Our Radio Interview.... 1/29/09 9:00PM

SassyScribe and Dlyte...

I love the way that sounds.

Chuck and I will be the guests of the Relationship Divas - SassyScribe and Dlyte on WSER Sassy Entertainment Radio on January 29, 2009 at 9:00PM E.S.T.

Please listen in or call in with your questions and have them answered live OR just call in and say, "Hello!"

Just click here:

The call in number is (646) 716 7414

SassyScribe and Dlyte don't just keep it real, they keep it Right!

Rage and then Regret

QUESTION: I dated this man off and on for a year-we've had 3 break ups within that time. The first time was because I wasn't ready to commit to moving in together and he left in a rage. We were apart about a week. The 2nd time was because he got mad at me at a friends party because I was asking his co-worker questions. He felt that I didn't trust him and was trying to snoop on his behavior when he was away from me. We got into it and he picked a fight with the friend that was answering my questions. I basically broke it off because I saw more rage. This scared me. We were apart for a month.

The 3rd break up was centered around him feeling as though I had disrespected him. He was angry. His ego was bruised over some things I said. I'm certain I could have chosen my words a bit more carefully but I was being honest...I guess a bit too honest. I compared his drinking and anger to my step dad and a previous ex. That same night that I said this-I walked out on him in the middle of the argument because I no longer wanted to argue...well he went the EFF off...threatened to kill himself -threatened to bash his head with a beer bottle-he got a knife and began to cut up his clothing with it. Now he never came near me-has never hit me or anything- he was just in another rage--hollering and fussing. He eventually apologized but I made him move out and he had NO WHERE TO GO. It hurt me to do that but I was hurt-couldnt believe he went that far with it. He left in peace. That was April 08-around July 08 we had brief contact. He tried to work his way back in. I declined. From July to November we had no contact. He'd call I didn't answer- he'd email- I'd delete.I even moved to a new place.

At the end of Nov 08 we started talking again on the phone. This was because he really wasn't pressuring me to get back together. He seemed to just want to be friends and have general conversations every now and then. This eventually led to us meeting up and talking. Since we've been talking again a lot has changed with him or so it appears.Aside from his anger issues this man would be MY perfect man. That includes compromising-loving and affectionate- provider-protector-giving-extremely respectful of women- not just me BUT all women- treats me like a queen-leaves me wanting for nothing- and I'm not talking about sex. God fearing-reads bible attends church...again his only issue is when he gets mad he tends to get ANGRY.

So here's the point-since he's returned he has assured me he now sees where he went wrong in our relationship. He's never been with a good woman and therefore dealt with me the way he dealt with the other women who dogged him -cheated on him-and argued about everything. He said something as simple as asking her to pass the salt was an argument. He says having all those months apart from me has made him realize that being without me is not worth all the fussing. He has actually"studied" ways to help him keep his temper under control when he's mad. One would be mediation. He's a martial artist-therefore familiar with meditation. He has assured me that if I take him back things will NEVER be like they were. He told me that in relationships when someone does wrong you have to show them theyve done wrong for them to learn. He said especially with men that women have to show them that they will take no nonsense if that man really wants to be with her. He says I showed him no mercy and that I will not put up with his temper and therefore he now knows he cannot act this way in our relationship the way he acted with the other women he had bad experiences with. He said he'll keep his temper under control.

So far things seem to be different. There have been a few occurrences where he could have gotten really angry but didn't. He was clearly upset but didn't go into a rage Should I trust this man and try to give him another chance? Can a person control their temper or is that just them and they'll never change? I honestly feel that if I let him go that I'll be losing out on who I want to be my husband---(minus the temper of course)

GARLAND: INteresting question. Thank you for sending it in.

I guess I want to say upfront that I'm not going to say, "Oh, yeah. Trust him, he's a gem. He's changed his stripes, he's a saint now." I'm not going to say that because you might just believe me and he might just murder you next weekend in a fit of rage. Let me just put that out there.

Before you sign over your heart to this guy, visit some domestic abuse websites like: Abused and Woman Abuse Prevention. Now, please don't brush this off like I'm being dramatic here - I can almost imagine you saying, "Oh, he'll NEVER hit ME!" But, I promise you that there are tens of thousands of women who have said that and have been subsequently beaten and/or murdered by these same guys who only have 'temper' problems. Make sure you save YOUR life.

Now, could this guy have changed. Maybe. I guess. Anything is possible. But I have to tell you that the whole "if a person is doing wrong, the person in the relationship has to tell them they're wrong so they can do right... " sounds a little fuzzy to me. Maybe he's legit, for your sake I hope he is, but I'm worried that he may have watched a few episodes of "Kung Fu" featuring David Carradine - that tends to make all guys get a little philosophical. I think he may need a little professional help, maybe a counselor for a few sessions. Since he's already beaten up his co-worker and he's got a bit of Martial Arts in his background - I think you need to make doubley-sure he won't physically harm you.

