Should we break up over “cheating” before we were official?

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Dear Megan,

Before my boyfriend and I “officially” became a couple, we spent a year getting to know each other. During this period we were intimate, so I wasn’t dating any other guys and was pretty serious about building a relationship with him. During most of this period, however, I ended up finding out that he was dating several girls, being intimate with all of them, and deceiving all of them by not telling any of us he was also hooking up with other girls. Basically, he was a Player.

However, as time went on, him and I became very, very close; and I was sure that he had stopped talking to all the other girls because he told me “he wasn’t pursuing anyone else,” and a couple months later he asked me to be his girlfriend. And we have had the most wonderful, loyal, perfect relationship for the last year and a half.

So, yesterday I found out that during the couple months right before we officially became a couple, he in fact WAS still seeing other girls. “Not pursuing anyone” meant that he wasn’t hooking up with anyone new, just the same old lineup. What’s worse, I found out he was hooking up with his best friend’s girlfriend, who is my friend too!

Here is my dilemma: We have had the most wonderful relationship since we became a couple. He wants to marry me, and I know he would never cheat on me. But constantly finding out about more and more girls that he hooked up with while we were dating really bothers me and has put a strain on the relationship. Especially recently finding out about him hooking up with other girls during the period I thought we were exclusive.

It hurts me because I didn’t know he was the type of person that would do that, especially with his best friend’s girlfriend. He apologizes endlessly, but says that since we weren’t “official,” it’s irrelevant. However, I feel that if I knew about all his deceitful actions at the time, I would have ended it then and we wouldn’t be in this great relationship we have today.  

So, should I break up with him over things he did before we were officially a couple? It REALLY bothers me, and I feel like I don’t want to be with someone that could have done that to me, even though things are so much different now. I feel like enough is enough. There have been plenty of opportunities during our relationship to tell me everything, but I still keep finding out more and more. I don’t really trust him anymore, and feel like our relationship was built on lies and deceit. I feel like I want to end the relationship over this, but is that unfair?

-Feeling Duped

 


Dear “Feeling Duped,”

Excuse me as I place a stethoscope around my neck, shine a small flashlight into your ear, hold your tongue, and make you say “Ahhh…” Yep, see this all the time… What we have here is a classic case of “Girl who wanted real exclusivity, settled for a vague expression of one, and got hurt when she later found out that she, in fact, wasn’t her one-and-only’s one-and-only.” Okay, you can put your tongue back in.

Now, let’s get the obvious out of the way before getting to the nitty gritty of your dilemma. As your question suggests, you already know that unless a guy specifically asks for exclusivity, or for you to be his gIrLfRiEnD, (tee hee), you both are free to entertain other lads and lasses as you please. (And if you want things to be extra clear, it’s always nice to even state that expectation – you know, that he’ll have to ask for exclusivity – upfront, once you two realize you’re starting to like each other.)

So, since we here at sex symbol central know to NEVER ASSUME ANYTHING, you know this wolf technically didn’t do anything wrong. Hell, he may have even done something RIGHT, as, according to you, your ignorance of what he was doing allowed you two to have “the most wonderful, loyal, perfect relationship” for the last year and a half.

However, fact remains that now you’re not only not-so-ignorant of his past behavior, you’re even repulsed by it. And to answer your question, I can confidently say, no, it is not unfair to want to break up with him over things he’s done in the past.

Just because someone technically didn’t do something wrong doesn’t mean that you have to like what they did. And given what you know today, it’s totally okay for you to question if this is someone you want to be with.

Do you want to be with someone who sleeps with his best friend’s girlfriend?

Do you want to be with someone who uses lawyer-like tactics to get out of being completely open and honest with you about what he’s doing?

Do you want to be with someone who doesn’t view sexual intimacy as sacredly as you do?

You’re totally entitled to re-evaluate the relationship based on what you now know.

However, since you already have a relationship you enjoy, and none are perfect, (despite your earlier claim), you may want to just use what you now know to create some new agreements and clarify expectations that were never articulated up until this point.

If you choose that route, you’ll want to make sure it’s clear to him that you want him to be open and upfront about what he’s doing, and that withholding information will not suffice as a form of truth in your book.

When it comes to addressing his promiscuity in the months post-“vague” exclusivity, pre-“official” exclusivity, you’re first going to have to accept it as the price you have to pay for allowing a vague expression of exclusivity to get past you – I know, bummer – and second, learn from it. Reiterate your new agreement for a clear, “full-disclosure” form of communicating that honors the “intent of the law,” not the letter of it, and be prepared to stand by whatever consequence you two agree on for violation of your agreement.

