Category: Communication

  • Book Club: “The Great Work of Your Life” + The Art of Love Tue April 1

    I’ve been meaning to write to you for a while now – lots to talk about. However, I’ve been laid up at home mostly immobile due to some mysterious neck and back issues. It’s getting better, and an article about how to deal with pain – both somatic and psychic – will almost certainly come out of it. Just not today – the muscle relaxant seems to relax all muscles, including the finger muscles and the brain muscle.

    In the meantime, I want to tell you about an upcoming seminar series and a couple of books I’ve been enjoying lately. Both books get sky-high 4.8/5.0 Amazon ratings, and for good reason.


    My friend and colleague Arielle Ford is putting on her Art of Love seminar series starting on Tuesday April 1. She’s got a fantastic roster of speakers lined up, including Katherine Woodward Thomas (author of Calling in the One), Dr John Gray, Deepak Chopra, the ever-wise Alison Armstrong and a whole bunch of stellar folks you should take the time to discover.

    Whether you’re in a relationship or not, these great teachers will be sharing ideas and tools for how to navigate love and have more of it in your life.

    Registration is free, and apparently you get three video interviews just for signing up. I encourage you to watch the one with Rev Dr Michael Bernard Beckwith. He’s one of my long-time mentors, and instrumental in my efforts to write The Tao of Dating at a time of great doubt and uncertainty in my life.

    Here’s the signup link: The Art of Love with Arielle Ford

    It’s totally free (unless you decide to buy stuff from them), yet somehow I receive a fee if you sign up through my link. Magic. All proceeds go to my physical therapy and muscle relaxant fund.


    Every once in a while a book comes along with such depth, power and grace that it hits me straight between the eyes. The Great Work of Your Life: A Guide for the Journey of Your True Calling is such a book. I finished it in two sittings, then re-read it to highlight and implement the important parts.

    Cope, whom I had never heard of before this book, has sterling credentials: psychotherapist of many decades, yoga scholar, and director of the Kripalu Center for Extraordinary Living. The book is about dharma – your true calling in life. He uses the story of the Bhagavad Gita to introduce the concept, then interweaves the lives of remarkable people to illustrate his points.

    If I had only read the stories of Harriet Tubman and Susan B Anthony, the book would have been worth it. But there’s also Thoreau, Gandhi, Jane Goodall and Walt Whitman. And a bunch more everyday heroes that you’ll want to know about. It’s an uplifting and wise book, appropriate for any age, since it’s never too late to find your true calling. Make sure you get the hard copy – you’ll want to come back to this again and again.

    The other book I want to tell you about is Kitchen Table Wisdom: Stories That Heal, by Dr Rachel Naomi Remen. Not only has Dr Remen been an oncologist and counselor for over 45 years, but she has also been a Crohn’s disease patient. As such, she brings great compassion to her observations of the suffering and triumph of her patients, colleagues and self. The book is a collection of brief stories (1-3 pages each), so you can start it anywhere you want, put it down, then pick it up later. It’s been very useful for me these past two weeks, and it’s sure to be a shot in the arm for you, too.

    That’s all for now. More books and observations to come. In the meantime, I’m grateful for your attention and support.

    All the best

    Dr Ali

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  • The shy one, the hottie, and the picky one: NYC women talk about love and dating

    Recently I paid a visit to New York City and got together with some of my readers at the Hudson Hotel for a little chat. A fundraiser by mayoral candidate Bill DeBlasio had taken over the main bar, so we found a bench in the Hudson Common eating area and got down to discussing love, happiness, and guys.

    I like these get-togethers because of how much I learn from hearing the stories of real, live readers. A book by its nature is a one-size-hopes-to-fit-all device. But in person you, my readers, are all different shapes, ages and races, with diverging concerns. Here’s a sampling of what I heard.

    Marci, the shy one

    Take Marci, for example. She said that her issue was that she always ended up being one of the guys. How could she make things take a more romantic turn when she didn’t want to be just friends with a guy?

