Friday, January 28, 2011

Single or relationship?

Q: Haley, lately I've been struggling with being single. I feel like I am ready to date but I also feel like I will miss being single if I do find someone. In your opinion, what is better-single or dating? Thanks.


--Anonymous


A: Anon, what a classic, essential question. It's definitely something that everyone struggles with at some point, but at the end of the day, the answer is simple: do what you're ready for and only with the right person (if you choose commitment).
Let me explain. First of all, relationship status is a time-and-place-contingent one. For some people, being single is the right choice right now. For some, they are perfect in their relationship. One should really make sure that they are ready to be in a relationship given everything else in their life. That being said, you need to consider school, work, future plans, geography, friends, and, above all, your relationship with yourself. Most people in their teens and early 20s are best off being single in order to become better acquainted with who they are and what they need. However, many people in relationships at this time are in the perfect position because they have perhaps found "the one" already, or at least someone decent who could possibly be the one. 
Second, relationship status is also about the other person involved. Do not choose to be in a relationship simply because you need to fill a void or because you see other people happy, etc...only choose commitment with someone whom you honestly think you have a chance at long-term with. Do not get tangled up in someone who's values you disagree with or whom you are incompatible with--breakups can suck, especially after a fostered attachment. Be picky. Only get into a relationship with someone who's excellent. 
I know that was long, but it's something that I've found works. The bottom line is that the "better" choice depends on the people involved. I take relationships very seriously, so I don't get into them (or advise getting into them) unless you are willing to be truly committed for a long time (at least!) and accept both the pros and cons of another person. In your case, I say you're not ready, simply by the fact that you say you will "miss being single". Spend some time being single, then, and when you do find the person who makes you never want to miss it again, then maybe you've found someone. :)


--Dr. O.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

How often should a boyfriend call you?

I occasionally like to research common relationship questions on Google--a fact which may further incriminate me as a love junkie and extreme nerd. However, some of my favorite things to read are not from other self-proclaimed gurus, psychologists, or other old people, but from real people speaking from experience.

I came across this topic on an AnswerBag post: "How often should a boyfriend call you?" The answers are pretty funny and actually very informative.

Check it out here.

In my opinion, the answer to this question really depends on the seriousness of the relationship. If you're just dating a guy somewhat casually, a call once a day or every other day should suffice. For a "real" relationship, he should definitely make at least one attempt a day, if not 2-3. Women should make an effort, too; it's up to both people to show their interest. Whether you're a guy or a girl, aim to make at least one attempt to contact your partner each and every day, if possible.
Of course, some people just don't like to talk that much. Although it's not something I come across often, some people prefer to limit their contact with their partner to as little as once every few days or something. I'm not for or against that, but remember to choose someone who has similar communication needs to you. If you like to talk three times a day and your partner likes to give a quick call a couple times a week, that's not gonna work and it never will.
I want to stress gender-neutral language here so that you LGBTers know that I'm talking to YOU, too. Just because you're both guys or both girls doesn't mean that you both are going to communicate the same way. Stick with the once-a-day rule and regardless of how your relationship is, never fully depend on someone else to show interest while you just sit back. Like the old folks say, it takes two to tango. Never forget that.

--Dr. O.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Online Dating 101

Q: What are your thoughts about online dating sites, are the rules different? What are the guidelines to texting, meeting in person. Is there a generic rule book on dating to follow? Ie. When to text first, how long to wait, are most interested in love?


A: I'll be honest: I'm no expert in online dating. In fact, it used to kind of scare me. However, allow me to swallow my pride and admit that, YES, I have tried it before and find that it can be a great way for people to meet potential mates--especially if you are excruciatingly shy or if you are having trouble finding members of the same sex to meet. 

A lot of my friends are getting in the mood to try it lately, and I say go for it. As far as "rules" go, I say it should be just like normal dating with a few twists. Here are some guidelines that I think people should follow if they do decide to brave the vast web-ocean that is internet dating.

1. Check out peoples' profiles in depth before you initiate contact.
Be honest with yourself--there ARE a lot of wackjobs out there. It's not hard to spot a "fake" profile out there, so use your brain. If you spot a profile of a beautiful girl who wants to "trade pix" with you and whose only listed interests include "sex" and variations thereof, ummm...yeah, you are dealing with one of the millions of profiles that creepy people (men and women alike) use to bait innocent onliners like you. 
In addition, there are plenty of real live people out there who have their interests and stories laid out for you to see. Take advantage of that, and make sure the cute guy you're chatting up isn't a white supremacist or a 40-year-old living at home or a Celtics fan (hahahahahaha). It will save you a lot of trouble.

2. DO NOT LIE ON YOUR PROFILE.
Be yourself. If someone doesn't like who you are or how you look, they can screw off. Putting up pictures of your 16-year-old self when you're 35 or saying that you're a partner at a law firm when you do data entry in an office is not going to serve you well in the end.

