Not a Good Time

QUESTION: Hello, I just today found your site and think its great that you guys can give helpful advice to the women of the world! Well my story is complicated.... at least to me, so I'd like any advice you can give!

Here goes: Ok my boyfriend and I have been together for 4yrs. We've known each other for around 10 though. He is divorced and has three children. I've never been married and have no children. We got together in a weird sort of way. I was his ex-wife's brother's girlfriend for 4yrs. We both pretty much broke up with our exes at the same time and have been together ever since. We both agreed at the start that we would be upfront and honest with each other about anything and everything because we both lacked that in our previous relationships. I guess you could say we both had certain issues that needed to be overcome. I can tell you now that mine was trust and I guess you could say his was being trusted. His ex was constantly accusing him of cheating.

He is a very outgoing person that is overly nice to people and as you know some women take that the wrong way. The first 3yrs went really well with just a few minor rows and the normal relationship issues. Then towards the begining of this year we started to become distant with each other. We both had to change jobs, money got tight, and stress was mounting on both ends. He spent more and more time out drinking and I spent more and more time at home alone being mad.

Finally it all came to a head and I was snooping (not good I know) and found some texts from a girl that I had never heard about. I'll tell you now that there was no real sexual meaning behind them but they didnt sound good either. I completely lost control and we started arguing. He had no explanations for the girl texting him and ending up storming out in the middle of the night. I didn't know what to do. I felt completely betrayed. The following day I changed the locks on the house and started packing his stuff because he refused to talk to me. I gave him a deadline in which to pick his things up and I was done. I cryed for the next 4 days straight. I couldn't let him or his kids go.

Over the next couple of weeks we started talking again and agreed that since we had known each other for so long that it would be stupid to never talk again. We had really long talks and he told me he never did anything with anybody else and I believed him. Soon we were sleeping together again, but we were calling it "friends with benifits". Then he told me he was sorry and that he really did love me but he was under so much stress that he didn't know what he wanted. (He runs a restraunt, has to work 50+ hrs a week so he doesn't fall behind on child support, cause if he does his ex takes him to court and tries to get him thrown in jail) To be honest all our problems started when he had to go to jail overnight for being behind. After that he was obsessed with work and said he would never go back. Anyway he started staying the night pretty much through the whole week. Things seem to be ok but there's alot of strain. One of the major problems is I can't let him move back into my house because my parents own it and they flat out said noway. He stays at his dads and neither one of us has the money to move right now. We both just started school so we can get away from the food indusrty. I know he's stressed about that because he can't tell his boss for fear of being demoted and falling behind in cs.

This past week he hasn't stayed the night with me at all. He's not as lovey as he usually is unless I initiate it. He still says "I love you" but it almost seems like its just habit. But at the same time we've almost been planning the future like we used to...looking at houses and talking about what we want to do. Do you think I'm overanalyzing or is he done? Is he just overstressed? I try and be as supportive as I can but it gets frustrating because I dont understand what he wants. *sigh* Well thanks for listening and I hope you can shed some light on this!

Thx again,

GARLAND: Thank you for your question, it;s a very good one that I think a lot of people can relate to.

Your man sounds very stressed, and stress, like most negative stuff, trickles down, in this case, to his woman. I think that this may be a time in your man's life that he focuses on his priorities, and while it may sound cold it's not meant to be, but you are probably NOT one of those priorities.

Let me explain - when I was single, I dated a reasonable amount, not a lot but not a little - sort of right in the middle I guess. But, while I would have liked to have had a girlfriend or at least a steady hanging-out-friend most of the time, I came across certain stretches where my money was funny, or I had to focus on getting myself squared away. It was during those times, that I didn't date, or I didn't kick-it with that special someone. I focused on me, my money and/or my situation. When I was on even footing as a Man, only then was I any good for a woman.

I think for Your Man, this is one of those times where he needs to get himself squared away and be gainfully employed, a steady father, self sufficent, and a more reasponsible man. He's divorced, struggling with child support, living with his dad, overworked, and I'm sure his head is all over the place. Honestly, I don't see where he has room in his life to try and be a decent boyfriend or partner to you. He is worried day-to-day about whether or not he's going to jail. He REALLY needs to work on the REAL issues in his life. And being the father of three, he needs to make sure he gets quality face time with his kids. He just sounds like he needs to prioritize big-time. Also, you sound like you have some things on your plate too, That's NOT a knock on you, but living in a house owned by Mom and Dad and just starting school, it sounds like you have dreams and targets you need to be concentrating on yourself.

Sure, you may have had a few good years - four - but think about the fact that you have, probably another 50 or 60 years ahead of you. Do you understand how much living THAT truly is. There is no rule that says you have to stay with a guy because you two have gone out for a few years - THERE IS NO RULE! It is okay to walk away from four years with a guy. He needs to get himself together and so do you - it sounds to me like being together is going to be more stressful than seperating from each other.

Right now, this guy sounds like all he can be to you is a Sex-Buddy. He has no money, he can't take you anywhere, he can't cook you breakfast in his own kitchen and he can't commit to you. Sex-Buddies are a dime-a-dozen, but a man that is ready, willing and able to take on a mature and healthy relationship with you is a true prize and one you are worthy of.

Good luck, and think about the next 60 years. Remember - YOU DON'T OWE HIM A THING, YOU ONLY OWE YOURSELF!!!

CHUCK: Confused, once upon a time, maybe during the 90's, there used to be a concept called "having it all." That referred to having everything in your life together and locked down. Your career, your home, your car, your love life: all sorted out. A lot of people had it that way, and thought it'd be that way forever. They were wrong.
Marriages fell apart, people got laid off, homes were foreclosed on, the snatch-man came for that E-class. Things changed for people who did not expect them to. Maybe that is what has happened with your boyfriend. His marriage fell apart, and now he is constantly trying to keep up with his child support. He's even been forced to spend time in jail. He's living with his dad, and cannot stay with you. He is very stressed out. Is this an ideal evironment for a relationship? I don't think so.
You don't explicitly state what it is you want out of this relationship, but it seems to me that if you want anything more than just the most basic stuff, and occasional "benefits," you're not likely to get it. It's not his fault, though. Circumstances have run this man down, and he seems to have decided to spend a good deal of his time at the pity party.
Is his situation tough? Yes, but not untenable. There are plenty of guy in similar broke, overworked straits, who do not have the love of a woman to see them through. He doesn't realize how good he has it.
If you feel you can be fulfilled with things as they are with him, very well. But I think now may just not be a very good time for you two. Maybe you should take a break for a few months and revisit your situation later. Maybe things will change for the better by then. But right now, I think your guy is on a bit of a downward trend psychologically. You're under no obligation to go down with him.


Out of the Question

QUESTION: Ok...ok...don't judge me...I know this is real bad and I will never do or pursue anything like it...I'm just sort of curious...I don't know well anyways here's my situation

I met this man online. We chatted a little, talked about everything and anything. Liked what we said. And we soon chatted some more and told each other that we really like each other and enjoyed each others company.
Problem is we are 33 years apart!!!!!!!!!!
I know its insane, crazy, absurd, wrong in every way...but somehow in some twisted way i find myself attracted to him.
I know you are probably going to yell at me and tell me what the he** are you thinking?!!!
Its the weirdest thing in the world to me.
I know myself and I never would have imagined myself fall for someone like this.
I come from a good life with valued morals and I know its so wrong...but it just feels right.
He lives in Canada and I live in the US.
I never met him or sent him a picture of myself and he never sent me one.
We were both scared and with it all being illegal and what not.
I know it wont work out and to tell you the honest truth I don't even know how it would.
It's impossible.
He's divorced and has two daughters around the same age as me.
He never felt this way or ever thought he would be able to.
He also thinks it is wrong and knows it out of the question but its just hard to not chat together.
It may be just like a little infatuation or puppy love for both of us or even a fantasy.
I guess we just like chatting with each other knowing it wont ever work out.

