Getting over a broken heart

Dear Diva, My boyfriend and I broke up about 6 months ago, I had hoped it was a break and we would be back together but we aren’t and he has met someone and moved on… I have tried moving on, meeting people and dating but I just don’t feel it. I think I will probably never meet anyone like him ever again so I blew it. It bothers me that at 27 I am now sure I will probably spend my life alone.  I still think about him all the time and compare every single guy I meet to him. How can I start being happy again?
Heartbroken in Houston

Dear Whole-new-you, First, I am sorry you feel so bad. I have drank from the bottle of Think- I-Blew-it-With-a-Great-Guy myself. (Figuratively AND literally) and I know that it is no fun. Then one day you get it- Sure he may have been a great guy, but if he was YOUR great guy, you would not be writing me. If he was the “One” he would still be with you– which means there is a great guy for you out there! Part of what “good looks like to me” is that I am also what good looks like to him. If a guy I dated found someone else and seems content in his new relationship, that is my first clue that I am not. That fact, in and of itself makes me sure he is not the “One”.

This realization doesn’t make it stop sucking immediately, the knowledge that it wasn’t right is not an instant revival, but with that knowledge you can remind yourself the right one will come along, and be grateful that you aren’t stuck with the wrong one when he does. So what to do until you stumble on him, or more importantly are able to recognize him because you aren’t pining over the wrong guy? Ok first, without hesitation, go to your nearest book store and buy the book “It’s Called a Break-up Because it’s Broken” by Greg Behrendt & Amiira Rutola-Behrendt. Don’t order it or you will have to wait for shipping. You need this book tonight. Keep it next to your nightstand, carry it in your purse, have it available to you at all times. Don’t push yourself to meet someone new right away if you aren’t feeling it. But push yourself to do things that make you happy and feel better about yourself. Get out of the house, get a life for yourself, and find ways to be happy with you. The most attractive thing one can do is be happy themselves.

Don’t try to be “just friends” with your ex. In the beginning, feeling like you are, it will only serve to torture you. (Don’t ask me how I know this- I just do.) After some time has passed and you have both moved on, you can send each other holiday emails. I would even go so far as to say to eliminate as much contact as possible, delete his name from the IM, defriend him, lose the number…you get the point. The less you know now, the better off you are. Yes, a couple times a year I sneak a peak at his Fb page if for no other reason than to remind myself of how happy he looks without me, but I can now because I’m ok with me and my life.  I know it doesn’t feel like it now, but one of these days, you will be too. Write me in a few months and let me know how you’re doing!
Love, Diva

So he bought you a crappy Valentines Day gift?

OK so Valentine’s Day has come and gone, and this morning I wake to the letters of ladies all around the US, doing what we do best- over-analyzing. What he got you, where he took you, who sent you a text, who didn’t…what does it mean?

“He got me a gift certificate for 10 Instalube oil changes, does that mean he doesn’t really love me?”

“We went to this local pub for heart shaped pizza & wings instead of a nice restaurant, do you think he may be thinking of me like a friend?”

“He got me a ruby pendant, but he knows my favorite gem is emerald, what does that mean?”

Really? Ladies, really? This is why men hate Valentines Day. Look, some guys are better at this stuff than others. Now I will give you, that when men truly care about the women in their lives, they will go out of their way to desperately not screw up this day because they know it means so much to us. They will consult their friends, the women at the office etc… The sad truth is that even then, the key word here is still “try”.

Maybe he thought you had so many rubies already and that emeralds would offset that nicely? I personally think heart- shaped pizza is insanely romantic, especially if he lets you pick the toppings. Maybe he couldn’t afford or get reservations for a nicer place. Maybe he knows you love honey garlic wings? An oil change? Well it’s only romantic depending on how ya look at it. What does romance look like to you? It may not be romantic in the traditional sense, but to a man, he is looking out for and protecting the woman he cares about and that is always adorable. To me that would be especially sweet because I am terrible about remembering to do those things and that would help! Thoughtfulness has many forms.

Want a confession from your favorite Dating Diva? One year I actually forgot it was Valentines Day and only when I walked in my house and saw his gift and flowers for me was I reminded. Well, that sure didn’t sit well because us women are supposed to LOVE this day and the fact that I had forgot all about it showed him that I really wasn’t “…invested in the relationship.” (Dear Ex-BF, If you are reading this- I still feel a bad about that, truly sorry.)