3. Meet as soon as possible, and meet in public.
Ideally, you should meet with the person you begin talking with that very week. If someone puts off meeting you for too long, it's usually a sign of something. Make it like a one-hour meeting at a coffee shop. The length is so that you leave enough to the imagination and the public-ness is so that nobody gets any wrong ideas--also, to make sure you are safe. Honestly, this isn't a great "first date", but it's the best way to go about it. Make the first date after this.

That's it.
Those are the twists, those are the differences.
The only thing I would probably add is to not make a big deal that it's an online meeting if everything goes smoothly after a few dates. Treat it like any other relationship. Who texts first, how long do you wait for things...these questions will naturally be answered and one should abide by their own personal values for any relationship, whether they are dealing with an online-initiated one or a RL-initiated one.

--Dr. O.


Thursday, January 20, 2011

Chivalry should die.

Not really, just trying to get your attention.


Kind of.


In another one of my bouts of information ravaging, I got extremely stuck on the theme of relationship equality. Speaking as "modern woman" I must say that it's grown harder and harder for me to accept a role as someone to be taken care of, the precious prize, the "doted upon".
Let me clarify. From birth, we (women) are indirectly and directly taught to seek out men who will wait on us hand and foot and worship us like the god of a new religion. We are beaten over the head with this idea SO much that we end up pushing away perfectly good members of the opposite sex, even if they more or less live up to some pretty impeccable standards.


"More or less" is not okay for some people, though.


If a guy makes us cry once, he's not worth it. If a guy doesn't pay for every meal, he's a stingy loser. If a guy raises his voice to us, he's obviously a disrespectful fuckwad. REALLY?


Ladies, I know you've noticed this just as much as I have. I completely understand the desire to find a guy who works hard to keep you in his life, respect you, and, quite frankly, take care of you (sometimes). As women, it is undeniable that we have a natural, DNA-driven need for security. But what about the needs of men? Take away the machismo and the outer expectation to be "protectors" and they have just as many needs as us. Just like us, men love compliments, back rubs, doors opened, meal treats, and soup when they're sick. Just like us, men want a partner who can provide them with love and respect. If a guy does so much for you, don't you think he deserves that much in return?


Of course, I'm largely speaking with regards to heterosexual relationships. I'm not saying homosexual relationships aren't without their problems, but I do find that between people of the same sex there are (obviously) fewer gender-understanding-related problems. However, I still see a bit of 1950s-ish behavior among many, many same sex couples, so this paragraph is here to alert you that I'm talking to you, too! :P


The bottom line is, people, relationships are not one-sided. I believe in mutual respect and equal effort, plain and simple. 


Of course, you can take my advice however you want. If you've read any of my other posts, you know a reasonable amount about my value system and beliefs. Although I believe in a large handful of classic ideals about romance and relationships, I am no Cathy Conservative. As always, I appreciate others thoughts. 


Now go make your hubbie a sandwich ;)


--Dr. O.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Sugar baby aspirations? Think twice, sugar...

Q: Haley! I didnt want to ask this without being embarrassed, but I saw your post awhile back about girls living in the playboy mansion. I didnt really read through it but, i must admit that i am kind of in a deperate time in my life and looking for some income. i have been learning about girls who act as partners to welathy older men for money and it doesnt seem that bad. while some men are lousy it doesnt really seem like they are all just after looks, some want companionship. i know youll probably be mad at me but do you think that there is any case where it's okay to go with a rich guy for a while, even though its using him, thanks.


--Anonymous


A: Sweetheart, you hit the nail on the head when you said I'd be a little upset! But, as I've promised and stated on here, I am not here to morally regulate people, just offer my advice.


We are living in a world that is increasingly women-friendly in the way of corporate advancement and personal rights, yet more and more women are opting for a liaison with a  "wealthy, older man"--purely for financial benefit. I understand that you are in a financially disadvantaged place right now, but who isn't at some point in their life? Most people, including some of the most successful people on Earth, have had money problems that were probably a lot worse than yours. 


You state that these men aren't all "lousy" and that not all of them are just after looks. If that were true, don't you think you'd see more older men going for older women with greater moral character? Even if some of these men DO go for women to find a personality, there'd still be a one-sided case of using by the girl. 


To answer your question, no, I don't think it's ever moral to go with a man simply for money. There are plenty of kind, compatible men with a decent drive to provide a supporting income, so find that someday. For now, stick to your own talents. You don't need to depend on anyone else but yourself. Besides, being with a rich guy is guaranteed to have its less-than-glamorous points. If you had read the article I posted, Hugh Hefner is basically nothing more than a stingy octogenarian who orders girls young enough to be his great-granddaughters to have (terrible) sex with him and get Barbie-inspired plastic surgery. Does that sound like a life you want?


--Dr. O.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

9 Things About Men You Need to Know

Q: I was hoping you could tell me your thoughts on how men "work". What they think and feel about sex, love, cheating, emotions, what kind of girls they like/ wish they had. Basically how does the mans brain work and why. Thank you Haley!


--Anonymous


A: Well, darling, where to begin. Men say they're not complicated, but we all know that's a lie. I might only be a woman, but I've come to learn a few things about men, some of which might surprise you. I've taken the liberty of putting my findings into a short list.


