Dr. Andrew

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I'm 6 yrs younger the the guy I like but also likes me, the problem is he doesn't feel positive about a relationship, how do I get him to change his mind? I really want him

First, you have to find out why he doesn't feel positive. You can't fix something if you can't identify the problem. Once you know what is making him uncomfortable, you can come up with a plan to address his concerns. If you really want him, plan your work, and work your plan.

How do I tell my GF that I have kids? I'm divorced.

As you get to know each other better, you will begin to share more. You use the term GF. Have you been dating for awhile and not told her? This would not be a good thing. As an adult with children, you certainly want her to be accepting. If you have waited because you have the feeling she would not still be with you, then you have basically lied to her, and she would have every right to be upset. You have to be honest if there is any hope of a future.

I've made a list of what I need in my relationship but I need to make another list for dating and you don't have that option in your app. Do others need this too or do I just don't know what I want?

Interesting question, and you are not the first person to ask. Right now Love Shopping List is designed for one list, but we will definitely have the option for a second list in a future version. In the meantime remember that you can change any of the characteristics and their priority at any time. In fact, we strongly recommend you do that so that your choices become more accurate and refined. This will absolutely help you decide what you want.

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My bf is a biatch. I'm not that kinda guy. The problem is he embarrasses me when we go out to public places. ???

You don't say what he does, but I would ask if alcohol is involved when you go out in public. Is his behavior substantially different when the two of you are alone together. What exactly does he do that embarrasses you so much? This is definitely a situation that requires a good deal of communication. On the other hand, is he just very social and you are socially shy and feel intimidated. It's important to examine all aspects of your problem before it winds up creating so much friction that the two of you get angry and spit up.

I'm a 68 year old widower. There is a 50 year old divorced woman who wants to go out with me. Is that too much of an age difference?

As we age the difference in years becomes less relevant. The most important thing is that the two of you enjoy each others' company. Go out a few times and see how it feels. The results may surprise you.

Why do men need the lights off during sex? I am a hot blonde just so you know.

When you say "men," you are generalizing and categorizing all men. Sexual preferences are and individual thing and not limited to either gender. I would say the incidence of the light on/lights off discussion are split evenly between the sexes. The last part of your question is an interesting statement. Are you taking it as a personal attack that he does not want to look at you during sex? Do you feel that his request somehow indicates he doesn't think you are as hot as you think you are? Examine your own feelings about this. Also, communicate with your partner so that both of you are fulfilled. Sometimes people who are less experienced with sex are embarrassed. That may be a possibility, as well.

My mother keeps interfering in my relationships even though I'm 21 and am on my own. What do I do?

You and your mother may be involved in a phenomenon called "enmeshment." Growing up she may have not let you do anything on your own, which has created boundary problems. Your mother may also be using you as her BFF and view your relationships as a threat. Yes, kinda like junior high school behavior. You should script out firm boundaries. A very effective way is to use what are called "I" statements. When you... It makes me feel... I need you to ... Here's an example: When you continue to interfere in my relationships, it makes me feel angry and frustrated. It makes me feel like you don't trust my decisions. I need you to let me make my decisions about my relationships. I need you to think of me now as an adult.
It's a great format to use because it's structured and tells her exactly what's going on and how you feel. She needs to respect your feelings. You also need to hold fast to your boundaries and not give in because you feel guilty.

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How do I tell my BF it's over. He is very possessive.

Paul Simon wrote a great song entitled, "Fifty Ways to Leave Your Lover." The fact that he is very possessive is a problem by itself. Often times people who are possessive in relationships are also emotionally (and sometimes physically) abusive. I would certainly do this face-to-face but in a public setting. You don't need to explain much other than you have just decided to move on. don't take the bait and engage in a debate. If you've already tried the gentle approach and it hasn't worked, stick to the straight-forward approach. You may be giving out mixed messages, so he needs to get it very directly in order for the message to get through.

I'm 15 and have a boyfriend. My parents won't let me go out because they say I'm too young. I'm going to do it anyway but what should I tell them?

If you just tell them you are going to do it anyway, you are basically challenging their parental authority and saying, "Screw you." From the tone of your question it doesn't sound as if you have a close relationship with your parents. You might try introducing them to your bf, unless you are embarrassed by him and/or them. You can also try working on a compromise as to where the two of you will go. You don't mention you culture, but in some cultures, even in 2013, a young woman of your age going out is looked upon very badly. You have to decide whether the relationship with your family is important. Also, talk this over with your bf. If you are about the same age, he may not have exactly the same problem being a male, but may have ideas. If he is a lot older, we need to have a whole other discussion.

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How do I know when I'm in a good relationship?

The question you ask is an excellent one. It is actually the very question I was asked decades ago and was the basis of our relationship app, Love Shopping List. The answer is that you have to really sit down and list what you want in a relationship and then prioritize your list. You need to spend a lot of time doing your homework. Most often when I am doing relationship/couples therapy and ask the question, "What do you really want," the answer I get most frequently is, "I don't know. I really never thought about it." Many people will just tell you, "Don't worry. You'll know." This is not necessarily so and is the primary reason many relationships don't work out. Define what you want BEFORE you go "shopping."