My ex husband never missed a birthday, anniversary, or Valentines. I had rings for every finger including my thumbs. I had gems I never even wore and flowers for any occasion that you should get flowers for. Was it because he cherished me and our relationship? Nope. It was because he was “supposed to.” The other days I was lonelier in that marriage than I have ever been single. I would trade all the diamonds on earth from a man who gives them because is supposed to for an oil change from a man that loves me year round any day of the week.

Here is the real question girls: How do you FEEL when you are with this person the other 364 days of the year? When you are with him is it what good looks like to you? Is he kind and thoughtful towards you? Is he honest with you? Does he include you in his life? Trust you with his secrets? Does he want you there to share both his victories and defeats with you? If that is true than pay attention- those are the greatest gifts a man gives the woman he loves and trusts. I certainly wouldn’t draw into question that kind of relationship for any gem or romantic restaurant. Yes, its true men that love you will plan for days they know are special to you, but sometimes it comes out as what looks like romance to HIM. I wouldn’t judge an entire relationship on a single day.

A final thought. I hope whatever gift you received was received with graciousness. There is never an excuse for bad manners and the best way to ensure that a man won’t want to give you any more gifts is if you act like an ungrateful bitch- which us Diva’s do NOT. Ever. For any reason.  Happy Valentines Day.

Love,
Diva

When should you snoop on a man?

Dear Diva,

My boyfriend and I have been living together for almost 2 years. It’s been a good relationship so far. Lately I noticed he has been working a lot more, staying late, going to the gym more etc…Our sex life is still good, but it makes me wonder if he may be interested in someone else on the side.

I have already done the usual snooping in his coat, cell, and pockets but …haven’t found anything unusual. Are there any other ways to tell if a guy is cheating. I don’t want to be the last to know.

Concerned- in- Coppell

Dear Keep-Your-Hands-Off-His-Stuff,

Sister, sit down and get your hands out of his pockets, we need to talk. Ya want to know the quickest way to get a man to cheat on you? Start treating him like he already is.  I want you to know that your statement “…the usual snooping” offends me as a woman. It implies that it is common-place for women to behave in this manner. It is not.

The very second I find myself reduced to looking through a mans cell phone because of my insecurities, I know there is a problem regardless of what I would find. That is NOT what “good looks like to me.” Who wants to live like that? Looking through pockets and sneaking around? You are not secure in your relationship, and there is your first problem.

Look we all have moments of insecurity, it happens. But for me, in a good relationship, you should be able to keep perspective and if there is real concern, talk to your other half. Maybe he does not even realize he has been so caught up in work and other things lately, or that you are feeling a little insecure. Talk to him, honestly without accusing or shouting and see how he responds to that. If he responds to you with negativity, belittles and  ignores your feelings, or becomes angry- you have a relationship problem, cheating or no cheating.

I understand not wanting to be the last to know. I have been cheated on. He denied any of it, but I knew. That is frustrating, we all say “I just want to KNOW.” We want proof, so we can call it. What I didn’t realize then was that the “proof” was really irrelevant. I was not happy in the relationship, and I don’t want a relationship that I am constantly wondering about. I can promise you that sneaking through is things doesn’t make you feel better as evidenced by your letter. It only makes you feel worse. Its bad enough to be insecure, but now your an insecure snoop.

Talk to your man, and let the interaction between the two of you decide where the relationship goes or doesn’t- not his pockets and cell phone.

Love, Diva

Getting pregnant on purpose to keep a man?

Diva,

I am madly in love with my boyfriend. We have been seeing each other for over a year now and I think it’s really time to take the relationship to the next level. The problem is he is married.

Now before you go judging, he says they do not even sleep in the same bed anymore and up until he met me he just stayed because of the children. Now that he knows he loves me, he has been looking for the right time to discuss a divorce with her. He says he does want to leave and start a family with me.

So here is my question, I have been really careful about taking my birth control pills because I knew we needed to make a commitment first. But I got to thinking that I know he loves me and I am definitely ready for a family with him, so if I allowed myself to get pregnant it would solve two problems.
1. He would finally have to tell his wife and 2. We would go ahead to the next level because of our family.

So does that sound like a good strategy to you? Please write me back soon, I would like to start working on it for the New Year.
Signed,
Ready-in-Richmond

Dear WTF-Are-You-Thinking,

As stated above, WTF are you thinking? Are you thinking at all right now?
I have always stated “I don’t judge just advise.” You have gotten yourself in situation. I have been in situations where I did not think straight (However, none quite like this.) So as a good “Big Sister” would advise you…Um..NO, that is NOT a good idea!

Let’s take the first part of what’s wrong with this picture. You are sleeping with a married man who after a year of being with you, still does not seem like he is interested in leaving his wife. Now I am not going to tell you that marriages don’t end, or that there are not “name-only” marriages out there, and I am not going to tell you that men don’t end up marrying “The Other Woman” (Which is, by the way, what you are.)