1. Not all men are addicted to sex.
Believe me, it's true. While most men like sex and enjoy it quite a bit, there are plenty of men who don't mind going a day or two--or much longer--without it. Women are often afraid of not being able to be "enough" for a man sexually, but that's usually never the case. In fact, the horniest people I've ever met are women. No joke. 


2. Men would rather date a girl who's 10 pounds overweight than a girl who's 10 pounds underweight.
Men like curves. And no, I don't just mean boobs. Men like shapely thighs, pronounced hips, and ample butts. Fortunately for us, these curves come naturally. Women starve themselves SILLY to get supermodel thin, or even just heavily limit their diet to boring foods (*waves and points at self*). However, unless you're trying to win over the occasional gay designer, you're not going to have as many willing suitors as you'd think. Best you eat that chocolate cheese cake ONCE in a while, right?


3. Men look at other women, but they don't necessarily want them, at all.
I mentioned in an earlier post that we all need to get over the fact that our partners look at other people because it happens ALL THE TIME. We do it, too! I don't care what you or your partner look like, neither of you are blind...well, maybe, but probably not. We've been beaten over the head with the idea that men are visual creatures, and it's true. But let me ask you this: do you get jealous when your boyfriend looks at cars, houses, phones, big screen TVs, paintings, watches, or massage chairs? Well, think about other attractive females as nice Ferraris or iPhone 4s. Sure, they're nice to look at, but does he want to have sex with them or pass you up for them? No. You're a trillion times better, you goof. Stop freakin' worrying.


4. Boys love sluts. Men do not.
It is true that a younger, immature guy will go ape for a scantily clad woman who's willing to please him. It is true that a more conservative, less "sexy" woman will often be passed up by the underdeveloped douchebag of the 21st century. However, these aren't the kind of guys you want anyway. There are plenty of men with a lot more to offer out there who will GREATLY prefer you to some skank--you just need to look.


5. Most men don't know what they're talking about when they say they like girls who don't wear makeup. Less is more, but still.
Let's be honest. Men don't spend time ogling nude-faced girls in sweats with their hair in a messy bun. They are constantly bombarded by images of Photoshopped-to-death girls with at least 2 hours of aesthetic preparation behind their back. Men who say they prefer women without makeup are joking--they have never seen what their precious models and actresses look like without it--it's scary. This isn't an attempt to be bitchy, but we all know we look better with a bit of makeup on--if only a tiny bit better. I'm not saying clown it out and I'm not saying that certain people can't look GORGEOUS without makeup. I'm just saying that every woman on Earth who ever lived DOES look better with at least a little makeup on to highlight and accentuate her beauty. (Note: If you do find a guy who says you look better with NO makeup on at all whatsoever, marry him.)


6. Men love being "the boyfriend", "the husband", and "the dad".
People who say that men are the ones afraid to commit couldn't be further from the truth. Men absolutely adore having someone to take care of and love, provided that it's the right person and the right time. That being said, men also appreciate someone who can love them all the same. A man will be devastated by someone cheating on them or leaving them--don't kid yourself. Even the most "macho" of men would be crushed by things like this happening!


7. You will need a crow bar to pry open the mouths of some men.
Men and women will always be on different planets communication-wise, but that doesn't mean that heterosexual relationships are doomed as we know them. However, when undertaking a man as your partner, you must accept the fact that the road to proper, solid communication is a tough one. Don't give up, though. 


8. Men will choose a less attractive girl with better inner qualities long before a hottie with a bad attitude and no brains.
This is true of almost every man out there, even some of the shallower ones. Looks, as I've come to realize, simply don't cut it for most people. Sure, they're a plus, but the girls who get the most guys are the ones who have the most confidence, spirit, and "interestingness". I will add that these girls DO take decent care of themselves, even if they're not much to look at, but it's very clear that their outward appearance is outshined by their amazing personalities. Even if you don't think you're attractive, your inner beauty can make you the most attractive one out there.


9. Not all men are the same.
Yes, there are generalizations that you can apply to most men...somewhat...kind of...occasionally. But the most important thing you can take from this is that every man is different. Every man has their likes and dislikes, their goals and values, and their own stories. The only way you will truly understand men is to talk to them. Know them. I can guarantee you that they can offer a hell of a lot more insight than I can. Never discount this all-important fact.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Is PMS a real excuse anymore?

I'm a woman. That being said, I am one of the 3 billion people on Earth unfortunate enough to get a period. No, it's not fun. And for those still curious: YES, PMS is very real. It is real and it is dire.


Amidst cramps, bloating, crazy dreams, moodiness, hypersensitivity, and a condition I have lovingly and sophisticatedly labeled "ouch boob", though, we've gotta hand it to the people who take care of us. Really. Swallow your pride and ignore the fact that you might, in fact, painfully carry and give birth to the children of the person you primarily take it out on and take it down a few notches. You want to kill me right now, but just listen.


