Category Archives: Men to Avoid

How Do You Know?


The Shoop Shoop Song by Betty Everett was a number 1 hit back in 1964 which claimed:

“If you want to know if he loves you so, its in his kiss.”

Though I am fairly unsure if you can tell if someone loves you by a kiss, I do agree with Betty that they way to discern a person’s feelings for you is through their actions rather than their words.  I am fairly sure that I have written on this subject before so I apologize to those of you dear readers who find this a repeat subject matter but this post has been burbling in my brain and must be written or I might mentally explode.

A few years ago I became completely enamored with a man who had a considerable command of the English language. After a few months of spending time together he used his words to woo me and won my heart as surely as Cyrano won the heart of Roxanne. . His professions of my beauty, wit and charm soothed my battered post-divorce ego while his expressions of undying love hypnotized me into utter stupidity. He formulated a verbal roofee which I cheerfully swallowed. In fact I became so punch-drunk with love, I flat out ignored how he was acting.  I even made excuses for his behavior to my friends who could clearly see the reality of the situation. Of course, after a year-and-a-half, to no one’s surprise except my own, shortly after sharing his feelings of commitment towards me, the relationship became slightly less geographically convenient and he rather nonchalantly dumped me.  I was devastated while he seemed to move on with ease.  I share this embarrassing story because the scenario is all too common and if I had simply paid attention to this man’s behavior rather than his words, I could have avoided a huge heartache.

In his book, Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man, Steve Harvey makes the point that a man who is truly interested in a woman is naturally driven to do three things:





Harvey observes that if a man is seriously interested in a woman he will want to profess his feelings for you.  I will venture to stretch this statement to include women and say that a person who is genuinely interested in another person will want to profess their feelings.  In any case,  the message is that the action of wanting to share this special person or at least tell everyone about them and how fabulous they are is inherent to genuine affection. So if somebody really likes you and has a plan to keep you around for the long run, they are going to make an effort to introduce you to their family, friends and co-workers. In 18 months, this man, I will call him Wordsmith Duane, introduced me to only one of his friends and just two of his family members – hardly the action of a person so madly in love as he claimed to be. The concept of professing his admiration, devotion and love of me to others was absent from his agenda. If we ran into someone he knew while we were out he would leave me standing there without introducing me.

It is logical that when you love someone or are at least thinking of them as long-term relationship material you will want to protect them form harm. Harvey claims this is a primal main function of the human male but I argue that women are similar in this behavior.  Note that parents are programmed to love their offspring and do all matter of things to ensure children’s survival to adulthood otherwise there would be no such things as baby monitors, car seats and bike helmets. At any rate, I have a food allergy to something that is often concealed in foods and though not a death threat has an unpleasant affect on my body resulting in misery for those around me. Wordsmith Duane failed to remember that I had this allergy and even up to the last few days of our relationship, would thoughtlessly offer this type of  food to me.  If he were genuinely concerned for my welfare he would have taken a conscious mental note of my health issue and would have not offered me this food and may have evolved to the place of asking about it at restaurants before I did.  He would have been keen to protect me in order to keep me around longer.

Then there is the providing part.  Men and women traditionally provide differently for their long-term mates and most men in my age range still tend to think in terms of providing financially for a woman. So, in our culture, if a man is comfortable paying for some things other than some dinners out, it is a sign that he is thinking about providing for you in his future. I am talking about investing in things that bring you together like a class you are both interested in or buying you a gift simply because it will bring you joy like a signed copy of your favorite book, a scarf you admired in a shop window when you were out somewhere together or picking up an umbrella when an unexpected down poor occurs (this may fall under the protection column as well).  Wordsmith Duane only paid for things he could figure out a way write off on his taxes.  In the 18 months we spent together in a “romantic” relationship he… Hah, I was just thinking about the things he bought me like flowers when I was sick and a box of chocolates for my birthday and just realized he probably wrote those off as well – I actually fail to recall one single item he gave me that didn’t come from his office as a vendor gift or that wasn’t a tax write-off. That is a bitter pill to swallow at this moment- Agh. But  you get the idea, this man was far from financially invested in our relationship.  I mean, really people, if you are treated like a business expense  then you are engaged in business not a romance.