I know it's wrong in every way but could you tell me what you think of this all...what you think he might be feeling or really anything that you think should be said please feel free to say....

he is 48...so yeah...and his divorce was recent its been a little over a year...I have considered the fact that it might be a mid life crisis or something, him trying to find love...or me at a young age looking for love...but I really don't know and I do know this is really bad of me to even talking with a stranger like this but I know I wont do anything...he wont either because he is worried as well and has daughters my age so...i just would really appreciate it if i had your opinions.

-Thank you

GARLAND: Thank you for this question. First and foremost I want to thank you for being smart enough to talk about this E-Mail 'friendship' that you've developed.

I read your question several times and there were about a million things I wanted to say to you. I've scaled it back some so don't worry. Right up front I want you to know that I want you to stop chatting with this fellow. Let me tell you why... actually you're smart - you know why, but humor me and read my comments.

A 48 year old man that claims to want to be with [or love] a 15 year old girl is dangerous. Hey - I'm sure he talked all about the guilt he feels by talking to someone young enough to be his daughter, and I'm sure he told you that he's never done anything like that before, and I'm willing to bet that he told you not to talk to your parents about him, because they'd never understand that he wasn't a bad guy. Well, I'm going to tell you that he is a bad guy. Talking to him, even as what you would call "innocent chatting" is dangerous very deep down. Let me prove it... Don't you think of him a lot? Don't you wonder if he's thinking about you? Are you looking forward to your next time online with him? He is effecting you deep down. He is a threat to you.

I'm sure that you feel that I'm wrong and he'd never in a million years harm you because he is so sweet and nice and friendly. You wanted us to be candid - so that's what I'll be... no respectable and reasonable man wants a relationship with a teenage girl. I want to call you a 'young lady' because I'm afraid that one-too-many 'girls' is going to drive you away from my answer, but I need you to understand that you are still a girl, and that is not a bad thing. You still have things to learn and experience that will prepare you for womanhood down the road a few years. NONE of those things involve a 48 year old man. NONE OF THEM! He cannot get you to womanhood faster, he cannot bring you happiness or love faster, he can do NOTHING benficial to you.

He is pedophile. While you say nothing has happened between you two, and I hope to God that that is true, he has probably attempted something with someone else. This man is a threat. It is not normal under any circumstance for a grown man to try and develop an intimate relationship/friendship with a teenage girl . PLEASE UNDERSTAND THAT HE DOES NOT REALLY LOVE YOU - REGARDLESS OF WHAT HE SAYS, HE IS A PEDOPHILE AND HE IS DANGEROUS. IF GIVEN THE CHANCE HE WILL HARM YOU GREATLY. IF YOU BELIEVE NOTHING ELSE THAT I SAY, PLEASE BELIEVE THIS.

Look, you were mature enough to want to ask Chuck and I for our thoughts, so that shows me a lot. The next people you need to talk to are your parents. Yeah, yeah... I was 15 once too and I know how parents can be to teenagers, but now I'm a parent and I know that I would want my child to come to me. But, if you're not going to talk to your parents - then find a teacher at school that you trust and talk to him or her, or find someone at your church and talk to them. Let them backup what I'm saying with some quality face time. You really need to talk to someone close to you, an adult that you trust. I'm sure this 48 year old fellow said a lot of things that you liked and I'm sure he said some things that, deep down, you may have wanted to hear, but you have to be strong and you have a lot of life to experience and you have to move forward without him.

If you take my advice, and the advice I'm positive Chuck will give you, and this guy refuses to stop chatting with you, or he insists that you two remain "just friends" I want you to contact your local police department or FBI office and talk to them. Remember YOU HAVE DONE NOTHING ILLEGAL and you WILL NOT BE IN ANY TROUBLE. Okay? Okay-

If you have ANY followup questions or comments, feel free to shoot me and Chuck another E-Mail anytime!!! Take care -

CHUCK: I am so glad that you brought this question to us. Because although you claim to like this man, and it's clear that you like the attention, deep down, you feel that something is not right about this relationship. Go with that feeling.

I don't know if this guy is a bonafide, full-time, trolling-for-young-girls pedophile, or just a dabbling pervert. But he can do just as much damage to you regardless of where on the deviant scale he resides. He lives in Canada, he doesn't want any pictures, he's made no effort to see you. These are most likely just ploys to keep you from freaking out too early.

I guarantee you that the longer you keep up this correspondence, the more efforts he will make to bridge the gap between you. These predators are very wary and patient these days, and they will take as long as they need to to determine that you are genuine, and they are not being set up.

Why is a 48-year-old man flirting with a 15-year-old over the internet? A girl the age of his own daughters? This man is not wired right, plain and simple. I know that it's flattering to be courted this way. I know that the taboo and the danger of discovery can be romantic. Pedophiles thrive on exploiting these feelings. Again, plain and simple, no 48-year-old man, no matter how he presents himself as he pursues you, means you any good.

As Garland says, tell an adult in your life about these contacts. Do not contact this man anymore yourself. Change your contact info so that he cannot get through to you again. And please, PLEASE tell me you did not send him any info that will allow him to locate you in the *real* world. You seem like a level-headed young lady, so I don't fear for your safety as much as I would someone else. But the fear exists. Please seek some help, and stay in touch.


Breakdown in Communication

QUESTION: Here's my question.

My boyfriend and I are having a long-distance relationship now as we are in two different countries with great time difference. I am feeling quite pissed with him because he keeps saying that he misses me very much, but he always fails to call me as he promises. Everytime I mention that to him when I call him, he will just apologize but the same thing will happen over and over again. I am really trying to keep my cool about this as I can understand the problem could be with the crazy time difference and his busy work schedule.. but sometimes, I really wonder.. would it die for him to just spare 5 mins to give me a call over his work? It just makes me think that I'm not important to him after all. What do you think?


CHUCK: At this point in the last millennium, if you had a loved one in another country, you would have to write out letters in longhand, post them in the mail, and then wait weeks to receive a reply. But that didn't matter. Lovers would write at length, pages and pages pouring out their feelings with emotion and eloquence. And today you can't even get some blockhead to send you a two-sentence text?

I'm kidding, but I'm serious. For every advance that is supposed to make our lives move more swiftly and conveniently, we just get farther and farther apart. Okay, getting off the soapbox... now.

There's a number of possibilities for your lack of reciprocated communication from your boyfriend: A) He's genuinely busy, and keeps forgeting, B) He hasn't adjusted to any time differences yet, and is reluctant to contact you at weird times, or C) He just can't be bothered. Is it necessarily bad if the answer is C? Well, It's not good. Nobody likes to feel that they''re not important to their lover anymore, but some folks are just not mature or committed enough to be in a long distance relationship.

And if that is the case, you need to know. If he's moved on in his head, and doesn't want to maintain the relationship as it was, he needs to let you know, rather than just let you keep blowing up your phone bill with international charges. So I would ask him if I were you.

I wouldn't be confrontational. But I would let him know that the one-sided communication isn't working for you right now, and you need to know if anything has changed between you. It's likely that even if it has, he'll deny it like he has been. But if you see no change in the way he has not been contacting you immediately thereafter, quietly let it go. At this point, it doesn't sound as though you're losing much, anyway Take care.

GARLAND: Thanks for your question. Sorry The Old Boy is not holding up his end of the deal.

