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: www.remingtonpublications.com
I'm No Longer His
Hi, Dr. Dennis
I am a 34 year old woman who is insanely
attracted (you could even say devoted) to a 56 year
old man who still makes me melt after almost 4
years of knowing him. We have seen photos of each
other, but our only contact has been via e-mail and
telephone - never in person.
I met this man while I was still married. Our
business relationship turned friendly, and after a
year and a half of a friendly relationship, our
talks led to more intimate and personal subjects -
I can honestly say I was the one who was curious
about his sexual likes and dislikes...he has always
been a perfect gentleman and has never placed an
emphasis on anything sexual (that is INSANELY
attractive to me).
After a year of a VERY intense emotional
relationship (this man had proven to me that he
would wait as long as he had to for me), I had beat
myself into an emotional frenzy because I felt I
was cheating on my husband, so I ended our
"romantic" relationship. I love the man dearly - he
has my heart - so I explained that I wanted to
still be friends. He wanted to have contact as
friends once or twice a month, which I could not
have lived with, so he said he needed a couple of
weeks to get used to the "new order of things" -
going from a very intimate friendship to a platonic
friendship, then he contacted me at the end of a "2
That was 1 year ago this month, and I have since
divorced my husband (for narcotic addiction - not
because of my feelings for this other man). I
poured my heart out to this man a couple of months
ago, basically telling him how much I still care
for him, and I wish he would give our romantic
relationship another chance - at least meet me in
person before he gives up on us altogether.
This was a man that was absolutely CRAZY about
me last year, but he told me recently that he did
not see a future with me, even though he has a
"great deal of affection for me that he cannot
deny". Lately, he has been growing more distant -
his phone calls are down from 8 a month to 3 or 4,
and his emails are only 1 per week now instead of 3
or 4. My divorce will be final in 2 1/2 weeks, and
I am wondering if he is trying to distance himself
from me now in an attempt to build attraction since
we plan to visit in person soon after my divorce is
I keep reading all this advice to men to create
distance from women to build attraction while still
leaving them on her agenda. I feel he is doing this
to me - or maybe I am just HOPING that is what he
Could he be trying to get rid of me altogether
since I am about to be divorced because he would
think I was "needy" or something? He said he is
very attracted to my physical appearance (I was
voted best-looking in high school and have held my
own over the years), my analytical ability, my
positive outgoing attitude, my intelligence, and my
devotion to my family and friends - those are his
words, not mine. Could a man throw away a woman who
was once the woman of his dreams? We have stayed
such good friends since the "romantic breakup", but
now he is creating all this distance - it's not
normal for him.
And for all you men who have read this far,
here's a tip for you - this man made me fall HARD
for him because he was a perfect gentleman who
truly listened to what I said and could even ask me
questions about it later. He is VERY intelligent
and well-spoken, and has a genuine interest in
every facet of my life. And yes, I love him because
he stands his ground and did not let an emotional
outburst I had get to him - he is very strong
emotionally without ever having walked all over my
emotions. He is very optimistic and supportive of
me which goes a long way.
I want this man, and without sounding too
conceited, I just cannot understand why he would
not want me, but it appears that way right now. Do
you have any idea why he is creating all this
distance from me right before we are supposed to
He KNOWS I would not sleep with a man that was
not devoted to me long term, so him telling me he
does not see a future with me is not promising.
Maybe he just wants the sex and is being honest
with me about his standing on a long-term
commitment since we are good friends. Or maybe he
can't say anything about a long-term commitment
since he has not seen me in person yet? I know men
are visual creatures like that.
Do you have any suggestions on what I could do
to show him that I would never leave him again now
that I am soon to be legally divorced? I completely
crushed this man (and myself) last year and I beat
myself up for it daily, but I want him to feel
secure with me again now that I am free to be with
I would really appreciate any help you could
First - to any guy that's reading this, I
strongly urge you to NOT use this as an example
what to - or not to - do. In fact, you should never
take relationship/dating advice from women unless
they're lesbians and even then, their target market
is rather different from yours! Buyer beware!
Sorry - this may work for you, but trust me,
your situation; like your relationship, is very
different from the "norm". Any guy that believes
this will work is going to find out the hard way
that it won't. Then, they're going to write to me,
very unhappy with the results.
Yes, I can tell you exactly what's going on
here. You've spent the last 4 years building up an
emotional connection that frankly, only exists in
your mind. Your brain actually takes in information
at over 60,000 impressions PER SECOND. That's a
tremendous rate of information, and if your brain
doesn't have access to the real information, it
"fills in the gaps" by giving you whatever it is
that you want. In your case, you filled in the gaps
with all the intellectual/emotional "chemistry"
without having the actual impressions to work
Consider this: when you're "in person" you get
not only the verbal part of communication, but a
much bigger part is missing: non-verbal. You can't
watch the tilt of his head, the almost
instantaneous, impreceptable movement of the corner
of his mouth and the slight changes in his
complexion. Instead, you've spent many hours on the
phone and via email getting none of this! Your mind
has "inserted" this information for you since it
wasn't there. I'm sorry to say that you are (in
effect) in love with a ghost!
