Ask a Guy: Am I Being Paranoid? post image

Ask a Guy: Am I Being Paranoid?


I have been with my boyfriend for 10 months and aside from a few ups and downs, we have a happy relationship. However, there is one unresolved issue which has caused a lot of fights. He has this close girl friend who he used to have a crush on, but then decided was better off as a friend after getting to know her. In the beginning of our relationship, he would talk a lot about her and how “cute” she is  but he stopped when he realized I was getting jealous.

Now the main problem. I was using his laptop and saw she had written to him on Skype and couldn’t help but check. Their previous conversation showed up with phrases like “love you” from her and “miss you so much” from him.  I was shocked but could not really say anything about it.

I know saying those kinds of things with friends isn’t such a big deal, but my boyfriend is not the kind of person who says I miss you easily. I know that I can get jealous easily which is why I wanted a second opinion.  Do I react? If so, what do I say? Will he not be able to trust me if I say something?


Well I mean…you already don’t trust him or you wouldn’t be digging into his private conversations…

The big issue here is that you’re focusing on reading signs to check the status of your relationship (how much does he care?, does he love me? Is he cheating on me?, etc.) rather than digging into where your head is at and looking at the overall picture.

The more important questions to ask are:

  • What is your relationship like?
  • Do you bring out the best in each other?
  • Do you even like who you are in this relationship right now (e.g. are you a paranoid mess chasing the relationship or do you love who you are right now?)

My point is that you can’t know whether or not his conversations with her are innocent or not. In that regard, you’ve opened Pandora’s box and violated the trust in your relationship all at once. Now, you don’t trust him and if you call him out, he won’t trust you.

It sounds to me like you already feel that your relationship is headed downhill. At this point, in the grand scheme of life and love, the best place to focus would be on you. Focus on loving yourself and your life, regardless of whether or not you’re with a man.

I say this because it sounds to me like you are drawing your sense of “wholeness” from the relationship and, for him, the well is running dry. You are unconsciously drawing so much out of the relationship that he is starting to seek fullness outside the relationship just so he can fill himself back up (after you sucking him dry…).

When you fill yourself up without using your relationship as a crutch to fill you up, then you come into the relationship “whole”. Instead of taking, you are giving. You are coming in full and filling up your relationship – you are filling him up.

But it all starts with you.

I promise you – if you fight him about this, it will begin a chain of events that will quickly guarantee the end of your relationship. On the other hand, if you fill yourself up with joy, self-love and fulfilling on your own, then it is likely that your relationship will dramatically improve.

I mention all that because you must come into a relationship whole, happy and fulfilled already if you want any chance to improve it and have him treat you as the priority.

Clearly this girl is giving him something of value or else she wouldn’t be in his life…

Oftentimes, we all have a tendency to fixate on the problems in our relationships and on our own unfulfilled desires and wants.  We want our relationship to fill them up… we even feel entitled to it!

But all to often, all the problem-fixation and desire to “get yours” from the relationship takes its toll.  You end up draining the guy and forgetting to fill him back up with whatever fills him with love.

The majority of men (myself included), feel full with love from your words: your encouragement to meet his goals and aspirations, your admiration of his strengths and talents and your reassurance and compliments in the areas where he is unsure of himself.

We might not show our appreciation on the service (since we don’t want to appear week and needy), but the majority of men are starving for this kind of verbal affirmation from their woman.

If his female “friend” is giving him this and you’re not, then it’s a guarantee he’ll keep going to her to get “filled up”… the energy that you’re putting into worrying would be better spent on “filling him up”.

Now… the majority of men also are “filled up” by receiving physical touch from you.  It doesn’t necessarily have to be sex (though sex is included here) – it includes anything from holding his hand to touching his shoulder when you lean over him to grab your keys.  Physical touch from their woman fills the majority of men with love.

But again, you must already be in a place of fulfillment, happiness and wholeness.  Not neediness – if you’re needy, your attempts to fill him with love will come off as desperate and manipulative, not genuine and loving.

The only way you can give love genuinely and freely is if you’re not starving for it yourself.  And the only way to not starve for love is to learn to love yourself and fill yourself up so you don’t NEED another person to do it.  When you can achieve that, then you have real power to improve your relationship.

Hope that helps,

eric charles

P.S. Want to finally understand what’s going on in his head and get the relationship you’ve always wanted? Click here to learn what most women would kill to discover about men.

