Tuesday, September 21, 2010

How Can I Win Him Over?

How Can I Win Him Over?



A rejected woman wants another shot at love with her guy. I question her motives . . .

Courtesy of’s Happen Magazine

Dear Dr. Gilda,

I’m 41 years old and divorced. I met a wonderful man a little over three months ago and fell in love with him. Now we’ve broken up and I’m devastated. I knew from the beginning he was emotionally unavailable and had serious woman/love/relationship issues. His dad was very emotionally abusive to him, his sister and his mom. He is 51 years old and has never fallen in love.

Despite this, we shared so many beautiful moments together, had amazing sex, and were always together. I was the first girl he brought to his home and to meet his pals.

When we broke up, he told me he is incapable of falling in love and isn’t able to give me what I deserve. (I want a family and he does not want kids.) I don’t believe that he is incapable of love. He was very loving towards me, affectionate, and I could see it in the way he looked at me. But he insists he’s destined to be alone.

Should I try pursuing a man who is unavailable? I know he really cared for me. He would always tell me how what a wonderful, amazing, and perfect woman I am. So can’t he find himself with my help?

Broken to Pieces

Dear Broken to Pieces,

Hey, girl, do you want a lover or a patient? You say, “I knew from the beginning he was emotionally unavailable and had serious woman/love/relationship issues.” Someone emotionally balanced would have noted this as a red flag and exited at that very moment. But you persisted in remaining in this affair. Why? Either you are not emotionally balanced right now (and are attracted to people like yourself), your desire to save a man supersedes your drive to take care of yourself, or you simply don’t believe you deserve anything more than an emotionally absent partner.

What worries me most is that you hung in with this dude, knowing he was not present, yet persisting to believe he was giving you love. You also said, “I want a family and he does not want kids.” That in itself is a deal-breaker. If this relationship had continued, did you intend to trick this man into fatherhood?

Honey, take the blinders off your eyes! To your question, “Can’t he find himself with my help?,” the answer is “No!” You’re not his counselor, his nurse, his mother, or his savior. Besides, it sounds like he’s content living his cloistered life.

You further question whether you should try pursuing a man who is unavailable. I question why you would want to. Is it because he told you “what an amazing, perfect woman” you are? Does your ego need so much stroking that you would discount reality for sweet talk?

Let this experience be a wake-up call for you. This is what you must do now:

1. End this torture at once! Accept that this romance is over, and be grateful for it. This man is not in your house. In fact, he’s not even in your neighborhood. You can’t love a ghost.

2. Seek therapy immediately. Discover why you are willing to settle for so little.

3. Recognize that romance entails buy-in from two people. List the elements that did not match. You will need this honest information for yourself and for your therapy sessions.

As my Gilda-Gram says, “Before you find a mate, find yourself.” After you have developed a strong self-image, you’ll attract someone capable of two-way love. Anything short of that is settling.


Dr. Gilda


GILDA CARLE (Ph.D.) is an internationally known media personality, psychotherapist, relationship educator, and management consultant. She is’s “Ask Dr. Gilda” advice columnist published on and Happen Magazine. She is also known as the Country Music Doctor, with her “Country Cures.” She was MTV Online’s Love Doc, she is a motivational speaker, professor of psychology and communications, the author of the well-known “Don’t Bet on the Prince!,” a test question on “Jeopardy,” 99 Prescriptions for Fidelity, How to Win When Your Mate Cheats, and many more. She was the therapist in HBO's Emmy Award winner, "Telling Nicholas," featured on Oprah, where she guided a family to tell their 7-year-old that his mom died in the World Trade Center bombing. She is currently developing her own TV show. Visit and get her Instant Advice!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Trust the Choreography of the Gods!

On the most glorious clear Saturday in New York, it was September 11th, 9 years after that fateful horror we suffered in this city. It was 7:30 PM, and I had just returned home from a fun New Jersey barbeque. I was feeling so mellow that I was considering not attending a big birthday bash in Manhattan later in the night. For once in a long time, I just wanted to chill. I decided to follow my instincts and give myself one night without an agenda. So I got cozy and began to enjoy the quiet, choosing to do some writing. It was absolutely delicious to be alone!