While you've been building all of this up and
creating all the things you need to want this man,
he's been denied what he needs! Even worse, you've
now required that he create something that doesn't
even exist to get it! You demand (as you stated)
that he "devotes" to you when in fact, there is
nothing there (other than huge phone bills) on
which to base such an expectation.
Here's something you really need to understand:
men and women use sex and physical intimacy VERY
differently; at least in the beginning of the
relationship. You (as a woman) use sex to create
bonding and inimacy. Men on the other hand use sex
to determine if we WANT TO create bonding and
intimacy! This period only lasts for a short while
and if you miss it, it's very difficult to get back
- almost impossible.
Go back and re-read that paragraph until the
idea really sinks in. You need to understand why;
while getting what you want, you've also shot
yourself in the foot by denying him what HE needs
in order to be where you are!
In effect, he's passed through all of the phases
that you've been building up to. He may very well
have been where you are now years ago. However, by
not having the physical aspect of a relationship
with you, his mind decided to relieve this pain by
taking away his need for you. In effect, he's
fallen out of love with you and has become nothing
more than a friend and maybe even less than
Right now, his contact with you is probably more
out of habit than out of need. By putting such huge
requirements on him in order to even build anything
from this point forward, he's probably just given
up and is moving on emotionally if not mentally.
This is why he sees no "future" with you. It's
based entirely on your past together.
All people interested in relationships need to
understand this point: all relationships have a
"window of opportunity" where both people's needs
coincide. Many women (and sometimes men) try to
artifically manipulate this window by saying things
like, "Let's take this slow" or in other ways like
preventing or putting of first meetings (as in this
case). What this does is to destroy the chance for
the relationship to begin to ripen. It never leaves
this "proto-stage" and eventually withers and
I regret to say that this is likely where things
are for you now. You've spent far too much time
"selling" and no time "delivering". While this may
have worked well for you, it absolutely didn't work
for him. I can say this with great assurity; both
from being a man and having talked to many, many
At this point, I'm not very confident in your
ability to "right" this situation. I'll bet that on
top of all history here, you're also at some
distance away from each other - maybe hours or even
days. With this added problem you aren't going to
"fix" things here unless one of you moves and even
then, you still have to get past the history!
If you two are local enough to get together
regularly (like instead of calling), I strongly
urge you to do that right away. Without being in
person, you're never going to work this out, and
frankly, I doubt it even then.
I'm 28 years old and I've been with my husband
for 10 years. We were very young when we got
married and my husband had very little dating
experience before we met. He is a great guy, but he
has a hard time reading body language and sometimes
misses the point even when I'm being blunt with
him. He can also be very sensitive, so I don't want
to offend him or hurt his feelings.
My main complaint is when we are intimate (aside
from the fact that he can't tell what I enjoy or
don't enjoy even if I tell him) is that he's a
terrible kisser. I would love to improve his
kissing technique, but don't know how to approach
it without hurting him or making him feel guilty
for 10 years of unsatisfying kisses. I know I
should have dealt with this long ago.
Improving our kissing would vastly improve our
physical relationship. Is there some way to teach
him without emasculating him? What would you
I'd like a male point of view on this.
I'm not surprised to hear that you're having
communication issues. This is extremely common as
people tend to choose their partners at least
partially for this opposite style. In fact,
opposites really do attract.
The most common communication scenario is where
you have a "direct-speaking" man and an
"implication-speaking" woman. Thus, I'll assume
that's your case. What may seem like specific
language to you would be totally lost on your
husband. Let me give you an example:
When you were young, I'll bet your mother would
say to you, "I wish your room were clean" meaning
to you that you'd better go clean your room. She
was much less likely to say "Go clean your room"
unless she was angry with you and wanted to
emphasize it by being so specific.
Your husband probably never heard his mother use
this "communication style" and in fact, if he did,
he'd interpret it more like, a strong wish on the
part of his mother! His response would likely be,
"Then, by all means, please - go clean it!"
So much in male/female communications hovers
around these sorts of misunderstandings. However,
by simply realizing this fact, you can go very far
to correcting them. I recommend that you visit my
website and read an article about this very
subject: "How to Get A Man to Answer Relationship
for a better idea on how all this works.
With regards to kissing and sexual issues, I
agree that after 10 years, you really should have
all this worked out! What aspect of your
relationship is more important than this? For the
simple lack of communication skills, you've
effectively wasted 10 years. Where do you think
you'd be now if you'd have handled this
What I suggest is this: one day or evening in
the near future when you're both feeling calm,
quiet and close, (don't do this for instance while
he's watching TV or doing something in the yard),
just ask him if he's getting everything he could
imagine from his relationship with you. Then, ask a
few probing questions, (see the above-referenced
article). Get into this and view it as a
After you've talked to him for awhile and made a
few discoveries of your own, you can then get into
your own issues. But, do this with the attitude of
continuing to build your relationship - not with
what he's doing wrong. This is a process, not a
single event. You can say, "Can I show you how I'd
like you to kiss me?" Then, show him. You can even
make a game out of it. Play-reward him when he does
it right, and show him what is wrong.
This isn't going to fix everything overnight,
but you may find that with a little practice things
get much better very quickly.