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Lost

I have been reading your work for a few months, and finally have to write. My boyfriend and I have been together for almost 10 YEARS, and we have 3 children together. He is 20 years older than me almost to the day, and we both have some very damaging situations in our pasts. We had a very rocky start…I was 20 when we got together, just out of a very abusive relationship (emotionally, physically and sexually). He was 40, had only been out of prison for 6 months(I was told that his ex beat her own 22 month old son to death and he loved her, so he didn’t want her to get in trouble because she just needed help, so he said the boy fell down the basement stairs while he was asleep…that he accidentally left the door open.) While getting to know him, I believed the story, because I could not see him as the kind of person who would hurt a child, and he was definitely not the kind to be a snitch. My ex-husband(the abusive relationship I had just left) was in jail at the time, and when he got out, I made the mistake of going back to him. It was what I knew, what was safe to me because I knew what to expect, and he was very manipulative. After only 4 days, I knew I had made a HUGE mistake, since he was immediately back to the same bullshit, so I left for good. The new boyfriend took me back, but that’s when hell started. Immediately, I was expected to outline every second of everything that I did, I was cut off from everyone I had ever known(because he didn’t like the kind of people they were), and he said that I had to “prove to him that I wanted him, not anyone else”. Now here, I should state that when my ex-husband got locked up, I kinda went on a binge…I has the heaviest I had ever been up to that point, I had no self-esteem, and I was desperate to feel attractive and wanted…so I went from only having been with my ex to having slept with 6 other guys in 2 months time. No I’m not proud of it, and I regret it every day…but it’s the truth. That’s when I met the new guy (I’ll call him B for simplicity). So I had gone from my psycho controlling abusive ex to a guy 20 years older than me, telling me everything I wanted to hear and that everything I had been wanting in a relationship was exactly what he would give me…WRONG!! Arguments, fist fights, accusations…he ripped everything out of my pockets because I was 5 minutes late getting home from work(and had called him to tell him I had to fix the drawer since I was the assistant manager, and if I didn’t the missing money would come out of my check and cost me my job. I found it and fixed it, and headed home), he made me leave my dying mother alone in hospice, after my father had just died 15 days earlier, saying quote “Either you go in there, tell your mother bye and get that money, or I am leaving with our daughter and you will never see her again”. My mom died 4 days later, and I got the call while in a fight with B where he split my head open on a door frame because I “wouldn’t get out of his way”. Over the years he has calmed down somewhat, though he still calls me a lying cheating whore when he’s pissed, but in 2012 I found that he had a profile on a hookup site that he was trying to hide from me. I asked him about it, and he lied to me for what he said was the first time ever. I found the proof, called him on it, and he got all pissed off because I had invaded his privacy. He said that it was a bet between him and a guy at work (somewhat believable). Since then, he now has over 10 different accounts on hookup sites (though he can’t actually talk to any of the women on there since he doesn’t pay for any of them), he says he just likes to look and that I have no right to tell him what he can and can’t do. He says that it’s not cheating, because he’s not actually talking to any of them or meeting them, and that it makes him feel good when the women on there tell him he’s good looking (he has really low self-esteem too, and is very overweight in the belly, but very muscular everywhere else) because even after 10 years of putting up with his bullshit and doing everything that he asks, giving up everything and everyone in my life, NEVER having turned him down for sex, telling him how hot and sexy he is, I still haven’t “proved” to him that I want him(sexually, obviously). He says that if I really want him like I tell him I do, I would be trying to sleep with him every possible waking moment that I can and that since I don’t, I’m lying to him…yet he doesn’t act like that in return. He also doesn’t trust me at all, still, and says that he won’t marry me until he does…that we don’t need a piece of paper from the state to tell us that we are allowed to live as man and wife, since we have been living as such for 10 years and were common law marriage still allowed in our state, we would have been legally married 3 years ago anyway. There are so many signs of him actually cheating on me it’s ridiculous, but no actual definitive proof besides this wrenching pain in my gut that won’t go away…and now I have 3 kids with him, no job, no drivers license, no family, no friends, and nowhere to go…I still love him ( for reasons unknown to me), and am so broken down that I feel like I have no right to even be writing this to you…like I’m a horrible person for even considering leaving him…any advice or ideas? Anyone? Please help me…I’ve been trying to figure this out on my own for 10 years, and haven’t figured it yet, so it’s time to ask for help!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Reply February 11, 2017, 11:29 am

Alexis

I had this male best friend for a couple of years now. Being in the same campus made us get closer. There was this time me and my boyfriend were not in good terms for like a month and during this time we became even closer. After I got back with my boyfriend he started drifting from me(mind you even when I met him I had a boyfriend). He was all weird and started hanging out with another girl instead. This caught me offguard so I asked him why he is acting up. He said that he is almost dating the girl. I was genuinely happy for him because i always wanted him to date. My problem comes in here, we rarely talk nowadays and if we do I feel this distance between us. He no longer tells me about his life.. i’ve been learning it from others.. I need to know what is wrong

Reply April 8, 2016, 12:04 pm

somonesgirl

my boyfriend work’s out of town when i called it sound like he was kissing some one what do i do i’m crazy

Reply June 7, 2012, 11:04 am

Jazzy Jay

Why don’t you just ask him? I read somewhere that if your intuition/heart/gut tells you something is wrong…TRUST IT! YOU DON’T NEED PROOF. Investigate, weigh his response and/or answer and take it from there. But if you don’t trust him, don’t stay with him, you’ll be compromising your own self-trust and self-confidence…believe me, I am speaking from experience.