Lastly, when it comes to sleeping with his best friend’s girlfriend, well, you’ll want to further pick his brain there. If his best friend gave him the thumbs up, then, while many loyal wolves would have probably still steered clear, he’s once again only guilty of having an approach to sex that leaves a bad taste in your mouth. If, however, this was a betrayal on his part, you’ll want to hear him out so you gain insight into his views on loyalty and see if they align with your own.

I say all this to not only remind you that you have legitimate options, but to help you to realize that ultimately the right choice is dependent on how you feel. Consequently, the only decision you have to make is to simply do what feels better. If staying with him, creating new agreements, and learning to accept a less than picture-perfect past feels good, do that. If walking away and holding out for someone you believe you can co-create a more open and honest foundation with, and whose approach to sex and relationships/friendships is one that aligns more with your own values feels better, do that.

At the end of the day, it’s important to trust your intuition, even if you can’t rationalize it. After all, unlike lovers, it doesn’t need an “official” agreement to always have your back ;). Best of luck.

-Megan 🙂

P.S. And if you’re interested in creating a cheat-proof relationship from here, feel free to check out this article!

For my story check out “The Care and Feeding of Sex Symbols” here

To submit your question to “Dear Megan” click here!

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Note: As this column is designed to be a judgement-free zone, only those who have been, (or know someone who has been), in a similar situation are invited to comment; especially if the question is unorthodox or hard for one to relate to.  And for even more relevant insight, those seeking answers are always encouraged to go within.

 

As a guy, should I state my income on online dating profiles?

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Dear Megan,

So I decided I’m gonna try online dating, and here’s my important question – do I put my income on there??

Sites like Match.com have a section for it, and I’ve read in a study that men who make over $100k-$150K are 10 times more likely to receive responses on dating sites. I work in sales, where the average income in my industry is 40K, so just putting the field I’m in could be misleading as I make significantly more than that.

I’m not worried about attracting gold diggers – I’m very good at judging people and their behavior. And I don’t want somebody high maintenance. A super cute and sweet girl-next-door, teacher-type who makes around $60k a year would be perfect. I don’t want anybody who works crazy hours. Someone with a 9-5 would be great as I work way too much, myself.

I’m only going to go out with women who are super nice/super sweet, but surely even super nice girls want a very successful/kind/loyal man? Who wants to get married to a guy who can’t afford a comfortable lifestyle?? What do you think?

-State to Get a Date?

 


Dear “State to Get a Date?,”

Welp, it seems like you’ve already gotten it all figured out, “State!” According to the study you read, you already know that you should state your income if: (1) you make over a certain amount, and (2) you want more responses… Oh, but wait. (My eyes are squinting now) … Perhaps you’re asking me for something that study didn’t provide… Like whether stating your income will increase your chances of hearing back from “super cute” and “super sweet” girls, (who just so happen to not be gold-diggers)…

Ah, well if that’s the case kudos to you for looking beyond the statistics and staying focused on nabbing the girl you want, not just many girls. For in the world of online dating if you’re looking for a more authentic, soul-to-soul connection, you have to be willing to trade quantity for quality. And that means creating a profile, long or short, that reflects your soul’s deepest desires. Your profile should be tailor-made for your soulmate. And quite possibly so unique it gets you a “10x less” response rate.

So, with that said, will stating your (high) income range in the assigned section of your profile increase your chances of hearing back from the super cute and super sweet girls you want to date? Yes. (Provided you have a “typical” profile.)

You see, sweet girls are a dime a dozen. Many of us are nurturers by nature who can be heard uttering the word “awww…” at least once a day. But when you throw the criteria of “super cute” into your wish list, well, now you’re entering elite territory.

I don’t know why – perhaps God did it to level the playing field for average-looking girls, or maybe it’s a girl’s natural reaction to a life of “pretty privilege” – but, often, the cuter we get, the not-so-consistently nice, (and sometimes even crazier), we get.

Consequently, the pool of “super-hot girls who volunteer at the local animal shelter and genuinely want to know how your day went” is pretty small, while the line for them remains exceptionally long. Therefore, to stand out in the crowd, you’re going to want to pull every “attractive-trait” card you have, including the one that says you can “afford a comfortable lifestyle.” For while most women don’t require a man make a certain amount of money, the truth of the matter is that having a high income is still an attractive trait, which is what the “10x more responses” statistic reflects.

HOWEVER, if you don’t want a super cute, super sweet girl who over-values what’s in your wallet, (aka a “gold digger”), you mustn’t either. List it, knowing it’s an attractive attribute to partnering with you, but in all your interactions focus on promoting the other traits you have to offer, like your kindness and loyalty, in order to attract girls who are looking for more.

And to further get your high quality, sweet and lovely Belle, you must also reign in any shallowness on your part and not over-value her looks. Appreciate her beauty, but dig deep to discover her interests, passions, and values. After all, cute and sweet aren’t attributes that will love you through thick and thin – (although you might get a good “awww…” for an unfortunate situation) – but compassionate, honest, and loyal attributes will, so focus on those.

