Protect Yourself from False Relationships. And Get A Guy That Makes Your Heart Sing

finding a true relationshipAngie was excited when she met Scott. He seemed to be everything she wanted. An embodiment of the very affirmation she held over the past two months while working with me as her relationship coach.

I knew she was truly smitten with love when she said, “He just makes my heart sing!” That phrase was a part of an affirmation we had been working on since day one.

In my initial assessment of Angie’s situation, it became apparent that she had a self-defeating belief about relationships. There are many variations of this particular belief, but the general theme of it was this: “Guys are all pigs. True romance is a Hollywood illusion.”

This was an unconscious belief for Angie. It became apparent as we began discussing what kind of guy she would be really happy with.

We were trying to get through an worksheet on building a positive vision for the kind of guy she wanted to find. We were both in tears from laughing so hard by the time we got to the sixth item on the worksheet. Because every time Angie began to say something good she would like to find in a man, she had two sarcastic reasons why such a man could never actually exist!

The more we talked about it, the clearer it became to both of us that deep down in her heart, she did not believe any man would actually rise to the challenge of joining her in a truly satisfying relationship.

Your Beliefs Determine Much of Your Reality, and Influence Your Chances of Finding a True Relationship.

So we got to work on replacing that relationship-sabotaging belief with a new, more empowering one.

The new belief went like this: “I fully accept all the love and joy I experience because of my open embrace of a man who truly knows how to make my heart sing.”

This was a very personal affirmation for Angie. There is deep personal meaning in the particular words she chose. But it contains a general theme that’s helpful for many women. A positive expectation for something truly worthwhile.

finding a true relationshipIn fact, that affirmation embodies one of the themes you will find in much of my advice about men, dating, and even yourself. Expect the best, demand the best, embrace the best, and you will get the best out of men and your relationships with them. It’s not just a catchy theme. It’s a rock solid foundation for real life results.

But I need to warn you about something when it comes to finding a true relationship.

I encourage you to give deeply of yourself in relationships. I encourage you to find special ways of demonstrating respect to bring out the best in the men you meet. But there is a warning that must go along with these positive expectations and selfless expressions of love:

Not all men are deserving of your love and devotion.

I wish I did not need to write this particular email, but this is a twin truth that forms the whole. There are men that are not your equal. There are men that do not deserve you.

It is important to me that you recognize this and that you recognize your authority and right to take all measures necessary to release yourself from interaction with toxic men.

If you find yourself in a relationship with a man that is abusive, bring the full power of your mind to the immediate first step of leaving that relationship behind.

If you find yourself in a relationship with a man that threatens or uses fear of any kind to manipulate you, no amount of respect will make that relationship into a good one.

Here is the message I want to make clear. The respect principle is a tool to empower you , as a woman, to bring out the very best in a man and cause him to feel attracted to you. But it has no place in a relationship with a man who does not intrinsically desire to reciprocate that respect.

Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, let me call your attention to your own affirmations. I want to encourage you to fully commit to finding a partner who can join you in creating lasting love and happiness. That kind of commitment can be difficult if you have had negative experiences with men in the past.

In the end, a commitment stems from a solid decision about what you want to pursue with your life. As such, your commitments are powerful shapers of your future.

A commitment is a promise to take action. The action of bringing your attention back to the decisions you made for your life over and over again. A commitment means sticking with your decision even in the face of disappointments.

What decisions have you made about the kind of relationship you will be a part of? Have you made a choice yet? Have you committed in your heart and mind to pursue the very best kind of relationship?

Your commitments will serve as protection against false relationships. And they will create powerful magnetic attraction with the right kind of man you truly desire. Make your commitments strong.


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93 thoughts on “Protect Yourself from False Relationships. And Get A Guy That Makes Your Heart Sing

  1. Hetty Frederik said:

    No comment, James. No commitment yet to keep.

  2. James Bauer said:

    Hi Annette. It sound like you are doing a lot of things right if he has shown this much interest in you during a time of grieving and transition. Contrary to my typical advice, in this situation I think you should take more of a supportive friendship role for a while (at least 6 months). Let him figure out where he is going in life and get his feet under him before you ask him to be a part of your life in any kind of committed way. But here’s a warning: don’t let this go on forever. Set a time limit in your own mind (not shared with him) regarding how long you will wait for him to be ready for a relationship.

  3. Michele said:

    Dear James,
    I have been married to a great man for 13 years and a few months ago he told me he no longer loves me. He loved me very much up until a couple of years ago and felt like he had to give up on me because I was feeling emotionally distant from him. I fought back against my feelings and looked for happiness again and was trying to reconnect but now he’s says he thinks it’s too late. We have tried counselling and he says he can really feel how much I’m trying to save our marriage and that I’m saying and doing all the right things but he just can’t let go of the pain. He says he knows what he has to lose (we have 2 children together) but he feels like we have exhausted what can be done together and that he just needs to move out to think about things and decide if he wants to trust me enough to get back together. Any advice?

    • James Bauer said:

      Hi Michele. It sounds like fear is the dominant driving force in his decisions right now. He is turning away from the courageous pursuit of the “best” because he is afraid of the pain he would have to feel if he opened himself up to the relationship again.

      There are some things we can change about others. This is not one of them. You cannot make someone choose courage. You cannot make someone face their fears and go after what they truly want. All I can tell you right now is to invite him to create something entirely new with you. Shift his perspective from repair to “new creation.” Tell him you would like to start dating him to build a new relationship.

  4. Marla said:

    I’ve been dating a guy for almost 2 months. He asked me to date him exclusively & I agreed. But now he doesn’t care to spend time with me. He never takes me out and doesn’t even bother to text me, even though he still calls me his “woman.” I told him that if I’m dating someone exclusively, I have to be a higher priority that taking out the trash. Your thoughts?

    • James Bauer said:

      Right, Marla. This is a situation where you need to clearly state what he can do to keep you (and get out of the relationship if he doesn’t meet your standards very quickly after you have explained them).

  5. R.Wilis said:

    Hi James,
    What do you do when a guy is crazy about you, tells you that you are the air that he breath, wants to take care of you and everything and yet states that he is jealous of when you smile at people. I love smiling and even my major is in PR. He has a bad experience with his Ex-wife he says and has been divorce for 8years. Then i came along and we have been getting to know each other for nearly two month now. When he says that we would be jealous of me smiling at people i’ve put my firewall back on. I am scared because the smiling me is what he says attracted him. What is your advice?

    • James Bauer said:

      You need to test whether he is crazy and irrational or just ignorant. Let’s hope he just needs some educating in this area. Tell him you care very much how he feels in the context of his relationship with you and what it means about how you interact with others, and then transition into the fact that you need to set some expectations about what is normal and what is not. Ask him to contemplate whether it seems normal to him to meet a person that never smiles broadly at anyone other than the one person he or she is dating. If he gets mad and defensive at this point you should leave the relationship (he will be angry and pathologically jealous). If he laughs at himself and realizes your point and just expresses anxiety about losing you, work with him on accepting that you are still a woman who must interact with others (and wants to) and tell him the relationship will be built on mutual trust as a choice, not by building walls around yourselves.

  6. James Bauer said:

    Hi Josephine. You say his motivation is to essentially “play the field,” so at this point you need to be cautious about pouring all your energy into this one man. That said, if you want to communicate with him, do it! Reach out to him and get him talking about his internal world and motivation. Become the person who understands his motivation. Once you have achieved that it will become clear to you what you need to do next to help him rediscover the value of loving someone deeply and on purpose.

  7. Radinka Radosavcev said:

    Dear James,
    Since couple of months back, i follow every word you publish here. I simply ‘swollow’ every idea and advice 🙂 You make me feel good.
    God bless you!
    greetings from Serbia

  8. Josephine said:

    Hi James,
    I really like your posts and articles, and have been listening to your advices. I have reached the point where I am ready to give up on this man. We’ve been going out for some 4 months, and have enjoyed every single moment that we’ve been together, he told me so himself. Lately he’s having some depression over his job situation. He’s been communicating less and I haven’t seen him for weeks. There will be reasons like he has his kid over from Fridays to end of weekends, job interviews, etc. Then I managed to talk to him and found out that he was feeling depressed and ‘unsuccessful’ because of his employment situation. We met briefly and he said he missed me.
    Then a week later, I rang him and he told me he’s got the job but would like to be paid more; I thought that was great news becos it would then lift his spirits up.
    He said he’d call me back the next morning. After 2 days, I rang and texted him to find out more about his new job. No response.
    I blame myself for giving my heart and emotions so easily. Are all men so heartless? Are they just interested in playing the field and view each woman as a ‘conquest’?