The time difference could be a big issue, but I'd have to say - If I was at point X on the globe and my wife was at point Y and they were at the worst time zones imaginable, I'd still find time to E-Mail her and speak to her on the phone. Even if I had to set an alarm to wake me up at 3 A.M. and chat with her in a semi-awake haze - I would.

But, that's me.

Any number of things could be in play here with your man. He could be losing interest in your relationship; he could misplacing his priorities and truly forgetting to call you, he could be having the time of his life and living in the moment; or he could be working like a dog and only working, sleeping, eating and shaving. Honestly I don't know. I'll say this - in this day and age with the Internet, computers with cameras, global satelite communications and Express mail - the world has never been smaller. Time zones and continents are minor obstacles when it comes to communication. He could reach you if he wanted to.

My advice - expect that he might be done with your relationship, but talk to him and tell him that you don't understand how he can so easily forget to call you. Ask him if he still wants to be in the realtionship and give him a few days to think about it. Let him know that if he calls back in 2 or 3 days, them maybe he wants things to work, but if he doesn't tell him not to bother at all. And let that be that. But, don't allow a guy to keep you dangling on the hook - you are a woman, not a fish. There is hardly a reason for him not to be calling you on a regular basis, though. None at all.

Best of luck to you.

We're Baaaack!

Hello everyone! Thanks to everybody who has checked in on our blog since our last post back in October. What was supposed to be a week or two of downtime, has somehow turned into a two month hiatus. However, we have not stopped our blog and we still hope to be able to share candid, unbiased and hopefully HELPFUL opinions and insight. We plan on having our first Q&A post on Wednesday, December 16th. Please check it out - and thanks for reading...



WAMT Problems!!!!!

Hello everyone-

Thanks for checking out our blog. We've gotten a bit behind in some of our questions and I'm sorry about that - it's mostly my fault. My computer has crashed and let's just say that my employer doesn't like paying me to blog, so my time online has been cut down quite a bit. I'm going to try to get my answers to ALL of our questions answered THIS WEEK! Please stop by this weekend!!! Thanks a lot!!!



The Man-Child and the Nag

QUESTION: I've been involved with someone for approx 2 1/2 years now and it has gone from casual dates to a more "serious" relationship. I don't think at this age (early 30s) anyone comes without scars of some sort of baggage so I'll summarize the pros and cons of our situation because I'm wondering if there is really any future.

My problem with him is his all around immaturity about things from relationships to just daily life. He doesn't want to grow up. He admits he has commitment issues, not just in relationships but to anything from a cell phone contract to a home loan. In the past he has been less-than-forthcoming about his "friendships" which he's later confessed at some drunken moments had gotten sexual. While we weren't officially a couple at the time, the irresponsible behavior is an issue for me because 1)how do I know it won't happen again like he says and 2)the obvious health/honesty/trust factor of infidelity. W

On the flip side, even with these issues, while not on paper (the house is in my name) we live together for over a year and share all household expenses. When things are good, they are good. He is supportive emotionally and financially, gives me most anything I can ask for, is attentive and engaged in the relationship. He has difficulty verbalizing how he feels at times, but does always says that he loves me, and says he knows that I am who he wants to settle down with. So there has to be the BUT....He says I am who he wants to marry BUT he is not ready for that level of commitment. We only argue about this issue. He claims he is not involved with anyone else, but there are signs that he is lying. i know he still wants to go out, enjoys flirting and hates to feel like he has to report to me. If he can't commit now after all this time, can he really know that he wants to be with me?

My problem is that I can be a huge nag, forcing an issue for discussion even when I know he is not prepared to talk about it. Bigger than that for me is trust or lake there of. Most guys I've dated were not ready to commit. Often they professed that they were, yet were cheating. I also have violated my current bf's space by reading his text messages when he was being less than fully honest. When I push an issue or ask him where he was over and over, he feels pressured and he pulls back saying he's not ready for a relationship. I remind him its hard to say you are not ready for a relationship when you live with someone and have joint financial responsibilities and to either sh!t or get off the pot as the expression goes. While he knows he hasn't done 100% right by me at all times, he feels I do not give him credit for his efforts and only criticize.

I've seen improvements in how he handles our relationship, and in his ability to express himself but at the same time still feel that he is very immature and has a ways to go before he's ready to commit. I always hear people say that if a guy is into you, that's just it, no if's and's or but's. I would like for us to stop the games and get married but wonder if this a case of just waiting in vain for someone who is not really into me? Or should I give it more time?

CHUCK: Yes, at a certain point in our lives, we all can say that we've had experiences that may have colored our lives, or tainted us. But should that mean we should not move forward, and just allow our pasts to leave us paralyzed? I don't think so.

Your boyfriend is very lucky. Not only have you allowed him to move in with you, despite an immaturity and irresponsibility in matters personal and financial, but you've allowed him to hold your relationship hostage with his indecisiveness about your future. And despite these negatives, you STILL want to marry him? Ah, love...

Two and a half years is sufficient time for him to decide if he wants to marry you. Trust me. All that fear of committment stuff is just horseshit. He has probably decided that he'll hang around with you until his hand is forced and you finally kick him out. He says he loves you, and he probably does, but he loves his rootless life even more.

But you're not blameless here, either. Your admitted nagging and lack of trust, although exacerbated by your man's bad behavior, make you not the best risk for the long haul, either. If I was the least bit indecisive about being with you, things like spying on my cell phone would be enough to put you in the "lose" column. No one, even the untrustworthy, like not to be trusted. I would ask you to consider your own conduct, and the contribution you may be making to your own miserable state.

As I don't believe that this man will agree to marry you, despite the considerable pressure you could put to bear on him, you have some thinking to do. Do you want to continue living with him, despite the idea that there may be little future in it, or are you ready to get off the pot, as they say? These are decisions that you should probably make on your own, as trying to include him in them may appear to him as if you are giving him an ultimatum. Love is good, but it sounds as though you want a future.

GARLAND: Thank you for your question.

I think that you might be looking at marriage to this guy as a good thing or as a cure all for your problem plagued relationship. Marriage to him would be is neither. The term "Marriage" does not translate in "Magic" in any language I have been able to find. Don't think that because you go out and spend thousands of dollars and countless hours of prep time to set up a wedding, and then jump the broom that suddenly your man-child is going to become a grown up, responsible, monagamus, man. It doesn't work that way. He still has a lot of playing and growing up to do and to be 100% honest, he'll never truly respect you even if he ever "settles" for you. The reasoning is this: He'll never be able to respect a woman that stood by his side knowing that he was still running the streets and treating her any old kinda' way. He'll look at her as somewhat pitiful and he'll consider himself doing her a 'favor' by allowing her to call him "Her Man."

I really hate to see guys dangling "marriage to them" as some kind of prize in front of women. And even more, I hate to see women buying it and waiting with bated breath until their men run out of options [and girlfriends] and decide to "settle" for them.

I think your guy is going to hang on to you until he has done all that he wants to do, this includes dating, sneaking and hooking up with as many women as he can. After 2 years and plenty of sexual confessions, you've shown him that you are good and patient. He's gonna string you along for quite a while. Be ready.

But, I think you too are not ready for a relationship, much less a MARRIAGE. Sneaking his cell phone, nagging, suspicions, arguments... no, you are not ready either. But, that's okay. It is okay to not be ready for a relationship. That is a good thing. It is your heart's way of telling you that something isn't right. PLEASE LISTEN - There are other fish in the sea! Please unhitch your wagon from this falling star. Look at your boyfriend as a stock. You bought 100 shares for $2 a piece 2 years ago and now he's worth $1.05 a share. It's okay to sell him now! He's not going to be worth much more for a long time. Cut your losses and move on while you can... I.E. While you are not pregnant, not legally bound, not wearing his name as a tat on your back, and still young and attractive.