So, yeah, go ahead and list your “ballin’ out” income to increase your appeal amongst your target demographic of ladies. But remember, money can’t buy you love, so don’t oversell it. Best of luck.

-Megan 🙂

For my story check out “The Care and Feeding of Sex Symbols” here

To submit your question to “Dear Megan” click here!

“Dear Megan” Home Page

To Subscribe to my YouTube channel click here!

Note: As this column is designed to be a judgement-free zone, only those who have been, (or know someone who has been), in a similar situation are invited to comment; especially if the question is unorthodox or hard for one to relate to.  And for even more relevant insight, those seeking answers are always encouraged to go within.

 

 

Should I make the first move on a guy I’m interested in?

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Dear Megan,

So, there’s a guy, (30), that I’ve been interested in for some time now, (I’m 23). We’ve known each other for about 8 years, but have never been close or anything. I always found him attractive but never pursued anything until earlier this year when we ran into each other randomly and decided to grab lunch together. We talked and got to know each other a little better and I realized he and I have so much in common and that we have very similar personalities.

We communicate more than we used to now, mostly over Facebook, but it hasn’t become flirtatious or anything. He comments on pretty much every one of my posts, and people are always asking me “who is that guy who’s all over your Facebook page?”

He and I have both been single for quite a while, but I know that both of us are looking to get back out into the dating world. I don’t know if he’s interested, but I think even if he isn’t now, he might be if he knew I was interested in him…

I asked him to help me out with my blog because he’s good at that kind of stuff, and he said he’d love to, so we’re going to be doing that next week, and I’m considering asking him if he’d like to grab dinner or a drink afterwards… not necessarily a date, but at the very least an excuse to spend more time getting to know each other. But I’m afraid that might be too forward.

In my experience, whenever I’ve pursued a man or tried being direct about my interest in them, they get scared off, even if they already liked me… It’s like they immediately lose interest if winning someone over is no longer a challenge. So now I’m deathly afraid of making my interest known, and I feel like as the woman I have to just sit around and wait for men to ask me out. But I also worry that he may not make a move if I’m coming across as disinterested. So I guess I would like to ask two questions:

Have you ever made the first move, and was it successful?

-Confused and Bashful


 

Dear “Confused and Bashful,”

Christ, the last guy I made the first move on – (and by “first move” I mean said “hi” to first) – I had to marry to get rid of, haha… So yeah, it can be “successful…” if done properly.

In the world of financial trading it is said that “A decision NOT to trade (a stock) is also a trading decision;” and it seems that you, my dear, have yet to learn that when it comes to being a woman, a decision NOT to make a first move is also a first move.

You see, guys don’t become interested in a girl once they know she’s interested. That’s not how they work. They know what they like. They know what they want. And they’re either interested in you, or not.

Consequently, as a woman, your “first move” is simply to expose yourself to him – (and I’m not talking about in a snapchat kind of way, either, despite how effective that is scoring a Netflix-and-chill kind of night) – which you’ve done.

If he’s attracted to your beauty and/or brains it won’t take long for him to realize it. And you definitely won’t have to try and sneak your way in through the friend-zone – (I shudder at the thought!). Resist your customary urge to pursue – (good God, resist it!) – and just keep on going about your business and being your fabulous self.

Know that this is not about passively sitting around and waiting for men to ask you out, either. This is about patiently and actively learning to like the men who like you enough to risk rejection and ask you out. Trust me, you’ll need that level of passion and conviction in a guy down the road for you two to get through tough times.

So have faith, chica. Faith that your guy will see you, want you, and do what he has to do to not let you get away. Don’t chase, chill… And get one of those big, red “easy” buttons. That way when you’re resting comfortably in the arms of your future boo you can lean over, press it, and hear the sound of the automated guy saying, “that was easy.” Best of luck.

-Megan 🙂

For my story check out “The Care and Feeding of Sex Symbols” here

To submit your question to “Dear Megan” click here!

“Dear Megan” Home Page

To Subscribe to my YouTube channel click here!

Note: As this column is designed to be a judgement-free zone, only those who have been, (or know someone who has been), in a similar situation are invited to comment; especially if the question is unorthodox or hard for one to relate to.  And for even more relevant insight, those seeking answers are always encouraged to go within.

 

She’s super attractive… and super boring

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Dear Megan,

So, I’m a guy, and I’m talking to a girl that I am SUPER attracted to. We laugh and joke here and there for the most part, but overall she is boring as hell. Been on a few dates and they go decently enough.  She always says she had fun, always is ready to hang out again…  But when we do I feel like I have to lead conversations.

