Tag Archives: advice

Playing The Ignore Game

Dear Rob,
I’m sorry for emailing you, but I asked you for advice before and I thought I would try again.

Well I’m not sure if you remember…but my case was the one where this boy who is 23 and I’m 22–well to cut a long story short… he was the guy who would always ignore me… since I ignored him…

Well to continue on from what happened from the last time I emailed you… Well I tried to go up to him and to show him that I liked him and I think he was a bit bitter or something since he just acted like I did not exist even if I went right up to him. Well I tried for about a month and on my last day he brushed past me and acted like I never existed… I got tired and thought I’m tired of this. We had two months break from university. And I decided to move on… stupidly I found out his name and what he likes and found out we did out first degree at the same university…sometimes I wish I never knew this either…

Anyhow, these past two months I tried my best to forget about him and I had a hard time from other problems I was having. Anyway, everyone kept telling me…oh…he ain’t interested… since guys don’t ignore girls. And that made me more determined to “move on” (wring use of words–since nothing happened to move on from) but anyhow, when I went back to university I saw him at the bottom of the stairs. I acted like I never saw him… which was easy to do… and he was talking to this girl and laughing… and when she was going pass me… he came and walked towards me. He opened his mouth I think to say something. I was just so angry for some reason and had so much on my mind from exams etc., that I just pretended like I never noticed and walked off.

Well for weeks he disappeared–usually I would always see him in the library and nothing. He just seemed to have disappeared.
I saw him accidentally one evening coming out of his department. I for some reason couldn’t help but stare and he stared as well and walked off. Well 3 weeks passed again nothing. BUT NOW we are coming towards the end as in this is my last week and his.

And for a week I saw him about quite a few times and he acted so normal. I would be chatting and laughing with my guy friends and he would come with his mobile sit where I could see him and he would act like I never existed. Again.

Well anyway… I think he knows what time I finish class and this Wednesday I never went class but waited outside the department and he came down with his friends from lunch the usual time I would leave class…purely coincidence. And he saw me and I saw him he stopped few times and acted like he never saw me…and I did same… I waited about 30 min and went in the library where he had gone previously. I walked past him and sat quite a bit away from him and he got up after I sat down and he got up to leave. He had his back towards me at this stage and he was walking towards the door. He stopped before he actually left desk and turned back and we both looked at each other

Now, all my friends say he has “moved on” and is not interested and its time I did the same.
But I can’t feel that he is probably going through the same phases he went in before and now that we are coming to an end of the year and this is it, I think maybe he still has some sort of interest.

Am I reading to much into this? Has he moved on? What do you think?

Hi M,
It seems to me that, so far, no one has made any forward moves. You’re both still playing this “I see you, now I don’t” game.

You have a choice:
The next time you see him, walk up to him and say “Isn’t about time you asked me out?”
Do as your friends say and move on.

This has gone on long enough, don’t you think?

One of the hardest things for men and women to do is be able to “initiate contact” when they’ve never been taught how to approach others that are not in their circle of friends. After all, how do you reach out to someone that is cute, good looking and probably (as you think) better than you and just going to reject you anyways?

It’s tough, confusing and very hard to prepare yourself to make that first step beyond the distant flirting that goes on when you’re so afraid of being rejected. When your self-confidence is so low.

The reality is that life is full of rejection and disappointment. Another reality is that people play games.

They exert their power of attraction just because they can. Because you showed interest. And as all of this is happening your interest in them rises, you like them more and more since they did show you some initial interest, enough to make you want to want them, then they back off, playing this ignore game.

Get ready to make the move. Prepare yourself for rejection and invite him for a coffee the next time you see him. You may just be pleasantly surprised that he does go with you. And at the very least you will have a definite answer about dating him or “moving on” and getting back to normal.
Best wishes,

When To Tell A Girl You Like Her

Hi Rob,
I have a question about something maybe you can help me with. I’ve seen your advice and it really seems like it works and you know what your talking about so here goes.