Other indications that this guy’s brain was somewhere other than in a relationship with me were:

  • A tendency to repeat the same conversations.  I don’t mean subjects we were debating like legalization of abortion or how to cook the perfect hamburger, I mean repeated actual monologues and would tell me about something we did together like see a movie without recalling that I was there.
  • After 18 months of serious dating, he didn’t  know my middle name.
  • He didn’t read my blog- either of them.  Now if you had a practical handbook on a person  you were genuinely interested in or at least a window into that person’s likes and dislikes, you would read it, right?
  • I was constantly making excuses for his lame -ass behavior like “He is so busy,” or “He is super stressed by his work, family, or ingrown toenail….or whatever.”  But worst of all was the, “Oh, but he tells me how important I am to him and how much he loves me so I must just be making to much out of this behavior.” I was being ridiculously disrespectful to myself.

What should happen when a person is seriously interested in you and thinking about the long term?  They want to introduce you to family, friends and co-workers. He /She will invite you to social events with his friends or co-workers and make sure you all have a chance to get to know each other a little.  He/She will include you in family gatherings and chat you up to  familial elders and close relatives. That person will be eager to protect you by driving responsibly and making sure you have what you need to be comfortable. They wi

So heed my words dating people (or better yet, follow my wiser example of noticing actions), you can drink in the compliments and other nice words but when it comes to really understanding how someone feels about you it’s in their actions.

For a complimentary post click here.

To hear the Shoop Shoop Song click here.

To hear Whitney Houston’s immortal, How Will I Know click here.


Whitney Houston asks, "How will I know?" in her 1985 music video

Whitney Houston asks, “How will I know?” in her 1985 music video

Defining Moments


I am hiking behind my boyfriend of six months through a forest of leafless trees on an early spring day in 1989.  We are backpacking somewhere in West Virginia with two other couples and have taken an off-trail short cut, bushwhacking through young trees with bendy switch-like branches. Thwack! my beloved walks through a branch and lets it snap back, smacking me in the forehead.  It hurts but I giggle and ask him to be more mindful of the branches.  Less than two minutes later another skinny branch whacks across my bare shin, this time leaving a scratch.  “Ouch!”, I exclaim.  I ask again that he hold the branches rather than let them switch back. This is common trail courtesy anyway.  He remembers this for the next couple of branches then returns to his original behavior.  After the fourth or fifth round of thwacking and asking I realize that he is uninterested in changing his behavior and  I purposefully lag far enough behind to keep from being hit every few minutes.

This was a defining moment. One of those bridges one crosses in a nanosecond from innocence into knowledge. Oprah would call it an “Aha, moment”.  I realized this guy had little consideration for me and it was the beginning of the end of our relationship. That this behavior- the lack of consideration demonstrated by letting branches and briars smack into me -even after I asked him to be more aware- was an indication of how he would treat me for the rest of our relationship.

When a relationship is wrong, your instincts will warn you with a revelation. When it does you have a choice to listen or ignore that inner voice. In every failed relationship I’ve had, I can recall  one of these instances, a window into the future that indicated exactly what I was getting.  Experience and heartache has taught me to heed these moments and it least make a conscious decision to stay or go rather than simply ignoring the signs and returning to the blissful blindness typical of the first several months of a relationship.

Not in tune with your instincts?

The best way to get acquainted with your inner knowledge that can reveal great truths out of seemingly everyday moments is to spend time with your self. Weekends alone. Keep a journal. Meditate. Take long walks in nature.  Vacation solo. Whatever it takes to get into your own head and learn to hear your greater intelligence. I promise it will serve you well. Then the next time you feel that tightening in the pit of your stomach and a revelation smacks you in the face you will know weather to keep walking with that person or to turn around and walk the other way.


Wafflers for Breakfast: A continuation of a previous “Men to Avoid” Post



It is a gorgeous unseasonably cool morning here in Charlottesville, Virginia and the tree covered mountain outside my bedroom window is bathed in the golden hue of summer sunshine.  As is the habit with my revelations, I awoke this morning with a thought burbling in my head that quickly turned into an “aha” as I sipped my first glass of water for the day (part of an Ayurveda routine/dinacharya).

This particular catharsis has to do with the subject of indecisiveness and the disfunction it brings to a relationship.

I wrote about this in a previous “Men to Avoid” series blog titled: Men to Avoid: The Wafflers.   I apologize for limiting this concept to men.  This problem is far from gender specific.

Here is what I realized this morning and wish to add to the Wafflers conversation:

Reasons Wafflers might waffle (def: have a habit of lacking commitment to a decision thus “waffling” on a subject) include:

  • an inability to connect with their own feelings and needs
  • a desire to please everyone
  • a desire to avoid conflict

These are all signs of low self-esteem most often associated with some sort of abuse which includes mental, emotional and/or physical.

Someone who has buried their feelings and constantly puts the needs of others before themselves is doomed to be unhappy.  This is the definition of dysfunctional behavior coupled with narcism.

