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Reader Q&A;

Today I'll answer relationship questions submitted by some of
our subscribers.

As always, I strive to answer your questions in both a general
and specific manner -- specific enough to help the person who
asked the question, but general enough so that the information
can be applied to a variety of relationship situations.

In addition to Reader Q&A;, this week I am starting a new series
of articles for people who have done lots of work to stop being
single, and yet still are. To start reading the first article in this
series, subscribe to the RCN Plus -- a premium version of the
Relationship Coach Newsletter. To subscribe or for more info,
go here now.

Q: Dear Coach,
My boyfriend and I are in a long distance relationship and we
love each other very much. Do you have any advice to keep the
love alive and keep him interested?

A: Dear Jean,
The best way to keep your relationship working and improving is
to spend as much time together in person as possible. I
understand this can be difficult in a long distance
relationship, but it is THE one action you can take to combat
the tendency long distance relationships have of fizzling out.

Q: Dear Coach,
I've been dating a man I met online for about 7 weeks. He went
on vacation for a week and when he returned something did not
seem right between us. After a couple days, he called to tell me
his feelings for me were too strong and that although he thought
he wanted and could handle a relationship, he was scared and not
ready to commit and exclusively date. He just wanted to be

We have been trying our relationship as just "friends." We talk
almost every day on the phone. He flirts with me but we have not
been intimate. The problem is that I really like him a lot, but
I feel like he's sending me mixed messages. He acts like he
wants more, but then he gets scared. I am having a hard time
deciding what to do. Any advice?

A: Dear Rosemarie,
In some ways relationships are simple. If someone wants to date
you and has the emotional resources to date you, he or she will
definitely let you know. In fact in most cases, this person will
be fairly proactive in making sure dating happens. But as in
this case, when someone acts confused or scared and is not
making any forward movement, it is likely he is unavailable.
He may be in this state for a long time. Unfortunately, the degree
to which you like an unavailable person does not make him more
available. My advice is that you go find someone available to

Q: Dear Coach,
I am an attractive, funny, and intelligent woman. I have had
many men tell me this, and have dated men who seem very
attracted to me at first. The problem is that whenever I begin
to reciprocate attraction, the men seem to "turn off" their
feelings and I get dumped! I feel like there's something I do
that makes them freak out and leave. What's going on?

A: Dear Lindsay,
One of two things may be going on:
1) You present a front that does not match who you really are
when you are in a relationship. Many of us do this and often
don't even recognize we are doing it. Read an article I wrote
about this phenomenon by clicking here.
2) The people you are dating are not interested in building a
long-term relationship, but are only interested in the first
stage of a relationship -- by some accounts the most exciting,
fun stage. To find out, just ask the people you are dating how
long most of their relationships have lasted and whether they
are looking for a long-term relationship.

Q: Dear Coach,
The man I was dating for nearly four months ended our
relationship. At first he said he wanted to "take a break." Then
after three weeks he called to say he was "moving on." I was so
shocked and devastated that I didn't ask why. This seemed to
have happened overnight -- I've replayed the month leading up to
the breakup and it included flowers, affection, intimacy, etc.
Since then I've asked him three times to please share with me
the reasons so I could learn and move on. He won't do it. How do
I move on without knowing what happened? It's been really tough
to stop thinking about him and what went wrong.

A: Dear Anna,
It's possible that very little if anything of the breakup had to do
with you. It sounds as if this man needed to move on for his
own reasons. It's very likely you picked a man who was only
able to get to a certain level of intimacy before he got
uncomfortable and ran. As for how to move on, I have written
a series of articles on completion, which is what you are asking
about. You can find these articles by clicking here.

Q: Dear Coach,
For almost two years I dated a wonderful guy who loved me no
matter what. Then I met a nice, sweet man, and for some reason I
had an affair with him. I know it was wrong, it was terrible,
but ultimately I fell in love with him and cut my relationship
off with the man I had planned to marry. Lately I've been
feeling once again that it's not right and I'll never feel
satisfied. I don't know what to do because the man I was dating
before has told me he still loves me and I think I truly do love
him. But I have strong feelings for the new man in my life, who
has been with me for almost a year now. I feel like a terrible
person for always questioning whether what I'm doing and who I
am with is right. Thank you for any or all advice.

A: Dear Brittany,
For many of us the hunger or longing we try to fill with a
relationship cannot be filled by a relationship at all, but by
something bigger and more soul satisfying. It is a spiritual
hunger, one that can only be filled by a spiritual solution --
whether that be organized religion, or your own spiritual path.
You are searching for meaning, for a direction, for something
bigger, and yet trying to choose between two relationships as a
solution to these needs and questions. Instead, explore religion
and/or spirituality until you find something that seems to
satisfy the hunger. Then your relationships will fall into place
by themselves.

Q: Dear Coach,
I have been with Mike for 5 years, and am very much in love
with him. We have talked about getting married when we both
graduate from school in about a year. I know he loves me and
would never cheat on me, but whenever we are out he is always
checking out other women. I can't say I never look at other men,
but the problem is that he's so busy scanning the area that he
rarely has his eyes on me. This also makes it impossible to hold
up an interesting conversation. I find this so irritating I can
hardly stand it, nor can I imagine dealing with it for the rest
of my life.

I've tried talking to him about this, but he just gets angry
and denies it. Is it so terrible to want the person you are with
to pay attention to you instead of all the women around you?
What am I doing wrong? Does he just have a short attention span
and I'm going to have to deal with it, or is there something I
can do?

A: Amber, there are two issues here:
1) One is a question of a couple's style when it comes to
looking at other people. For some men and women, anything
less than full attention from their mate is unacceptable,
unimaginable. Other couples tolerate some roaming eyes from
one or both partners. Some can even talk about the people they
are attracted to without being threatened. The problem emerges
when the couple has different styles in this arena -- one wants
there to be no roaming eyes while the other wants to look some,
or a lot. The solution: the person who wants the least looking at
others needs to wins, or the relationship will become strained
with an ongoing unresolved issue.

2) Issue two is about attention. This is a question of needs. Some
people need attention some or all of the time. Others are
comfortable with less attention all or some of the time. Again,
the person with the bigger need must win, or the relationship
ends up with an ongoing issue that could eventually erode it.

Why? Those with the bigger need can rarely reduce the
need, while those satisfying the need can often stretch their
ability to meet their partner's need -- while growing themselves.

Thank you for all your questions.

Your Relationship Coach
Rinatta Paries

(c) Rinatta Paries. Do you know how to attract your ideal mate? Do you know how to build a fulfilling relationship, or how to reinvent yours to meet your needs? Relationship Coach Rinatta Paries can teach you the skills and techniques to attract and sustain long-term, healthy partnerships. Visit where you'll find quizzes, classes, advice and a free weekly ezine. Become a "true love magnet(tm)!"

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