The PMS thing has been around for eons. As poorly developed as we still are, and as painfully slow as evolution is (for both sexes, ahem), we are aware of PMS. It is routine. And to every routine, we can adapt, can we not?


I do know that, regardless of our awareness, it can be difficult. Like, really difficult. And sometimes, we take the idea of our obvious PMS and we run with it. We let its known presence affect us even more. This, my friends, is a cop out. PMS does not give someone a free pass to be abusive or downright bitchy to anyone else. If you do, then you own up to it, and you try your hardest to not do it again.


The best thing to do when dealing with PMS around a partner, friend, or family member is to let them know. Honestly, it's best for both parties to be aware. Not only will they take your monthly quirks with a grain of salt, but they'll be less apt to say something to provoke you. If you have certain things that you do to help alleviate PMS, do them--granted that they're healthy. (Bleeding out of your vagina doesn't give you the right to go binge eat, chain smoke, or break into cars.) If you need space from someone, ask.


These are just my thoughts, but I'd appreciate yours, too. I hope I didn't send anybody into a feminist tizzy or a desperate search for amenorrhÅ“a, though. That would not be good. I'd definitely need to remove my fake doctor prefix.

--Dr. O.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Relationships with other married people

Q: I'm in a relationship with a married man. He says he's in love with me and wants to build a life together. We just spent our first intimate weekend together. I'm curious what to expect now. He's from Montreal and I live in the US.


--Anonymous

A: Anonymous, I know that you have written to me further stating that you find other peoples' advice to be discouraging. The fact is, I am not here to slap your hand or morally regulate you, but you may find my advice a little discouraging yourself.

I understand that you feel a deep connection with this man and that you've grown to care for him deeply. The big question I have for you is this: why has he not divorced his wife? What is keeping him from leaving her and building a proper life with you? If he is so unhappy with his wife, why doesn't he tell her and leave? It's FAR better to leave someone with honesty than to string them along with deceit, don't you think?

Furthermore, you have stated that this man is from Montreal. How are you going to cope with the distance, even if he DOES divorce his wife and you DO end up together? That's a whole new can of worms, my dear. Distance, as I mentioned to the person below, is a killer!

Finally, you mentioned to me in another writing that there is an 11-year age difference with this man. If you are in your 20s and he is in his 30s, you have to realize that you are dealing with an extremely sizable gap, emotionally speaking. Who you are in your 20s changes DRASTICALLY, and the mental differences between people who are 11 years apart at that age is insane. That being said, if you are that young, I don't believe the relationship could even survive. If you are older than 30, though, it's a lot more possible.

However, we need to get back to the issue at hand: you're having an affair with a married man! Sweetheart, if the same thing happened to you, how would you feel? Being cheated on is a DEVASTATING feeling. The longer you let this charade go on, the more hell will break loose later.

My first suggestion to you is to have a serious conversation with this man about why he is still in a committed partnership with a woman whom he clearly does not love. Why hasn't he left her? Have that conversation, and then come back to me.

Best of luck,

--Dr. O.

Distant love--both emotionally and geographically

Q: Dear Haley, I'm unfortunate enough to be in love with a boy who lives a coast away, and I have no idea what to do about it. Do I tell him? Do I sit back while he dates other girls, talking to me about it? Ayuda me.


--Stranded


A: Stranded, I am assuming that this guy has little to no idea that you feel this way about him and that he assumes you two are simply friends. If he DOES know how you feel, though, it would be extremely rude for him to be discussing his romantic ventures with other people in front of you, and I would say just kick him like a bad habit. Again, though, I don't think that's the case.


The truth is, we often find ourselves falling for people with whom we could clearly never be. In your case, this man lives extremely far away. Forget the fact that he doesn't know how you feel--this distance alone is going to kill your chances of a real, lasting relationship. I am not trying to make you feel worse, but I am trying to instill some reality in you, darling. You do not want to be emotionally tangled up in someone when you know that there is little chance of it working out. There are always going to be difficult things about every relationship, but distance is a real killer.


I would strongly suggest that you start focusing on yourself, your family, your friends, and other romantic interests. If you keep pursuing an active interest in this far-away guy, you will only sink yourself into a deeper attachment that will be much harder to shake off. I PROMISE, there are a million wonderful people closer to you that will captivate you just as much as this guy did. But please, for your own sake, let go of this far-away man, romantically speaking.


Best of luck,


--Dr. O.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Outside inspiration: How to deal with jealousy

As a long-time sufferer of the green-eyed monster, I decided to do my own personal research on how to deal with the problem that is jealousy. Ahhh, jealousy. You wanna know something? That crap sucks.


