I’ve been following your columns and advice for four years. I first want to thank you for helping me better understand women. But more importantly, I want to thank you for helping me become a better man. Prior to your advice, I thought women were supposed to accept me for who I was. Lame. Now I know the only worthwhile goal in life is to strive to be the best man I can possibly be, and in doing so, find and keep the woman who fits the Dating Dictionary’s criteria.
Recently Rachelle, an old girlfriend, e-mailed me out of the blue. I haven’t seen her in five years. We used to work in the same city, but Rachelle was offered a position out East (where she’s from) and I stayed in my home state here in the West. We both decided (reluctantly) to try and make a long-distance relationship work. It didn’t. I turned into a needy wimp over the telephone and she seemed to lose interest. The more distant she became, the more needy, whiny, and wimpy I became. After a few months of her indifference, I told her that I didn’t want to continue our relationship. But like the good little Wimpus Americanus I had become, I continued to call and e-mail her while still trying to figure out what the hell went wrong.
Then I found your books and learned. I stopped contacting Rachelle. After a few months of not hearing from me, she started e-mailing me, telling me she was thinking of me and missed me. I gave her very little in return because she didn’t say that she wanted to give us another shot. Then our contact petered out again.
Just last week Rachelle e-mailed me again and said that she was thinking about me, was wondering how I was doing, and told me what she’s been up to (there was mention of a dog but no boyfriend). It’s been two years since I last heard from her. I could have spent the rest of my life with no intention of contacting this woman, but after hearing from her, memories of what it was like when we were together came back. They are good memories.
Why after all this time would a woman renew a conversation that has been dead so long? If she still has feelings for me after all this time, then I want her to say so. Is she afraid of saying too much until she knows what I feel for her? Remaining aloof in my e-mail responses has worked for me in the past, but this time I think I should respond differently.
Doc, what do you think her intentions are, and how should I respond?
Merlyn – who’s losing his grip a little
I’m glad you mentioned that you’d become a “better man” after reading my materials. Lots of guys think that my coaching is only about dating, but as you immerse yourself in my techniques, you will become a better person, and the improvements you make will carry over into your business life and your social life, and that means your dealings with both men and women wherever you are and no matter what you’re doing.
And I’m likewise impressed that you’ve come to the realization that believing a woman should accept you as you are is “lame.” You said so much in that sentence, pal. There are lots of guys out there who don’t want to better themselves and who don’t want to cultivate the best parts of themselves. They would rather leave the best parts of themselves out of a relationship and assume that the woman is just going to take them as they are. Like my cousin General Love says, “It goes without saying that the results of this non-strategy are invariably disastrous.” And you said it all when you said only your best self will help you meet the Dating Dictionary’s criteria when it comes to finding and keeping the right woman.
The first and most important thing you have to realize about Rachelle is that SHE LEFT YOU in the first place. She moved away from you, dude. Far away. What kind of relationship did she really expect to have with you? She might have had 95% Interest Level in you, but she had at least 96% Interest Level in her new job. Right then and there you knew that this girl didn’t value you as much as she did her work. Like my cousin Fast Eddie Love from East L.A. says, “You gotta be number one in the woman’s life. If you ain’t numero uno, then you shouldn’t even be with her.”
Merlyn, your girl didn’t seem to lose interest when you turned into a needy wimp. She DID lose interest. But like my cousin Rabbi Love says, “Don’t feel bad about being desperate, whiny and wimpy – 90% of American men act that way when they’re going down.” But it was very strong of you to tell Rachelle that you didn’t want to continue your relationship. The problem is that it wasn’t actually continuing – it was already over.
What went wrong between you two? By your own admission, you were a wuss. See, when the woman’s Interest Level is taking a nosedive, the guy usually decides, “Well then, I’ll just come on heavier!” And it never enters his mind to disappear, which is what he should do. To you Psych majors, it never works to come on heavy with someone who’s not interested in you.
Know why Rachelle got in touch with you? Because she went out with two or three other guys where she lives and it didn’t work out, so she went through her phone book and there was your name. And she said to herself, “Ah – Merlyn! He’s always there. I’ll get in touch with him and see if he’s still in love with me because I need some attention!”
But when she contacted you after two years, you should have told her you were dating two babes right now and that they’re both totally in love with you. And if you really wanted to get to her, you should add that you were confused because both of them are so gorgeous and you don’t know which one to choose.
Sure you had some good memories of your time with Rachelle. But what you should do is write down a list of the bad memories, stick it up on your refrigerator and read it every day.
Rachelle is renewing an old conversation with you because she’s striking out with the other turkeys she meets. She doesn’t say she has feelings for you because she doesn’t, pal. Is she afraid of saying too much before she knows where you stand? Merlyn, by that question alone I know you’re off the deep end. And it tells me how much you don’t know about “The System.”
Should you respond differently this time? What do you want to do — go back to being a wimp? That’s the reason Rachelle dumped you the first time, isn’t it? So that’s the choice you face — go back to being the old Merlyn or be a man. If I were you, I’d tell Rachelle about the great time you’re having with two playboy bunnies.
Remember, guys: you get one shot per girl per lifetime.
To hear my LOVE RADIO SHOW, send me your love questions or to find out more about "The System," visit me at www.doclove.com or call (800) 404-2644. For the past 30 years he has asked thousands of women, "Why do you stay with one man versus another?"
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