    At the same time, Clara sitting right next to her had the exact opposite problem. Guys just wanted to hook up with her, and she just couldn’t sort out the good guys from the players.

    And now that I could see them and hear them, I had more information with which to diagnose what the hey was going on.

    Marci’s about 30. By her own admission, she’s shy. She’s wearing an elegant and conservative outfit that covers everything up. She’s tall and big-framed, with an open and friendly smile, so you wouldn’t peg her as being shy. As she speaks, you get a sense that her preferred mode of discourse is friendly formality.

    So why does Marci consistently fall into the friend zone? Because when you’re friendly and formal with people, you’re going to be formal friends with them, not a romantic interest.

    So how do you get out of the friend zone and into the romance zone? Simple: get flirty.

    Up to now, everything about Marci has been proper, linear, safe. The problem is that proper, linear and safe has inspired no man to declare his undying love for a woman. What you need is a little more of the flirty, curvy and dangerous. The idea is to provoke emotion and thought in the man’s body and mind. Every woman has the means to do that.

    In the case of Marci, there are some potential fixes:

    1) Engage in “curvy” conversation. Everyone knows where linear conversation goes: “How’s the weather? How was work? Is your pet better?” Linear = booooring. Ain’t gonna get you anywhere.

    On the other hand, nobody knows where curvy conversation goes. “So, you seeing anyone? Why not, is something wrong with you?” If you deliver that with a smile, a guy will have no idea what you’re up to. Are you giving him a hard time? Are you interested in him? Do you want to set him up with someone? Are you just entertaining yourself?

    Suddenly, conversation with you has become more interesting, because he’s not quite sure what you’re going to come up with next. And because he’s not sure of your intentions, now he’s thinking about you when you’re not around.

    Here’s a secret: when a guy thinks about you when you’re not around, this encodes in his brain as “I must like this girl.” In one smooth move, you have taken residence in the romantic quarter of his brain – or at least romantic-adjacent. Friend zone begone.

    The essence of flirting is a little bit of unpredictability and danger. Curvy conversation accomplishes that.

    2) Show a little more skin. If you want to get out of the friend zone, you want to do things that evoke an emotional response in a guy. One thing that does that is to put to use what your mama gave you and show some skin.

    How much skin is the right amount? Somewhere between Sexy Pirate Nurse Slut Ho Halloween outfit and a burqa, there is a balance. And I read somewhere that that balance is 40%, so we’re going to call this the 40% rule henceforth.

    How do you get to 40%? Simple: use the Rule of Nines, one of the things I remember from medical school:

    • Head: 9% of body surface area
    • Front of torso: 18%
    • Back of torso: 18%
    • Each leg: 18%
    • Each arm: 9%
    • Crotch: 1%
    • Total body surface area = 9 + 18 + 18 + 36 + 18 + 1 = 100%

    So if you expose half of your legs below the knees (18%) and all of your arms (18%), with your face (4%) you’re showing 40% skin. If you’re wearing a backless floor-length dress (18%) with bare arms, that’s also about 40%. To project less sexual energy, show less than 40%. To go on the warpath, go over 40%.

    Clara gets too much attention from the wrong guys

    So Marci needed to get out of her comfort zone and be a little more flirty. Clara, on the other hand, had no issues with the flirty part. She’s 23, short, petite, and wearing a slinky black dress which shows a distracting amount of décolletage (also known as “cleavage”). It’s easy to understand how a lot of guys would be interested in hooking up with her.

    From the outside, this may seem like a high-quality problem: “Oh, boohoo, poor thing, she’s got sooo many guys who are into her.” But a high-quality problem is still a problem. And I’m guessing there’s something not entirely savory about every guy you meet trying to get into your pants. It will probably make you feel objectified and distrustful of men, perhaps shutting you down to their advances. No wonder there are so many really attractive women who remain perennially single.

    Luckily, there is a solution. The way men respond to you has a lot to do with the way you present yourself (see Marci’s case above). Here are some things Clara can do.