One last thing, you mentioned that he is God-fearing and reads the bible and goes to church - (Chuck might touch on this too) But, don't let those actions blind you. I think a lot of guys use that behavior as a smoke screen for some women. Some guys flip through a few pages of Deuteronomy and sit up in the front of the church for a few weeks and women start thinking that they have a TD Jakes on their hands. Just look at everything with a critical eye. Angry, bad tempered dudes can be very dangerous, me and Chuck's primary concerns rest with YOU.

Make sure that you put YOUR well being ahead of HIS and you'll be okay. Best wishes and best of luck!

CHUCK: This is one situation that is really hard to call, and I don't want to be flip, because there's a lot a stake here. Maybe your life. A lot of women let men with these same issues into their lives, let them BACK into their lives after they screw up, and then suffer the consequences when these destructive impulses lead to their inevitable result. Jennifer Hudson's family tragedy is only one of the more recent tragedies resulting from women allowing bad, angry men into their lives.

By the same token, I do think that it is possible for people to change if they have the will to. Recognizing that you have a problem is key. Following up on that recognition is important, as well. I have to say, though, that the steps this man is claiming to have taken to get himself right sound a little dubious to me. Meditation? Martial arts discipline? How about a formal anger management class? Some actual counseling? That would make me feel more comfortable.

What gives me the most pause is his behavior during your third breakup. Threatening to kill himself or bash himself in the head with a beer bottle, grabbing a knife and cutting at his clothes, these are unhealthy actions even for the angriest angry man. And with behavior this violent, if he were to just briefly think to turn that rage on you... It wouldn't be good.

Should you trust him and give him another chance? In the interest of your continued personal safety, I'd say no. But if you should decide to give him another chance, STRONGLY suggest that he seek counseling or anger management, and reduce, if not eliminate, his drinking. If you mean that much to him, it shouldn't be asking to much that he should try to make you feel secure.


No Substance

QUESTION: Hi Guys, a friend just let me know about your blog and I was so impressed with the combination of frank honesty and respectful sensitivity that I thought I'd ask you about a recent situation that is now over, but I really am wondering, "What was he thinking?"

I'm an educator and a coach for one of my school's academic teams. Last year I met a "nice guy" at one of the tournaments; he paid me a nice compliment and seemed to want to talk to me, but then my team went one way and his went the other. In November 2008 we met up again at the same tournament, and this time he introduced himself (he approached me) and later on when we both had a break, I approached him and we had a pleasant conversation where we learned that we had common interests, including faith and values. He asked for my card so that we could continue communicating instead of waiting for tournaments, so we exchanged business cards.

A week later he sent me a sweet email that seemed to indicate interest, but also was very polite in case I was just being friendly at the tournament. Wanting to let him know that the interest was mutual (if I was reading him right), I took a chance and replied with a few flirty elements - nothing "over the top": he had complimented my smile, so I let him know I thought he was handsome. I also gave him my phone number in that email because I prefer conversation to emailing and we had already met face-to-face, so I was comfortable with that. I did not hear from him for about 10 days, then I received a VERY APOLOGETIC email that plainly expressed interest and explained that he had been extremely stressed lately. I got it because not only was it the busiest time of the semester, but he was stretched between two jobs about 200 miles apart. I would not have been the most pleasant person to talk to then myself, and I only have 1 job. I emailed "forgiveness," and we emailed back and forth that day... Then nothing for another 2 weeks. And the semester was over.

During the 2 week break I noticed 2 things: 1) there was no substance to his emails. On the one hand, I got firing off a quick note while at work, but in my emails I had deliberately included "meat" so that he could get to know me. Nothing intimate. Knowing we had faith in common, I let him know the latest lesson the Lord had taught me (dealing with student drama) and a book I was reading and that it was a blessing. Well, he would respond to the "light" or flirty content, but never touched the substance or offered any on his part. He would just flirt. Nothing nasty, but no meat. At first I was cool with the light, flirty emails because I assumed that substantive communication would take place over the phone, which leads to observation #2) He sat on top of my phone number for over a month with no explanation and these light, flirty emails and long breaks in communication.

At the end of the 2 weeks, I sent him a, "Okay, the last thing I want to do is add to your stress, but are you out there?" email and got a very sweet TEXT MESSAGE and another day of lightweight email volleys, beginning with another apology and him noting that this was getting to be a pattern with him. Then nothing again. 2 days later, I sent him an "I prayed for you this morning" text message, by this time not expecting a reply and not receiving one (one of the things I prayed for was for the Lord to show him what the heck to do with me because he didn't seem to know) and by the end of the day I noticed that I was referring to him in the past tense. OVER. Interesting, on Christmas day he texted me a somewhat cool Merry Christmas and I did not reply. My interest was in a diabetic coma (starved, and fed only sugar) and I had figured out that he apparently was not as interested as he had presented himself, so I was not quite sure how to respond.

