Being
a Man
Archive
2007
 

Dr. Dennis W. Neder is the author of Being a Man in a Woman's World I and Being a Man in a Woman's World II. Have a love, dating, relationship, sex or man/woman question? You can write to him by going to: beingaman.com/ask_question.asp for answers. Check out the discussion group at: groups.yahoo.com/group/beingaman . Stay tuned for our new Internet TV Show - BAM TV - starting soon!

Do You Think She Likes Me?


I'm 18 years old and I can't seem to get any friendly advice from anyone about this girl I like so maybe you can help me out! I met a girl over at the local community college this past week, and I can already tell that I'm developing a major crush on her! She is absolutely beautiful! I have an algebra class with her on twice a week. So far we've had only 2 classes together, but I think she might like me a little bit too, but I don't know for sure.

So far she always sits across from me at my table, and she's always been really nice and friendly to me! She always talks to me a lot during class, and she laughs and smiles at my jokes, so I guess that's a good sign too. I know it might be a little early to tell whether she likes me or not, but based on what I told you so far do you think she might have at least a slight interest in me? What's some ways I can tell that she likes me? Thanks so much for reading this. Have a wonderful day!

Hello!

First of all, you need to really let this concept sink into your head: it doesn't matter whether or not she likes you. You can MAKE her like to as much or as little as YOU want. This is the rule of women.

Men make this mistake all the time - they want to use their own beliefs about attraction (for themselves) as the yardstick by which to measure women. That's not reasonable as women are very different creatures from you and me.

I'm sure you'd agree that women's hair, skin, smell, voice, etc. are all different from us, right? So too with the way they become attracted to men.

What her flirting is doing is to open the door for you. She's in effect saying, "Ok, I'm willing to let you make me interested in you." Now, it's your job to build the attraction.

That's the way it is, so do you just want to know that she's already attracted to you, or do you want to know how to MAKE her attracted to you? These are very different things and I hope you never worry about the former question again.

So, how do you make her attracted to you? Not in the same way she makes you attracted to her! She has to be friendly, flirty, cute and engaging. You don't have to be any of these things. Instead, you have to simply be "masculine".

I like to use an example of what this means in order to give you a better picture of it. Imagine James Bond for a moment. Now, we'd agree that this character is "suave" and "polished", but that's not what I'm talking about here. Instead, imagine how he'd handle this situation.

First, he wouldn't worry about whether or not the woman is attracted to him simply because he knows it doesn't matter. Instead, he'd do what you're going to do: he'd just tell her to give him her number and to be ready to go out on a date! It's that simple!

Women react positively to our strength and negatively to our weakness. I know you've heard stories of the girls that "fall in love" with the underdog, but that's not reality. It's something made up by other underdogs to give them hope. In the rare instance women do become involved with these guys it usually doesn't last as they get bored very quickly and go off to find someone more powerful.

Thus, that is where you want to be!

The very next time you see her, I want you to look her right in the eye and say, "You know, I like your laugh. Give me your phone number and I'll call you so I can get to know the girl behind it a little better." Then, hand her a piece of paper and pen.

Trust me, it's really that easy!

Best regards..

Talk is Cheap - Learn to Do It Right!


Dear Dr. Neder,

I saw your articles on the Internet and was hoping that you would give me some advice. My ex-boyfriend broke up with me almost five months ago. He and I were friends for a few years before we dated, and we dated for about 11 months. What bothered him most (as far as he would tell) was that he felt that we didn't have "connections." He wanted us to "see eye to eye" and "be on the same page," and yet as much as we tried, we always ended up misunderstanding each other. The communication problems were really bothering the both of us, but particularly to him. When we broke up, he claimed that he had tried six months to connect with me, but it wasn't successful. So then one day he came to the conclusion that "we would never connect," and then every time he saw me after that, he would think, "the connection will just happen," but it never did. So finally he felt completely exhausted and had to break up with me.

At first we agreed to stay friends, but over time I guess I apologized too much and told him too much that I still cared about him, that it ended up pushing him further away. I feel really guilty for not being able to create more connection with him. I wish I had been more understanding and less argumentative -- perhaps it could have made him feel better and more understood that way. Another thing is I was too needy -- at least in his eyes. I know I should love myself more now and cling less to him, and I want to be a better girlfriend to him if we could get back together. But it's too late now. I have been trying to improve myself over the months, and I really wish for another shot. I have given him some time and space. I didn't contact him for over a month before calling him again.

But then he got scared and pulled away. And this time, he emailed me and said that he had already moved on and was interested in someone else. He said he wanted me to move on and date other guys as well. He also said we needed to "take a break" from contacting one another because it was "proving difficult for us to have a friendship." I don't know what to do. I stopped emailing him, but I still wish that some day, down the line, maybe we could be friends again ... or even fall back in love.

Dr. Neder, could you please give me some insights into what you see in this situation? I know that perhaps right now there's not too much I could do, and I'm willing to wait. How long do you think I should wait before trying to contact him again? Is it possible at all for anything to work out in the future after people have "fallen out of love"? I'd appreciate your time and response. Thank you very much and I hope to hear from you!

Hello!

Connection is so often (as in your case) a problem with simple communication skills. I'm not sure you can get what you want here, but at least you can solve this problem for future.

The fact is, men and women communicate in different ways, but that's not the end of the story. People of both sexes even use different communication "systems". In my books "Being a Man in a Woman's World I & II" I talk about 4 different communication systems. This is all too complicated to get into deeply via email, but let me offer some things that will help.

Most men use a very direct form of communication whereas women often use an indirect form. When a man says "I'm tired" it means he needs to rest. When a woman says "I'm tired" it can mean anything from her need to rest to being "tired and done" with the relationship! Men often see this lack of specificity in communication as tedious and confusing, just as women often see men's lack of breadth in their communication as unsophisticated!

Likewise, women often use language to explore how they think about an issue. They'll speak about every aspect of it in order get a better picture. This drives many men crazy because they want to go right to the major points of the issue and then spend their time using logic to solve it like a problem - which drives women crazy!

From these few examples, you can see how far apart men's and women's communication systems can be! This is why we often don't feel "connected" between us. Our own communication systems keep us apart.

The good news of this is that you CAN learn to speak to men in our language and even teach men how to speak to you in yours. Understanding these differences help you break through to much better connection. This is particularly critical when you argue because we all tend to revert to the systems that are most comfortable to us when we're hurt or angry and ignore the systems our partner uses!

With this said, I'm not sure you can repair all the damage that has gone on between you two. He's obviously on to other things now and feels that dealing with you is taking him backwards. I'd normally recommend giving him a few months to see if he changes his mind, but since it's been even longer than that, I doubt he will.

Hopefully, armed with this new information, you can turn your next relationship into a uniquely "connected" one.

Best regards...

Dealing With the Fear of Rejection


As men, we know that it's our job to do the initial approach, to get phone numbers and/or email addresses, to set-up dates, to convert to sex, to begin relationships, etc.

It's not that women can't do these things, (and in fact, I recommend that women do and even teach them how), but because of many psychological pre-wiring issues, women often will not. Thus, it's our job to not only learn how, but to actually do this function.

Many men are so afraid of being rejected that they never even bother to learn these skills. So, in this article I'm going to show you exactly how to get over your fear of rejection once and for all. You might give this a different name: shyness, social phobia or just plain terror, but in any case - it no longer needs to be a burden for you.

At the end of this article, I'm going to give you the ultimate trick to absolutely eliminate any fear you have, but read the next items first - they are the most important:

Step #1 - Education. Look, if you learn how to approach women the "right way", you instantly reduce anxiety because you know you're maximizing your probability for success. It's that simple - and yes, there are "right" and "wrong" ways! By knowing what to say, how to act, and what to do, you're not going to be stumbling over all of this when you approach.

There are a ton of resources on my website to help you here. In fact, there are over 500 articles, books, CD's, DVD's, podcasts and even software all dedicated to helping you with every aspect of your game. (http://beingaman.com) There's no longer a reason for you to not know exactly what to do, where to go or to lack any other resource!

Step #2 - Practice. The very first time you try a new thing, it's going to be difficult for you. We already know this is true, so go get it over with already! What are you waiting for? If you know the second time will be easier than the first, go get the first time out of the way! It really doesn't even matter with whom you try it - just go do it!

Then, the second time will be easier. The third will be easier still, the forth will be even easier, and so on.

You have to practice these skills but you can do it in small, manageable steps. You might begin by just making eye contact. This is very non-threatening and easy to do anywhere other people are found. Then, add a "hello" or "good morning". You'll be surprised at how many people will respond. Next, smile - it's easy to do. You can continue practicing and building your skills from here.

Step #3 - Refine. We are all different people and what works for one guy won't necessarily work the same way for others. You want to take your skills and continue to refine them in order to get the best possible results out of your efforts.

To refine them you want to try the things you learn and make small adjustments. Then, try them again. If these adjustments increase your success, then continue along that path. If not, go back and either stick with the previous method or try another in some other way. It won't be long before you have a set of tools that work for you almost every single time! Just imagine how your fear will fade when you have 5 phone numbers you're working on with the possibility of get more any time you want!

And now, the most important element of this discussion:

Here's an incredible trick I know to absolutely eliminate your fear of rejection - and this works for both men and women.

It's this simple: raise your standards.

What exactly does this mean? Simple:

Right now, you probably have the "standard" that you'll feel rejected whenever someone says "no" to you. That's a pretty low, weak standard, indeed! What if you changed this around and started to accept the standard that you'll only feel rejected when someone slaps you or throws a drink in your face?

In effect, by making this simple decision, you're "raising the standard" of what it takes for you to feel rejected from the simple "no" to being assaulted. That's pretty cool!

Now, I can tell you that the likelihood of being assaulted is pretty low. Thus, you'll never feel rejected again if you adopt this simple, easy belief.

It all comes down to the decision to raise your standards.

Best regards...

10 Ways Women Can Be Lousy In Bed


Are you a good lover? Sure, you say you are, but if I asked 3 of your ex's, what would they say? I'll bet they may have a different opinion. I've had many women tell me that they were really incredible only to find out later that they were duds. If you'd like to be just as good (bad) as these women, here are your keys.

1) Taking ex-lover's opinions. Any guy that wants to play sheet-hockey with you is going to tell you how great you are. I'm sorry, but we guys lie to you not to hurt you, but to prevent you from being an even worse - or scarce - lover. We have enough to worry about with just getting good sex to add to it.

Here's a bottom line you should adopt: don't use the salesman's opinion to judge the quality of the product. Of course we're going to tell you that you're awesome! We're just glad we got some sex! Consider too that because so many women are "sex-challenged", many men have never been with a good lover in the first place.

2) Assuming you're good in bed. Every woman I know thinks she's a great kisser and at least decent in bed. In fact in my experience, less than 10% are either. You don't have to take my word for this however, according to my own research; most other men put the number at around the same place!

Assuming that you're already skilled can actually prevent you from gaining the skills you really should have. Being "confident, but curious" will take you to that glorious 10% very quickly.

3) Not knowing your own sexuality. Many, many women don't focus on their own sexuality and assume that a man will come along to teach them everything they should know. Don't believe it. It is YOUR job to learn about your own sexuality so that you bring this to the table in a relationship. After all, if you don't understand your own sexuality - what works for you, what doesn't and what else you want to explore - how are you ever going to communicate this to your lover?

