Tag Archives: Dating

How to Tell a Prince from a Frog

Finding a guy to be your boyfriend is easy – just go to any bar. What’s more difficult is finding a man who deserves to be your prince.

EVERY woman wants a prince. That doesn’t mean you are dependent on a man or can’t do anything on your own. You can be extremely competent and self-sufficient and still want to be courted.

Here are 10 characteristics of a real prince:

  1. He puts you on a pedestal. He appreciates and respects you. He knows what he has to do to show his love, and he makes darn sure he doesn’t hurt you. If he accidentally hurts you, he doesn’t hesitate to admit his mistake and apologize sincerely. He isn’t verbally or physically ugly towards you.
  2. He is a man of his word. When he says he will do something, he does it. He is loyal and takes full responsibility for his words and actions.
  3. He loves you inside and out. We used to call it “warts and all”. He isn’t just hot for your body. He loves your strengths, nurtures your weaknesses, and thinks your imperfections are cute. He’s tolerant and compassionate.
  4. He is mature. He has a well-established job and a good income, and he makes plans for the future. He doesn’t spend his time playing video games. He’s not lazy and he’s not a workaholic – he is able to balance fun and relaxation with work and productivity.
  5. He is the leader in the relationship. He protects and provides.
  6. He is confident in himself. He’s not desperately trying to change or accommodate to satisfy anyone else’s ridiculous wants or desires.
  7. He is independent. He enjoys his own company, spends time with his own family and friends, and has his own hobbies and activities. He isn’t needy, clingy or jealous. You are the center of his universe, but there are other planets in his solar system.
  8. He is appreciative of you. He notices and praises the little things you do.
  9. He is honest. He admits his mistakes and does everything with good intentions. He communicates and critiques honestly, not cruelly.
  10. He is moral. He has a code of values that he lives by and you can count on.

No woman should tolerate anything less than a prince. And remember, a REAL prince also deserves a REAL princess. So if you do find a prince, don’t nag, whine, complain, or act self-centered or narcissistic.

How to Approach Your Spouse About Marriage Counseling

Many couples think marriage counseling is a forum to voice how mad they are and vent about how big a jerk their spouse is. But that couldn’t be further from the truth. Marriage counseling is not about how “I” feel or look, or what “I” want. The goal of marriage counseling is to learn some tools so you can both wake up each day and ask yourselves, “How can I make my spouse happy that they’re alive and married to me?”.

Each one of us comes into a marriage with our own neurotic patterns that we’ve picked up from our childhoods. We tend to follow them blindly or act like our moms and dads expecting a different result.

I remember one young couple who came to see me when I was in private practice. Every time they would have a disagreement, the husband would argue his wife into the ground until he was right. Where did this come from? His father was military, and he was brought up to never back down. He was punished if he said or did anything that wasn’t exactly right. As a result, his brain equated being wrong with not being loved.

Ultimately, we all want to be happy and loved. Here are some signs that counseling could help your marriage, some responses to the common excuses people use to avoid it, and how to approach your spouse about going to counseling together:

It’s not a healthy, happy marriage if:

    • It seems like everyone and everything is more important to your spouse than you (and vice versa).
    • You and your spouse are rehashing the same argument day after month after year.
    • Arguing and fighting are the primary ways you and your spouse connect.
    • You find yourself getting more depressed and miserable as time goes by because your spouse is pulling the emotional rug out from under you.
    • You find yourself increasingly and consistently not liking your spouse anymore.

 

Responses to common excuses:

    • “I don’t have the time to go to counseling.” Well, you’ll have plenty of free time when you’re divorced.
    • “I don’t have the money.” Divorce is going to cost you a whole lot more than a few counseling sessions. In addition, there are programs at your local university for clinical social workers, clinical psychologists, and marriage and family therapists. These students need to put in a number of hours to qualify for a license, and it is usually done by your ability to pay.
    • “I’m worried about my friends and family judging me.” Keep it private.
    • “I’m embarrassed to tell the counselor my problems.” Don’t be. They’ve heard it all (even the weird sexual things). That’s what they’re there for.
    • “Talking to someone isn’t going to help.” Not with that attitude it isn’t. It won’t help if you spend the hour venting, complaining and bitching. If, instead, the session is spent clarifying and learning some skills and strategies that you can practice at home, it will be very helpful.
    • “My spouse refuses to go with me.” Go by yourself. A relationship takes two people. Even if you think your spouse is the one who needs to change, start by changing yourself (unless they are a total sociopath). You’d be amazed at how much someone will change when you do.
    • “Counseling is a sign of weakness.” You are NOT a weak person if you need counseling. It takes a lot of strength to make changes and admit that you need help.

 

How to approach your spouse:

When you approach your spouse about going to counseling, never tell them that you need to go to fix them. That will only be met with defensiveness. Instead say, “I need to learn how to be a better husband/wife, and I would really appreciate it if you would come with me to help me do that.”

Go for one or two sessions. Then talk about whether or not you’re comfortable with it, if you like the therapist, and if anything productive is happening.

My Parents Don’t Like the Person I’m Dating

If you and your parents are having a difference of opinion about the person you’re dating or engaged to, you are probably WRONG and your parents are right. Not always, but that’s probably the case 95 percent of the time. Why? Because unless your parents are evil, psychos, bigots, nutcases or drunks, they only want to protect you from your silly self.  Your parents have been around longer, they have more relationship experience, and unlike you, they aren’t horny for this person so they are more objective. Unlike your parents, you may be too young, blind, desperate, or frightened to be thinking rationally. 

Just because you’re enthralled with someone doesn’t mean it’s a good project for the rest of your life. I can’t tell you how many times callers on my show have told me they saw the red flags when they were dating and people told them marrying their spouse was a bad idea, and yet, they did it anyway. Don’t walk into the Valley of the Shadow of Death, have three kids, and then decide that everyone was right and you should have listened. Not all things in life are fixable; in fact, they can get a whole lot worse.

For example, one of the biggest warnings people ignore from their parents is about dating someone who is a different religion.  A lot of people think religion is not an issue when they’re head-over-heels in love, but it is an issue when the kids arrive.

I once gave a talk to a Jewish group at a synagogue. During the Q&A, a man stood up and said that he had married a Christian woman who had agreed to raise their kids Jewish. The problem was, they got divorced. Now he was upset that she was raising the kids to be Christian. On a side note, this is why a lot of kids grow up to be atheists. They figure that neither parent cared enough about their religious point of view to create a family around it, so why should they?

The bottom line is, you have to ask yourself if it’s worth all the stress and drama for the rest of your life.  If there are some personality issues, it’s a good idea for everybody (boyfriend, girlfriend, and both sets of parents) to sit down and talk openly without getting defensive.

So, when your parents tell you that the guy or gal you are dating is a loser, psycho, drunk, cheater, or you can’t count on them, you need to stop and say to yourself, “My parents are good people, and I respect them. There must be a good reason why they don’t like him/her.” And if you’re dating someone who is rude or acts superior to your parents, dump them. These are the people who gave birth to you, nurtured you, raised you, and protected and provided for you.

Remember: The Romeo and Juliet story is very romantic, but people ended up dead.