My sister called an hour into my solitude. She said that she had just found bargain airline fares to visit my niece in Arizona, who is a recent mom to triplets. I had been longing to finally get to see my tiny niece-ettes, but my trips lately all required that I be in LA and nowhere else for work. This was a great opportunity, and I told her to book us for a few days in November. She said that if she had been unable to reach me this evening, she would have made her plans independent of me so she could lock in the cut-rate airfare. So it was a good thing I followed my instincts to stay home that night.

After we hung up, I continued my quiet solace. The phone rang again. “What’s going on?” I thought. Most Saturday nights, I never get calls because everyone always assumes I’m out. But this night was different. Now it was my girlfriend who lives in Palm Springs. She had been visiting her family in LA for the weekend, and was driving the 2 hours to return home. While in the car, she listened to KFI 640 AM radio, where Tim Conway, Jr. was interviewing film director, James Ronald Whitney with whom I appeared on HBO’s Emmy-award winner, “Telling Nicholas.” The documentary detailed how I guided a family, 9 years ago, to tell their 7-year-old (Nicholas) that his mother died in the World Trade Center bombing. The director described how he summoned the aid of his friend, Dr. Gilda Carle, to counsel the family during their pain. My girlfriend was so startled to hear my name, she almost crashed the car. She’s a new friend, and she had no idea I had done this movie or any other. So she immediately called me.

Being in New York, I wasn’t familiar with this radio station or its host. I Googled the show and called them. The producers put me right through. The host and I were on the phone for about 20 minutes. I explained that because I had lost touch with the director, he never knew that Nicholas and his father reached out to me over the years because they were so touched by the help I gave them during that tumultuous time. I tried to reach the director, but I could not find him because he had moved out of New York. I wanted to tell him that Nicholas had tried to commit suicide several times when he couldn’t find me. Being an older boy now, and adept at using the Internet, he found my website where we were finally able to make the connection. It was great to hear from him, and I told him I had often wondered how he was doing.

I had heard that the director had moved to California, but my attempts to reach him there did not pan out. But as a result of my being on air discussing my role in this 9/11 movie, the radio show gave me the director’s contact information, and I will try to reach him again.

What a night! If I had not observed what I call “the choreography of the gods,” and I had gone to that birthday party against my instincts, I would have missed both these opportunities. The lesson for us all is simple: follow your gut even in the darkness of not understanding why. Our gut always has insight that our conscious mind can only wish it did!! These days, I listen and heed the forces that know better than I.

How about you? How often are you influenced by your gut’s directions??

Saturday, September 4, 2010

My GIVING Summer Vacation

One of the chapters in my book, Don't Bet on the Prince! is "Give from the Overflow, Not from the Core." I wrote that because too many people just give, give, give, and leave little reserve for themselves. Then they're stripped of resources when they need them, resources required to run and enhance their own lives.

Too often, I have observed that giving is not especially heartfelt, but merely a control mechanism: "If I give to her, she'll need me, keep me around, and then owe me." That's hardly the way to give. Yet, I think that while the MOTIVE for giving should be unconditional, the REAL drive behind it is, indeed, exquisitely selfish in that it can make you feel really good!

Recently, I did some favors for a man I was just getting to know. Eventually, he surprised me by doing a favor for me, something I had not requested. When I told him how touched I was, he said, "Well, with all the things you've done for me, ..." I said that I had had no expectation when I did him these favors, and he sounded surprised. His reaction told me he was used to conditional giving, and this was something he had not experienced before. It made me feel good to be this kind of inspirer, and provide for him an experience refreshingly different from what he had known ...

For me, one of the best parts of my summer was the give-back I did with inner-city teen girls in Los Angeles. I spent a beautiful week on the beach raising their self-esteem. When we parted, they glowed. They said they had learned to be IT GIRLS, an expression I use in my book, Teen Talk with Dr. Gilda. They learned my lessons well, and when we were posing for photos, I directed them, "Pose like an IT GIRL!" The group levitated. How great I felt!

The experience made me wonder if there really is such a thing as total unconditional giving. There was something specific I was after when I embarked on this venture, and it was the joy of seeing these innocent flowers open brilliantly before my eyes. Was this selfish on my part? You bet! Would I do it again? Yes... and again and again and again.

See the growth in the girls yourself on this 2-minute KABC clip that recently aired:

Wouldn't you do the same work if you had the opportunity? I'd love to hear your comments.

Dr. Gilda