Reply June 9, 2012, 9:39 pm

christine

love

Reply June 7, 2012, 10:34 am

christine

my boyfriend work’s out of town when i called it sound like he was kissing some one what do i do

Reply June 6, 2012, 5:59 pm

idk

Well my boyfriend and I have been dating for about 15 months now and we fight here and there because i’m a cancer so I’m constantly emotional wheather I choose to be or not. And he always understands but often thinks i’m too emotional. But today I found out he did stuff with another girl months ago. We were fighting before he left to go out of town and he says he was done with the relationship but we never officially broken up. He also says that she gave him attention that he wanted from me instead of fighting. So he hung out with her when he came back and he said it just happened. Another time I broke up with him for being really clingy and I hung out with another boy and he kissed me but I felt guilty for it, though it was months ago. Should I break up with him over this? When he saw it as us not being together? Or should I give him another try?

Reply May 9, 2012, 2:42 pm

Jazzy Jay

Qualify the man before you give your heart to him! Take time to get to know him before you give yourself to him! Don’t be desperate, he can sense desperation and will use you if he is a user or leave you alone as desperation is a turnoff! Let him know by your actions that have other “Options”, even if you don’t. Have your own life! My opinion: The heart of a woman is directly attached to her sexual organs! Most women will not sleep with a man who she does not like, is not attracted to and doesn’t want to be in a relationship with! If you really want to be in a relationship and a good, healthy one, know yourself and want you want BEFORE YOU COMMITT TO HIM IN ANYWAY! Have a list of healthy “Non-negotiables” and stick to that list!!! None of this will work if you can’t exercise Self-Control!!! Guard Your Heart Ladies, Guard Your Heart!!!

Reply April 24, 2012, 10:04 pm

Ais

Agree with everything you just said. Definately get to know him before you give your heart. So true

Reply May 7, 2012, 2:50 pm

Strong

Jazy Jay this is so true. I’m working on it myself. People change.

Reply May 13, 2012, 12:37 am

Jazzy Jay

Strong, I am reading the book “Why Men Love Bitches” by Sherry Argov. Fantastic read! So far, (I’m not finished yet), I realize that life and people are not fair, Period. Men do not think like women. Where a woman would not take your kindness for weakness, a man will. My suggestion while reading this book, “eat the meat and spit out the bone.”

Reply May 14, 2012, 2:22 am

Strong

Its so unfortunate how wicked a man’s heart can be. But that is reality and who they are. My ex-man used to tell me I’m too kind but took everything from me as long as Im giving. He also told me Ive done too much. All signs that he knows he is not worth and deserving of me but I continue to give until I practically lost my soul. So your advice is great. No one deserves all of you until he has proven himself worthy.
Thank God I had the courage to break it off even with my fragile heart. Its a learning experience and deep down we need to go through these things to understand and value our worth.

Reply May 16, 2012, 12:52 am

Jazzy Jay

Strong, please read the book “Why Men Love Bitches”. The title is kind of off-putting but it is extremely helpful. What I gained from the book is that men aren’t necessarily wicked but they take what they can from you if you give it (ok, that is wicked and is a sign of a lack of integrity, but all men don’t do that). A woman has to know when to give and how to give. If you are too giving men will not respect you and will take you for granted but, female friends and family do the exact same if you let them. Believe it or not there are adult bullies (men and women) if you don’t stand up to a bully he (or she) will continue to jack your lunch, steal your money or maybe beat you up just becasue they had a bad day. Once you stand up to a bully he (or she) will either leave you alone or want to become your friend. (I’ve actually had this occur in my childhood). I have a female friend who asked for my help with somthing and when I gave it to her she condicendingly brushed it off and dismissed my help. I was angry but didn’t say anything (my mistake). Then she went on to say what a good friend I am for letting her act-out without getting upset! So, what I got from that was she knew she was wrong but instead of apologizing for her bad behavior she “compliments me” on being such a good friend and taking her mess. And because I didn’t call her on it, I can assure you that she will do it again (she won’t get away with it, but she will try). So, this is just how people are. If we are women who are secure within ourselves it won’t matter what kind of man comes our way, we will instinctively know how to handle ourselves and them, so that we won’t get bamboozled. Read, Read, Read not just “Why Men Love Bitches” but every respectable relationship book you can. It will help you more than you know! I can give you some recommendations if you like, just ask

May 17, 2012, 12:36 am

chase

eric,
sorry but i find your answer a bit subjective. if we try to examine the situation of the writer, basically their relationship was smooth and being valued not until the girl saw signs of cheating. saying i love you to someone means a lot to us. so why do we have to tell this words to someone if they don’t happen to be a special person in our life. we’re humans and we cannot act blurred after seeing this. if we truly value our relationship, we don’t do nasty things like this. if the girl in the situation did something wrong or she cant give the guy is needing then i can understand your point of asking another woman to fill up the missing affection. GUYS DOES’NT HAVE CONTENTMENT AT ALL…