    1) Dress more conservatively. I understand that women like to look hot, so they get all decked out in 7-inch Jimmy Choo stiletto murder heels, super-slinky dress and blood-red lipstick, ready to slay all oncomers.

    Well, let me tell you this: it’s not fun being slain. And if you look too hot (there is such a thing), the primary emotion that most men feel around you is FEAR. That’s right: adrenaline kicks in, and what we feel is flight-or-fight. And we become too scared to approach you.

    But there is a subset of guys who are not scared off: players. They see you as a prize, as a challenge, as a contest to be won. And they will approach you. And all the nice guys will stay away.

    In one move, you managed to attract all the jerks and alienate all the nice guys. Nice work. And you wonder why all the guys you meet just want to hook up with you.

    So if you’re already a smoking hottie-pie, tone it down a little. Wear something less provocative, more conservative. Don’t let the floodlight of your sexiness blind the men to all the great qualities of character that you’ve worked so hard to cultivate. That way, something like your soul has a chance to come through. Which brings us to…

    2) Talk to him. If you want to sort for the good guys, you must talk to him. This is how you find out how intelligent he is, how empathetic he is, and what his true intentions are. Drink alcohol only sparingly and gather in a place where you can hear him speak, because this is when you’re gathering critical information about this stranger who might become the father of your children. Liberally ask the magic question, “What’s important to you about that?”, and listen closely as he shares the innermost contents of his soul with you.

    This is also a chance for you to show him that you’ve got a great mind to go with the hot legs. Conversation is the broadband communication system of the human brain, so use it to your advantage to glean and convey important information about your suitability for one another.

    3) Give him a chance. Clara happened to be there with her 21-year old sister, Sara, also single. Both being so young, good-looking, smart and sweet, I wonder if there was something going on invisible to the naked eye that was keeping them from finding a good love match.

    There was: Clara and Sara were both vetoing each other’s dates: “Oh, he’s just not good enough for you.” Well, guess what: if you’re her sister and have known her your whole life and will lay your life down for her, in your book there is no man alive who is good enough for her. Get over it and unless the guys are unemployed and torture baby hamsters for fun, give the poor suckers a chance. And your sister, too. You do want to be an auntie someday, right?

    We are super-susceptible to the opinions of our intimate friends. If one of them says, “Oh, she’s not so pretty” about a woman I like, I can feel my interest instantly dropping a few notches. So it behooves Clara and Sara to refrain from saying mean things about their respective suitors and to stop sabotaging each other’s love lives.

    There’s something slightly sinister about this, too: unconsciously, the sisters are aware that if the other one finds a guy, that means less time spent with her. So yes, it’s very likely that a friend of yours – the one you’re closest to and has the most to lose – has actively sabotaged your interest in a guy in the name of “protecting” you. And she will do it again.

    So if you’re serious about having a relationship with a guy, you need to tell her to knock it off. If a unified chorus of friends tells you a guy is toxic, fine – you should listen. But if it’s one friend who’s consistently pulling you away or poisoning things early on, there just may be ulterior motives at work here.

    Polish girl seeks Indian guy – but why?

    Then there was Patricia, the fiercely intelligent, driven Polish transplant. Her question was about intercultural relationships. Specifically, she found herself attracted to Indian and Pakistani men. However, she wasn’t quite sure how to deal with their traditional mindsets, especially when the parents insisted on a bride within their own ethnicity.

    I’m all for intercultural relationships, but the Polish-Indian axis didn’t make a lot of sense to me. I mean, her true fulfillment depended on just that particular 1% sliver of the population? So I had to ask her: “What’s in it for you, Patricia?” After a while I got a sense that Agatha thrives on challenge: moving to the US; solving difficult problems; taking up a difficult dance style (tango, in this case); and maybe choosing boyfriends with difficult families who wouldn’t let her marry him.