Since it was over before it began, I'm okay, but I'm just wondering, "Huh?" I've never had a man APPROACH ME then sit on top of my phone number for over a month. In our conversation, he did not come off as a "player," and he certainly seemed to have some substance to share, especially since his new job was actually in ministry and the class he teaches in his academic job is about the Bible. He is white and I am black, but when we talked about race in our initial conversation it was very comfortable and I was impressed that when he shared his experiences of being ostracized based on his demographics he did not use that to say, "I know how you feel," but instead these instances made him realize that events that were isolated incidents in his life were a "way of life" for some of his friends - meaning he has black friends. So it's over and done now, but I'm curious about what on earth happened.

Any insight would be appreciated. Thank you!

GARLAND: Nice question. Thanks for sending it and thanks for the very kind words at the introduction.

I'm not 100% sure - keep that in mind - but this guy sounds either married or in a relationship. The whole "lapses in communication" and generally bland tone to his E-Mails sounds like a guy that wants to keep the damage to a minimum just incase 'The Missus' stumbles across his hotmail account or his Blackberry. Polite E-Mails 2 or 3 times a month with a fellow teacher from another school is probably pretty justifiable if he finds his wife staring at him angrily upon his arrival home one night. "Oh, honey. Sheila is a science teacher over at Polytech, really great lady. Great sense of humor always cutting up and flirting."

I hate to dismiss your E-Mails so lightheartedly, but that is a strong probability. He probably wasn't try to play you or hurt you, I certainly don't know his motivations or if he is married or involved with someone, but maybe his relationship is at a questionable point and he wanted to get to know you WITHOUT stringing you along and without too much cheating towards his faltering relationship. He may have overplayed his hand and didn't know what to do next.

The same holds true if he ISN'T seeing someone. Maybe he wanted to get to know you but wasn't sure how well or how far it would or should go.

He doesn't sound like a guy with bad intentions on his mind. A Player could have probably done a lot of harm to you emotionally, but this guy seemed unsure of himself and unsure of what he wanted. In the end I doubt if there was any real malice on his part, I just think he jumped into the pool before he really wanted to get wet. I can tell you, that you haven't heard the last from him. I bet that if you tell him it might be best if he not E-Mail you any more and then you wish him luck for next years tourney, he'll thank you and move on to figure out whatever life has instore for him next. That way you won't have to wonder about him everytime you login to your E-account.

Also, keep in mind that he is the one who lost out here - NOT YOU!!!

CHUCK: Garland's all over this one. Straight up-and-down, he's calling it. I believe that this guy was away from home, feeling a little firtacious, and when he got a nibble from the bait he was using, he was unsure whether he wanted to reel you in. Forgive the fishing analogies. He's probably got a girlfriend, has probably been caught cheating in the past. So while he can't help but contact you, but will not commit to anything but bland pleasantries, spread out over weeks.

You did more than you were supposed to do. You held out for a while, with little reason to, thinking that you had met someone who you had made a connection with. And when his neglect and lack or ardor wore you down, you moved on mentally. Great. And you didn't even say anything about closure. You're gonna be okay.

One thing, though, if I could. A word about faith and values: I don't want to offend anyone, but nearly all of us have "faith" and "values." They may be Christian faith and values, but that doesn't give them less merit, does it? Some of us choose to bang a drum about the supposed Christian values we hold to make ourselves look better. I've heard of many a slippery player, running weak game through a church that would get him a beating anywhere else. Don't necessarily assume that the person claiming to espouse faith and values is any more worthwhile than another person who is living the same way, but doing it quietly.

I'm not claiming that this guy was necessarily a charlatan out to exploit you, because he did not make an active effort to move on you. But you see what got the most attention from him in your communications? Not the Scriptures and affirmations, but the flirting. You felt that was suspicious, well, me, too.

Hang in there. Hopefully the next man you extend your self out to in the name of love, friendship, whatever, will be worthy of your efforts and reciprocate.

Tips: Things NOT to Discuss (or Do) on a First Date

In response to a request that we recently received, we 're starting an occasional feature, offering our tips and relationship advice, out of the context of answering questions.

For our first feature, we're going to try to perhaps lessen those uncomfortable looks and awkward silences that can make some first dates unbearable.

So here we offer a number of topics that perhaps should not be discussed on THE FIRST DATE, if ever.

GARLAND: Hmmm, this is an interesting one.

I've been on my fair share of first dates. And for some [lucky] reason I was usually able to tell which ones were going to be first and only dates and which ones where going to be the first of many. Before I say anything else, I want to make it crystal clear that some of the women I went out with were undoubtedly sizing me up too, and I probably did or said a few things that might have made them decide that they didn't want to get to know me either! So, I don't want to sound like I think I'm the perfect date!

Two things come to mind right off the bat - Marriage and Players.

I never think that talking about marriage, in depth, is a good first date topic. I think 80% of guys when they go on a first date, they are a little worried that the woman they are with are trolling for a husband. No, I don't believe that the majority of women are just dying to get married, and to those that like the idea, they don't just want it with just any old guy, but I know some personally that may talk the topic up so much that most guys duck and run for cover. If it comes up, touch on the subject and then move beyond it - there are so many other things to chat about.

