With the Internet, I have made a good friend and lover. I'm in Chicago, soon to move to Michigan with my job, and he is in Kansas. I've known him through e-mail for two years. I visited him last Sept. He came up here the 4th of July for 6 days. He's retired. We enjoy each other's company and then some, but when I told him I loved him, he said he didn't. Feelings changed. How can I make his feelings change? -- Maryann
Dear Maryann, I am sorry to say this, but you can not make his feelings change. Feelings do sometimes change, but are not changed on purpose. My coaching to you is to let this go as a romantic possibility-- it sounds like this attachment is preventing you from meeting someone in realtime and forming a much more satisfying relationship.
I enjoy your newsletter very much and have a question. A few months ago, I broke up with my fiancée of two years. It was very painful for me, but I am much better now. The problem is that we live in a small community of around 25,000, so sometimes I do see him around town. He is very rude to me and unfriendly. I get the feeling that he wished I would move somewhere else, but I love living here, and will not and can not move for his convenience. How can I handle running into him when he is so rude? It would be so much better if he was at least civil. Thanks, Amber
Dear Amber, there are three solutions to this problem. One: Speak to him in private about the hostility between the two of you, and find out what it would take to resolve it. Two: What does he think you did to him to create so much anger in him? If you can
figure that out and genuinely apologize for your part, you may be able to stop the hostility. Three: Let go of your anger towards him. That way, even if he is acting out around you, it will not bother
you as much. When he stops getting the reaction from you that he is looking for, he will stop acting out.
Dear Coach, I am a 29 year old single female, with no real relationships going on so far in my life. I have always been afraid of commitments and the fact that if I trust someone, they could betray me as my father had done to my mother when I was small. At the time, my mother told me that all men are cheaters and not to be trusted. I have been carrying this burden consciously for so long, and now the need for a
caring life-long partner is becoming stronger everyday. How do I come out of this cage of restrictions that I made for myself and have a meaningful relationship with a wonderful man? Thanks, Stella
Dear Stella, it looks like you are already half way out of the cage simply by realizing what you believe, and where the belief came from. The next thing you need to do is consider the source of the belief. With no disrespect toward your mother, what would set her up to believe that all men are cheaters? Could it be possible that her experience was limited? Could she really speak about "all" men? Perhaps she is
right about some men, but some women could be categorized the same way. Does this mean all women are also cheaters, including you? Consider these questions, and see if they give you more space to begin
to see the world as it is - full of all types of people, a large percentage of whom are not cheaters.
Hi. I have a question. Are there recognizable behaviors that emotionally entrap? There seem to be many people out there who will only give you enough of themselves to attract you, but have no clue how to treat you once you establish the relationship. You get just enough of your needs met that you keep coming back for more, and get abuse in some form for your hope. I'm working through this aspect, and would love some help. Anonymous
Hi there. Yes, I would agree that there are many people out there who don't know how to do relationships. This is not surprising given there is no public education available on how to create healthy relationships. On the other hand, there are lots of models available for early courtship, especially in the media. As a result, many people know how to start relationships, but have no idea how to keep them. That's why it's so important to find out if the person you are about to build a relationship with knows how to build one or is willing to learn. And yes, there are some recognizable behaviors which can help you spot people who absolutely do not know how to build a healthy,
thriving relationship. One of the most common of these behaviors is wanting to have a huge amount of contact and over-the-top display of affection and attention from the start. This type of behavior
entraps the recipient because it feels incredibly good, but
unfortunately never lasts.