It sucks so monumentally that I decided I needed to either get busy fixing or get busy dying. I chose the former and stumbled upon this article. There are actually plenty of awesome articles out there regarding dealing with jealousy, but this one sounded like it was freakin' written to me. I have posted it here. Enjoy!:


First of all, you really shouldn’t be having this problem. It’s unfair to your partner who completely trusts you. Jealousy will kill a relationship unless you put an end to it before it becomes your disease. You know why, because jealous people tend to behave badly being misled by their fears – you start saying things you don’t mean and start having suspicious thoughts you actually believe in. Save your relationship by controlling your jealousy. Start with these suggestions.
Deal with your insecurity. No matter how much you project your confidence, being jealous implies that you are insecure about yourself. It means that you have fears that someone is better than you are, and it scares the hell out of you. What you need to do is to realize that every person is unique. Don’t go comparing yourself to everybody because that’s not a good way to feel good about yourself. Just focus on your own assets, and your achievements and you’re sure to get ahead of things. Be secure in the fact that you’re the hottest being on earth – proof? Your partner chose you among all the others.
Value the virtue of trust. Trusting a person could be very difficult, especially if we’ve been betrayed in the past. But get over your issues on trust because unless you do, your partner will suffer your lack of security. Let go of your fears because you can’t do anything if you worry about it anyway. It’ll just keep you paranoid. Loving someone means giving him your trust, so that he can give you his trust too.
Love and trust go hand in hand. Don’t push your boyfriend away with your jealousy. If you know in your heart that your boyfriend is truly faithful, then it is just right that you trust him not to break your heart. The two of you can always talk when something starts to bother you so that it doesn’t evolve into a jealous fit.


Source: http://www.lifespy.com/2007/how-to-control-your-jealousy/

The "Just Friends" scene on repeat

Q: Dear Dr. O,

Just some objective advice would be great :)

June 2010 - I met a boy who was tall, cute, and funny. We didn’t say
much to each other that first night. He was there to be set up with
another girl.Breakfast the next morning I couldn’t help but wishing
that I had been on the couch with him. We all said our goodbyes and
that was that.

The next day. With me being my crazy self I found him online and
started talking to him. We set a hangout session for that night to
watch the Laker Game (blah). My stomach was in knots the whole time.
He made me laugh. He made me nervous. Mostly he just made me smile… As
it starting getting late he finally made his move. My lips started
burning as his touched mine. And that was the start of this whole
disaster.

July 2010 - We hung out (or dated) for about 52 days. I thought things
were going fine until I got that text “ I think we should just be
friends, I don’t really see us going anywhere with this relationship.”
I cried. I left work early, and cried. I haven’t been in a real
relationship since Jeremy, we dated for 2 years, and that was 2 years
ago. Chase was the only guy within that time that I could see being in
a relationship with. But not after that text.

Over the summer 2010 - Chase and I somewhat stayed out of touch we
would do the “ hi how’s life “ every now and then but that’s about it.

I started getting calls from him to ‘meet up’ for quickies that no one
could know about. I agreed. Some part of me just yearned for him to
touch me again. I thought “ Maybe he will like me again...and want to
start again.” No such luck. When I left from these meetings I felt
horrible, I could clearly see he had no feelings for me at all. But I
kept meeting him because I still had feelings for him. These meetings
finally came to an end when I couldn’t take it anymore. The way I felt
and the way he felt were on completely opposite ends of the spectrum;
it wasn’t doing any good at all. I finally stood up and said enough.
He was okay with it. Like it didn’t matter.

October 2010 - He started texting me again. I made it clear that I
would not be having sex with him and he said he just wanted to be
friends. So that’s what it was. We were just friends. For about 2
weeks...then he was back in my bed again.

From October until now my feelings just keep getting stronger and
stronger. We have that ‘ oh no we’re just friends, but we act like we
are together’ relationship . We have met each other’s families and go
on fun day outings, we'll stay in and cuddle watching movies. I don’t
like being away from him for more than a few days. I can’t stand not
talking to him for more than a few hours. I am completely head over
heels for this ‘just friend’. It’s tearing me apart because I'm pretty
sure deep down that he doesn’t feel the same way. And he is once again
going to start feeling like this isn’t going anywhere. I really,
really don’t want to think about that day, it might completely ruin
me.

I am pretty much at a loss on what to do with him. He gets jealous
over other guys I talk to and he says he likes me. He knows I like
him. But it has been 8 months and there has been no progress with our
relationship and I’m still worried that he doesn’t want more with me.

--Terra


A: Terra, the good news is that damn near every woman in the universe has felt how you feel. Here's the bad news: try as we might, deny as we may, I need to tell you something about us girls: we cannot fully separate love (or rather infatuation/"liking" someone) and sex. PERIOD. I have yet to meet a girl who can properly challenge that fact. Yes, we can start out by having harmless sex and thinking it's no big deal, but I've found that more often than not, emotions eventually creep their way in.

You have had sex with this guy a fair bit and that has definitely intensified the feelings you feel towards him, as it would for most women (and certainly some men). This is normal and natural, but I must warn you that it is going to be a hell of a lot harder to let him go because you guys have been so intimate. I know what I'm saying sounds cheezy and old person-y, but it's true.

Anyways, you have been involved with this guy for eight months and he has obviously acted completely frustrating and confusing towards you. The way I see it, he is a classic "Have Your Cake and Eat it Too" guy. Basically, he's a guy who is not ready for a committed, monogamous relationship, but still wants to reap the benefits of a relationship (i.e. sex, cuddling, fun times, acting jealous). Terra, if you are indeed looking for a meaningful relationship with someone, this is NOT it. Sorry, girly.