I’m 19 and I’m going to be going to college this fall 2006. I’ve started to talk to a girl who will be going to the same college as me. We’ve been emailing each other for about 3 weeks and were playing the question game where we ask questions about each other to get to know each other. It was her idea so we email each other every day and we’ve seen pictures of each other.

She’s definitely beautiful and everything I could ask for in a personality type. She says she’s super excited to meet me. And the plus is she hasn’t had a boyfriend before so I don’t have to worry about past excessive baggage or anything like that.
I’m confident enough to talk to her but I definitely want to tell her I like her. Although from what I’ve learned from experience is never to tell a girl you just like her it usually backfires and scares her away.

So I’d like to show her I’m genuine and real and are different from
most other guys.

A direct quote she said was “Wow I can’t believe how much we have in common” so guess I’m a bit lost on what my next step is.
If you could get back to me at this email I’d appreciate or any help you give me.
Thank you so much for your time if you read this,

Hi Dave,
I’m glad that you’ve emailed me.
So far you’ve been doing well, right up to the point where you turned into a lemming and started running towards the cliff.

I’m going to show you two sentences and I want you to figure out what the difference is between them:
1. I like you too.
2. I like you.

Can you spot the difference?

Yes, I know that it’s fairly obvious, but this is where a guy screws up the beginning of what otherwise could be a great relationship.

Sentence #1 is in reply to her saying that she likes you. It’s perfectly fine to answer back that you like her too. Then talk about what a hot day it is, or something in a safer zone of conversation.

Sentence #2 is where the guy, all horny and infatuated with his new (girlfriend) toy that he turns into a wussy puppy and says “I like you” in the hopes that these couple of words will make everything in the relationship even better, no matter what a dork the guy internally feels he is, no matter how amazed he is that he actually has a chance with the girl of his dreams. The guy is trying to overcome his insecurities with these few words.

Of course all that he’s really done by blurting out “I like you” is given all the power of the relationship away to the girl, shown how easily controlled he can be because he’s such a wuss, not the intelligent and confident guy the girl thought he is (up to the blurting out, that is).

Then she says back to him “You’re a great friend” and that’s the end of their dating. Of course the guy is blindsided, he never saw it coming. And for the rest of his life he’ll never figure out the reasons why he messed up.

After all, all he said was how he felt about the girl, right?
In these few words he gave away a mountainful of information and every bit of it was BAD!

Girls need to feel attraction to a guy. And there are plenty of ways that this attraction happens and grows. And girls need to continually feel this attraction get stronger, for it to grow as the relationship progresses or it’s over.
Ways that girls feel attraction:
1. Physical attraction – You’re a clean, nice smelling guy that dresses well and has a better than average body type
2. Intelligent attraction – You’re smart, capable and she instinctively knows that you’ll be able to take care of her
3. Humor attraction – You’re funny and using your humor you make her feel safe and all warm and fuzzy inside.

Of course there are many more ways for girls to be attracted to guys and I’m not going to cover all of them here, but you get my point right? Nothing above says that she feels more attraction when the guy is mooning over her saying “I like you”. It’s a relationship destroyer.

So Dave, don’t do it.
Don’t say you like her first. Follow what I say or you’ll lose her.
Best wishes,

Follow Your Heart

Dear Rob,
I fell for a guy, he’s my classmate then. He courted me this summer, then he became my boyfriend unexpectedly because something happened unexpectedly too.

The first time he was my boyfriend, I didn’t feel that he loved me. He say’s “I love you to” me, but that’s the only sweet thing I can see about him and I’m usually the first one to say that to him. We broke up after 8 days because he said that he still loves his ex girlfriend and I got really hurt because of that.

Then after awhile I forgot him because he doesn’t text me anymore. Then my friend talked to him, so my friend got his attention and he suddenly thought to text me.

When he started to text me again we became close friends until he started to court me again, after 1 month I agreed to be his girlfriend again.

Now that we’re together again I can feel that he really loves me.

Then he told me the truth that the first time we were together he didn’t really love me then I told him that he made me look silly in front of him back then. Then he said sorry to me about what he did. So now, whenever we fight I feel sad that I think that we should just break up.