A Simple Question -

QUESTION: Hi, I read your blog often and find it to be very insightful.
I have a complicated situation (don't most of those asking for advice) but it all boils down to a very simple question.

I've been with my boyfriend for three years and the relationship has gotten progressively more serious. We live together and he's very supportive emotionally and financially.
Question is this - Is it possible for a man to be honest when he says that he loves me and knows that he wants to settle down with me soon, yet still be involved with other women?


CHUCK: My simple answer to that question: No. Okay, that's maybe too simple.

This man may want to settle down with you someday, but he feels the need to sow his wild oats, so he wants to spread himself around some first. There's nothing necessarily wrong with that, as long as he isn't violating a commitment to you, and he's careful not to bring any diseases to your relationship.

However... Some men just use talk like that as a stall. Five years later, he could conceivably still be telling you that he needs to play the field... just a little longer. And, let's face it, there's guys who feel as though there's always someone "better" out there, so how long are you willing to wait?

The bottom line for me is this: I question just how much a man can really love you if he is willing to lose you while you wait to see if he gets his head on straight. That puts a different face on it, doesn't it? If you do not care to wait on this man, while you know he is going around with other women, simply do not do it. If this man's hand is forced, he may have to decide if he wants these other women more than he wants you. And that is not an unreasonable question to ask.

Garland: Thanks for your question. Like Chuck, I say "Nay."

Your man says he loves you... and you ASSUME he wants to settle down with you soon... but he needs to be 'involved' with other women...

Okay, where do I begin? So you say that he 'knows he wants to settle down with you soon," Please keep in mind that this statement is probably only one of two things - A Lie or An Assumption. A guy that lives with you and still goes out into the street meeting and sleeping with other women until he's bored enough to come back to you sounds like a scrub to me. Scrubs are liars by nature in My Book.

I just don't think this guy is honest with you. You are probably serving a purpose to him that you might not even grasp. Maybe you are the half of the rent he can't afford, maybe you are the good credit that he doesn't have for utility service, maybe you are the half of the cable bill that he can't afford, maybe you own the car he can't afford to buy... it could be anything. I just don't like your situation, I don't like a guy that CLEARLY strings you along with tales of, "You know I love you baby, and as soon as I have hooked up with every girl in a six-mile radius I'm going to pretend to respect you, even in public."

I think you should demand more for yourself. You are being lied to and being played. Why do you think that you should allow a man that claims to care about you to go out, wine, dine, entertain, share with, laugh with, sleep with, shower with and be with other women until... until... until... he has nothing else better to do than to treat you like a classy lady worthy of a faithful monogamous... let's say it together MO-NOG-A-MOUS... relationship? You deserve better and only YOU can establish just what you will and won't accept.

No, a man cannot honestly say he loves you, and he'll settle down with you after he's finished lovin' these other women. See - let me tell you - LOVE, real LOVE has a way of making a man come home at night. Real LOVE makes a man decide, "Ain't no woman like the one I got!" When a man is in Real LOVE he doesn't need to set a timer in front of his woman and say "when this timer hits zero, I'll choose you over them." A man in Real LOVE is all about his woman and his woman only.


Bare Bones Relationship

QUESTION: What a great blog! I really like that you guys give honest, open frank advice.

So here's my situation,

In my dating life, I am always told that I am too intimidating because I happen to be a very well educated independent woman...being mindful of this, I try to only date guys who are equally well educated, assuming that those types won't be intimidated by me. Well about 3 years ago, I met a guy at a conference, who I felt was equally well educated and we talked very briefly after he invited me into a conversation he was having with a group of friends. I was suprised he even knew my name but I joined the conversation for about 10 minutes and then we did not really talk again, although I saw him at a couple of parties after then, I would just say hi and that would be it. Well, about 2 years ago, I added him as a friend on FB, and saw that on his status that he was working overseas in a country I was planning to visit the next month. I send him a private message saying that I was coming to the country, wanted to know if there were any great places to go in the area.

He responded with he would still be in the area when I got there and asked me to let me know when I was around. The next month, after I arrived in the country, I sent him a FB Message saying I was there and he responded telling me to call him. I waited about 3 days and then called. We talked but did not make plans to meet since he was going out of the country the next day. He got back in the country the next week and sends me a FB msg saying he was back and that we should hang out sometime in the week. I was out of town that day but sent him a message to let him know I would be back the next day and I would call him. However, the next day I got busy and waited until the following day to call him and when we talked, he asked me if I wanted to get together that night, I said that it was too late to do so but didn't explain why (I could not because of security in the neighboorhood I stayed having a 7 pm curfew). He immediatly back tracked and says that its okay, I should come to this group dinner he was having the next night for a friend. I go and meet all his friends. The party was fun but again I had to leave early and didn't tell him why (same security reasons) He asked me to stay once, but I said no.

After that I sent him a message to say that I was leaving the country and explained why I left early during the group dinner and let him know that if he was ever back in my city back in the US, he should let me know. A couple of months later, he was back in the states and sent me a FB message asking how I was doing. We communicate for the next few months over FB because it turned out that he was moving permantely out of the country. During this time, he never took more than a week to respond to any FB message I sent him and neither did I. After about 3 months, we fell out of contact and he sent me a message about 5 months after we fell out of contact, wishing me happy birthday and asking me what I was up to. I responded the next day thanking him and asking him what he was up to and how he liked living abroad. He waits 3 months to respond to that message and says he was sorry, didn't see the msg...etc. I respond immediatly, saying that it was okay, we go back and forth over FB message for the next month or so. During this time period, I let him know that I was coming to the country he was in for work around Christmas time and he suggests that we meet up again when I get there. We fall out of contact because he didn't respond to one message I sent him so I just wait and message him 3 months later when I am in his country and he suggests we get together for drinks. I was about 20 minutes late in meeting him and he mentioned my lateness at least 3 times during the evening as if he couldn't believe I had him waiting. I apologized and blamed it on poor driving conditions in the country. Also, I assumed it was going to be just us getting drinks and it ends up being him, me and some friends of his that were visting from the U.S. as well (3 guys, 1 girl). During the get together, I felt he spent most of his time, trying to impress his friends. Making comments like "o man you can't come by the house later tonight because I'll be busy" and laughing which I felt was like the equivalent of him saying he and I were going to have sex that night. Also, at some point, the water brings my unmixed drink and I am forced to mix it myself. In doing so I spill it and I tell him that I would not have spilled it if he had just poured it for me. He says "Oh you know you independent woman, I didn't ask to help you because you might say, I can pour my own drink" I simply replied, I would never say that. Anyway, his friends left and when he and I just sat down to talk, the conversation was good. I felt like when he stop putting on a show for his friends and actually talked to me it was nice. After some time, he started talking about work and a project he really had to finish and looking down at his blackberry, so I took that as a cue to end the evening. We hugged goodbye and he asked me to call him when I got home. I get home and discovered all the electricity was out (remember foreign country!) plus I had been drinking quite a bit so I call him and I say I am home but there is a problem, all the lights are out and I am all by myself and I asked if he wanted to come over an entertain me. He chuckled and said no, that he really had to finish this project he was working on. I felt hurt and rejected because in my mind, I was clearly asking him to come over and have sex with me. The next day, he sent me a text message that said something like..."sorry I couldn't come over last night, I hope everything was okay" I responded saying I was fine and that I hoped his project went well. I didn't hear from him again and I left the country 4 days after our last communication. No communication between the two of us for about 2 months. Then he sends me a FB message saying that he was in the U.S. and hadn't heard from me so he wanted to check on me. I responded the next day with I was good and asking how he was. He doesn't respond for 5 months and then two days ago sends me a message saying he was sorry, he thought he had already responded but hadn't. Then he tells me he recently left his job, was thinking about starting his own business, and asked how things were with me. I saw this message and was hurt. 5 months of non-communication is unacceptable and I had already put him out my mind...but the message brought him to the forefront and it had me thinking again about how much I like him and how great we'd be together.