Why Can't I Meet
Someone That's Available?
Hello Dr. Neder:
Oh yes, a word you probably see all the time.
But surely there is no plain and simple way to
understand men or even women for that matter.
Here's my dilemma: I am a single, pretty, tall,
24-year-old woman. I have had a couple of
boyfriends here and there, but just one serious
one. This past Christmas, I met someone special
that had come home from college for 2 weeks. He was
a guy I went to high school with, but never really
talked to before.
After we met up again, we talked everyday and
saw each other every other day. We were romantic;
kissing, hugging, looking deep into each other's
eyes, etc. He said he really liked me and that he'd
miss me when he left to return to college, but last
night he told me that he didn't want a
relationship, but wanted to keep in touch and still
see each other now and then.
What does that mean??? No relationship, but he
still wants the things relationships are all about?
Frankly, this isn't as weird as it might seem.
This guy is away at college. There, he knows he's
going to meet a lot of women and he wants to keep
his options open. On the other hand, it's a good
deal to know that he has someone waiting at home
for him too - a good deal that is, for him!
You say that your "...pretty, tall..." etc., and
that may or may not be true, but either way, that's
not the real issue here. The distance is the issue.
Trust me on this one - long-distance relationships
NEVER work out! That's just the way it is. There
are so many reasons for this that I can't even
begin to describe them all here, but suffice it to
say that I know what I'm talking about. Perhaps
after he finishes his education he might be someone
you'd consider dating when he returns home, but I
wouldn't hold out hope. He'll be a different person
So, let's talk about now instead.
You are obviously interested in finding a
relationship, but let me ask you: do you really
know exactly what it is you're looking for? Have
you ever sat down to really figure this out? As I
say in many interviews, most people spend more time
planning their vacations than they spend planning
their relationships. Isn't that ridiculous? But by
"planning" I'm not talking about looking around
until you stumble over some guy. I'm talking about
really sitting down and crafting your perfect
relationship on paper.
We often set goals for our lives, but this
usually involves our work lives and sometimes a few
other aspects. I think it's critical to set goals
for your emotional life too. But you have to be
very clear and specific on what (*NOT* whom) you
want! This should describe not only the type of guy
you're looking for in every way possible, but what
your life will be like when you find it. This last
part is critical as I've seen many people do just
the first part and then keep searching even though
they've found exactly what they really wanted. They
did this simply because they didn't realize they
had what they wanted in the first place.
Likewise, you need to recognize that you need
some relationship skills behind you. This involves
actually learning how men think and act. Most of
women's information about men come from other
women! This is a fatal mistake as I've seen so much
misinformation given from otherwise well-meaning
women. If you really want to learn about men, I
suggest that you get it right from the source. If
you don't have a ready source of this information,
I suggest that you get involved in my discussion
group, "BeingAMan" here:
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/beingaman. It's free
and filled with men discussing men's relationship,
dating and sex issues. There are also many women in
there too in order to learn much more about
Another skill you have to build is both how to
approach men, and how to be approached. It would
seem that the latter is easy - just hang around
until some great guy walks up and sweeps you off
your feet. Not so! In fact, most men don't really
even know how to approach a woman, or what women to
approach. You have to learn to make it easy for men
to do this by learning how to flirt - make eye
contact, establish connection and rapport learn
communication tools, etc.
These will get you far along the way, but
there's much more! What about learning to approach
great men yourself? Why should you have to wait
around until some guy you think you'd like
approaches you? There's nothing wrong with taking
that responsibility yourself and making things
happy - for yourself. Besides, wouldn't you like to
meet a guy that is so comfortable with his own
masculinity that he's perfectly comfortable both
approaching - and being approached - by women?
Finally, you have to actually be somewhere that
you can meet other people. Men aren't going to just
find you in the phone book! I constantly urge
people to find activities and hobbies that they
enjoy. Invariably, you'll find that there are
clubs, organizations and events all centered around
these activities and hobbies. What's cool about
this is that you'll not only have a lot of fun,
you'll meet other fun people too.
This isn't an exhaustive list of things to do to
kick-start your love life, but it'll take you a
long way along the path. For much more I suggest
you also visit my website as there's very large
amount of information and ideas right there at your
Is it Time to Move in
Dear Dr. Neder:
This seems silly to me, but I am always in favor
of a second opinion.
My boyfriend of 1 ½ years and I are
considering moving in together. Well, I suggested
it and now it is on the table. You hit the nail on
the head with your articles (The
Mathamatics of Moving In, Moving
In Together, Living
Together Before Marriage and Problems
with Living Together). I do want our
relationship to progress (bad reason to move in
together after reading these articles) but I also
want to know if we are wasting our time. A year and
a half seems like a long time.
We alternate between homes, mine on the weekdays
and his on the weekends. We do not sleep well
together! Rare is a morning when we both wake up
feeling refreshed. My thinking is well lets just
figure it out NOW, we are either going to make it
or we should move on.
Furthermore, he is a difficult fellow. He is
military born and bred and his emotions consist
entirely of logic. He looks at our relationship in
a completely logical fashion to the point where he
weighs the pros and cons and must have decided the
pros outweigh the cons.