    Remember that fulfillment is not a person, but a set of feelings. Was breaking through the challenge of swaying an Indian guy to marry her over the objections of his parents Patricia’s real fulfillment, or just another habit? Was she in it for the prize or for the joy? I wasn’t familiar with the full back story, but as far as I can tell, there are plenty of guys from all ethnicities out there who could catalyze Patricia’s growth and fulfillment. Especially in a place like New York City, where there are literally millions of interesting folks from all over the world. Perhaps it was time for her to focus on the substance of real companionship and emotional connection rather than an insistence on a particular symbol, of which ethnicity is one.

    Thanks for the ladies who braved the wilds of Manhattan and managed to find me at the Hudson that night. Now that I know how much fun live events are, I’ll be having more of them here in San Francisco and also when I travel. In the comments below, let me know where you abide, and if you can put together a group of 20 or more women, I’ll see what I can do to come visit.

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  • Recording of “Compelling People” interview with John Neffinger

    Below is an MP3 recording of the interview I did with John Neffinger, co-author of Compelling People: The Hidden Qualities That Make Us Influential. Now I’ve known John for a while, so I was able to extract some top tips from his book for your delectation and enrichment. Also, John was kind enough to answer questions for 30 extra minutes, which means this interview is 90 minutes of information-packed usefulness. Some of what we covered:

    • The tug-of-war between how warm we appear and how much strength we project, and how to balance the two
    • Tips for nailing a job interview
    • How warmth and strength figured in the fall and rise of Hillary Clinton’s 2008 Presidential campaign
    • The secret of the powerful smile which projects warmth without diminishing strength
    • The special challenges that race and gender present that make projecting strength tricky
    • Exercises to improve the way you present yourself right now

    Download JohnNeffinger_CompellingPeople1013, stick it on your iPhone or iPod or Android gizmo, and listen to it on your daily drive. Or listen to it using the media player here: 

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  • The Compassionate Brain by Dr Rick Hanson and some superstars of neuroscience

    I have some excellent news for you. There is this free online seminar series that you should take advantage of. It’s called:

    Rick Hanson’s The Compassionate Brain – Free Video Seminar Series

    I’m really excited about this one, and every one of you should sign up for it. Why? Because it’s being put on by renowned psychologist and author Dr Rick Hanson, author of Buddha’s Brain: The Practical Neuroscience of Happiness, Love and Wisdom and Just One Thing: Developing a Buddha Brain One Simple Practice at a Time. And he has assembled an all-star cast of speakers on the topic of ‘The Compassionate Brain’. If you don’t know who all of them are yet, that’s okay – I don’t either. But the few that I do know are teachers so wise and so inspiring that just an hour with them can change the course of your whole life: (more…)

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  • The Mailbag: On unavailable men, heartache as creative inspiration, cheating, neediness and timing

    I get a lot of letters from you guys (and by ‘guys’, I mean ladies). And if you’ve ever written to me, you know that I almost always write back — unless your letter is 5 feet long, riddled with grammar and spelling mistakes or internet-speak (bcuz it makes U look like a doofus, that’s Y, and I got no time for doofi), or if you don’t put a space after commas and periods, making your letter look like money transfer spam (“My name is Hamilton Adeyemi,from great city of Abuja.I give you 5 trillion$.Please give bank account.”). See? No space after a comma is just Sketchville.

    But usually, I write back. If I don’t answer your question directly, I’ll ask for clarification, such as “Um, there actually wasn’t a question in there – what did you want to ask about?” Some of the really good ones I turn into blog articles. Anonymized, of course.

    But you know what? That can take forever, especially when the perfectionist streak in me wins out and says Oh, it has to be really good, otherwise I can’t put it up.