Now, I want to respond to his message but my pride won't let me because he waited so long to respond to my last message. Plus, I am tired of the nice cordial FB messages, I want to know if he's interested in me or not, its been almost 2 years of the random communication and I am sick of it. I would like to get to know each other on a serious level and maybe even start a relationship if he comes back to the US soon. Anyway, I am confused by his actions...nothing he has done shows clear interest to me but if he's not interested, then why is he stringing me along, it can't be for the sex, because I feel like I already offered that to him and he declined. So what is it? What should I do, Haven't I "put myself" out there enough for him to get it and shouldn't I assume he just doesn't want to get it or have I been sending mixed messages this whole time? How do I be clearer about what I want from him? Is this something, I can do over FB, or something I should ask him to call me from overseas to explain?

CHUCK: The police officer at an accident I passed the other night said it best: Move along, folks. Nothing to see here. In all of your two years of FB messages, international travel, mild flirting, and near curfew violations, you have not even come close to being in a relationship with this man. You're not even in the ballpark.

I can understand how you might think, what with the international distance that is frequently between you, that you must be missing out on something great with this guy. But the fact is that the geographic distance is less of an obstacle than the emotional distance. If you were truly meant to be together, once you were in the same country with him, you would rush to be near his side, and vice versa. Instead, you let days go by, call him as an afterthought, spend most of your time together in the company of his friends, and hurry away to meet your curfew. And when you're not in the same country, he lets long periods of time lapse between contacting you. You'd have to admit: this is far from the Greatest Love Story Ever Known.

I think that what's happened here is you've built up a relationship with this man in your head, more from conjecture and speculation than on actual events. A guy who goes five months without contacting you at all is NOT YOUR BOYFRIEND. It seems as though the closest you have come to this guy was when he was trying to put some awkward show on for his friends by flirting with you. But that may have been just him being a prick. And having sex with you has progressed so far out of the realm of possibility with him, that he completely misses your hints that he should come over and get some.

If you want to really get together with this guy, and it is still possible, it time to finally put some meat on this relationship's bones. You have never said that you have made a direct appeal to this man's affections. Maybe now is the time for that. Send him an FB message, to reserve a time to SPEAK TO HIM on the phone. Let him know how you've been feeling about the possibilities to enrich your relationship together. See how he feels. If he feels the same, you approaching him directly might shock him out of the complacency that allows him to treat your messages so cavilierly. If he doesn't feel the same, well, what have you lost, anyway? Give it a shot. Good luck.

GARLAND: I'm going to disagree with Chuck on this one. His answer started with what I'm thinking... "Move along. Nothing to see here." but he finished with a splash of optimism. I'm just not in agreement.

I think that after two years and international travels and back and forth and FB messages this and FB messages that, I just don't think hunting this fellow down for swing at a relationship would be in your best interest.

Just to grab a few specific points you made - the pouring of the drink... I am amazed that you could remember such a specific fact. I kinda' have to agree with your friend on this one - the first thing you told Chuck and I was that you were very independant. I'm pretty sure a strong, intelligent and independent woman wouldn't suddenly fall helpless to a few shot glasses of liquid and a shaker of ice. I think he knew the score on that one. And, as far as him telling his friends, "I'm gonna be busy later tonight..." Isn't that what he told you too? Didn't he say he had a project for his job to work on? I think he was talking about working on his project, and you thought he was talking about working on you!

Also, the whole 'inviting him over for sex' on the same night he tells you he has an important project for work... well, that's pretty selfish on your part. You could have invited him over on any night of the week, but you wanted him to choose YOU over his job. You wanted him to go to work the next day shorthanded, so you could show him that you're the boss. I think that it is good that he even spoke to you after that one - if that was me, and you pulled that kind of power-struggle move on me, I would have kicked you to the curb. But that's not answering your question...

I think for your sake you should write this guy off. He probably thinks that you are a nice person and he likes keeping up with you on FB and maybe having a drink or two now and then. But if this guy wanted to date you or be in love with you, I think he would have made it clear by now. I think you are arranging him and your feelings for him in a manner that makes him seem like he could be [or should be] The One. I think that is a title that he probably doesn't want. You and your time are more valuable than that. I think your efforts are better spent on a guy that is there with you, mentally, physically and emotionally.

Thanks for your question, and best of luck to you!

The Rattle of THE SNAKE... PART 1

GARLAND: This is one of those times where I want to use Me and Chuck's blog for a little personal rant. I have seen first-hand, some foolish things and in just the last year or so, I have seen some things that have left me speechless, baffled and all around amazed. It is too late for some people I know, but it may not be too late for others.

The Rattle of THE SNAKE.

Let's say that you were walking in the woods on a hot summer day. And then in the tall grass a few feet in front of you, you hear a rattle. It is an intense and scary rattle. You know that it is, in fact, a RATTLESNAKE. What do you do?

I'm going to assume that many of you would do just like I would. Turn around quietly, walk a few steps and then run in the opposite direction. But, there are still a number of people who will ignore the rattle and trod straight into a deadly snake bite. Why? For any number of reasons including; arrogance, ignorance, low self esteem, defiance, desperation, denial, you name it - the list goes on and on.
As foolish as walking toward a rattling snake sounds, women do this everyday, except the rattle is the spoken word and the snake is a man.

Ladies, let me just open your eyes to some things... some lame things that SOME guys are going to try lay on you to get you to trust them, to date them, to sleep with them, to probably give them money and to quite probably get dumped and heartbroken by them:

Listen up!

THE LORD, sent me to you...

Ladies, especially Sista's, let me tell you - BUMS know that there are [some] women out there that pray for a man, or they pray for a Godly man, or they try to tie their worship into their desire for a man - not every woman does this, but let's keep it real - SOME women are praying and waiting for GOD to send them a man. BUMS - when they are really hungry for a victim, will show up at your church on Sunday looking like a million bucks. They'll scope out the women sitting alone [like a wolf, they'll hunt the sheep that stands alone, away from the flock] and they'll take a peek at the ring finger and before long they want to share a hymnal or a bible and then they'll make their move. BEWARE ladies, of any man that says the LORD spoke to, sent him, or in any way brought the two of you together in that place at that time. Don't let a BUM trick you into foolishly believing that he is heaven sent! Don't fall for this for a minute! Using the Lord's name as part of his rap is a RATTLE, ladies - run from it!

No Luv for HIS SHORTIES...

If a man tells you that he has one or more kids but he doesn't see them for any number of reasons, including:
  • Their Mama is crazy...
  • Their Mama don't let me see'em...
  • My car is always in the shop...
  • The bus don't run to that side of town...
  • My Baby-Mama's Brothers are always wanting to fight me...
  • I'm a little back on my support payments...
  • I'm gonna' get over there...
  • If I see their Mama, me and her are gonna' be arguing...
  • They are better off without me right now...
  • I'm not where I need to be to be a Dad right now...
  • I'm still tryin' to get myself together...
  • My kids understand that my job keeps me away from them...

Leave his sorry ass, right where you found him.

Let me say that again.

