Dear Lover, Please Love Me–Not Just the Good Stuff

The majority of us have experienced falling in love.

We meet. The stars align. DJ Universe plays all the correct tunes on the radio. The chemistry is sweetly perfect and we opt to pursue the dopamine rush, believing that this time it’ll be different.

Only this time, it is 1 person you must rely on in order to grab you, not several.

It is a heady rush.

We, knowingly or not, decide to trust our understanding of the new person…after all, they smell so damn good, say all of the best things, and feel so perfect!


Loving somebody for who they’re requires a good deal of effort, trust, and vulnerability. It’s a depth of emotional intimacy which demands a conscious option.

A lot of us unconsciously decide to fall in love with that we believe they can become. It is so much easier since our attention is always on the ideal future just around the corner and therefore we could willingly ignore what’s right in front of us, in other words, the true and complete character of our recently chosen partner.

We see just what we would like to see and that vision is intently focused on the tomorrows that might never come. They sparkle with such allure!

This is called falling in love with somebody’s potential. We employ creative and stubborn deafness and blindness in our attempt to prevent reality because reality can be difficult. We’ve got a dreamy notion of what we think we need and place about cramming our new love interest within that unyielding framework.

Our understanding is seldom 100 percent aligned with reality. We hold onto all of the terrific things we have learned about them and combine with all of the things we see them capable of becoming.

The facets of the being that make them faulty –and therefore human–are adroitly ignored.

When we meet Mr. or Ms. Right and they inform us that they occasionally become inaccessible, or that the longest relationship they have had has just been three months, we suddenly develop selective hearing.

We believe that we’ll be the one to change them. We’re their one, true love! We’re the medication they want to cure all their ills. If they would only listen to us they would then attain the perfection that’s always just around the corner. Together with our firehose of caring educated on them we can cleanse them of all their defects. They will finally have the support they need to satisfy their potential. All they need to do is think, right?

Maya Angelou said, “When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time.” It took some time to understand the meaning of the axiom. For example: if someone tells you they’re perpetually late through action or words you do not necessarily have to kick them to the curb. It’s knowledge from which now you can make an informed option. You may decide you could cope with their lateness habit and consent to make certain compromises, or you might call it a day and continue your search for Mr. or Ms.”Always On Time.” There’s absolutely no blame, shame, or judgment on each side once the truth is on the table. It’s simply information.

Let’s consider the difference between understanding, which by its own definition is:”a means of seeing, comprehension, or interpreting something; a mental impression,” and outlook, which by its own definition is:”accurate comprehension of the relative value of things; a sense of proportion.” Knowing the difference between those two will benefit you a lot of freedom.

Still with me?

As we venture into using perspective rather than perception we can examine our new love in a bigger, more expansive way. The picture is now more in percentage and in equilibrium.

We get to find out who they are right now, at today, as opposed to who they are (which holds zero warranties by the way). We’ll see things that are unsettling, but {} holding the flashlight on them. Light up anything and it becomes less frightening because at least we know what we’re facing.

How would you feel that your lover only loves the nice, fun, sexy, pleasant side of you? It sucks when your loved one holds one to a standard so large as to be eternally out of reach. It is a recipe for failure.

We may safely assume that a lot people struggle with enjoying our own dark, shadow side–our defects. Imagine how much harder that would be when the person who loves us most can not love that side?

If we stay in restricted perception and love someone for just what we choose to see (the simple, fun, sexy, sexy stuff), then we deprive them of an opportunity to perform their sh*t out while at a secure relationship with us. We stand in silent judgment of those.

It’s only by changing to perspective and taking a massive step back to expand our perspective that we can truly find the one we adore in all their humanity–perfections and imperfections vulnerably exposed.

If we choose to open our eyes it will free us to make sound decisions based in the present. We can choose to take their problems as a part of the being; they are, in part, a problem we want to get.

There’s power in knowledge. We get to define our {} boundaries, our requirements, our negotiables and non-negotiables–all based on truth gained from a wider perspective.

We can place ourselves and our nearest and dearest free using a simple shift in thinking.

It starts with choosing to imbue your optimism with raw reality as opposed to becoming a victim of it by staying blind. After all, we all–in our center –want to be loved exactly as we are.