    As an antidote to this perfectionism, I’m going to put in this post a bunch of mostly unedited, unfiltered exchanges with you, my dear readers. (more…)

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  • How to be more charismatic: Interview with Olivia Fox Cabane, 26 March 2012

    Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls: I have a special treat for you. My friend and colleague Olivia Fox Cabane, speaker and trainer to corporations (eg Google), universities (eg MIT and Harvard) and governments worldwide, is coming out on March 28 with her long-awaited new book, The Charisma Myth: How Anyone Can Master the Art and Science of Personal Magnetism. It’s a manual on how to be even more charismatic (since all of you are already such charming devils, obviously).

    how to be more charismatic

    As a personal favor, I have wrangled her into giving us an interview on the key principles in her book. I’ll be doing the interview this Monday, 26 March 2012. Here’s the information:

    • Date: Monday, 26 March 2012, 6pm PDT/9pm EDT/2am London/6am Dubai/12 noon Sydney
    • Call-in number: +1 218 862 1300
    • Access code: 667202
    • Duration: 40min interview, 15min Q&A

    Why do you want to attend this call live? Because I’ve seen Olivia speak many times, and I can attest firsthand to the power of her teachings. Charisma can be learned, and quickly — and there aren’t a lot of people better at teaching it than Olivia. Now that she’s not jetting off to train some South American head of state and we have her all to ourselves, you definitely want to be on the call live so you can ask her your burning questions about how to present yourself even more effectively. Ideally, you would read the book beforehand so you can ask the deep questions that usually only the El Presidentes paying her megabucks get to ask.

    Some of what we’ll be covering:

    • Is charisma innate, learned or a little bit of both?
    • The three components of charisma and how to dial each one up or down to be like Colin Powell, Bill Gates or the Dalai Lama
    • Which type of charisma to use for a given situation
    • Three ways to increase your charisma pretty much instantly
    • Side effects and dangers (?) of charisma

    Here’s a little sampler from one of her talks on a related topic:

    There’s no charge for any of this, so feel free to spread the word and tell your friends about it — they’ll thank you for it.

    See you there and then

    Dr Ali B

    PS: It is now the day after the interview, which means it already happened – and now we have a recording. I was unexpectedly on the road away from my studio equipment, so the quality of my voice is so-so. But Olivia comes through great, and that’s who you wanted to listen to anyway, so here ya go:

    Interview with Olivia Fox Cabane on her new book ‘The Charisma Myth’

    Right-click to download full interview with Olivia Fox Cabane on The Charisma Myth (20mb, 55min)

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  • “How can I make this work?”: Forcing vs allowing

    Letter from a reader:
    Hi Dr. Ali,
    Thank you for the wisdom you share – beyond giving me insights into relationships, you’ve helped me to be more satisfied with where I am.  Now, I’d love to get your advice about a specific situation.
    I met a man in college a few years ago. We dated for a summer, but I got the impression (which I’ve since realized was wrong) that he wasn’t interested in a relationship, so I suggested that we just be friends. We did become friends, but we also ended up (more…)

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  • How to communicate to get what you want and need: guest article by Marni Battista

    Ladies —

    I’ll be doing a teleclass with my friend and colleague Marni Battista on Mon 7 Nov 2011 at 5pm Pacific time, and I thought I’d introduce you to her via this article of hers.  As a coach who has helped hundreds of clients, she brings a lot of practical know-how about empowering yourself to find fulfillment.  And as someone who was married for 17 years, she brings a lot of personal experience to bear as well.

    I particularly like her message about self-care and clear communication.  Here’s the article, and I hope you can join us on Monday (and if you can’t be there for the live call, sign up to get the recording afterwards). — Dr Ali B

    How to Communicate to Get What You Want and Need by Marni Battista, (more…)

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  • How to broach a sensitive topic with a man

    Good evening, Dr. Ali – I’m Tabitha.  Nearly 40, 4 kids, divorced twice, great career, living in the Midwest.  I like to say I have an AMAZING dating resume (some sarcasm, but NO APOLOGIES)!  Best of all, I fully believe myself to be a modern goddess (who happens to adore orchid ice cream!)  I’ve been seeing a gentleman my age for a little while, he has warrior potential.  We’ve enjoyed 4 very long dates…and they are long because of how much we’ve enjoyed them!  The last two dates have included intimacy, with the hope for some of that ice cream.  Unfortunately, while fulfilling many of my needs, this gentleman appears to have erectile dysfunction.  Having an active sex life is important to me, I believe it is important to him, and based on some recent advertising, I’m pretty sure it’s still a possibility!  I’m also pretty sure it’s not very goddess-like to suggest a visit to the doctor (and SURELY he’s noticed)…but what exactly does a modern goddess do in this situation?