Some men may stay in a relationship with a lousy lover, but we constantly think about how it'd be with someone else. If you think that takes the pressure off of you fine, but don't be surprised when your lover decides he want to taste a little of that other fruit.

So, you're probably asking exactly how to learn about your own sexuality. The answer is simple: masturbation. This is the time you get to safely explore your own fantasies in private. Your mind is a creative, healing spring of energy and taking a little time for yourself is not only fun, it's the key to really understanding your own needs - and getting comfortable with them! This can be a powerful source growth if you use it that way.

4) A lack of experience. If you're saving yourself for marriage or for some knight in shining armor, just consider what you're going to have to give when it or he finally arrives. I can't tell you how many women just assume that everything will be incredible - and how many relationships break up because it's not.

Not many western men these days want virgins. For those of us with some experience, we realize that this is just too much work! I don't want to have to spend the next 5 years helping a woman just get in touch with her own sexual side - she should bring this to the relationship in the first place!

You've no doubt heard that sex ".isn't the most important part of a relationship." and while that may be true, it's in the top 3! Why would you spend so much of your time working on becoming the woman of your man's dreams, only to fail where it's most important to him?

I'm not saying that you should go out and bang every guy you meet, but you should see every sexual relationship you are in as a chance to grow your own skills for that guy that finally does sweep you off your feet. Doesn't he deserve this from you? (Answer: yes, he does!)

5) Reading books and articles written by women about what men want in bed. If I want to learn about car maintenance, I don't usually go to a guy that sells camels and ask. I'll go right to the mechanic. Women spend countless hours reading articles and books written by other women about how to satisfy men sexually. The trouble with this is that many of these women are just as inexperienced! Many men look at these articles too and most of us just roll our eyes.

6) Not communicating. If I or any man asks you what you like in bed, NEVER give the answer, "Oh, I like just about everything!" It's a cop-out and we know it. More important if you DO give an answer like this, don't be surprised if you come home one day and find your cousin, a horse, a trampoline and a clown in your living room ready for action.

Being with someone sexually is an opportunity to get your needs met - and to explore new ones. You can only do this by communicating honestly, openly and without embarrassment.

7) Not asking. Wouldn't you love to hear your partner ask you, "Honey, is there anything you really want that you haven't told me?" Guys do too! Very few of us are the insecure jackasses some make us out to be. If we know you want something, we'll almost always find a way to give it to you.

8) Complaining. When you ask for something and get it - even if it's not exactly right - don't complain. There are far better ways to improve things! That especially means right in the middle of sex.

Recommendations are taken far better than simply complaining about something. If you tell us what you want, we may still not exactly understand it from your perspective. Women are rather more complicated than men in this department. As I've already said, if we know you want something, we'll almost always try to give it to you. If it's not exactly what or how you like it, help us to understand it. You'll be the benefactor!

On the other hand, if you simply complain, get used to the idea that you're not going to get what you want - and it'll be your own fault.

9) Lack of enthusiasm. If you think holding back is the way to get us to be more interested in you, let me set you straight on this: it won't work. We'll simply find someone that won't hold back and leave you wondering what happened.

Your sexual enthusiasm also communicates your interest in us. That doesn't mean you have to bounce off the walls, but at least be interested in sex and want to grow with us. We'll return the favor in ways you can't imagine.

10) Being self-conscious. I know, I know, you're worried about the lighting, mood and every other little issue:

"Does my hair look good?"

"Am I making enough noise?"

"Am I making too much noise?"

"Does this pillow make my ass look big?"

Honey, you look great - really. We aren't concerned with all of this detail. We are focused on the sex itself - with you; not whether or not you have cellulite. In fact, we just don't give a damn! Stay with us in the moment and let's have fun together. This isn't an anatomy lesson and you're not competing with the girls in the magazine under our bed - really!

I hope that list has helped you sort out what you can do to be a lousy lover. Now, simply turn this around, and become a great one - both you AND your partner deserve it!

Best regards.

Marriage and Religion


Good afternoon Dr. Neder,

I have a girlfriend and she and I are in love. Almost everything is perfect - almost. We would really like to get married soon but there is a very subtle and fragile thing that seems to hinder the relationship and seeks to destroy it: Our religious beliefs. My girlfriend and I are of different faiths - I am Christian and she is not. I am not very devout in my religion but I believe some precious principles of it. I want to get married in a religious context, and have unity of religion with my partner. She wants to marry in a non-religious ceremony. There is also a rule of my faith that prevents me from getting married to her because she is not Christian.

She gave me the strong reasons why she doesn't want to become a Christian and told me that I should accept her like she is. I have no problem with that and I don't want to change her, but I still worry about this rule.

I really want to save this relationship but I don't know what to do. Can you help us?

Thanks,

Hello!

In effect, you are a religion-racist - a "religionist"! Take a look at your letter and substitute "race" for "religion" and some ethnicity for "Christian" and you'll see what I mean.

Just as I hope you'd see it would be wrong to dislike someone because of their race, you need to understand that it's also wrong to dislike or to disagree with someone for their beliefs. You've even stated that you're not that devout, yet you still want to hold on to this belief that your girlfriend has to participate in your beliefs in order to marry you. That's not a very "mature" position on this in my opinion - especially when you consider that this is your wedding - and hers too! What's next? Will you also insist that she goes to church with you on Sundays, that she reads the bible with you, that she believes in exactly the same things you do in exactly the same way and not believe in others just as you do, and that your kids have to be raised exactly like that too - all for some principal that you, yourself don't even fully accept?

Obviously, a person's beliefs are important to them, but the mistake you're making is that since your beliefs are of value and meaning to you, they should be of value and meaning to everyone else.

I'd suggest you do one of the following:

1) Decide that your beliefs are more important to you than your girlfriend and if so, break up and go find a girl that believes exactly as you do.

2) Try to find a compromise between what you want and what she wants. You do this by first deciding just what's important to you. Do you love her enough to let go of things that are less important than she is?

The bottom line is this: any God(s) in any faiths that demand someone follow every piece of doctrine blindly and with prejudice probably isn't a God I'd want to follow. Remember: this is your FAITH; it's not everyone else's FACT. There is a difference. Many faiths demand that you ignore this principle. All of the strife in the Middle East is based on this ignorance as an example.

Best regards

Just How Does A Guy Meet A Girl, Anyway?


Hello Doc:

I've never really known much of anything about dating. I'm 26 years old and I've never had a serious relationship. I feel like I've missed out on a lot of knowledge over the years and I feel like I'm sunk.

Where can I go to meet people? How do I introduce myself when I find someone?

Hello!

Here's the reality: MOST men don't learn very much about dating! Our fathers don't teach us, our schools don't teach us, our friends are usually in the same boat we are! On the other hand, women have all sorts of resources! They get information about dating and relationships from women's magazines, books, movies, their friends, their families, etc., etc. Women spend their entire lives studying this critical information and we guys get very little - if any - of it.

What most guys do is to wait around until some girl gets so frustrated that she approaches him - and then he doesn't know what to do with her! So, she gets bored very quickly and either stops taking his calls or just comes out and dumps him.

That's exactly why I wrote my books, "Being a Man in a Woman's World I & II" and "1001 Places and Techniques to Meet Great Women". These and my CD's, DVD's and articles have come after much study on my own - over 20 years of it! Interestingly, women complain about men's lack of skills all the time.

Ok, let's get to your questions:

1) Where can you go to meet people? The answer is simple: everywhere! Great women are everywhere you go - except your own living room. Thus, you need to get yourself out among people!

Have you ever been in a bookstore or coffee shop or supermarket and seen a good-looking woman that you'd have liked to approach? We run into women all the time just out doing our daily business. The problem is that most guys don't have the knowledge to actually go over and meet the woman. They spend their time thinking "Oh, she'd never be interested in me!" or imagining that she'd just shoot them down. In fact, this rarely happens, but if you know the skills, it NEVER happens!

Hobbies are another important way to meet women. In my first book, I talk about how important it is to have hobbies. Hobbies not only make you better well-rounded and more interesting, they give you access to other people of like interest! You instantly have something in common with someone that enjoys the same hobbies you do. Even better, there are clubs and organizations devoted to almost every activity you can think of!

In my e-book, "1001 Places." I talk about a ton of places to go and meet women and specifically how to approach them there.

2) How to you go about meeting women? This is a tougher question, but in fact, there are specific rules that you want to know. Dating and courtship are complicated rituals in humans with rules that have been the same for millions of years! Women learn these rules and expect men to know them, but as I've already said, women have many resources whereas men have very few.

Two of the resources you have are my books, "Being a Man in a Woman's World I & II". These books take you through every aspect of dating - how to find women, how to approach them, what to say, how to "close", how to get phone numbers, dates and even sex, how to create relationships, how to grow those relationships into your dreams and even how to handle relationship problems.

You can see this is a very extensive question to answer! The good news is that it's not difficult and ANY MAN can learn all the skills he needs to not only meet women, but to be successful with them! How cool is that?

One of my books will get you started, but they'll do a lot more for you - they'll give you life-long skills that you can begin using right now to start finding, approaching, meeting and actually winning with women! These skills aren't tough, but they are specific. Go get this information - you've already suffered without it for too long.

Best regards...

Learn to Kiss, Damn it!


Dear Dr Neder,

I have been reading your article on kissing. (www.beingaman.com/articleviewer.asp?ID=164 )

My question is about kissing someone you've just met. As a woman, I find that most guys love to shove the tongue in immediately rather than starting off a kiss slowly. Is it ok to tell them not to use the tongue or will they take that as an insult to their kissing ability and an indicator that you don't want to kiss them anymore? I find I have to try not to gag when they do this because I don't really like things shoved down my throat. I can't even go to the dentist without gagging! What should I do? I want to enjoy the kiss but all I can think about is how I might gag while I'm being kissed. I really don't like tongue kissing.

Thanks for you help,

Hello!

I'm always amazed at how many people - both men AND women - just don't know how to kiss well. This is what I consider a "dating 101" skill but many people skipped class. Of course, this is likely because they've never been with a good kisser before and don't know that there are certain skills and techniques involved.

It's not an insult to tell someone what you don't want if you tell them properly. If you simple recoil and say "Ewww..." that might be taken as an insult. But if you pull back and say, "Wait a minute, try it like this..." and show them you're effectively saying, "This is what I like..." not "This is what you're doing wrong..."

This same skill translates right into the bedroom. If you don't know how to ask for what you want, don't be surprised when you don't get it.

You might also refer this person to my article so that they can learn this important skill for themselves. By helping to teach this person how to kiss properly, you'll be doing a great service to anyone else they kiss later on. It's an important skill that everyone needs to learn - if only they can find a teacher.

Best regards

Getting Past Your Past


Dr. Neder,

I came across your articles on the Internet and thought I'd write for some advice. The short story is this: I was sexually abused throughout most of my younger years. Now, as I start to cope with this as a 32 year old man, I have found a 22 year old woman with whom I share many things. She has had questions in the past about many life issues, and has said she has many emotional challenges growing up.

She is a genuine sweetheart, and I am interested in her, but assuming I ever ask her out, how do we get past the age thing? Also, what can I do to open myself to someone after having been out of the dating game for the last decade? I've had no girlfriends, no real friends, no nothing....and now this ray of sunshine; this gem comes into my life! She has recently broken up with her boyfriend and is now available again. How long is too long to wait to ask her out, how soon is too soon?

