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Wednesday, September 30, 2009

California Dreamin'

I just returned from LA. It was a beautiful trip, the weather was gorgeous, and I saw many wonderful friends I have missed. One of my most memorable experiences was spending time with Robert Spencer, partner for 65 years to the legendary Hollywood icon, Mr. Blackwell. “Spencer,” as his friends call him, ran the huge Blackwell fashion business. Now he is 88 years old, and in fairly good health. He is a relative to Princess Diana Spencer, and he has stories of when he and Blackwell visited the Royal Palace in London. What a gentleman he is! There are photos around their estate showing both men in their earlier days. How handsome, dapper, and opulent their surroundings! They had a splendid life together, a relationship from which we can all learn.

Spencer is saddened by the loss of his partner, as am I. It is now one year since Mr. Blackwell died. He was a supportive mentor to me. I remember once when I introduced him to two young women who said they wanted to produce me. He took me aside and said, “They don’t know what they’re talking about.” Blackwell had had his own TV spectacular for a number of years, and he knew the medium well. For sure, he was right, and I moved along to greener pastures. More recently, I told him about my latest TV show idea. He grasped it immediately, recognized the public’s need for it, and encouraged me to pursue it. That show is still in the works. Mr. Blackwell was no B.S.; he said everything as he saw it. Yet, few people knew what a wonderful marshmallow he was beyond his tough exterior.

While I was in LA, a friend visited me with a psychic by her side. She gave me a reading as a gift. He told me something sensational that 3 other psychics from all over the country had also been predicting. Do these people all belong to the same union?? I’ll let you know if and when that comes to pass. Very intriguing!!

It was grand going to Agape with another friend, as we always do on Sunday mornings. Michael Beckwith’s sermon struck some important chords in me that I will remember forever. And another darling friend and I had a glorious dinner where we planned a new and exciting business venture. I also met my agent for lunch, and had a few other lunches and dinners by the beach in magnificent Santa Monica. Breathtaking!

All in all, the reason I THOUGHT I was being called to LA turned out to be something entirely different. And doesn’t that really describe most of life? But I noted how I had grown. While meeting with a producer friend of mine, I was prepared to hand him a TV show treatment I had created. However, I sensed his negativity about the industry, so I changed my mind. These days, I avoid negatives even after I’ve worked hard to prepare an agenda of my own. This is a big step for me who is used to customarily barreling through my plans whether or not my listener is receptive. On this trip, I listened carefully to what people had to say, I was open to what I heard, whether I liked it or not, and I was not afraid to change my course.

I returned home to NY in a rested state of mind. But as a result of the insights I gained, my business partner and I are proceeding on a different path with our TV show. We both feel very good about the change. As I’ve learned from Robert, “Two roads diverged in a road, and I, I chose the one less traveled by. And that has made all the difference.” I don’t yet know what that “difference” truly is. But one of the things the California psychic heard during my reading was a Frank Sinatra song, “The Best is Yet to Be.” I hope he’s right. I’ll let you know!


XXX
Relationship expert Dr. Gilda Carle (Ph.D.), is a media personality, a product spokesperson, has a private practice, and is an associate professor at Mercy College, in New York. Her best-selling books include "Don't Bet on the Prince!," "99 Prescriptions for Fidelity," and "How to Win When Your Mate Cheats." Please visit her at www.DrGilda.com

Sunday, September 6, 2009

"I Want Him to Be Monogamous"

When they started dating, she didn’t mind that he was seeing other women, but now she wants him to commit to her and her alone. Does she stand a chance?

Dear Dr. Gilda,
I have been in a nonmonogamous relationship with a man I met at the end of my marriage. I have not been with other men, but he let me know from the start that he was with other women. At the time, I didn’t care because I was not ready to be in another relationship.

This weekend at his house I found another woman’s clothes. I shut down immediately. He apologized and I asked how many other women he was sleeping with, and he said two. I asked how he ranked us in order from one to three. He said he didn’t think of it in that way, and he was offended that I asked.