However, I believe: A- That if he had intentions on leaving his wife, that would have happened by now. B- IF that marriage had/has a chance to work you are a severe detriment to that, and you have to live with that. C-You are better than that. You should respect yourself enough to not accept being 2nd in line with any man- If that is what “Good looks like to you”, I would encourage you to seek professional counseling I can not provide within this column.

This brings me to my next issue. The idea that bringing a child into the world in order to destroy a marriage and to tie yourself to a man that clearly does not want to be tied to you is selfish at best. It will not solve ANY problems but create more. Let me explain those to you.

  1. You will destroy a marriage.
  2. He will never trust you. You will appear devious, malicious, and manipulative.
  3. If that man does not truly want to be with you, and you trap him with a baby, he will resent you, and ultimately you will end up alone.
  4. Raising a child alone is very difficult, especially with a man who resents you and has no respect for you.
  5. You will wonder every single time he leaves if he is cheating on you.
  6. Your child deserves better than that.

Does it sound like any of those things solves any problems?

You want to know where you stand? Stop seeing him immediately. If his marriage is truly over, and he truly loves you he will do the right thing by you- and his wife- and discuss ending the marriage. You should not be involved in that. If that marriage ends because it was going to than it does with you knowing you didn’t contribute to that. If he does not do that, you have your answer. You were just a good time so he could have his cake and eat it too, and the sooner you get out of a situation like that, the sooner you will be able to look yourself in the mirror again. You will then be able to find a man that you don’t have to “strategize” over.

I would also advise you to prepare yourself for the slew of comments that you will get from my readers following this column. Not all are as diplomatic as I am. I do encourage you to seek some counseling to help you be strong and resolved when doing the right thing here.

Love, Diva

Should a girl ask a guy on a date?

Dear Diva,
There is a guy that works in my office building that I run into often. He always smiles at me and says hi and a few times I thought I saw him giving me “the look”. We chatted for a bit at the coffee counter once and he wasn’t wearing a ring or anything… I was just wondering with all these new dating rules, is it cool now if I just go ahead and ask him out- maybe even just coffee or something?
Signed Smitten in Sagebrush

Dear Smitten,
NO.
Love, Diva

Ha ha. No seriously now, you have a good question. I personally don’t feel that a girl should ask a guy out. There are ways to have conversation, flirt, let him know your interested- but asking for the date is his job. OK, OK go ahead and preach to me about the modern woman. Done? Now let me tell you some truths:

A man that is interested will ask you out. It may take every ounce of courage that he has, but if a guy is truly interested he will find a way to talk to you, to make contact, or to see you. Especially if you have shown him in a subtle way that you are interested as well.

If you allow a man to know that you are interested and he is not asking you out- there is a reason for that. Maybe he is in a relationship, gay, or for no other reason than you are simply  “Not what good looks like to him”.

But Diva! What if he is just shy? Nope. I am not buyin’ it.
So what to do?
Smile back when you see him. Make eye contact. When an opportunity presents itself, like running into each other at the counter- start a conversation. About anything- music, movies, sports- whatever. If he is interested he will see the opportunity and talk back! If you are at the coffee counter talking, you can always invite him to sit with you, a simple “You’re welcome to join me” may open the door for a friendly chat. But that is where it ends, you can only go so far. It’s up to him to close and if he isn’t,  know that there is a reason for that, and move along. Keep smiling and a guy that really likes you will notice!

As usual, this is just one Diva’s opinion. I always welcome yours!
Love,
Diva

We don’t need no stinking gurus. Simple. We like that!

NO Sales pitch disguised as “dating tips”. You don’t need a credit card just to be here.   We don’t send you 3 newsletters aka solicitations per day. This is YOUR dating advice site! Read the articles, comment and offer your own advice, ask questions… Check out our Suggestion Box- tell me what you would like a dating advice site to do, to have. Tell us what your favorite ice cream is, or your favorite band- just come on in and make some friends!  I’m no guru, but think we can handle this dating stuff!