    • James Bauer said:

      Hi Josephine. Clearly he is not a man who makes your heart sing. Though I have to say, in this situation it does not seem he feels like he has conquered much of anything (let alone you). He sounds like a man who is distracted and depressed because things are not going well in his primary “mission” of feeling like a successful breadwinner. Men’s testosterone literally drops when they’re out of work because of the psychological impact it has. When feeling depressed people often become forgetful. The part of the brain that has to do with memory (the hippocampus) actually begins shrinking under the chronic impact of stress hormones like cortisol that are generated night and day when we get depressed.

      In this situation I advise that you keep in contact with him while he heals emotionally. He may turn into a great person to have a relationship with once he starts feeling successful again. In the meantime, open your heart to other relationships and other dating opportunities. Just contact him every two weeks or so to see how he’s doing and make sure he knows you care about him. It’s okay to care about a man who is not ready for a relationship just yet because of circumstances going on in his life.

      • carrie said:

        Thank you Sooo much… this is exactly the situation I am dealing with… my ‘special guy’ has been dealing with depression over the loss his home due to a fire and now he’s dealing with some major health issues… I know in my heart we have a future together but I have been so confused and frustrated by his lack of contact with me.

      • Lorna (LaLa) said:

        I absolutely agree with James. This man needs your support and encouragement – he is hurting badly. Like a hurt animal he is probably hiding in his cave, wondering how to deal with life, and thinking he has nothing to offer you. He is not heartless – just worried and scared – like a little boy. Just be patient and supportive. 4 months is not long – don’t give up yet. Life is very difficult and stressful these days, what with divorce, job loss and every other kind of trauma going on in the news that so many people have to deal with. Just be there for him, and hopefully, he will realize what a wonderful person you are and he cannot be without you. We all need each other to get through this life. But do not forget your own needs, either, and keep looking after yourself. He needs you to be strong mentally and physically, too. Best of luck!! Lorna

  9. R.Wilis said:

    Hello James,
    Last few weeks i have been getting little signals that i may have to leave him. He needs someone to be with him always, answer at his beck and call, He won’t admit if he makes a mistakes and just blame it all on me, When i listed out what he had done that hurt my feelings, he said that its just a long story, to make it short he ask me what else that i want him to do. No apologies was offered to me.
    He taunt me with his wealth and told me that i won’t be going anywhere if i don’t be with him. I felt insulted by his words.
    Well i know i can’t change him. His is a very proud, proud successful man but i don’t think he will easily accept my group of friends which are simple and middle income.
    I broke off with him and i wish him that he’ll find someone suitable soon.
    I was sad at first because i do feel i have feelings for him but that won’t stop me from finding my true love. I’m glad that i have gotten over him, its an experience that i’ll always cherish. And the good thing is i will keep on smiling at anyone i meet.
    Thank you,

    • James Bauer said:

      This is not the man you want to be with. He clearly does not want to love you in the way that benefits you. A man who taunts you is not a man worth pursuing. It’s his loss because you are worth far more than his wealth.

      • Marlena said:

        Awesome answer, James.

        • James Bauer said:

          Why thank you. 🙂

  10. Josephine said:

    Hi James,
    Thanks so much, your advice once again is really spot-on and uplifting and encouraging.
    I can understand if he’s not ready for a relationship, but what I don’t get is his ‘dismissive’ demeanour and behaviour towards me, short of shouting out “I need space”, and I guess this is what hurts especially when we’ve had some great time together. I’m not after him for a relationship – well, not really, though it would be nice to be with someone that you really care for and have a connection with. I don’t want to send him the wrong message that I’m needy, that I’m clingy and desparate by calling or texting him, but the fact is I’m really concerned about him as he does have suicidal thoughts (we’ve spoken about them before).

    I don’t understand why men would think us women as needy and desparate /clingy.
    Maybe in this situation it’s because he doesn’t feel the same way about me as I do with him.
    We’re both definitely not in our teens, or young adults (we’re both at least mid-40s).
    I don’t and can’t play those hard-to-get games /do-not-call-the-man-let-him-call-and-chase-you strategies that you read about so much.
    I’m just someone who, when I do like my man, give my love, affection and care to him, and just love doing simple things like sharing and being there.
    Perhaps I should learn how Not to give so much.

    • Lorna (LaLa) said:

      Hi Josephine,
      I absolutely agree with James. This man needs your support and encouragement – he is hurting badly. Like a hurt animal he is probably hiding in his cave, wondering how to deal with life, and thinking he has nothing to offer you. He is not heartless – just worried and scared – like a little boy. Just be patient and supportive. 4 months is not long – don’t give up yet. Life is very difficult and stressful these days, what with divorce, job loss and every other kind of trauma going on in the news that so many people have to deal with. Just be there for him, and hopefully, he will realize what a wonderful person you are and he cannot be without you. We all need each other to get through this life. But do not forget your own needs, either, and keep looking after yourself. He needs you to be strong mentally and physically, too. Best of luck!! Lorna

      • Lorna (LaLa) said:

        Hi again, Josephine. I have just re-read your comments, and wondered how things are going with you and your man? Since these comments are not dated, it is not easy to follow them. I just re-read the bit about your man being suicidal. This is really serious, and yes, he absolutely DOES need your support. He may be depressed and not in a fit mental state to be able to reach out and ask for it. I have felt suicidal during the time I was going through my divorce, so I know how it feels. You get sort of “frozen” with a feeling of utter hopelessness, and no sense of a future. And don’t forget, men find it hard to admit weakness, which is how it feels. You think everyone else is having a perfect life and you are somehow failing for having these thoughts.So, do not feel that you are being clingy or needy. Follow your gut instincts, and if you feel he is in need of your love and care, just DO IT. We should not be made to feel guilty for reaching out and offering love to one another. What have you got to lose? And you may have a lot to gain. I admire you for saying you do not play the silly cat and mouse games that we are often advised to. Thank God that there are caring, loving people in the world – otherwise where would we be? Never feel you are wrong for being one of them. One day he will thank you for being there for him, even if you do not end up in a romantic relationship. I wish you luck. Lorna

  11. Nessy said:

    A woman celebrating her 50th wedding anniversary was asked “what’s the secret for staying married so long?” She replied: “No secret. We just never fell out of love both at the same time.” I think that says a lot about marriage and romantic relationships in general.

  12. So well said, these “twin truths”, good decision-making and enduring commitment to having the best despite past disappointment (wish I had understood this earlier in my dating life). It’s a way to think so that good relationship can happen in your life, whenever that happens.

  13. Gloria said:

    Hi James..Nona here, I’m 59, my husband died 1&1/2 yrs. ago, 3 mths. ago I started seeing a guy my age, we were set up by mutual friends. He has been divorced (so I thought)..for 13yrs..just last night I found out he never got divorced..because of financial issues..(so he says). We get along great, I’ve met his family and he has met my grandchildren and he has taken them fishing ,boating,etc..he says he would never go back to his wife, doesn’t want anything to do with her, he is ready to retire next year and now he is afraid that if his wife finds out about me then she will take most of his pension..this is how I found out he is not divorced..I just said well how could she do that if you are divorced..then he said they never did. Advice from you would help me try to think this through. Thank you..I really enjoy your comments nd they really help.

    • James Bauer said:

      Hi Gloria. The first time I heard a story like this I just assumed the guy was trying to double time his wife. The second time I was less sure. The third time I began to realize how common this kind of problem is. These days, there are quite a few people in a similar situation. The heart doesn’t really care what a piece of paper in a marriage license bureau says and so married people who are separated end up falling in love again even though they are still legally married. It is a red flag though, and you need to be thorough in your research to ensure he is not lying to you about having no interaction with his sort-of-ex-wife. If you want to be really thorough about this, get on and ask an attorney if his statements about the pension situation are accurate. Could she take his pension at will if provoked? It’s probably a state-by-state issue and the attorney can look into it in your state. If it turns out to be true, you should have a serious discussion with him about what this means and what he is willing to risk in a relationship with you. There is no sense moving forward if he won’t ever let it go beyond a few secretive encounters now and then.

  14. Gloria said:

    Well..thanks James, he has introduced me to his daughter ,mother, sisters, etc..seems’s just that I guess the fact that he never told me..he constantly talks about next weekend, and things we’ll do, even winter plans..maybe I’m just thinking tooooo far ahead..thanks again..