Previously Released on Elephant Journal


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I don’t mean enduring relationships. I am speaking about caring relationships in which you enable each other to be as good as possible.” — Brendon WattHave you ever stopped to ask yourself whether you really need a relationship? Australia-based writers Simone Milasas and Brendon Watt investigate this question and suggest tools from their most recent book, Dating, Are You Sure You Want One? In this talk they talk: — The connection myths which are tripping you up from pleasure — The 5 components of intimacy: honor, gratitude, allowance, vulnerability and trust. No matter if your status is single, married or it is complex, this talk will motivate you to begin creating your relationships in a different manner.–[embedded material ] [embedded material ] –RELATED: I Expected TO Be unmarried Forever ◊♦◊Have you read the first anthology which was the catalyst for Your Great Men Project? Purchase here: The Great Men Project: Real Stories from the Front Lines of Modern Manhood ◊♦◊If you think in the work we’re doing here at The Great Men Project and wish to join our calls on a regular basis, please join us as a Premium Member, now. All Premium Members get to See The Great Men Project with NO ADS. A whole list of advantages is here.–Photo credit: Screenshot from movie

How many amazing relationships do you see out there?

The article Creating a Conscious Relationship appeared on The Great Men Project.

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Dear Lover, I Promise You This

You and I, and probably much of the rest of the world, spend an inordinate amount of time avoiding emotional intimacy as it scares the sh*t from us.

We tease each other, we evaporate into our computers and mobile phone displays, we escalate conflictswe retreat into silence, we numb ourselves with T.V., and an infinite variety of different ways to prevent the pain we’ve experienced in previous relationships going all of the way back to childhood.

Loving deeply, completely, and intimately requires us to draw upon our guts in huge ways when confronted with the possible suffering that will ultimately happen when relationships end, whether that be in 1 month, 1 year, five decades, or at the end of our lives.

To experience the deepest love and closeness needs a jump into the unknown. Who, but those that are fearlessly terrified, would dare this act?

You and I are brave creatures still deciding daily how vulnerable we are prepared to be with those we would like to know intimately and people we would like to know us. Just how much are we willing to risk for this thing called love?

Our sometimes indecisive steps will need to be pointed out–not to judge ourselves for moving too hesitantly or needing a new procedure, but rather to admit just how much we hazard for this amount of emotional connection and how much we need to bare our true being to another in the hopes of unconditional approval. It’s a risk worth commendation.

So often we choose to examine what mistakes we’ve made, the failures which mess our hearts, the chances supposedly lost. Let’s, rather, give ourselves the gift of gratitude for all that we’ve done well. We deserve kudos for how utterly amazing we are, for our willingness to lean in the discomfort of psychological nudity.

Let us celebrate how powerful we are–so powerful that we have the ability to surpass our mutual histories and make fresh, ever-changing paradigms together. People who we provide such intimate access will reflect our own perception of ourselves. The purity of this reflection is commensurate with the breadth and depth of trust we present them.

To have chosen a spouse we hope with which to talk about the frightening parts of life–and the fun and lightness–is worthy of applause. I need to admit us for working through a continuous stream of conflicts and choices–their absolute size can, at times, seem overwhelming.

We’re extraordinary in our desires to experience relationships more intimately and vulnerably than any we’ve yet had. Each successive one was a building block upon whose experiences notify (and partly specify ) the upward path of another one.

It’s a very small miracle that happens daily in our decisions to continue to try to find something so ephemeral, so fragile, in the face of all we’ve previously endured. It appears a miracle that we have the guts to set foot on this course more than once given the consequences of failure.

I won’t promise that we’ll remain aware and conscious of what comes out of our mouths.

I won’t guarantee that one day we shall each be free of those internal demons that haunt the hallways of our thoughts.

I won’t promise forever love since there’s only now, right now.

I can, however, assure you that each small step toward vulnerability will bring us both closer to that emotional intimacy we search. I promise to be as clear as I can in my decision to love you daily. I promise to back up my intentions with activities as best as I can. I promise to check the limits of my capacity for emotional investment.