He said he has never tried to flaunt the other women. That is true; when we are together, it is always about us.

I am having a hard time with this. I felt that we’d been getting so close during the past few months. We go away together, and our children know each other.

Everyone says I should bail out now! I feel lied to. He always told me he didn’t want to be in a relationship because he has a bad heart ailment. He was married for 10 years and felt he wasted a lot of time with his ex, and that all relationships require work. I have always made myself accessible to him, and now I feel so stupid!
—Ready for More

Dear Ready for More,
OK, exactly when did you become “Ready for More”? Not after your marital breakup. Not when you entered a nonmonogamous relationship with this man. Within the last few months when you sensed that you and Mr. Noncommittal were bonding, that’s when you became “ready for more.” But, honey, you bought the farm as it was. When you suddenly decide to change the mortgage agreement, how would you expect any guy to react?

All along, your boyfriend assumed that things were fine with you and his harem. But, as my Gilda-Gram says, “What you accept, you teach.” From the outset, you accepted the conditions of your affair and you (unwittingly) taught him that nonmonogamy was your choice, too. In actuality, you told him “Keep it coming!”

Unfortunately, you miscalculated that the two of you were “getting so close” during the last months. I have a concern about this: How “close” could you have been if you didn’t know what he was doing when he wasn’t with you?

You insecurely put yourself in a bad position by asking him to rate your importance when compared with the other women. Have you no pride?

You made yourself “accessible to him” even though you knew that he was not interested in anything long-term. Did you believe this would buy his affection and turn him around? Listen, Ready, you can’t buy love. If you give in order to get, resentment will only build over time — he would think he’s being had, and you would never get what you really wanted.

Here’s what I suggest you do now:
1. Decide what YOU really want from this player. He blames a heart condition for not wanting commitment, but his heart seems healthy enough to pump out his sexual gyrations! How does that work, exactly?

2. Reexamine your definition of a “close” relationship and amend your definition since it’s not what you thought this union would bring.
Assess whether this guy’s need to play the field is the attitude of someone you want to continue seeing.

3. Stop beating up on yourself for past vulnerabilities. You met the guy on the rebound — which is not a good time to begin dating. Thankfully, your dark cloud has now lifted!

Fortunately, you’ve grown and changed since the two of you met. Celebrate your progress. If this guy doesn’t fit with the person you are today, let him go without malice. You are now indeed “ready for more” — with someone else!

XXX
Relationship expert Dr. Gilda Carle (Ph.D.), is a media personality, a product spokesperson, has a private practice, and is an associate professor at Mercy College, in New York. Her best-selling books include "Don't Bet on the Prince!," "99 Prescriptions for Fidelity," and "How to Win When Your Mate Cheats." Please visit her at www.DrGilda.com

Saturday, September 5, 2009

ARE YOU ON RESERVE? Why He Wants Your Waiting in the Wings, and How You Can Take Your Power Back

HERE'S AN ARTICLE I DIDN'T WRITE, BUT IN WHICH I'M QUOTED. IT'S FUN! The author is Jordan Salvatoriello, from the Boston Singles Examiner. I enjoyed reading it and I hope you will, too.
Dr. Gilda


XXX
We’ve all had reservations. You raised an eyebrow when leg warmers made a comeback and when Crocs found their way into mainstream fashion. And we’ve all made them, like for patio seating on Newbury Street or that regrettable bikini wax. But what about when a romantic interest puts you “on reserve”? I am referring, of course, to the all too common, but very hush-hush social practice of keeping one potential mate waiting on hold, while actively pursuing the affections of another.

The Symptoms
The act of being placed “on reserve,” also referred to as “plan B," has been known to emotionally bench even the most sensible of bachelors, and can be spotted by its dizzying array of distasteful symptoms.

“If he never wants to make a definite date (‘would you like to go out Friday night?’) and just wants to come over to your house on the spur of the moment, if he doesn't make an effort to keep in touch and doesn't seem to think about the future, he's probably not really interested in you or in commitment,” said Tina B. Tessina, Ph.D. (a.k.a. "Dr. Romance"), psychotherapist and author.