Thanks!

Hello!

You've covered a lot of ground with your questions. Let's see if I can shed some light on them:

1) Age difference

The only age difference issue lies in those 6 inches between your ears. I'm older than you and have recently dated women as young as 23. 10 years is certainly not a big issue, and in fact, you're actually much more attractive to a younger woman because you have life experience. Are there differences between someone at her age and yours? You bet, but dating isn't about differences, it's about similarities. Focus on what you have in common - not what's different between you two. Then, share your differences while expanding both your worlds. Age is only a number.

2) Getting past your past

I'm sorry to hear about your past, but remember - your past isn't who you are now. In fact, you aren't really even defined by it unless you CHOOSE to be. That's a very important concept and you should go back and re-read it as many times as it takes to really get it to sink in. Everyone has had challenges in their past. Each of us deals with them in different ways. Who you are today might be molded by that past, but you ARE NOT YOUR PAST - those are only experiences that influenced you because you survived them, not because they happened.

This is a very difficult concept for many to grasp. You aren't "damaged", and in fact you are probably much stronger than people that didn't experience these things. You are the result of the survival, not of the abuse. However, if you focus on the abuse, you limit the ability of the survivalist within you to take charge and to come out. I hope that you've been through counseling about all of this and have put it behind you. If not, you need to do this right away. Consider that counseling isn't really about healing you - it's about making you the person you'll ultimately become for the people you'll meet in your life - like this woman! She deserves to have the best YOU she can have, but she can't make you that person - you have to do this on your own.

3) Learning the dating game

You say you've spent the last decade without a girlfriend or many friends. Unfortunately, that too is a choice. People don't come to you on their own - you go get them. In effect, you've spent the last decade stunting your own growth by not doing this! You have some real work to do now in order to catch up. The up-side to this is that there's lots of information and self-study available to you. I suggest you start with my books, "Being a Man in a Woman's World I & II" as they'll teach you the game from the inside out. You also need to better understand how women think, act, communicate, etc. These are all things you'll learn from the books.

Most guys spend years on trial and error, never really learning most of what they need to know. Women don't do this anywhere near as much! They have all sorts of relationship-study material available including books, movies, magazines and especially their own friends and family. Women spend their entire lives perfecting the techniques of relationships. While that's good for them, it's bad for you! The trial and error method means you're going to have to go through all sorts of relationships and try to learn from each one. Will you get the right lessons? Who knows? That's even more reason why you should seek out this information now rather than hope you'll just stumble upon it.

4) How long should you wait to ask her out?

Answer: about 1 minute should do it! There's an assumption that someone has to go through a "healing period" after a break up. For some people that might be true, but most people benefit from getting right back up on the horse that bucked them off. You don't really know the inside story of her relationship! Maybe she's been on the "exit plan" for over a year and actually broke up with him emotionally quite some time ago. On the other hand, maybe she got dumped right out of the blue. You don't know, but then, it's not your job to know. You're not committing any crimes here by asking her out! You're offering her some time to get to know a great guy. That sounds like a pretty good deal regardless of her past!

I suggest you get to started changing your life right now. Not everything will always work to your favor, but nobody is so special as to fail every single time. You can do this by merely deciding it. Make the decision and get going!

Best regards...

The Guy That Wants to Get Married


Dear Dr. Dennis:

I'm a 28-year-old guy and I've been working on my career for the past 5 years and have done pretty well for myself. I've decided that the next step in my life is to get married. Do you have any suggestions as to how I should get started?

Thanks!

Hello!

Yes, I do! Here it is: STOP!!!

First of all, I'm not against marriage. I think that when you find the perfect partner for yourself and that you've satisfied a number of other very important life-requirements that getting married is fine. On the other hand, setting that as a goal is a mistake, and is something I see women doing all the time. It becomes not so much about the perfect person as it is the wedding as an event and just "being married".

Like I've said for years, there aren't too many divorces, there are too many marriages!

So, when should you decide that getting married is the next step? After you've satisfied all of the following:

1) You've done everything on your "top 100" list. This is the list you create for yourself of the "top 100 things you've always wanted to do."

2) You're financially and emotionally stable.

3) You've met the woman of your dreams and you're 100% convinced that you'll never meet anyone else you'll feel the same way about.

4) You're ready to commit to making the marriage work regardless of the investment, and,

5) You want to start a family.

Oh, and your partner satisfies these same 5 things too! That's a lot of things to consider, but let me assure you every one of them is critically important.

Marriage rarely makes a relationship better. Many people get married only to learn this lesson too late. Then, they believe that having children will somehow bring them back together. Nope - wrong again! These are all things that add stress to the relationship.

The time to consider being married is when you already have the perfect relationship! You've been together for some time (I recommend no less than 2 years) and you've done all the other things in your life-list. Focus on the quality of your relationships - not their format. Being married has nothing to do with quality, it's only a relationship "format".

Best regards.

How Women Can Approach Men


Aloha Dr. Neder:

I just read your article, "Men: Learn how to be Approached" and found very it to be very enlighten. I would appreciate your advice on this subject:

What should I do after I give all the right signals to approach me and he still doesn't make a move? If I was to approach him...what do I say? I'm an outgoing and attractive woman but when I see a stranger I'm attracted too, I become shy and always end up walking away. I think I don't say hello because I don't want to be rejected or feel silly. Do you have any recommendations?

Thank you for your help.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Aloha!

Thanks for your comment on my article.

It's unfortunate, but many men just don't get these signals. Frankly, very few men even know how to read them! Worse yet, the subtlety of it all is missed by most guys. First, you have to be sure that you're giving big enough signals! What may seem large to you is likely still too subtle for the average guy. If you feel like you're over-doing it, then you're probably just about right.

Second, there's nothing wrong with women approaching men and I strongly encourage you to do it. There's no stigma involved in this any more and many men actually appreciate it. I'm doing everything I can to teach men how to approach, but I'm just one guy and can't possibly reach everyone out there.

Let's review what signals you want to give to make sure you have the right ones:

1) Eye contact (if possible - many people avoid eye contact these days!) This should last longer than feels comfortable to you. The length of eye contact is different in different parts of the US and even the world. The area code in your signature is Hawaii and eye contact norms for your island are slightly longer than they would be here in California where I live. You should be thinking about 3-4 seconds. This doesn't seem like much, but try it - it's tough! Further, when you make eye contact, you want to be the one that looks away. It's far better to look down and then to the side rather than looking straight to the side. Likewise, you may have to do this more than once - possibly 3, 4 or even 5 times for some guys! That's very difficult to do with some people.

2) Smile. If you can make eye contact and then add a sweet, pleasant, natural smile to it, you'll be far ahead of the game.

3) Proximity. If you can get closer to someone - into their own personal space - you'll also be much more likely to send the right vibes. You'll also get noticed that way.

4) Breaking the ice. It's perfectly ok to say "hi" to people. I suggest you actually practice this - say hello to everyone you meet. As you get into the habit it quickly seems very natural. By saying hello, you're opening the door for a guy to begin the approach with you.

Ok, now let's talk about how women can approach men.

1) I teach men to use "context" in order to approach women. In short, what does the guy have in common with the woman at that instant in time. Usually the location where they are is a good choice. For instance, if you're at a bookstore, check out what some guy is reading. You can comment on the subject of the book, the author or even the section. "Hey - I see you like photography too!".

You're not limited to the location however. You might like the shirt the guy is wearing or his watch. You might come up with a question like, "Excuse me - do you have the time?" or something else in context, "Hi there. I see you like sushi too - what items do you enjoy the most?" You can even ask for help such as at the car mechanics: "I always hate having my oil changed - do I really need all those other services?"

Any context you can think of is a good reason to break the ice.

2) Communicate! As with the previous example, this is all about communication. You want to begin to establish comfort, rapport and connection. Many guys just won't get that you're trying to meet them either because they're clueless about the game or they just don't think about it. On the other hand, those that do get it will take the ball and run with it. You won't have to do much beyond simply breaking the ice.

With the other guys, you want to learn to ask "open-ended" questions. These are questions that have more than a "yes" or "no" answer to them. For instance, if you ask someone about the time without a follow-up question, you'll get it and he'll just move on. On the other hand, if you ask an open-ended question you can get a conversation started. "Why did you choose that color of shirt? It really compliments your eyes." will get things rolling pretty well. You can go from one open-ended question to another and keep talking all night long!

3) Touching (or "kino" as we call it in the game) is a very important signal to most guys. Putting your hand on a man's arm signals not only familiarity but closeness.

4) The Close. This is where you either give him your phone number/email address or you move on to an impromptu date. Unfortunately, many men don't know how to close! That is, they don't know that they should ask for your number! They assume that you'll do the work for them if you're interested. Some women do if the interest level is high enough, but many won't and wait forever never to hear the guy ask.

Thus, you should be moving things toward the close at some point. You might even end things sooner than you'd like by just saying, "You know, it was nice to talk to you and I'd enjoy doing it again some time. Let's exchange numbers." It's really that easy.

Finally, don't be afraid of intimidating men. Today, very few men are intimidated by strong, direct women. Of those that are, do you really see yourself with that sort of guy anyway? In effect, by doing the approach yourself, you're actually pre-qualifying him!

Best regards...

Dating Rights Verse Dating Responsibilities


Hello Dennis,

You have always been very helpful to me in the past and I was wondering if you could help me out with this situation I've encountered.

My girlfriend smoked cigarettes for over 10 years but stopped. When we started dating I made it clear that I cannot date a smoker as I find the habit simply repulsive. She assured me she stopped and has no interest in smoking again.

She was babysitting for a friend of hers a few days ago, and when she got back they stayed up all night smoking weed. She talked about it with me and I said to her I thought she told me she stopped smoking. She said there's a difference between tobacco and pot and it's not the same thing. I told her I don't like smoking period and I don't see the difference. She went on to say weed is harmless and it's ok ,she only does it a few times a year, etc, so I said fine, just don't talk about it in front of me and under no circumstances smoke in front of me. She then said that may not be possible because "some opportunities present themselves" such as this trip we've planned to take in a few weeks.

I feel very uncomfortable with people smoking in front of me. I have been told time and time again that I am wrong for wanting a non-drug lifestyle, even the soft stuff like weed, and everyone does it and I should just relax.

Do you think I'm being unreasonable with my request for her to not smoke in front of me?

Thanks!

Hello!

There are really two separate issues here: the rights of smokers verse non-smokers, and the issues between your girlfriend and you. Let's take them in order:

Do smokers have the "right" to smoke wherever and whenever they want? The answer is actually very easy: no. Here's why: Just as smokers claim to have the "right" to smoke; (as in, "Don't tell me what to do with my body"), I have the "right" to swing my arms wildly about my head and shoulders. My "right" extends right up to the point when I strike you in the nose because then, I'm denying you your right not to be hit in the nose!

Smokers are free to do whatever they want, but that right ends when it negatively affects you - beyond simply insulting your "sensibilities". If you don't like the way it looks, that's one thing; however, smokers can't control where their smoke goes. Being forced to smoke someone else's second-hand smoke is entirely another thing because you have the right NOT to smoke if you choose. This makes no difference whether it's tobacco or pot. There's a word for when people both enjoy their freedoms and also insure the freedoms of others: "liberty".