I’m not a super talkative person, but I can fake it pretty well.  She answers my questions and all, and will have random follow up questions; but, again, it’s me doing all the work… I feel like we have better conversations via text than in person, but how can you get anywhere with that type of dynamic?

On top of that she has no sense of adventure.  In order to have a little more fun on our dates I suggested we go to the gun range.  She came, but would barely shoot.  I suggested we go jet-skiing.  She said she would never do that.  There have been a few more things she said she just won’t do, and I’m just sitting there like oooook.

Problem is, I’m attracted as hell to her physically.  Just don’t have much in common, I guess, which sucks.  Is it so wrong to be shallow sometimes?  I’m recently out of a 5-year relationship, so not looking for anything serious by any means, which she is aware of… Isn’t this the little bit of time I am “allowed” to be shallow? 

-Bored and Shallow Hal

 


 

Dear “Bored and Shallow Hal,”

Finally!  An easy question!…  Thank goodness… Lord knows I was due for one.  Alright, you seem like a simple wolf with simple pleasures, so I’m going to answer the two questions you posed as simply as I can.

Yes, you’re allowed to be shallow.  And yes, you can get somewhere with that type of dynamic: the bedroom.  She knows you’re not looking for anything serious, which means she’s not looking for anything serious.  (Note: even if a girl says, or even thinks she is, if she’s fooling around with an emotionally unavailable guy, guess what, she’s not.)

So, assuming you’re not a millionaire, (in which case this phenomenon can easily be chalked up to a solo interest in your dough and an inability to fake otherwise), here’s your takeaway from this – (earmuffs, mom):

When an attractive girl who’s sometimes lively, (a la “laughing and joking here and there” and participating in engaging text conversations), turns down her personality when around you, AND keeps wanting to get together with you and your “not-ready-for-anything-serious” heinie, it’s for one reason and one reason only: she’s looking to get her pipes cleaned.  No, she’s not suddenly shy, or reminded that she comes from a reserved culture, she’s just not up for pretending to be that into you and your fun, adventurous ways.

Quit trying to drag her around town to do stuff; or worse, hope that she’ll match your adventurous tastes like the ideal girlfriend you’re not ready for.  Let her get what all your fresh-out-of-a-relationship, emotional unavailability promises – a quiet, “Netflix and chill” night with a seemingly decent guy.

Most single girls, (usually the smarter ones), only care to have interesting conversations, and create bond-forming memories via adventurous activities, with guys they see at least some sort of future with.  So given the stage you’re in, unless you’re willing to settle for the friendzone, or have the swag and/or pockets of Iron Man, the best you can hope for amongst single, hot, and fun are a couple great dates before someone else catches her eye, or a girl in a similar boat as you whose adventurousness conveniently stops at exploring new “D,” (that’s wiener for all you baby boomers).

Outside of that, rest assured that when you’re ready for more you’ll attract a steady companion who has, and is willing, to offer more. In the meantime, happy romping.

-Megan 🙂

For my story check out “The Care and Feeding of Sex Symbols” here

To submit your question to “Dear Megan” click here!

“Dear Megan” Home Page

To Subscribe to my YouTube channel click here!

Note: As this column is designed to be a judgement-free zone, only those who have been, (or know someone who has been), in a similar situation are invited to comment; especially if the question is unorthodox or hard for one to relate to.  And for even more relevant insight, those seeking answers are always encouraged to go within.

 

How to turn your crappy dad into the perfect wingman

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Dear Megan,

I… sort of have a history of destructive relationships, and last Father’s Day I felt a sudden bitterness towards my own father for abandoning me that led me to do a lot of reflecting.

My father left my mother before I was born, and we’ve spoken a total of, like, 3 times. Last time was about 8 years ago.

I always feel like I had a very healthy and whole childhood. I had people who loved me, and I never felt like I missed anything by virtue of not having my father around.

My relationships with men, however, are a different story. I broke up with my last real boyfriend because I felt he was too engaged, too interested in being in a more serious relationship. We had a bunch of other issues that I don’t think were any less important, but at the heart of it, I knew I wasn’t in it for the long run and it was just best to walk away.

My subsequent relationships have been casual, where I try to keep a distance and not be too involved. And I know I seek out men who aren’t all that good to me. I find a certain thrill in the chase of seducing a man and being the one who draws lines and says the whole thing is casual and uncommitted… Then I turn and feel abandoned and rejected when they are casual about me.

I don’t want to think that all my self-esteem issues and insecurities come solely from my father’s abandonment. Everyone has insecurities, even if they grew up in married parent’s homes. But lately I’m starting to think that it did affect me more than I ever thought it did.

In the end, if I don’t know what being in a healthy relationship looks like, how can I be what I didn’t see?