    Thanks for the note, Tabitha!
    A modern goddess is also a grownup, we hope.  Which means — you can talk about it!  The same way you would say ‘wow, your shoelaces are untied’, you bring up the topic.  Ask with curiosity and empathy, but in a straightforward way. If it’s a dealbreaker for you, tell him.  If it’s not, tell him.  Do NOT try to solve his problem for him; that’s his job.  Any time you tell a guy what to do, the goddess risks tumbling down from Mt Olympus.

    But you can share how you feel and what you want.  It’s only a big deal if you make it a big deal — no need to get all tongue-tied and embarrassed about the whole thing.  ED is not a character flaw just like a twisted ankle isn’t a character flaw.  Just tell him you want to get something straight between the two of you (ha), and get the dialog started.  The more comfortable you are discussing it, the more comfortable he’ll be.

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  • “Am I losing a good guy, or is it just my illusion?”

    I’ve decided to add a new feature to the blog: your letters!  Well, okay, I’ve been doing letters for a while.  But usually I would edit them down to their essence, extract one solid lesson from it, and present it to the world.

    Well, real life is messier than that, and your letters reflect that.  So henceforth I’m going to put up whole letters that you guys send me (identifying data removed), with my complete, unedited response.  ‘Cause y’know what?  I’ve got unlimited space on my blog!

    If you’ve got a good one, here are the guidelines:

    • Keep it short.  Just ’cause I’ve got room doesn’t mean you should go bananas.  Think about what’s going on before asking me, and distill it down to 100-200 words.  Bonus: it’ll give you clarity on your situation.
    • Tell me a little bit about who you are: age, location, work, educational background are useful for readers to relate to.  And if you want to remain anonymous, leave out identifying information like blood type and credit card number.
    • Make sure there’s a question in there.  If you say “I’d like your feedback”, I may just respond with “Wow.”
    • Remember that my expertise is in the dating and courtship aspect of things, not ongoing relationships.  For that, there are much better qualified experts who can attend to your needs.

    That said, here’s today’s letter (which you’ll see is too long by about 800 words):

    Dear dr Ali,

    I am a passionate reader of your tao of dating.

    Whether i am a good progressive student of your ideas? i do not know. I know i love your way of approaching relationships and i have been learning from you so much.  I decided to write to you because I need you perspective.  I feel confused, disoriented. I am not sure If i am losing a good guy or it is just my illusion.

    I have been in a relationship with Jonathan for 3 months. We met online and shortly after we met he wanted us to be exclusive. The relationship began in a beautiful way: great compatibility of our interests, easy to communicate. Great chemistry. I have noticed he definitely made more effort for this relationship to work. 3 weeks ago everything began to change. (more…)

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  • “What’s he thinking?” and the pitfalls of online dating (AUDIO)

    Ladies —

    This is one of the best letters I’ve gotten in a while, and in this podcast I’ll tell you why, and what an octopus (?!) has to do with it.  Jennifer had a summer romance with someone she met online, and then — things got weird.  Now she’s wondering whether it’s worth retrieving, and what the guy’s strange behavior means.  To get the full story, listen to the podcast — right-click to download (8mb):

    “What’s he thinking?” and the pitfalls of online dating

    Let me know what you’re thinking!

    Best, Dr Ali B

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  • How often should you call him?: A definitive guide for smart women

    This letter brings up a perennial question that every woman has, so it’s about time we tackled it:

    Dr. Alex,

    I really appreciate your advice and have listened to your CD over and over again. I also followed your Tao of Dating principles, which was beyond enlightening for me, as it turned the tables and made me responsible for doing my own housework and trying to be the goddess and I still think ‘What would a goddess do?’ when I’m in a situation that hurts or annoys me and this goddess-thinking prevents me from acting needy or overly emotional!