Leave his sorry ass, right where you found him!

Believe it or not, I actually had this one sorry fellow use that last line in front of me in a conversation a few months ago. He has two kids that, by his own admission, he has only seen twice in two years and he said with a straight face, "My kids understand that my job keeps me away from them." This guy is not some cop, or some Government guy assigned overseas, or a professional athelete, he works a job that can be done almost anywhere! To this day, I truly regret not calling his pathetic, triflin' behind on the carpet on that one! Everyone knew that this guy was a sorry sack of crap when we all first met him, everyone that is except for the woman that wanted so badly to be His Girlfriend. True to BUM form, he has since abandoned her with another child that he'll never see.

Ladies, 99% of the time a true man will do anything in the world to try and see his children. Regardless of how much he and his Baby-Mama don't get along. A true man will use the courts, he'll swallow his pride, he'll leave his Boyz behind, he will do all that he can do to see his kids and be a part of their lives. Real Men won't leave behind them, a trail of little father-less children that he claims that he "takes care of" by sending each of his Baby-Mama's $26 a month. Real Men don't abandon their kids and Real Men don't feel the need to breed like a stable-horse and have many, many kids by many, many women. Ladies, consider how a man handles his fatherly situation as a RATTLE. What do you do?

You're gonna' be my WIFEY...

Some BUMS out there will dangle "Marriage" in front of a woman's face like some grand prize. They'll use it to get things they want or they'll use it to keep their women "in line." Ladies, don't lose your perspective when a man starts talking about marriage. When a man starts talking about getting married or engaged, be very very cautious. He might be legit, but move slowly and keep your eyes wide open! For some guys, this is a RATTLE. Your man might be getting reading to pull an oakie-doke on you. Tread carefully.

Also, be very leery of a man that needs to borrow money from YOU to buy YOUR engagement ring! Ladies - please don't fall victim to this lame scheme. Any man that needs to borrow money from you in order to put a ring on your finger needs to get himself together. Sure, times get tough for everybody but make sure you aren't getting played. There are few things worse than getting emotionally dumped and then being stuck with a $4000 bill to pay for the ring that reminds you that you got dumped in the first place.

Another thing that I've seen from BUMS and the women that foolishy love them, is when the women start lying to themselves. Ladies, you are not engaged to a man until he has truly asked you to marry him! Ideally this is supported with a wedding ring of some sort, or some other traditional gesture of commitment based on where they are. If your man has NOT formally asked you to marry him, then ladies - you are NOT engaged to him! I have seen some women telling everyone with an ear that, "Jimmy and I are engaged..." I've seen this said as if saying it to enough people would make it true, or saying it to enough would force 'Jimmy's' hand somehow. I've also seen some women just start calling their BUM boyfriends "My Husband" when he has neither proposed to OR married them. Don't let a BUM play you by using marriage as some kind of bait or prize. Listen for the RATTLE ladies!!!

Chuck and I are going to spend a little time on this subject in the coming week or so. So, I'm going to stop here and let this sit with you all for a while. Thanks for reading and please think hard about what I'm saying-



Crossroads of the Heart

(The statue in this photo can be purchased at: http://www.moramahogany.com/wood_statues.htm)


I've been dating an interesting and complex man for the past year, and I am at a crossroads at this point.

This relationship began at a time when he was on the rebound from a previous relationship which had left him bitter and sad, and then the passing of his 91 year old father with whom he was very close. Both of these events had left him with a profound sense of loss.

We met in a dance class and he invited me out for dinner. We definitely hit it off- we have much in common in terms of our world view, but distinct differences in our life experiences; he, a travelling musician, I, a working mom, he, age 58 and never married, I, age 52, married 23 years until my divorce 8 years ago.

We began seeing each other almost daily, we were both in that beginning stage of complete infatuation. He would say he loved me, but soon into the relationship he let me know that he really wasn't sure HOW he felt since he'd been through an emotional ringer.

My thoughts at the time were, ok- he is on the rebound from the last relationship and I am the rebound girl, so I should proceed here with caution since this otherwise feels so right and so good after having weathered some relationship disasters. . So I thought, I will give this a year. If I keep getting mixed signals, if I don't feel totally loved and cared for, I'm not sticking around. I let him know that what I really envisioned for myself is a loving, stable, mature relationship. He told me he wanted that also, and wanted to give that a chance with us.

In this past year we have had a great time together despite a rocky start. Movies, travel, we love to share the politics of the day being both news junkies. We like the same food even though he is vegetarian, I am happy to eat veggies with him. Great sex, fabulous for a man of 58, yahoo! I'm happy.

I am a very giving kind of person, and I know I have been a source of support for him during a difficult time in his life. BUT at the same time, I have at times become really angry with him for taking my feelings for granted, or being completly insensitive altogether. He is a fairly self-involved person, but a reasonable and good person in spite of that. However, I just don't know if he's as 'into' me as I am 'into' him. Sometimes he takes my feelings totally for granted. Here's an example;

Last night, we were invited to a party by a girlfriend of mine. I show up at his place wearing a dress that (I thought) looked great on me; pretty jewelry, flower in my hair- I know I looked really pretty! But, he never said a word about how I looked, we just had a bite to eat and off we went. So, ok, whatever. This dress was not skanky by any stretch, but definatley sexy looking in a tasteful way, and I was getting a fair share of attention from other guys....so what? I was there with my man. That's who I was intersted in.

It was a mixed group, with some single women there, one Brazillian hottie in particular named Lola who we met. Just before we left, we were comenting on a very sexy and provacative painting of a pair of women's legs in garters and heels, under which is seated Lola. My date remarks loudly "Is that painting of you, Lola? heh heh"...I guess he was trying to be amusing, but it sort of fell flat as a ridiculous attempt at flirting with the hottie. I mean, if you could have seen the painting, you would have an idea why I did a slow burn on the way home.

Now, just to be clear, I don't have much of an issue with my self image. When I make an effort I clean up pretty good- very nicely actually. (I sometimes think my boyfriend is a bit insecure and tries to undermine my self confidence in some passive-aggressive way like this). More importantly though, I am a good hearted person! Honest, intellegent, not a drama queen. I am fairly easy-going, but I have my limits.

Since I've been wondering about his intentions lately, I figured I would ignore the hottie incident and just focus on the larger issue for me of "where are we going with this?" I need to know. He basically tells me that he loves me but he can't give more than he's got- he's been depressed for some time now.
I can understand this- his life has been something of a rollercoaster- but I'm trying to read between the lines to understand what's really going on. I know he doesn't want this to end, but he's not ready for more, either. He also mentions that he did not like the dress I wore after I mentioned how confused I feel sometimes when he doesn't respond to my efforts to looks nice. What's up with that?? I really pinned him down -'You didn't like the way I looked last night??" I thought- you bonehead.You are really blowing it here.

I would say this relationship has been mostly great, but uncertain to this point. This man doesn't have much of a track record in terms of longevity in previous relationships- is he capable? If I leave now will I have given this a fair chance? He says he loves me but I think he's really just afraid to be alone. Then again I don't want to drag this out if it's not going anywhere. I've been totally honest with him, but I don't think he been totally honest with himself.

Thanks for your guy wisdom!

GARLAND: WOW! Thanks for your question. Even after four years, long questions still unravel me a bit because they usually have so many points that I want to address that I tend to forget half of them before I start typing. Let me see if I can hit what I want.