With regards to your girlfriend you have a different issue at play. You have the right to be with a girlfriend that doesn't do something you detest. Likewise, your girlfriend has the responsibility to not inflict these bad habits on you if you don't want them. If your girlfriend wants to smoke pot and you're ok with that away from you, fine. However, she has no right to force you to be comfortable with smoking in front of you if you're not. Would you also demand that she do anal sex if she's not into it - and expect her to just be ok with it simply because you want it?

Here's the bad news: beyond simply laying down the law that she's not to smoke anything around you (no gray areas here) your only remedy if she refuses is to walk. If it's that important to you, you can't get through it and she refuses to comply, she's not the girl for you, plain and simple. You'd have to move on and find a non-smoking girl.

Best regards...

Find What Makes You Happy


Hi

I recently came across your article on "sabotaging relationships" through an Internet search and I really found it helpful. I'm writing to you because of my current situation. I am 31 years old and have grown up in a very religious community. Everything is judged superficially; family, appearance, etc.

About a year and half ago I met this girl and started a relationship, unfortunately, things went sour. I was in love with this girl and she was in many ways, my "dream girl". I tried my best to give and be a good partner in the relationship but she seemed to vacillate between hot and cold. Soon after, she ended the relationship.

I was crushed and didn't see it coming. She even told her parents a week earlier that she wanted to be with me forever but I guess her influences were to powerful for her and she choose that life over being with me.

Now, I'm in a relationship with a girl who is very giving and caring to me. She really shows that she wants to be with me and I kind of like it. She asked me if we are moving to the next level and getting married and I guess I felt obligated to her so I proposed. Now a month later, I'm starting to have second thoughts and its almost like I'm looking to sabotage this relationship. I find all sorts of things wrong with her.

I think that I never really got over the break up with my previous girlfriend. Why am I doing this to myself and what can I do to make my current relationship blossom and really build a life with some one that cares about me?

Hello!

Thanks for your comments on my article. It almost sounds like you want your existing relationship to be more like your last - with all the good things your girlfriend now brings. It appears that what your last girlfriend lacked, your current girlfriend has, and vice versa. Your question is about how to not ruin your existing relationship and to be happy with what you have. I first have to ask you a question: is what you have really what you need?

Obviously, neither you nor I can answer that question - yet!

You've probably sat down to create goals for your career and have probably written them down on paper. I strongly advise people to do this at least yearly. Do you have written relationship goals too? You should! Your relationship life is every bit as important as your career, and if you get the right one, you're going to find much additional happiness and support from it. Being in the wrong relationship can take away from everything else you do whereas the right one can aid your life in ways you can't even imagin.

When you create these goals don't consider the women in your life at all - look only at yourself. What do you want? What do you need? How will you know when you've found these things? These are the types of questions your relationship goals should answer. Trust me, this isn't an exercise you spend 1/2 hour on and thing you're done. This is something you may very well spend many evenings on! You want to be as complete as possible. You should answer everything from the qualities of the woman you're looking for to how your life will change when you find her. If you need additional help on creating these goals, see my book, "Being a Man in a Woman's World" as it goes into creating goals - and a plan for reaching them - in great depth.

There was a time when marriage was more about the communities we lived in. Today, that isn't the case and we can consider being married much more from our own needs than the needs of those communities. If you want to be married, that's fine, but do so for yourself and your own personal benefit - not because your community wants you to do this.

One last thing to consider: how do you know that the woman you're engaged to is the right - or wrong - one for you? First, compare her to your goals. How does she fit? What areas does she lack? Of the things she lacks, are they things where you can help her grow? These can be difficult questions to answer, but there's help! Check out my website for the free download of my "Rating Instrument". (http://beingaman.com/rating_instrument.htm) This software tool will help you really see what areas she's both strong and weak in and will give you an idea of how she fits your goals.

Best regards..

I Don't Want to Look Like an Idiot!


Hey Doc!

I work with this girl I really like and I talk to her every time we have a chance. She is the reason why I still stay at my job. She is funny and she makes me have a fun time whenever we work together, but I don't know if she likes me.

First off, she has a boyfriend, but it seems she still flirts A LOT. She calls me her "work boyfriend". We laugh together, kid around a lot and she always wants me to work longer hours so I can talk to her. Also she would call me at my house sometimes and ask if I want to go to a party she is at or if she is board at work or her house and just wanted to talk.

I think she is interested but the only thing is she has a boyfriend and I would look like a total idiot if she didn't like me. I NEED YOUR HELP!!! Is she just playing games with me or can I get closer and when she is single again I can have a chance?

Please reply to me with your advice and help, it will help me out a lot. Thanks.

Hello!

This sounds like a pretty good deal - for her! She gets to have you hang after work to entertain her, calls you when she's bored, has you pretty much at her beck and call anytime, anywhere. She never has to be bored at all. Oh yeah, and she doesn't have to give you anything at all in return. Sounds like a great deal to me, just not for you!

Every woman has a "boyfriend". These guys are just like you - they aren't the "ideal" guy but they are close enough in order for her to claim that she has a "boyfriend". This is the empty-restaurant theory: if you are hungry and you walk by two restaurants where one is completely empty and the other is packed, which one are you going to eat at? You'll choose the one with customers because it's obviously a better choice, right? Women work the same way - they all have "boyfriends" because they don't want to be seen as "empty". As soon as she finds a better "boyfriend" she'll trade up.

Further, you've said it yourself - she flirts with every other guy there too. This woman is a classic AW ("Attention Whore"). What she's really interested in is your (or for that matter - any guy's) attention! She flatters and teases you, but she knows damn well you're too much of a coward to actually ask her out on a date. Thus, you're "safe". She can use you for your attention until a real guy comes along and sweeps her off her feet. You've even structured your life around her! What's her investment for all of this? For all intents: nothing.

I'm going to tell you what you need to do in order to get through all of this, but frankly, I doubt you'll do it. You're too afraid of "looking like an idiot" (but then, what do you think you look like right now?)

What you need to do is to tell her, "Ok, clear your Saturday night. I'm taking you out." Then, go out on a real date. Don't over-spend on her and don't go nuts on anything elaborate. Just go out and have a nice time. Most important, you've got to kiss her! You're no longer the "friend"; you're now someone she's dating. I suggest you use the "opening kiss" technique from my website. Have fun, turn on the charm and get to know her. Also give her the chance to get to know you.

So, I hear you saying, "But what if she turns me down?" Great! You can stop wasting your time and then go find some woman that is worth your time and effort.

Best regards...

Moving On and Knowing That You've Moved On


I really am in need of some real help

I am a 19 year old man Last year I moved away from my first love who I dated for a year. I don't believe that I ever got over her. I went through a great deal of pain and grieved so much but I'm finding it tough to move on. I don't understand how a person is supposed to love someone and then move on to someone else.

Once I moved I found another girl who objectively is a lot better suited for me than my last girlfriend in many ways. For instance, she was able to show that she cared for me much more clearly, but I was never able to put my whole heart into her and the relationship.

I think I was always subconsciously resisting the change. It caused me to be unhappy a lot of the time and to never fall for this girl in the same way that I did for my previous girlfriend. I think I focused on her flaws and wouldn't be able to help her when she was sad because in my heart I didn't have the love for her that I should have. Instead I found her to be somewhat pessimistic and a nuisance when she was upset. I finally broke up with her.

If I heal and move on I might be able to be happy with this girl and even to get back together with her. What would you suggest that I do? How can I heal? Can you give me any insight that would help? Do you think I should see a psychologist?

Thanks so much for your time...

Hello!

I always encourage people to seek professional help if they believe that it can help them. If you really need to just talk to someone, a psychologist is a very good choice. However, I'm not sure what they can do to help you get over all of this. In fact, you're going to need more time and believe me, it really will get better.

Let me offer some perspective here:

Psychologists often use "personality models" in order to help better understand people in many different ways - the way they communicate, the way they react to certain situations, the way they understand things, etc. In fact, there are hundreds of such models that different experts use for different ways of interpreting and even predicting human behavior.

Obviously, no one model (or two, or three or even a hundred) can accurately predict every single person's reaction to every single situation. We are far too complicated for that! However, it's fully possible to predict the likelihood of certain outcomes. One such outcome would be attraction to other people.

You might admire your current girlfriend for many of her traits. Does that make her the "right girl" for you? Not necessarily. There are many factors involved and because of this I can't possibly go into them all here. However, attraction to someone is much more than simply having things in common. There is everything from the way she looks to the way she talks to the way she stands, sits and moves, to her belief system to the sound of her voice to the way she dresses to 1,001 other things. All of these have to be there for you to feel attraction - and in love - for her.

Did your other girlfriend have all of these? Frankly, it's very difficult to say! She may have - or maybe she didn't. It's entirely possible that you simply interpreted things about her in a specific way, and it's from your own interpretation that you feel "in love" with her. As you can see, this is very complicated.

Here's the up-side of this discussion: whether you feel respect, admiration, friendship, caring, attraction or love for someone else is a matter of degree. As you blend all of the factors you personally need in order to feel these various things, you're going to find that there are many, many women out there that you DO feel these things for. In other words, it's a mistake to believe that you have one "soul mate" in the world. In fact, according to my own calculations, you likely have thousands - possibly hundreds of thousands! That's a very positive thing when you consider your future from the perspective of right now.

You don't feel that spark for your current girlfriend like you did with your last. There's nothing wrong with that at all. It's just different. However, it should also tell you that you probably haven't found the right person for you and that you should keep looking. I constantly urge people to really address the things they want and need in their relationship lives by setting goals. Sitting down with a pen and paper over at least a few nights - and maybe many of them - will give you a perspective of yourself that's difficult to top. More important, it will help you better evaluate women as potential partners for both short- and long-term relationships.

At the same time, it will also help you to determine your own values to the women you're attracted to. Are there things you need to work on in yourself? Likely - yes. This little exercise will not only help you identify these things and get you on a path to earning them, it will also help you move on past your last relationship and right into your next.

This is the transition - and healing - you're looking for.

Best regards...

Handling Call-Backs, Messages and Setting Dates


Hi Dr. Neder,

I'm a 46 year old divorced man trying to find my way in the dating world again. I never learned how to play the game and now I've met a woman who I am very interested in but she is playing hard to get.

I met her in a bar and she gave me her phone number. I called her 3 or 4 days later and we had a great 2-hour phone conversation. Turns out she has a boyfriend in another state but I guess she is looking for something closer to home. She said she was going out of town for several days and would call me when she got back. I didn't hear from her so I called her and left, (in hindsight), a wimpy sounding message that probably came across like "I don't know if you remember me but...." I could kick myself for that.

Anyway she did call me back and she came out and met me again later. We had a fun time, some good laughs. When it was closing time, I walked her to her car and made a move and we started making out. After a few minutes of passionate kissing I asked her if she wanted to come back to my place, which was very close by. She said no. So I kissed her some more and told her I'd call her. I called her 2 days later and left a message for her. I waited all week for her to call back.

By this time I was pissed that she had taken so long in getting back to me. I missed the call and she left message saying she was sorry she had taken so long to get back to me but that she had had a "week from hell". So I waited a few days to call her and I got no answer and did not leave a message. I called again the next day (3 days after her message), and left a message saying "Hi it's me. How am I going to get you in bed if I can't even get you on the phone? Tag: you're it".