I promise to call you in your bullsh*t, to constantly ask you to appear as your very best self, and to kick you once you encounter self-pity or unconsciousness.

I promise to be compassionate and embrace you once you’re defeated and can’t do this for yourself. I promise to genuinely see your shadow side and understand {} simply a part of who you are. I promise to have compassion for you when you’re hating yourself, to be generous when you mess up big time, and to trust you to recognize your own mistakes when you surface from the depths of hell.

I promise to take on 80 percent when you’re only effective at 20 percent, and to wade with you through your trials and tribulations.

I promise to laugh with you, pick you daily, to risk my heart for you as far as I dare.

I promise to return once I run away in panic, and wait for you once you run away. I promise to let you go if you want something besides what I will give and to allow you to know the exact same for me. I guarantee that nothing will remain the same.

Mostly, though, I promise to be true to who I am so you always know who it is that you’re so bravely picking to be vulnerable to each and every day.

Previously Released on Elephant Journal


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Ask Dr. NerdLove: How Do You Speak to Strangers

I know you probably get this question of how to speak with people in a romantic since every other day so that I’ll attempt to help you view it from my standpoint. Therefore, you’re out in about and you find a cute girl. The location and what she is doing does not really matter in this case, since this is exactly what goes through my mind:

“This is the most busy, most crucial moment of her life and if you go up to her and disrupt, one of these things will occur: a) she will shout at you and be angry. B) she will laugh and make fun of you. C) she will gut you like a fish.

I can already hear you and everybody I’ve ever known say that won’t ever occur, and the worst thing she could do is say no. But that is doesn’t help. I have gotten all the relationship advice: just be certain, they are just as nervous as you are (side note, telling a nervous individual the other person is anxious does not help, it makes it worse), etc..

I have tried your breathing and 3 second rule. Doesn’t help. The being convinced thing would be easier if I had some success as it came to dating; I have approached friends who I developed feelings for and have been rejected each time.

There is 1 outlier. 1 time I did approach a woman, it was 10 years ago in a comic store. My very best friend and I were just joking around. One of my jokes made this woman laugh, so after about thirty minutes of my friend practically begging me to speak to her, we approached her. We did a little small talk and we exchanged numbers.

(Actually, 2 men approaching a random girl is not really a good appearance )

However, I see that as the exception, not the rule. I think it’s pretty easy to guess that my self esteem is not the greatest, but to tell the truth, it is far better now than it was back then. I see myself so much better today I many ways, but I {} bring myself to approach girls. Is there anything else I can attempt to get past this?

One of the continuing themes of the column is the amount of individuals who do not really have the problem that they believe they have. Sometimes this is because they are asking the wrong questions. Other times, it is because the man searching for information has attributed the cause due to their dilemma to a totally irrelevant and unconnected issue.

You, on the other hand, have a case of”here is how you can take all the wrong lessons from your experience.”

SD, although your problems are indeed valid, the problem here is that you are taking your adventures and coming away with courses which are entirely inapplicable to the situation at hand. Let us begin with the fact that you are attributing your lack of confidence to your lack of relationship success.

First of allthe reason you are not having much amorous success is because you are trying to date exclusively on Nightmare difficulty. When the only people you are coming are platonic friends you have suddenly caught feels for I am entirely unsurprised you are striking out. Attempting to change a platonic relationship to a sexual one is difficult, particularly when there has not been some flirting, any chemistry or any indication of interest from another person. In cases like this, you’re not trying to start a connection from scratch, you are trying to recontextualize your complete relationship with this individual. It is certainly possible, but it needs a good amount of skill and societal calibration in addition to a pretty hefty quantity of experience. If the vast majority of your efforts at finding customs is hitting friends, I am not surprised that you are striking out each time.

Secondly: The lack of success is sort of irrelevant to the problem at hand, because you are misunderstanding just what optimism is. Confidence is not assuredness that you can not or won’t fail at something; it is the understanding that success is possible and that failure may suck… but it won’t ruin you. You do not build your confidence by achievement, you build confidence in making the effort in the first location. Stress + Survival = Confidence.

