Q: I'm one of those "nice guys" who gets complimented on the way he treats the woman he's with, and women in general. However, I always end up getting the soul crushing, "you're a nice guy, but not for me" good-bye; the "there's someone out there for you, but it's not me" statement or the "I love you, but not that way" speech. Each feels like an acid-dipped knife slowly being twisted in my wound.
What does it take to be more than the "too-nice-to-date" guy friend who wears his heart on his sleeve, but never gets to be the boyfriend? Do I have to become the heartless guy that women seem to swoon over? —Nice Guys Finish Last
Dear Nice Guy,
Here’s the Dr. Gilda nice guy mantra: “If one woman tells you you’re too nice, that’s merely her opinion. If many women tell you you’re too nice, it’s time to take notes!”
You identify yourself as someone who “wears his heart on his sleeve.” Kill that description! It positions your heart for personal nose-wiping and brow-mopping—and housekeeping is not the intended purpose of your precious fourth chakra.
The options of being either a rejected victim or “heartless” are harsh extremes. You’re intentionally attracting unlikely partners to confirm your feelings as a loser in love. Dude, swallow a dose of self-regard, and cease struggling so hard. Inspiration, not desperation, is what attracts. When you’re fully equipped with a sturdy spine, appropriate women will join your fan club. —Dr. Gilda
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Q: This is so embarrassing! My divorce was in 1997, and life got in the way of me building a relationship. I've never had a date since then. I don’t want to live alone, but I feel I have been out of the game for too long to jump back in. Help! —Old Dog Needing New Tricks
Dear Old Dog,
What’s so embarrassing about taking a break from love? What’s so shameful about attending to life’s demands?
Girl, let’s change your sign-off to “Sleeping Beauty.” Your slumber lasted only 15 years, while the princess in the fairy tale slept for a century! Her story teaches that it’s never too late to find a patient prince. My book cautions, “Don’t Bet on the Prince!” to whom you surrender your soul, but definitely, still seek one to love. Your hiatus gave you time for interior design, and now you’re romance-ready.
Mingle! The one who cares the least has the power, so flaunt your wares without a care. This is your first shell-hatching exercise. It will scare you a little—but excite you a lot. All you need do is reflect that excitement, and you’ll be a magnet for suitors. —Dr. Gilda
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Dr. Gilda Carle is the relationship expert to the stars. She is a professor at New York’s Mercy College and has written 15 books; her latest is “Don’t Bet on the Prince!”
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