Latest Blog Posts:
  • Video Mailbag #2: Self-Sabotage 101

    Sometimes I get a letter from you ladies so rich with nuance, implication and dysfunction that I realize it would take me hours to write a response covering everything I want to say.

    That’s when I resort to this newfangled technology called “video”, and bang out a response in 10min instead of 10hrs. This means now you also get to stare at my mug to get your answer, so hey, enjoy :)

    Two news items first: I’m putting the finishing touches on a digital version of “Project Irresistible”, the 6-week teleclass that I’ve been running periodically to bring the principles of The Tao of Dating into your life and behavior. ‘Cause, let’s face it, if we actually learned everything we read in books, we’d all be hyper-successful super-geniuses by now with perfect lives, right?

    Well, it don’t work that way. One thing I learned in med school was that route of administration matters. So a well-designed course, with audio and written material and exercises, can make a big difference. More about it on Monday.

    Second, thanks for all your feedback on the Tao of Dating Cover Redesign Contest. Your votes so far have been very helpful, but even more so — your comments! Such aesthetes in our midst, but of course. Your taste matters, because lord knows I ain’t going to be reading this book — you ladies are. So chime in, cast your vote, and expound on your thinking here.

    Now let’s set the scene for this letter: our heroine, whom we shall call Gilda, gets together with this guy who was going through a divorce. Except that he gets back together with his wife, leaving Gilda high and dry. But then, he separates from his wife again, and comes crawling back to Gilda. They get together again, and — you guessed it — dude goes back to his wife, leaving Gilda a very sad camper. Except that now he’s finalized the divorce, and guess who he just called? Ay crud. So Gilda asks me: “What should I do, Doc?” Well, what do you think ladies? And before you get all judgey on her — you’d never think like this yourself, right? Here we go:

  • Mailbag: On Leaving Toxic Relationships

    Last week, I received a rash of letters about bad relationships. Like, really, really bad relationships. I feel like these kinds of relationships are a little bit like cockroaches: for every one that you see, there are 70 that you don’t. Which makes me dread how many more of you must be in these kinds of relationships without telling me — or anyone else. Speak up! First, let’s get to this first letter here. After responding to all of the “I’m Stuck with Toxic Boy and Don’t Know What to Do” letters personally, I felt this one was representative of the batch:

    Dr Ali, I have been dating a man for the past 9 years on and off. He is 44 years old, divorced and still lives with his mother. He hangs out with his loser friends to smoke weed and drink alcohol. He hardly spends time with me when I confront him about the lack of time. All he tells me is that I complain about it too much and that I need to respect him and give him loyalty.

    His comments make me resent him, so on and off, I block him from my phone. What I heard from an ex is that the times we are not together he was sleeping around and dating other women. In our last break up, he started dating another woman a week after breaking up with me. A month later, he proposed to her and moved in with that woman. He never did anything like that with me.

    What bothers me is that he is trying to get back with me while he is still engaged to the other chick. I still love him but I feel disgusted and used. How do I let go of a loser who gave me crumbs of time?

    Resentfully, Bree

    Oh my. The only thing that’s missing here is “He also just recently got out of jail for a few felony charges and tends to beat me with a baseball bat for sport. And wants me to join his cult.” I mean, we all have different limits of tolerance, but it seems as if (more…)

  • Are you asking too much of a boyfriend?

    Ladies – Before we go into today’s letter, I have a favor to ask you. I’m re-doing the cover of The Tao of Dating, and I’d love to know which ones you like best! Click here to go to the contest and let your opinion be known:

    With that out of the way, here’s a great email exchange I had recently about relationship expectations and being in touch with your own needs and emotions. Where does jealousy come from? Why and when do we feel someone isn’t good enough? How do we get in the way of our own loving?

    Dear Dr. Ali, 

    I’m in a very challenging situation and you’re the only person I completely agree with when it comes to relationships so I would really appreciate your help.

    I have recently started dating an amazing man. We get along really well, our conversations flow effortlessly, we have insane chemistry, and he makes me extraordinarily happy.

    There is, however, one catch. He has two kids from his previous marriage. He only sees them once or twice a week and spends enough time with me. As much as I am happy with him, this fact is always bothering me in the back of my mind and I can’t get over it.

    I keep thinking “what if I had met him earlier when he was childless?” And this is just driving me crazy. I don’t know what to do. He is so amazing and I think I can never find someone like him again, on the other hand, I think the fact that he has kids is always going to bother me. I know I sound like a horrible person but I just can’t help it!

    What do you think I should do? Giovanna from Harvard

    Dear Giovanna –

    Sounds like you’ve got a good thing going! Some background info would be useful: your age, his age, do you have/want kids, what kind of work you do, are you angling for marriage, etc.

    So I don’t know the full story here, but one thing is for sure: (more…)

  • FOR MEN: The Central Tenet of Dating Success With Women – A post ten years in the making

    GENTLEMEN – This post has been a long time in the making. In the past few years that I’ve been mostly writing for women, I have also been compiling notes for a revision of The Tao of Dating: The Thinking Man’s Enlightened Guide to Success With Women. I wrote the book in 2005, so not only has the science of human mating and relating moved forward, but my thinking has evolved, too.

    This evolution has partially been in the direction of a Zen maxim from Shunryu Suzuki: “In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities; in the expert’s mind there are few.” And then there is the famous quote attributed to Leonardo da Vinci: “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.”

    So what I’d like to do in this short article is to attempt the ultimate in simplicity: to boil down all of the science and anecdotal information on how to succeed romantically with women to one main principle. Can it be done? I’ll let you be the judge.

    Here’s the big idea: (more…)

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