-Yep, Daddy Issues

 


UPDATE: CLICK HERE FOR MY YOUTUBE/VIDEO VERSION OF THIS ANSWER

Dear “Yep, Daddy Issues,”

You already know I L.O.V.E. this question…  And not only because I wrestled with the very same confusion for years and consequently put it at the heart of my latest book, “The Care and Feeding of Sex Symbols,” but it’s also a perfect question for Father’s Day weekend!  Go us!

“How does one create a loving relationship with a man when one was never given a proper model?”  It’s an all too common problem among us women with similar backgrounds.  But don’t fret, in addition to making my book free for you this holiday weekend, I’ll also share with you here another trick that will help you break free from any bloodline filled with crappy relationships so that you can receive the loving one that’s waiting for you on the other side.

To begin with, it’s important to understand that for a very, very long time you’ll have at least some level of attraction to guys with negative traits similar to your father.  Ugh.  I know…  As the renowned creator of Imago Relationship Therapy, Harville Hendrix, points out, those, often not-so-obvious, similar traits are actually what subconsciously draw you to a person in the first place.  It’s what we call chemistry.  (For more on that and why you like the guys you like, and play the games you do, I highly recommend checking out Hendrix’ book, “Keeping the Love You Find.”)

So from here on out, accept the notion that its only until after you’ve burnt out of dating guys who aren’t good for you that you’ll be fully committed to learning to like the ones who are.  That’s right, in order to achieve the loving relationship you want, and be content in it, at some point you’re going to have to go against your current nature until it becomes your new nature.

Now, let’s say you are tired of the B.S. and ready to create that loving relationship.  Well good!  I didn’t devise this three-part plan for my health!  Lol.  Here’s what I recommend you do.

First, drumroll, please…  Turn your crappy dad into the perfect wingman.  And by that I mean to use his crappy behavior, and how it made you feel growing up, as your guide in picking out guys who are good for you.  Had a dad who was distant, unreliable, controlling, neglectful, disloyal, mentally, physically, verbally, or emotionally abusive?  Well, thank your crappy dad for showing you what sh*tty behavior looked like so that you can give your attention to guys who only display intimate, communicative, reliable, supportive, devoted, emotionally available, kind, and loving behavior.

At times you’re going to have to play some Jedi mind tricks on yourself to have the conviction necessary to walk away from poor behavior, and here’s a good one:  In “The Care and Feeding of Sex Symbols” I said to never listen to what a wolf says, just watch what he does; and now I’m adding that, upon observation of his actions, ask yourself, “Would this be okay if he did it to my child?”  Sure, you can wait around forever for him to show up, but would you want your kid to?

Even if you don’t have or want kids, use it as a reminder of what you deserved when you were a kid, and don’t settle for anything less now that you’re an adult and have a choice.  There is no need to keep emotionally, physically, or mentally abusing or neglecting yourself.  “You’s free now.”

So use your father’s unloving, contrasting behavior of what you don’t want to point you towards a guy whose behavior is something you and your soul do want.  “Thanks, wingman.”

Now, don’t worry, I still remember what you’re up against: Nature.  And she can be a stubborn b*tch.  She’ll cause you to only be genuinely attracted to the distant/elusive, controlling/demanding, or unfaithful, etc. wolves, while the ones that are good for you will struggle to maintain your attention.  After all, their “good deeds” can only get them so far before they start to feel boring, smothering, or creepy AF.

So here’s where the second part of the plan comes in:  When you start to feel uncomfortable with the “good guy,” don’t fight the guy fight the discomfort.  Sit with the uncomfortable feelings and acknowledge them to yourself.  Write about them or talk with someone you trust.  Remind yourself that what you are feeling is normal and to be expected.  After all, the changes you’re making will have a generational impact akin to changing your DNA, and that’s no easy, pleasant feat.  If it were, the generations before you would have bypassed all the suffering their choices caused and just done it themselves.

Then, allow yourself to focus on all the wonderful qualities the guy you’re interested in has, and the life you two can create together as a result of sticking it out.  With that said, you don’t have to stick things out with every nice Tom, Dick, and Harry who treats you well.  This isn’t a guy you date just because he’s nice and you’re tired of dating jerks, you date him because you feel drawn to him.  If you feel good, safe, and like you can be yourself with him, fight through the moments of doubt, boredom, fear, etc.  If you’re looking up “101 ways to fake your death” before your dates together move on.  He’s not the one. (And for more on picking a guy check out this question I answered.)

Finally, the last step in attaining this loving relationship you never saw is to not only fully accept and appreciate the “good guy” you get for who he is, but to support him in who he is.  Now, it might take you a thousand guys to get this step down, but it’s essential.  Here, you resist the urge to play games and behave badly in a subconscious effort to try and change him into the jerks you’ve found more attractive.  You also don’t test him in ways that’ll make him prove to you he won’t abandon you just like your dad.  If he’s really a loving person, he’ll love himself enough to not put up with your abusive behavior and leave because of that.