In order to accomplish satisfaction in a relationship (and this counts for any relationship) it is important for all parties to be able to clearly express their preferences for action in a situation  then if those preferences differ, to be able to problem solve a compromise and then follow through with the agreed action.  If circumstances alter and a different plan is needed then all parties must be alerted and a new plan agreed upon and executed. Follow through is an act of respect for oneself, the other parties involved and for the sanctity of the agreement.

The waffler often changes the plan without notifying the other parties, failing to follow through with the agreed course of action, waiting until a critical mass is reached forcing someone else to take definitive action.  By refusing to follow through with decisions this type of person frees themselves from accountability for their actions which gives them a self-percieved carte blanche to complain and blame.

I often hear men complain about what bitches their wives are claiming that these women must always have their way (this statement usually comes just before or after the infamous, “my wife just doesn’t understand me” phrase which is usually followed by an invitation for a sexual tryst).  Inevitably these men are wafflers which is the reason they are hitting on other women when they are married.  They claim to be miserable yet they refuse to make a move either to do the work necessary to improve their marriages or to end them and move on.

So here is my morning’s revelation:

A waffler via the action of indecisiveness  forces the other person in the relationship to take action aka. putting them (the other person) in the role of “bitch” or “asshole”.

Wafflers are always and never getting what they want.  If one is going back and forth on a course of action, then the resulting action is at one moment what they wanted and what they didn’t want. This makes it impossible to satisfy them.

This is what it is like to be with a Waffler:

A couple, Pat and Chris, are walking in the park on a hot day.  Chris suggests stopping at a food truck for an ice cream.

Pat: ” Yeah, ice cream would be good today.”

They walk a few more steps then Pat mentions a diet and desire to avoid such fattening food.  After a few more steps Pat say that the diet has been going well and ice cream would be OK. The couple approaches the food truck were there is a long line of anticipatory patrons and Pat says something about not really wanting ice cream and needing to leave the park soon. Chris asks if there is time enough to wait in line.

Pat: “Yes, of course, I really do want some ice cream after all.”

They get in line.

Chris: “What flavor are you thinking about today?”

Pat: “I am not sure there is anything I want but you get something.”

They stand in line for ten minutes almost to the front of the line.

Pat: “I need to get going”

Chris reinforces a desire to have some ice cream particularly since they have waited so long and a favorite flavor is available but if it is urgent they can leave now.

Pat: “No we can wait we are almost to the front. My appointment is not that urgent.”

They get to the front of the line. And both order ice cream. And begin to walk towards the park exit. Pat begins to walk quickly.

Pat eats half the ice cream then tosses it into the trash.

Pat: “Hurry up, Chris.  I was supposed to pick up my 98 year old deaf and blind grandmother from the airport 20 minutes ago. She is flying in from Perth, Australia today and has been on a 26 hour flight! I can’t believe you made me stop and get ice-cream. Now I have ruined my diet and will have diarrhea from consuming a milk product.”

Chris: “Gee, Pat, I am sorry.  I failed to understand the importance of the situation.”

Pat: “It’s OK. It was a fun time.  That ice cream was really good and totally worth being late for Grammy and the diarrhea.”

Later Pat explains the tardiness to Grammy: “Chis was a controlling ass today and HAD to have ice cream even though I said I needed to be here for you.”

Insanity right? Pat waffles instead of expressing real preferences.  Either action on Chris’ part regarding the purchase of ice cream would have been dissatisfactory.

It is important to remember that we are solely responsible for our own comfort, welfare and happiness.  It is other people’s responsibility to take care of their own comfort, welfare and happiness.  People can work together to achieve mutual satisfaction but ultimately one is beholden to oneself. When I really need something I can express myself clearly and listen to someone else’s needs. If that makes me a bitch then so be it.  Someone else might call that behavior good communication.  In many situations there can be found a happy compromise but sometimes a mutually satisfying compromise is impossible. Whichever the case clear, respectful, consistent communication is paramount for functional relationships.

How To Spot a Substance Abuser Before You Get Too Involved: Introduction



I was clueless about substance abuse.

I was clueless about substance abuse.

Life with a substance abuser is a special kind of HELL.

It is similar to how the protagonists must feel in those adventure movie scenes where they are being chased by a band of  hooligans who are shooting at them and as they run across a rope bridge precariously strung across some impossibly deep ravine when footing planks begin to drop off  in random intervals like autumn leaves being blown off a tree whilst a large dangerous animal just happens to appear at the bridges other side – no place feels safe, nothing is certain and life seems as if it goes from one crisis to another.