    • Lorna (LaLa) said:

      Gloria – I can understand why he is reticent about getting a divorce. It is a huge step to take, causes a lot of waves, ill feeling and stress all around (as I know!!) and he is probably right about losing his pension. I agree absolutely with James. You need to discuss this with him, and give him time to work through it – as I say, divorce is a huge, devastating situation which can go on for years and cost an enormous amount of money (cost us around £50,000 all told!), as well as psychological distress to yourself and all the family. It would put a lot of pressure on your relationship with this new man. Be honest with him. Discuss it openly. Try to get as much information as you can yourself. Knowledge is power. It is very early days for you. Why not just enjoy each others’ company and just see where it goes? No pressure. Going down that road of divorce WILL change things between you. Unless he plans to remarry, he probably thinks there is no point. I’m SURE he is not beng devious – just absolutely terrified – and rightly so. Unless you have been through it, you will never understand how it feels. Just enjoy what you have !! I wish you luck!! Lorna

  15. Jolene said:

    Hello James, I’m 31 and I have a problem. I was in a relationship for almost 8 years, planned to be married and had 4 children with this one guy. He turned out to be abusive. Not just physically, but mentally and emotionally too. I went through a lot dealing with him and my self-esteem took a huge hit. I was 16 when we met, very young and naive. I met another guy. He lived above me. We became friends and he would come down and hang out with me and my fiancee (at that time). I was afraid to leave the first guy because he said he would kill me. He (the second guy) saw how I was being treated and didn’t like it, and so helped me get away from him. We started dating and it was wonderful! We were like newlyweds for the first 4 or 5 years of our relationship. Then things started to fall apart. I tried to communicate with him but he just seemed to shut down. He’s very shy and sort of anti-social. Well, we had been together for almost 7 years and he decided he didn’t love me anymore. He was infatuated with a new girl. We were both friends with her. We broke up about 5 months ago, but we still live together (with a roommate, since our financial outlook is in the toilet) and even sleep in the same bed still (he doesn’t have his own bed yet). He started dating the new girl, but she broke it off with him because she felt he still wanted to be with me or something like that. She said she couldn’t date him while he still lived with me. Yet nothing changed in the way they interacted except for the fact that they could see other people. We (on several occasions) all three tried to talk out what was going on and what we all were feeling, to basically get no where, and fast. He said, “Why can’t I have you both? I love you both.” But neither of us (the girls) could deal with that. She couldn’t handle it, and I would get too jealous of her. He clearly chose her, but she didn’t seem to feel exactly the same way for him. She says she loves him, but… Anyway, just about every time they would go spend some time together, he would come back mad. They would get into arguments over seemingly stupid stuff. He (and she) explained what they’d argue about. (We are all friends) It WAS stupid. He gripes about her shortcomings and says I’m done with her, but then still chases after her like a lost puppy dog. All the while I’m trying to prove to him I’m the one he wants, needs. That I’m still in love with him and will always be here for him if he needs me. We had been each others best friends during our relationship. When we’re alone, sometimes he acts like he still loves me and it feels like old times and we have fun together and really enjoy each others company. He cuddles with me in bed when we sleep. It breaks my heart. We both lost our jobs so it’s been really hard on both of us lately. I try to keep him positive, but then he gives “her” credit for saying the same things I do to him. It’s so infuriating. He just went to a friend’s house for a few days saying he needed to get away. When he gets back, I will be doing the same. The first night he was gone he was messaging me on facebook. He asked me to tell “her” if she texted looking for him she could message him on facebook. (He doesn’t have a phone right now so he texts her on my phone…then wonders why I get mad about it. *sigh*) So i did. She said ok, but never messaged him. Everyone I know is telling me to leave him alone and move on with my life, and I know I should, but it’s so hard. When you give away your whole heart to someone, you never get it back….I just don’t know what to do, or what to think half the time. He says he doesn’t want a relationship with me “right now”. But actions speak louder than words. He “Acts” like he wants me, but “says” not right now….(oh, and we are friends with benefits too at the moment. I recently decided to cut him off since it obviously means more to me than it does to him). Any ideas?

    • James Bauer said:

      Hi Jolene. I wish I could advise you to seek a man with greater maturity, but I’m afraid you would not accept that. You see, the problem is not you or him, or the other girl. The problem is that you are with a man who does not understand the value of commitment. He is a man who has not yet learned that infatuations come and go, even with the person you are committed to loving for your whole life. The choice to keep loving a person actively with your mind, soul, heart, and actions is something consciously chosen. He seems to think he should go with the feelings of the moment, which means he is not ready for a relationship. He needs a good mentor who can explain how relationships are created and sustained.

      I recommend you focus on becoming the girl that he is about to lose if he does not get his act together quick. By this I mean you should focus on yourself. Work on saving money (or earning more if possible) so you can move somewhere else without him, spend a little on new clothes, and pay attention to what makes you feel emotionally refreshed and charged up. Think about goals and set dates to achieve personal goals. This will activate a form of energy that is not present when you are sort of grieving the loss of his love and too focused on things you cannot control. He may notice the changes in you and find them attractive. Don’t worry about that. If he does, he will chase you. If he doesn’t, you have a head start on creating your new life.

      • Jolene said:

        Thank you for your advice. I am going to take it and do my best to make a life for myself that I can be proud of.

        • Lorna (LaLa) said:

          Jolene, your situation is unbelievable!! I AM SO ANGRY FOR YOU ! ! He has the best of ALL worlds with you two! Having his cake and eating it too, and not just plain old cake – rich, yummy chocolate cake with cream and cherries on the top, too. Tea and sympathy all round and unlimited sex with two women thrown in as well. Why would he choose? He’s got it made. I am SO ANGRY for you. Kick him OUT of your bed. Even if he has to sleep on the floor – and NOT on the floor in YOUR bedroom. TOUGH if he hasn’t got a phone. We used to manage without phones not so long ago. How could you act as go-between with him and this other woman? Get some self-respect, girl. Otherwise, you will constantly end up with men who are going to take advantage of you and use you and abuse you for the rest of your life. I am 67 and have three daughters, 40, 34 and 31. If they acted like this, I would be REALLY angry with them. You deserve better. Never compromise yourself. I wish you luck, Darling, and send you lots of love – there IS a better life out there. Go out and look for it. BE STRONG. GIRL POWER !! Lorna xx

  16. Marie said:

    Hi James,
    I am divorced, with 3 kids, very attractive,smart woman,making modest income, while studying to get my licence to practice medecine(my foreing education).I tend to attract accomplished, affuent men who end up pulling out when I specify that I want a committed relationship.I just met one, a month ago. He seems great.I don’t know how to approach this relationship without making him run…he knows that I am interested in a committed relationship.I am 41.

    • James Bauer said:

      Hi Marie. Focus your discussion of commitment issues on what he wants. Get him talking about what a great relationship would be like for him in the months and years to come. This gives you a unique advantage. If he says things that clearly indicate his needs are incompatible with yours, you can gently let him go to avoid wasting your time with someone who ultimately will not click with your desires. If he describes something compatible with your desires, you can give the relationship more time instead of approaching the commitment conversation too early and scaring him off. Even if he seems rather unsure of what he wants, remember that women’s timeline for thinking they are in a serious relationship usually seems to be on fast-forward mode from the perspective of most men. They need more time before the idea of committing seems right to them.

      To summarize, get him to open up early (but keep your cards to yourself). Then you can give him time to fall for you if he is a good candidate who needs more time.

  17. Hi James,

    I recently got in touch with an old acquaintance, and things seemed to go over two months from interested to really interested to confusing. He dropped hints that could be taken to mean that he was serious about me, but on the other hand he kept talking about the other girls in his life and his girlfriend. And quite suddenly, he suddenly stopped communicating or responding to me. Duh! What does this mean?

    • James Bauer said:

      Hi Diane. I wish I could offer some advice on this, but I really don’t know enough about him or the situation to say what his behavior means at this point. He might just like you but find himself in a poor position to pursue things with you. In other words, it may have been “just flirting,” without much intent for follow-through since he has a girlfriend.

      • Thank you for writing in James, I appreciate it.