What I am driving at is insecurity. I want to
move in to get to that level of understanding and
comprehension of what the other person is about.
Our issue is that I am an emotional female and he
is an overly logical male.
I am sorry if it seems like I am writing an
advice columnist, but it seems like you have a
handle on when to, and when not to make these
A second opinion seems silly to you??? Actually,
I "am" an advice columnist, so it doesn't seem odd
to me at all. Here's what's going on:
You two really are opposites. That can be a very
good thing - or a very bad thing depending on how
you handle it. If he's logic and you're emotion,
that's going to make for some very challenging
times indeed! It's far better to have a balance
between them as you both not only need to get your
own needs met, but you also need to be able to
understand (and sometimes adopt) the other's point
of view. Being on such opposite sides of the fence
may create great tension between you. I first
suggest that you both work on this as a goal in
your relationship; to gain a better handle on the
other's methods to understanding and dealing with
both joys and problems within the relationship.
With regards to moving in together, let's
consider a few points:
First of all, you mentioned that "...a year and
a half seems like a long time..." My question is:
for what? Do you think that you need to move in
together or be married simply because of the
passage of time? That's very short-sighted in my
humble. Living together, dating, marriage, etc.,
are not "relationships". They are FORMATS of
relationships! Do you understand the difference?
It's a critical distinction. The format has nothing
whatsoever to do with the quality other than the
more "tight" the format the greater the conflicts
in a less-than-perfect relationship; and let's face
it - there is no perfect relationship! I would
strongly urge you to forget the timeframes and
focus on the quality instead. Make decisions for
your relationship based on what you want to grow or
change - not because a certain amount of time has
You mentioned that you and he don't wake up
refreshed from sleeping together. Can you learn to,
or are you going to start sleeping in different
beds? This is another critical question to answer
as if you wind up in different beds, or even
different rooms you're going to quickly question
your reasoning for being together in the first
place. Do you (or he) really need just a roommate?
Just because 1.5 years have past, do you really
think that if you don't move in together you're not
"going anywhere" with the relationship? Again,
Things like moving in together and even getting
married isn't going to solve your insecurity
problems. This is internal - not external. It's
just as easy for one person to cheat when living
together or being married as it is when you're just
dating. That's not going to solve your insecurity
issues; and in fact, it may even make it worse.
When tensions arise in the relationship are you
going to assume that he's out with other women? I
can assure you that they will arise as that's part
of being under the same roof. Insecurities need to
be handled before you consider such a drastic
change in your relationship format.
All in all, the reasons for moving in together
should stem from having a terrific, solid
relationship in the first place and both parties
wanting to grow all those good things. It should
never be done (nor should marriage) in order to
solve other problems. It exists for its own benefit
and for its own reasons.
Do YOU Have Different
Rules For Women?
Here's an interesting question I was recently
asked: are there different rules for women and men
when it comes to the entire dating/sex/relationship
game, and if so, what standards should women enjoy
that men don't?
One of the reasons why women pull things like
"the crying game" (NOT the movie - eeew!) and other
little relationship-manipulation techniques is
simply because we men let them do it. We often know
that they are doing it (or at least suspect) and we
still allow it to go on! Frankly, nothing will
cause a woman to lose respect for you quicker than
for her to know you see it and still tolerate
As adults (and I'm assuming that you're only
dating adults), it's completely reasonable for you
or any man to expect the women in your lives to
live up to being an adult. That means taking
responsibility for one's actions and for the
outcome of events. We are not women's buddies,
saviors or therapists. We have reasonable needs and
expectations and just because those may differ from
someone else's makes them no less valid.
If you want sex - fine!!! If she doesn't -
fine!!! If she wants love - fine!!! If you don't -
It's everyone's responsibility to step up to the
plate and strive to get what they want while giving
others what they want in return. Instead, what men
often do is try to play both sides of the net. They
want to get what they want, and to insure that the
other person gets what they want too.
That's an honorable position, but in fact, it's
futile. You can't do this adequately and by
attempting to take responsibility for it, you're
almost insuring that neither person gets what they
want. Even worse, you're wasting huge amounts of
your limited resources to get nowhere.
On the other end of the spectrum is the guy that
women (and many men) complain about all the time -
the user. He has absolutely no concern about anyone
else and is solely focused only on his own needs.
He is an emotional child. However, this doesn't
describe most men; although you'd never know it by
listening to some women! While being very visible
through the contempt he earns, he's also pretty
rare because he insures his own failure. Are there
exceptions? Sure. There's the guy that continues to
take and take and take, and simply because of some
less-important aspect of his persona or life,
others continue to give - to a point. Some
celebrities are like this for instance. It's not
because they are extraordinary people, but because
they have an extraordinary job; that there's always
someone else 'round the corner willing to give
something more. Ultimately, these people burn out
those around them and either wind up alone in
obscurity, or fix their ego-problems and join the
rest of us.