You have successfully chatted up a girl before! You even bring this up on your letter: that girl at the comic store who began laughing at your jokes. The issue is that, once more, you are taking all the wrong lessons from this interaction. That you are calling it an outlier is a prime example of this. You did not succeed here because of random chance; you triumphed here since you were doing lots of the things you should do when you are approaching someone. In this situation, you made a remark that made her laugh — a fantastic beginning — then turned and began a conversation with her which lead to your getting her phone number. The only difference here is that you did not do it intentionally… and that is fine. But that does not make this an outlier; it just means you haven’t processed how this worked so which you could replicate the results if you will need to.

So here is a quick primer on the best way best to approach somebody.

First is what people call”the opener”. This is how you initiate the conversation. Despite how it might feel, this is truly the least important part of the procedure. How you get the dialogue going is ultimately irrelevant. In actuality, the chances are high that the person you’re speaking to won’t recall precisely what it was you said. In your experience in the comic shop, you used a kind of an indirect opener — that is, you began the conversation in a manner that was not about your wanting to speak to them.

Next is the pivot: moving out of the opener into a real conversation. A great deal of people who concentrate on getting the best opening line to begin a conversation often get wrapped up here; they feel like they must adhere to whatever it was that they said to get another person beginning. Instead, you need to move things towards getting them to take part in the conversation with you. The simplest way to pivot to a dialog is to show interest in them. I am a fan of”so what is your story?” As a method of getting them engaged; you are leaving things open for them to discuss their daily life, about why they’re in that particular place or about what they are doing in life.

From that point, you need to get to know them and ask interesting questions. Not the typical interview questions, but getting their opinions and ideas and finding out what makes them tick. Find and highlight the things you have in common, take opportunities to flirt and generally concentrate on connecting together.

Then comes the near: leaving the conversation. In cases like this, if you are interested in them, then you are hoping to get their amount, or even a date. The simplest way to do this is simple: you say”Hey, I must go, but I am really enjoying talking to you and I would really like to do this again. Then you’ve got a variety of ways of connecting with her. Maybe she will give you her number.

As intimidating as this might feel, you want to recognize that all you are doing is beginning a conversation. That’s it. You are not trying to convince this man to run away with you or have your kids; you are just trying to speak to them and see if you’re interested in them… and if they are interested in you.

Currently there are two ways of managing your fear of approaching people. The first is to watch for signs that someone is open to being approached or not busy. The woman who is reading intently, has her earbuds in or is working at her laptop in the coffeeshop is probably not up for talking to people. Somebody who’s distracted, staring out the window or not focusing on something? She is more likely to be amenable to speaking to somebody cool. The best alternative, however, are girls who are actively checking out you — who look at you and smile, who are standing much closer to you than is necessary or who are listening in on your conversation.

Y’know. Like the young woman from the comic shop.

Another is to stop seeing your curiosity about somebody as being negative. You have a right to find people attractive and to be interested in meeting people you are attracted to. Cultivating a more positive mindset will go a long way towards providing you with the courage and the confidence to become more social and start some discussions.

Very good luck.

Howdy Doc,

Among my closest long-time friends recently moved back to our hometown, from overseas, following a large break up. She was dating him for 3years and had started to consider marriage. Furthermore, she had an impressively large number of friends over there and a pretty good career path. All that blew up when they awakened as she’d moved there for him. The majority of our friends from here have moved away and another friend and I are really the only ones for her. Obviously, she is having a very difficult time with the alteration. Now here is the rub, we have hung out a few times the last week and I’m catching feelings HARD.

Some background, when we were first getting to know each other, her and I hooked up for about a month back in 2014. It was right after a bad breakup for me and that I was not even slightly prepared to get back out there. I had been in a bad place and have not felt like I could handle any type of relationship before late last year. I am really glad that we managed to get that friendship then. I believe her something like a kindred soul. I have a great deal of friends but very few that I believe really understand me. She is amazing and I treasure our friendship.

The issue now is that I have solved a lot of these problems that shut down my intimate life and my feelings for her are completely altered. I am heavily attracted to her whenever we have been together, something I have not experienced with another in years. We have always had good chemistry, and the sex was fantastic when we were hooking up, but I have not felt anything like this towards her till today. But with where she is in her life, I do not believe anything can happen. She’s in a really vulnerable place at the moment. I feel like she needs friends way more than she wants a boyfriend and I am one of two friends who could be present. Additionally, the other friend is not especially the nurturing kind so, really, I am kinda it in plenty of ways.