        He told me right when we talked first that he had a girl friend whom he meets during the weekends and he was considering breaking up. He also kept telling me about all the women he meets up with regularly during partying over the week nights. He loves it. I have no way of knowing if he was talking about one-night stands or casual flirting with them. I sometimes used to tease him or flirt with him, and his responses would be different. The subject of marriage would usually turn him off. I thought he was interested in more than casual flirting, but he didn’t respond timely enough for me to get a clear picture on whether he wanted to take it further. It was more than flirting, I think, because we used to connect almost every day; and he used to genuinely appreciate a lot of things I said and shared with him. He kept dropping hints that he was putting his life on the line for something big, and when I quizzed him about that, he said that I had already gotten enough hints from him. Would a guy who is really serious about a girl, play a game instead of saying outright? I doubt that. I know that he is choosing to deliberately not respond to my messages. But I feel happy every time I send him one, and its weird! It’s like just connecting with him makes me happier. But then, inevitably, the reverse happens when he doesn’t reply. I guess, it is like a cycle. But, since I’ve met him, I’ve been on a high. I could understand how a guy can make your heart sing, because that is exactly what I felt like with him. Just talking to him sometimes made me feel deliriously happy, and the weirdest thing is that…now that he isn’t in my life, I’m still happy, and I think of him fondly. After deciding to break contact, I was upset for maybe a day or two, but then, I could let it go. Maybe, I just saw through to what he is really inside, and I like it; so I let him know how rare he is before I broke off. He is amazing, and I want him to be happy too. Which I guess, he is. I still feel like he is the one; and if he has to come back, sooner or later he will. But if he isn’t, I am still happy now, and sooner or later, I will find my purpose. When I’m low, I hang on with the belief that this is going to pass…it is temporary. And when I’m happy, I go all out and squeeze the happiness out for all its worth. Sometimes, I feel really strange about how easy it is for a person to turn into an easy-going comedian. I feel like one myself.

  18. karina said:

    Im soo glad i read this today. I have been going through a situation very similar to some of these ladies. I have been dating this guy on and off for a year now, we started off as friends and we have great chemistry we even talked about marriage. I dont understand him though he says he loves me and wants to be with me but then there are times that he says he does not know. moments that he talks about our future and then the next he wants space or a break or does not call me or text me for a week! he moved away in august and we had just gotten back together in july. I asked him if he was sure he wanted to be with me and asked him if he knew we would be in a long distance relationship he said he did and he loved me and would not give up on me. well needless to say about 3 weeks after he moved he flipped on me again and says he needed space and i gave him space cause i understood he was going through a transition and was stressed from the move and looking for a job i understood and told him to take all the time he needed, 2 weeks he didnt call me. next he tells me he wants another chance that he will fight to win me again so i buy into it and the same thing happens a week later. I told him i couldnt do this anymore that we should just be friends, and we did try to but we keept going back to being lovey dovey but there was no commitment no relationship, i felt like i was putting my life on hold for him and he still would tell me i dont know what we are i dont know what this is. so after much wise counsel from friends and married friends i respect they told me to cut him off completely as in just stop talking to him. so i told him my plan and he agreed however it was hard not to talk to him and we maintained contact for another week after i told him this was it. so a week passed and he didnt call me or text me and i assumed that was it, now i dont know if i acted the right way, but i saw a future with this man and i feel like i sacrificed so much for him and did so much for him he even told me he didnt understand how patient i was, but i feel like its done and i can not take it back, what do i do now? did i make the right decision?

    • karina said:

      why have you not replied??

  19. Marie said:

    Okay James,,,So here goes….I have been dating a man for around 3 months. He tells me he loves me as a person and I am awesome and amazing, but the first time he said that he followed it up with…but I am not in love with you…I realize it is too ssoon for that, and I am not in love with him yet either. But we used to flirt on the phone and send pictures to make each other smile, he always told me whenever I want to come over just to let him know…but the last couple weeks…no flirting, no pics, and today he told me when I asked if I could come out to go with him and his friends, he said he wanted to just go himself. I am not clingy and know men need time alone. I am seeing him tomorrow night anyways, so that isn’t the issue…it’s just that we seem to be shifting into the friend zone, except when we are together. It just doesn’t feel the same. I don’t ever initiate contact daily…he texts me every morning, but not the same passion or intent like he used to…not sure how to proceed. He is a blast to be with when we are together, but I don’t feel like I can trust him for some reason…Is it just me?

    • James Bauer said:

      Hi Marie. I am usually a proponent for meeting a potential partner half-way and really making it clear that you want to move forward. However, in this particular type of scenario it is best to back off and make him do a little pursuing. My gut tells me this relationship is not meant to be, because guys rarely go out of their way to volunteer information like, “I like you but I am not in love with you,” unless they are trying to send a friendly message that goes, “Please don’t let yourself fall in love with me because I don’t see it happening between the two of us even though I think you are a cool person.” I agree that you should proceed with caution and keep your options open right now to reduce the blow if things slide more and more toward friendship.

      • MARIE said:

        Am doing just that…talking to another man and hopped back on the dating site and another man contacted me this morning…thanks for the advice…I feel better knowing Im doing the right thing.

  20. mary said:

    Hi James,
    ive been dating this Guy for 7months now, he’s 10yrs older then me. He moved from out of state, he left everything behind and said he did it for me. He moved in with me its been 3 months, I’m divorce and have 4children my oldest is 18, and my youngest is 8. He helps me alot with my children but he gets mad when the kids disrespect me or talk back to me. He’s helping me discipline the kids, but sometimes I think its to much, he over does it. At first everything was good but now he doesn’t show any sign of affection to me when ever I tell him something he said in too emotional, that im tripping over small things that there bigger and more important things to be concerned. His issue is the kids my issue is that he’s becoming cold. He was very in love with this woman his previous relationship she left him for someone else, after a three year relationship. Its been 11/2 years when this happened, I’m not sure if he still has feelings for this woman. I need advice I don’t feel his love. He said to open my eyes that after all what he has done for me shows me that he loves me, I found out he’s not legally divorced yet he started the process right after I found out. I need to feel emotionally safe and secure. I need advice.

    • James Bauer said:

      Mary, I don’t think you need as much advice as you seem to think. You are thinking clearly and you seem to have a good sense of the both the problems and the solutions you need to work toward. Be persistent and direct in asking him to work with you as a teammate to address the concerns you have raised here. Tell him openly what you want, not what you don’t want. That way he feels inspired to work toward creating that “safe and secure” feeling you need (rather than getting defensive when you point out what you don’t want).

  21. Lau said:

    Hi james!
    I’m from Mexico and I got your program. But I do not know what else to do.
    I’m in a current relationship where we live together since 2 years ago. Four months ago he told me he cannot commit and wants to be alone. He broke my heart as at the beginning I know he adored me and told me many times I was the best woman in his entire life.
    Then I was moving out and had an bad accident. I took care of him and his attitude was of love, etc. since then we are back and forth with this issue. He keeps telling me he doesn’t want a relationship but lately he looks for me, approach to me with love and he is being tender, and we still live toguether and sleep in same bed and some how we act as couple still.
    Now I’m away home in a traveling fir 2 weeks. And part of me is scared that he come back to this thing to want to be alone and “dump” me again, even thou he hast really said with word to go back toguether or be his girlfriend again.
    So I do not know what to do to really in this time apart keep him interesting on me and to make this leap where he finally commit to me again and ask me to be his love again.
    Please I need guidance! The only way I contact him is phone or chat as he do not have cellphone.
    I do not want go back home after this two weeks and found he us breaking with me and breaking my heart again. For the contrary that he is excited for me to come back!!!
    He’s already acting distance and cold just one day after I left when he said goodbye with love and kisses!
    It’s confusing! What should I do!!!!? Please…

    Loved from Mexico!

    • James Bauer said:

      Hi Laura. This situation requires a level of finesse and multiple-step advice that needs some back and forth coaching. If you want to pursue that, you can learn how to hire me as your relationship consultant here. (the last item on the catalog of services and relationship courses).


  22. Ria said:

    Hi James,
    what would you say if I told you that the guy I have dating for a good few years now is very very secretive about himself. His phone is always in his pocket, it is NEVER left lying around unless it is switched off.very often I call and he does not answer. there have been times when he disappears for days and returns with no explanation or apology.
    He recently moved to a new house and refuses to share his address with me. when I ask him if there is another woman he denies it. I gave him an ultimatum some time ago saying thatr if he did not invite me to his place by the end of the month I would not see him anymore. well , the month ended and I do not see him anymore. he said that he did not want a relationship where there are conditions!!! he calls every now and again and seems to know so much about me, which I find a bit creepy. writing to you it is so so obvious what this guy is all about. But please give me your input, Please.


    • James Bauer said:

      Yeah, that’s weird. I’m glad you explained your feelings, asked for what you wanted, and moved on when he did not try to explain or meet you half-way or anything. He probably does want multiple relationships at the same time. Sorry you went through that.

  23. Denise Kohle said:

    Hi James, I dated a man for over two years and we get along great and have fun being together . His family loves me and I love them. He says he loves me . However during our relationship he has shut down several times and doesn’t text or call. He says its him and he requires alone time. He says he depressed. I know he is faithful physicality emotionally ??? But this lasts for 2 months at a time. This last time I realized that I could not ever marry him however we never discussed marriage. I’ve been struggling with my decision because he’s a good man . Just emotionally disconnected . I’ve end up here way too many times.

