Doc Love Dating Advice

                        WOMEN DON’T LIE - MEN DON’T LISTEN
                                SUCCESS COACH - DOC LOVE

Hey Doc,
I’ve been dating Brittany for 16 months now.  Everything has been going very well and she has demonstrated Flexibility, caring, and is not structured.  But I’m curious about an issue that came up this week.  I’m now studying your Dating Dictionary and one thing that sticks out to me is that when you do something nice for her, she should come back with a high level of appreciation and return the gesture in some way.

Well, about three months ago, Brittany’s cell phone broke and she was issued a new one through her insurance program. From the beginning, she hated everything about the phone, from the way it looked to the way it worked. She actually talked about how much she hated it every day. Now I know that a cell phone isn’t the most romantic gift, but for her thirtieth birthday, I thought I’d surprise her with a new one.  It was quite expensive ($200) and I was really looking forward to having her pick it up.  I was giving her hints to drive her crazy through the week, which was fun. I also put together a little surprise dinner for her with some friends and her parents. Pretty good, right?

Well, after work on her birthday we met and I walked Brittany to the Sprint store, told her to pick out a phone and said “Happy Birthday!”  Her reaction was not what I expected.  She said, “Oh, you didn’t have to do this.  I was just complaining.  And I don’t want you to spend money for a phone because these companies all annoy me.”  

I was crushed and in a funk for the rest of the night. I kept thinking that she should have just sucked it up and pretended to like the phone.  But part of me wanted her to have a gift she likes too and I could appreciate her honesty.  We never did buy the phone and now she’s kind of backtracked and says we should get it because it was my idea and that makes it special.  But I know she doesn’t really want it and now I don’t want to buy it.  

Now up to this point, Brittany’s always been affectionate and still has her hands all over me. I don’t know if she used the phone incident as a distancing technique or what.  I’m also an emotional guy (I’ve learned a lot from you about Self-Control) so I don’t quite know how to react. It’s several days later and I’m still bummed and acting a little cold toward her and I know I shouldn’t do that.  Do I need to loosen up?  What would you suggest as a next move?

Thanks a lot, Doc.  You’re always a tremendous help.

Carmelo - who feels like he got slapped in the face

Hi Carmelo,

Sure, buddy. Brittany (and every woman for that matter) should come right back with an appreciative gesture – assuming she’s a Flexible Giver. But are you sure that’s what you have here? You say that you heard about how much Brittany hated her phone every day. Every single day. Then you tell me she’s Flexible. As Sal “The Fish” Love says, “Hey, baby -- ain’t that a contradiction in terms?” Because it sounds to me like she’s as structured as the U.S. tax system! Beating you over the head again and again and again with the same thing -- isn’t that the very definition of nagging? Jeez, pal; maybe you better clean the potatoes out of your ears!

So my question to you is this: are you really reading the Dating Dictionary? I think you’ve got the wrong book!

But let’s give Brittany the benefit of the doubt anyway and move on. Okay. She tells you about 90 times how volatile she is in the area of cell phones. She badgers you every single day with how much she hates the one she’s got. (By the way, maybe your girl hates the gadgets because her boss can always get to her no matter where she is – did you think of that?) So what do you do? You go and set her up with a CELL PHONE!

Why would cell phones even enter your mind? As my cousin Fast Eddie Love says, “Didn’t you see that you were walking a dangerous, dangerous line here?” Sure it was fun dropping hints to Brittany – but it wasn’t fun for long once she saw what her birthday gift was!    

Now I will give you this – the little surprise soiree you planned was a phenomenal gesture on your part. This shows you have a lot of class. (But the other part, the part about the cell phone – well, Carmelo, I don’t want you to mail my book back so I won’t tell you how I really feel on that one!)

As soon as Brittany said “Oh, you didn’t have to do this,” you should have said “Come on, honey, I know how you feel about cell phones – I was just pulling your leg!” Then you should have taken her by the arm, escorted her out of the phone store and walked her straight into Tiffany’s! She’s telling you constantly how all cell phone companies drive her insane, and you try and play kissy by treading in an area where you don’t know how she’s going to react. The phone has been driving her nuts for months, and you’re going to get her another one? Hello? Better wake up and smell the jungle gardenias!

Of course Brittany should have sucked it up – but she’s been telling you all along how much she hates cell phones!  If she told you she hated rat poison, would you go out and buy her a bottle of the stuff to drink? Now if she’d told you once that she hated her cell phone, you would have done the right thing by buying her a new one. And then she could have sucked it up, even if she was under-whelmed by being on the receiving end of an un-romantic gift. But, jeez, man, she clobbered you over the head every day with it. What else could you expect?

But you painted yourself into a nifty corner, like most idiots. So go buy her the cell phone, Carmelo, and you suck it up. Brittany wasn’t distancing herself from you, not at all. The problem was that you presumed to know her taste in the area of mobile telecommunications. She told you incessantly that she loathed what he had and you’re going to take the chance finding one that’s better? Am I getting through to you now?

So you’re “emotional,” huh, and you’ve learned a lot from me about Self-Control. Is that why you’re acting cold towards Brittany? Isn’t that called pouting? No offense, guy, but you get an F+ in that subject.  

Wanna know how to react? Put on a happy face. Keep it light, keep it funny, and go buy her the phone. A week later you’re going to buy her a dozen roses, and when she asks you why you did it, you’re going to say “Because you’re you, that’s why!” And next time, before you do anything stupid, use what God put between your ears.

Your next move? I know a nice igloo in Alaska where you can go and just sit and read the Dating Dictionary over and over for the next six months! And in case you didn’t notice, you slapped Brittany in the face, Carmelo – by giving her the wrong gift on her birthday.

Remember, guys: before you take any action, think it through.

To send me your love questions or to find out more about “The System,” visit me at or call (800) 404-2644.

Doc Love is a talk show host and entertainment speaker who coaches men in his seminars. For the past 30 years he has asked thousands of women, “Why do you stay with one man versus another?”

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