I didn't say it in an angry or sarcastic way, maybe a hint of annoyance at not being able to reach her. I should mention that our conversations on the phone and in the bar were sexually oriented at times. Anyway, that was a day ago and I'm a nervous wreck waiting for this woman to get back to me but I refuse to call her again until she calls me.

Did I screw up with my message? Do you think she'll call me? What should I do next? Any advice appreciated Doc.

Thanks!

Hey There!

Yes, the dating world is not like it never was (!) - It's full of rules, techniques, games and general craziness that most guys hope to learn before it kills them. Sadly, few ever really learn it, let alone get really good at it! It doesn't have to be that way however - there are answers!

Yes, you screwed up by leaving that message - and all of the messages you left for her. Here in Los Angeles where I live, you'd never have gotten even the first call back. The fact that you got a couple of them is downright amazing. Unfortunately, don't expect to get any more.

This whole courtship ritual is a game, pure and simple. In fact, women don't want to call you back because it makes them look too eager. If you know that they're interested, it takes their power away. So, rule #1 is to NEVER leave a message for any woman that you're not already dating on a regular basis. Unless you're a "couple" leaving messages isn't just a waste of your time, it tells the girl that you have absolutely no game! She knows that calling to set-up dates is your job. She has absolutely no motivation to make it easy for you - trust me.

Rule #2 is to STOP trying to hold the dates on the phone. A 2-hour telephone call is 1 hour, 50 minutes too long! Phones are ONLY for setting dates that you hold in person. Same with email, (with only a few rare exceptions).

Here's what you do next:

If she actually calls you back be very surprised (give her about 4-5 days or so). If she doesn't, then call her. You might want to say something like, "Hey, if you don't know how to use the telephone to return a call, how are you ever going to figure me out? I'm a lot more complicated than a phone!"

When you call her (or see her in person) say, "Ok, clear up your Saturday night. I'm picking you up at 8 [or whenever] and we're going out." Be firm, calm and direct, but DO NOT ASK HER! The point is to TELL her. Again, no messages. If she doesn't pick up, call her at work or stop by if you have to. Also, don't call her 6 times a day until she answers. Once is enough.

Pick her up at the agreed time. This is the time to turn on the charm and add in a lot of touching. Use the "opening kiss" technique where you kiss her immediately when you see her - don't give her time to react, and don't wait until later in the date. Get it over with at the beginning and set the tone.

This is also the time you want to start your "conversion" process to sex. You need something of a plan - such as bringing her back to your place for dinner, drinks, to hear your band's album, etc.

As I said before, there are answers to all of this. It's a very well-defined game and all you need is to learn a few basic rules. I strongly urge you to get "Being a Man in a Woman's World I & II" and really study them! This can be easy or it can be difficult - your choice.

Best regards.

It's the Choices You Make Now


Hi Dr. Neder!

I am 18 years old and just about to graduate high school. My girlfriend and I have been together for about 14 months now and I am not sure what to do after high school. My parents are going to provide us with an apartment but should I move in with her?

I was reading your 10 ways to know when your relationship is "right", (www.beingaman.com/articleviewer.asp?ID=205 ) and I have a number of issues with parts of it for my relationship. For instance:

I'm a bit anxious about what I will do after high school.

I don't really look forward to hanging out with her anymore. The idea of breaking up has crossed my mind a few times over the 14 months, am I just afraid of commitment?

I am interested in what she thinks but she won't really discuss things with me. She hates President Bush for instance, but when I ask her to explain she will just say "Because" and stop.

I'm starting to be annoyed by her little quirks. They were cute for a while, but now they're just irritating.

While we don't have to be together we usually are. I have mixed feelings about this. I want my own time but feel bad about telling her.

Well I've written quite a lot, and I would appreciate it very much if you could let me know what you think, thank you!

Hello!

This is an excellent question!

There's a general belief that a relationship has to "go somewhere". For instance, you meet, you start up a relationship, then you fall in love, then you move in together and then you get married, have kids, etc., etc., etc. Yes, that's ONE model - there are thousands of others ones!

Moving in together is a very, very big step - probably a lot bigger than you even realize. I know you hate hearing this but I'm going to say it anyway - you're very young. 18 doesn't seem "young" to you because it's 100% of the experience and time that you have. When you get to be 25 or 30 or 35, you're going to feel very different about what 18 years means! Frankly, I think you'd be making a mistake to move in together.

Let me try to explain a little of this reasoning:

First of all, moving in together isn't just a process; it has a meaning - especially to her as the girl. She sees this as bringing together a goal she's had since she was very, very young (probably around 4-5 years old) - that of being married. Whether she tells you this or not, she has fantasies about her wedding and being married and even equates it to her own success. Work and career are far less important to her than this one event! Trust me on this.

I'll bet she even mistakes "marriage" for "love" - and every girl wants to be in love. Thus, she'd be just as happy (she thinks) to be married - or at least to act like it. See where I'm going with this?

You deserve to be in love if that is what you want. From your description, it doesn't sound like you are. You instead have a pretty good (not great) friendship. That's fine, but in fact, it prevents you from having what you really want!

Likewise, you're going to change very dramatically over the next 5-10 years. Everyone does, and you (and she) will too! You're not going to be the same people. If you're already this far apart, do you think that living together is going to make you closer - other than in proximity - to each other? Not likely.

If I were you, I'd move out on my own into that apartment and start to explore the world. You have a lot of time and experience ahead of you. You can begin to meet new people - even people that can rationally discuss their likes/dislikes in politics, sex, movies, and much more. This is a mentally-stimulating environment that will not only challenge you, but change your own way of thinking. The next 5 years can potentially have a very dramatic and profound influence on the man you're going to be. Whereas striking out on your own to discover these things will help you get there, setting up "house" and being with someone that doesn't meet your goals will do the opposite.

So, where does this leave you and her? Do you need to end your relationship in order to move on? Perhaps. I can't answer that one for you. This is a good time to begin to look ahead and see where you want to go with your life. Many people allow external events to set the course for their lives while others take the reins and direct that course themselves through well thought-out plans and corresponding actions.

You have important decisions to make over the next few months. Try to imagine how your life will be in 10 or even 20 years from now. Everything you do and every choice you make right now will affect the outcome of the future. You get to craft that outcome by the actions you take right now.

If you decide to move in together, try to see how that's going to affect your future. If you decide to "downsize" your relationship to something less or even to break up, also try to see how that decision will affect you both. Remember that if she doesn't fit your future goals and you decide to move on with your life you are also giving her the freedom to find what she wants too. I'm not telling you that this is what you should do. I'm telling you that only you can make that decision and to make it wisely based on what you want in your future.

Best regards...

Messing Up The Perfect Thing


Good Morning! I was on your site today and read several of your Q & A's and I have to say that I am very impressed with your down to earth no b. s. responses. With that said; I have a question for you, I know you are surprised.

I am a 36 year old, single mother of 4. I know what you are thinking. RUN.. really it isn't that bad, I promise.

Anyway, I have been living with a man of the same age for the past year. We are both financially secure; we both own homes and pay our own bills. His house sits vacant and we pick his mail up once a week. I am sure you get the idea. The children adore him and my seven-year-old refers to him as his step-dad. We enjoy each other sexually and enjoy training together for marathons, and in general we have the perfect thing. We also have started a company together which we still have our day jobs.

We have many differences between us, but these are not a problem at all and we've found ways to work through them. For example, he's a perfectionist and I am not. He likes things orderly where I can handle just about anything. We resolve differences in different ways, etc.

I've always had a goal, to be happily married however. I have been married twice and have known both times that it was not right however pregnancy came with both decisions and wanting to do the right thing. Now I know that I have met the right person but he is afraid of marriage - not commitment; marriage. His last relationship lasted 8 years with no kids or marriage.

I have always had a 2 ½ year rule that if I guy I was involved with hadn't shown signs of committing, i.e.; a ring, then I would end the relationship. I have told him this and he has made a couple of comments about how I am pressuring him. With that said I have told him I am not pressuring him but I want him to be aware of my timeline and desires.

So the real question is should I push for commitment because of the children or should I "enjoy" the commitment the way it is? Also, when do you think I should expect him to sell or rent his house?

Thank you for your time and I look forward to hearing from you soon!

Hello!

I may be thinking "RUN!!!" but I'd never admit it! ;)

Let me ask YOU a question [rhetorically]: would you really break up this seemingly perfect relationship just because you don't have a contract and a piece of jewelry? If so, I think that's very sad and short-sighted. Powerful, happy, satisfying relationships don't come along that often and with all that you two have in common, the business, the kids, the finances, etc., I think you're making a mistake here.

Let's cover a few important facts:

First of all, marriage isn't a "relationship", it's a FORMAT of a relationship. So is living together, dating exclusively, dating non-exclusively, triads, quadrads, those with kids, those without kids, those with pets, etc., etc., etc. There are literally thousands of different relationship formats out there. None is more "valid" than any other.

Second of all, being married doesn't give you any more security than not being married. He can leave you just as well as he can now.

Third of all, men and women view marriage as very different things. Women see marriage as security (false, as I've already explained), future, family, status, and many other things. Men on the other hand see marriage as responsibility, stress, loss of freedom, loss of choice, having a business partner to share in all of their decisions, and many other negative things. With this understanding, it's a wonder that any man gets married in the first place!

Fourth of all, if being married is so gosh-darn important to you, what are you waiting for? I'd bet you can find someone in the next 30 days that would marry you if you just ask enough people. Then, you'd finally be happy, right? Everything would be just fine because you're married and you wouldn't have to go through all of this, right? Of course not. Marriage has little to do with happiness. Trust me on this.

Fifth of all, consider that 1/2 of all marriages end in divorce. Of the 1/2 that survive, how many of them do you think that the people in them report as being "happy"? Do you think it's 90%? Do you think it's 75%? Nope: only 30% of married partners claim that they're "happy" inside the marriage! That means that 15% of all marriages are happy. Those aren't very good odds!

I'm not trying to paint a bleak picture here of marriage for you, but I'm trying to help you change your focus. Marriage isn't the goal - having a good, solid, happy relationship; where all people involved (even your kids) should be the goal. Whatever form that relationship takes to make it this way is the one you really want, right? Frankly, if you're that focused on the marriage and are willing to give up all the other things that are so important, as I've already said, you're really missing the boat here.

Ok, now that I've given you the bad news, let me give you some good news. There IS a way to help ease your partner into a "marriage-state-of-mind". Here it is:

Considering all that I've told you, in fact, many men do get married. They each have their own unique reason for doing so. What you need to do is to find out what those reasons are for your boyfriend. What is he looking for that would make him consider being married, and taking on the stress, loss of freedom, etc., in exchange for giving you what you want? You need to discover this clearly and specifically. When you do, all you need is one more step: Just become this woman for him. Grow into the person for whom he overcomes his negative ideas of marriage and you'll be getting your own goals met too.

Best regards.

Should I Call to Confirm a Date?


Hey Dr. Dennis!

I get this a lot - I get a phone number from a girl, call, try and set a date and the chick says something like, "Yeah Thursday sounds good. I may have a girlfriend coming into town so let's play it by ear. Give me a call Thursday."

Basically, it's her way of saying... "Maybe, I'm not sure. I need time to decide. Most likely not."