But, let’s be honest, you didn’t need a doctor to tell you that. So why is it that so many singles manage to keep someone waiting in the wings, and even more puzzling, why do so many smart and successful singles allow themselves to be second best? And if you are indeed his “Miss Right,” but not “Miss Right Now,” how do you get off that bench and get in the game?

The Methods Behind the Madness
Reason #1: Fear of commitment
With 30 being the new 20, your mother stopped nagging you to settle down and get married already. After all, this is the era of online dating, and with an endless array of options just a click away, it’s no wonder we feel no sense of urgency to commit to just one.

“Several men I dated in the past would tell me they found me attractive, had a lot of fun with me, but that I was the kind of woman to ‘take home to mom,’ and therefore could not get involved with me,” said M.B., a public relations executive. “The message is essentially: ‘I like you a lot and find you very attractive, but I am afraid of commitment, so instead of being with you, I am going to date some chick who I know I don't want to marry. She gets to go out and have fun with me, while you get to stay home and wonder what you might have done to make me not want to be with you.’”

Reason #2: Fear of being alone
“Singles who keep others ‘on reserve’ are terrified of being alone,” said Match.com’s resident advice columnist, Dr. Gilda Carle, Ph.D., adding that repeat offenders sometimes feel a need for control, or perhaps come from meager beginnings and therefore want to safeguard a secure future. “And it’s not just men. I have a client who always has someone she calls a ‘plan B’ waiting around the corner, just in case her current steady boyfriend disappears. One of her secrets is that she never gets too close and maintains the mystery, so they continue to flock.”

OK, so maybe your crush has a few emotional insecurities. You get it and are ready to move on, except for the fact that he keeps calling or texting you without provocation and confusing your sensible brain. So, what’s with all of the mixed messages?

“A woman ‘on reserve’ is like the ‘safe zone’ in a game of tag,” said Christine Agro, a clairvoyant and spiritual teacher. “He knows he can always go there and feel safe, be nurtured and loved, and not have to give much in return, and can then venture out to explore a relationship with more challenges.”

Reason #3: Filling a void
This rationale takes a little from column A and a little from column B, where a romantic interest may be in a committed relationship, but isn’t feeling entirely fulfilled and is unable to emotionally jump in with both feet.

“My ‘plan B’ fills needs that aren’t necessarily being met in my current relationship,” said Nick, a marketing manager. “A ‘plan B’ provides that excitement and thrill of the hunt; that fun, sexual tension I crave, without my having to actually cheat.”

Don’t Rationalize Second Best
Sure, intermittent communications and the occasional cancelled plans seem like minor offenses compared to other dating atrocities you may have suffered (which is likely why so many singles get away with it for so long), but it is a much more self-destructive act than it may appear to be on the surface.

“Being willing to accept the ‘on reserve’ position says as much about her as it does about him,” said Agro. “A woman who accepts this position either thinks she can change him, or isn’t valuing herself.”

“There are some women who won’t mind being ‘on reserve,’ because they themselves aren’t ready to commit. But most women will make concessions emotionally, mentally, physically and spiritually,” adds Agro. “They get so hooked into this person that they neglect their own desires, wants and needs.”

Getting Back in the Game
This might come as a surprise, but only you have the power to take yourself off reserve status. The experts agree: Don’t wait around, take control and get a life!

Tip #1: “Women need to ask themselves: ‘What is it that I want in a relationship?’ I can guarantee you, for most, it isn’t waiting in the wings,” said Agro. “If you are sitting and waiting for Mr. ‘Not Right Now,’ you will never meet the man you can truly have a meaningful relationship with.”

Tip #2: “Don't look for the surface stuff. Handsome is as handsome does,” said Tessina. “Find a guy with character, which you're more likely to find out if you are socially involved with him before you are personally involved with him.”

Tip #3: “Stop depending on a guy to come around,” said Carle. “Go out and find your own adventure. If ever you’ll have a chance with a guy, it’s when you are seriously in love with what you do.”