Having been on that disintigrating bridge, with those angry hooligans and the hungry tiger two many times in my life I have made a study of how to spot substance abusers before getting too involved.  I have decided to share my methods with you as a way of minimizing your chances of ending up, as I did, in a long-term relationship with a substance abuser without having a clue as to the signs that would have saved me a lot of pain and anguish.

First a little history:

I grew up in the south in the ’60’s and ’70’s.  For a glimpse into my early childhood life watch the early seasons of MADMEN. I grew up in a world of upper-middle class white America (WASP to the core) where people related to each other through alcohol.  Christmas Eve church service at our church had a distinct aroma of Bourbon wafting about the evergreens and candle wax scents, summer afternoons were for beer, cocktail parties were a frequent pastime activity for adults.  By the time I was 14, if I were at certain friend’s homes (about 75% of the families I knew) on a non-school night at 5:00pm I was usually offered a cocktail and invited to sit with the adults for a few drinks before dinner.  On hot summer afternoons groups of kids would get inner tubes and float down the river, one tube less inflated to hold the  manditory cooler of beer.Keg parties were a large part of the high school social scene, particularly the exclusive private schools – the wealthier and more socially prominent  a family was, the less inclined they seemed to regarded laws concerning substance use. It was an environment that encouraged substance abuse by preventing kids from feeling the consequences of their actions.  I knew several boys who were sent to rehab before the age of 16 only to come out and be sent to boarding schools where they enjoyed greater freedom to indulge in their drug of choice.  One 17 year old boy was caught dealing drugs at my school and was dismissed.  A week later he was back at school and it was announced that his grandmother was donating the money to build the new wing for the school’s library.  Another boy received a very expensive car for his 16th birthday and totaled it two days later while driving drunk.  His father got him a new car the next day and hired a high profile lawyer who got the boy off free of any charges.  A week or so later the same boy wrecked the new car while driving drunk.  His father purchased a third identical car for him and hired the same lawyer to get him off the charges a second time brushing off any problem the boy had as youthful folly. Drugs were everywhere in the youth culture, crossing socio-economic lines.  Although I did not do drugs in high school, I drank.  But so did everyone else.  It was just normal.  I offer these stories as an illustration of the world in which I grew up in an effort to explain why I so slow to recognize the signs of substance abusers – and to qualify my coming advice as worth heeding as I have had a considerable amount of exposure to the group in question.

As an adult I married two men (at different times) who had substance abuse issues in their families and who demonstrated signs of substance abuse issues themselves.  One hid bottles around the house, indulging where I couldn’t see him. The other was so sneaky that no one would see him drink any alcohol all day then suddenly he would be stumbling about the house and slurring his words. How did I miss the warning signs before saying, “I do”, not once but twice?

You see, my mistake was that I thought alcoholics were people who lived on the street and had no job.  Think Otis from the Any Griffith show. I had never heard of a functioning alcoholic so I thought the drinking and drugs were all fun and games – if you had a job, and particularly if you were very successful, you could not have a substance abuse problem therefore any substance you chose to indulge in was fine as long as you maintained your status and image- that was the message I got.

Believing this myth is one of reasons it failed to realize that someone with an education, ambition, a residence and a job could possibly have this type of problem. I was well into my second marriage  before that myth was challenged. I had turned to a therapist for help because my life was spinning out of control following a trip to the emergency room with my spouse who had passed out at the dinner table on a day where no one saw him drink. The therapist pointed out that my husband may have a problem and suggested a twelve step program that might help me.

So my first guiding principle in  spotting a potential substance abuser is:

Know that anyone can be a substance abuser.  Anyone.  Regardless of any job, social standing, background, religious affiliation, ethnicity, level of wealth or anything else.

Keep that in mind when you meet potential dating partners then you can utilize the other evaluative tools I will offer  you in future blogs to determine for yourself is a person potentially has a substance abuse problem.  Remember, I am not a doctor, a psychologist, or a specialist in this area.  I just have a lot of life experience and wish to be helpful in helping others consciously avoid getting involved with this type of person.





Men to Avoid: Guys who go to strip clubs



Burlesque celebrates feminin sexuality.

Burlesque celebrates feminin sexuality.

A good friend gave me a fun read recently, Caitlin Moran’s How to be a Woman. I must admit that I fail to agree with all of Moran’s musings on a definition for modern feminism but I did get some good laughs.  Moran earned my nod of approval in her chapter titled, I Go Lap Dancing. Via a witty recount of a night she went to a high end strip club, Spearmint Rhino, in the mid-90’s with another female journalist to conduct research for a story and gulp down free champagne.