I feel a strong mutual attraction whenever we are together and it’s really freaking me out. My first idea is to put a little space between us {} feelings can run their course but I can not do this as she desires me to be there for her. Ultimately I trust myself and her to get through this somehow but this is pretty extreme and contradictory for me.

I don’t know whether I will be content with us only staying friends in the long term. I am asexual with a dash of demisexuality so I move fairly slowly and all my previous relationships have started out as friendships. Is it disingenuous to be the friend she needs while this seems like the beginning of something more? Do I want to broach this subject in the risk of endangering our friendship in a time she needs it most? If we only date, common sense be damned? I’m fully vexed.

Catching Feelings to your Sad Buddy

It is not disingenuous to be the friend she needs, even when you’re beginning to grab feels, CFYSF. The point at which it crosses the line is when you make the most of being the friend she desires.

The myth that attraction and sex gets in the way of friendship is just that: a fantasy. It places sexual interest — especially male sexual interest — as being this irresistible force that necessarily conflicts with a platonic friendship as people can not not act on it. However, the truth is: just because someone offers you a boner or the crying thigh sweats does not mean that you will need to do anything about it. It’s not that hard to let an appeal just be that: an attraction. You may notice it, name it and just let it be.

And to be truthful? That is the best option you have here, CFYSF. Right now, she is in a really vulnerable location. It has made all the worse by the fact that these all feed to the demise of her relationship. In all likelihood, she is feeling particularly lonely and isolated. Even if it does work and she decides to start dating you, the chances that it will last are not fantastic. It is not impossible… but it is not great. What she wants more than a boyfriend is someone on her side, who will help encourage her and prop her up while she is going through this stressful time. If she feels like you have been visiting this low point in her lifetime as your opportunity to hook up with her, then it is going to be a significant psychological blow… even if that is not what you were really intending.

Both have some serious history and chemistry together. You are fairly tight and this is the type of relationship which lines up perfectly with your attachment and attraction fashion. Y’are hanging out all of the time and the psychological connection is fairly intense at this time. And in other conditions, this could be a perfect storm for beginning something awesome. But that is not what she needs at this time.

So put those ideas of love aside for now. Help her get her feet back under her, get some stability and begin figuring out what the next phase of her life will be. That is going to be the very best and most loving thing you can do for her right now.

The fantastic thing is that if the both of you’re appropriate for each other? You’ll still be ideal for every other months down the line when she has had an opportunity to heal.

Very good luck.


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Ask Dr. NerdLove: When Does Rejection Stop Hurting?

What is happening Doc,

I am in need of some tips on the best way best to take rejection better. Not always in the moment when it happens because I feel like I have become a pro at that, but in the days that linger on until you have met someone else you are into and also the person who rejected you remains on your social orbit.

Here’s a story to illustrate what I mean:

So first things first, I am heavily involved with the stand-up comedy scene in my hometown. I perform, assist run shows, and manage lots of the marketing. This also means that I am a familiar face at some of the pubs in the city where shows occur. Second things second, there was this girl, see…like lots of these stories go. We go from sharing smiling glances from throughout the bar to breaking up the ice. Some nights we would speak with one another, other nights we would stick to our own social groups because she does not normally come to the pubs I do shows at to the stand-up comedy, she simply has a great deal of friends who go to the exact places.

Anyhow, on one particular night we wind up interacting in the same general group following a series until the team wittles down to just the two of us, and then proceed to ask her on a date. She informs me that she is in a newish connection but is flattered by the suggestion. I try my best to place any nervousness she may have at ease by cracking a few jokes; leaving not too long after by wishing her a great night, which she smiled ear to ear and seemed to genuinely value.

So hey, seems like a favorable story? I didn’t get what I wanted but in accordance with my observation she seemed to find my effort charming and I put myself out there even though I did not know where I’d land. I have not dated someone in more than a year because of being, frankly, devastated from losing a job I loved (albeit at a poorly paying business ), and have been regaining confidence by going back to college to get a higher paying career shift that’s finally beginning to show its upside. I admire her choices and don’t have any intentions of asking her or even referencing it in jest.