Reply April 18, 2012, 2:33 am

strong

Eric, I gasped at the read “this girl is giving him something of value thats why he keeps going to her”. I’m in the same situation as the writer. I never planned to snoop nor distrusted my man. I simply ran into his fb inbox thinking it was mine. And my world nearly shattered at the things I saw. I confronted him nicely since it was still the beginning of our relationship but he lied. He promised to work on getting rid of the women even though he thought since he wasn’t having sex with them it was ok.
the course of the almost 2yrs relationship I will snoop everynow and then to get confirmation for my curiosity that he had stopped. I stayed because I did see him gradually cut off every woman except one young girl. I wondered what she offered him to continue to emotionally cheat on me with het because all she does is whine, weep and accuse him of lying and then she will end it and come back begging him and professing her undying love to him occasionally. How does this seem like something of value.
I was fulfilled and very confidence. I am very involved in my community, works out a lot and hang out with friends so I know I’m not needy at all.
The Passion in the relationship gradually begin to fade away but the sex got better. I started to feel that that was where my relationship was heading. He was only enjoying my company and sex. So i broke up with him few weeks ago. I snooped one last time and noticed he has started contacting the young girl and other ones he stopped talking to 3 days after breakup.
I’m hurt wondering if he even cares. He could have put in more effort to make this work but but he didn’t. This is because he had options. So Eric you may want to advice het hopeful soul to not try to look for a solution. There is none. They dont change especially if they know you allowed that kind of behavior to carry on for a while. Move on.
My family and friends told me he will come back. Deep down I hope if he does, he proves himself this time on my terms if he wants me badly. If not I’m not sweating it, I’m enjoying life. Another life lesson under my best. Get to know a person well before committing or giving your heart away. I wish I wasn’t blinded by love so easily. I would have detected this earlier on and took the high road before it got to this point.

Reply April 17, 2012, 11:43 am

angela

i am a little confused my story i guess is a bit confusing and all and well i really dont know what to do any more i am almost at my wits end in it all so i will start at the beginning and well i just need answers i dont know why he does half the things he does i met him when i was 21 we dated for 4 months and he broke up with me saying and lieing to me telling me he didnt love me when he actually did but because i believed him i moved on i got married had three kids and moved on with life i loved him so much it hurt that i couldnt believe he would say that to me i really didnt ever get over him then its been 15 yrs now and three years ago he came back in to my life told me he lied and said he always loved me and never stopped the thing was he told me all this when i was in a very bad place in my marrieage my husband basically emotionally abandoned me and i felt very alone needless to say i had a affair and slept with this ex things were good in the begining while we were having the affair lol we had some issues such as lieing to each other and doing really mean things to each other he even wanted to see once if i was cheating on him so he made this huge plan to create a fake profile on face book and made this guy look like some guy i hung out with when i was 21 any ways i chatted for a bit with this fake guy and maybe flirted and well when i found out it was him i was furious any ways that is the kind of man he is cause he likes to always be right no matter how much it may hurt me or any one else. any ways last aug my divorce was finalized and i have been dealing with the emotion of grieving a 13 yr marriage as i have known my ex for 24 yrs and have been best friends and well the guy i had the affair with thinkgs in 8 months i should be over him but I am not i wish he could understnad he wants so badly to be in a relationship but i am not ready at least for a serious relationship and really i dont think i can trust him he always plays games with me and can get very emotionally abusive with his words. he wants me to commit to him now and i cant cause of all his games then last week his ex contacted him and wanted to talk in private and he told me if i was around he didnt want me any where around him and her and i started wondering what he was hiding he also has many friends that are women whom he likes to help when they are in a crisis he says i will come first but i dont believe him he also is a extremist when i say i just need a friend he cuts off all emotion and even removes me from his face book but then in the next sentance says if you need me i am here he wants me to feel secure with him but i cant when he is like this Please help me any advice would be greatly appreciated also because of his behaviour my ex who listens to every thing i say and is very compassionate to me and very loving and i find my self thinking maybe i can work it out with him but i also can not trust him completely as well lol i am a total mess here and really dont know where to turn and if i work it out with my ex i know i have to let this other man go i guess where it gets a bit hard you see him and i see each other as twin souls we both feel this amazing conection spirituall and he knows when i am hurting and vice versa i just dont know what to do i feel like I am going insane cause i feel so stunted and stalled PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE HELP ME ANY ADVICE PLEASE

Reply April 16, 2012, 9:57 pm

Nina

girl… no punctuation makes your text just impossible to read… 🙁

Reply April 16, 2012, 10:32 pm

Rachelle

Hi Eric,
I’ve really been enjoying your articles! You have a good head on your shoulders and your advice usually sounds good to me. I have been back on the dating scene (after 14 years) for about a year now. I blew it with the first guy I dated, but you live and you learn, right? One of the things I have figured out is that 1) women definitely need to find some way to believe that they are beautiful, desirable, and WORTHY of a man who is everything that they want. Often times we tend to ‘settle’ for what we think we deserve. Neediness in a woman always stems from a lack of confidence. Ladies, find your confidence! 2) There are men who are naturally more sensual and will let a woman explore their bodies, and Eric you are right, some men are just regimented in the way they like to have sex. It’s a good idea to talk about your likes and dislikes going into a sexual relationship. If a woman is highly sensual and aroused by things other than the act of penetration, she’s not going to be satisfied for long with a regimented lover. Going back to the primary issue here, if this woman is lacking trust in her boyfriend, she should ask herself why would he want anyone else, and also, if he is incapable of being trustworthy, why would she want him??

Reply April 10, 2012, 7:52 pm

Diane Shirley

Totally agree with your (always and consistent) advice to fill up your own cup first and not try to get your thirst quenched at someone else’s.