Of course, the inevitable comes on Thursday. I call and there's no answer and I leave a message. I get no call back. Toast.

Is there anything to say to a girl when she gives you that line without coming across as too rigid? I feel stupid saying, "Nope, unless you can make definite plans Thursday, sorry." Just seems like you are being too anal about it, which is a turnoff.

What's a good line in that instance?

Hello!

The problem here is your belief that being too ridged is a bad thing. Go back and re-read about this in BAM2.

This isn't about being "ridged" - it's about being busy. It's about creating a sense of value in your time. If you let a woman control your time, she believes it holds no value. It's really that simple, and it's why you're seeing this problem in the first place.

Further, why would you give her a chance to flake in the first place? You should NEVER call to confirm a date - EVER! If she doesn't know how to work a calendar, how in the hell is she ever going to know how to work a man????

Here's what I do:

If a woman asks me to "confirm" a date, I just say, "No thanks. [Pause to let it sink in] My time is far too limited and far too valuable to leave it to your whim. Either you want to go out or you don't. If you don't, that's fine, but I need to know now." I even act a little indignant with her, as though I'm insulted (I am!)

Then, I let her stammer about her schedule! If she asks me about another time/date, I say, "Ok - only if you're SURE you don't have any girlfriends coming over, or your hair doesn't need washing or your cat 'Fluffy' isn't going to cough up a fur ball the size of Iowa. OK?"

Further, when I set the date I say:

"By the way, are you absolutely sure you're not going to have some 'emergency' come up on that date? If you think you will let me know now because I need at least 24 hour notice on any cancellations." In fact, true emergencies are extremely rare.

My brother, you've got to have respect for your own time and hold it out as the preciously-limited commodity that it is. If you don't do this, women will constantly test you with it to see just who is in control. By the way - it'd better be you.

Consider also that the instant you agree to such a ridiculous idea, you're telling her in very clear and specific female language that you're a pussy and she's going to have to be the man in any relationship she sets up with you. She's going to have to decide everything from when it's time to break up to what restaurant to go to. Women don't want that in their men.

The sooner as you get ridged with your schedule, the sooner you're going to stop this abuse.

Best regards...

A Sensitive/Sensitivity Problem


Hey Dennis!

I heard your interview with Playboy last week and you briefly mentioned that there were several products out there that would help make the penis more sensitive. I seem to have an issue where the head seem to have lost some of its sensitivity. It seems to need a stronger touch to respond. What options are there to help increase sensitivity?

Sorry I couldn't get through to speak to you personally.

Hello!

Yeah - it was a jam-packed 3-hour show! Sorry we didn't get you on. Actually, I was talking about how to increase a man's testosterone level, but I think I can help you here too. Remember, I'm not a medical doctor and you should always check with one before you try anything that affects your little fireman!

One of the best ways to do this is to change the way you masturbate. Most men use a very firm grip and let's face it; the vagina just isn't as strong as your hand. One technique is to masturbate normally, but when you get to the end relax your grip or just use the first finger and thumb around the head of your cock. This change will cause you to experience the sensitivity much more and you can actually get used to a much lighter touch, effectively increasing your sensitivity. Likewise, you can also start off with a very soft "grip", or using just the first finger and thumb. I'll take longer, but you'll actually train yourself to become more sensitive. Always be sure to use a lubricant when you jerk off as direct skin-on-skin contact will definitely decrease your sensitivity.

Another technique involves holding off both sex and masturbation for a while. If you have only one orgasm a week or every other week, you're going to decrease your "staying power" substantially. This is also a way to reprogram your apparatus to become a quicker cummer!

Yet another thing to consider is whether you use condoms or not. There are many different brands and each feels slightly different than the others. You might want to experiment with different ones to see which one feels the best and increases the speed at which you climax. Along with this, by putting a drop or two of lube INSIDE the condom, you'll actually find that the condom slips around the head of your dick and increases the sensation!

One more option might be the herbal (over the counter) products that help to increase your testosterone level. Many men report heightened sensitivity with increased testosterone production. There are a number of products that claim to do this, but I can't advise you on any particular one since I have no experience with them. The Internet might be a good source of information or you can check with your doctor. He/she can also prescribe products that increase testosterone levels, but I'd only consider that as a last-ditch effort as these have many side effects.

You can also ask your doctor about ViaPal-hGH which will help to increase sensitivity. Of course, you also want to know more about the side effects and any drug interactions on which your doctor can advise you.

I hope this helps!

Best regards...

Grow Yourself, Grow Your Relationship


Dr. Neder,

Hi, I am very interested in your help on this.

I met my girlfriend freshman year in high school for the first time. We are currently in our junior year of high school and we have been going out for almost four months. We talk about how we will always be together and how we are going to go to college together. I am starting to trust her more now and I know that I am in love with her, and she has said the same to me. We spend almost all of our time together and I really want the best for both of us.

I want to marry her someday. I think about her all the time and I always want her to be happy and safe no matter what. I would do anything for her. I want to know how I can add more to this relationship and keep it going forever until I die. I truly love her with all my heart and would give my life for her for anything.

I know it is not possible to know what will happen in the future, but I want to know what I can do to beat the odds and be with her for the rest of my life and ensure that I can be with her and always have her. That is what I want more than anything. She has changed my life so much where I have put her first before all of my goals and aspirations in life, to where it has transformed all of them into her.

Thank you,

Hello!

You want to insure this relationship lasts the rest of your life? You can do either one of the following:

1) Don't grow, change or leave high school, or

2) Die young. Ok, I'm somewhat kidding here, but you've asked for advice, so I'm going to give it to you.

You are very young, but this isn't just about your age. People at every age go through all of this too! You have a lot of experiences ahead of you and you're right about not being able to predict the future. Here's one thing you CAN predict: you're going to change a bunch over the next 5 years, 10 years and beyond. You're going to change so much that you won't even be the same person! Trust me, I went through it, your parents went through it and everyone else on the planet has gone through it. So will you.

That's not an overly-simplistic thing to say either. It's important to understand because it directly affects your future relationship. You can't avoid change, so you might as well look forward to it and make the best of it. I've talked with many people that tried to do exactly what you're trying to do now. So, they stunt their own growth out of fear of changing their relationships. They put their goals and aspirations aside or even change them. You know what happens? Their partners change and eventually they break up anyway because the two people no longer have anything in common! Then, they have to work really hard to try to catch up when all of their friends are also moving on.

Here are some facts:

1) Relationships are very difficult even when you are experienced and have lots of maturity behind you.

2) They're even more difficult when you have neither of these.

3) Everyone grows and changes with time.

4) Relationships grow and change with time too!

5) Very few relationships last a lifetime.

6) Of those that do, very few of them are said to be "truly happy" by the partners in them.

I'm not trying to paint a bleak future for you here at all. What I'm saying is that you can beat the odds, but not by trying to never change or grow or by putting everything of yourself into the relationship. You see, relationships are about the people within them - they are not an entity of, and by themselves. As you both change so will your relationship.

Your best option is to refocus yourself on your goals and aspirations and move toward them in conjunction with your relationship. Take time away from your girlfriend to work on these things - and to give her time to work on herself too. If you don't do this, you're simply going to suffocate the relationship, your girlfriend and yourself. Putting too much emphasis on any particular area of your life isn't healthy and that causes the disease to spread throughout every other area of your life - including (especially?) your relationship!

So, if you want to help your relationship to survive, do the following:

1) Get refocused on your goals as your primary focus.

2) Let your girlfriend do the same thing.

3) Grow as individuals first,

4) Grow as a couple second,

5) .and watch your relationship grow along with it.

My friend, change is going to happen whether you want it or not. You can't prevent it, so instead, us it to your advantage.

Best regards...

Building Experience From Inexperience


Hello.

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 advise?

I'd like a male point of view on this.

Thanks!

Hello!

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 Questions" (http://www.beingaman.com/articleviewer.asp?ID=116) 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 early-on?

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 relationship-building exercise.

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.

Best regards...

Why Can't I Meet Someone That's Available?


Hello Dr. Neder:

HELP!

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? It's weird!

Help!!!!!!!!!

Hello!

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 by then.

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 men.

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 fingertips.

Best regards...

Why "Working it From the Inside" Doesn't Work


One of the most common questions I get comes from guys starts off with

"I have this woman friend. We've been close friends for over a year now, but she has a boyfriend."

Sound familiar?

This is something I call trying to "work it from the inside". In effect, these guys figure that if they can just hang in there long enough, eventually the girl will see what a great guy he is, will fall in love with him, do all his work for him and then he won't have to take the risk of rejection or getting hurt.

This never works!

Oh sure, you're a great guy with most of your own teeth, but let me assure you; this flies right in the face of exactly what women want from us guys. Once you become the "friend" you'll never be anything else; and women are happy to let you make that choice! Let me explain why this is so and more important, why you want to avoid it at all costs. Well end the discussion with how to prevent it.

First off, women recognize and understand this behavior. They see it as weak and cowardly (although, they'd never tell you this - after all, you're her "friend"!) Women want to be with men that will take at least small risks - and win. If you won't do this even for the chance to be with a great girl, you're not the kind of guy they seek.

Women want men that can stand up and be men! They want guys that can say, "You need to dump your boyfriend and start dating me." Of course, then you need a reason why. If you're hanging in there waiting for her to dump him, it's not going to be for you. Worse yet, if you're hanging in there waiting for the boyfriend to dump her, she may come and cry on your shoulder, but she's never going to warm your bed.

A woman looks at male friends very differently from potential boyfriends. Have you ever heard a woman say, "I just don't see you like that", or "I don't feel that way about you" or "You are more like my brother"? These are all "womanese" for "You don't make me feel feminine."

There's another reason why women are motivated to let you stay as a friend. I call this the "empty restaurant" syndrome.

Imagine you're walking around town and find that you're hungry. You see two restaurants in front of you. One is full of customers and the other it totally empty. Which one do you choose for dinner? Easy: the full restaurant. After all, these people must know something to choose that restaurant over the other one.

Women believe this is true too! How many women have you met that have "boyfriends"? Most of them, right? Trust me, that doesn't mean that they're seeing only one guy that they are in love with an plan to marry. In fact, many of these "boyfriends" are simply clueless guys that are hanging in there for their chance to hook up with her! This way, she can claim that there are ".guys all over that want to be with her." Women believe this makes them more desirable! She's hoping that a strong, confident guy will come along, tell her to dump you (believing that you're her boyfriend) and "win" her by sweeping her off her feet. Do you see how this works?

Once you make it to the "friend zone" you'll never get out of it. I'm not going to get into this point too deeply, but if you doubt this, please see my FAQ's for much more on what you have to do if you find yourself there already.

So, how do you avoid being this poor, clueless jerk? Simple: have a plan, go after what you want and don't settle for less. If she tells you she's not ready for a relationship, continues to cancel dates, starts talking about seeing her ex-boyfriend again, etc., get scarce. Better yet, go start dating someone else for now. When she gets the idea that you're not going to play this game with her, she'll be much more open to letting you take things somewhere.

You can also avoid this by telling a woman specifically that you're not her "friend" and you never will be. "But Doc, won't this push her away?" Nope - not if she's really interested in you! In fact, it will do just the opposite - it will attract her because you're proving that you have other plans for her and you. She's either down with your plans or she out. It's that simple.

