start a conversation with a woman, and I have been studying how others start conversations with me. First they make some connection then say something, but there's always a connection like a look and a headshake, or an angry sigh because their girlfriend was on the phone, etc. I also started making eye contact with girls on the train, in restaurants, walking, etc. I notice that if I successfully lock a girl's eye where we are both sitting she will keep sneaking peaks at me every so often. I do this with a relaxed, open face and will try to slip a smile in there next.

Anyway, I made a list of different female scenarios. At least one of them happens to me daily. So my method is as follows: a connection line that then easily follows into, "What's your name?" Next, short conversation follows and then the "close" (asking for her number).

All of my opening lines rely on some situation or event. For example: the weather, strange or funny things happening on the train, the girl wearing a music-associated piece of clothing, etc. These happen often, but a lot of times there is nothing to tie us together. Openers like, "nice place" or commenting on the weather won't work. Do you have any good lines that don't rely on an excuse and hinges around just the fact that I want to meet her?

If I can't comment on an outside force, how can I first make the connection? Does, "hi", all by itself really work? And can that lead into "What's your name?" after she says "hi" back? Is that awkward? Isn't "hi" reserved for people who already know each other?


Great question! You're working the right things - eye contact and some pre-connection or "commonality" between you. There are many times however, where you just can't find something in common, or can't find a way to break the ice. Here's one I used just the other day.

I went to a local watering hole to listen to some jazz. I was alone, and the place wasn't exactly full of beautiful women, but there was this one that caught my eye. She was sitting over in an inaccessible corner of the bar talking with a girlfriend. She was talking intently with this girl, but made eye contact with me a few times.

So, I waited, and this girl eventually walked past me on her way to the bathroom. As she walked past, I touched her arm and said, "Excuse me, you remind me of someone I'm trying to fall in love with!" She didn't say a word and I continued, "Sorry about the stupid line, but I would have kicked myself if I hadn't met you." It worked like a charm and we're going out next weekend.

Later that night another woman tried to pick me up. She said, "You have beautiful eyes." I said to her, "You know, that is the lamest line I've heard in a long time. Why didn't you just say you wanted to get in pants or something?" We both laughed, and I'll be seeing her soon too.

The point of all of this is you don't really need a bunch to work with. It really IS ok to walk up to a woman and say, "Hello, I really wanted to meet you. What's your name?" If you can be a little creative, that's even better. But at least be aware of your surroundings and situation.

For example, the first two girls were not open to being approached while they were talking. Despite the eye contact, they had "closed postures," were sitting all the way over in the corner, etc. If I had walked up and interrupted their conversation not only would I have come off rude, but they probably wouldn't have appreciated it. The trick is to not get so wrapped up in all of the approach stuff, and just focus on the situation as a whole.

I have been doing "hunting" sessions recently when I travel. At these sessions, I spend a few hours with some local guys in the afternoon covering how to approach women, how to start conversations, what to look for, what signs to read, and what they mean, etc. These are intensive sessions aimed directly at different types of approaches and how to get numbers and more. Then, later that night the team goes out and uses the things they've learned to adjust their techniques and actually wind up getting numbers.

During these sessions, I sometimes get asked the "impossible pickup" question. That is, how do you pick up someone that you just can't figure out a way to approach her? My answer is simply this: "Sometimes you've just got to let them go. Focus on targets you CAN reach, not those you can't."

I hope this helps! 

"Faked Confidence" Revisited


My girlfriend says she loves me and I am "the only one". But when we go to a bar she has to flirt, hug, and make passes at every man in the bar. She goes way to far and men get the wrong idea. Most of these are men she does not know, and a few she does. She says it is all in fun but it has caused a lot of fights (nothing physical).

Any thoughts would be helpful. Thank you.


This woman is a classic "Attention Whore" (AW). In fact, this situation (flirting with other guys at a bar) is an exact situation I deal with in my book, "Being a Man in a Woman's World"!

You get upset - and rightfully so - because it is disrespectful of you. When she with you (probably with you paying the bill!), you deserve 100% of her attention. Of course, you're trying to be the "bigger man" by not getting jealous, but frankly, the problem isn't hers - it yours!

Here's what you need to do: first, go get your testicles back from her purse. Stand up for yourself and BE A MAN! You don't deserve to be treated like this, and this woman is an abuser. Worse yet, you're letting her treat you this way! My brother, she may not have any manners, but what's worse? Her actions, or you letting her actions happen?

Second, the very next time she does this, just walk right up to the guy, (with her there so she can hear everything) and say to him, "Hey - would you like to take her home? She's available because I'm leaving." Then, turn and walk right out the door without saying another word. She's going to follow you like a lost puppy!

Next, she's going to feign some sort of anger - don't worry it's part of this thing I call "The Test". DO NOT react to it or you will have lost! Simply say to her, "Look, when you're with me, I deserve and expect your complete attention. I won't settle for anything less from you - no options. If that doesn't work for you, just let me know and I'll find someone with better manners that is worth my attention."

Strong? You bet! That's the point. This is a classic "Test" you hear me talk about so often. Believe me, I talk to women all the time and they keep telling me the same things: they want a man that knows what he wants - in his life, and in his relationships - and is willing to make things that way. Do you want to be this guy? Just handle this Test once and for all.

I strongly suggest that you pick up a copy of my book (you can check my website), and commit it to memory. Sorry for the plug, but you NEED this information very badly, or you're just going to continue to get Tests and more abuse. The problem here isn't just HER actions; it's YOUR philosophy. No woman I ever date would dare treat me like that. And believe me, they treat me very, VERY well. By the way, I don't treat women poorly, and neither should you. But, you should never tolerate ANYONE treating YOU badly - especially your girlfriend!

If you want to have the best relationship you've ever imagined - one where she adores and respects you, can't want to see you, be with you, etc., just get these Tests handled. You deserve no less!

Good luck, much love...

From "Sensitive" To "Masculine" in 4 Easy Steps

Dr. Neder,

I've been an idiot for a long time. Raised by an single mother from three to ten I was told all sorts of backward ideas on how to be a man in a relationship. You know the ones: be sensitive, put her on a pedestal, and on and on. This; combined with being a bookworm and extremely shy made it hard to gain confidence.

Five years ago I met this girl, and somehow wound up in a relationship with her. Almost instantly I told her I loved her and we got into a sexual relationship (stupidly without protection) and I eventually became too needy and wimpy. Her interest in me began to die fast and she wanted to see other people, but didn't have anyone in mind other than me. A week later I gave her a choice: relationship or not, and she decided to break up with me.

A number of months when by with no contact from her, then, I get the "you might want to sit down" call. Our daughter was born three days earlier! She decided to keep her, and she has brought me great joy.

So, we were back together again. I went back to my normal wimpy routine after about a month or so. I eventually asked her to marry me and she accepted even though her interest in me was pretty low at the time. After that, things went quite a bit differently. I started to feel unsatisfied in the relationship, I felt like I was doing all the work in the relationship and sex was just to please her. Although thinking about it now when I started to feel that way and become more of a challenge she started to live more.

I made the biggest mistake of my life around this time, and I know why but no excuse. I cheated on her - it stopped at a kiss. I told her about it a week later. To this day I am very angry that I was not able to control myself. My fiancé kept me around after that anyway. Of course, a few months later she was going out to clubs every other night, needing her 'space' because the baby was a bit much for her. Along comes her friend's brother and all of a sudden she doesn't come home one night. Things went quickly down hill from there.

I finally ended the relationship on Christmas day because she was playing games with me and I was tired of it. She got into a serious relationship that seemed to start five minutes after I left the house (friend of the family we met that day).

Ever since then she has cheated on her boyfriend roughly nine or ten times, with me! We talked about getting back together until I found out she was sleeping with my best friend. I didn't get mad or anything just brushed it off and went on my merry way.

I just came across your pages of enlightenment and started to 'practice' on my ex. Becoming a challenge and other advice you've given has all came into play.

I don't really know if I want to be with this girl or not. I just feel confused. How do I end this and get past these games we keep playing? I want to be a good parent!



It is for the very reasons you've mentioned that I constantly complain about single mothers! Men need a male role model in their lives to have any chance in this world. With so many celebrities coming out about being single, gay, and adopting kids - I think it's tragic. What a terrible message to send! I'm surprised that more men don't sit down to pee!

My brother, if there is a mistake to be made - you made it! I don't think you missed ANY of them! You're an adult, and responsible for your own actions (and corrections!), but I put the blame first on your mother's teachings. She gave you a "politically correct" and feminized view of the world, and you used it to get into all kinds of trouble. Forget everything she's told you. In fact, if you do just the opposite, you'll probably be a player in no time!

Your ex is a user and abuser. Of course, you and she were "perfect" together because you played right into her abuse! No wonder she wanted to keep getting back together with you. Every time she needed an emotional lift, there you were to kick around again and again.

Here's some advice:


This "woman" is no lady. You have nowhere to go but up from her. Unfortunately, you can't completely avoid her because of your child. Just get it through you head that you're going to be paying child support for the next 18 years. There's no other choice. Thank God you didn't marry her!

2) By pushing her away, you piqued her interest

Seems like it should be just the opposite doesn't it? Well, my brother - that's just how women think. When you were all emotional and clingy, she didn't want anything to do with you. When you were emotionally distant, she couldn't get enough. This is an important lesson - don't forget it.

3) Get your education "corrected"

Your mother tried to give you some relationship help. Unfortunately, she gave you the advice she thought that women today wanted. She didn't exactly raise you like a girl. If she'd done that she would have taught you all about manipulation (that isn't necessarily a bad thing - it's one of the tools in a woman's "war chest") and other feminine methods. Instead, she taught you to buy into all the manipulation!

I strongly suggest that you pick up a copy of "Being a Man in a Woman's World". This may be your very first dose of real "male philosophy". You're going to need a much better understanding of relationships if you're going to survive. More important - why just survive, when you can thrive!