There is a reasonable balance, and it is this:
be clear, specific and know what you want in your
life and in your relationships with others. Strive
to achieve it by learning ("earning") the tools you
need to get it, and be responsible and accountable
for your actions. Learn to use these tools well and
efficiently to your own benefit and the benefit of
those you deal with. The fact is; when you own
something - you take better care of it. Do you take
better care of a rental car or the one you buy with
your own money? Of course, the one you buy, simply
because you invested time, effort and skill in
obtaining it. It's "worth" more and you treat it
At the same time recognize that nothing ever
comes about in a vacuum. If you stay aware of what
others want and help find ways for them to get it,
(but NOT by trying to give it to them), you are far
more likely to get your needs met at the same
You don't do this however by trying to do the
work for others. They themselves have to earn it
too, or the getting means nothing. You can't make
women feel better about themselves, and by design,
you can't make them feel worse either. These are
choices that each of us make for ourselves. It's
entirely reasonable for us to expect women to be
and act like adults and to deal with situations -
both good and bad - from the point of
This is why you can't "buy your way into her
pants" or "make her fall in love with you" or "will
her to want you" or anything like that. Likewise,
you can't make up for past hurts inflicted by
others or fix the fact that her daddy didn't hug
her enough. Only she can do this and you actually
make her life better (and therefore your life too),
by expecting her to do so.
Therein lies the key to true happiness in my
Why It's So Hard To Not
Be A 'Nice Guy'
Oh, how easy it is for us to slip into "nice guy"
mode! We have a natural tendency to want to be nice
guys and even believe that this is exactly what
women want from us. As you probably know, it's not.
Then, why do we do this?
Let me tell you a little story (I'll keep it
Many years ago, I got my pilot's license. During
that time I learned a very important lesson about
flying: what you think is going on (because of your
senses) is NOT what you ever want to use in
actually flying a plane. Take the situation where
you're flying "blind" such as in clouds. Your body
tells you constantly that you're banking (turning)
when in fact; your instruments say that you're
flying straight and level. Add a little climb to
this and the effect is dramatically increased. In
order to be a successful pilot (that is, to "live")
you have to get over the overwhelming desire to
react to what you think you feel, and to rely in
your instruments, believe them, trust then and do
what they tell you to do.
So too it is with hunting women.
We have a natural, inborn tendency to try to be
"nice guys" even though this is absolutely contrary
to anything that really works with women! Most
guy's greatest challenge is to break out of what
they FEEL is right, and to start DOING what is
right. We need to use the tools we have (such as
BAM) in order to get past our natural tendencies
and to be successful with women.
Look at the recent case of a friend of mine. He
just wants to believe against all hope that
somehow, because if "feels good"; that he can
"will" women into sleeping with him, finding him
attractive, etc. He wants to believe it so badly,
that he'll actually spend tons of cash on it, and
defend it to the end. Some "experts" pray on this
simply because most guys want feel-good, quick-fix
answers and the belief that they can control their
outside world if they just want it badly enough or
discover the "secret".
We here know that this doesn't work. Instead, we
learn to rely on our instruments instead - and do
what they tell us to do.
Do you know a sexy, strong woman at your place of
work? Perhaps she's a manager or business owner.
Maybe she's a salesperson that works with your
company or she represents a vendor. Do you want to
know a little secret about her? She's very likely
demure and submissive in the bedroom!
What's that? How can that be? She's a real
ball-buster during the day!
Sure, that's her persona during the day, but
studies show that the vast majority of women shift
roles when it comes to their emotional/sexual
lives; with a distinct direction: from dominance to
submission. This seems like a strange dichotomy,
but stick with me here.
While many women are terrified of others knowing
this fact, most women prefer a submissive bedroom
role. I'm not going to go into all the science
behind this, but it's an important thing to
understand if you're actually attracted to one of
these "strong-by-day, submissive-by-night" types of
Let's say that you want to approach one of these
girls. How do you do it? First, if you're already
the CEO or VP of your company, you have a much
stronger chance of being accepted than if not. It's
unfortunate, but the stronger a woman is (and the
higher her position within a company) the more men
she'll cut out of her "potential date" list. That
doesn't mean you have no chance however.
The approach here is one of strength and
confidence - much more so than other women. The
reason is that these women want to be with men they
perceive as even stronger than they are. This is a
critical element in the approach because it has to
be just as strong and confident. If you waiver
here, you're not going to get a second chance.
Your approach isn't one of "Hey, want to go have
drinks after dinner?" Instead, you want to say
something like, "I don't know what your plans are
for Friday, but cancel them. I'm taking you out for
drinks. I'll pick you up at 8 sharp." This is a
very powerful position to take, but trust me; it's
the correct one for this girl.
You have to be able to carry this confidence
into dating too. When you date a strong woman be
ready to show even more strength and have more
direction than her! This is a tall order for many
men, but having clear, concise goals and an
understanding of these rules helps to make it
easier. Be goal-oriented and know what you want
with her. If you don't, she's liable to walk all
over you and impose her goals right up to showing
you the door.
One other thing you'll find with these strong
women is that you'll get Tested (beingaman.com/articleviewer.asp?ID=348)
more often and with greater intensity. This
challenge is simply to prove that you're still the
powerful guy you appeared to be during the initial
approach. It may last well into the relationship by
the way! If you falter on these Tests, you might
just lose her completely.
