This week, one reader says she feels insecure because her boyfriend openly looks at other women, while another wonders why the object of her affection is so inconsistent. Relationship expert Dr. Gilda Carle cuts through the fluff with her love advice in TODAY.com's "30-second therapist" series.
Q: I have been in a four and a half year relationship and we do laugh a lot and get along well, in and out of the bedroom. He always tells me he loves me and "says" I'm beautiful and loves my body. Mind you, I had three children, now all grown in their 30s, by C-section. Back in the late 70s and early 80s, they didn't do C-sections like they do today, so I have a huge scar and a "roll" because of the way they stapled my stomach after surgery. No matter how many sit ups or exercises I do, it never will go away unless I have surgery that I can't afford.
My problem is when we are out in public, my man Gary practically breaks his neck looking at other women, or inches up in traffic to look at them. He tells me he hates blondes, because he was married to one, but all the women he ogles are blondes. I am at my wits end, trying to deal with this situation. He admitted to me that he looks, but I say he "ogles." I keep telling him there is a difference.
Please help me find a solution to this problem, for I feel I don't want to go out in public with him so I don't have to deal with all this stress. —Struggling to Keep Things Together
Gary's behavior is crass, disrespectful, and inconsiderate of your expressed feelings. Do you really want to remain with such a lout? Yet, he's not the issue; your low self-concept is! Sure, the mixed messages he's sending would bring any woman down: On one hand, he demonstrates that love is more than a C-section and some belly rolls, but on the other, he throws it in your face that he nonetheless desires better.
Girl, if you can't afford professional counsel, devour some self-esteem-building books.
You're with this guy because you feel you don't deserve more. As soon as you begin to love yourself, your new question will be "Gary? Gary who?" —Dr. Gilda
Q: I met this guy two and a half months ago at a bar in the wee hours of the morning. I was attracted to him, and I am positive he felt likewise. We exchanged contacts, and on reaching home that early morning, he called me. Our conversation lasted 45 minutes. For the whole month that followed, he called me three times a day and would get pretty offended if I didn’t pick up or return his calls. The weird thing is, we have only met twice. He won’t meet me, as he claims to be very busy. Based on the conversations we have, I gathered he's close to his family, something that suggests he could be a good person. However, he won’t talk openly about his immediate family, so I don’t know if he has a spouse and kids. Many times, he discusses his sick mother. There’s a time he went quiet for three days. Then, when I heard from him, he complained that I wasn’t there for him during his trying time, and joked that I didn’t even suggest going to visit his mom in the hospital. He later suddenly went quiet for three weeks. My question is, what could be his marital status and why won’t he meet me? Why is he calling me every so often? —Perplexed
I'm a relationship expert, not a psychic. Why dude's calls are on-again, off-again is something you must ask him. His sporadic interest suggests there's some commitment elsewhere, even if it's to his own dedication to remain free.
OK, so the guy turns you on. That's merely a tease! In his superficial fandango of push and pull, why are you even asking the "why" questions? You must learn what to do if someone doesn't show up the way you want him to! Repeat this
Gilda-Gram often: "If he's mine, I can't lose him. If he's not, I don't want him." If this guy's a no-show or a slow-show, girlfriend, let go! —Dr. Gilda
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Dr. Gilda Carle is the relationship expert to the stars. She is a professor emerita, has written 15 books, and her latest is “Don’t Bet on the Prince!”—Second Edition. She provides advice and coaching via Skype, email and phone.