And then, make sure you don't talk about the Players and Bums that have been in and out of your life [and/or bed]. You might think that it shows a guy that you've been hurt before and you might think that an honorable guy wouldn't want to do that to you twice, but more than likely, it MIGHT make you look like someone with poor judgement. To the wrong guy, that is like blood in the water for a shark, he may decide to see how much he can dog you too. Always act like you are on top of your game.
I'm going to add a few more very personal notes to this:

1. Don't lie to a guy on a first date and THEN don't turn around and tell him you lied! I once met this young lady on the subway, she was pretty and very interesting. A few days after we met she asked me to go out with her and help her pick out a suit for her younger brother who had his first job interview. When we met up that evening, she said that there was a big accident on the topside of the beltway and traffic was horrible and she suggested we go to dinner instead. I was all for it. Halfway through our meal she confessed that she had lied to me about the traffic and admitted that she just wanted to have dinner instead. I think she thought it was flattering to me, but I kinda' thought it was weird. It wasn't a terrible or particularly big thing, but it bothered me that she would just drop a lie on me for no good reason. Things eventually went no where between the two of us. Nice Sister - but not for me.

2. Don't be too candid! I went out a few times with this one woman, so this wasn't a first date thing per se, but we were having a really good conversation, and she said, "I'll be honest, I'm a much better friend than I am a girlfriend. I tell guys all the time, 'you're better off being my friend than my boyfriend.' " It was said in the middle of a bigger thought, but she said it and I would come to find out that she meant it. I should have turned and run away when she said that, but I was really feelin' her and hoped that maybe something special would develop. It didn't and when all was said and done, I blamed myself because she told me what she was about, but I didn't listen. So only say what you want heard!!! Nothing more nothing less.

3. Don't try to seem vulnerable. Okay, as corny as that sounds - it will usually work against you. Some ladies may feel that playing a little too heavy to the damsel-in-distress role, might make a man puff up his chest and become Ultra-Man. This might work sometimes because SOME guys feel they have to be the White Knight to the helpless lass, but for the most part I think it might turn off a lot of guys and I'd hate to see someone chase away Mr. Right by pretending to what they think HE wants them to be.

Happy Dating-

CHUCK: Someone stated in the comments to a previous post that I must have gone out with a lot of hoodrats when I was dating. I don't think so. But I definitely went out with my share. So here's a few don'ts for first dates. And no, all of these don't apply to me, personally.

-Don't try to outdrink your date. There's a scene in Raiders of the Lost Ark. where Karen Allen, playing Indiana Jones' girlfriend, drinks a bunch of shady characters in a dive bar under the table. That's about the only time that behavior like that is considered cute or funny. Drinking too much on a first date is a no anyway. Drinking that much more than your date is a BIG no.

-Keep things light, unless given signals to do otherwise. If you lost your job, your transmission went up, your brother-in-law came out of the closet, and your cat got worms, talk about it if you must, but don't wallow in your misery. Most people like people who are upbeat, especially when they're getting to know each other. However, if the guy wants to list his complaints, too, you two go for it. We all need a pity party sometimes.

-True story: I once went out with this girl that I got fixed up with by a friend. She was fairly attractive, had a kind of earthy personality, if you know what I mean. We went out to a club, had a few drinks, and, before I took her home, she wanted to stop at a 7-Eleven in her neighborhood. As we come out of the store, she stops at this Mustang that's parked in front, and starts talking to the guy who's driving it. She seems to know the guy. I find it a little weird, but I don't stress it. Until she comes over to me and asks me if I'll buy her some cocaine. Yeah, that's right. The evening ended pretty quickly after that. And the thing is, I knew that going on this date was a mistake before that. I just didn't know what a big mistake it was. The advice here? JUST SAY NO TO DRUGS.

-Don't talk too much about bad exes. For some of the reasons Garland states: you don't want to call your judgment into question, etc. Plus, if you talk too much about that guy you used to date, who's upstate in prison, who "acted like he owned you" and is getting out soon, well, you may end up scaring some guys away.

-Don't talk too much about good exes. First of all, you may make this new guy you're dating start to feel inadequate. Second, it may lead him to think that you're not over the ex, and you're just dating him on the rebound. Even if it's true, you don't want anyone to think that.

Of course, all of these tips can apply to men, as well as women. Some people are hard on the first date experience. They think that people act dishonestly early on, staying on their best behavior until they feel it's safe to show what big a-holes they can be. But I feel that the initial thrill of that getting-to-know-you experience can be really exciting. Anyway, I hope that someone out there can find Garland's and my advice helpful. Happy dating, indeed.


Fifty-Six Per Cent

QUESTION: Hi, I have to say I love this site... only just came across it and its very informative. I would like to ask you about a situation I am in.

I started seeing a guy 3 months ago, we met on an online dating site. It was very fast paced, a little too fast for my liking and I have to admit I did sleep with him straight away as I had not had sex in 5 years. For 3 weeks it was good, he never really called or texted much, but I kept contact as I was keen, you know the early days stuff lol. Well 3 weeks in, he calls and says (after no contact for 3 days) that he thinks that things won't work as I don't like the same music as him and we are too different. Well after chatting for a while he changed his mind, I only said to him, well I can't change how he feels about this, but how you know this after 3 weeks is beyond me.

