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updated 8/3/2012 9:43:37 AM ET 2012-08-03T13:43:37

Dr. Gilda Carle

Need a quick answer to a relationship dilemma? Relationship expert Dr. Gilda Carle cuts through the fluff with her relationship advice in TODAY.com’s “30-second therapist” series.

Q: At age 18, I discovered I lacked self-esteem, confidence, and emotional balance. I became passionate about self-help, psychology and self-therapy. After years of learning about psychology (and putting in place all of the tools to make you healthy), I have become the dream guy I always wanted to be — successful, kind, emotionally balanced, respectful, considerate, strong backbone and high ethics. My problem is that I am unable to find these qualities in ANYONE. I will not date someone who treats me less than I treat them, and the ones that push themselves into dating me only want money. I am very happy being single and I would not change all the hard work I did on myself for anything. Does being of healthy mind and emotions make you single for the rest of your life?  — Seeker of Love

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Dear Seeker,
How could any woman find a spot to share in your “dream guy” aura? You erroneously think you’ve made it to perfection, but self-growth involves a lifelong pursuit. “Being of healthy mind and emotions” does not “make you single for the rest of your life”—but inflated self-importance will!

Your distrust meter measures off the chart, so you’re pulling in the wrong people. Sorry, Seeker, but attracting wayward wenches points to clogged assessment filters. When you let the hot air out of your ego, your screens will clear and you’ll recognize quality partners. However, don’t expect them to want you—until you become quality yourself. Back to school, Buddy!! —Dr. Gilda

Q: I have been in a live-in relationship for the past six years and my partner has not seen me naked in almost three years, as he’s made negative comments about my body.  I am horribly self-conscious in front of him.  We have no intimacy, and when I try to discuss it, his response is, "You bring this up every few weeks, and it's all in your head."  He ogles other women, and despite him telling me he loves me, I have my doubts. Without communication, I don't see how we can resolve our issues. He’s hurt my feelings, and while he has apologized, I believe his comments express his true feelings.  My love for him is diminishing, and I'm seriously thinking of throwing in the towel. Please help! —Nothing Left

Dear Nothing Left,
In case your spectacles are too muddled, try this de-fogger: 1) Dude disparages your body—and cruelly claims he’s only kidding. 2) Dude ogles other women—and all the while criticizes you. 3) Dude tries to convince you your concerns are hallucinations—a customary way that bullies deny their behaviors. 4) You’ve been living without intimacy for three long years and you’re “horribly self-conscious”—BUT you’re stuck!

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A belittling partner would leave anyone feeling unattractive, unlovable, and unappreciated. What you need is Vitamin Self-Worth to strengthen your kick-him-to-the-curb muscles. Writing to me is your first courageous step. Now write a list for yourself of all the injustices you’ve felt from this verbal brute. Take your list to a therapist so you can discuss why you deserve better. —Dr. Gilda

Do you agree with Dr. Gilda’s advice? Do you have your own? Share it in the comments below.

Want Dr. Gilda to answer your relationship questions? Click here to send them in!

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!”

© 2012 MSNBC Interactive.  Reprints

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