4) How to end this subconsciously

You will end it by not giving her any more power. Up until now, you've given her every piece of control, save some small doses. Interestingly, as soon as you took some back, she responded. This isn't just about your ex - every woman will react this way.

Women want men that are in control - not the soft, gushy, emotional guys you keep hearing about on Oprah or from your mother. How do I know this? Because, they tell me this all the time! I've done hundreds of interviews all over the world on radio and in print, and I keep telling the guests, callers and hosts this story. Guess what? They keep telling me I'm right!

I did an interview on a large syndicated show a few nights ago. The host kept asking for women that disagreed to call in. NOT ONE DID! In fact, every single caller - male and female - called to agree with these points!

As well, I've gotten thousands of letters from readers - 1/2 of which are from women. They keep saying the same things too. Women want men that are in control, have a direction, and are willing to make their lives - and their relationships conform to that direction.

Thus, you will GAIN power by TAKING power. As well, you will END this abusive cycle by ENDING your old beliefs and starting new, healthier ones.

As well, by removing your focus from this one women and starting to focus on many other women, you instantly play-down her importance. She's going to have to work for your attention - just like she wants to. You see, here's a little secret that's critically important: women don't want to be chased - they want to DO the chasing. And, they want to chase someone that thinks of himself as valuable, worthwhile, and as a catch.

All you have to do is to be that guy.

Good luck, much love...

How To Start When You Have No Map

Dear Dr. Neder:

I just found your dating website and there was some interesting information there, but I do have some observations and maybe these might form the basis of a new section or two, since I know there are others in the same boat.

I'm a straight male in my early 30's. I have never had a girlfriend or even a date in my entire life! I could go on for hours why -- a mixture of lifestyle, schooling and the fact I am not a male model has all contributed to this.

The problem is I have been told to my face that I am abnormal because I haven't been laid or had a girlfriend by now (and actually, to be honest, last year I took the plunge and went to an escort to get rid of one stigma, but needless to say it's not something I'm proud of).

The questions I have for you are:

I don't believe in lying. How do I handle the fact that unless I try and date a 16 year old I'm going to have to deal with a woman with some history? Granted, any woman who would be hung up on this isn't worth my time, but how does one handle "lack of experience" when the moment of truth arrives? This includes kissing, hugging, cuddling, etc., not just sex. I've never done any of this.

Second question: how can one tell if a woman is involved? Some of the hints seem to imply trying to steal a woman away from a boyfriend, or that they'll lie and say they have one. But are there any sure fire signs? For one thing, in many years of trying to get dates, I have always been there in second place -- some other jerk gets there before me!

I know these are odd questions, but this has gotten to be such a problem with me it has affected my work and my life such as it is. Any suggestions or advice would be very welcome.


Interestingly, you're really not that unique! I actually get a lot of readers that are in exactly the same boat as you. So, don't feel as though you're alone.

The human "mating ritual" is really very complex. It doesn't come naturally to anyone; although many would have you believe otherwise. Most guys (like me) have learned what we know through trial and error. I went a step further and actually spend 14 years researching what I found, heard, read, etc. That was the basis of my book, "Being a Man in a Woman's World".

Don't be "un-proud" of having hired a professional. That's an excellent step. Just like having written this email, put it in the "education file". You went directly to a professional for some experience. I commend you on that effort! Too few men will do this. (Oh - I can hear the conservative keyboards clicking away right now!)

Ok, so on to your questions.

When a doctor walks into the hospital for his first day of residency, do you think people look down at him? Sure, they don't expect as much from him as a 10-year doctor, but nobody thinks badly of him. What about an attorney's first day at the firm? They usually shove 20 files in his hands and tell him to "get to work".

Believe me, women will be more sympathetic to you than you think. You don't need to lie to them at all. However, you don't need to spill your guts either. Few women are going to ask you, "Well how many women have you been with?" Even if one does, you can just say, "Oh, hundreds!" and roll your eyes. Frankly, it's none of their damn business! Actually women lie about this all the time - usually UNDER quoting the number!

Regarding the "moment of truth"; you really CAN get yourself educated to the point of being smooth and confident. There are many resources on the Internet. I suggest that you take a look at my website: as there is a ton of material right there. Just click on "Self Help" and you'll have a real resource for much of this.

Regarding a woman "being involved"; the only real sign is a ring on her finger. Even that isn't a good sign! Many women wear rings to say, "I'm with someone", but that doesn't even mean that they're exclusive! Believe me, many women that find a good enough reason to jump would do just that.

Do you think that a woman - even one in a "committed" relationship would turn down coffee with Brad Pitt or Tom Cruise? No, not many of them. Men aren't the only "dogs"!

I tell men all the time, don't worry about a woman's boyfriend: it's easier to steal a woman than to keep one! Even if some woman already has a boyfriend, she's often looking to "trade up". This doesn't mean in experience either - it means any guy that better meets her "ideal guy". That definition changes by the woman. So, don't let a woman that claims she has a boyfriend be a deterrent! It's not for you to decide.

At this point, here are some suggestions that will really help you get into the game. You've waited long enough - let's get moving!

  • Get educated. Asking these questions is an excellent start - as is being with a professional. However, you need some "male philosophy". Your father was supposed to give this to you, but frankly, few do. As part of my research, I asked over 2000 people this question: "Did your parent of the same sex, give you any relationship advice?" Of the women I asked, all but 2 said, "Yes!" Of the men, 100% to a man said "No!" That's unbelievable! So, if your father didn't give you any advice, where are you going to get it? I suggest that you pick up a copy of my book and commit it to memory. Not only will it give you a ton of this "male philosophy", but it will also give you all the tools you need to be successful in the dating game - everything from how to meet women, how to get phone numbers, when to call them, how to "close the deal", even how to handle your success! Even more important, it has a number of exercises that will help you learn exactly what you're looking for in your mate. That way, you'll know when you see her! Too many men spend their time chasing the "wrong" women and fail because of it. Having some real guidance and knowledge will make a world of difference in your confidence and attitude.
  • Don't be afraid of failing. Up until now, you've not had much (any?) success. That only means that your approach isn't the right one. Even when you have the right approach, you're not going to succeed every single time. However, as you practice, you're "average" is going to start growing. At this point, even a single success will be a 100% improvement. So, don't fear failure. The only real failure is not trying.
  • Get started! You've got to do something today to change the way things will be tomorrow. If you don't do something this week, next week will be identical. Change is difficult, but how easy is the alternative? Get moving - there's some lady out there waiting to meet you too.

Good luck, much love...

How to Handle The Check, Et. Al.

Hi there, Dr. Neder!

I have two questions:

1) You've met a woman, and you feel there is this "connection thing". You feel as if something good might come out of it. You have had coffee and a couple of phone calls. At the moment, though, you are too busy and cannot fit her in. So you want to have her on stand by mode for a length of time; say, 3 weeks. Is there a way to do it? I feel that now would be the right time to act upon her, and by delaying it, the thing will cool off. Any ideas?

2) I met a girl. We had good chemistry and went out for coffee on our first date. On the second date we went to a bar and had a great time. Afterward, we had some good kissing in the car. I called two days later, to set up another date. She says that she did not like the way I handled the bill in the bar! I asked her to pay for what she had. But the kissing in the car was AFTER the check.

So she tells me that she does not want to continue doing anything else with me, for that reason. And she does not want to talk about it any further.

Thinking about it, I discover I might have not handled the payment thing very elegantly. How should I have handled it?

Thank you! Your help will be greatly appreciated!


1) Here's the best way; if your "being busy" isn't going to be too long, pre-schedule your next date! Explain that you're going to be busy for the next few weeks, but would like to get together with her right after that. Ask which day is good, (give her a choice of two), and ask her to write it in her calendar.

Don't ask her to meet you somewhere however - she may "forget". Instead, pick her up. Also, don't call to confirm - it just gives her a chance to back out. Hopefully you have her email address and can just send her a note about "looking forward to seeing you on..." a few days before.

2) The bill issue is always a problem. Unfortunately, in this day of "fair and equal" dating is anything but. You are still expected to pick up the tab regardless of what you've been told, or heard said.

However, there's nothing wrong with expecting her to reciprocate in some way. If you take a woman out to dinner a couple of times, she can at least make you dinner. Unfortunately, you're still going to have to pick up the check. When a woman offers to pay, I say, "No, you get it next time."

If a woman doesn't want to reciprocate in some way - even via a small token, she's proven exactly where (and what) she is. NEXT!!!

Best regards...

Me, My Ex, My Friend's Ex and The Kids


I am a 30-year-old woman with an 11-year-old daughter. I have recently filed for divorce, but it is not final yet. I have been married for 12 years, so obviously I was very young when I married.

I have been seeing this guy for the past 5 weekends in a row now. He is actually my friend's ex-husband who I have known for about 10 years now. We have always been attracted to each other, but never did anything about it since we were married. I tried everything to save my marriage but my husband blew it big time by lying, abusing alcohol, getting a DWI and not going to probation, getting a warrant, etc. Actually we have had trouble for the last couple of years and he refused to go to a counselor with me.

The new guy has all of the qualities I always wished my husband had. He has two daughters, one of which is my friend's daughter and my godchild and a good friend of my daughters. Even though she is not his, he treats her as if she is. He spends time with her every other weekend. He is such a sweet and caring single dad. I could never get my husband to do family activities like this or participate much in our daughter's life.

I am getting mixed advice from my friends and family about this situation and I'm hoping you can give me your expert advice. My best friend says that it usually doesn't work out with the rebound guy and that I should be dating other people and learning to be alone. My mom and step dad say that I definitely should not start a serious relationship right now. My dad and brother say that I should be true to my heart and everything will work out fine and if it doesn't, then it will be a learning experience.