So we tried again. (note: he was talking marriage kids etc within the first 3 weeks) Another month passed, the sex was amazing when I saw him which on average was 1-2 times a week, we would average 5 - 8 times in one night. I started to grow feelings for him, and well one day he sat me down and said, he just wanted to be friends, I was devastated, I had supported him through some rough patches and we got along generally and the sex was great, so what was the problem??? I said yet again, well I can't change how you feel, he said well he only felt romantic towards me about 56% of the time. I said well if this is what you want you will need to give me time to get my head around it as I can't be intimate then friends over night, but then he said he didn't want to lose me as he knew that if he did this he would lose me (he was right as I have already dealt with this before and well it hurts too much to be just friends) He asked if he could hug me, I said no as I would break down if he did, but as I was about to leave, I felt dizzy and had to sit down on his bed, I then started getting somewhat emotional and said he could hug me, we both broke down in tears, he sobbed more than I did, so much so I had his tears all over my face. We then looked into each others eyes for over an hour and he said there must be something there look at us. Then we agreed to not put a label on anything and take one day at a time. We also had sex after this.

Over the next couple of months, I would get insecure and I would have an outburst, I know this is not good, and of course it would push him away, he rarely calls, he hasn't really since the beginning and well the rest will tell the story.

I have seen him for one weekend in the last month, it was an arranged weekend, he suggested, although initially he suggested a week together, but with my time constraints I said how about we do a weekend. So the day before the weekend comes, and he sends me a text saying he has been asked to work friday and saturday night, and that he has said yes to saturday night, but wanted to talk to me about friday night. I was in the car when I got this msg, and at first I was so angry, but by the time I got home and knowing he has struggled lately financially, I said to him on msn, well why don't you work both nights and I will pick you up and go back to his. He was thrilled about that I must add. The weekend was great, he decided to ask me to come to his work on the friday night on a boat he works on. It was lovely, and he worked saturday night and said he missed me not being there it didn't feel the same, the only downfall was his work mate would come after work both nights, so we didn't really get quality time together, but while his friend was there, he would always touch me rub my back and look into my eyes with gooey eyes. The sex was pretty good that weekend too I must add, although he is starting to not help if I don't get satisfied.

The day after the weekend, I asked him about a movie as I was in a dvd store and wanted to know the name of it, anyway he had a week before he was starting his new job, and I said to him, if he isn't doing anything and wants company to just give me a yell, his response was, oh I want some space and to just play video games and catch up with some mates. I was so irritated by this, not because he wanted his time, but it felt like an outright rejection, I said to him it was not pressure just a suggestion. He would have space a lot I might add.

I had yet another outburst, as from the 3rd week from going out I have felt like he has less interest in me, I did bust him trying to chat another lady up on online dating saying he would let me down gently, then was very apologetic and wanted to make it up to me.. but last week when I tried to confirm arrangements he was making for a concert, he said he was not enthused about the concert anymore as his ex and her new guy would be going to it, and if i minded that we didn't go, my automatic response was, you are not over this girl. My anger got larger, and I texted him a couple of times saying I think its time to talk, he would ignore them so I got really angry and said, I just can't do this anymore, it was great but I can't hold onto false hope and that I would pick my stuff up soon. Well we got to talk online that afternoon and I basically said to him that if he wants out the door that I can open it for him, and his response was and I wouldn't see you again... I like you but I will never be head over heels in love... wow that has played on my mind since, I did admit my outburst was over the top and that it comes down to my own fears, and he did sympathise... he later told me that he hasn't given up on me yet, but basically everytime I talk to him on msn, it takes him like 20 minutes to respond unless he is talking about himself and his new job. So I have not contacted him for the past three days as I want to change the dynamics, and I want him to show his interest in me if its truly there, what the hell should I do? I really like this guy, but I am afraid that he is just stringing me along, its a case of a lot of mixed messages, yet he has said straight out that he wont' ever be head over heels in love with me, and then later admitting he is not over his ex and they broke up 3 years ago. Am I wasting my time, I know he has appreciated me being there for him in bad times, but he doesn't make a lot of effort, although while we were not getting along he brought me a gift. I am soo confused, its probably evident.. any advice would be wonderful thanks, I am 35 years old and he is 38... I have to note too the ex he is talking about was 17 when he was 33, they lived together for 2 years, she dumped him after he had an accident and ended up in a wheel chair for six months for another guy that was his friend too... he has had friends with benefits since, I don't want to be that.

He has admitted that she was the one he was most in love with and that is why he treads carefully... ahhhhh Thanks so much

GARLAND: I usually try to find a hint of a silver lining in the questions that come to me and Chuck, but I can't in this one... and there is so much in this question! First, I'd like to say that these long long long questions full of little details like which DVD he wanted, how he had to work late on a Friday, how he didn't want to go to the concert, and how he cried and looked into you eyes for an hour - while cathartic to you, they tend to hide the real issues at hand. I think sometimes people tend to try and study each little tree and have no idea that they are looking at a forest.