However, once this woman does that, after a period of time, she needs to tell her boyfriend she is uncomfortable with his close friendship with a female friend and former crush. He’s very likely reacting to her neediness, yes, but he’s a jerk for having an emotional affair.

Reply April 10, 2012, 3:46 pm

Eric Charles

True.
.
But she’s choosing to stay with him regardless of it…
.
If it’s truly unacceptable to her, then she would do best to stack up her options for if he does not want to change.
.
It’s fine if she wants to confront him on it… not fine if she is unwilling to leave.

Reply April 10, 2012, 4:08 pm

Danny

What baffles me is that the girl is supposed to come full to the relationship so she can fill the guy, but the guy gets ‘sucked dry’ if she wants the same back. Truth is relationships are a two-way thing.

Reply January 12, 2017, 9:45 am

Eric Charles

Well I’ll give you the clean, clear explanation on paper, then I’ll talk about how things typically play out in real life.

The idea is that your mood (whether you’re a man or woman) is not derived by the actions of other people, but rather, you see your mood as something you generate in how you live your life.

Most people have the belief that your mood is caused by other people and therefore they are at the mercy of other people. So they seek out someone to make them happy.

What I’m saying is that you have the belief that your mood is caused by how you engage with life and that there’s a way to live where you *bring* your good mood to situations… versus looking to situations (and people) to make you happy.

When you understand that your mood is ultimately under your control, you don’t have the expectation that the other person is responsible for it. You take responsibility for your mood and don’t burden your partner with the impossible task of “making you happy”.

Now for the people that understand this, they absolutely would do well to seek out a partner who understands this as well. So this is not some expectation I’m putting on women or just one partner in a relationship. Understanding that you are ultimately responsible for your emotions, actions and reactions is just a truth of life… to not realize this leads to dysfunction, so having a partner that does realize this truth makes life much easier.

To address the second half of your question, how does a guy get “sucked dry” if she wants the same back… well, that would imply I was saying that if a woman wants a man to “show up full” to the relationship that would somehow suck him dry. That makes no sense and is not what I was saying.

What I was saying was that if a person (male or female) has the belief that it’s the other person’s job to “make them” happy, then any time the partner fails to “make them” happy they’ll feel justified in blaming, attacking, sulking, complaining or shaming their partner for failing to make them happy… after all, I mean… it’s their job to “make them” happy, right?

That’s not a fun energy to be around and it all stems from one basic misunderstanding – it’s not your partners job to “make you” happy… and I don’t say this as some ideological approach to relationships… I say it because it’s not possible!

It’s not possible to ultimately “make” someone feel or do anything… that is ultimately only under the control of the individual. And we save ourselves from a tremendous amount of suffering when we realize that our happiness and well-being is 100% our responsibility.

Now, this understanding is important and powerful to have in relationships… it helps a lot to keep the tone of the relationship positive and in the spirit of being on each other’s sides.

However, none of us are perfect and there are times where we lose sight that ultimately our mood is our responsibility… sometimes we’re in a bad mood and we get nasty… or we’re unpleasant to be around…

When you have a long track record of being in a good mood and then you have a bad moment… or a bad few hours… or a bad day… then it’s easy for your partner to forgive you. After all, it’s not normal for you to be upset and when you are, you work it out yourself… you don’t expect your partner to “make you” happy and thus burden you with something that isn’t possible (no matter how much you love them)…

So yes, just like you said, relationships are a two-way thing… but when the amount of bad (being attacked, being blamed, being ridiculed, being shamed, being burdened with a partner’s unending sour mood) outweighs the good (good, happy, fun times where you are each other’s sanctuary), then that’s when a partner gets sucked dry.

Hope that clarifies it.

Reply January 12, 2017, 12:01 pm

Kora

It sounds like you’re setting up an argument that this guy is cheating (let’s say for argument’s sake that he is) because the girl isn’t being nice enough to him. If only she would give him more compliments and more sex, he wouldn’t “have” to turn to other women.

Yikes.

I agree with your basic point: that – to paraphrase Alanis Morrisette – one and one make two. You can’t have two half-people in a functional relationship. Perhaps if someone is seeking reassurance then they are missing confidence or a feeling of security, and clearly if they’re writing to a fashion website for advice then this is probably a girl who feels she’s run out of other solutions. So I get the point of suggesting a boost of self-confidence and I really do like your point about evaluating who she is within the relationship. It sounds like trust is a huge, huge issue between this pair.

But please don’t blame the girl here as though the *only* reason someone would want to cheat is that she’s just not being a good enough girlfriend. Some guys (and girls) are simply not trustWORTHY, and no amount of compliments or sex will make up for that.

Reply April 10, 2012, 1:18 pm

Eric Charles

I agree with your points…
.
It’s never that I believe that any relationship problem is “all the girl’s fault”. The fact is: the only person in the relationship that she has control over is herself.
.
Maybe the guy isn’t trustworthy… period. Maybe he’s a complete lost cause.
.
Even if that’s the case, she doesn’t want to hear that. She’s looking for something that could save the relationship – something that she can control.
.
So that’s what I give her – that’s what she wants. Telling her “maybe he’s just not trustworthy, dump him” is only going to make her sigh in exasperation and continue searching the internet for solutions she can actually use.
.
In short – it’s not that it’s her fault… it’s that she wants a SOLUTION, not some flat-footed “he’s not that into you” type of response.