You said you wanted to read between the lines with his thought process, because you knew that he didn't want things to end between you. This is a fairly dangerous thing to do. Generally, I think most guys play their cards face up with a lot of women. Sadly, many women want to do like you did and read between the [non-existant] lines - you want to understand what he really means. Well, he means just what he's showing you: he likes going out with you sometimes and he probably thinks you're a nice person, but he's not trying to make a major commitment to you. That is probably the long and short of it. If you try to fill in blanks that aren't really there, you may probably end up with a bad result.

Have you given this relationship a fair chance? You have to answer this one yourself. But I will ask YOU - "FAIR" to whom? Fair to You or fair to Him? For me, personally, I think a year is a very reasonable amount of time to figure out if a person is worth you time, for me I honestly think that a few months or even a few weeks is reasonable, but that is ME.

Are you trying to keep giving of yourself and giving of yourself until he's decided to leave you high and dry and end things or are you waiting for him, another year from now, to force you, yet again, to ask yourself have you given this a "fair chance." One tip I can give you though is this, A man is hard to wait out. A man that just wants to drive 35MPH on the highway, is only going to go 35MPH regardless of how long you honk your horn and how many times you flash your lights. A man that wants to give a moderate amount of dedication in a relationship, is only going to give a moderate amount of dedication, no matter how much you want and plead for more from him.

I'm a big advocate of looking at a persons past-performance. In business, a company's past performance is vital when forming partmerships and awarding contracts. I think it is equally important in relationships. If your man has a poor track record for relationships, you should reasonably expect his pattern to stay the same. You should not expect that he will suddenly see some bright light from the wonderful love that you have to offer and suddenly become this impressive, faithful, and dependable partner that you have waited your whole life for. It just doesn't usually work that way. If his record with women and relationships is pathetic, chances are he'll be pathetic with you too.

I think this guy probably enjoys hanging out with you, he probably thinks that you are a nice and attractive woman, but he is not ready to make a major and life changing commitment to. If you told him that you wanted to start seeing someone else, he would probably wish you well and tell you to take care. He is probably giving you all that he wants to or is able to in the dedication department. But, to be on the safe side, sit him down and ask him about his feelings. Let him talk, don't interrupt, and see what he says. Don't make your talk a big emotional display even if it hurts a bit, we tend to want to clam up when we think heavy emotions are about to come into play. Thanks you for your question and I certainly wish you the very best.

CHUCK: While I sympathize with you completely, I have to say that you have created your own problem here. This man has told you, from the beginning, just what he is looking for in a relationship, and how far he is willing to go. And while Has offered to try to change, I don't think that it has worked. You've stayed with him because you have felt that he could change, or you could wear him down. But it hasn't happened, and you're starting to get frustrated.

Don't get me wrong. I'm not saying that a man absolutely cannot change in his points of view, or what he wants from a woman. But usually, if those changes occur, they are likely to happen when those first urges to settle down hit a man, about in his thirties. Your boyfriend is fifty-eight. He has either spent years ignoring those feelings, or he pushed them down an elevator shaft. At his age, he is too set in his ways for you to have a realistic expectation of changing him.

So he views you in a certain way, and he takes you for granted. Why? Because you have let him do it. There is no way that I could get away with not complimenting my wife, and then drop some mediocre rap on the first Brazilian sexpot that I encountered that evening. That's showing a distinct lack of respect. And I know that I need to respect my wife because, for one thing, our relationship is clearly defined. Yours, sadly, is not.

I think you have given this relationship more than a fair chance. I don't know that he has put forth the same effort that you have, though. But it's all right. There should be no hard feelings. After a year, "where do we go from here?" is a question that should be asked. He should probably hear from you that you're not willing to go on with him unless your realatioship will change. And if he's not willing to make those changes, he should be prepared to watch you leave him.

Friends: How Many of Us Have Them?

QUESTION: So I've had intense feelings for this guy since we first met two summers ago. At the time, he had a girlfriend, so we hung out a lot and he acknowledged his feelings for me but nothing ever "happened." We continued to text back and forth, call, and e-mail periodicially (after that summer we were several thousand miles apart).

Well, a year and a half passes, and I visit him after he breaks up with his girlfriend of several years. During the days, we hang out; at night, we hook up... never sex, but everything but. I go back home, and tell him how I feel (why I didn't do this while I was down there I have no idea). He tells me that he's sorry I misinterpreted his signals and that it was really good to see me but he absolutely is not ready for a serious relationship after breaking it off with his longtime girlfriend, but that I'm really great and we just need to let things cool off for a while. He still has feelings for her, blah blah.

In my heartbroken state, I declare that we should still be friends. Well, I don't hear from him, or contact him, for two months. After the two months, though, we've been speaking on a relatively frequent basis. I saw him for one day, and he was obviously into me, but I was not going to let anything happen.

My ultimate question is -- what in the world? Does he just not know what he wants? Or am I being stupid to try this friend thing... always subliminally letting him know that I'm still around if he ever wants me? I have something that I really want to tell him, but I don't want to regret making the call. I can't decide if he's an asshole, stupid, or just conflicted -- or if I am stupid or conflicted. Your thoughts?

GARLAND: Thanks for your question.

One thing that I have noticed in the four years that Chuck and I have been doing this blog - is the fact that a surprising number of people, ladies, tend to ignore the fact that there are plenty of other fish in the sea. With this guy you saw something you liked, a year and a half goes by, you hang out for a minute, then two more months goes by and still nothing and yet you still have a candle of hope burning for this guy.

I'm not really knocking you for this, I am just stunned at how you've dedicated so much of your life to hoping this guy gives you the time of day. One thing that I want you to know about men is this: We know when we've found a woman that we want. It typically doesn't take us years to acknowledge it to her or to ourselves. We know, and if we are mature men - WE ACT ON IT.

Since you asked, I don't think you are stupid. In the same vein, I don't think that he's an asshole, stupid or conflicted either. I just don't think that he's interested in you. If he was, it would NOT take him so long to reach out to you. He probably thinks you're nice or cool to chat with once in a while, but I don't think he wants you like you want him - that doesn't make him an asshole or stupid. He's just not that into you.

I suggest you really make strides to move on beyond this guy. Don't make any last ditch / big play moves on his emotions. Don't bother trying to get him on the phone or into a bunch of text messages so you can proclaim your greatness and love to him. Don't put yourself out there and risk him playing you for the fool. A lot of times people will proclaim their love [and inadvertently, their desperation] for someone and that someone decides to use their vulnerability against them.

If you've read our blog before, you may have found that I really hate the "just be friends" thing. I think FRIENDS are great people that are truly loyal and loving to each other - "friends" as many of our questioners present them, are just guys that they don't want to completely let go of. Treat this guy like an acquaintance, if he calls, be polite, if he texts, be cordial, but don't take them or treat them like and invitation to start pining away for this guy again.

Be careful out there - your heart is valuable and should be treated like gold, Don't be so willing to give it away to a guy that clearly doesn't hunger for it.

CHUCK: Garland, I don't know if I can forgive you for using that sentence (you know, the "just not that etc." one). We might have to pay someone now. Isn't that copyrighted or something?
As much as I hate that phrase, though, he's probably right. That time you spent with this man after he broke up with his girlfriend, I think you were so hung up on him you might have "everything but" AND sex, if he'd said the right thing. But you both held your peace then, and I think that was a good thing.
Your "just friends" relationship is a sort of fallacy, because what you have is another romantic relationship that never got off of the ground. He likes you, and respects you well enough. But he is unwilling to go that next step with you. Meanwhile, you continue to subsist on the emotional scraps he sends you, hoping that you've sent him sufficient hints to know that, when he's ready...
It really disappoints me to see women putting so much control in a man's hands. If you had told him how you felt, face to face, back when you spent those days with him, things may have worked out differently. I doubt it. And I think the ship has sailed now. He may be stupid, an asshole, and conflicted. But I think that he has made up his mind about you, and his possibilities with you. Move on.