Well, upfront I'd like to say thanks for dropping us a line, and hopefully someone reading this will take our answer to heart and save themselves some serious drama.

You are being nothing more than your own worst enemy here. If your guy is giving you good sex - take it and run! You are NOT getting anything more from this fellow - aside from heartache and maybe an STD or a little HIV threat. All of this foolish bullcrap that he has been giving you is only validated by the fact that you are taking it to heart and acting like he is speaking true gospel to you. HE only likes you 56% of the time; HE and you like different music so he can't be with you; HE stills feels for his ex*; HE is so confused; HE'd rather play with his X-Box 360 than chill with you and HE cries endlessly in your arms because he is so torn... this is some World Class Bulls-it you've gotten into with this fellow and you guys are GROWN FOLKS! You're in your 30's and he's almost 40!!! As I read your question, I figured you all were 20 and 21 and still trying to figure the dating thing out!!!

Please wait a second while I go barf...

Okay, (yuck) I'm back. Please stop the BS with this guy. He has issues and he is pulling you neck deep into them. HE IS NEVER GOING TO BE YOUR BOYFRIEND, HE IS NEVER GOING TO LOVE YOU, HE IS NEVER GOING TO VALUE YOU AS A WOMAN, HE IS NEVER GOING TO MARRY YOU... He just wants [for the most part] the sex you are giving him. I think you should take that as the most you are going to get from him - sans bullcrap.

Listen, this guy has issues. And you are buying into them. WHOLESALE buying into them too! You are letting him twist you up into a ball of confusion and mixed feelings. Please take that control from him and get your self together WOMAN! You are letting him make a fool of you. You like the "nookie" - let that be enough until you find a real man that doesn't bring so much BS to the table. But keep in mind - if you can't take the heat [form being with him] then walk away - stay out of the kitchen, lose this dude's... uh, dud's number and tell him to hit the bricks. You are just wasting your time.

*and another thing... for this guy to tell you that he is hung up on a girl that was 17 and living with him when he was 33!?!?!? Let me tell you and ANY other ladies reading this now - when a man pulls some shit like this... leave his loser ass alone. Now, let me say that again - when a grown man, past the age of 21, lives with a 17 year old GIRL - he has problems and he will bring those problems to YOUR LIFE. Leave his ass alone! For a man of 33 to be living with, sharing a life with, having sex with a 17 year old GIRL, he is a pedophile and he has serious social issues that cannot be helped or cured with the "love of a good woman" that so many women feel they have and can be used to cure ANY man's ills. When a GROWN man PREYS on a GIRL, he is telling the world, and listen good here ladies... he is telling the world "I cannot relate to a mature woman who is close to my age. I cannot create a reasonable relationship with a woman my own age and therefore I must use my age as a tool to impress and thereby draw-in young girls who believe womanhood is thrust upon them by my mere presence and age. A mature woman would see right through me if she was gifted with a reasonable amount of sense and self esteem."

Chuck, am I right, or am I right?

CHUCK: Garland, you are too, too right, my friend. Writer, this guy doesn't love you. He doesn't really even love this ex-girlfriend he obsesses over. She's a crutch for him, because he only loves himself. He wants to keep you around for commitment-free sex, and to listen to him whine, but can't be bothered to show you any consideration. And you hang in there because he pays lip service to being in a relationship, or he buys you a gift. But he's not going to change the fundamental neglect he shows you. So you have "outbursts" that don't help you, or make him think any better of you.

The thing is, he has, against his best interests, let you know just how little he cares for you. He only feels romantic towards you 56% of the time?! What kind of bullshit is that? Not 50%, not 55%, but 56% of the time. How nice that he could break it down for you that exactly. But when he tells you something like that, or he tells you that he wants just a platonic + sex relationship. and you hang around, he will assume that your self-esteem is just low enough that he can push you even further, be even more neglectful, and you'll go along.

Sidebar: You seem to think it was a big deal that this man was talking about marriage and children in the first three weeks. It's not that big a deal. This is called the Hook. People talk a lot in the early stages of relationships, feeling each other out. A guy will assume that he can get a lot further with a female if he shoots some vague, non-committal marriage and kid talk her way, just to make her think that he's not just a creep scamming for booty. Does he mean it? Maybe, maybe not. In this case, certainly, he was just blowing smoke.

What should you do? If you want to just be with him for the sex (which seems to be turning more and more into the jump-off variety), then stick with it. You're within your rights. But if the f-buddy route is not for you, if you want more than this guy has repeatedly shown and told you he can give you, then let your next outburst blow you straight out of his life.


Browsin' for Hookers

QUESTION: How can a guy be so thoughtful and considerate on one hand and then be making phone calls to call girls on the other?

I don't know if appointments are being set up. I doubt it because I know (or I think I know) how much money he's making. Yes, there are definite trust issues. He was caught emailing these call girls and said it was just the thought of what they will do that turns him on. He asked for pictures, which is a turn on for him, as well. He finds it naughty.