Instead, treat him the way you want to be treated.  Mimic his openly loving, kind, and generous behavior.  Support him, even when others take advantage of his nature, and know that in a world that can be very harsh you two have something very special. And why?  All because of your sucky, wingman dad.  Best of luck!

-Megan 🙂

P.S. For more help on connecting and locating these “good guys” check out this question I answered.  And don’t forget to download “The Care and Feeding of Sex Symbols” for free on the 17th-18th!

 

For my story check out “The Care and Feeding of Sex Symbols” here

To submit your question to “Dear Megan” click here!

“Dear Megan” Home Page

To Subscribe to my YouTube channel click here!

Note: As this column is designed to be a judgement-free zone, only those who have been, (or know someone who has been), in a similar situation are invited to comment; especially if the question is unorthodox or hard for one to relate to.  And for even more relevant insight, those seeking answers are always encouraged to go within.

Where to find emotionally available, financially successful, and kind men

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Dear Megan,

Where do I find emotionally available, financially successful, and kind men?  Seems like a pretty tall order! Yet here I am asking. Where can I find these quality men to date? I’ve decided I am 100% done with Tinder, (I seem to attract and be attracted to the exact opposite man I’m looking for in terms of a relationship there), and am not too keen on the other online dating sites. I have tried a few of them, but I’m wondering what other options there are these days. I’m a working professional with a master’s degree, fit and attractive, and 28. My field is mostly female dominated, but I’d actually like to date someone in a different field anyway. I’m taking a bit of a hiatus from dating right now, but I’d like to look forward to better matches when I am ready to date again. 

Any ideas?

-Looking for Love in All the Wrong Places


 

Dear “Looking for Love in All the Wrong Places,”

I see what you did there…  You tried to stuff the perfect, (and rare), alpha-beta blend into three seemingly all-encompassing words! Lol…  Yeeeaaaahhh, you gotta wake up pretty early to get one past me.   But I’ll play your game since your criteria is a good place to start. Just know that I’ll be here when you find this dream boat but come back wanting to expand your “I just what a man who’s…” list to include:

SINGLE, doesn’t have a face kids want to wear as a Halloween mask, shows up on time, doesn’t want to pee on you (or have some other weird fetish), couldn’t have gone to grade school with your grandfather, will stick things out through the tough times, doesn’t have a drug/porn/work/food addiction, doesn’t have a gang ‘o kids, won’t require a magnifying glass to see his frank and beans, isn’t a member of Hell’s Angels, doesn’t live in Prague if you live in Philly, wants to have (or not have) kids like you, is (or isn’t) adventurous like you, is attracted to you and your particular brand of tea, isn’t a stripper, isn’t a “furry,” is somewhat of a decent communicator, isn’t a polygamist, doesn’t look pregnant, doesn’t have a relationship with his mom that creeps you out, isn’t gay (or if you’re a gay guy, is gay), speaks English, isn’t in federal prison, is disease-free, has at least some sort of sense of humor, is over 5’9”…

Aaaannnddd we’re back at wanting “Mr. Perfect.” 

It’s a slippery slope when you focus on anything other than how a wolf makes you feel; but if we’re honest, most of us have external criteria we condition our love on, and I’m not here to judge, so here’s some help.

To being with, the short answer to your question, “Where do I find emotionally available, financially successful, and kind men,” is: everywhere.  The more relevant answer to your question, however, is: wherever you are open to receiving one.  In life you get what you expect, (even if it’s subconscious).  If you go into a certain place, whether online or in-person, thinking your guy couldn’t possibly be there, guess what?  He won’t.  But if you go into a situation with an open mind, you’ve made room to receive him.  Consequently, since you can find these men anywhere, the better question is “When do I find emotionally available, financially successful, and kind men?”  And the right timing requires two things.

Since like attracts like, you must first become the three things you want to attract.  It’s the only way to form a long-lasting connection with a man who embodies all three.  Fortunately, and despite what most of us have been taught, financial success is a mindset.  If you see yourself as prosperous, having more than you need, (the very definition of abundance), you are free to declare yourself financially successful anytime you choose to.  When it comes to kindness, feedback from others will help you adjust anything there, if necessary.  And if the feedback isn’t good, and you’re at a total loss on where to get help being kinder, uh, maybe try Goofus and Gallant in “Highlights for Children?”

The big kahuna that stumps most people is the emotionally available part.  Therefore, let this be your guiding principle:  You’re emotionally available when the men you’re attracting are emotionally available.