“Like havin’ coffee with your big sister!”…
When I first started writing dating advice on Examiner, I felt horribly unqualified. I have made enough dating mistakes for both of us! I went looking for dating info- the gurus, the speakers, the experts-
All telling me what a dumbass I had been previously- how they could save my dating life for the low price of ALOT, and pontificating on how complex this all was – thereby making themselves neccessary to navigate poor little single me through the overwhelming waters of dating and relationships (For the low price of ALOT) I finally cried “Bullsh**”! I learned in college to break overwhelming subjects into 3 parts- and then just explain the parts. I did this to dating problems. I found that all the questions I got from readers, and in my own dating mistakes and adventures it boiled
down to 3 main points:

1. Know what good looks like to you.
2. Put yourself in a position to find good
3. Know when to fold ‘em.

I applied this to my own life and the advice I gave readers. My life was simple- I was no
longer stressed at all about dating, realtionships etc… The 3 Point Plan© was born.

We can do this dating thing together! We don’t need no stinking gurus. I won’t mail you stuff you haven’t even ordered and charge you for it! I don’t have a “Super-Duper Cure” for your dating woes that costs  you a bunch of money. You don’t have to buy hours of audio or video. I don’t want you to over analzye everything so I can sell you more stuff. Just fun SIMPLE advice from my 3-Point Plan.

If you need  a psych doctor, or therapist, I am neither of those things. In fact I am quite flawed, but I am real- just like you. I am a bit short, could lose a pound or two, have some baggage hanging around. Love has kicked my ass a few times.  After said ass kicking-  my girlfriends made me a bet to try online dating for 6 months. I ended up writing a fiction novel, LOOSELY based on the experience, next thing you know I was a columnist!

Sure The 3 Point Plan can be expanded upon. I do host workshops on this- they are for 3 hours and don’t cost a million dollars. I wont drive you crazy begging you to come to one. You can simply write in and ask questions here, but I hear they are useful in just getting the mindset to simplify your dating life. I did write a novel, and I hope you read it, check it out, laugh a bit, but buying it is not a requirement of this site either!

I recently moved some of my most common questions from my other home at the Examiner… so that you could see some previous readers questions and answers. You’ll find all this on “Your dating questions answered” link. Please feel free to write in your own questions, leave comments and of course, forward, tweet, or digg any of these columns.

 

This is just one Diva’s opinion, and I may not always be right- but I try to give good, real, advice!  The blog page is just for my own personal yammering and just to write general stuff. I hope you enjoy the column and the site. Also feel free to Add me as a friend on Facebook, and become a fan on Dating Diva’s page!

PS- OK OK If you really WANT to give me your credit card number thats ok- Buy the book or sign up for a workshop, but this site will ALWAYS be free to use and participate in!!! Love, Diva

Introducing yourself in online dating

Dear Diva,
So I finally decided to give the online dating thing a try. I am just wondering what to say when I first write to a girl?… I mean isn’t she just going to look at the profile and decide if she wants to write back or not regardless of what is in the letter? I know you wrote a book about meeting men online so I was just wondering if there was anything you usually looked for with the guys you answered back?
Signed Stuck in St Louis

Dear Kickstart-your-heart,
It’s good you are trying to meet new people. I have to do my usual online dating warnings and tell you to use caution when giving out personal info and make sure your first meeting is in a open public place.
Now back to your question. Though the profile is important, see related article: Making an online dating profile
What you say in the letter does matter. I have had guys with great looking profiles write me awful things. There were other guys whose profiles didn’t look so amazing but something they said to me peaked my interest so I responded to them. Each person develops their own “system” for reading their mail. Some don’t look farther than the pic, I read every letter. Since everyone has their own idea of what “good looks like to them”, I will share with you the things I personally like and don’t when a man “approaches” me online.

1. It’s nice to know they actually read something about my profile. “I see you like Shiraz, I just tried a great one myself last week!” or “I have always wanted to try soaring, how long have you been interested in it?” Things like this show that you looked past the pic.

2. It bugs me when men that I have never had any contact with use pet names like “baby”, “sweetie”, or “honey” in an introduction email. I know they are trying to be cute and cool, but for some reason I just feel like those terms are a bit too familiar.

3. Too much information. It’s great to share something about yourself in the intro email, but keep it brief and simple. I once had a guy write 6 paragraphs in his first email. I found it a bit much.

4. I personally like it when a man uses good grammar and spelling in the intro and in his profile. Later on if we are IM’ing or we are texting- the “text talk” is ok but if the first letter says “Hey Babee- UR Hot” I will probably delete it no matter what his pic looks like.

5. If you don’t have a decent pic on your profile, attach one. ‘Nuff said.

6. This isn’t about initial contact, but spend some time on your own profile as well. Know what good looks like to you so you can attract that.

Hope this helps you get started. Be friendly, be casual, and be you. Don’t be afraid to say hi. Some will delete your letters with no response. That happens, it just wasn’t what “good looked like to them.” Don’t take it personally or be discouraged. Write back and let me know how your doing.
Love, Diva