Moran points out in her story that strip clubs are depressing places and she is right.  As part of a social experiment when I was in college, I went with my male friend JB to a small strip club in the afternoon.  He wanted to see if the men in the club would behave differently with a “regular” woman in the club. They did, according to him, tone it down a bit but it was sad.  So impersonal.  The women all looked so bored, distracted, as if they were going through the motions and not enjoying performing at all.  The men also looked bored and some downright despondent. It must be sad if you have to pay someone money to stick their twat in your face rather than being someone has someone do it because they like you.

This is not my only strip club experience.  Back in the late ’80’s I lived at 20th and Park Ave South in New York City, a then rather dull neighborhood just at the very beginning of becoming someplace anyone would want to be.  There was a high end strip club right around the corner from my apartment and sometimes when I was coming home from a night out and I looked respectable or at least dressed up, the bouncers would invite me and my posse in for a drink as a way of being neighborly. It was pretty much the same depressing dynamic as the tiny little titty bar I visited with JB but in a posh setting with a lot more money being exchanged.  The girls were gorgeous but they all had fake boobs- beautiful boobs but fake all the same.  I know because they would tell us all about it while seated at the bar after their shifts. And they were all “just doing this go pay for graduate/medical/law school”- which made me laugh just imagining the reaction of some guy getting rolled into the ER having a heart attack and recognizing his doctor from her days in the club or a judge recalling that very special lap dance the defense attorney performed for him on his Birthday a few years back while she is giving closing arguments.


These girls were making loads of cash.  $500 to $1,000.00 a night and sometimes more (which in todays dollars would be about $1,500 to $3,000 on a regular night).  They would tell me if I got my boobs done I could make that kind of money too but alas, I chose working in retail over a career as a stripper possibly proving once again that I am a financial moron. But really I declined because I think, as Moran does, that women should be in control of their sexual energy and that objectification of women is sexist and fundamentally wrong.

As Moran so eloquently puts it, “No man who ever cared for or wanted to impress a woman made her stand in front of him and take her knickers off to earn her cab fare home.”

But …

Moran does support Burlesque Dancing (and I agree with her on this) because in Burlesque, unlike stripping, the woman is in control.  She is celebrating her creativity, her sexuality. She is enjoying herself as she performs for an entire audience of men and women.  Burlesque is empowering and feels communal and comfortable to women in the audience.

She writes:

“Perhaps as a direct consequence, burlesque artists treat their own sexuality as something fabulous and enjoyable- rather than soothing bordering on a weapon, to be ground, unsmilingly, into the face of the sweaty idiot punter below.

…burlesque clubs fell like a place for girls.  Strip clubs- despite the occasional presence of a Spice-Girl, ten years ago – do not. Watching good burlesque in action, you can see female sexuality;a performance constructed with the values system of a woman: beautiful lighting, glossy hair, absurd accessories (giant cocktail glasses; huge feather fans), velvet corsets, fashionable shoes, Ava Gardner eyeliner, pale skin, classy manicures, humor, and a huge round of applause at the end- instead of an uncomfortable, half-hidden erection and silence.

Burlesque artists have names- Dita von Teese, Gypsy Rose Lee, Immodesty Blaize, Tempst Storm, Miss Dirty Martini- that make them sound liek sexual superheroes,  They explore a culture that allows them to do, creatively, as they please,  They are dames, broads, and women- rather than the slightly cold-looking girls you see in strip clubs,  Their personas embrace the entire spectrum of sexuality- fun, wit, warmth, inventiveness, innocence, power, darkness- rather than the bloodless aerobics of the podium.”

The difference is the attitude. Stripping is objectification while Burlesque is empowering.  Men who enjoy the objectification of women are bad news.  They may seem perfectly wonderful on the surface. They are usually very charming and flirty.  Objectifiers give nice presents- usually something that makes them look equally good in an egotistical way and decorate the object – like nice jewelry or fur coats. They like beautiful well dressed women – arm candy. They equate expenditures on dinners out, trips and gifts as payment for sexual favors and may get cross if you fail to agree with that concept. They will be the first to express dismay if you gain a pound or two.

It is as satisfying to have a relationship with a person who thinks of you as an object as it is for you to have a relationship with a rock.

One woman told me her story of going out with a man she met online.  She had only ever dated one man in her life, her former husband of 30 + years and had little idea of what dating would be like.  She met the man at a restaurant.  He talked mostly about himself at dinner then as they were leaving the restaurant asked her if she would like to sit in his car and chat for a few more minutes.  Seeing nothing wrong with that she complied. Once she was in the car he ambushed kissed her and began groping her breasts.  When she pulled back in horror his response was, “Well, I bought you dinner didn’t I?”