This doesn't even mean that you can't have female friends. You can, just be sure that they are really women you just want as friends. Don't become the friend in hopes that a woman will do your work for you and you'll have a girlfriend. She never will - nor will you.

Best regards...

Game-Playing Girlfriend


Hi Dr. Neder,

I read some of your articles and your advice is great. I just recently hooked up with a girl that actually picked me up at club. She really liked me a lot and for the first few weeks, I played hard to get with her. She wanted to get me settled down and kind of coerced me into a relationship. Obviously, being someone that doesn't like relationships I refused, but she tried and tried again, I finally submitted and became her boyfriend.

I truly believe, that once you're involved in a relationship the mind games stop and so I've been true to this girl and I treat her with respect and have even opened up to her. Things were good for sometime. Obviously, I began really liking her, became very nice to her and I expressed my true feelings to her, I showed her lots of affection, and I even told her I loved her. That was a BIG MISTAKE! Now, the tables have turned on me and she controls the relationship, she only calls me after I've called her, and is playing hard to get, she doesn't express herself to me, she cancels on dates and prefers staying at home.

Obviously, I care for her and I miss her, and I thought by expressing those feelings she would be friendlier, and because she is a good girl, she does become nicer the next day a few days later, it's back to her neglectful self. I think she's taken me for granted. How do I turn the table on her and assume control of the relationship. Mind you, I like her a lot now.

Thanks, any help would be appreciated.

Hello!

I'm afraid you believe wrong. When the relationship begins, that's also when the mind-games escalate!

Early relationships are all about posturing and trying to determine exactly where each person fits. We guys aren't as strong or adamant about this, but trust me, women are!

What you're experiencing are classic symptoms of having failed "The Test". This is something that I talk about in my books, but every relationship goes through it - usually early on. As you're experiencing now, you'd better pass The Test or you've got some problems.

Obviously, I can't say what The Test was in your particular case, but if you step back and really think about this there was one pivital point at which things changed - or began to change. That was The Test. Further, it was likely not due to anything in particular and probably was "out of the blue". This is how The Test works.

What's critical now is that you do some damage control. If you don't, she's going to get very bored with you and the relationship and move on. In fact, these symptoms are signs of that already happening.

You need to pull WAY back! Stop "chasing" her. She was most happy when she was chasing you - remember? That's where she wants to be again. Now that she has you and you're gushing your feelings all over her, she feels like she's made a mistake. Women gush their feelings - not men. She probably wants to date a man again.

I suggest you stop contacting her entirely - no phone calls, stop by's, IM's, email - nothing. Get scarce for a while. When she calls you (finally!) don't pick up the phone. Give her a few days before you return the call. In short, she needs to get the feeling that she's losing you - not the other way around.

Then, when she wants to get together, be reluctant! Make HER the focus of the problem. Don't take it on yourself or apologize that things haven't been what you wanted them to be, etc. Say something like, "Well, I'm not sure you're the girl I thought you were" (she's not - right?)

By changing the focus, you're going to change the power. You're also going to change her image of you and the relationship.

Let's face it - the person that wants the relationship least (or SEEMS to want it least) is in control. That needs to be you in order to save this one.

I suggest you go to my website and learn about "The Test". Once you get this situation handled, you need to know that you're going to be Tested again - and this one, you're going to have to pass.

Best regards...

You Better Know How to Handle "The Test"!


Hey Doc!

I met this girl a couple of months ago and we started to hang out. At first she said she only wanted to be friends when I made a move so I just blew it off but she continued to call me all the time wanting to see me.

One night we went out, and she kept on flirting with me and getting mad when I would check out other girls, by the way this whole time I would go from being a nice guy to being something of a jerk, and before the night was over, we were making out. I never really asked her out or anything, but she made it seem as if we were together. She would always call me and tell me that I better be "only hers".

I left for two and a half weeks on vacation and when I got back I called her and she said that things had happened since I left and that she had gone back to her ex-boyfriend. I said, "Well, ok, but what about us?" She tried to make some lame excuse that I never talked to her about starting a serious relationship with her so she didn't think I wanted one. I just said "whatever" and ended the phone call.

This seems to happen to me a lot. The girl seems really into me and then in about 2-3 weeks she wants to break up! At first, I was being too needy by always calling them and bugging them, but the last couple of times I've completely changed my approach by acting like I didn't really care if they called or not.

To make matters worse, my last few girlfriends call me to check up and tell me they still think about me and miss me every three-four months. They call and say they were just thinking of me and wanted to hear my voice. Why is it that they don't want to be with me but then don't really want to let me go either?

Hello!

Welcome to a little thing I call "The Test".

Many years ago when I first began my research into all of this, I began noticing a pattern. This pattern happened in every relationship I ever had (and still have!) and with every guy, in every relationship they had too! It was a very odd situation (always different of course) where the woman they were seeing would pull something totally unexplainable and out of the blue, just like your situation.

I began to realize what this was, and why women do this.

First, women aren't going to get you to be the guy they want in the relationship through brute force. Thus, they've had to "evolve" a series of tools to make this happen. The most important one is what I call, "The Test".

The Test happens in EVERY SINGLE relationship, usually early-on within the first month or two. It's ultimately a way for women to determine who is going to be the person steering the ship; so to speak. By the way - it'd had better be you!

You see, women understand that someone has to be the man in the relationship. If you're not going to be him, then she has to be. That means that she doesn't get the chance to be the woman. By being the leader of the relationship, you actually make a woman feel "safe" and "feminine".

By not being him, she'll either do one of two things:

1) Continue to Test you; or,
2) Reluctantly become the relationship leader

Most women will eventually move on after a while of either of these things. Here's an interesting thing however: this behavior is so ingrained in women, most of them don't even know that they do it!

So, what exactly is The Test? It can take any number of forms and you've seen some of them already. In general, you'll know The Test by the following:

1) It's totally out of the blue and unexpected.
2) It can happen at any time - like just getting back from vacation, getting ready to walk into a movie or when you come home from work or schoool.
3) It always has an emergency component to it - the relationship will seem to live or die based on your response.
4) How you deal with The Test will be the deciding factor.

The Test is never about the particular issue she brings up however! It's always about control. For instance, some women will wait until you're about to fall asleep or watch some favorite program and will then ask, "Honey, where is our relationship going?" Other times, she will be very close, loving, caring and happy and then will turn instantly (like your vacation example).

The way you handle The Test is always the same. You first recognize it for what it is - just a Test - nothing more. Then, you see that this is about control, so you put aside the supposed "issue" and deal with the relationship itself. The point however is to be active and involved - not nonchalant about it.

By being nonchallant about things, you are actually inciting The Test. If you just pull back and say "whatever", she has to Test you in order to see if you're serious! On the other hand, if you deal with it head-on, she'll know you're serious and won't Test you again unless she thinks otherwise. This is actually a response to feeling insecure about the relationship!

In your example, you didn't bother to "define" things when they got started and actually left that to her. That's why you got Tested. With your ex-girlfriends, they would like you to be the guy that can pass their Tests too and that's why they keep calling.

With this last situation, you should just say, "You know, I'm not interested in being your friend - I already have enough friends. If you want something more then just say so or stop calling me." Notice how this sets the tone for a relationship? Doing nothing or being too casual creates nothing and gives her nowhere to go.

You can't avoid Tests - even relationship has them. You can become an expert at passing them however. Just learn to recognize The Test; set your path through it and run that path by being active and involved. If you do this every time, you'll find that soon, you get no more Tests - and very happy girlfriends!

Best regards...

Date Like a Model, Even if You're Not One of Them


Dr. Neder;

I was just dropping by to ask a serious question about how to attract a very beautiful woman. I live in San Diego and there are a lot of beautiful women here, but I am very shy and there are times where I see women that are out of my league and wonder if just maybe?

I was just wondering if there is something I could do to make them notice me and find me attractive even though I may not have model looks.

Hello!

Abso-freakin'-lutely!!!! Your looks have almost nothing whatsoever to do with the women that you date!

You're starting off with a mistake. You believe that in order to attract very beautiful women, you have to be equally good looking. Not so. Let me give you a short list of examples from music:

  • Carmen Electra & Dave Navarro
  • Heather Locklear & Tommy Lee & Richie Sambora
  • Pamela Anderson & Tommy Lee & Kid Rock
  • Kate Hudson & Chris Robinson
  • Shanna Moakler & Travis Barker
  • Christie Brinkley & Billy Joel
  • Dita Von Teese & Marilyn Manson
  • Avril Lavigne & Deryck Whibley
  • Paulina Porizkova & Ric Ocasek
  • Heidi Klum & Seal
  • Shannon Tweed & Gene Simmons
  • Liv Tyler & Royston Langdon
  • Jerry Hall & Mick Jagger
  • Rachel Hunter & Rod Stewart
  • Donna D'errico & Nikki Sixx
  • Gwyneth Paltrow & Chris Martin

In general, these guys aren't "beautiful" by any stretch, but their wives are all considered "10's". Now, you may be trying to excuse this away by saying "Well, their famous! I'm not!" No, you're not, but that's not the point. I'm using these examples simply because you'll know them. They're famous not because of who they married, or being rock stars (there are TONS of musicians that aren't famous!) It's because of their "power". Read on.

Just because looks are important to YOU means nothing. Women have different motivations than men and trying to impose your wants on women will get you nowhere.

So, the question then is: what do I have to do/know/be/say in order to attract beautiful women?

While there are many sub-categories of things that women want in men, I'd boil it down to one thing that is the most important: power. Power expresses itself in a number of ways; confidence, sense of humor, money and many others. The more of these you can express outwardly, the more you'll attract the women you seek.

Women report that the very first thing they notice about men (besides their height and then their eyes) is their shoes. If your shoes are in good shape, it says that you must be "in good shape" too. The second thing they notice is your watch. Beyond these things, your confidence starts to come through.

Note that women often report sense of humor as the most important aspect, but sense of humor and confidence are really one in the same! You have to have confidence in order to be comfortable putting yourself out there to tell jokes or cut-up without fear of failure. Thus, focusing on confidence is the better choice.

In my second book, "Being a Man in a Woman's World II"; I talk about the "seduction tree". This is the key to meeting and winning the most desirable women. It works like this:

Power <-----> Confidence

^

|

V

Humor <-----> Cockiness

What does all this mean? Simple: you gain power via a number of ways including the ones I've already mentioned. Through this you create confidence. You also show power via confidence.

Next, you learn humor - that is, how to be funny (and yes, you CAN learn this!) Then, express it via cockiness which increases your "sense of humor" factor. In other words, these things all work together to build each other - and thus, your "desirability" in the eyes of women!

Stop limiting yourself by thinking your looks have anything to do with which women you date. It's your power that makes that determination. Learn power and you can look like Ric Ocasek (Google him if you need) and hang with the most beautiful women.

Best regards...

Trouble in Break-Up City


Dr. Neder,

My fiancé decided it was best to end our two year relationship about a month and a half ago. In this time I have realized why she did it and that she meant more to me than I ever knew. I made a lot of mistakes that I didn't see until now.

I talked to her about a month ago and she desperately wanted to be friends but I told her I couldn't do it. In this phone call she said she still loved me and wanted to keep the option for us to get back together open but didn't want to yet. She also seemed concerned about something I said a while back. I said that if she ever dated another man after we broke up that we would never get back together. I told her that this rule didn't necessarily apply anymore. The very next day she started dating another man. The information that I have is all from a reliable friend.