Thing is, the next time we were in exactly the exact same bar I frankly had no damn clue how to behave around her. We did not talk, I stuck purely by my friend group the whole night, at the one moment where our glances met by chance I averted my eyes instantly, and I left the pub the first opportunity I could after getting paid. Basically I feel like I went from being a fun man in her existence to a walled-off coward in the area of just over a week. I believe a huge part of this is that I have taught myself to roll with the punches when it comes to girls turning me down because I am confident I can/will find somebody who’s into me, but on some level I am embarrassed by being the identical space with somebody who I’ve been exposed in front of, however briefly and comparatively irrelevant.

So Dr. NerdLove, I am not too concerned about what I need to do regarding this particular girl since I’ll really be away from my hometown for the upcoming few weeks for work and any remaining awkwardness will have faded by then. What I’m concerned with is being ashamed about the rejection after the truth. It certainly makes me wonder how cool I really am with rejection when I have a lingering shame about it. Is there a way to deal with the fact that jealousy is in fact just irreparably humiliating and no amount of steely confidence at the moment it occurs can overcome that? Is there a lesson to be learned from my letter that anybody else could benefit from?

Barfly Affected by Emotions

So I’m gonna be honest here: you are kind of inventing a problem on your own, BAE.

I mean, you did everything right. You saw someone who is a regular on your different hang-outs, you must know her, the both of you have comfortable enough to hang out and speak by yourself, you made your move without hesitation and took her refusal with great grace. While it’s a shame that things did not work out, those are literally what I tell people to do if they see someone they are interested in.

Here’s the part that is not quite lining up for me, BAE: why should you behave any differently around her? Literally nothing has changed. It is not like you were harboring deep feelings for her or that you had a friendship of longstanding and your asking her on a date unexpectedly altered the context of your connection. Likewise it is not like you did anything wrong, embarrassing or uncomfortable when you asked her out. That seems to me like everything went as smoothly as you could hope for.

So why do you have some reason to be uneasy around her? Well, the answer to that is in how you are considering this, not just how cool you are or are not with rejection.

See, the issue you are having is not that you’re exposed with her, the problem is that you’re exposed and you were rejected. It is that feeling of”Great, I did what everybody tells me to do and it did not work. Glad I opened myself up to pain for no good goddamn reason.”

Which is entirely clear; when you are letting yourself be vulnerable to someone, it seems just like you are doing something that’s going to make you look bad. It feels like you have done something embarrassing or shameful and revealed a side of yourself which you keep hidden. But here is the thing about vulnerability: it is actually a strength. It is showing the world that you don’t find your authentic feelings to be shameful or something which has to be hidden. When you are letting yourself be exposed, you are showing the world that you are powerful enough to be your authentic self rather than putting up a mask which you think the world would like to see. You are living openly and honestly and sincerely, and to be perfectly blunt: Many people can not manage living like that.

How you told someone you were attracted to them and wanted to take them out on a date is not anything to be ashamed about. Hell, the fact that you made your move is commendable. It is a shame that it did not work how you’d expect, but how you did it at all is something you ought to be proud of. There is no reason to feel awkward about her or to attempt to prevent her because you did not do anything to feel awkward about. Honestly, avoiding her will make things more awkward since it sends messages that are odd, despite the fact that you do not intend for it to do so.

So what do you do about it? Take a deep breath, let it out slowly and then push that first sense of”oh god I am embarrassed” and act like nothing has changed. This is easy because, basically, nothing has changed. It is all exactly the same as in the moments before you asked her out on a date. So when you force yourself to pretend it (at first), you will realize very quickly that you are not having to pretend it; what will flow smoothly and normally and you will relax to the familiar old routines before you know it.

You don’t have any reason to feel ashamed, BAE, nor do you want steely confidence to get over this. All you will need to do is alter the context of the way you see being exposed. It is not something over and beyond or something awkward. It is just you leaning to being your authentic, real self.