The problem is that this guy KNOWS he can have his cake and eat it too. He's treating you unfairly, making you too emotional to stay at work, keeping you up at night, and God knows what else! He is immature. I understand that he is tall, cute, and funny, but sweetheart...plenty of guys are.

My honest, objective advice for you is to stop treating him as a romantically-themed player in your life. I am not saying that you have to cut him out of your life completely yet, but for now, try your ABSOLUTE hardest to treat him like just a friend. Do not give into his advances and, if possible, do not hang out with him alone for a while. I realize that for a girl "in like", this sounds like somewhat of a feat, but think about it: there are so many great guys out there who won't do this to you. Do you really want to let your attachment to this guy keep you so stressed and upset?

If it gets too hard or too bad, I'd suggest cutting him out of your life. Again, I know this sounds hard, but you really need to think about your happiness as a young woman with thousands of men who would adore you.

Best of luck,

--Dr. O.

p.s. The exact dates thing was awesome, and actually very helpful. I wish more people did that! Haha. :)

Saturday, January 8, 2011

The serial cheater

Q: Hello Miss Haley,
   I need your advice regarding my situation, my BF and I lived together for 13 years. And this past month he is seing another woman,how should or what should I do.I talk to him about it and his response is that she is only a temporary coz she is a married woman.Should I just listen to him and wait until he end his relationship with this woman.I been so sick all his excuse his been cheating on me for 9 months now. I tried to move but he’ll always stop me and ask me for time to break up with his woman. I am so desperate of advise pls.help me what to do and how to approach him.

Sincerely,
--Liz

A: First of all, Liz, let me tell you about a policy I have about cheaters:

Fool me once, shame on you.
Fool me twice, get the F!@# out of my life!

If it had been ONE time in which he had apologized and promised to NEVER do it again (and lived up to his word!), then I would maybe say, yeah, give him another shot. However, that is not the case.

I'm sorry, but regardless of how long you've been together or how "great" he is otherwise, I must say that what you have with this guy couldn't be further from a functioning relationship. He has repeatedly cheated on you and, worse yet, attempts to justify it. I don't care what the circumstances are, you cannot stay with this man.

I understand that being with someone for 13 years has probably instilled within you a sense of comfort and you might be afraid to leave your boyfriend. You have to, though. At his age, do you really think he's going to magically "reform" and stop being such a scumbag? No. You deserve SO much better in your life, Liz, and although leaving may sound hard, you will be surprised at how quickly you will start feeling happier and better about your life after he is out of it.

My advice to you is to simply leave. Tell him that his repeated offenses have destroyed your trust in him and that you don't think you'll ever have it back. Then leave and do not come back to him. Cut off all contact. I actually wrote another article about how to make break-ups easier, right here.

Never settle for anything less than what YOU want and deserve. Remember that, and I wish you luck.

--Dr. O.

Friday, January 7, 2011

The nice guy vs. the jerk. Classic, right?

Q: hi, i like this girl, but i'm super shy, she knows i like her and i have slowly but steadily started talking to her, i'm such a big dork, i mess up so many times, but it seems like she is giving me a lot of chances, but now i think i'm doing something right finally, or maybe not, well there's this situation where she always hangs out with her friend, but he ditches her sometimes when there's an event or another girl that he'd like to be more friends with, so i talk to her sometimes when i get enough courage, and they seem close, and every now and then, i would get a chance to talk to her with him in our presence and i may have slightly ignored him from time to time, but not really, anyway he doesn't acknowledge me when i say hi, and i think he's trying to have her ditch me, idk, how should i handle this situation?


--Nathan


A: Nathan, I am operating on the assumption that you are fairly young. That being said, one unfortunate thing you have to understand thing about similarly young (and immature) girls: they like jerks.


Now, this is not to say that ALL girls like jerks, nor is it to say that you YOURSELF should be a jerk. After all, the kind of guys who are jerks to girls are kind of "natural" jerks who are too stupid to know how to really treat a lady.


That being said, it should not surprise you that this flaming douche wants simple to compete with you over this girl, even though he doesn't exactly treat her like a priority. If she comes to her senses, she will soon realize that you are obviously the better choice.


My advice to you is threefold. Number 1, BE YOURSELF, at all times. Don't act desperate to be with her, though. Like, don't hang out with her EVERY single time she wants to hang out. Number 2, ignore this guy. Don't try to befriend him because it's kind of a fruitless effort. You can be polite, but that's about it. Most guys have no interest in being "buddy buddy" with someone who's trying to take his girl! :) Number 3 and finally, understand that young romance is a very whirlwind and often illogical venture. Brace yourself for the fact that you may never win over this girl. If you don't, there's obviously something wrong with HER, not you. There are plenty of wonderful young women who will go crazy over you--after all, we LOVE "big dorks". :)


Best of luck,


--Dr. O.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

"Honey, no offense, but you stink."