I want us to stay together long but the only problem is his attitude. He also said that he only wanted us to be together for every summer not when there is school.

You don’t need this loser dragging you around do you?
He’s already said what the ground rules are for your relationship, and you don’t like them.

Dump him and you may feel a little loss from him not being with you but trust me, he’s just using you and he’s said so to your face.
Follow your heart, end this now.

Real couples don’t argue about petty things like the two of you do, it’s immature and unhealthy.

Husband’s Controlling Behavior: A Success Story

Dear Rob,
I just want to confirm that I am in a controlling relationship.

I have been married to my husband for 14 years. Dated him for 6 years before getting married, so we’ve been together for 20 years. We met in high school and he had always been a jealous guy. He was jealous of some of my male friends, not all of them. He would choose which ones he didn’t think I should be friends with anymore since I was with him now, especially my ex-boyfriend. He would expect me to ignore or be mean to my ex-boyfriend if we saw him in public somewhere to prove my loyalty to him. If I would go out with friends, he would ask me all kinds of questions like did I meet or dance with any guys.

I accepted all this because I thought we were young and he was just immature and would change as he grew up. So, we got married, had kids and everything was fine because I was home all the time with kids and working. Didn’t have time for anything else.

As the kids got older, I started having more freedom to be able to go out with friends again. It seemed like his jealousy from high school started again. He would call my cell phone at least 20 times while I was out. Or, call my girlfriend’s husband’s to really find out if I was out with the girls.

He did this all in subtle ways. Let me explain: when he called my cell phone several times, he would make excuses for calling, so it wouldn’t seem he was checking on me. Like he would say he couldn’t find something or tell me a friend called and he was giving me a message or wanted to know if I was safe and he was worried. When he called my friend’s husbands he would talk about other things with them and then gradually bring up something like “so, the girls are at so and so tonight, huh”? This way he would find out if I was really with them. He only called my friend’s husbands when I was out. Otherwise, he wasn’t friends with any of them. He would call me this much even when I was at the grocery store. I felt like I was being stalked. I felt creepy like I was being watched and he said he was just being a worried husband and I should be glad that he cares. If I came home late from work, he would call my whole family to find out where I was and make my family seem like I was irresponsible for not checking in with him. I only went to buy milk on the way home. He even had my 4 year daughter catching on to his behavior. She would wait by the door for me to come home from work and check the digital clock if it was after 5:00 and start crying if I was home past 5. He is very subtle in his ways. What I mean by this is he’s not loud or demanding toward me. It’s the things he would say, like “I’m a caring husband”, or maybe you’re clinically depressed and should see a doctor”, or “this is just the way I am, I worry too much”.

There’s a lot more but this is just some of the examples. We have money issues too which I think is part of his controlling nature. When I told him we need counselling, he would tell me to go alone and that I am the one with the problem because I can’t accept him the way he is. He thought my unhappiness was brought on by something medically wrong with me and even made my mother believe it. They both wanted me to go to a doctor to find out why I was feeling the way I am. She thought I was depressed. When I tell him I want to separate, rather than trying to make things work, he would threaten me and say he would keep the kids and that I shouldn’t try to find someone else because no one will accept me with all my kids.

Well, that was 4 years ago. We are divorced now and I am remarried. I never felt so much relief in my life after leaving him. Even though he never hit me or called me names, it’s the jealousy that made me feel creepy towards him. However, I am still feeling so guilty about the fact that my marriage failed and I let my kids down and my oldest (the one that would wait by the door when she was 4) thinks I left because I cheated on him. His whole family believes that even though I met my new husband after all this. I need to find a way to get over my guilt for getting a divorce. He makes me feel sorry for him for leaving. Is my guilt the result of staying in a controlling relationship for too long? I started to believe what I’ve been told all these years?

Thanks in advance for any encouragement you can give,

Hi Ruth,
Yes, he was controlling you. His subtle ways became more obvious over time to you.
His jealousy and insecurity that you were too good for him led him to a level of jealousy that has it’s only output as control of the person you are with.
Control of where you are, who you are with, who you are allowed to speak with and even be friends with. Control of money, spending and even gift buying.