Men to Avoid: The Wafflers


Henley Street Theatre Company in Richmond, Virginia has an annual tradition of performing a Bootleg version of a Shakespearean play.  (To learn more about the concept click here to link to an article I wrote about this years production.)  I love this event for it’s irreverence and raw energy so in late October I took a road trip to my  town of origin to see a Bootleg version of Hamlet.  The show delivered all the mayhem I could possibly want including gay sailors as messengers, a pot smoking, video- game playing Rosencrantz and Guildenstern,  on- stage head shaving and a dual fought with foam floaty noodles. The Bootleg forces one to see a play with fresh eyes and so I did.  For the first time I really understood why Ophelia goes mad;  because Hamlet is inconsistent with his affections – which, if you have ever been involved with a person like this, you know, is enough to drive one completely bonkers.

Shakespeare is teaching us an important relationship lesson: Avoid the person who waffles because they are ultimately incapable of having a mature relationship.  Now I am not talking about the normal ebbs and flows of relationship growth here.  They are like two steps forward and one step back kinds of things, a dance with an ultimate forward momentum.  I am referring to the person who is all about you one moment then falls off the face of the earth for a couple of weeks then returns with the force of a tsunami, all flowers and expensive dinners, etc.  They practically propose marriage and when you respond with equal enthusiasm they freak and ask to cool things a bit -which turns out to actually be a lot. You’re on, you’re off.  You don’t know whether to make plans even a couple of weeks in the future because your relationship seems to be constantly on shifting sands.

This particular brand of “Crazy Maker” people can be overly emotional or overly emotionally committed somewhere else causing their dramatic emotional shape-shifting.

In the January 2012 issue of Psychology  Today article titled: Are You With The Right Mate?, the author offers the following as character traits that inhibit  the likelihood of a  functional relationship:

” chronic lying; chronic worrying or neuroticism; emotional overreactivity; proneness to anger; propensity to harbor grudges; low self-esteem; poor impulse control; tendency to aggression; self-orientation rather than an other-orientation.”

(Addicts are deemed as incapable of functioning relationships earlier in the article.)

The article also notes that persistent stress factors outside of the relationship sabotage the likelihood of a durable bond. All of these are part of the hyper emotional situation. These stresses could be caused by health issues, dealing with aging parents, career dissatisfaction, problematic family members or a hundred other things.

Back to the Hamlet reference:

The Danish Prince yo-yo’s Ophelia to distraction. For example: At one point, he has got his head in Ophelia’s lap and is lovey and smiley. A few minutes later  he yells at her to “get the to a nunnery”.  He is all wrapped up in other emotional stuff  like grieving for his dead father, seeking to avenge his father’s murder and anger at his mom for her quick marriage to his uncle, the murderer.  Even though he loves her, it is impossible for him to accept Ophelia’s love and commit to her. Until he can work out how to balance his need for intimacy with his fear of it (With his family background who would be comfortable with a romance?), he is blocked – emotionally unavailable.

Ophelia, who has been led to believe by Hamlet that he intends to marry her, is caught in a whirlpool of mixed messages causing her to mistrust her instincts. Ultimately she ends up so delusional she drowns in a few feet of water.

If you come across a person who emotionally waffles, RUN in the opposite direction otherwise you may find yourself forfeiting your personal power and drowning in a pond of  neurosis -which is a huge waste of your time and totally un-fun. Even Shakespeare knew that.

We Interrupt This Program: Sadly this is NOT a news flash


I  interrupt the posting of the continuation of Spanish Holiday to bring you this what- is- not- really a news flash anymore:

I was slated for a dinner date with a man tonight.  Someone I met at Salsa who seemed really fun and nice.  I enjoy dancing with him  and he is a little flirty but hey, that is part of the fun of going to a regular Salsa gig.  Anyway, today, by total chance, I learned that he is married with two kids.

Geeze Loueeeze!  That makes 5 married men who hit on me this summer already!

Though it was tempting  to go ahead with our plans for the evening and be wickedly amused by his flirtations and watching him squirm when I asked him to be sure and say “hello” to his wife and kids from me at the end of the evening, I did the responsible thing and texted to cancel the date.  No need to waste my energy even at the expense of a good dinner.

I know the Universe is functioning perfectly but…

Please, please, please, dear readers, send out some good single man karma for me.


So after I posted this I got a phone call from the man in question.  He wanted to know why I had cancelled and I told him that I don’t go out with married men. This was his response: He said in a defensive tone (hold onto your hats, ya’ll, ’cause this is rich),

“I didn’t do anything wrong.  You didn’t ask me if I was married.”