And that will make it much easier to find somebody who may want to go out on this date with you.

Very good luck.

I want some platonic advice:

So, I am moving away in a month or two (I am living in Taiwan and’m returning back to America) and lately a female friend reached out to me wanting to throw a party for me before I leave. Super nice sentiment and all that, but a few issues:

— We were rather seeing each other last year. Nothing serious and far from actually anything just spending the majority of the weekend together and she wanted me to sleep within her place (I insisted on the sofa because I did not want to cross a line) when we hung out and we kissed a couple of times. However, the moment another man she wanted to get with got back into town she ghosted on me for months. I finally got over it, but still kinda bites, so this is sort of out of left field.

— We don’t have any friends in common, and the friends of hers I have met I suspect do not care for me.

— She is younger than me (23 vs 30) and parties very hard while my blackout drunk times are behind me.

My question is this:

How do I turn her down party idea politely and suggest perhaps we do something similar to just go get drinks and catch dinner or something only the two of us without coming across as with any sort of amorous overtures to the thought?
I legitimately just need a platonic hang out and I am worried that if I turn down a larger party with plenty of drunk people I do not understand or really enjoy in lieu of a scenario that means more to me like”how about just the two of us” will look like I am trying to make a move.

— Kautious in Kaouhsiung

I believe I need a bit more info, KiK. My first question is”how close are you?” How you phrase things makes it seem as if you have not seen much of each other as you had your short flirtation. That alone raises a couple of questions for me. However, the fact that you also don’t have any friends in common or overlapping social circles is what actually makes my Spidey-sense tingle. I don’t think she is planning anything untoward or malicious, but it is a bit weird to want to throw a farewell party for you once you have not been visiting each other in months. I suspect this is less of a”celebration” and more just excuse to see you before you proceed. Maybe she wishes to compensate for having ghosted on you for so long. Maybe she just wants a last opportunity to hang with you until you are gone for good. Who knows?

That having been said, I do not believe you really have to worry about her taking things the wrong way if you indicate another plan. While it’s possible that she would see this as an effort to produce a move, that isn’t really your problem. You can not really control how people interpret what you say; regardless of how clearly or explicitly you state it, some individuals will always hear what they want to hear, regardless.

So in the event you don’t need a party, just tell her you do not need a party and suggest a few other ideas instead. Then just relax and enjoy this opportunity to see your buddy before you leave, rather than getting hung up on”what if she thinks I am trying to make a move?” Either she will realize that this is a strictly platonic-hang-out in the jump… or she will figure it out once you, y’understand, do not hit on her.

Very good luck.

This post was formerly published on and is republished here with permission from the author.


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The Purchase Price of Heartbreak [Podcast]

The end of any connection can be debilitating, but it may also open the door to finding something better.

Listen to Real Men Feel, #137,”The Cost of Heartbreak” here:

Writer, Rick Sharpe, joins us to talk about his experience with depression after the end of a connection and finding the power in his own vulnerability.

“I was the posterchild for preventing vulnerability.

Rick’s book and this dialog focus on finding the power in vulnerability in addition to learning the difference between reacting and responding.

Issues and Questions Include:

  • What’s you living in Dubai?
  • What prompted your book, the purchase price of Heartbreak?
  • Was this your first breakup?
  • What was your recovery process like?
  • Where did you learn it was wrong to become exposed?
  • What was the target of the book?
  • What is the best thing that’s happened from composing, the purchase price of Heartbreak?
  • Were you afraid to understand yourself?
  • What stands out as a key to your growth and recovery?
  • Some men respond to heartbreak by giving up on relationships completely, is that something you believed?


Watch Real Men Feel, #137, the Purchase Price of Heartbreak, April 10, 2019
Notice: Rick joined us from Dubai and the movie froze a couple of times, but the sound is solid.

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I needed to learn how to appreciate how I am. That was a massive leap of faith. ” ~Rick Sharpe

Find out More about Rick in Rick-Sharpe. com

Check out Rick’s book, the Purchase Price of Heartbreak: Curing is mindfully feeling

Let us know what you thought here in the comments or shoot an email to [email protected].

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A version of the post was previously published on and is republished here with permission from the author.

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