So, after all this work, what's the benefit to
you? Simple - a devoted, loyal, willing and happy
girlfriend! Someone who will easily take your lead
anywhere you want to go be it in the relationship
or in the bedroom. These women are very special and
any man that can win her is in for a real treat.
She tends to be sexually adventurous, creative and
enthusiastic - more so than most women. She'll
continue to give you reasons to trust her because
she is paying you back for being the man of her
dreams. She'll even become the woman you've dreamed
of all your life simply because she wants to make
You just have to make it past all the initial
suspicion and challenge you'll get; but trust me,
it's worth it.
Why do these strong women want to be submissive
in the bedroom and the relationship? There are many
subtle answers but most of it comes right down to
natural wiring. Feeling safe and secure in a
relationship is a critical element for all women.
If you think about this, isn't just about every
aspect of men's relationships with women involved
with proving this security? You bet it is!
Now, obviously this doesn't apply to every
strong woman - especially if her strength is born
out of fear of weakness; but it's true of most. You
can safely approach strong women with the belief
that they're looking for an even stronger man so
that they can melt into the comfort of the willing,
submissive role - until proven otherwise.
How to Handle the Silent
Let's say that you've dated a girl a few times and
all of a sudden, she stops picking up the phone or
returning your calls when she was very responsive
before. What do you do?
First, you stop pouting and sitting by the phone
trying to will her to call by sending your aura
through the telephone wires.
Instead, you decide to take some action. Simply
jumping however is never a good plan. Instead, you
use this three-step silent treatment guide:
analyze, plan and act.
Step #1 - Analyze
First of all, let's be sure she's really
avoiding you. Just because she didn't call you back
within a few minutes - or even hours - doesn't mean
that you're getting the silent treatment. Instead,
she may just be busy. It's rude to not return a
phone call within a day or so however. If you
haven't heard from her via any of the many
communication methods in 3-4 days, you're likely
Let's try to analyze why this happens. Think
back about your recent interactions with her. They
may have been fun for you, but try to remember what
she did or said, how she acted, etc. As you do this
however, keep in mind that women are notoriously
good at hiding their real feelings! It may be
difficult to analyze exactly what she was feeling
at the time, but you can probably get pretty
There are many possible reasons for her pulling
back, but here are the most common:
1) She gets bored. Trust me on this one: women
have an image of the man they want to be with. If
you're not that man, she may feel like she's
wasting her time. I chastise women about this all
the time by telling them to be more open to new
people rather than being locked into one "model"
all the time.
These women will actually look for ways that you
don't fit their models! If she gets the idea that
you're not her man, she'll pull away. She probably
won't tell you this or ask you to take her home
however. You'll just be left wondering what
2) She starts to feel pressure. Many women are
terrified of men pressuring them into something
they don't want. This is the most common source for
"Let's Just Be Friends" (LJBFs) comments as an
Men often have an agenda when they go out with a
woman, (as you should!) After all, it's your job to
lead this little dance. Likewise, women want you to
do this. They want to feel like you have some
direction and purpose for going out with them.
However, if they feel like you're moving too fast
or not fast enough, they start to feel pressure and
can express it by not calling you back or returning
your emails. This is most often done out of fear of
having to justify their feelings.
Of course, adults have to do this all the time
in the real world. It's not adult behavior to
simply avoid calling someone and telling them what
they do or don't want. However, women do this all
the time in order to avoid conflict.
3) She meets someone else. If a woman calls you
and starts to tell you all about some great guy she
just met and how excited she is about him; you, my
brother are centered squarely in the "friend zone"
with this woman. In other words, she doesn't see
you (and likely never has) as anything other than
her "friend". Bad form old buddy! See my FAQ's
On the other hand, if she originally started
dating you because she was hoping you'd be more
like the new guy she met; don't expect a call to
tell you so. Women won't do this. Instead, by not
calling you back, they are trying to tell you to
As with "feeling pressure" above, this isn't a
very mature way to handle the situation!
4) She's giving you "The Test". I talk about
"The Test" in my books and many articles. Not
calling you back can be a very direct form of The
Test. You need to understand The Test and how to
deal with it as you absolutely WILL be Tested!
Step #2 - Plan
Either you try to make contact and get things
handled with her - for good or bad - or you move
on. If you're going to move on, don't feel like you
have to tell her this if she won't return your
calls or emails. She'll assume that from your lack
of follow-up. Just move on.
On the other hand, if you want to get a
definitive "yea" or "nay", then you'll eventually
have to contact her for it if she won't give it to
you on her own. This isn't a good time to just
react since you don't know the real reason for not
hearing from her. She may actually have a good
reason! Really!! Likewise, if this is The Test,
you'll have to react to it to beat it.
So, a little planning here is going to go a long
way. Decide just what you want to know. Don't leave
things open. Instead, have a specific plan of what
to ask her. The simpler and clearer your question
is; the better.
Also, make a promise to yourself to absolutely,
positively NOT be apologetic about anything! This
is a critical step. For instance, don't call her up
and pre-apologize for some perceived harm and
expect her to be sympathetic. You'll come off as
weak and unreasonably sorry. After all, what did
you do? You took her out a few times for fun and to
get to know her. You have absolutely nothing to
apologize for, so don't open like this!