Reply April 10, 2012, 2:22 pm

Lindsay

I think the point us women may be missing here, is that we are looking at the situation from a feminine point of view, Erics perspective is the male perspective, the point of his posts are simply to give the male perspective whether or not we agree or want to hear it, some thing are true whether we agree with them or not…some men are dawgs, and even nice men can be dawgs sometimes, we think differently than men, if Eric gives it to us straight its not always gonna be what we wanna hear but if your willing to accept the possibility that he’s right it may be beneficial to getting what you want, afterall that IS why you are reading and posting on this website…just wanted to shed some light on the issue, i have read some stuff on here eric has said that i disagree with and got mad at! but then i thought, hes a guy, im not, its likely his thinking is more along the lines of my man than me as a woman would know…in regards to the original post from the girl, in my opinion from everything i read, men are far more simple to understand than women, i think that is why we don;t understand them! because we over analyze when its not necessary! for instance, the fact that that guy is talking to that girl while in a relationship, saying he misses her etc, what other reason could it be other than she is giving him something the other one isn’t? it makes perfect sense if u uncomplicate it, logically, what do people do when they aren;t getting everything they need from one person or thing? they find a way to get it…some men cheat to do this, others drink, etc, it doesn’t make it right, it doesn’t mean we can’t get mad about it, but the fact remains that the reason why its happening is because he is missing something he feels he isnt getting from you, it sucks and its not easy to hear but in reality its probably whats up, you dont have to stick around for it, or put up with it, that decision is all on you. that wasn’t meant to be harsh, just be mindful of the entire picture, i myself usually forget that u need to consider both sides to get full perspective… 🙂

Reply April 19, 2012, 2:19 am

Eric Charles

Thanks Lindsay, good comment.
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You’re right… I’m a guy and I give a guy’s point of view without apology.
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I do want to point out a couple things though:
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First, anything I’ve written is always with the intention to help. When I write to the audience, I say to myself, “If my little sister were in this kind of position and she needed good honest dating advice, what would I want someone to tell her?”
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I extend the same love and consideration to this audience as I would to my own family and most beloved friends.
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Second, I’ve been a dating coach for over ten years. I work professionally with men and women every day. I read material in this field daily. I eat, sleep and breathe dating advice.
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So while I do my best to explain things in simple terms and keep my writing conversational, I do have a little bit of experience with getting people the results they want.
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But the pathway to getting to where you want to be means that you have to change. Change the way you’re looking at things. Change the way you think and do things. After all – if you had it all figured out, why wouldn’t you be getting exactly the results you want?
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Anyway, it’s all good and I appreciate your comment. Thank you.

Reply April 19, 2012, 10:14 am

Strong

I don’t think it’s fair to say that a man acting this way is doing this because he is not getting from his girlfriend. How did he know he will not get it from his girlfriend without trying or putting in effort to ask for what he needs to feel good in his relationship rather than looking elsewhere? It is wrong and no one should make the writer feel this way.
The guy is doing what he is doing because he made the choice to do so. He has past history with the lady crush and is still pursuing her for whatever reason which is probably to fill up his efo nothing more nothing less. If his behavior is intolerable, I think she should go ahead and confront him about it without sounding like she snooped on him. If she can handle it, then she can do what Eric adviced which is to starting living life and been fulfilled. It all depends on how long she is willing to wait for a change in this man’s behavior.
If a man is unhappy, he should address the core of his unhappiness and help the woman to work on the issue if he truly loves her and want it to work period. It is true that the issue of this other girl probably sucked the energy out of him so dry that he just resorted to acquiring that missing passion from the crush. However it is not fiar to say that she is not giving him what he wants because I am sure she was doing all this when they met until he started doing things to break the trust in the relationship. Why should a man expect happiness and peace of mind from his partner if he is not doing right by her.
I am tired of this whole condoning men bad behavior. Get out of this type of relationship and start living your life again. The one who will treat you right will seek you and try their best not to gurt you like this one. Good luck if you decide to stay because you are only making him to realize that although you have options, the fear of losing him is what is keeping you around to accept bad bahavior. Move on!

April 20, 2012, 1:00 am

Leathie Yeaman

I completly agree. I am in a “relationship” right now, with one partner who gives me everything I need sexually, and one who gives me everything I need emotionaly. Things have gotten so completly twisted and tied together that problems have started to arize. So I (being in the man’s position in this article) was forced to choose. I did not intend to let go of either one, but when I was called out on it, I decided I needed to make a choice. The one that I choose was the one who called me out on it. My point being is we are in a healthy, fulfiling relationship because I got what I needed, albeit from two different men. But while I did not understand what I was doing was wrong, simply becuase I was happy at the time, I am now able to look back at this situation I put myself in, and choose the one who called me out on it, becuase he was uncomfortable with sharing me and helped me to see what I was doing was wrong. The partner who gave me what I needed emotionaly KNEW about the partner who gave me what I needed sexualy, and was okay with it. Once again, looking back, I see that this was also wrong. If he finds it okay, and he knows that I loved him, who was fulfilling his needs sexualy? Not me. It was a very unhealthy relationship because I could only give him half of what he needed. And he was fine with it. In closing, I ended it with the partner who gave me what I wanted emotionaly, and choose the one who now gives me everything I need, becuase I am able to focus my physical and emotional needs and wants on him. And we have never been better. Going through this I did not want to hear “he’s being mean, he doesnt understand you, drop him” (which I did quite a few times) but all I needed to hear was “I am not comfortable with your relationship with ****. So Im going to give you two options, choose me and leave him, or choose him and leave me.” This was not said desperatly, but rather forcefully, so the point was made that it was my decision, but also that i was in control of my future still. What you need to do, is the same thing. Give him the options so the point gets across, but also so that he feels in control of his future.