I am happier right now than I have been in a very long time and I feel like I should follow my heart. I am having so much fun and he is so affectionate and sweet with me. He says he feels like a high school kid again and I feel the same way.

So my question is "Can it work out with the rebound guy?" and if it can, when should we tell our kids (my daughter knows nothing about him) and my friend, etc? Do you think this is a bad idea, because I don't see how something that feels so good can be so bad?


Oh, you want "EXPERT advice", eh? Well, let's see what we can do!

It appears that your friend doesn't know you're dating her ex-husband, but if she's really your "friend", she should. Otherwise, your friendship is in for a real crash because eventually you're going to have to spill it. What would happen if 4 or 5 months down the road you 'fess up' rather than now? She's not going to be too happy about things! She may not be how either, but at least it'll be easier than if you wait.

Thus, the very first thing I'd do is to have a heart-to-heart with your friend. Explain that you and her ex are interested in dating (I don't think you should feel the need to discuss what has already happened however), and that; while you know you have every right to do so, you're interested in your friendship too. You hope that she will be comfortable with the idea.

Secondly, to hell with your family's opinions! This isn't exactly a "rebound" relationship just because it's the first one after your divorce. Either way you should do what YOU want to do. Your family and friends don't have to live your life for you - you have to do that.

Finally, regarding your daughter (and his kids), I wouldn't bring them into it until you have something more solid. Give yourself at least a few more months to be sure this is what you both want and then, bring the kids into it. After all, they have a stake in all this too - it's their parents, and their lives that are going to be affected by the decision. Further, this is a good opportunity for them to learn how "adults" deal with complex relationships - they plan, they consult, and they get along, all with love and respect for each other.

One last piece of advice: once you and your boyfriend establish something more firm, (pardon the expression!), I'd suggest that he talk to your ex-husband. Here's why: your daughter is also your ex's! He may have very specific ideas on how he wants his daughter raised, and might impart some of this to you and your boyfriend. This is just courtesy as your ex is never going to be out of your, or more important, your daughter's, life.

Best regards...

When To Introduce Her To Your Friends


I've been dating a guy exclusively for about two months. We like each other very much, and have a great time when we're together. The first few weeks that we were together, I felt that he was perfect, because he has all the qualities I look for in a man.

Recently, however, there have been a few things that have begun to bother me. When just the two of us go out, he tends to talk a lot about himself (i.e.; work, things that have happened to him). He does ask me a few things, like how my day went, and I tell him, but inevitably the discussion gets back to him. He does seem interested when I bring up things about myself, but rarely inquires.

I'm afraid that it might mean that he's not interested in learning more about me, or else he's self-centered, or else that's just his personality, and he genuinely doesn't realize that it's offensive. This may be the guy I want to spend the rest of my life with.

I also feel that the relationship kind of revolves around him, and is about yielding to his needs/wants. I mean, it's not that I want it to revolve around me, but I feel like it's more about making sure he's happy. For example, a friend gave him a swimsuit calendar for his birthday, and I told him that it bothered me, since we were dating why did he need to look at half-naked women. He insisted on keeping it, telling me that it was the principle of it, that if he got rid of it because of me it would "infringe on his sovereignty."

I guess what he means is that he doesn't want me to be the annoying girlfriend who dictates what her boyfriend can and can't do, but the thing is, I'm really not like that at all, and don't care what he does or who he hangs out with, I'm just happy being with him.

I wonder if it's normal guy stuff, and I should just put up with it, or is he just being too demanding.

What do you think?


To begin with, let's talk about the calendar. Having a calendar around that has half-naked, or even naked women is absolutely not threat to you and you need to get over that entirely. In fact, even if he looks at porn, you need to realize that as long as it doesn't affect his relationship with you it's absolutely, 100% ok. You see, he's there with you, not with the women in the calendar.

Now, on to his self-centeredness. Man! Do I see this a lot! Women go after these guys that are self-confident, directed and focused, and then they complain when they get them! My dear, he didn't just become this guy - he was just like this when you met him. In fact, I'll bet that was what attracted you to him in the first place!

On the other hand, that doesn't mean that you have to live with things like this. You need to have a discussion with him about it. Simply explain to him that you love talking to him and being involved with his life, but you want the same in return. Tell him that you don't feel that he gives you equal audience and that while you don't want to dominate the relationship, you want to feel like an equal partner. If he cares about the relationship, and about you, he will be very interested in making things right.

Best regards...

Dealing With The Self-Centered Guy


I've been dating a guy exclusively for about two months. We like each other very much, and have a great time when we're together. The first few weeks that we were together, I felt that he was perfect, because he has all the qualities I look for in a man.

Recently, however, there have been a few things that have begun to bother me. When just the two of us go out, he tends to talk a lot about himself (i.e.; work, things that have happened to him). He does ask me a few things, like how my day went, and I tell him, but inevitably the discussion gets back to him. He does seem interested when I bring up things about myself, but rarely inquires.

I'm afraid that it might mean that he's not interested in learning more about me, or else he's self-centered, or else that's just his personality, and he genuinely doesn't realize that it's offensive. This may be the guy I want to spend the rest of my life with.

I also feel that the relationship kind of revolves around him, and is about yielding to his needs/wants. I mean, it's not that I want it to revolve around me, but I feel like it's more about making sure he's happy. For example, a friend gave him a swimsuit calendar for his birthday, and I told him that it bothered me, since we were dating why did he need to look at half-naked women. He insisted on keeping it, telling me that it was the principle of it, that if he got rid of it because of me it would "infringe on his sovereignty."

I guess what he means is that he doesn't want me to be the annoying girlfriend who dictates what her boyfriend can and can't do, but the thing is, I'm really not like that at all, and don't care what he does or who he hangs out with, I'm just happy being with him.

I wonder if it's normal guy stuff, and I should just put up with it, or is he just being too demanding.

What do you think?


To begin with, let's talk about the calendar. Having a calendar around that has half-naked, or even naked women is absolutely not threat to you and you need to get over that entirely. In fact, even if he looks at porn, you need to realize that as long as it doesn't affect his relationship with you it's absolutely, 100% ok. You see, he's there with you, not with the women in the calendar.

Now, on to his self-centeredness. Man! Do I see this a lot! Women go after these guys that are self-confident, directed and focused, and then they complain when they get them! My dear, he didn't just become this guy - he was just like this when you met him. In fact, I'll bet that was what attracted you to him in the first place!

On the other hand, that doesn't mean that you have to live with things like this. You need to have a discussion with him about it. Simply explain to him that you love talking to him and being involved with his life, but you want the same in return. Tell him that you don't feel that he gives you equal audience and that while you don't want to dominate the relationship, you want to feel like an equal partner. If he cares about the relationship, and about you, he will be very interested in making things right.

Best regards...

How Can Women Be Great In Bed?


You explained quite well some ideas on how a man can sexually turn on a woman. Now tell me...what does a woman need to do for a man to say, "Wow, She is great in bed"?

Hey Sister!

That's a great question! Interestingly, I'm just finishing the chapter in the new book ("Being a Man in a Woman's World II"), entitled "Sex!" which discusses sexual proficiency in men. So, since it's on my mind, (when isn't it?), let me offer this:

Most women believe that they are pretty good in bed. In fact, while I've had many sexual partners, very few of them have been really great. Further, I've talked to a large number of guys with exactly the same experience. So, why the distance between what the women think, and the men know?

There are a number of reasons why:

  • Men don't usually have as much difficulty extracting pleasure out of sex as women do, and thus aren't as demanding.
  • Women don't expect, (and often aren't expected), to do very much in bed, thus they don't!
  • While women are focused on the quality of their relationships, they aren't as focused on the quality or their sexual skills.
  • Men don't often tell women what they want from them.
  • Women mistakenly think that all men want is the orgasm, when in fact; men have many varied interests in sex
  • Men are taught very early on to focus on the woman rather than themselves.

So, if you were to distill things down to their most fundamental elements, I believe these are the things that make women great in bed:

  • Enthusiasm - looking forward to sex; both giving AND receiving.
  • Responsibility - taking responsibility for their own pleasure and getting involved with it - not putting all the pressure on their men.
  • Openness - The willingness to talk about what she wants, and to ask what he likes. Then, to really understand what he means and question what she doesn't.
  • Willingness to experiment with new things.
  • Availability - Being available for sex whenever, and wherever.
  • Involvement - Willingness to do some of the work! Don't make us do it all - get involved happily and voluntarily.

Some final points are in order:

  • Obviously, different men want different things, but in general, most men enjoy oral sex. Learning to give good oral sex is a duty, not a luxury!
  • Be willing to tell us what you like, and what you don't. We're not mind readers, but we DO want to know what curls your toes.
  • If we don't know, show us! Let's work together to discover what works for you. We'll do the same thing in return.
  • If you're absolutely against something we want to do, we'll understand, but just not being sure isn't the same as being dead set against, so be open to new ideas.
  • Tell us your fantasies. We want to know what makes you tingle deep down in your depths.
  • Tell us your limits. We love, and respect you. We don't want to do anything to hurt you!
  • But, trust us too. We're probably more experienced sexually than you are! Take advantage of it!
  • Don't be shy - we're all adults here. We want to see, touch, taste and feel your body - every part of it.

I hope that helps shed some light on this!

Best regards...

Guided Visualization as a Key to Success

Dear Dr.:

I am writing to you because I'm in desperate need of some advice. I always feel very tense and shy when it comes to interacting with the opposite sex. My mind goes blank, I get nervous, and feel very self-conscious. To make a long story short, I'm not as successful with women as I feel I could be.

There are three main problems that I need help with:

1) I always feel extremely tense when in the presence of attractive women. Whenever I want to approach a woman, I chicken-out due to nerves. How can I overcome this?