    • James Bauer said:

      Hi Denise. Yes, that is one of the many ways depression sometimes manifests in a person’s life. They withdraw socially and feel low motivation and low self-esteem with limited energy or interest for anything…even the things/people they love.

      I think you’re right to not marry a person when you find that the waves of recurring major depressive episodes are too difficult for you to tolerate. I know it will be hard to let go of the person you love, and you may feel some guilt, but it’s the right thing to do.

      I would say the one exception is if he has never sought treatment for depression. If not, you might choose to stick by him and see if he can go for longer periods of time between falling into major depressive episodes once he receives treatment.

      • Denise Kohle said:

        Thank you James, he has not sought treatment .nor do I believe he realizes it as a problem. We could never discuss deep issues out of fear of another shut down. Fear is no way to live. Thanks again. Does your material come in book form.

        • James Bauer said:

          I’d like to publish my material in a physical book, but right now it’s just an electronic book/videos.

  24. Bobbie said:

    Hello James,
    I have been going thru an emotional rollercoaster for 14 years now. I met my boyfriend that was 8 years younger than me and we committed right away. He moved in with me and my two sons, He is a good man and did his best to make me and my boys happy. He had some sexual problems that I was not aware of ..nor was he so I blamed myself for 7 years,.after that I was ready to end it until he told me he had a doctor tell him he had low testosterone..long story short,..He is an extremist after 3 years of feeling like a man he started getting attention from other women, he is a former Marine and always worked out but again to the extreme and over the years his weight would fluctuate. I told him to leave 4 years ago and since then he has been taking steroids and turned into a man I no longer know. I have kept taking him back over and over ..All trust, respect we once had is completely destroyed. But he always comes back to me..I try to move on considering I have lost so much..My house,family..and almost business. But I love him because I know he is capable of being a good man and every time he said he was sorry and couldn’t live without me…I would have hope that the man I knew once finally came back. It is no way to live! Please help.

    • James Bauer said:

      There is something to be said for a long history between two people, even if it is a rocky one. I understand why you love him and still want him to be in your life. But you need to enter the relationship with strong boundaries…meaning things you keep in place to protect your business, your kids, and yourself from being at the mercy of his whims. For example, you might require him to live at his own place and demonstrate respect and responsibility for three months before letting him into your home, finances, etc. You might require that he allow you to accompany him to his physician to test if he is usisng steroids (which make people aggressive and irrational).

      • Bobbie said:

        Thank You So Much James..

        But there is so much more to my situation. We haven’t lived together for the past four and a half years. We both are successful people in our professional lives..
        I have thousands of text messages and thousands of emails (when he is blocked)..and messages of corresponding. We both have tried to let go and always end up contacting each other and being together. Love and Hate are one. Our history is full of Chaos and sickness. I lost myself for about 2 years. I have become stronger with help from you and others like you. I have always been a strong confident person that lives with morals, but after the past 4 years I have learned to never say never and it’s amazing what we are all capable of and what we accept….All in the name of Love..

  25. Yasmin said:

    Hi James,

    I’m dating an amazing guy for 4 months now, who has problems with real commitment and falling in love with a new woman after his heart was broken. I’m having wonderful time with him, because he is doing everything so right and well, except one thing- he isn’t in love with me. He isn’t sleeping around, because he knows I wouldn’t tolerate this and he doesn’t want to loose me, but I know this could happen some day if he meet a certain woman. Yesterday we spent an awesome day and night together, he was acting like a perfect dream man and I could explode out of happiness.
    But today before he left my home, he said to me that as long he isn’t situated well in his career ( he is an actor and he is struggling very much to establish himself and to earn enough money with his acting) he just can’t offer a woman more then a passionate affair or to be a friend with benefits. He just can’t allow himself to fall in love and to start a serious relationship with some one, because his life is just too chaotic and stressful, he is all the time on the road, running from audition to audition and he just isn’t happy with his own life at the moment. He said also, it’s quite a bad timing for us, because I’m a great woman and he likes me so very much ( after saying these words he started kissing and hugging me over and over again for a while), but this is all what he can offer to me. He even said I should stay open for some other guy who can give me more then he can..
    It’s so confusing, because he is giving me the feeling he is in love with me and he is treating me in the most pleasant way. Also sex with him is addictive and the most wonderful experience I ever had in my whole life ( I’m 45 and he is 38). But after his words I just don’t know what to do- should I give up my expectations that after some time he will change his mind, or should I start dating other men too. I’m not a woman who is into rich and wealthy men, so the fact that at the moment he can’t offer me much isn’t bothering me. I admit, sex with him is probably the strongest part of my attraction to him and I love men who stand on the stage, but I have deeper feelings for him too, because he is such a sweet, charming and loveable guy. Deep in my heart I do want a more commitet relationship with him, so I feel torn and helpless. I’m a very emotional person and I give myself away a lot when I’m together with a man. But I’m afraid that he will break my heart at the end.
    Your advice please…

    • James Bauer said:

      Hello, Yasmin. I have such a mixture of happiness and sadness as I read your words. On the one hand you are experiencing a kind of relationship bliss, yet the desire for this to last ends up spoiling your ability to enjoy the relationship for what it is right now.

      He sounds like a wonderful sort of man. He lets life flow through him, openly and honestly pursues what makes him happy, and doesn’t try to deceive others in the process. Unfortunately, his highest priority is his career. For whatever reason, he does not believe the relationship is irreplaceable, but he believes the happiness his career can bring him is the most important thing.

      The honest truth is this. The longer you spend with him, the more likely he is to fall in love with you in a way that causes his motivation to change. At the same time, the longer you spend with him, the more likely you are to be deeply hurt if he does ultimately pull away from you.
      That is a choice you will have to make. The higher the risk, the higher the reward. Yet the higher risk also comes with potential for greater feelings of sadness and loss.

      While I certainly don’t want to make this choice for you, I will add my own opinion. It sounds to me that the relationship you are in now is the best you have ever been a part of. A commitment would make the relationship even better, but a lack of commitment doesn’t take away the fact that you are thoroughly enjoying his presence at this time in your lives. If you were younger and hoping to start a family, my advice might be different. But there is great value in embracing the present moment for all the joy it can bring.

  26. Yasmin said:

    Hi James,
    thank you! Your answer brought tears in my eyes. I’m freshly divorced after many years of a marriage which was during the last few years like a prison for me, without any intimacy and passion. So with my lover I’m experiencing everything what I was only dreaming about for such a long time. I know, the price of this extremely intense, emotional and passionate affair is probably this sadness which I’m experiencing every time he leaves me and the risk of a potential heart ache, but deep in my heart I feel that there are not many men outside who can offer me such intensity and completely blow my mind away. You are right, I should embrace the present moment and be thankful for this wonderful experience. I don’t want to merry again ( well, maybe some day, you can never know) and I don’t want to start a new family, I have two wonderful kids. So maybe I should forget the standard pattern for a relationship and just enjoy..

    • Yasmin said:

      I got a notice about a new comment on this posting and then I re-read my own posting almost 3 years ago, which I already forgot.
      So I wanted to say to all ladies here- some men can change, if we give them time! My lover who didn’t want to commit to me and put his carrer as his first priority completely changed his mind- he loves me truely and deeply now, since he recognized that a relationship with me is the most important thing in his life and my love and commitment to him opened his heart like never before. I was there for him when he lost his job, his home, his father, got depressed and hopeless. So for the first time in his life he experienced a true love of a woman and this blew his mind completely. He felt in love with me with his whole heart and he even want to move together with me and my kids. He’s a very supportive and affectionatelly partner to me and I feel loved like never before! He said, he wants to get old with me and he was an absolute fool that he didn’t recognize this already at the beginn of our romance.
      So, never give up to early, only because the man you love isn’t ready yet to commit or he thinks he can’t fall in love with you. Some men obviously need a lot of time and “proofs” that you are the one and the right one.