So, he was caught sending the emails. I told him I don't care how much porn he looks at, just no personal contact. So, now he's gone to calling them. How much longer before just talking to them won't be enough? We've been together off and on for almost 5 years. Definitely on for almost 2. He does and says very thoughtful things -- he takes very good care of me. We have a very active and great sex life. I just don't understand what drives him to call whores....obviously I'm not giving him something he thinks he needs. How can he tell me how much he loves me and then call these girls????

CHUCK: I feel the need to be blunt here. Although I am speaking as a man who has never "paid for it" (I'm not saying that to brag, I just fear disease and arrest), I can say some things about your boyfriend with a good deal of certainty.

- If he's of a mind to hire a prostitute, he can conceal the transaction. That money he was saving in his jewelry box to buy a new set of golf clubs? That's the hooker fund now. That innocuous-looking charge on his Visa? The girl he called to his room in Atlantic City. That check his parents gave him for his birthday? All gone to the girls selling it on Craigslist. We find a way to buy the things we want to buy.

- He's probably not just sending emails. WTH? Who just emails a hooker? What do you say? "Hey, Brandi. How ya doin'? Just dropped you a line to see if you were still doing half-and-halfs. How much were those again? Okay, well, TTFN. Say hi to your mom." Come on. There are too many guys trolling the internet looking to get busy for hookers to waste time on tourists and window-shoppers.

- Most importantly, his whore-browsing probably has nothing to do with you. Some people can be in safe, long-term, monogamous relationships, and still crave sex with a stranger. It may be for sexual reasons (something new with someone new), or it may be the excitement of the risk involved (i.e., getting caught, the aforementioned disease and arrest factors). You say you have a great, active sex life. That doesn't mean he won't be curious about someone else.

Does any of this make your man less "thoughtful and considerate?" Hmm, yep. You've voiced your objections, and ultimately, he's pursuing, or has pursued, a fetish that could put your lives together at risk. You should call him out on this, and demand nothing less than total honesty regarding his actions. Then decide if this is something you can continue to deal with.

GARLAND: You know, out of this whole letter you know the one thing that leaps out the loudest at me - the line that reads "obviously I'm not giving him something that he thinks he needs." Why in heaven's name are YOU making his problem YOUR FAULT?

Just bare with me for a second here - your Man is E-Mailing and calling and texting and who-knows-what-else'ing with women you claim are whores and YOU are trying to justify it by taking the blame. Please stop playing this made-for-TV-role and point the damn finger where it should be pointing - AT YOUR FREAKY SNEAKY BOYFRIEND

This is quite a question, I tell you. I think your situation is kinda' amazing. YOU are actually pretty understanding, all things considered. You are just curious about why he's curious. You are not calling him your "ex," you are not worried about catching an STD or HIV, you are not worrying about how much money he's spending, you're not mad that he's probably cheating on you, you don't care what kind of sex he's into with some of these women - you just want to know how he can say he loves you and then call prostitutes.

Here's your answer: EASY.

People only do what YOU let them do. If you don't throw his ass out of the window when you find him asking for pictures of sex-trade workers, then he knows it's okay to do so. When you dismiss your man's deep curiosity with the lifestyles and games of women who have sex for money, then obviously you really don't have a problem with it.

Now don't get what I just said confused with my opening comment. It is NOT your fault that he is curious about call girls, but that fact that you basically look the other way is doing nothing to make him want to stop.

Let me put it this way - out of all the married guys I know, 99% of them could not do ANY of what your boyfriend is doing and still walk around with a wedding band on - or walk around BREATHING AIR for that much! You are being REALLY patient with a man that is really being disrespectful to you. Lets be real, he's telling you some innocent sounding BS. If he's going as far as E-Mailing and calling these women, believe me - he's NOT interested in their favorite color or who they voted for or what college basketball team they follow.

Your man doesn't sound truly ready for a committed relationship. That doesn't make him a bad person, but it does waste your time if you want a monogomous relationship. If you let him do it and you stay in the 'relationship' with him, then nothing is going to make him stop. He's showing you what he's about, nothing more / nothing less. He's got a thing for prostitutes and I'm sure he's already acted on it. I'm honestly curious as to how you would feel if the women he was talking to were'nt "working girls" - I mean, what if these were women he worked with, or carpooled with or just knew from the neighborhood? Would you be angry? There's really no difference... at least not from a fidelity standpoint, cheating is cheating. But uh, your man is doing exactly what he wants to and as long as you pretend it's an innocent vice he will continue. Your thoughts and concerns mean nothing to him.

WEAR CONDOMS! The life you save will be your own.


How to Flirt

QUESTION: Dear Chuck and Garland,
I am twenty years old and I am in college. Dating in this setting can be difficult, because most of the time it simply doesn't exist. I understand that my twenties are for figuring out who I am and also what I like. However, I am very shy when it comes to interacting with guys. So much to the point that if I do encounter a guy that I like, I usually do the opposite of what I should do (ie: ignoring him, not striking up a conversation ect).

I was wondering if you had any advice on how I can get over being so shy, and if you had any tips on how to flirt? I do not want to be overt and profoundly obvious like I have witnessed others. I believe in being subtly, but to pick on my "subtle" hints, the guy would have to be psychic.