Q: My question is rather simple. Haley, how do I tell my girlfriend to take care of her hygeine a little better? Recently, I've been noticing that her hair's a little greasy, her breath stinks, and sometimes she smells faintly of B.O. It just suddenly came on. She's not a hippie or anything, and she hasn't made any other lifestyle changes that would cause her to have altered hygeine. I promise, I am not trying to sound rude, as I adore my girlfriend and think she is the most beautiful, wonderful woman alive. How do I approach this issue without hurting her feelings?


--Dane


A: Ahhh, Dane, just your description of your girlfriend is enough for me to know that you are good man, my friend. She is lucky.


I am a big fan of honesty--even blunt honesty. There is no easy way to tell someone that they are overall smelly, but here's how I would approach it:


"Sweetie, can I talk to you about something? I love you, but I notice something different about you lately. You smell a little different than usual. You are still just as sexy as ever, but is everything okay? I'm just checking."


DO be prepared for an offensive woman, but it's not like you're gonna get anywhere any other way. She will get over it, she will understand, and depending on her sense of humor, she'll probably laugh her ass off. After that, she'll surely take care of it.


p.s. "She's not a hippie or anything..." LMAO, best part!


Best of luck!


--Dr. O.

Just My 2 Cents--Why I'll never marry a man for money: A BS free account

I woke up this morning with an extreme need to do a bit of finance research. Before you get too excited, though, I'll say that the only reason for this madness is that I'm taking an upper division finance class over winter session. Hello, new daily priorities. I'm so over it already.

I came across this article, and the Judgmental Jane in me wanted to immediately sound it off and possibly throw it into the fire. It basically describes how and why women who marry men for their wealth are "smart", basically rehashing idea as a new and innovative one for women. Yeah, okay. But, not so fast: does this article have POINTS?! That I AGREE with? Maybe.

Yes, I agree with being with a man (or woman) who is on your level as far as goals and dreams go. You want a man with ambition, whether that is aimed towards being the CFO of a Big Four accounting firm or towards being the King of the garbage men. A guy who doesn't settle for less than what he really wants is a quality that I can understand women being attracted to. I'm with a man like that myself. It's hot.

I also understand the idea of wanting to marry a "man with a plan", or at least some degree of it. Whether categorically rich, middle-class, or even borderline poor, you probably want a guy who is at least going to TRY and work to sculpt the future into something a little brighter--especially if you want kids. At least have a savings account. From what I hear, they cost about 200K to raise from birth to 18, not including hospital bills or college. To put it simply, that amount is a shit-load. Be prepared.

Finally, it is true that a guy should meet basic needs for himself and be able to hold some sort of a job. A guy should be able to pay the bills, pay his rent, and afford groceries for himself. Times are tough sometimes, and often, a guy could be broke as a joke for a completely legit reason. But laziness or misbehavior should not be one of those reasons, especially if you're in your mid-20s or older. 

I told you I wouldn't BS you here. All of this is true, and you all know it.

Some of you ladies will agree with me but still LOVE to fantasize about the guy who flies you out to Italy in a private jet, takes you out on lavish shopping trips, and buys you a Mercedes. Some will say, "Haley, you can't ever deny that you wouldn't want that! It's every girl's dream!"

No. It's not. Because instead of fantasizing about a man doing that, I'm fantasizing about myself doing that.

Just as shallow, you say--but I'm not depending on someone else. Here's why.

Assuming a rich man "fell in love with you", take a good look at yourself. Hundred bucks says you're attractive. No, a thousand (and that's nearly a third of my current boob job fund, so you know I'm not messin' around). Oh, how flattering, you've found yet another guy who will ogle you for your appearance. Life is good.
But what happens after your precious appearance has gone? Any guy doting on you in such a way is most likely not in it for the riveting conversations you two have about global politics or fine theatre or medical advancements. Rich guys are still guys. They want sex. They're smart enough to know that, hey, money works. The minute your time is up, there's another hot piece around the corner waiting to attach herself to a financially savvy guy like a leech.

But oh, look at you! You may have managed to make it a little farther with Mr. Moneybags and the two of you are getting married--outstanding. You two "love" each other but down the road you realize that he never pays attention to you, he's never there for the kids, and one day, he leaves you for a younger, sexier, child-free woman. He's rich, after all. He can get anyone he wants. At the hopes of this all working out smoothly, it just so happens that you never went to college. Maybe you did, but it's not like you managed to ever find a job that'll reward you with HALF the funds your now ex would. A husband-favoring divorce later (ding ding ding, prenups!), you're on your ass. 

Ladies, this is 2011. Two thousand and freaking eleven. Go to college. GO TO WORK. At least for a while. Everything that I stated above about men is something that women should be doing, too. We are living in a time with amazing opportunities for ourselves and if we put our mind to it, we can live any type of lifestyle we want.