      • Lorna (LaLa) said:

        Yasmin, What a beautiful story you left on here. I am sure it will inspire many of us. I, too, have been following James’ articles, and comments to them, for a long time, and have derived a lot of help and support from them. It is truly heartwarming to read your success story, and gives me the encouragement I need to keep going. I don’t know if you have read any of my comments before this, but I have been involved with a man for over 4 years now who has a drink problem (due to his desperate life-situation in the past, and depression and anxiety caused by this). I did not know when we first got together – he is very good at hiding it. And I had known him for four years before this, socially. We do love each other, and I have tried and tried over this time to be supportive, and get him to give up the drink, which he says he wants to do. But as we are long-distance and he has no spare money, it has not been easy to see much of each other. Also, I often end up being angry and frustrated with him when I do visit – due to his withdrawal from the alcohol making him grumpy – and walk out on him, so we go back to square one, over and over again. Two steps forward and one step back!! Friends tell me to give up on him, but I see the wonderful potential in him – he does try to make his life better, but it is not easy to give up alcohol. He is also very, very proud and feels that he is not worthy of me – although he was trained and worked as a lawyer for many years, but lost everything – his job, home, wife and family – due to bad judgement and a subsequent nervous breakdown. He is now 64 and I am almost 69. I am much better off financially than him, and own an expensive house, whereas he rents his apartment. I was intrigued to read that you supported your man through the loss of his job. I would love to know how you did this, without him feeling embarrassed and unworthy. I would love to help my man financially, to get him off the booze, back on track and moving forward towards a better life, but he is too proud to accept any help from me. I have asked him to come and move in with me, but he is worried about leaving his comfortable set-up where he is. I hate the town where he lives, so do not feel inclined to live there. Although I would, for a while, if that would help. I’ve wondered about renting an apartment there, to be near him. Am I being selfish in not wanting to live in that town? It IS absolutely DIRE – a VERY poor, run-down seaside resort, with nothing much going on – whereas I live in an expensive part of the country. I would consider living elsewhere – just not there – it is SO depressing. I think that is part of his problem. His mother lives in a very nice, wealthy area, and is very well-off, with a beautiful house. It would make sense to live near her – which I have suggested – as she is elderly now, and he is her only family, but he’s not keen on that idea. Any further advice you could give me would be very much appreciated. We have just spent a lovely few days over the May Day Bank Holiday week-end together. He runs a choir and they performed at a National Trust house, here in England. Then he played the organ at two special Church services. It was a really lovely week-end. He also said he had enjoyed having me stay with him. I’m hoping we are moving slowly towards a resolution. But it is not easy – and a very slow process. I do often wonder if there is any point any more. Do, please, let me hear back from you with any further advice. Many thanks. Lorna

        • Lorna (LaLa) said:

          P.S. – I have just read your original article and James’ reply – which I couldn’t see before when I replied. I can absolutely relate to you in so many ways. You sound so much like me – passionate, caring, loving, empathic, loyal and a very, very strong, capable woman. Once again, I would say how wonderful it is that you had the strength and fore-sight to keep on in there with your man – despite all the odds. It brings to mind the old saying “Behind Every Great Man there is a Little Woman”. Not that you (or I) are “little” in the “inferior” sense – but women are usually physically smaller and weaker than men. It just means that even with all their physical power and strength – men still need US to be there backing them up and rooting for them – being a “safe place to land” when things get tough. And you have proved it. Winston Churchill claimed that without his “Clemmie” at his side, he would be nothing. And he suffered terribly from what he called the “black dog” – depression. He needed Clemmie’s strength and love to see him through that, to be able to run the country here throughout World War 2. By the way, I, like your boyfriend, also act and work as “background” in film and television. And I was very excited to be given the role of stand-in to Celia Imrie in the film about Winston Churchill called “The Gathering Storm”. A really interesting film. (If you watch it, look out for me in the little old car, approaching the house, and almost run down by a lorry. Such fun!!). I hope to hear from you. Much love, Lorna

  27. Mary said:

    After reading all this, I think some of the best advice from James Bauer is to go out
    and develop yourself and live your life. So many (maybe all) of these men just aren’t
    into you, and how many more years are you going to spend trying to change and fix
    someone and convince him that you are loveable and deserve more. And you deserve
    more. You want a man who will move a mountain for the woman he loves. (And I
    must give credit to Greg who is a co-author of the book: He’s Just Not That Into You.
    I think I’ve read it about four or five times.) Go out there, ladies, and smile, take
    an art class, music class, help someone in need, etc. Keep yourself number one
    on your priority list. You’re worth it. All the best, Mary

    • Joann said:

      Thanks for stating all that, Mary. I was reading and thinking the same thing. “He’s just not that into you.” The idea of “pursuit” is perhaps too hardened, one of the relationship teachers I read regularly (perhaps James?) mentioned that when they like you, a guy will “step in” to you. He’s present, he responds, he’ll open up about himself. If none of that is happening, why waste your time? Move on. Our minds play tricks with us, we create relationships where there is none. I’m just as guilty. But I’m learning and getting a lot better about what I won’t put up with. I ask for more now, at a higher level. I like the idea that I can select a man if I wish, but I refuse unacceptable behavior, personalities and relationships. I don’t pretend to know why they flirt at sort of a dirty level, as if there is a future, but I’ve learned that they take it there just before they disappear. It’s some serious b.s., but if I don’t get more than that, I can brand it for what it is: in-authentic. I enjoy men and the way I feel when I get attention, I do not enjoy the dance & disappear act. (I am not needy.) It gets old.

  28. Helge said:

    Dear James!
    I`ve been dating a man for three months. Right from the start I felt he is the right one for me because he has all the qualities I value in a man. I felt we were having a good time every time we have been together. Additionally I have to mention that we both are having psychological issues and were seeing a therapist. Things started changing when his son came back from abroad to live with him. His calls and texts became fewer and I started feeling insecure and had to call him. Still everything fine when we were together. Anyway I said I can`t go on like this because he started to ignore me and wouldn`t even answer my calls. He says he`s too busy with his own problems and doesn`t want me to suffer and he can t change at the moment and he can`t accept my love because he doesn`t love himself right now and it`s all his fault. But I suffer now too after we `ve split up and just want him back. What do you think I can do?

    • James Bauer said:

      Hi Helge. To give you a useful answer I would have to ask you about some of the personal things he may be going through, but this blog is not the right place to do so. In a few weeks I will have a place for private questions that can be answered confidentially by our relationship coahes.

  29. hopefull said:

    Dear james

    i have been divorced for over two yrs now and started dating my current boyfriend during the seperation stages…he is 7yrs younger and had a mother who died when he was 18 7 yrs ago…i am a very giving person and always seem to enjoy helping people pursue things they want to do..i sometimes forget about myself…not that i dont enjoy watching them be happy but it seems like they just dont want to give back as much as i give…i find it hard to balance this and also do the things i want in my life i just want to make them happy… seems like they kind of take advantage of this part of me how can i balance giving and also getting things for my self and instiling the boundaries to my partner so i get the respect i deserve while not cutting out the things he loves to do…his hobbies cost alot and i find it hard to say no…also i have noticed he will be very sweet and touches me more and gives more love when he wants something which is not his norm he is not touchy feely (which is hard for me also) is there a way i can get him to open up and be touch feely even when he doesnt want something..we share money and pay bills together ..please help i need some balance in my life…

    • James Bauer said:

      Hello Hopefull. A successful business entrepreneur once told me her secret to success was that she enjoyed working hard. She convinced yourself that self-discipline was fun, something she wanted. Working hard then became rewarding rather than a drain. She then became successful financially and had that extra benefit on top of being happy.

      Don’t lament the fact that you get joy from helping others. In relationships, that is an ideal I encourage many people to strive for. Don’t start shifting your perspective to see that as a problem.

      That said, some kind of boundaries do need to remain in place. For example, sharing finances goes better when both partners work together to pay all the bills first, then set aside money for savings and giving, and then divide the extra and split it into two accounts so that both partners can spend their portion guilt free.

      It sounds like his love language is not physical touch. Apparently that’s one of your love languages. He’s realized that it’s important to you, so he remembers to do things you like when he wants something good in return. That’s not necessarily a bad thing because give-and-take is a part of what a relationship is about. But you understandably feel frustrated that he does not intrinsically want to reach out to you physically just for the sake of making you happy. After all, you’re the type of person who would do just that!

      This is hard to change. It’s hard because you have no control over it. However, the thing you do have control over is giving him clear information about the ways he can make you happy. Explain it clearly and then ask his permission to remind him occasionally that it’s something important to you. Most guys are willing and appreciative when a woman tells them very specific steps to improving the relationship (so long as it is presented with the respect principle in mind).