2) What should I say? Should I start a friendly conversation, or tell her straight away that I'm attracted to her?

3) When is it okay to "move in for the kill", e.g. attempt to kiss her, caress her hair, or ask her to "come back to my place"?

I have read several of your letters, and have complete faith that you'll be able to help with my problem.


Believe me, you are NOT alone in all of this! Almost every man (98%) feels exactly the way you do. After all, nobody wants to get shot down when they approach a woman, or worse yet, get some kind of "as if!" response. So, don't feel like you're alone in all of this.

Now, here's the upside: women don't want to be alone the rest of their lives any more than you do! Thus, they're just as interested (or even more so) in meeting someone as you are.

So, let's look at how to go about handling these problems. First, I strongly recommend that you pick up a copy of my book, "Being a Man in a Woman's World" as it goes into all of this in much greater depth than I can in a single email. So, to wit:

As you're already aware, being nervous when you approach a woman is absolutely contrary to your goals. You want to come of with smooth, calm confidence. Being a nervous, stammering idiot is not going to get you a phone number.

Almost every guy makes this mistake when he is first starting out: he finds a particular girl and focuses all of his energies on her, hoping to do everything just right. Of course, he doesn't have any practice and therefore just makes mistakes. She, sensing his lack of experience, usually turns him down. My father had a great saying: "Only PERFECT practice makes perfect." What he meant by this is that you have to have a bunch of little successes before you can play at a master's level - you build on your successes.

To do this you need to practice. But, don't practice by going out and getting shot down. If you do this, you're just practicing to fail! Do it by practicing in your mind first! This is called "guided visualization". Here's how: every day, find some quiet time in a comfortable room without any distractions. Turn off the TV, the phone, etc., and sit down in a comfortable chair - but don't lie down - it's too relaxing and you'll fall asleep. Sit in a way where you don't have to use any muscles to stay upright. Also, don't cross your arms or legs.

Now, take a few slow, deep breaths. After 4-5 of them, close your eyes. You first need to relax your body so that your mind can focus on the task at hand. You do this by going through ever part of your body and imagining it as totally and completely relaxed.

Start with your feet and move up your ankles to your calves, your thighs, your hips, your stomach, your lower back, your upper back, your chest, your shoulders, down your arms to your forearms to your wrists your hands and your fingers. Next, move back up to your hands, your forearms, your upper arms, your shoulders, up into your neck, to the back of your head, over the sides of your head, your ears, your face, your eyes and your mouth.

This relaxation process will take a few minutes - don't cheat! It's a critical step in all of this - after all, you want to be relaxed when you approach women right? This is the time to start programming your mind to do this.

Once you've got your body completely relaxed, imagine yourself, walking through somewhere you've been. Don't imagine yourself from the outside as though you're watching yourself in a movie - actually look out of your own eyes. Try to imagine as much detail as you can, including the sights, sounds, even the smells.

Imagine that you're totally relaxed and confident. You might want to use an example image for this like James Bond or John Wayne. Next, imagine walking up to a beautiful women and saying hello. Just have a short, non-specific conversation with her in your mind. You might talk about anything - the place you're at, the band if there is one, etc. Imagine her reacting very positively to you; laughing at your jokes, leaning toward you, looking you right in the eye, etc. The more vivid you can make this imagination the better. And, with practice, it will get more and more real.

Then, after a few minutes of this, just say, "It's been nice talking to you. Let me have your home phone number and I'll contact to get together for a drink some time." Then, imagine her enthusiastically reaching into her purse, pulling out a business card, writing her home number on it and giving it to you.

If you practice this every day, at least 15-20 minutes you'll find that your mind begins to accept the message. This is because of a fact that was discovered about 100 years ago: the mind can't differentiate between what is real, and what is imagined with complete belief! It won't make you 100% at ease when approaching women - that only comes with practice. But, it WILL help reduce your anxiety substantially (perhaps as much as 50-75%). That is very significant and will really help you get into the game.

Regarding when to make the first move, check out this article on that very subject:

Good luck, much love...

The First Contact in an Email Relationship

Dear Dennis,

I'd like to begin by saying how much I have enjoyed reading your comments and responses to the letters. I will buy your book and use it to help my transition back into the dating world after a 14-year break.

My question/situation is this:

I have been apart from my ex-wife for one year now. I have been dating for the last 6 months and enjoying the experience of putting myself back out in this world. Two weeks ago, I met a wonderful woman via email. Our mothers know each other and we both know many of the same people in our hometown. She is recently divorced and for about the same time as me. We have made a very obvious and strong connection through daily email and phone contact. We have decided to meet in about 10 days when I will be flying out for the weekend.

I am really looking forward to meeting her and seeing if our connection works as well in person as it does via email. I believe she could be someone that I would want to spend a lot of time with. She meets my goals for the type of woman I want to be with and believe that we wouldn't be a good fit.

So, how much do I give away at the first meeting?

Should I play this thing cool, or can I be honest with regards to my feelings and let her know what is happening with me? Should I give her a nice kiss (soft, gentle, no tongue) when I meet her at the airport? I believe the feelings are mutual, but I don't want to rush anything and ruin what could be a very good thing.

Best Regards,


Obviously, I strongly urge you to read, "Being a Man in a Woman's World".

Not having been in the dating scene for a while, I'll bet you'll find it's a real eye-opener. You're going to get a ton of things that will help you with this new relationship including learning communication skills, (something I'm sure is lacking due to being fresh out of a marriage), building a "relationship plan", dealing with relationship problems and much, much more.

I'm very pleased for you to be moving ahead, but let me offer this: be careful with what you give away up front. Despite the issues of the connection you feel, keep in mind, she's still a woman and has all the hopes and expectations of any woman of any man. She wants you to be a strong, directed male figure even if you've been rather emotional and forthcoming over the phone and via email.

I also strongly urge you to use the "opening kiss" at the airport. There are many reasons why this will work to your advantage. Here's an article that discusses this in much greater depth:

Also, don't see this as "rushing". There is no "rushing" involved here. What you're really doing is staking your territory as the dominant male!

One last thing is appropriate here; if you've been reading my articles you know how I feel about long distance relationships. I hope you have a plan to bring her into town (or to move) if things work out because LDR's are rarely successful!

Enjoy the book!

Best regards...

Just Can't Forget The Abusive Ex


I'm a 19 year old girl that's having one hell of a time with guys. I was with my ex for three years. He was controlling and possesive. Everyone else saw it, but I was a moron and stuck with him. Then after we went on vacation he got weird and said he needed space. He wouldn't return my calls or anything. Then one night a few friends came over, one was this guy that I used to be interested in before my ex. I felt that both of us wanted something to happen that night. So after a few drinks I wasnt my usual shy self (I'm shy due to my ex constant undermining of my self-comfidence) and started cuddling with him. We started to kiss and make-out on the couch. During the past month, I have gone and visited him at school and he has came and stayed at my house. And about a week ago we started dating.

My problem is, everytime I'm with this new guy I feel I have to lie to my ex about where I'm going. I dont want to tell my ex I've been seeing someone else. I really like the new guy and I'm interested in seeing where it will go. But then I think to myself why am I not telling my ex these things. I do know that if my ex ever found out he would go after my new boyfriend.

Any suggestions?

It sounds like your ex may have "issues" that need to be addressed by someone in a professional vein - specifically in anger management and with insecurity issues. Let me say that, if this is the case, you don't have the skills necessary to help him and shouldn't try.

Since we're on the subject, let's talk about mental health. First, everyone is at least a little crazy sometimes. Some people are down-right lunatics! However, when these bouts of the "crazies" start affecting a person's (or someone else's) life, it's time to get "a check-up from the neck-up"! Problems like these are probably beyond your expertise, and I strongly recommend that you help your ex seek some counceling.

How about your mental health? You've been through some challenges with him, but remember - once you turn 18, you can no longer blame anyone else for your mental health issues. You have the ultimate responsibility for your own health.

It seems that deep-down; you're trying to re-establish a relationship with your ex - perhaps you feel that you have unfinished business, or are still in love with him. Either way, you have no need to protect him, unless you wanted to try to get back together with him. Now, I have to ask, is this really healthy? As you've mentioned, you feel your shyness is a direct result of his abuse. If you're going to take responsibility for your own mental health, you don't want to put yourself back in an abusive situation.

In fact, it seems to me that the best thing you can do is to drop your association with this guy entirely. Just like cutting off a dog's tail you don't do it piece by piece - you do it all at once. Further, if I were your new boyfriend, I'd put my foot down and demand that you stop associating with him. Why should he (a presumably nice guy) have to deal with this competition? Answer: he shouldn't!

I hope all this helps. Just remember - you are not responsible for anyone's behavior (or misbehavior), but your own. You have a new, growing relationship that deserves your attention, and your abusive ex has set you free to explore it. Why not take advantage of this last gift of his?

The Meaning of Jewelry Changes

I have come a cross a question to which I can find no answer and was wondering if you can help me.

My wife recently returned from an overseas conference wearing an ankle bracelet on each leg. She is older and doesn't usually wear much jewelry at all.

The conference was with about a number of other women and a few men and held in French Polynesia. The day after she arrived home the left bracelet was gone but the right one has remained and she never takes it off.

She claims there is nothing to it, but I wonder. Is there any sexual connotation to wearing an ankle bracelet?

Thanks for your help!


Many people use "body modification" as an outward expression of the inward self. Many others do it for "fashion".

Examples of this is tattooing and piercing. In many cultures tattooing indicates a right of passage. In Samoa for example, young men are expected go get tattoos as a sign of their entry into adulthood. Tattoos are given by specialists using very crude tools, resulting in great pain for the wearer. For many in that culture tattooing continues throughout life often resulting in a "body suit". These are highly prized and given great respect by those in the culture. Others use piercing as a sign of cultural significance and personal growth. Examples of this include piercings worn in the lips, noses, nipples and genitals.