Reply June 5, 2012, 12:53 pm

Nina

Eric, your articles have really helped me a lot to understand different things about myself and men. I was never the jealous control freak type of girl, but reading your texts made me realize that I’m indeed on the right path.

I would like to suggest an article about the conflicts of taking the initiative to spice up a relationship with a guy. I am myself in a very good relationship for about one year, and when I finally tried to bring up even more fun to our lives with oils for massage and chocolate ink pen, I ended up hearing an offensive bad joke of “how whorish” I was.

While I’m dealing with my guy patiently and explaining to him why I got offended, I’ve started to wonder if all those magazines and books saying that women should be creative are just giving out bad advice. Are men really prepared to understand women’s new quest for satisfaction without misjudgment or hidden sexism? Why so many men complain that women should surprise them but at the same time get uncomfortable when it happens?

Reply April 10, 2012, 12:57 am

Eric Charles

Hey Nina,
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Thanks, first off – I am glad to hear that you like my articles and that they’ve been helpful to you.
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Second, let’s talk about “spicing things up”…
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Personally, when I read that about the massage oils and the chocolate pens, it raised an eyebrow.
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Magazines will ALWAYS try to get you to buy crap from them with promises that it will attract men, keep men, get men more interested in you, etc.
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They are PAID to place those statements…
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No product is going to “spice up” your relationship. Your own passion, sensuality and attractiveness will.
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I knew a guy who was beside himself. He had been dating his girl for a little over a year and over the course of their dating, she stopped working out, stopped taking much care of her physical appearance, started eating crap food constantly, etc. He would try, as politely and lovingly as possible, to encourage her to get into shape and eating healthy and she actually responded, “What does it matter? You love me!”
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Anyway, their sex life started going into rapid decline. And because she was reading women’s magazines, she thought that they needed to get some kind of toy or contraption to spice up their intimacy.
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The declining intimacy wasn’t because they needed products – it was because she stopped taking care of the one product he was attracted to: HER.
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I always hate talking about a woman’s physical appearance and how it sexually attracts, but sugarcoating that fact does nobody favors.
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But on top of having a hot body and face (or at least… hot makeup), the other side is your passion and engagement during intimacy. Women who moan with pleasure and receive actual pleasure from sex are far better partners than women who just lay there.
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Are you present during the experience? Are you able to let go and enjoy every minute of intimacy, or does it feel more like a chore to you?
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Men want to be with women who enjoy sex with them and who they feel enjoy pleasing them as well.
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Personally, I find chocolate syrup, whip cream and anything else in the bed “messy” and gross – I don’t like feeling sticky. I like good sex…
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Massages are great, but I don’t need them to be turned on… I’m a guy, I don’t need foreplay. I like good sex…
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When it comes to sex, guys want a hot woman who is passionately engaged in the sex. Never needs to be more complex than that.

Reply April 10, 2012, 11:28 am

Eric Charles

There’s another side of this too…
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Guys need to feel like winners at life. If your guy feels like a loser at life, is under tremendous stress or is generally unhappy about something important to him… then no amount of hotness and passion will dig him out of that hole.
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For many men, they shut down when they feel like they’re “losing” at life. Their sole focus becomes figuring out how to get out of the hole and start winning again.
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When women see the declining sex, they often blame themselves… but it might have nothing to do with you and everything to do with his dissatisfaction with himself. If that’s the case, the best thing you can do is give him space and if he comes to you with explaining his feelings, just quietly listen and make sure he feels understood by you. Being able to do that will have far more potency than spicing up the bedroom activities (IF that was the problem…)

Reply April 10, 2012, 12:03 pm

Nina

Eric,

I agree with you when you say that a girl must take care of herself, however I would like to add that she must do it for her own self-esteem. I learned from my Mom how important it is to be clean, eat healthy, control my weight, dress properly, take care of my skin, hair, manicure, pedicure, and look very feminine. However I do it for myself, because I do like to look in the mirror and feel happy. Men come and go, but my body is just one. I also think that regular check-ups with doctors are necessary. So, I might be no Angelina Jolie but I do see in his eyes that he is pleased. In the case of your friend’s girlfriend, I would risk to say that the issue with her could be way deeper than knowing that he loves her and more about being depressed with something in her life that she isn’t even aware. No woman likes to be a slob.