HOW ABOUT  THAT?!!! According to this guy It is my fault he asked me out on a date and I didn’t know he was married!


Why Men Cheat




Four in the last 10 days.  If you have been following this blog you know what the number 4 means in relationship to the number of married men that I feel are crossing boundaries (three described in a recent post and now one more).  No details needed.  The point is that I have, up until now, been absolutely perplexed by this phenomenon of married or otherwise attached men approaching other women.

Enter Comedian and Author, Steve Harvey and his book, ACT LIKE A LADY, THINK LIKE A MAN. His chapter, aptly titled, Why Men Cheat, explains in simple terms the answer (drum roll)- Because They Can.  He goes in to the reasons why and the various roles in the cheating scenario.  That plus hearing what feels like  100 men relate their tales of marital woe,  rebuffing what feels like an equal number of would be cheaters and listening to dozens of women’s stories who have either  been cheated on, cheated on someone or both, I think I get it now.

If you are waiting for me to share my revelations in this post, you will be disappointed. Perhaps another day.

But I will say this:

I have changed my perspective from disgust or flattery (depending on my mood) to mild amusement when married men approach me after reading this book.  Men are just programmed   to populate the planet and mix up as many gene pools as possible in doing so and sex is not necessarily an emotional experience.  That is just plain different than how women are programmed.  They don’t mean to be smarmy or rude.  They simply want to see what they can get.

Granted, I speak in general terms.  I understand that there are different kinds of cheaters and varying circumstances.  What Harvey’s book has taught me is that most men (single or attached)  start out with the idea of just getting sex from a woman and that if I look at all males from that perspective I can control the outcome.  If I can accept that it is just what they do, I can defuse the importance of it and take it for what it is- not a compliment or a slight- just what is.

I have also discovered that if I calmly call a man on the carpet rather than getting all uptight and offended or scared that his mate will hate me for standing there when the man made his advance, he will just laugh about it and brush it off as nothing- which is exactly what it is to him- NOTHING- a try at his luck.

All I have to do to be appropriate is rebuff his advances.

Please know, ladies, that these guys will L-I-E their faces off to get what they want so you have to be very careful.  Harvey offers up a 90 day rule for “giving up the cookie” – excellent advice that I totally support.

That way you can avoid situations like the one Delanie Moore, Author of I am Divorced Not Dead


, found herself in when she made out with a man she had just met and then discovered  a few days later he was married.  Harvey’s 90 day rule gives you the chance to discover whether or not a man is interested in you as long term potential or just sex.  (There is more to it than just waiting 90 days but it is a good guideline with which to start.)

Click here to read Delanie’s story – it is a really good example of the lengths a man will go to lure an unsuspecting woman into having sex.

Remember also that this advice is geared towards women seeking a long term committed relationship rather than  simply some fun.There is a place for that too but I strongly suggest that you stick with single men for that as well. It makes everyone’s life far less complicated.

Anyone have any good stories to tell along these topics?

Boys of Summer: How I Met H2 continued…


Later that summer on an obnoxiously hot and humid August night I met some friends at a charity function.  That sounds fairly hoity toity, right?  But actually it was a beer and barbecue brew ha ha in the parking lot of a car dealership with a live band and about 500 people.  The night time temp was about 84 degrees with 96% humidity where sweat sticks to ones body like glue.

A very popular local band was performing that night and approximately 150 of the party guests were sweltering out on the dance floor by 11:00pm. Taking a break from the melee, my female friend J and I were taking in the scene of  undulating  bodies when halfway across the dance floor I spotted a gorgeous man.  He was dancing in amidst a group, his short-sleeved shirt buttons undone exposing sculptured pecs and a six pack of abs.  I thought : “Hot dancing guy with shirt undone = gay.”  I pointed him out to J who OOOOhhhed with approval.  “He’s got to be gay,” I said. “Maybe,” she retorted.  “Dance with him and find out then come back and tell me,” I said.  She did.  He wasn’t. I danced with him next.

We had a blast dancing and chatting.  He was so funny and interesting and HOT.  An irresistible  combination.  Then at one point while I was talking with other friends and he had gone to get a beer or something, our mutual friend, H (the guy who had wanted to set me up with his unemployed recently dejected artist friend) pulled me aside.  “I see you’ve met my artist friend.  They guy I wanted to set you up with,” he said.  “What do you think?”  UGH! My better judgement had already told me this guy was not going to work for me.  And I had been right, I knew I would like him a lot if I met him.