So please, if you can, give me advice on how to be approachable.

Thanks so much,
Punch D.
GARLAND: Hey Punch D - thanks for checking our blog out!

Being shy can work in your favor sometimes... it keeps you from being too cocky and running headfirst into some foolishness, so it can be a good thing.

I think I used to be pretty shy when I was in my early 20's, and then I got an odd boost of self confidence that gave me a bit of a swagger that I'm not sure I ever lost. I think the key to losing your shyness is simply infusing yourself with confidence. The only way I can think of doing this - sitting here in front of my laptop - sounds pretty shallow, but I think it might work. Look around you at the other young ladies and see where you rank with them. Now, you have to do this internally, YOU are the only judge here. But I think you will find that you rank pretty well with everyone you. When I say "rank" I mean, yeah... in the shallow sense of the word AND in the deep sense of the word. Find physical things that play to your advantage and mental things that make you stand out. Maybe your eyes are prettier than most, maybe your smile is prettier, maybe you have an odd dimple that makes you stand out, maybe your GPA is higher then most, maybe you can play the violin, maybe you want to find the cure for HIV/AIDS when you graduate - ALL of those things stand out and all of those things should work towards building up that self confidence and peeling off some of that shyness.

Now surely, someone is not going to like me saying that you need to compare yourself physically to the other young ladies on campus. They'll say that I'm being sexist or shallow... but they will be wrong. Anyone that claims to have never looked at someone else and compared themselves to them is lying. I think people do it everyday and it's nothing wrong with it. There's nothing wrong with determining that your cutier than this person or maybe not as cute as that person - but you have to make sure that you understand that everyone has their own beauty in who they are, so don't dwell too much on so-in-so's hairdo or their booty or something else like that per se, I want you to realize that you have a physical presence and you'll probably be surprised by how strong it truly is.

The key point I'm trying to get across to you is, in my humble opinion, is that shyness in and of itself is not a bad thing and I think you know that. However, if you want to change it, you need to get a big dose of self confidence and you have to really appreciate how special you are, how interesting you are and you have to understand that people around you will benefit from your opinions and ideas. This holds true for the guy or guys that you want to approach. YOU ARE SOMEONE SPECIAL and you bring that specialness whereever you go. YOU just HAVE to believe that!

Now, what can you do to be noticed, to be flirty, to be 'subtle?' Hmm, I guess that all I can think of is what raises my eyebrow - "The Casual Pass By" It's one thing to walk up to a guy and say, "Hey, my name is Punch D and I think you're pretty smooth. You want to have dinner tomorrow night?" Okay, sure, you COULD do that - but we both know you're not and that is OKAY. But what I mean by the 'casual pass by' is this: You see a guy you want to chat up, take a moment and think of something brief and sensible to say and just say it and keep on walking. Now, you may have to do this a few times before he tries to pull you into a conversation, but I believe it will work. FOR EXAMPLE: You and him are in a class together and on your way out the lecture hall you pass him and say something like, "Can you believe she [the instructor] wants us to write 14 pages tonight?" And then keep walking. It lets him know that:




4. YOU'RE NOT PRESSED [to stop and talk to him].

Maybe the next day you don't say anything to him in that class because you know you're gonna' run into him later. When you see him again in a day or two say something else equally brief... play it cool and I think very shortly he'll approach you and a dialog will ensue. They key is to not come off as pressed to talk to him and to not come off as a crazy stalker. REMEMBER that ANY guy YOU choose to date or spend time with is, IN FACT - LUCKY TO BE WITH YOU!!!

Good luck and happy hunting!
CHUCK: I don't necessarily agree with Garland's suggestion that you take inventory of those around you and compare yourself to them. You could work around some hot freakin' people. And then how would that make you feel? But I do agree with his general assertion that you should do an inventory on yourself and find out what it is that you do the best, or what your best feature is and emphasize it. I'm not suggesting that you get stuck on yourself, or you should allow your ego to swell out of control. But doing something like this can do wonders for your self-esteem. When you become aware of what your best qualities and characteristics are, you will become more confident and not be as shy.
As for the flirting, I like Garland's scenario, where an innocent contact can become the basis for a friendship to develop. One to grow on, if you will. Other innocuous actions such as maintaining eye contact, smiling, or touching someone on the arm or hand, are subtle, non-verbal ways to let them know that you are interested.
However, do not become alarmed if the subject of your attentions seems not to notice, or reciprocate your actions. Bottom line: Men are confused. You could wave a sign at a guy that said, "HEY YOU! YEAH, YOU! I AM ATTRACTED TO YOU!" And the guy would still question it because the font wasn't a certain size. When I was single, I would often question whether the signals I was receiving were the same ones being sent. If anything, guys seem even more insecure these days (see various past posts). Give a guy time to get through his stupid head that you like him, you really like him.
But hey, you have fun. Keep it light. Now is the time in your life when you should find out about yourself, and interact with your peers before things get start getting all serious and fraught with consequence. So enjoy.