A Near-Miss

QUESTION: Over the past 2 years, I became very close friends with a male co-worker. We are both married with one child each, and both have serious marital issues but stay with our spouses for the sake of our children. Even still, I never once thought we had any thing more than friendship.

Recently, he got another job. After getting drunk at happy hour, he told me he's wanted to have sex with me for almost a year and could see himself leaving his wife for me. I was shocked but also immediately and completely turned on although didn't tell him or let anything happen that night.

As if on cue, 4 days later I discovered my husband was being unfaithful. Within 2 weeks my friend and I were having hot phone sex over text msgs. He also told me that I was beautiful, intelligent and funny, this is the most fun he's ever had with a woman, he hated how long the weekends seemed without me, wished we met earlier in life, and half-jokingly talked about how long we needed to wait until the kids graduated. Given our long friendship and great cyber sex, it seemed obvious to me that we would be awesome together and I fell for him intensely. Eventually he said he didn't want to just talk about anymore - he wanted to do it but we couldn't, and I agreed but mostly because I didn't want to scare him away.

The day after I cautiously agreed to meet him for drinks, I awoke to a text "I was up half the night thinking about you...can't meet...could easily get complicated...the kids could get hurt." I wasn't mad at all (other than being told over text) and tried unsuccessfully to convince myself that I probably wasn't attracted to him, but had just gotten caught up in the idea of meaning something to someone again.

My husband and I are now on the brink of a divorce (he's always refused to see a counselor). My friend continued text me about day-to-day stuff and seemed strangely cold and distant but could 'definitely' meet me for lunch to cheer me up. He started acting like himself again and brought it up every day for a week - you better be there, "have faith" that he wouldn't bail on me again. I told him not to cancel over text again but 30 mins before we were supposed to be at the restaurant, he did it again "I wish I could be mature about this, but...I cannot meet and I cannot be your friend. I'm really sorry." It caught me so off-guard that I didn't reply and deleted all of his info to make sure I couldn't contact him in a weak moment.

We've had no contact since but I have so many unanswered questions that I'm having a hard time moving on. I am also so confused by his mixed messages that I'm doubting everything he's ever said to me, including our entire friendship. Would you please help me make sense of this so hopefully I can put this behind me?

Do you think he was ever really my friend, and/or meant the sweet things he said to me? I've always considered him honest and sincere, but can't help feeling like I might have been played.

If he was being honest about his feelings, how could he go from wishing he had married me to suddenly cutting me out of his life completely (especially after we agreed we wouldn't let anything happen)?

Why was he so happy and willing to make plans, but then suddenly cancelled at the last minute?

Why would he tell his wife that he wanted to sleep with me?

Do you think it's wrong to stay in a marriage for the children (as long as you don't fight etc)?

Thank you for your time and help!!

GARLAND: Thanks for your question. I hope we can shed a little perspective on what's up with you and your buddy-boy.

Do you think he was ever really my friend, and/or meant the sweet things he said to me? I've always considered him honest and sincere, but can't help feeling like I might have been played.

I'm not sure you were 'played' per se, and I also don't think a "friendship" was what you had either. I think you both just needed an outlet, or just someone to pay you some special attention. You needed someone to put you on a pedestal and it sounds like he did too. Men, just like women - still want to feel like they've got some sex appeal, especially if their wives aren't making them feel that way at home. He probably needed you to provide that ego boost to him. The flirting and texting and "I gotta' have you in my arms, baby..." sweet talk going out to you and coming back to him, was probably getting his head back on track. The more he got that satisfaction from you, the more he probably felt that he was in an 80/20 situation. You were giving him the 20% and the wife and baby's Mom was still probably giving him the 80%.

To say you two were friends, well - it's probably a bit overstated. Calling him a "friend" is probably an insult to the folks who are your tried and true friends. Don't make it more than it was, you two were just tryin' to hook up. It's quite okay to call it what it was.

If he was being honest about his feelings, how could he go from wishing he had married me to suddenly cutting me out of his life completely (especially after we agreed we wouldn't let anything happen)?

I don't think he was being honest about his feelings, but I don't think he was trying to be deceptive either. I think he was just caught up in the danger and thrill he saw in possibly sleeping with you. Like I said above, he probably just needed a little something extra in the passion department and you were providing it to him. He probably just got carried away with the sweet talk and got hot and heavy with you and started talking marriage. He liked the feel of holding a loaded gun in his hand, but he was terrified of pulling the trigger. There is no way for ME to be 100% sure, but I have a feeling he was just saying what he thought would turn you on the most.

Why was he so happy and willing to make plans, but then suddenly cancelled at the last minute?

You are asking this from the perspective of someone who truly thought that you were planning a relationship with a new lover. He just wasn't ever this person. Some folks just like the hunt, others like the kill, some like both - but your guy was definitely up for the hunt alone. He was probably never going to sleep with you, leave his wife for you or marry you.

Why would he tell his wife that he wanted to sleep with me?

He told YOU that he told his wife. He didn't. Unless he is a Damn Fool of the Highest Order, he didn't. If he did - you are far better off without him.

Do you think it's wrong to stay in a marriage for the children (as long as you don't fight etc)?

I can't really answer that question. There are far to many variables that have to be factored in and I know next to nothing about the situation.

I can tell you this though, based on the problems you claim to be having in your marriage, you are far better off solving and addressing them without the distractions of a new lover on the side. And, in the future, don't send and receive text messages to and from your loverboy. Even if they are deleted, they can be retrieved by a talented divorce lawyer and his staff - I'm quite sure an angry husband would love to have a transcript of your "sex-me-up" talk, to show to the judge in your custody case for the kids.

CHUCK: Okay, first things first: I was tempted to title this post TEXTING - Refuge of the Coward. Far too often these days, men and women think that they can evade some uncomfortable situation by texting someone some BS kiss-off. "Kant CU NEmor. Itz not U Itz me. Gudbie :+(" WTF? People, stop doing this. If you have the slightest bit of respect for the person you're dissing, at least give them the dignity of being dissed to their face. Come on.

As for your situation, I'm not going to say that you got off light. Because it's obvious that you didn't. While it would have been a bit worse for you had you slept with this man, and he broke it off with you in the same callous manner, it's obvious that you had developed feelings for him, and he took advantage of that. Your feelings got hurt, and that's not getting off light.

Do I think it's wrong to stay in a bad marriage just for the children? I'm conflicted about that. While I think that it is admirable for people to try to tough things out for their kids, I also believe that it can be unfair to the parents and the kids. The parents are probably denying themselves a truly fulfilling relationship with another person while hanging on, looking at the calendar until the youngest child turns 18, or whatever. But they are also possibly denying their children the example of what a truly loving relationship can be, instead offering them some strained substitute. And you might not think a child would pick up on it, but children are often more perceptive than we give them credit for.

I think it's possible that, as Garland says, he was using you for an ego boost, and decided to cut things off before he got in too deep. But the odds are just as great he really wanted to start an affair with you, and just chickened out. He may have reaffirmed his desire to stay in his (unhappy) marriage, or he may just have gotten scared that his wife would catch him, and turn him into ground meat in divorce court. And please don't tell me you really believed that he told his wife he wanted to sleep with you. I don't think he's that stupid, or you're that naive.

I know that this "friend" put a lot of ideas in your head, but even if he was genuine at the time, he's decided to let you get away. If you're leaving your cheating husband behind, I wonder why you'd want to start a new relationship with a man who would cheat, anyway. Focus on your future, and leave the false friend in your past.