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TODAY contributor
updated 9/21/2012 11:12:02 AM ET 2012-09-21T15:12:02

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: After I finally committed myself to my boyfriend, he broke my heart. Since then, I have had nothing but bad luck with men. In the beginning, everything is always good, but when guys feel they have me hooked, they treat me badly. I brush it off at first, but then I come to my senses and realize I don’t have to put up with bad treatment. So should I settle or just not date? Dating only brings me the same kind of man. What am I doing wrong? —Tired of Games

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Dear Tired,
Sorry, girlfriend, but who you are attracts who others are! So when things go awry, you’re right to ask what you are doing wrong.

Perhaps you don a mask with each new guy, and when it slips, your real self disappoints. Or perhaps men lose interest as soon as you extinguish your individuality. To maintain a relationship, maintain your integrity—from start to finish. Settling or going dateless are extreme cop-outs, but not solutions to this issue. 

Decrying your “bad luck with men” positions you as victim. Get counseling to uncover and embrace your merits, in love and out. Your guy won’t leave if you remain as honest and intriguing as when you first meet him. —Dr. Gilda

Q: I have quite the history with men: terrible! I usually jump in with all I have and become immediately committed. But now at 28, I'm trying to take it slow, get to know someone, and see what happens. I’ve been meeting new people, making friends and hanging out. Now I’ve spent a month with a guy, and we get along great and do things together regularly. Am I out of line in asking him if we can date? I don't want to be single forever. —Wanting a Relationship

Dear Wanting,
A woman may think she’s having a dinner “meeting,” while the guy she’s with may think they’re on a “date.” A man may believe he’s “hanging out,” while the girl he enjoys hanging with believes they’re sparking “love.” Without clarified boundaries, the status quo will continue.  My Gilda-Gram warns, “Silence is acceptance.”

So, girl, take charge! Tell Mr. Hanger-Outer you eventually want to be in love, and if this is not his goal, you’re hanging him out to dry. Unlike in your past, now you aren’t committing yourself to him; you’re committing yourself to your intentions.  If he doesn’t respect your forthrightness, someone more worthy will. Regardless, you will have learned the valuable lessons of being truthful and upfront! —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 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.

© 2013 NBCNews.com  Reprints

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