Sexually, we are very active and by his smile and the way he looks at me, I believe he is happy. On the other hand, I disagree when you say men don’t need foreplay. Our bodies are made to be discovered and to discover the other’s body. I do my best to enjoy it, be active and feel the intensity. More than once I heard from partners that they didn’t know they could feel so much pleasure without necessarily have intercourse. Men are so focused on their own performance and on the responsibility of satisfying a woman that sometimes they forget it’s ok to receive pleasure too.

It’s true when you say that he is going through difficult times. I’m a good listener and I do my best to never invade his space or begin my sentences with the unfortunate “you should do…” Instead, I just tell him my opinion when he asks for it, showing him his options and letting him decide what’s the best solution for himself. He always say how glad he is that I’m in his life and how amazed he is to admit that I actually calm him down. I never patronize him or take our relationship for granted. The truth is: it’s just impossible to stop someone to cheat on you, so the option is to truly trust your partner. As much you try to control the possibility of being cheated, more are the chances to see it happening. Instead of putting my efforts to snoop in his life or waste my energy trying to know what he’s doing when I’m not around, I rather keep my mind on how to make our relationship even better. That’s why I though on the sex toys.

But what really bothered me was not the fact he didn’t like the idea. I was really worried when I saw the relation he made between sex toys and promiscuity. All of a sudden something so simple like a tiny bottle of oil for massage turned my behavior into indecent. Most of women will never accept to be called “whorish”, it’s horrible and offensive, even though I know for sure that he’s intentions were never to hurt me. So, what’s a “whorish” behavior in a man’s eye? Where is the thin line that separates a woman trying to enjoy sex and a prostitute?

Reply April 10, 2012, 4:29 pm

Eric Charles

First off, I am the complete opposite of this guy. He sounds like he sucks in bed…
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But because I want to help you, I think the fact is that he might have some serious hangups about sex for some reason (maybe his upbringing, strict religion, personal embarrassment).
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The only reason a man would want to shut a woman down sexually is because it makes HIM uncomfortable.
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I was sad when I read that you wanted to know what a man would consider “whorish”.
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Most men applaud and welcome sexual interest from their woman. I don’t know any straight man who wouldn’t unless he had some severe issue with sex himself (he’s embarrassed by it, he’s afraid of it, his religion told him sex is bad, etc.)
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If you love sex (and it’s natural that you would), then it sounds like this guy is not a great sexual match for you.
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Sorry to sound a bit flippant about it, but for a guy to talk like that means that there’s something deep in his psyche that wants to repel sex.
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On the other hand, if he was trying to be funny and just ended up being offensive, then maybe it’s just a misunderstanding.
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And maybe he’s just not into toys and tools for sex – maybe he just likes good old fashioned sex without doo-dads that magazines coerce you into buying.

Reply April 10, 2012, 5:28 pm

Moira

Profound! Thank you Eric, 🙂

Reply April 7, 2012, 2:25 pm

Eric Charles

Thanks for the compliment. I’m flattered – glad you liked it.

Reply April 7, 2012, 3:19 pm

Ms Peril

Eric, I just wanted to say thank you so much for writing as you do. Though I’m not in the exact same situation as the lady you’re advising here, I realise that I often tend to be paranoid from reading too much into those little “signs”, instead of looking at the overall picture of a relationship. I’d feel silly thinking ridiculous (and usually negative) thoughts about my relationship. I know it’s just in my head but I’d be unable to see beyond those thoughts. It’s been paralysing me for years! Reading what you wrote here gave me so much clarity! You cannot imagine how much you have helped! Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Reply April 6, 2012, 5:04 pm

Eric Charles

Well, I certainly didn’t soften my response… but it’s not out of a desire to be harsh or accusatory…
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Just wanted to cut straight to the point. In all my years of dating, I have never just stumbled on a private Skype history… it doesn’t happen.
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She may not have all-out intended to snoop from the get-go, but there was some point along the line where she made a tiny decision in her mind to look at the chat history.
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And I’m not a mind reader, so I can never know for sure… but I’ve been a dating coach for 10 years professionally, so I have good instincts for this sort of thing.
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People don’t find me and write to me when their relationship is a glowing example of perfection. They write to me in crisis – they find me when their worries are gnawing away at them inside and they need a clearheaded answer to calm them down.
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When people are in that state, it has a pretty typical pattern and progression. So again, I can’t read minds, but I’ve seen this play out thousands of times…
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It’s not about accusing… what benefit would that be to anyone? My goal is to help the people who need help by showing them where they might be going wrong and how to fix it.
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If you yourself aren’t having this as a problem, I could see how you can stand back and judge what I’m saying like a literature critique. But I’m not writing this to be pleasant, polite, politically correct, etc. I’m writing it to bail a person out of their desperate mind state and back into a place of control and clarity.
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Hope that clarifies where I’m coming from here.

Reply April 6, 2012, 2:13 pm

Lexi

Eric, I think you’re being quite harsh. How do you know that she was digging for this info? She was using his computer for something and happened to stumble upon the Skype conversation that was left up. And how do you know she sucks the relationship dry? How do you know she doesn’t fill him with love by verbal reassurance and physical touch? For all we know she could be a great girlfriend. You sound very accusatory.

Reply April 6, 2012, 7:07 am

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