In both these cases there is a level of ritual combined with the modification. Often this ritual is spiritual in nature and surrounded by great ceremony.

Other "sub-cultures" use piercing and tattooing as a symbol of their involvement in that sub-culture. One example of this is the SM community where piercings and jewelry are used as a symbol of bondage, submission, dominance and power.

Today, many people are also doing these things for fashion rather than ritual. I personally believe that errantly altering the body is a deeply personal thing and to do it simply for fashion greatly lessen the cultural significance imbued in the act. For this same reason, many cultures are insulted by the west's fashion-attitude regarding these practices.

What does all this have to do with your wife's jewelry?

Many people use jewelry as the same outward exploration of these cultures, and the beliefs they hold. In fact, many pieces of clothing mimic these same aspects without committing the wearer to them. Examples of this include leather clothing and boots, high-heels - especially those with straps that circle the ankles, corsetry, certain forms of underwear, collars, bracelets, toe rings, etc.

It's very possible that your wife's interest in the ankle jewelry is like this. Perhaps she's enjoying the feeling of being "bound" by the chain around her ankle, or just that she thinks it makes her legs look good.

In any case, it doesn't mean that she has been unfaithful to you, just that she's exploring something in herself. I'll bet that if you ask her about it, she'd be happy to explain it if she senses you're really interested, and not ready to judge.

Best regards...

Raising Boys Into Men

Dr. Neder;

I have a 13-year-old son that is starting into this long ordeal of learning about women. I'm not saying that there is a problem, but he needs direction. I think it would be a good idea is if there is some kind of literature that could help explain some of the concepts. I do not think he is at all equipped for any adult rationalization of the subject like that found on your website.

What kind of helpful advice can you give to boys on this subject when they are just starting into this stage with dating, pimples, and hormones?


I was actually asked to write a book on this very subject directed toward single mothers: "How to Raise Sons That Become Men". Unfortunately, I've been so busy with the first and second books, that I haven't been able to give this most-important topic the attention it is due.

All that said, you certainly have the right idea. Now is the time to begin crafting your son's ideas about women. Too many men get this information from their mothers - not their fathers! What we get as a result are a bunch of "men" that sit down to pee!

These are the basic things that boys need to understand:

1) It's not a man's world like everyone thinks it is. Women control the world today - not men. This is important because women ALSO control relationships. Further, men are often blamed for many problems that we all face, and are made the scapegoats for all of the world's ills. Obviously, this just isn't the case. Your son doesn't need to feel like he has to be handicapped in order to be part of this world, despite what his peers may think.

2) Women speak differently than men. Men use a very direct language form: "I'm hungry", "I'm tired", "I'm horney", etc. Women use an INFERRED language form. Thus, "I'm tired" could mean anything from the fact that she's ready for bed, to the fact that the relationship is over! Young men should to learn how to understand women's language, and how to ask for clarity when they need it. A great lesson is to never assume they understand what a woman is saying until the prove it!

3) Women's motivations in relationships are often quite different from men's. For example, young women spend much of their time thinking about, dreaming about, and even planning their weddings! Much emphasis is placed on this event and almost none on who she's going to marry! This begets the "guy that walked in front of the target" syndrome, where just about any guy will do, as long as he's "marriage material". In fact, the pressure on young women to be married is so great, they will sometimes trick men into it! Consider false pregnancies, or the missed birth control pill as examples. Your son should always consider birth/disease prevention his own responsibility.

4) Women often define themselves by their relationships! All women want an "Alpha Male", and when they don't get him, (there aren't that many Alphas around!), they will try to "build him" using the tools their relationship training gives them including nagging, cajoling, crying, etc., etc. These same women may appear to have great relationships outside of the home, but in fact, have terrible ones - and self-esteems to match! The guys that are involved with these women are equally unhappy, and let's face it - life is just too damn short!

5) Sex is a great motivator for men, but there is a cost involved. Your son should understand the responsibilities involved in having sex. His choice to engage in sex with any particular partner should always be based on one simple question: "Am I willing to pay the price (often unknown) for sex with this person?"

6) If possible, help him to sit down and write out the goals for his life. I'll bet this will be difficult if he is like most 13 year olds! However, if he even just begins them, he's going to be way ahead of his classmates. The areas for one's goals should include: business, (school, career, etc.), family & friends, physical, (health), spiritual, and relationship. By the way, being married with a family is only one form of relationship goal! There are hundreds of others!

I'm sure that if your son is like most 13 year olds, he's not going to be very open to your directly trying to teach him these lessons. Why not enlist the help of a trusted friend or family member that he respects? If this person also has sons of about the same age, you can provide them some guidance in return.

My brother, I hope this gives you a platform to being your son's education. I'm very proud of you to take on this challenge, and let's face it: if you succeed - even a little - he's going to become every bit of the man you hope he can be.

Best regards...

Some Women Get Mad When You Say "No"!

Hi Doc!

Why is it that when women turn men down for sex, they expect us to be understanding and caring, and when men turn women down, they flip out??

Here's the situation: I broke up with a girl I had been with, but have been able to remain minor friends. I know you don't think that's a good idea, but I wanted to keep the communication lines open.

Anyway, since we broke up, she started seeing another guy, although she says it's only casual sex. She called me last night, saying she was feeling lonely (and horny) and wanted me to come over to sleep with her.

I told her that I didn't think it would be a good idea, since I know that would probably mean we're back in a relationship and I'm not ready for that right now. She said it would only be just sex and nothing else. I told her I didn't believe that and we shouldn't do it. She got mad, said I was a fool, and hung up on me.

Was I wrong? Should I have gone over? Is it me, or are ALL women crazy??

Thank you in advance for your help.

Hello my brother!

No, it's not you - all women are crazy! Some are just less than others!

There are actually a few reasons why all this happened.

First, your girlfriend knows that you are looking for sex - that's a no-brainer! All men want sex! Thus, she felt "safe" asking you; although she probably when through all sorts of mental gymnastics before finally deciding to call you! (It's a woman thing). Also, since you were sexual together before the breakup, she felt that you could be sexual after the breakup too. When you turned her down, she probably felt you were rejecting HER not the sex! In a manner of speaking, you were by the way. Some women's egos just can't stand this type of blow, (pardon the expression).

Second, women are not good at asking men for dates, sex, etc. Many of them feel that they'll come off as sluts! When you turned her down, she probably felt like cheap and over-sexed. You and I know that isn't true, but that doesn't change things for women as they feel great pressure to come across as "good girls".

Third, she was probably sexually frustrated - just like you are when a girl turns you down!

Of course, all of this doesn't excuse her rudeness. You have the right to accept sex or turn it down - just like she does. Switch roles for a moment - how would you have reacted if she turned you down? Probably quite differently.

Did you do the right thing?

I think you did. Now understand, I have no problem with the after-dating sex thing! However, in your case, where this girl has admitted that she's having casual sex with some other guy, things get far more complicated. This is especially true since you were emotionally together before all of this.

You're right about the relationship issue, and this often gets in the way of casual sex. Consider this: if you were to have slept with her, she may very well have believed that the relationship was back "on". Then, when you explained to her that it was just sex, how angry would she have been then?

Best regards...

How Slow is Too Slow?


I've known this wonderful man for about 2-1/2 months now and we've been out 3 times with each other, and each time we've both thoroughly enjoyed each other's company.

It's been a mutual interest process, i.e., he asked me out, I asked him out, then he asked me out, etc. The last time I invited him to go to a Christmas dinner/dance at my job, however, he declined and said, "I don't think I want to go. I don't think it would be wise considering the pace in which things are moving."

We started off with both of us saying we wanted to move slow and develop a solid friendship first and I thought the pace was just fine, until he turned down my invitation to the dance. We haven't even kissed yet in 3 dates. In talking to a guy friend about it, he says that it probably means that my friend likes me a lot and feels the need to control his testosterones, and that's why he's not wanting to go dancing with me yet, because he's afraid he'll want me physically and it's too soon in the relationship.

I think my guy friend is right, and I'm okay with that. I really like this new man in my life and I'm willing to invest the time it takes to establish something solid. He still shows interest, so I really believe that we have great possibilities.

What do you think?


First, let me congratulate you on your attitude! He asked you out first, but then you turned around and invited him out. That's a "new millennium women" at work, and very few women can or will do this. I'm very proud of you on this point.

Regarding the Holiday party, I agree with this guy. It's too soon for you two to be meeting each other's friends. I'd reserve that until at least a few more months, and a few more milestones!

I'm concerned about one thing: why haven't you two kissed, especially after 3 dates? This guy is no student of mine (as a reader of "Being a Man in a Woman's World"), as he would have kissed you on the first date. I don't care how slowly you're taking things; this is far too slow in my opinion.

Besides, kissing isn't such a big deal! It's just exchanging some little pleasures between you to. So what? Maybe you're not ready to jump into the sack yet, but kissing, hugging, etc., is so benign. What's the hold up?

I fear that there's something else wrong with this relationship. Who instigated the "let's take it slowly" policy - you or him? It makes a difference, but more important, do you really want to take things slow, or are you just doing it because you read it in a magazine article somewhere, and it sounded like a good idea?

If you look into your own heart, wouldn't you rather be swept off your feet and have things rush by you, carrying you along, or would you rather try to strip all emotion and feeling out of it, and make it cold, logical and calculated?

When people set artificial guidelines for a relationship rather than letting their feelings dictate their actions, I believe this is a bad thing and sets a bad precedent for the future of the relationship. Relationships are all about feelings and emotions. You're trying to establish one based on logic, and frankly, what's the logic? That slow is better? Why is that true?

I'm not saying that fast is necessarily better either, but I DO believe that doing things when they feel right *IS* better. Having been on 3 dates and you haven't even kissed yet is a big red flag to me, and if I were the guy, you wouldn't get a 4th date. I'd be off trying to find someone that has a much more realistic view of what they want in their relationship.