  30. Louise said:

    Hi James,

    Thanks for your wonderful blog posts and all your great advice in the comments! I’ve been getting to know a Turkish man online at first and now we talk to each other every day. I am all too aware of romance fraud so Im being very cautious with this.. The thing is he is saying that he wants to marry me now (after only two months!) he is calling me his wife which is endearing but I’ve told him I want to take things slow and I would like to actually see him over Skype and talk face to face but he is making excuses as to why he can’t do that. He recently got in a situation where he needed to borrow some money which I stupidly lent him (only USD 140) and now I regret not enforcing my boundaries and just saying no to him because he then asked for more to which I said no. We have had hot, steamy phone conversations so I am feeling vulnerable now. I told him yesterday that I made a mistake and he got angry at me because he thought I didnt trust him though now he says he forgives me and that he still loves me. Any advice on what to say to him without making him feel disrespected but also get what I want namely get him to talk over Skype? In the back of my mind I have some doubt he is who he says he is and he must be picking up on this…

    • James Bauer said:

      Hi, Louise. Asking for money within two months of starting a relationship is usually an indication that you are being scammed.

      Most people would not try something like that even in a normal, face-to-face relationship. Trying to do that without ever having seen each other suggests it is almost certainly a scam to lure you into giving larger sums of money.

      Don’t be surprised if the next request is, “Okay, I will come visit you in person to prove my love. I just need $1400 for the plane ticket. Please wire it to this account.”

      There are people who would love to have a relationship with you, Louise. Please don’t spend your time on this relationship unless he does something drastic that proves my suspicions to be false.

      • Louise said:

        Thanks James! Yeah I ended it when he asks me again and said if I really love him I would help him and I said if you really love me you would respect my decision to say no. Lucky I can get my money back through PayPal but yeah lesson learnt! I’m reporting him to scam alert.

  31. Londy said:

    Hai James

    I am 24 years. I met this guy after a long time single. I real loved the guy which we @ a distance of 660 Km. He would drive every month end to see me. I became pregnant and i had an early miscarriage about 7 weeks. Things changed a bit but after a week or so he tried to make it up to me. We were chatting someday and he told me he is not ready to get married. Lot of things were said because i was hurt and angry since i wad on a grieving process and he wad not there with me. After that i went on a cold attitude towards him even if he want to explain why he is telling me that. After 2 months, I felt increasing love for him. It was hard to get back to talk to him. I took a heart and started to sweet talk. He was cold too. I than found a job and moved in his town. We trying to make it up or i can say i am trying to make it work after we talked. The problem is that he is distancing himself even if i try to talk to him he is just cold. I asked him what should I do. He said I must take it easy. It is very hard to know he is around, i only see him after 2 weeks. If i dont call him / text him he will never. I went in his apartment when he asked me last week. I did washing, ironing, spring cleaned, everything was perfect as i normally do. He was happy. Because i am therapist, i normally spoil him with massage and cook a good meal. He appreciates it but i dont feel honoured by him. I need the way to make this happen. I love him so much. He said i respect him in a way that he feels he owns the world. Yes, it what i can offer ‘ respect’. I just quite to talk to him on social networks because it hurting seeing him online but not talking to me. If i start a conversation, he gives me a cold shoulder showing no interest.
    I don’t know what else i can do. Last night i told him i love him even if i dont say it more often. I said: i think am pushing it so hard in this relationship but i cant help it my heart is making me. And i went offline for good. I dont know if am doing the right thing or am pushing him too far. I feel good though not to be with him on social networks bcos i know he wont call and he wont text. I wont do it either. Win- win. Do i have to give up or hold on?

  32. I’ll be 77 next week and my lovely beau will be 71 two months later. I only met him after some online correspondence last December, but he fills my “list” as well as more intense intellectual topics that I did not even consider important in the past. Neither he, nor my prior lover of the past 30 years were ever violent (but my x-husband, deceased, WAS). I am only really happy having a man to love (and am always faithful) but sometimes they find it difficult to believe in my fidelity because of my passion. I’ll be baking a cake for my birthday and we will have meals celebrating it both tomorrow (Saturday) and my actual birthday on Tuesday. I’ve already planned his cake for his as well.

  33. Dawn said:

    I met a guy and we dated for three dates before I slept with him. He pushed hard and chased me the three dates until I gave in. On the dating site he said he was looking for a relationship – things were great. And after sleeping with him (I was a widow of 14 years and this was my first sexual experience after my husband’s death) and it was AWESOME and AMAZING – the pursuing stopped and he then told me he didn’t want to get bored, it wasn’t me, but he needed his freedom and needed to be spontaneous and he wasn’t looking for commitment just passionate fun … after sleeping together (which of course he calls making love!) I finally got my head wrapped around what he was saying and actions and stopped responding to the booty call requests. He then started texting me on a Monday asking if I had plans on a Friday, telling me he’d check his schedule and then I’d never hear from him until the next week, and repeat. After 3 weeks of not seeing him and him asking me but then hearing nothing from him I sent him a text telling him that while I love to play and that we play well together, I really did want a relationship and when he figured out what he wanted he should contact me and if I was still available we may be able to go out some time. He responded with “Date? No, that’s not what I’m looking for. We’re great making love together. I’m just so busy and have to see when I can fit it in.” And went back to texting me on a Monday asking if I was available on Friday … I responded via text “You know I want a relationship. Are you asking me for a date this weekend? Sorry – I’m busy. Try again.” and that pattern continued for another 3 weeks. I’ve now heard nothing from him for 3 weeks, he sent me a text yesterday (on a Tuesday) asking me if I’m free Friday. I responded “busy” and he sent me a text just now saying “you know we’re so good together. Can’t you fit me in Friday?” – UGHGHGH! In my heart and mind I know this needs to stop. Even if I responded with See You Friday I know he’d either cancel at the last minute or he wouldn’t contact me again until after Friday. I know I’m better than this. And deserve more than this. Does he just like the chase and when he sees he can have me then decides he’s done? Why can I not get him out of my head?

    • James Bauer said:

      Hi Dawn. You have done an excellent job of maintaining boundaries and expressing clearly what you need and want. Honestly, it seems to me that he might be using one of the (sick) systems some male dating coaches recommend for treating women badly so that they will work hard to win your love. You have set your boundaries, he’s heard them, so you can completely ignore any messages from him other than, “okay, I realized I’ve been treating you badly. I’m ready to grow up. I want a real relationship. Is it still possible for us?”

      Other than that, I would not waste anymore time with this man. He is not emotionally ready for you.

  34. Hee said:

    Actually my post may have given out too much detail. Any way to delete?

  35. NANA said:

    Hi James,

    I have been reading most of your articles and am glad you give practical advise.

    I have been in a relationship for 7 years and i now do have a 5 year old daughter with the man, when i met him first he never told me that he was married but later i found out when i had a baby already.
    He has been telling me that he will be divorced till today he hasnt and he still lives with his wife whom he says “he doesnt love anymore” yet they stay together. He moved to a different country and he went with her still lives her even though he claims to love me more.

    Recently i kept thinking about the whole situation and i think i need to move on with my life and be happy, he started asking me to marry him yet he is still married and i dont see any signs of him getting divorce. Pls advise.

    • James Bauer said:

      Hi Nana. It seems you want something very basic, a relationship and someone to enjoy life with. This man provides you with neither (other than the crumbs of a relationship he shared with you for a short time in the past). I am sorry your child does not have a father to invest in him/her but it seems you have nothing to lose by moving on and perhaps alerting this man of a very short time frame he has to change your mind if he is actually serious about creating a life with you.

      • NANA said:

        Thank you so much James,

        I am planning to alert him as soon as possible that i am moving on to a better life..

        At times we stick to a relationship hoping that someday something will change to the better and that one will get what they want in a relationship but most cases its not.

        Thanks once again.


  36. Jen said:

    I met this guy that I REALLY like. He’s been divorced twice and is last girlfriend was more than 3 years ago. He hadn’t dated anyone until he asked me out. He has told me is no rush for a relationship and we have a GREAT time together. He’s stuck in his routine and I only get to see him about once a week. Which I didn’t complain about. Well, I made a fool of myself and did the number wrong thing and got upset one night when he didn’t want me to stay and ended up sending him numerous texts that night telling him how upset I was Anyway, the next day I apologized repeatedly he told me he doesn’t like drama and that me having to keep harping on it is drama. That he knows I want to do faster than he does and that he knows he’s stubborn and set in his ways. I know he’s not dating anyone else and that I’m the only one that he hangs out with and stays over, I just don’t if I have ruined what could be a great relationship or if I’ve been wasting my time. Any thoughts?