    Your advice has helped me tremendously in being able to finally a great guy!! We have great communication, great attraction, share the same values, have fun together, etc. etc. etc. We have been exclusive for four months and just recently went on a fabulous trip. We see each other as much as possible, however with his child and my work schedule, it’s sometimes not as much as we would like. At any rate it is one of the best, if not the best, relationship, I have ever been in, however there is only one thing that bothers me and that I don’t know how to address it. I have been debating even asking you as it seemed trivial at first, however I don’t feel that it is.

    Here it is: It really frustrates me that when I don’t see him, that we barely speak on the phone…It’s just that I would like to talk to him more when I’m not able to see him and when I don’t, I feel disconnected. I think it’s partially my fault, since following your advice, I got out and dated more than one guy at the beginning and did not call the guys but generally waited for them to call (new concept for me and it actually worked, thanks!). Eventually he rose to the top and we started dating exclusively and I continued to let him initiate most of the calls but now I don’t know if he’s gotten ‘settled in’, but when I don’t see him, he doesn’t call that often. It’s not that I never hear from him, there is the occasional text, call etc., but for a boyfriend/girlfriend relationship, it’s less calling than I’m used to and although everyone is different with how much they call, I think even a goddess might get a little hurt/annoyed by this behavior lol. And I do call occasionally and it’s always a good conversation so maybe I’m blowing the whole thing out of proportion, but I feel like if he doesn’t call that maybe he’s not thinking about me, or that a boyfriend ‘should’ call more because he wants to, but I know not to get into ‘should’ thinking!!

    [Omitted: big paragraph on how she’s overthinking it because of her relationship history]

    Anyway my burning question is what I should do?? 1) Should I just call him more if I want to talk and not worry about it seeming aggressive or overbearing cuz I am his girlfriend anyway and not one that would call 5 times a day anyway, we’re talking once every couple days or 2) should I should just suck it up and continue to not call him that much, knowing guys need their space and their cave and try not to let past insecurities get in my way but just continue to be the goddess and enjoy what I do have with this great guy or 3) can I just talk to him about this without sounding needy? Maybe it will be like other issues that I was afraid to bring up, but we had a good conversation from so I don’t know why I’m afraid other than I don’t want to do anything ungoddesslike and screw up this good relationship I finally have. Anyway your help would be greatly appreciated :))


    Goodness gracious, Jill!  You’re lucky I’m not a lawyer, ’cause then I would have had to charge you $372.83 just for reading this.  Dear readers — kindly keep it under 250 words, willya.  I’ve got YouTube pet videos to surf here.

    Also, you are not allowed to put ‘lol’ in a letter unless you actually laugh out loud at that moment.  Meaning that you’re laughing at your own writing, which seems mighty unlikely.  Even James Thurber didn’t do that.  And no, a mere chuckle doesn’t qualify.  So basically you can’t use ‘lol’, like, ever.  ‘MAM’, perhaps — it stands for ‘musing and mulling’.  As in, “I wonder if I’m overthinking this whole thing (MAM).”  Because you really are musing and mulling.  Or ‘SMHWTMH’ — scratch my head while twirling my hair.  As in, “We had a great first date — why hasn’t he called me yet (SMHWTMH)?  Geez.”

    But no LOL.  That’s reserved for authentic guffaws and funny cat pictures.

    So, the brief answer to your burning question is that you’re overthinking it (surprise!).  I mean, your letter’s twists and turns and decisions and revisions that reverse themselves make a Six Flags roller coaster seem like a stroll down a grocery aisle.  As the Tao Te Ching says, “Stop thinking and solve all your problems.”

    You’re also being kinda insecure.  He’s calling as much as he ever did, so he hasn’t changed.  You have.  Now that you’ve got a great man (by your own reckoning), you’re operating out of (more…)

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