I tell people this all the time: men and women don't make good "friends" for each other. You already have a friendship with one guy, why are you trying to establish another one with this guy that you're attracted to? This is a very bad idea. The best "friendships" between men and women that are dating come AFTER all of the emotionality has been established.

This might be a very good time to re-think this plan. I hope things haven't gone too far that you can't reverse this trend. Earlier, I asked who implemented this idea - if it was you, or if it was him. If it was him, I'm concerned that there are other things going on. Perhaps he's not really interested in you, but doesn't want to be alone during the holidays, or maybe he's actually gay and hasn't accepted it yet. Obliviously, I don't know him, but there seems that something's wrong, and finding out now is going to be much better than later.

Best regards...

© 2003, Dr. Dennis W. Neder

The "Divide and Concur" Approach

Hey Doctor Neder,

I am a big fan of your articles. However, I'm a little puzzled on how a group of guys can hook up with another group of girls. For example, my three friends and I want to pick up some girls at a vacation spot we go every summer.

If we see a group of chicks, how do we approach them? Would we say something like "Hey guys, how's it going?" or " Hi ladies, what's up?" and then introduce ourselves and ask them where they are from? How would each of us subtly get with the individual we want without conflict? We aren't really the most experienced guys when it comes to girls. We could really use some help. Thanks so much.


When you're with a bunch of guys, the most likely scenario is that one (or more of you) finds one or two of the girls attractive - not the entire group. Of course that doesn't mean that the "three (or more) on three (or more)" (where each of you chooses a particular woman), doesn't happen, it's just not as common.

The best bet is always to use the "Divide and Concur" method. There are a number of names for a method like this, but I like to use the Chess motif. Here's how this works:

The guys decide who's turn it is to be the "King" and this should rotate each time you play. The King is the guy that is going to approach a particular target and get her number (or more). The other guys are "Knights" and their job is to help break up the pack so that the King can make his approach.

One or more Knights approach the pack of women and start a conversation. This isn't difficult, especially because there are no demands on this approach other than to start a conversation. When there is more than one Knight you can even decide on the approach you want to use. Just as when you're by yourself, it's always better to have some "opener" that DOES NOT involve some stupid line. However, even a line will work in this case, because the function of the Knights isn't to try to get numbers, (although that may happen), it's to separate off the target woman and make it easier for the King to approach.

When the Knights make the initial approach, they may just say, "Hello!" and introduce yourselves. You might also have worked out something else in advance, but the point is it really doesn't matter. You're just trying to break the ice here.

Once you get a conversation started, and things are moving along (this will only take a couple of minutes), the King moves in. This is where the Knights do their best work! The King walks over and stands next to his target, (he tells the Knights who he's interested in beforehand and thus, one of the jobs of the Knights is to make sure the target is situated so that there's room for the King to stand or sit next to her). Next, one of the Knights introduces their friend to the group. The King then says hello to the pack.

The next step is very important. The Knights now continue to engage the rest of the women in conversation, thus separating them from the target, and the King can turn to her and say, "So, what's your name?" or something else. this gives him a chance to work her and get her number. He needs to keep this primary mission in mind and should move her toward it though his conversation. If things get going too long, the Knights can begin to "peel off", and the last one tells the King, "It's time to go." This is a great opener for him to ask for her number so that they can "talk again".

Once the Knights have done their jobs, they can then begin to pursue any of the women in the pack in the same way the King is with his, but don't forget your primary mission - helping the King.

When a group of guys gets together to go out hunting, they should work out the details beforehand. For example, the guys may get together for dinner before a hunting session and discuss things like:

1) A review of the ground rules - how the "Divide and Concur" approach works,
2) The order each will be the "King",
3) How long you'll work on a particular pack and/or target,
4) Different types of approaches.

When you use this approach there are a number of things to watch out for:

1) Someone "hogs" being the King,
2) The King becomes engaged in talking with a woman, won't give up his position and leave to act as a Knight,
3) What to do if a Knight fails to do his job and takes over being a King instead, (he misses being the King the next time for example).

The great thing about this approach is that it works no matter how many women are together, and it even works if there are other men in the group! All you need is a minimum of two guys to work this approach effectively.

By the way, I'd strongly recommend that you get at least one copy of "Being a Man in a Woman's World" and read it. There's no reason why you should be inexperienced in these things when all the philosophy you need is contained in one place!

Best regards...

Giving a Great Massage

Men - do you want a great way to get her "ready and receptive"? Learn to give a great massage!

Touching her with strength and finesse says so many things about you - like you're going to spend some time on her - you're not going to just get in, get off and bolt. Not only will a great massage relax her, but it will help her get in the mood for more.

If you want to be the guy she has to see again - give a great massage.

Prepare the Area

You want to be in a private, quite place with you give a sensual massage. Make sure that the phone is off the hook, and that you're not going to be bothered by the door, kids, animals, etc. Select some soothing music and turn off the lights except for lighting some candles - preferably scented. What, you don't have these at your place? This might be a good time to invest in a "Massage Kit".

You're also going to need a couple of sheets - one to cover your work area, (you don't want massage oil staining your couch!), and another to cover her. If she feels "exposed" or cold she isn't going to relax and let you, ah, work - yeah work! So, as you work, uncover only the area you want to massage. Then, cover it again to keep the area warm. As you massage the skin, blood flows into that area. This blood causes the area to redden and to warm. You don't want this to turn to chill, so be sure to cover your finished areas.

Finally, you should also have some water available. Many people feel thirsty after a massage. This is because working muscles causes all sorts of chemicals to be released into the body.

Massage Methods

You've probably heard of all types of massage techniques - Shiatsu, Swedish, Rolfing, etc., are all different types of massage with different goals. Don't worry about all of this. You don't need to focus on the type of massage - only the goal. Your goal should be to sooth and relax your er, victim!

In the next sections, we'll explore this in greater detail. When you give a massage keep in mind the following points:

  • Massage muscle - not skin, bone or organs
  • Work large muscle groups
  • Use firm, even pressure, not hard, deep pressure
  • Stay away from overly hard or overly soft areas of the body - unless she specifically asks
  • Always use a lubricant (see below)
  • Know when to quit

Now, let's explore each of these points:

Massage Muscle, Not Skin

Try this: rub your fingers gently over the skin of your arm. Now, press harder and move the skin without dragging your fingers across it. This is the difference between caressing and a massage. Remember that massages are for muscles below the skin - not for the skin itself.

You want a deep, penetrating effect - not something superficial. This is because the nerves in the skin tire very quickly. Further, many people are ticklish - not just on their feet, but all over their bodies! You want a massage to be relaxing and focused - not an irritant!

As well, you want to stay away from bones. By pressing hard on the skin just over a bone, you're going to cause pain - not pleasure (well, to some, pain IS pleasure - but that's another article!) Unless you know your human anatomy you're probably not going to know where your woman's bones are; so, before you begin rubbing an area, make sure that the tissue below the skin is soft. In fact, use the relatively softness to determine how hard to press.

For example, press your fingers into your relaxed stomach. This softness tells you that there are no bones below your fingers - only organs. You don't want to press into an area like this very hard. On the other hand, when you press your fingers into your thigh, you can feel how firm the tissue feels here. This is because of the underlying bone.

When you're massaging a woman's back, shoulders, legs or arms, look for this firmness as a good place to work.

Work on Large Muscle Groups

There are only a few of them in the body - mostly in the neck, back, shoulders and legs. By concentrating on the large muscle groups, not only is your massage more efficient - you are getting the largest source of body tension - but you're also preventing damage.

On either side of the spine are large muscle groups (called "Latissimus Dorsi" if you care to know). These are the long, strong muscles that keep you standing up - and are great places to work. Again, you have to be careful here, because just underneath these muscles are the ribs - and you know how ticklish some people are here!

Use Firm, Even Pressure

Pressure that is too light or inconsistent (light, heavy and light again), can be as uncomfortable as too much pressure. Be sure to use an even amount - not too hard, and not too light when giving a massage. In fact, it is better to start out somewhat lightly and ask if she wants more. Gently increase your strength until she indicates that it is enough.

Use a Lubricant

You should never try anything but the most minor of massages without lubricating the skin. For example, if you want to rub her shoulders that's one thing. If you're going to give a skin-to-skin massage, always use a lubricant. Lubes help to both prepare the skin and to protect it.

Don't use Vaseline or Wesson oil to massage her - you want the lubricant to be absorbed by the skin. You should also stay away from lubes that are absorbed too quickly like hand lotions. Why not pick up lightly scented massage oil - you'll definitely use it!

Just Follow the Numbers

Ok, so how do you progress? First, your lady should be undressed (oh - you dog you!) and lying on her stomach. Make sure her hair is out of the way of your "work area". Next, pick up the lubricant or oil you have selected and squeeze some onto your palm. Don't drip it directly on her skin - it may be cold. You can rub your hands together to warm both the oil and your skin. Even on a hot evening, try to make sure you're your hands warmer than the air. This difference helps remind her to relax.

Next follow these steps:

  • Start with her shoulders: Grab the muscles mid-way between her the curve of her shoulder and her neck with both hands (gently!) Knead these muscles and gently pull them toward you. This is a great place to start as most people carry a lot of tension here.
  • Work across her shoulders to her neck: Use your thumbs and the tips of your fingers to work from these muscles across and down her upper back. Be sure to watch that your nails don't dig into her skin!
  • Down her arms to her hands: With both hands cupped on the curve where her shoulders turn into her arms, gently lift her shoulders a few times to stretch the muscles in front. Work down each arm separately finding the muscle groups in the front and back and kneading them gently. When you get to her hands, use your thumbs to work her palms. Don't forget the other arm!
  • Mid-back: Now, return to her upper back and work downwards to her mid-back. This is another area many people store tension. Use your thumbs and fingertips to work from the center out and to push upward.
  • Lower-back: Continue to work down her back to her hips and just above her ass. Again, another tension-storage area!
  • Upper thighs: Working the muscles of her upper thighs is a great place to spend some time (if she'll allow this!) After you've worked the back of her legs and down her calves (next), you can have her turn over to work the fronts.
  • Calves: The calves are very strong muscles and get a workout everyday. These are great places to spend some time kneading each one separately with both hands.

