Doc Love Dating Advice

                  DOC, AM I BEING TOO MUCH OF A CHALLENGE?
                                    Women Don't Lie - Men Don't Listen
                                          Success Coach - Doc Love

Dear Doc,

I'm a 22-year-old decent looking, successful and well respected guy. I've been going out with my girlfriend for about a year now. Up until recently we had been getting into a lot of arguments. I think that it was mainly due to the fact that whenever I’d see her talking one on one with another guy for more than a few minutes, like say at a party, I would lose my cool and overreact.

My jealous behavior seemed to be really frustrating her. These arguments got so intense at times that our relationship almost collapsed. She wanted me to change the way I was acting. So you know what Doc? That's exactly what I did. I spoke to a friend of mine who is a firm believer in "The System." He gave me some advice, which he thought would help.

I learned that, as much as it's killing me inside I should not react. That if I show her I’m jealous that it will lower her Interest Level and she will see this as me not trusting her.

The other problem I had  (that I didn’t know I had) was that I would tell her I loved her two or three times a day. My friend also told me that saying these words too often is anti-challenging, and I needed to show her I loved her more by my actions.

So now I've been noticing she's acting really weird. The good thing is she's all over me like never before. I've never been chased by a woman like this, and she’s very unstructured and giving. But she's unaware of what is going on and it's freaking her out. Now she’s complaining that I don’t love her and cherish her enough and that I’m emotionally unavailable.

What I need to know is, despite cutting down on the "I love yous" and not acting jealous, why am I still having problems with her? I thought I was doing what was right but it hasn't made much of a difference in our relationship. Maybe I’m being too much of a Challenge now.

What's going on here Doc?
Russell - who just can't win

Hey Russell,

It’s great that you’ve stopped over-reacting whenever your girlfriend gets chatty with another guy. As you’ve come to understand, there’s no positive or productive purpose in getting uptight, jealous and possesive in that kind of situation. (To you Psych majors, slavery is illegal.) Doing so only makes you look weak and insecure in your partner’s eyes. Plus, it’s just plain obnoxious.

So I commend you on making a big change for the better. It takes real commitment to drop a self-destructive habit like that, one that you’ve had for a long time. By simply changing your own reactive behavior, Russell, you were able to end the arguments that you and your girlfriend were having.

But on the other side of the coin, we need to look at your girlfriend’s contribution to the problem. Women instinctively know that their partners don’t like it when they flirt with other men. Why was she doing it to begin with and rubbing it in your face to boot?

When you made it clear that you didn’t like her behavior, your girlfriend could have and should have said something to you like, “Sweetheart, since it makes you so uncomfortable when I get palsy-walsy with another guy while you’re there, out of respect for your feelings, I’m not going to do that anymore. I want you to feel happy and relaxed when we’re out socializing. You’re more important to me than any other guy.” That’s what a woman with a flexible, giving attitude would have said.

But flipping back to the opposite side of the coin again, I have to tell you, Russell, that you also exacerbated the problem with the excess “I love yous” It’s not a good policy to always be telling a woman who constantly argues with you that you love her. Your message to her was, “Argue with me and you’ll get three I love you’s a day” Unconsciously, what you were doing was sanctioning her behavior, rewarding her for arguing with you.

All right. So why haven’t these changes that you’ve made had more of a fundamentally positive impact on your relationship? The problem, Russell, lies with your girlfriend. If she’s all over you like cheese on pizza and you feel as if she’s doing the chasing, that’s an indication of high Interest Level. But her attitude sucks. Remember, it’s the woman who is the real manager of the relationship, and it sounds as if your girlfriend needs to learn some management skills.

Let’s be totally objective here. What’s her modus operandi? She’s either arguing or complaining. How does that help to make you feel romantic towards her? Obviously it doesn’t. Your gal is as ‘high maintenance’ as an ‘86 Jaguar. She’s not a flexible giver, if she were, she wouldn’t be constantly creating conflict. I’m not a shrink, thank God, but your girlfriend has some issues to work on because, in her eyes no matter what you do, it’s not right.

So, Russell, you’re not being too much of a Challenge. It sounds as if you’re doing just fine. Your girlfriend is freaking out because she’s fighting her own high Interest Level in you. She needs to surrender. She needs to drop the nagging and become more attuned to her inner feminine grace. But that’s something she has to grow into at her own pace. You can’t control that. In the meantime just keep studying “The System” and becoming more confident and centered.

Remember, guys: to have a happy relationship, your woman has to have a good attitude as well as high interest.

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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