Write down the basic things you want to ask.
Don't create an entire script; just make 2 or 3
bullet points so that you can be sure to get them
answered. Also, don't make assumptions about her
answers. This will just lead you to a conclusion
that you've created rather than one that flows
naturally. Instead, concentrate on what you want to
Lastly, expect to hear that she's wanted to call
you and is glad to hear from you. This might very
well be the case.
Step #3 - Act
I suggest that you avoid showing up at her work
or some other function however. Don't go by her
home either. This could be a very bad move for
everyone involved. Instead, give her a call - no
letters, email, text messages or faxes! These are
just too impersonal. If she won't answer the phone
after you've tried a few different times, leave a
voicemail message; but try to call her when you
really believe you can talk to her.
When you call, simply say, "Hi, it's Dave
[you should probably use your own name
here]. I was very surprised that you didn't
return my call! Is everything OK with you?"
She might just say, "Yeah - everything's ok" and
stop. If she doesn't seem to want to talk to you,
just expose it. Say, "You don't sound like you want
to talk to me. Is there a problem?" If she gives
you a curt "no", then just end the conversation and
move on. She's not interested in going any further,
and you shouldn't waste your valuable time.
On the other hand, your point here is to get a
dialog going. If she doesn't call you back because
she's "too busy", that's rude, and there's nothing
wrong with you pointing it out. You can say
something like, "I appreciate having my phone calls
[or emails, texts, etc.] returned. That's
only polite. After all, I always try to do that."
Then, let her answer.
Be careful to not be accusatory here. Don't say
things like, "Well, YOU did ." or ".YOU said..."
etc. You're just collecting information here and
seeing where things are going. That's all.
As she answers your questions, try to categorize
her meaning. If you're not sure what she's saying,
ask her to clarify by saying, "Are you saying ."
and insert your question. Listen closely to what
Don't fall into the trap of make excuses for her
behavior however. Men do this all the time. If she
tells you that there's something about you she
doesn't like, fine. Don't try to change her mind
about it or make excuses. On the other hand, if
she's just flaky, you shouldn't have to tolerate
that from her and its ok to say so.
Finally, be careful not to overreact. Listen to
what she tells you and react in a calm, comfortable
way. If this is The Test, you want her to know you
expect to be treated properly - and that you're
willing to walk (WTW) if need be. You can have
expectations of her just as she can with you!
Consider too if she's just flaky. If she can't
pick up the phone and return your calls, is she
really worth your trouble? I seriously doubt
Finally, if you aren't getting the responses you
think you should be, it's time to get out your
black book and call up a few backups for this next
What's that you say? You don't have any backups?
What are you thinking! Great women are all over the
place - get your lazy ass out there and meet a few.
This will change your outlook dramatically.
Break-Up Fake-Out, or Move
Out Without the Lout?
Dear Dr. Neder,
I was reading your article on 10 Signs Its Time
to Break Up, so I decided to write. I just broke up
with my boyfriend of 2 years (on and off) for
various reasons. I broke up with him 2 weeks ago,
and now I feel like I made a big mistake.
One of the reasons I broke up with him is
because he would sometimes go for days without
calling me because he was in one of his "moods".
Even though I told him repeatedly how horrible this
made me feel, he continued to do it. Another reason
was that I always seemed to be giving and never
For instance, he just got a new apartment, so I
furnished his bathroom, but a month down the road,
he forgot my birthday and then when I reminded him,
he still didn't get me anything. Other than that,
we had a really good relationship and he said he
realized I deserved better and was going to do
Do you think I should give him more time to
"work on himself" or was breaking up the best for
both of us? I would really appreciate your input.
You have to answer two questions; one of them is
simple and the other more complex.
The first question is this: did you break up
with him to punish him? Many people (particularly
women) will do this. It's both a threat and a
reaction to anger. In other words, you may have
just broken up with him to "get him back" for
hurting your feelings. Obviously, this isn't a good
idea. If you decide this is the case, then you
should definitely rethink this action. If you
decide it was a mistake, don't just go back and
hook up again. You need to get this problem fixed
inside of you. Relationships are fragile things. If
you continue this type of behavior, you're liable
to permanently damage it beyond repair.
The second question will take some time, and is
simply this: does this man meet your goals? Of
course, you actually have to have relationship
goals and very few people do. When you set these
goals, you need to really evaluate what you want in
your life; how your life will be when you find it
and consider every aspect. Be complete and
specific, but understand that this may take you
many hours. You also need to write this information
down somewhere - don't waste your time and just
ponder it. That won't get you anywhere. Also, don't
focus on "who" at this point, just focus on the
"what" and "why".
Once you're done with this project, simply
compare this man to your goals. How does he fit and
in the areas where he doesn't, are you willing to
live with that? If you are, fine. If not, can these
things be corrected?
After this exercise, you'll be much better able
to determine whether you need to go back to him or
Finally, it's entirely reasonable to expect that
he'll be involved with special events in your life
just like you are with him. If he doesn't seem able
to do this, you might want to ask yourself why this
is so. Is he so self-centered as to not be able to
get involved with anyone else or is he simply so
forgetful that you need to get him a calendar?