Yes, we all fantasize about having kids and staying home with them and blah blah blah...all good and fine. Some women are meant to just be moms. If you really feel like that, your choice. But don't you at least want to try and go for the job of your dreams? Don't you, perhaps, want to at least consider finding a way to still work part-time while you're raising little ones? Or a job to go back to when they're older? Talk about being bored stiff, waiting for your 16-year-old to come home all day.

I'm not saying that every women needs to go out and try and become some sort of doctor or lawyer, or any other job associated with being "rich". Go be whatever you want, and the same goes for your husband. He can be whomever you wants, and if you're married to him, you should sure as hell admire who he has become. However, if you want the rich "lifestyle", don't go counting on another person to make that happen for you. YOU can do it. If you're dumped, it's a long way down from the top. Just saying. 

Oh, and please don't take anything that I said offensively. Obviously my arguments are full of holes and exceptions, but it's part of my charm. There are plenty of wealthy, kind men out there who are looking for love. In addition, the man you're with now may end up being very wealthy someday--and he'll still be the same goofy, loving guy you married all those years ago. I'm just speaking through personal experience and trying to rally up women to see how awesome and capable they truly are. Allz I'm saying guys, is that we don't need to depend on the men. Besides, how stoked do you feel when you've saved up enough money to buy a designer clutch from Prada and you buy it knowing you're using your own money?! Times that by a thousand, girls, and you've got what it's like to be an Independent Woman.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Nothing wrong with a little light Facebook creeping...right?

Q: Dear Dr. O,
Im not going to lie and say I've never stolen a peek on a boyfriends facebook account, I'm not going to lie and say it doesn't give me a little thrill once I find a way on their account to "stalk" what they've been doing and who they have been talking to..I know this a big issue of trust and lately with my current boyfriend I haven't even wanted to know because I did trust him and the things he said to me. Lately though I noticed that he was talking to this one girl a lot. I mentioned it because his behaviors seemed a little extra shady and different, but all he said was that he had told her that he had a girlfriend and that I had nothing to worry about. I believed him or I believe him, but a couple days later when I realized he had left his facebook page open while he was at work and I was home alone on his computer I noticed a conversation he and this other girl were having. It was happening right in front of me, the girl kept bringing up the fact that he never wants to hang out with her and his response was always a long the lines of making excuses that he does want to hang out but is busy for now (no mention of a girlfriend)...low and behold I am feeling very anxious and hurt, the whole conversation let off a vibe from him that made me think he lied about ever telling this girl he had a girlfriend like he told me he did. My question is to you, how exactly do I bring this up without saying I found out about it by lurking his facebook, I'm just afriad that he will turn it around and make me seem like the crazy one or the wrong one...I mean I know I'm crazy but at least I'm not a liar.


--Love, Taylor


Q: Taylor, not only are you not a liar, but you are not crazy in the LEAST bit. Yes, it's not normally a good idea to delve into your partner's Facebook account, but you had a genuine concern and you investigated it. And boom, there you go: you find something to actually be concerned about...possibly. :)


Think about if your boyfriend might just be the kind of guy who has a lot of platonic, female friends. My ex was like that and he would talk to other girls frequently. He didn't see hanging out with girls (even alone, sometimes!) as a big deal and neither did the girls he hung with. He sometimes failed to mention he had a girlfriend, either because he assumed that the other girl knew, or knew that there was no romantic pretext to the friendship and therefore no need to immediately say "I have a GF, get off my junk." If he's this kinda guy, you probably have nothing at all to worry about.


The fact is, some guys are NOT like my ex. Many guys seek out female friendships primarily to have sexual/romantic liaisons with them. Is your boyfriend that kind of guy? I'm not trying to say he's like a super horn-dog or anything, but if he's the kind of guy who has (pretty much) all guy friends and isn't naturally drawn to girls for friendship, then this FB thing is definitely a feasible source of worry. If that's the case, one or both of the following things are happening:


1) He is insecure and afraid of being belittled by this girl for saying he has a girlfriend. This is going to sound weird, but have you ever been hit on by a guy, said you had a boyfriend, and then have the guy insult either you or your boyfriend? Well, that's what your boyfriend is probably afraid of. It sounds really stupid and random, but guys fear nothing more than a bruised ego, and unfortunately that's exactly what can happen to them if they reject another girl--even if it's for a perfectly good reason like a girlfriend. This isn't a for sure thing, but a reasonable speculation of mine.


2) Your boyfriend is flirting with other girls and possibly hanging out with them behind your back. The fact is, you know nothing about this UNTIL you talk to him. Which gets me to my answer to your ACTUAL question. ;)


Alter the truth a little bit (if possible) and say that you were already logged in on his account, thinking it was yours. Say that you clicked on your inbox and noticed a strange e-mail from a girl--or, if this was FB chat, a strange chat from a girl. The rest you can't really lie out of, unfortunately. If he thinks you're "crazy" for that, then he has lived a very sheltered and naive life.


The problem with just bringing the subject up casually without mentioning the "proof" you found is that unfortunately, he can still lie. But the FB chat is proof. With that, he can't lie. You should be able to find out your answer regarding what's going on after you ask him. Keep a sharp eye out for the future.


--Dr. O.