Remember, once you start the massage, her skin will absorb the oil or lotion you applied to your hands. So, continue to re-lube regularly. Also, humans are "bilateral" - that is we have a balance between the right and left. Don't neglect one side for the other - keep things balanced.

The "Master's" Massage

Ready to graduate? Learn to give a great foot massage!

When you're massaging someone's feet, you've got to be careful, as many women are ticklish here. If you drag your fingers over the feet lightly, she's liable to flinch - negating the work you've already done in getting her relaxed. When you work the feet remember that there are many areas - each with their own needs. So, start with the heel. Firmly grab her heel and push it up toward her leg, pull it down and work it side to side. The heel contains a number of very small, very strong muscles.

Next, work your thumbs on the under side (called the "plantar" side) of her foot (in general, or unless she asks, avoid the top of the feet). Again, use deep slow pressure with the tips of your thumbs - don't do it too gently or it's going to feel like you're tickling her. Work the balls of her feet and in between her toes. Also, pull on each toe for about 10 seconds - don't jerk, just give a smooth, strong tug.

In general the feet of even small women are very strong. They can take a much more intense massage than the rest of her, but be sure to watch her reactions. Further, ask her what she likes, and follow her directions!

The Ending - The Beginning

Once you've completed the massage, get a soft towel to wipe her body down. This is just to remove any remaining lotion or oil, and to let her know that the massage is over.

What's That - She's Drooling??

Actually, professional massage therapists use sleep or even drooling as a sign they've done their job well. Don't take it as an insult - just realize she's really into what you're doing!

Dating Two (or More) Women At The Same Time

With all the hassles, why would someone want to date more than one woman? Frankly, there are as many answers to this question as there are men! However, some very good reasons are as follows:

  • Women are picky - by dating more than one you increase your odds of finding and keeping one that you'll be with for a long time.
  • Women are competitive - Think your buddies are competitive? Try being with more than one woman!
  • Women love a challenge - The bigger challenge they perceive you to be, the harder they'll work for your exclusive attention.
  • There is no "perfect woman" - each woman offers a unique set of benefits and problems. You may find that by dating more than one at a time, you'll get a good mix of the benefits.
  • You'll get to know just what you do, and don't want in a woman - Especially if your dating experience is limited, having more than one gives you a better understanding of what you want - and need!
  • You always have a "back-up" - As you get to know a woman, you're going to get "tested" (see: for specifics). It's good to have a back-up or two so you don't have to throw away those expensive theatre tickets!

You Better Get a Calendar!

Believe me, you're going to need this handy tool. The format of the calendar doesn't really matter, as long as you can keep track of which days you saw a woman, and what you did, and when you're next available. You're going to want to know when you're free in the future (to schedule dates), and to review what you did with whom. Why do you want to know whom you did what with when? To cover you tracks! You don't want to be having a romantic dinner with a woman only to blurt out, "Hey honey - remember that trip we took to San Diego?" only to find out it wasn't her you went with!

A calendar also helps you organize your time. Let's face it; free time is scarce for everyone these days. You want to make the best use of your time that you can. By scheduling your time, you can use more of it in ways you want - like meeting and wooing women! A calendar lets you visually structure your time. You know you need time for yourself, your work and your fun - work them in with your women. Even better, when possible (or desirable), bring along one of the ladies as a combination date/hobby time. Now that's using your time effectively.

Loose Lips Sink Ships!

Just because you're dating two or more women, doesn't mean you should advertise it - unless of course, that works to your advantage! Believe me, women have an innate sense about these things, and will probably figure it out without you telling them. It is far better to have some mystery here rather than to have everything out in the open. This way, you are in better control. Further, because of women's competitive nature, they're going to try to get you to commit to only them - even if THEY don't plan to see YOU in the long term! It's a woman thing - go figure.

Woman will use subtle tactics to get you to drop the other women, such as saying "You know, I wouldn't be sleeping with you if I knew you were with someone else!" Here, the assumption is, that if you answer this statement, you're assuring her that you're with her exclusively. She knows that you, being a man, are probably not well versed in using these "verbal puzzles" to your advantage, (and, you're probably not!) You don't want to outright lie to her - she's going to catch you and hold you accountable for it! Instead, you're going to re-direct the issue by saying something like, "Yes, honey, I know you feel that way because I understand you." Then, drop the subject and move on. You are specifically not telling her what she wants to hear, but you are responding to her.

The second reason you shouldn't feel compelled to "out" yourself, is you haven't committed to anything in the first place. You didn't promise her anything - did you? Men have a bad habit of promising the world to get sex - and women know it. Don't do this! Don't let her back you into a corner. To prevent her from doing this, you're going to need to establish the rules up front. She is going to assume your monogamy far sooner than you will.

To set ground rules; let her know that you're busy elsewhere. You don't have to always jump to answer the phone when she calls, nor do you have to return her call the same day. Get actively involved in your friends, your work, your hobbies, etc. Then when you are with her, make it real, quality time - but don't get locked into a schedule - being with her every Saturday night for example. Be sure to use that calendar we discussed earlier.

What's Good For the Goose

By the way, it's not reasonable for you to be out hunting, and for you to expect her to be home waiting for you! She may WANT an exclusive relationship with you, but unless you're willing to give her that, you can't reasonably expect it from her. That doesn't mean that she won't be monogamous however. This is for her to decide.

Be Careful!

You need to protect yourself. Just like you use condoms every time you have sex (you DO use condoms - right?), you need to protect yourself in other ways too. If she sense that you're with someone else, she is going to just "stop by" to say hello, or call at inconvenient times. You may want to make it a habit of not answering your door unless you're expecting someone. At least, don't answer when "Ms. Stripper" is over having a drink!

Further, if she begins pressuring you to make a commitment, and you keep her going along without one, she may become angry - or worse, psycho! Be aware of your surroundings when you're out to make sure she isn't following you around. Watch out for her large family members too. It probably isn't coincidence that you ran into her brother or her friend while you're out to dinner with woman #2. Does this sound crazy? Maybe, but I've talked to too many men where it's happened. Watch your back if you choose to date multiple women.

One more thing to watch when you're dating more than one woman - your wallet! Dates are expensive anyway, often costing $100 or more. If you're dating twice a week, this adds up pretty quickly. You may need to be more creative on how you spend your dating dollar. Memorable dates don't have to result in a second mortgage - you just have to be a little creative.

Yes, there are many problems with dating two or more women at the same time, but if you use your head, watch your back (and your wallet), and do some creative planning, you could be in for the time of your life!

Creating A Void To Be Filled

Dear Sir,

I have a huge problem with my girlfriend. I really like her, but I don't feel love. I am afraid that, at age 25 I will never be in love again unless I brake up with her.

I don't enjoy sex with her - I'm always thinking that, "Oh, God I have to have sex with her tonight!" I feel sexual desire towards other women, but not with her. We have sex once a week. Further, she doesn't shave, and I just can't seem to get myself to talk to her about it.

The other issue is concerning partying. I don't like going out with her to parties. I enjoy the evening with my friends, but when she is with me I feel stressed, and I can't be myself. This is terrible. And we (or rather I) don't talk about it.

I need some help!

Thank you and best regards

Let's see here: you don't enjoy sex with her, you're afraid to talk to her about things you want (like her shaving), you don't like to be seen with her at parties - what the hell are you doing with her in the first place???

Many times, we want something new in our lives, but we're afraid of losing something we currently have; "a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush" as the saying goes. Let me tell you a little secret of life and love: the "Law of Vacuum".

There are many "natural laws" in the universe. Gravity is one of them. You can stand on a roof and proclaim that you don't believe in gravity; but, as soon as you step off, you're going to get a healthy dose of it! Like gravity, the sun will rise tomorrow, you're going to get another paper-cut someday, and someone will release another gawd-awful Robin Williams movie - all whether you like it or not.

One more of these "Immutable Laws of the Universe" is the "Law of Vacuum" which states, "Nature abhors a vacuum; and, if possible, will fill it." What does this mean? It means that nature has a way of filling its voids. Whenever nature detects a vacuum, it attempts to fill it with something. However, if no vacuum exists, no filling is needed and therefore nature goes off to perform some other task like cleaning out a trailor-park with a tornado.

Take a look at your closet. Do you have clothes you haven't worn for over a year? Get rid of them! Give them away to charity or simply toss them. What about your garage? Is it full of things you don't need? Dump them! How about your personal growth? Does it look more like a 3-day old beard? You're probably filling it with television, rather than making it open and available to be filled with other, more worthwhile things. In short, get rid of the dead wood!

At first, this seems extreme, but instead you're just making use of nature's law of vacuum. You closet will be magically filled with new clothes once the old things are gone, your garage will not stay empty long, and your personal growth will start again once the TV is off. Do you doubt this? Then, I ask you to think of the last time you cleaned house - where you threw everything away. Is your house barren today? I doubt it. You probably have more things now than you did before the house cleaning! This is the Law of Vacuum at work.