How Big a Gift is
My boyfriend (of 3 years) and I are committed to
spending our lives together. Prior to our
commitment he dated several woman, many of whom he
maintained contact with on a friendly basis after
we got together. I don't mind this, but last
Christmas when asked if he needed cards to send out
to them he stated, "No.there's no reason to"; yet 6
months later I found that he sent them gifts.
We discussed it and I stated that while I didn't
mind it; I was upset that he said he wasn't and
stood by it until I approached him with the credit
card bill. This year I asked if he needed to send
cards and he said "yes. but only to 2"; his
long-time friend/ex-girlfriend of 20 years and his
last girlfriend/friend that he remains in contact
He claimed that he only talked to this last girl
a few times over the last few months, but I pay the
bills in the house which state otherwise. He wanted
to spend about $50 on a gift for her. I said, ok,
but that it needed to be an "impersonal gift" since
they no longer have a strong
friendship/relationship and that an art book would
be appropriate. He was very defensive about this
and just shut down, saying, "Oh, I just won't give
her anything then!"
My point is this: if she is just a regular
friend and less then his long-time buddy an
occasional 15 minute phone call 2 times a month
would be appropriate. As well, I don't have a
problem with an impersonal gift, but anything more
is like a slap in the face to me! Needless to say
my feelings were hurt when he got so defensive.
I will admit there was a twinge of jealousy and
hurt that he would push for a big gift for someone
that he states is a little more than an
acquaintance now after 3 years. So what's the
I don't read minds in order to tell you
"...what's the deal..." with him. Instead, let's
talk about you.
What's the deal?
What exactly are you accusing your boyfriend of:
cheating with an ex-girlfriend, or being a lavish
gift-giver? Do you think that by spending more
money than YOU think he should that he's somehow
betraying your relationship?
It seems to me that he's committed to you and is
doing what he needs to be doing in that vein. It's
also obvious that he feels he can't tell you the
truth. Why do you think that is? Is it just because
he's a dishonest lout, or do you think that you
have anything to do with him not being able to tell
you the truth? (Answer: it's the latter)
I see this all the time, (more often by women
than men although men are sometimes guilty of it
too). They set their partners up to fail, over
react to things that really have no bearing when
everything else is otherwise solid in the
relationship, and then question when their partners
go underground with their actions.
Frankly, this is just a recipe for more
underground activity! What starts as a few "white
lies" sometimes becomes much more where the person
is not only telling lies, but actually out looking
for something (or someone) else simply because they
believe that they don't have an honest and open
relationship. This is the ultimate "vicious cycle".
I'm not saying that's what is happening in your
case, but it's common enough to make the point
What do you really want in your relationship? Do
you want someone that will do whatever they feel
like behind the scenes and lie to you about it or
do you want someone that is open and honest about
what they do, say and think? If you want the
honesty, you're at least 1/2 responsible for
creating the environment where it can thrive.
Here's another way to handle this situation:
tell him that you don't agree with his choice, but
recognize that the choice is his. Tell him also
that you'd appreciate it if he'd tell you about
these and even bring you in on the decision since
these gifts are from both of you - not just him.
These girls aren't just his friends - they
effectively are friends of your relationship itself
since the relationship is affected by them.
If you give him free reigns to do whatever he
wants and just stay out of it, you're probably not
going to be happy with the end result. On the other
hand, if you get involved with all of this as his
partner, you'll have much more authority in what
happens and be a better contributor to the
Is She Just a Habit?
You and she are a couple and have been dating for
awhile. You've fallen into a pattern that seems
comfortable and even safe. Sure, you fight once in
a while, but you have fun too.
The only problem is that you're bored and you're
wondering what else you're missing out there.
It's easy to fall into dating someone out of
habit, especially when you consider what you have
to do in order to meet someone new. You have to
meet someone, learn about them, go through all the
courting rituals, handle problems, spend time,
money and emotional energy and rebuild a new
Do you and she have the same goals? Do you both
enjoy the same activities? Are you sexually
compatible? There are a thousand and one
considerations with each new person you meet!
The end of the year is a good time to start
reconsidering your goals and direction. You might
create "New Year's resolutions", but I suggest you
build goals instead. Resolutions tend to be vague.
For instance; "I'm finally going to lose that 30
pounds, and have the hernia fixed." It doesn't
mention when you're going to do these things.
Goals on the other hand are very specific and
have a timeframe for their accomplishment. By
looking at your goals before New Year's day, you're
pro-actively crafting next year to fit your needs,
not simply hoping for something better.
So, how do you decide if she's just a habit?
First, sit down and think about what you want in
your relationship life. What are you looking for
and how will you feel, think, act and be when you
get it? How does that image apply to your current
If it's substantially different, you might very
well be in a habit with her. This may be a good
time to re-evaluate that relationship and consider
breaking out to find a new one. You're going to
have to determine if you have the skills you need
to do this and again, the first of the year is a
great time to begin the work of gaining these
The real key to this however is to have clear,
written goals of what and whom you're looking for
and to craft this into a plan. Be sure to include a
timeframe for this plan too! Otherwise it's simply
a dream and you'll never get started on
© 2006, Dr. Dennis W.