“You must promise me NOT to give him my number.”

I asked all my friends there not to give him my number as well.  They all agreed.

Cute Dancing Artist Man and I danced and chatted some more and when it came time for me to leave he asked for my number and I refused to give it.

“I have to go now,” I said.  “It was nice meeting you.  Have a great life.”

I turned and walked away but after about ten steps I looked back.  The look on his face was so forlorn like a kid whose security blanket had been taken away.  I felt a tug on my heart like the kind when you walk away from that adorable puppy in the window at the pet store.

Thinking that I would never see him again, having had a beer or two and seeing that I had nothing to lose, I strode back and kissed him.  Thinking it would be the only kiss I ever gave him I made sure it was the kiss to end all kisses – a long passion filled wet sensual kiss.

I left him standing on the pavement – utterly stunned.

to be continued…

My Rules Concerning Attached Men





Yep, I am on my soap box again.  Last night’s incident has set me off and here is where my head is today…

Someone recently suggested that I was “making a play” for a man who was already in a relationship.  I found that comment to be hurtful and insulting.  It is my  belief that there are plenty of suitable un-attached men in the world to date without getting entangled in a drama involving another woman and life has certainly re-enforced that concept for me ten fold.

I think that behaving ethically is important not so much for anyone else but because I have to live with myself. By my definition, “making a play” implies initiating connection with someone with the intention of starting a romantic relationship. I have never “made a play” for an attached man in my life.  “Making a play” for someone already in a relationship  is like starting a war- a good outcome is impossible. I have heard stories of women being successful at this sort of thing, meaning they end up with the man in question. But do they really want to be with someone who so easily breaks commitments?

 When an attached person approaches someone outside of their attachment it is absurd to blame the third party. Last night’s incident is a prime example of what pisses me off.  At a party a married man came on to me.  Wedding ring off his finger.  No indication in his conversation that he was attached.  Paying me compliments.  Hinting at potential future meetings.  Just like any single man who was interested would do.  I listened and having been jaded by recent events, I was a bit guarded but mildly open to his attentions. He seemed nice enough as a “single” guy after all. At the END of the evening I asked him if he is married and he hesitates to answer.

Turns out that at several points throughout the evening his wife was within earshot of our conversation – at one point she was sitting about three feet away.  He didn’t bother to introduce me.  He told me how much he  enjoyed my company while she is right there!  I have no idea what was going on. Perhaps I read him all wrong?  Perhaps they enjoy this type of game and go home and have wild sex afterwards?  Not one person at that party bothered to clue me in.  But guess who will be gossiped about as being loose and inappropriate?  Not the man!  Guess who his wife will be pissed off with if she is not a party to this activity?  Maybe him but definitely me.

The dynamic of this situation is what irritates me.

Person A misrepresents themselves to person B. Person B acts on the information provided and Person B gets blamed for wrongdoing. IT IS SO UNFAIR!!!

Why do attached women get so angry at women who get involved with their liar mates?

And not just that…

There is, perhaps worse, the woman who encourages a “friendship” with her husband/boyfriend then gets angry when he makes an advance.

Here is an event in my life that has bothered me for years:

When I was in college, I worked as a hostess in a restaurant.  When I started working there one of the waitresses had just broken up with her boyfriend, a very handsome man who took my breath away upon our first meeting.  She approached me and gave me his telephone number suggesting I call him and ask him out. Despite the intense attraction, I threw his number in the trash and tried to avoid him as much as possible.  Weeks later I ran into him at a party where he made it a point to talk to me.  We stayed out together all night and  though we had a great time and his ex was already involved with someone else, I was uncomfortable with his recent break up status and intended on not seeing him again.  He was persistent in his pursuit, after a few weeks, I caved and his ex-girlfriend became furious with ME. Although her anger was, in my opinion, completely misdirected, it was still awful to think that I had a part in causing her pain. The extra drama around it all was also irritating.

I dated that man for the better part of a year and his ex went on to marry the guy she met post break up but to this day I am sure she would be happy to tell you what a bitch I am.

My standard response when  a(n) married/attached men proposition me I tell them plainly that I hear that they are unhappy  in their current situation and that makes me sad. Then I suggest they might  go see a therapist and work on themselves.

I mean really, Who wants to be in a relationship with a man who would put on such a drama (lie and sneak around) rather than take responsibility for his initial relationship and communicate his feelings, or do the work on himself to satisfy whatever need he has that he goes to such lengths?

As a single mom trying to make a living as a writer, I prefer to keep my life as simple and trouble free as possible.

What are your thoughts or experiences on/with relationship status and dating?