UPDATE: CLICK HERE FOR MY YOUTUBE/VIDEO VERSION OF THIS ANSWER

I hate to say it, but if the wolf you’re talking to is blocking love in some way, and you stick around for more than, say, a date or informative conversation, it’s because you’re emotionally unavailable in some way, too.  Bummer.  Don’t fret though, if you really want a quality relationship you’ll burn out of the dead-end guys.  And after taking a deep look inside of yourself, you’ll come out no longer willing to put up with anyone’s elusive, flaky, overly sex-driven, not-over-his-ex, perfectionist, controlling, and/or commitment-phobic behavior.

Okay, say you are all three of those things, the second thing you’ll need, as stated above, is to be open to meeting this guy wherever you go.  That openness and lack of expectation is why many people say you’ll meet him when you least expect it.

Now, with all that said, there are places where your chances of meeting a man with all three qualities are higher than others.  Sure, one can meet such a man in the casual encounters section of Craigslist, (or in what I consider its newer version, Tinder), but who’s got time to try and find a needle in that haystack.

So, without further ado, here is a list of meet-and-greet places I’ve found men with all three qualities to be more likely to frequent.  It is based on my experience and observations, not some stock internet list, so know that this list is “The Care and Feeding of Sex Symbols” approved.  (And, side note, I’ve intentionally left out tennis clubs and yoga studios as those men seem to be a bit weird upon closer inspection.)  Enjoy!

-Megan 🙂

 

Where to Find Emotionally Available, Financially Successful, and Kind Men

(In order of preference)

 

  • Charity events
  • Volunteer work
  • Workshops/lectures by your favorite spiritual/financial/motivational/educational teachers
  • TED Talks
  • The bar area of a high-end restaurant
  • Friends and family who know you and your taste
  • The bar area of a high-end sports bar
  • Great seats at sporting events, (and/or access to exclusive areas)
  • Performing arts venues, (including bars with live music in nice neighborhoods)
  • Paid online dating sites
  • Trade shows and conventions
  • Walking/exercising at beaches and hiking trails in really nice areas
  • The bar area of any restaurant with good food in a nice area
  • The golf course, (but if you can’t play better to stick with the range… and if you can’t hit worth a lick better to stick with the bar at the country club)
  • Food and wine festivals
  • High-end gyms (if you have a game plan for if things don’t work out)
  • Airplanes, airport lounges, and airport bars
  • Boat and car shows
  • Cigar bars (if you can stomach how they make your hair and clothes smell)
  • Casinos (…but keep it classy, please)
  • Stuck in your, or your girlfriend’s, friend-zone

 

For my story check out “The Care and Feeding of Sex Symbols” here

To submit your question to “Dear Megan” click here!

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Note: As this column is designed to be a judgement-free zone, only those who have been, (or know someone who has been), in a similar situation are invited to comment; especially if the question is unorthodox or hard for one to relate to.  And for even more relevant insight, those seeking answers are always encouraged to go within.

Real guy vs fantasy guy… Help, please.

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Dear Megan,

Okay, here goes. I’m a 24-year old girl with anxiety, and I’m dating a very nice man. We had three dates and tomorrow will be the fourth. I have never had a boyfriend before, never been kissed, etc… He is very nice and understanding of all that, but I am scared.

First of all, I love being single. Second, I always had/have celebrity crushes. I know it sounds immature. It’s so embarrassing. I have to grow up. But these crushes are perfect!  They won’t hug me and kiss me. Never. But fantasizing about them is so safe and good. I really like fantasizing and daydreaming about them. It’s better than reality. And I am so scared that my expectations are so high that I won’t be able to love somebody who doesn’t look/sound like my celebrity crushes.

I know I have to live in reality, but giving up this dream world is scary. Maybe I have fantasized so much that I will be unable to live in reality?  I feel like I now have to give up these crushes as my single life is changing, and it makes me anxious. I told this man about my anxiety since I know I should choose a real man and not an imaginary one, and he accepts it. When I am with this man, I feel good, but when I am alone with my thoughts, I am filled with doubts and anxiety.  What do I do???

-Stuck in Fantasyland


Dear Stuck in Fantasyland,

I actually like this question!  (And not just because it gave me an excuse to look at, like, a thousand Justin Bieber photos… [where’s a heart emoji when you need one]).  Sure, on the surface it sounds a little cray cray – just keepin’ it real – but underneath, your “problem” is super common.  So common, in fact, that it’s at the heart of every disappointment in every relationship, whether it be a romantic one, a family-related one, or a platonic one.  You see, when people get hurt in a relationship it’s for one reason and one reason only: the other person didn’t live up to their fantasy, (which usually consists of something they would have liked their partner to have done).  So as nuts as you may feel about the semi-extreme way your fear of getting hurt is playing out, trust me, you’re tackling a big and common issue, and I applaud you for doing it head on.