I did not talk to her or see her for a month. Yesterday I called her and left a message saying that we could be friends now and if she ever wanted to talk she should call me. She hasn't called yet. This woman is perfect for me and now that I know the mistakes I made I can fix it all and we could have a perfect, everlasting relationship. I just need her to give me the chance.

I will do anything to get her back. She is the woman that I am meant to be with. How can I win her back even though she has a boyfriend? I will do anything and I'm not just saying that.

Hello!

Well, you SAY that you'll do anything, but we'll see! Most guys claim this and few actually will do it. Here's what you have to do: start dating other women right away.

Will you do that? If not, then you don't need to read any further as nothing else I'm going to tell you will help. You'll just have to wait around and try to convince her that she should come back to you and that you'll change.

In fact, this won't work anyway. You didn't say what it was that you've done that is so heinous, but in fact, she fell in love with that guy you used to be. If you change him, she might come back (after you've been "punished" sufficiently) but she'll never stay around.

I'm always concerned when a couple breaks up this way. When you have problems, you work through them as a team. You don't leave in order to punish someone and you especially don't start dating someone else to hurt them. She's obviously put her message across to you, but this isn't exactly a healthy, relationship-building way to do it. Thus, I have to question the foundation of the relationship itself.

I hope you're still reading as you really need to hear all of this. I'm assuming that you want her back and that you want to get married. Frankly, I would urge you to rethink the marriage part of this in the strongest terms.

This isn't just about you not doing something (or doing something wrong) and she wants it fixed. As I've said twice now, this is about punishment. Otherwise, she'd have tried to work all of this out with you. If you go ahead and get married, it'll be more out of fear of losing her again than because getting married is the right move for your relationship.

Getting married will never give you "possession" of her. You can never own another person even by marrying them - people are just as likely to leave or cheat or disassociate from their partners as when single. All marriage will do is to give her more tools in order to punish you next time! With a poor foundation to begin with, this would have all the making of a disaster!

So, what about my original advice that you start dating other women? Here's the reality:

Right now, she knows she has you hanging by the front door. She has no real motivation to forgive you and thus, likely doesn't plan too unless things go sour with the new guy, and even then, it's not because she's committing to something - it's because she doesn't have a better deal waiting! Even worse, I'll bet she's scared that you'll no longer be the guy she used to love!

Is that really how you want a relationship (let alone a marriage) to work? I seriously, hope not!

By starting to date other women, you're giving yourself (and frankly, your relationship) some options. You'll get your head clear about all of this and you'll start to remember how you should be treated by women. In effect, you'll start taking back that power you no longer have.

Once that is done, you can start negotiations with her *IF* you want to! This will no longer be about being sorry; it'll be about what's best for the relationship between you two. What you have now is definitely NOT that right now!

So, my original question still stands. Will really you do what you have to in order to have her back? We'll see.

Best regards...

The Reality of "Being Friends"


Hi Doctor,

I am getting to know a Christian girl. We have been going out for almost two months and I told her that I like her. In the beginning she told me that she was not interested in a relationship right now but was ok with being friends and she continues to go out with me. She answers my calls most of the time but when she doesn't I become anxious and I start thinking too much.

Please how can I deal with it?

Thanks.

Hello!

Of course she likes going out with you - you're free entertainment! She gets to have free meals, movies and is generally entertained when she goes out with you. Even better she gets to tell her friends that she has guys "...hanging all over her..."

That doesn't mean she's ever going to give you anything more just because you buy her food and drinks.

It also sounds like you're trying to dominate her time. You didn't mention this specifically but it's a common pattern in this sort of situation. By doing so, she never gets the chance to miss you or to use her feminine mind to build you up.

Let me give you some secrets you need to understand about women:

1) Women don't want to be chased - they want to DO the chasing. This is an important lesson for any man to learn. If you chase a woman (like this one), she sees herself as "above you" in your relationship. That's very bad because women want to date "up". That is, they want to date (and win) someone that is above them instead. You're proving with every date that you're not this guy.

2) She already knows that she "owns you"; thus, you're worth nothing to her. Thus, if she gets you, what does she really get? Nothing.

3) All women "define" themselves by their relationships just as we guys "define" ourselves via our careers. Any time a woman says that she doesn't want a relationship "right now" it means that she doesn't want a relationship "with you."

4) You've already played your hand so you have nothing to bargain with. You've told her that you "like her". She doesn't have to chase you because you've already given yourself away to her - for free.

In effect, what you did was tell her that you liked her in the hopes that she would just somehow fall in love with you and then, do all your work for you. Since she didn't, now you continue trying to dominate her time and get anxious when she doesn't pick up the phone because you're afraid that she's out with someone else.

If you really want this girl, you're going to now have to work 10 times harder - and smarter - than you'd otherwise have had to. Your chances of having her now are extremely remote and my best advice to you is to move on and find someone else that you DON'T make these mistakes with.

Of course, you're not going to take that because as a guy you actually believe that you can win someone if you just work hard enough. Ok, that's fine. Let me tell you what you need to do now:

1) Get very scarce. Don't call her, don't contact her, don't run into her - nothing. If she contacts you, that's fine, but take 3-4 days to get back with her. Don't do it immediately.

2) If she contacts you, tell her that you don't want to be her "friend" - you already have enough of these - and if she isn't into a "relationship right now" (bullshit as we've already discussed) that you're not interested in her either.

3) (Most important step): start dating other women RIGHT AWAY! It doesn't really even matter if you're interested in them or not! You just have to get out there in order to clear you mind of this girl. When you don't need her, you'll be able to make better decisions about how to win her.

Sorry my brother, that's the reality.

Best regards..

My Neighbor's Hot - And She Knows It!


Hey Doc:

I've had a few girlfriends in the past and have no problems with experience. I don't think I'm God's gift to women, but I'm not particularly ugly either.

I've fallen for a neighbor girl. I'm not shy to talk to her, but she's just perfect. She's a very nice person, but thinks quite a lot of herself (which makes me all the more attracted to her!)

Do you have some kind of technique or form of body language I could use or a conversation that I could bring up? I'm not shy so ill try anything!

Thanks in anticipation.

Hello!

I've got the perfect technique for the perfect situation here. As you said, she "...thinks quite a lot of herself..." That's really a ripe, ideal ground for taking that away a little!

Here's how this works: by "busting" and "challenging" her, you instantly change the relative position between you and she. In effect, you "raise your stock" in her eyes.

In order to do this, you need to treat her like your bratty little sister rather than someone that you're interested in. By giving her attention, you simply play into that belief about herself. Worse, you become just like every other guy that's interested in her.

When you bust her on the other hand, you in effect tell her that she has to work for your attention - that you're not going to just give it to her for free - and you instantly become someone she has to know, because, well, you're not like every other guy!

Do you see how this works?

By acting cocky and treating her like she's not really that interesting to you you're going to become irresistible to her.

In order to do this, just imagine how you'd treat your little sister that always wants to hang around you. You'd be teasing her - and you'd mean it. Of course, you wouldn't be down-right mean to her, but you wouldn't be very warm and cuddly either! This is the balance you want to strike.

For example, if you see her next door, you can say to her, "Are you spying on me or something?" or "You're not going to become one of those nutty busy-body neighbors like you hear about on the news, are you?"

The trick here is to NOT laugh or make it a joke! Act like you really mean it, but leave the question open. Do you or don't you?

If you pull this off just right, you're going to have her eating out of your hands.

One last point: You can't do this without giving her an "in". That is, she has to be able to win your attention at some point. She'll slowly start ramping up her attempts to get you to be more than just her neighbor. Resist the temptation to just jump right in however. Give in just a little - and then take it away again.

You can say something like, "Ok, you're obviously looking for attention, but I'm busy right now. Let's go out on Saturday, but I'll call you if I can't." Don't call to confirm however - just assume that she's waiting for you on Saturday, but it's good to keep her guessing until the last minute.

Best regards...

Getting the Ex Back


Hey Dennis!

I read one of your replies to a question and thought your response was excellent. Could you please could you help with this one?

I was in a relationship with my ex for just over a year, when we first started dating. I was finding it very hard to get her out on dates. She is a very attractive girl, but also has many friends so I may have been only seeing her one night a week for the first 1-2 months. I am a very successful young man with good looks and many people like me, but I was not used to this treatment, any way after about 2 months I ended the relationship, because I felt that we needed to spend more time together.

After a couple of weeks we got back together, and she moved into my place, things carried on pretty much how they were but we did get to spend more time together, we did come from totally different situations I was used to long term loving relationships and she was used to being single for years just having fun with her girlfriends. I know at times I probably came across as needy but surely relationships are about spending time together, right?

The next six months went ok, but I always felt second best and this just used to grate on me, she was very immature and often played games with me leaving me in no-win situations, I could play the games back but I just didn't want too.

About two months ago she went out on a Friday night with her friends, I called her the next morning to see if we could meet up and she said she was hung-over and just wanted to stay in (she was back living at her parents.) I said, "Well it would be nice for you to want to see me at some point over the weekend; maybe I'll see you Monday then." Her reply was, "There you go again - having a go at me!" So I just said "Let's just forget it!"

We didn't talk for a week, then I tried to contact her and she wouldn't talk to me on the phone and proceeded to just insult me by text! I held my own telling her how bad and selfish she can be at times. This went on for about 2 weeks

I thought I would leave her alone after that and have had no contact for over a month but I do miss her and want her back.

What shall I do?

Hello!

Thanks for your comments on a previous reply!

Here's something she's not telling you: she has lost interest, but just isn't mature enough to tell you so. So she's just hiding and trying to insult you trying to make you go away. In effect, she's too much of a coward, and frankly, a self-centered bitch (sorry, it's true) to tell you exactly what she's thinking.

First of all, let's consider one question: do you REALLY want her back, or do you just feel that you've lost and you want another chance at winning again. It appears that this girl is manipulative, non-communicative, self-centered and a game-player.

You on the other hand seem to be a good guy that is just looking for a good girl. What inside of you would make you want to chance this sort of pain? Just because she's attractive to you means very little. There are TONS of attractive girls out there and in fact, many of them are also great human beings. From your description, this is not something I'd ever say about your ex. Don't you deserve better than her? I think you do.

Here's a rule about women: they want to date "up". In other words, they want to believe that they are lucky to be with a particular guy. Your ex obviously doesn't feel lucky at all. She didn't even give you the courtesy of a goodbye as though she didn't owe you anything, and is even blaming you for her own bad behavior.

In order to make her want to change her mind (which you already know I think is a mistake), she has to feel some loss. What are the odds of that, do you think? As long as you're chasing her, they are absolutely zero. She knows she can have you whenever she wants, and thus, your "stock" is nothing.

Thus, the answer is to get out there and start dating every short skirt you can find. She has to feel that she's lost you or she won't have anything to win back.

There is an added benefit for you however: you get to see how women really are by dating other ones. You get to see how they treat someone that they care about and that cares about them. Your ex is not a good example of this at all.

What would happen then if you find some terrific woman that fits you in every other category that you adore? Do you think you'll forget about "Ms. It's-all-about-me"??? You bet you will.

Who is the "winner" then?

Best regards...

© 2007, Dr. Dennis W. Neder

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