September 05, 2006

Top 10 relationship questions

YOU'RE dating a new hot guy, or currently in a steady relationship with a guy you think you’d like to spend the rest or your life with, or maybe you’ve just broken up with your boyfriend of five years. There are still a lot of questions keeping you up in the middle of the night. And no matter how many times you talk to your girlfriends or gayfriends, asking them the same questions over and over again (which they patiently answer over and over again because, hey, that’s what friends do), you can’t calm down. Your mind is reeling, you feel anxious, maybe even panicky, and you hope that the answers in your head are wrong.

Herein I think are the top 10 relationship questions that we women always torture ourselves (and our friends) with.

1. Is he going to call? Or should I call him?
The first date went well. You both clicked. And you’d like to see him again. Honey, if he doesn’t call, don’t take it too personally. He just may not be into a steady dating frame of mind yet, as I gathered from my talks with a lot of young men these days. Many of them are just trying to make a name for themselves in their chosen profession, so they’re not really in a hurry to tie themselves down to just one girl. Then again, he might just be looking for a different kind of girl and you don’t fit the bill. So it’s best to adopt the same attitude as men do and move on. Should you call him? Hell no!

2. Should I kiss on a first date?
If the date went well, a peck on the cheek would be nice before saying goodnight. But if you feel the chemistry really flowing, then you could consider some tongue action—but only if he makes the move first. You don’t want to scare him off, do you? Leave it at that and let him want to see you to get a taste of more.

3. Should I have sex on a first date?
It helps to be clear about your objectives for the guy. If you’re just in it for the fun of it, then be my guest. I realize that sometimes you just want to go with the momentum of a great date. But don’t expect him to say “I love you” after. More often than not, he won’t. No matter how many times you do it. Now if you strongly feel that he could be the father of your kids someday, then it would be best to hold back until you get to know each other better. Who knows, he might have insanity running in his family? Seriously, men like the chase. But whatever you decide, please practice safe sex.

4. Does he love me?
He’s nice and sweet to you. He’s thoughtful. Never fails to call you, always picks you up from your work, takes you out to dinners frequently, and showers you with lots of gifts. But not once has he said the “L” word. Honey, just in case you don’t know it yet, men are idiots when it comes to expressing their feelings. And they absolutely hate talking about the relationship, where it’s at or where it’s going, along with all the other stuff that’s important to you. I guess you will never know until he actually gets down on his knees and proposes to you. In the meantime, you could consider the truism that “actions speak louder than words” and be content basking in his undivided attention.

5. He’s asking for a cool-off period. Is it over?
If he wants to have a cool-off period, you know he is having doubts about spending any more time with you. It may not be over just yet but realize that it is heavily tilting toward that conclusion. In the meantime, go out with your friends and flirt with other men. Men are territorial
by nature, so if your boyfriend has any feelings for you left, knowing that other men are hitting on you could make him realize a thing or two.

6. Should you date during the cool-off period?
Absolutely! A lot of people may disagree with me but, hey, why should my girlfriend sit around and wait for her boyfriend to snap out of his stupidity? If he wants her, he knows where to find her. In the meantime, enjoy your freedom and go out. Moping and waiting for him to call won’t serve any useful purpose, except drive you crazy.

7. We broke up. I know he still loves me. Will we get back together?
You’ve been listening to Barry Manilow again? Heck no! Move on, girl!

8. How do I know he is The One?
Many married people I’ve talked to all agree that you will know if he’s The One. You’ll feel it in your bones, in your guts, in your loins and, most important, in you heart. Nothing stupid like “He completes me.” Because you should be a whole person to begin with. Like you’re already happy and satisfied with your life but having him around is a nice bonus.

9. He’s married but we’re very much in love. Is he going to leave her?
Not in a million years, honey! Especially if he has children with her. Either be content being a mistress and not complain if he isn’t with you always, or enjoy the fact that he isn’t with you always. Imagine all the wonderful things you could do—you’re in a steady relationship and yet you can go out and come home late, or have your friends over for dinner, go on vacations and so on. Enjoy your freedom. And, no, getting yourself pregnant won’t make him leave her either. He might just end up resenting you later for making him lose touch with his other children. Live your own independent life and just be there for him when he needs you.

10. He’s cheated on me but he says he’s sorry. Should I accept him back?
Tricky question. Maybe if it’s just once, stick to the relationship and give him another chance. We all make mistakes. Forgiveness is a huge part of making any relationship work. And if you’re married and have kids, there is more reason to stay together. I still believe that most kids grow up better adjusted when raised by two parents. Now if he’s a habitual cheater, then leave. He’s making you miserable, so stop being a doormat. “Hard” isn’t even close to describing what you will go through in the next few months, but just think about it this way: not many people get a second stab at happiness.

So live and love, people!

(Originally published in the Business Mirror, Something Like Life, May 19, 2006. My column comes out every Friday.)

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