  37. sue said:

    Hi James,
    Thanks for your articles being a newbie to this I loved them. My question is same as above 2 guests. I actually was in love with a guy who had just divorced from 6 mths of marriage and 6-7 yrs of relationship and wasn’t ready for new relationship. None of us were looking for relationship but fell into it as we shared the same house. He obviously liked me but wasn’t ready for a relationship as he told me that he liked me but wanted to take it slow as his life was in a mess. We both were very attracted to each other but he never wanted to hurt me so resisted himself. He did care for me while I was there, and I felt that there was some force drawing me to him but considering his situation I decided to move out of the house and eventually out of the country as I didn’t want to be into something uncertain. It’s been a few years now, I don’t think he went into any other relationship as he’s trying to get his career on track. I did try to contact him a couple of times but the communication from his side has been only upto the point obviously, as we are not in the same country anymore. It’s been a couple of years now and both of us are single (I assume he is from his profile , not sure though) but I’m not sure if he likes me like that as he never initiated any communication from his side after I left. What do you think of this ? Do you think I should try to contact him again or leave it or is there any hope for this ?

    • James Bauer said:

      Hi Sue. My first thought is that this would be an inconvenient relationship for both of you since you’re living in separate countries. It’s hard to see where things might go when you don’t really have the opportunity to interact much unless you take a huge risk and move closer to each other. At this point in the relationship, since there was only uncertainty before, I think you’d be better off seeking out one of the many eligible men who you have yet to discover within your own town or region.

      Is it possible to rekindle the flame long distance? Yes. But I advise that you don’t put all your eggs in that basket. Seek out other opportunities to meet eligible men while reciprocating to any kind of communication this guy reaches out to you with.


      • sue said:

        Thanks James appreciate your reply.Ive been meeting others but im not finding a connection yet.

  38. Adaku said:

    Hi James, I am a 38yr writing from Nigeria. I have never been in any relationship for the past 5 yrs and the ones I have been in previously seems I will always fall for men that will always leave me for some one else. Getting dates now at my age has become so difficult that the only interest I have is a colleague at work who is 5yrs younger and it’s in a relationship with a younger girl in another town. He receives her call in my presence, does everything to let me know she is the one….. I want to end it but can’t cos he is the only male acquaintance I have. I feel so lonely and messed up. What can I do…. Men leave for me someone else but I have never made anyone leave some one for me all my life. Don’t you think something is wrong with me

    • James Bauer said:

      I’m sure there is nothing wrong with you, Adaku. I understand the pool of available people begins to decline as you get older, but there are still men out there seeking a partner your age. I challenge you to spend at least 10 minutes trying to write a list. Write a list of places where the kind of man you might want to meet is likely to show up on a regular basis. Then think of excuses to show up in those places on a regular basis.

      Next, don’t put all your eggs in one basket. Spend time getting to know (and possibly casually dating) several men at a time. Some will leave. That’s perfectly normal. But you might find the right guy enjoys your company as much as you enjoy his.


      • Lorna (LaLa) said:

        I understand how you feel, Adaku. I have been divorced for 7 years after almost 40 years together – I am now 67 – but I still want to find that special person to share the rest of my life with, and have found it really hard. Loads of men come onto me, but I only want that special “one”. We all need to be loved, and you should not feel guilty about that – it is a very basic human NEED. However, we have to make a real effort to meet people – they will not materialize if we are sitting alone at home. It is difficult, as I know. I suggest you join lots of clubs. Clubs which have your interests at heart. Be it music, literature, dancing, exercise, sport, volunteering – whatever turns YOU on. It does not have to be expensive. As James says, try making a list – then be proactive and do something about it. Even if you do not find the man of your dreams – you will meet lots of interesting people, and maybe make lots of new girlfriends you can do other things with. Any sort of friendship/relationship is important to human beings. We are herd animals and crave being together. You sound like a really lovely person, I am sure you have lots to offer the world and your fellow human beings. By giving love, you WILL receive it back, too. Forget about NOT BEING loved. Just be a shining beacon – keep giving it out and it will surely return, in some form or another. This is the LAW OF ATTRACTION principle. I wish you luck and love, and send you a big hug and a kiss. Lorna x

  39. Pippa said:

    Hi James, hope you can help me. I am in love with a man who is 14 years younger than me and we had been seeing each other for over 3 years, although we neither of us wanted to commit when we first met as I had been through a difficult marriage and divorce and he had a problem with our age difference. But we had so much in common and our sex life was amazing. He has now met a girl who is 5 years younger than him and a fitness trainer. He made the time to come over and tell me that she was moving in with him because he wanted to tell me himself because of all we had meant to each other. We have since kept in touch daily by text and he has said it would be good to meet up and stay friends. Would love to know what to do to get back with him and wonder what advice you would give me. Pippa

  40. tara said:

    James, This is by far the best article I have read about relationships. And, trust me, I have read many!! In my opinion it cuts straight to the stuck point. i just ended a lovely and long relationship of convenience with a lovely man whose relationship goals/ abilities were too different than mine. Somewhere along the line I lost sight of my goals and allowed my needs to go unmet for the sake of the relationship. Next time I will “keep my eye on the prize” and keep my commitments to myself first, then his.
    Thank you for this ah ha moment!

    • James Bauer said:

      Hey Tara. I appreciate your encouraging remarks. It helps more than you realize when people like you go out of their way to give me feedback about what was helpful to them.


  41. Tanya said:

    Hello, really could use your advice. A few months ago my husband of 24 years started a flirting relationship with a much younger coworker including calls, texts and snapchats outside of working hours. Next I found he contacted a prostitute but he claimed he never met up with her. A few days later I checked his phone and he created a profile on a dating website. He apologized for everything and swore it would never happen again. He gave me his passwords and deleted the accts. I’m trying to believe him but I cannot get over it all. I just can’t. I’m not eating or sleeping and I’m seeing a therapist which is not helping. What do you think? Is this marriage salvageable?

    • James Bauer said:

      Tanya, I don’t want to sound flippant or ignore the pain and hardship you are facing right now. But here’s the truth as I see it.

      Anything is possible for two people who decide they want to create something beautiful again, even after missteps and wrong choices like these.

      So the real question is this. Does he genuinely want to lead this relationship back toward something you both want to be a part of? Don’t hold the responsibility on yourself. Instead, invite him to take that roll and consider explaining to him that you don’t have it in you to lead when you feel so hurt…so if he wants this to work he needs to show you what he’s got. (This is a way of activating his hero instinct).


      • Tanya said:

        Thank you for your thoughts James. I really appreciate it. Everyone is telling me to leave. It’s helpful to hear another opinion.

        • Lorna (LaLa) said:

          Dear Tanya, I really, really feel so much for your pain and anquish – I know how unbearable that heartbreak can be. It makes you feel sick to the very pit of your stomach. I used to howl like a wolf, trying to get the pain out, when going through the desolation of my divorce. However, I would absolutely say, “No” – do NOT act in haste, on this one. You WILL be feeling absolutely hellish and will NOT be in a good place, at the moment, to make a wise decision. Give yourself the time and space to come to terms with it. To carefully think it through. This is a very serious matter, if he has never done this before. You absolutely need to have all the facts. You need to understand WHY he did this in the first place. There must have been a reason. Maybe he is feeling insecure and vulnerable. It is not easy for men to grow older – their self-respect and macho image is so important to them. They begin to feel pushed-out at work by the younger guys, and doubt their ability to perform (in various ways!). I know my husband suffered terribly from this – and because we were unable to talk together, I didn’t help much. You need to address that, together. As James says – “dig into the dirt”. You need to MAKE HIM understand that he has to be absolutely open and honest with you, completely transparent, keeping no secrets, telling no lies, if you are to consider trying to get over the heartache and forgive him, and trust him again. I would say HE needs counselling, too – probably together with you is best – but he may feel he can open up better on his own. That should be a condition of you going forward and trying to get the marriage back on track. AND – DO NOT listen to people who say you should leave, unless YOU are convinced that that is what YOU want. Clearly – you do not believe in your heart that that is the solution – or else you would not be on this forum asking whether “this marriage is salvageable”. Take the time to really, really search your heart and soul as to what YOU think is the best plan. And don’t feel guilty about doing that. It is NOTHING to do with anyone else (except your husband, of course – and even then, it has to be what YOU want, first and foremost). But do not act in haste, please, and do not let him get away with it, either, until you feel absolutely at ease about it, and can honestly forgive him. It may take quite some time. Sweeping it under the carpet and pretending that you are OK with it will not work – it will come back to haunt you, and you will never feel at ease with him and trust him. Maybe the answer WILL be to leave and start afresh again, at some point – but that is a HUGE decision and will forever have repercussions – with the whole family. You don’t say whether you have children. It is not always an easy answer. Believe me, it causes ripples and ripples – and it affects even grown-up children, as with mine, causing endless heartache, and division of loyalty. So whatever decision you make needs careful thought. Read some of James’ old articles, they are very, very helpful. I wish you well, and hope it all works out for the best. Lorna

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