So, what about your girlfriend? Let's face it, you probably want someone you can enjoy sex with, take to parties, etc., Why not just set her free? Don't worry about love. Once you make room for it, and focus on it as a goal, nature will go about filling that void for you. If you need some help on breaking up, check this link to a recent article I wrote that may help:

Once you create a vacuum, you then have to make use of another of nature's immutable laws: the "Law of Asking". Here's how this works: "Ask and Thou Shalt Receive" (I think I read that in a book somewhere). What that book didn't say is, (but was implied) is "Ask intelligently!" That is, you need a clear and concise picture in your mind of what you want before you try to go after it. As I discuss in my book, "Being a Man in a Woman's World", you've got to get an absolute picture of what your life will be like when you've found the girl of your dreams. You need to describe who she is in every detail. Be specific and spend some time here. You don't want to use the Law of Asking to fill your love-void with someone like the girl you have now - that would be unpleasant! You might want to pick up a copy of the book and commit it to memory. It will lead you right through the process of creating your "love plan", and putting that plan into action.

Go forth, my brother - make use of nature's immutable laws to fill your life with the love you need, and let me know how things turn out.

Good luck, much love...

How Do I Get Him To Marry Me?

Dear Dr. Neder,

My boyfriend and I have been together for almost two years. We recently ran into a major issue: his fear of commitment, and my wanting one. Recently, he decided that he wanted a break. At first he said that he didn't think that we should date anymore but he wanted to remain best friends, then after a week and half, he called me telling me that he is scared of losing me, and feared that if he didn't get back together with me that he would. I told him that was not the case, that I would always be a part of his life because I love and respect as a person and would love to have him there as my friend. It wasn't too long after that, about a week, that we were together again, and everything felt wonderful. Soon after, about 3 days later, he and I had a discussion that made me upset, and with that he had said that he felt like were going in circles, and so decided that we needed a break again. I had agreed, and told him that we had rushed into things, and that we needed time to figure ourselves out. My boyfriend's confusion lies in the fact that he has admitted that he doesn't know who he is. He says that he doesn't want to hurt me, and the he wants to make sure that I'm the one for him. We are "exclusive", meaning that he and I are not sexually with anyone else. For right now he says that we are together but at the same time there is no "commitment", meaning that there is no guarantee of wedding bells. He says that he wants to make sure that I'm the one for him, and so he wants to take things slowly. He also says that he doesn't want to string me along and mess with my head - he is just taking his time to make sure that he wants to put that ring on my finger. I am being as supportive as I can be, and trying to understand what he wants and what he is doing. I can't really explain the depth of my relationship in words. It surpasses anything that I have ever known or felt with anyone else. We have been so deeply in love and just as we are about to make that full commitment, he distanced himself fearing that he could be making a mistake. He wants to make things work, which is why he has not completely left me. My question then is, how do you reassure someone, or help someone see that commitment is not as scary as it seems? What is it that I can do to help him see that committing to me means a lifetime of love and support? I don't know what else to do.

Hello! Let's begin by me asking you a question: what's so important about being married? It appears that you have everything you really want in a partner. You have an amazingly deep emotional relationship, you have love, you have a best friend, you have someone that is always there beside you and that has committed in every other way - other than marriage. What are you really missing? I tell women this all the time: if you're goal is to be married, don't wait for your boyfriend - I'll bet you could find someone this next weekend that would marry you! Just go out and ask a bunch of guys - one of them will say "yes". However, if your goal is to have a great relationship, don't focus on the "format" - focus on the quality! Believe me, marriage rarely makes a relationship better - and in fact, it often hurts it. It's far better to have a terrific, fulfilling relationship, than a bad marriage. Now, let's take a look at how marriage is different for men and women. This should help you to understand why your boyfriend is reluctant to be married. To women, marriage means security, family, future, enhanced social standing, and many other things. Little girls are sold on the image of the huge "white wedding" where she is the star and focus of the entire show. She gets gifts, has parties, gets all of her friends and loved ones together to celebrate her special day. Sounds pretty good! To men, marriage means responsibility, a loss of freedom, a "working future", (one where he has to remain employed to support the family), a loss of choice, (he now has someone else he has to consult to make decisions), and many other things that "take away from" a lifestyle rather than adding to it. The trade off is supposed to be a regular sexual partner, but frankly, sex is the most common aspect of a relationship to suffer in a marriage! When you look at things from this perspective, it doesn't seem so wonderful does it? Can you understand now why your boyfriend is afraid of getting engaged? So, you have a couple of choices: 1) Go find someone that shares your goals and will marry you; 2) "Force" your boyfriend to marry you, or lose you forever; 3) Focus on the quality of the relationship you have now, and see if; as his love for you grows, he comes to the conclusion that he wants to be with you the rest of his life. If you chose #3; I'd suggest that you make one other decision. Decide if you can live without being married. If you can't, then decide how long you're willing to wait without being married. You don't have to share this with your boyfriend either! Let's say you decide to see what happens in 5 years, and if by that time he still feels the same way, you want to move on and find someone that shares your goals. On the other hand, perhaps you'll change your mind! One last thing: if you both agree that children are part of your future, I urge you to also agree that you'll only bring children into a married relationship! Your kids deserve this, and having kids isn't about you any more - it's entirely about what's best for them. Best regards...

Controlling Jealousy


I recently got separated from my wife for the second time due to my jealousy. I know that women respect you less if you show jealousy and fear. How would I go about earning back that respect? She knows I have a jealousy streak and has used it against me in the past.


Jealousy is really personal insecurity. It says that the relationship is more important to you than it is to her, (in your eyes), even if this isn't true. Further, it says that you don't feel good enough about yourself to expect - and demand - that your partner stays true to you. Let me offer another way to think. In my personal relationships, I have never had a partner stray. Why not? Because here's my attitude, (which I don't hesitate to share with her), "Hey, if you want to go out and eat hamburger when you have steak at home, that's not my problem! My problem is that I misjudged you as being a person who knew the difference!" The point of this is that I don't care what she does! I only care what I do, and how I react to things. She knows that I won't tolerate her seeing anyone else and I'll be gone (by my own actions) faster than she can say, "Wait a minute!" You see, I have rules that I live by. One of them is that I will ONLY spend my limited time with people that can recognize my value, and who's value I can see as well. This is a very high way to live, but it affords me the luxury of not having to worry about what others do. What about you? Do you see what I'm doing here with this attitude? Effectively, I'm taking away control from other people and assuming it myself. In other words, nobody is responsible for my feelings but me. I rely on my direction to carry those people along with me that can recognize my worth. In return, I recognize theirs. Your relationship can be like this too, but it takes a heightened level of responsibility on your part. In other words, you have the responsibility of saying, "I'm not stuck with any one person. Instead, I get to pick and choose whom I'm with based on how they fit in my life." This is something that you build as you build your own self-esteem. So, what do you do now? Once you get this idea firmly in your head, and commit with absolute resolve to live it through, you can return to your wife, and say, "Look, I've changed the way I'm living. I am no longer worried about you going outside our marriage. Instead, I'm going to give you responsibility for your own life, like I'm taking responsibility for mine. If we get back together, you know that I expect you to be faithful, and I'll give you the same courtesy. I also expect you to make that a priority in our relationship, and continue to express it, allowing me to trust you. If things change however, I'll be the one to change directions. Can you live with that?" This is a new way to think, and I'm not expecting you to adopt it right away. Give it some thought and see how it integrates into your life. Remember, you can't just say the words without adopting the ideas they embody. For help with this, I strongly urge you to read, Being a Man in a Woman's World as it's going to give you some additional philosophy that you'll find invaluable in dealing with this now, and in the future. Best regards...

Holiday Pressure for Commitment

Dear Dr.

I am 50 my boyfriend is 48. We have been dating 14 months, very involved in each other's families especially the children. It appeared as though we were moving in the direction of marriage, although I never brought it up. He was very committed to our relationship, including me in every aspect of his life. He is a wonderful professional man, spiritual, and very family oriented. He has spoken often about our future together, his dreams and expectations, and wants to one day get married. I thought he meant me.

We worked very hard with preparations for his entire family (14 people) to stay at my house for thanksgiving holidays. It was wonderful but stressful. After all had left he began to pull back. I asked him where this relationship was going. He seemed a bit irritable with the question and says he doesn't know if he can love me the way I need him to. He says needs a break, and I was hurt but willing to give this to him. Since then he still contacts me, spent Christmas with my kids and me and gave us all very generous gifts. He is seeing a counselor, has cried and says he doesn't know what's wrong, cant imagine not having me in his life.

He realizes he is depressed and has left for Texas to be with his family. He is very family oriented. I love him and want the best for him...He is worth waiting for and although it's hurting I want to wait. Is he just afraid to take this step? Does he need this time for reflection before taking the plunge? He is sad and seems afraid. Can you tell me what does this mean? Please help with some insight.

Thank you...

Hello Susan!

First, I NEVER recommend that anyone make life-changing (or enhancing) decisions during the holidays! Things are just too stressful and the pressure to "do the right thing" is awesome. Yet, few people take this advice, and do just what you did; start trying to get some commitment from their partners during this confusing time - knowing deep down that this confusion exists - and that you may get him to commit beyond what you might otherwise.

Did you sense some anger from him when you asked? Probably (and rightfully) so! While most men can't express this verbally, they intuitively recognize the pressure asserted due to the expectations the holidays bring. Along with the tensions created by the season including family, friends, parties, getting just the right gift, etc., etc., he now has to deal with his future with you! That's a lot to heap on all at one time.

My suggestion is to give him (and yourself) a couple of weeks into the new year to let things settle down. At least by the end of January you both should have clearer visions of what you want. That would be a good time to start looking to the future.

Let me add this however: marriage is only one "format" for relationships! There is a natural tendency, (particularly on the part of women) to see everything progressing toward marriage. However, as I tell people all the time, there aren't too many divorces, there are too many marriages!

If your relationship is otherwise good, (or even great), what do you hope to gain specifically from a marriage that you don't already have? Marriages don't necessarily make relationships better, and often do just the opposite.

Best regards...

© 2003, Dr. Dennis W. Neder

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