I am happy that you had the courage to endure and face the reality of your situation and end the abuse you suffered from your teen years until now. You have no reason to feel guilty about the divorce or how he tricked your family into believing the worse of you. That was all part of his control. His abuse. His uncontrolled jealousy.
You didn’t let anyone down, you did the best you could under the most difficult of situations.

I hope that your letter will bring encouragement to many other women out there in similar situations of abuse.
Thanks for writing me!
Best wishes,

Am I Ready For This Instant Family?

Dear Rob,
My girlfriend of 4 months broke up with me and her excuse is that she needs me to grow up and start acting like an adult. Let me start from the beginning.

We met off myspace and talked from Dec 4th to Jan 3rd. Jan 4th was our first date and things got really sexual really fast in the car like teenagers.

Met at the Lowes just to “meet” and kissed and hugged each other. I had lost my car in a accident so I was borrowing a friends and couldn’t see each other like regular people and had to take what we could get.

Anyway, she invites me over to her mom’s house where she lives with her then 4 month old son. We had sex. For a month and a half it was great. Then my mom finds out she is mixed. (Half white and half black) and I’m Italian. She opposes it and yells at me. I sit and think does my girlfriend really need this unnecessary drama?

After Valentines it was easier to say this is my “boyfriend” and “girlfriend” when introduced so we just went with it and agreed.

Back to the mom thing. So, I make up this big lie to my girlfriend and say I talked to my ex-girlfriend about something VERY VERY intimate and she flips and wants to break up with me like I had planned because I wanted her to think I was the bad guy. I tell her the truth 2-3 days later after some friends say to “tell her the truth!”

We go from that then a month later she invites me over and we sit on the bed for 45 minutes without saying a word. I go to sleep with my clothes on and back turned to her. She does the same. I try to put my arm on her for 5 different times that night and she throws it off of her. I wake up for work and say F–k this stuff, I’ve had it! I get all my stuff together set it in a pile at the bottom of the bed. I wake her up to let me out and she waits by the door. I usually kiss her and all that stuff but I just said I’ll be back to pick my stuff up later today. She does a head shake and is like HUH! and surprised.

Then she asks if anything is wrong, I think I over reacted and say no. I’ll be back tonight if you want, kiss her and say the good things. She puts the clothes and my weirdness that morning together and calls me crying and what not. We go thru that and find out we need COMMUNICATION. We make a rule, if we have a big drama fest like this again it’s time to call it a day with us. A month passes and bam, in 3 weeks she changes. 2 calls a day to 1 call a day and no more I miss you’s and then stops inviting me over. We break up Monday and says ” If you grow up I will take you back. I won’t date anybody and just want you. I will miss you more then you know and you are my perfect guy. Please grow up and come back to me. Call me please”
I cry and we end it. I then ask her if she really meant it and she said yes. I say give me 2-3 months and I can do it. She says not enough time. Should I believe her or what? I don’t know if I should do what she ask or just move on.
Ready or Not

Hi Ready or Not,
You didn’t tell me your age but I can guess that you’re both under 30.

What I do know:
You met after an “online romance” went face-to-face and had sex;

She is in a highly emotional state because she has a new baby, she has a ex-boyfriend that is not in the picture anymore;

The both of you live with your mom’s, if not both parents;

You are immature in not understanding the “unique” situation she is in, with baby and all.

She does not have time to wait for you to decide to become an “instant dad”. And I don’t blame her…

This is a tough situation for all involved, both of your parents included.

My gut says, back off, you’re not ready for ALL of this responsibility. Life with this girl is a lot more that boyfriend-girlfriend issues, there is a whole family, make that three families, involved.

If you were living on your own, if you have a responsible job, a life that is moving forward, I would tell you to keep going after her.
This is not the case, is it?

You do have a decision to make:
Job, Own Place, Life with GF and adopted kid, OR
A Life of your own.

And I agree with her, you’re just not ready yet, choose your own life right now, not to be a part of hers, you’re just not ready dude!
Best wishes,