Before we get to the meat of it, let me just say that part of your anxiety stems from feeling like you have to give up more than you do.  When it comes to how your celebrity crush looks and sounds, well, you can keep that.  I not only know of cases where people found a mate who fit their celebrity crush’s physical description, but I, myself, have dated about eight replicas!  However, once you have more experience with men I’m willing to bet you’ll start to value more important qualities.  Tragic.  I know.

Additionally, you should know that you don’t have to give up anything before you’re ready.  Since you “love being single” and find comfort in these fantasies more than the idea of dating a real wolf (I mean “guy,” sorry, old habit), I recommend dreamin’ on for now.  Relationships require too much work to enter before you’re “all in.”  And since the ultimate goal of being in one is to feel good, and you already found a way to do that being single, why bother fixing what isn’t broken.  Being single is only a problem if you don’t want to be single.

BUT, let’s say you do want a real, in-the-flesh relationship.  You know, for sh*ts and giggles.  The good news is that you also don’t have to give up how the fantasy guy makes you feel – (excited… frisky… and like you are very much a woman, he he) – just know that the real guy won’t make you feel that way all the time.  Which brings me to the only thing you do have to give up: your unwillingness to cope with the fact that your real guy is going to do something that your fantasy guy will never do, and that’s disappoint you…  A LOT.

Since you feel good when you’re with the guy you’re currently dating, but doubtful and anxious of the relationship when away, I’m going to guess that you’re ready for a “real” relationship but have experienced some trauma that has left you extra-sensitive to the disappointment that inevitably comes with intimate relationships.  Consequently, the game plan that I’m going to recommend to you is two-fold.

First and foremost, pick a guy whose intentions you feel you can trust.  This trust is built not just on a dialogue that affirms a shared vision for the relationship, but on consistently thoughtful behavior that supports said vision.  Sure, he’ll have minor slip ups at times because he’s not a mind reader, (or he’s tired of your sh*t on a particular day), but once you express your grievance, (or he gets his energy back), he’ll be eager to make things right by you.  This is the most important step, by the way – picking a guy you feel safe with – and by “minor slip ups” I mean anything that isn’t, say, physically, mentally, or emotionally abusive.  Never allow anyone to demean you in any way.

Second, pre-determine your process for dealing with the inevitable disappointment and/or anger his slip ups will cause.  If you find that your emotional reaction doesn’t fit the crime due to your extra-sensitivity, first clarify with yourself that his behavior is just reminding you of something hurtful someone else once did.  He most likely (unintentionally) hit an emotional sore spot.  Here, your ability to trust his intentions will allow you to calm down, breathe deeply through your emotions, and develop a new plan of action moving forward.

If, however, your hurt or rage is proportionate to the “crime,” then as your first step I recommend finding a place  (away from the knives) where you can calm down and absorb what all just happened and how it made you feel.  Sit with those thoughts and feelings, write them down and/or talk to someone with a track record of healthy relationships.  Then accept what happened, and, when ready, return to him for his side of the story.  Hear him out and what he was thinking, and share your side, taking breaks if/when things get heated.  If you picked a guy with nothing but good intentions for you and your relationship, thoroughly discussing the issue will allow both of you to develop a deeper understanding of each other and strengthen your relationship.

If you picked the wrong guy, and he did something like, say, up-and-left you, well, I guess the good news is that you don’t have to do the last step?  (Silver linings, people!)  But you do have to join in on the final step which is to learn the lesson the incident taught you.  What do you now know about yourself, him, and your relationship that will make you stronger and better moving forward.

Briefly, when it comes to losing someone to a difficult-to-manage illness and/or death, and “life” becomes the focus of your disappointment, I know it sounds cliché but all I recommend in that case is time.  Time to grieve, heal, and feel the range of emotions, (or seemingly lack of emotions), that pass through your heart.  The running thread I’ve noticed among survivors of deep losses such as those is that it taught them how to love deeper and differently.  So there will be treasure waiting for you on the other side of your grief, but in the meantime all you can do is take things day by day.

So, as you can see, Stuck in Fantasyland, your fears and hesitancy to trade in your celebrity crushes for real life relationships are justifiable.  Real relationships come with pain and disappointment; but know that with that pain and disappointment come tools that help us grow.  We become better lovers who can then go on to experience love on deeper and deeper levels.  But if you’re still not sure if all this is for you I have one last piece of good news: When you’re ready to make the switch, the very idea of a real relationship will become your new fantasy, disappointing flaws and all.  Best of luck!

-Megan 🙂

For my story check out “The Care and Feeding of Sex Symbols” here

To submit your question to “Dear Megan” click here!

“Dear Megan” Home Page

To Subscribe to my YouTube channel click here!

Note: As this column is designed to be a judgement-free zone, only those who have been, (or know someone who has been), in a similar situation are invited to comment; especially if the question is unorthodox or hard for one to relate to.  And for even more relevant insight, those seeking answers are always encouraged to go within.