Doc Love Dating Advice
SHOULD YOU SHARE EVERYTHING WITH YOUR GIRLFRIEND?
Women Don't Lie - Men Don't Listen
Success Coach - Doc Love
I’m in a relationship with a great girl, Karen. We’ve been together for almost four months. We’re totally in love with each other and she is completely devoted to making me happy. It’s the best relationship I’ve ever had. We get along so well that people are starting to ask us when we’re getting married. I’d say that if another six or seven months pass by and things stay as great as they’ve been, we probably will get engaged.
Our relationship has been perfect up until now but I need your advice because I think that I screwed up. Here’s the thing. I’m a musician and every year or so I go out on tour, usually to Europe for about four months. When I first met Karen I had just come back from Italy where I had met this sweet and smart 28-year-old named Isabella. (By the way, I’m 32 and Karen is 30.) Isabella kept showing up at all of our gigs. She spoke perfect English and had a huge crush on me. We wound up spending every day together while I was there, almost a month.
One thing led, to another and as soon as we got intimate she told me that she loved me. I guess I was kind of infatuated because I also told her that I loved her. It felt like love and it was really sad when I had to leave to come back to L.A.
We were sending romantic e-mails back and forth and she was planning a trip to visit me here. But like I said, a few weeks after I got back, I met Karen. And after about six weeks or so it became pretty obvious that Karen was THE ONE.
After I got clear that Karen was the only girl for me, I didn’t have the heart to tell Isabella about Karen. But I finally stopped procrastinating and just last week I e-mailed Isabella and told her that I had met Karen and that I was in love with her. I knew that Isabella would be heart broken, which she was. But I also knew that I couldn’t have put if off any longer. I felt really bad, but I know I did the right thing.
But that’s not the problem. The problem is that while I was in my ‘coming clean’ mode, I also (unfortunately) told Karen about Isabella. I thought she would appreciate my honesty. I told her that it was a fling but that it was totally over now.
Well, Karen got completely freaked out when I shared all this. She asked me if I was in love with Isabella and I said no of course, which is really true. Then she asked me if I had ever told Isabella that I loved her, and trying to be Mr. Honesty, I confessed that I had. Well that really upset her and she was crying and said that she couldn’t believe that I had “hidden” this from her. And the more I tried to explain things the more upset she got.
She finally left and went home and now she says she doesn’t want to talk to me for “awhile.” So, Doc, please help me out here if you can. What should I do?
Jefferson – who wishes he had kept his lip zipped
There’s a person who will happily listen to all your pain and problems without judging you or penalizing you for whatever you’ve said or done. That person is called a therapist or a priest. But when you decide to make your girlfriend your Mother Confessor, then you often find, exactly as you have, Jefferson, that there’s hell to pay for it.
The American male has been brainwashed into thinking that being open and sharing all your painful mistakes, confusing problems and previous embarrassing behavior, is a way to create greater intimacy with your partner and raise her romantic Interest Level. But The Reality Factor tells us that the opposite is true. And when you argue with reality, you always lose. But only 100% of the time.
You thought that your girlfriend was going to give you points for your honesty, Jefferson, but instead she threw up a big red penalty flag. What were you expecting her to say when you confessed to her that you had been maintaining clandestine communications with a girl who was in love with you and hoping and waiting to reunite with you? Did you think that your girlfriend would be overjoyed to hear that news?
Perhaps you expected her to tell you something like, “Gee honey, that’s so wonderful that you shared that with me. I feel closer to you than ever!” You’ve got to think things through before you reveal something that has the potential to do the kind of damage that’s been done here, Jefferson. Even simply considering sharing such volatile information is risky business. To you Psych majors, it’s worse than playing catch with nitroglycerin.
All right, so how are we going to clean up this situation? Most relationship experts would tell you to be obsequious and send your girlfriend a dozen roses along with a letter begging for her forgiveness. But as my cousin Sal “The Fish” Love would say, “The only time to beg is when she’s got a gun to your head.”
So of course, Jefferson, I’m not going to recommend that you get on your knees like a dog who wants his bone back. What you’re going to have to do is take the non-pro-active approach and withdraw. You’re going to have to live in Limbo for awhile. Don’t call your girlfriend or go to her house. Why not? Because when she’s ready to see you, she’ll call you.
Don’t try to rush her. She’ll let you know when she’s processed her upset feelings and is ready to be with you. Any action you might take at this point would be futile (an attempt to control her which is impossible to do). But you can control yourself. So lay back for now. And realize that when you control yourself and withdraw, you come across as strong and not needy which will serve to enhance your girlfriend’s respect for you in the long run.
If you’re lucky, your girlfriend won’t have decided that what you did has broken the trust bond between the two of you and she will want to be with you. But the ball is way, way deep in her court at this point.
Hopefully she’ll call you soon and will have gotten past all the upset. Then when you guys get back together you’ve got to suck it up and walk on eggs for awhile (I almost never tell guys to do this, but in this special situation, it’s what’s required.) Don’t disagree with anything she says. If she says that 2 + 2 are 5, just say “Yes Dear.” Let her be right about everything for awhile. That’s what she’ll need to feel secure with you again.
Remember, guys: unless it’s going to raise Interest Level, don’t talk about it.
To send me your love questions or to find out more about “The System,” visit me at http://www.doclove.com 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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