I'm a 28 year old attorney and I'm in a relationship with a wonderful man who is only a plumber. Is there a chance for us?

If you are asking this question, there are already doubts in you mind. You have to decide if his occupation ranks high on your priority list ( as mentioned, our app Love Shopping List, does exactly that). Yes, it's often very difficult when the woman's education and profession are considered more prestigious than the man's, even though it shouldn't matter in this day and age. The real question is whether or not he is ambitious. Often times a good plumber makes a very good living. Because of your profession, you will be asked to many social events with your colleagues. Only you can decide if your man is okay in those situations. It's all very personal. For some it matters, while for others, there is no problem. The bottom line answer to your question is, "yes, you have a great chance if the two of you are both comfortable."

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I want my girlfriend to get a boob job. How do I tell her?

So how would you feel if your gf asked you to get a penis job? What would that do to your feelings about yourself? If she's really your gf, and you care about her, why is having her get a boob job so important. Maybe its because YOU need her to get a boob job so YOU feel better about her and yourself. It seems like her physical appearance is really important to you. You have to decide what characteristics are highest on your priority list (our app, Love Shopping List, can help you). I certainly hope you have had the good sense not to mention this to her. Of course, maybe I'm way off base and by boob job you mean you want her to get her breasts reduced!! Oh,sure!!!

Me and my boyfriend are both 15 and have been dating for 3 months. Should I tell him he's my first boyfriend? If so. How should I go about doing that?

Is there a particular reason you want to tell him that he is your first boyfriend? Depending on the answer to that question, you may or may not want to tell him. If you are referring to "bf with benefits," there is really no need to say anything unless you are asked or feel obligated. If you want to ask him if you are HIS first, then maybe that's a reason. I'll be happy to help you with this if you can give me a little more information. Generally, most young people your age would expect that if this isn't your first relationship, it's one of your first. If you feel like you just really need to tell him, it's okay to just say it.

My online dating profile is attracting more girls than guys. Is that normal for a girl today?

Because there is so much more acceptance regarding sexual preference today, you need to be more specific in your profile. Normal today is not what normal was 5-10 years ago. Normal is probably nothing more today than a setting on a dryer. We have tracked the characteristics of choice on our app, Love Shopping List, and found that the characteristics and priority of characteristics is quite varied. You have to know what you want in a relationship, and you need to let others know clearly. But you can't let others know until you know.

How do I get past my husband being an Anthony Weiner?

There is a huge debate raging right this moment about whether his wife, Huma, is just courageous and dedicated, is a fool, or wants to be the first lady of New York. If your husband has done this behavior multiple time, as is the case with Weiner, he really needs help. Sexual addiction, a category that now includes sexting, is a pathological condition that requires professional help. It can't just be written off as bad behavior. You should seek the service of an interventionist, a person experienced in assisting the family in getting a person into treatment. Trying it alone is a recipe for disaster.

My daughter thinks she knows it all but I know she is with the wrong guy. How do I make her understand that? She can't see it.

You don't say how old your daughter is, but seeing a child with someone whom you know is trouble for the future is difficulty. If you and your daughter are close, you might be able to express your concerns, but only do it once. If your daughter is over 18, she needs to make her own decisions. Hopefully, you are close enough that she asks for your advice. I often joke that all of us parents lose our intelligence when our children turn about 12 and don't regain it until our children are about 25 (sometimes later). Try to be loving and supportive when you have the discussion.

My BF has manners that suck. I let him know all the time but I need him to change because I'm just tired of it and my friends think he's a loser.

Nothing ruins social situations faster than a person with bad manners. Did you start out "letting him know all the time," or did you start out in a loving, supportive way? Try explaining that you want the two of you to be a classy couple. If you tried everything nicely, and he just won't come around, your friends may be right. You don't need a lot of money to have good manners. In many situations that involve business people are judged by the person they are with, their "wingman." If you are bringing him to social events, and he continues to act with poor manners, others will judge you badly. Maybe both of you can sign up for an etiquette class.

My GF is gaining a lot of weight lately. How do I tell her?

What is the question that scares the crap out of every man in a relationship with a woman? "Honey, does this make me look fat?" Talk about a no-wing situation. Never, and I truly mean never, talk about weight in the context of looks. If you are going to talk about it at all, talk about your concerns for her health. You care about her and don't want anything bad to happen. If she is putting on a lot of weight, there is an underlying cause, and it's not just "because I like to eat." Stress and lack of sleep are two things that are often forgotten when it comes to weight gain. Recently, lack of sleep has been shown to be a huge factor in unwanted weight gain. There is also a possibility of a hidden issue. One of my patients was raped as an adolescent. She has intimacy issues. Every time a relationship gets too close, she puts on weight. When we explored the reason, she realized it was her "safety blanket." She used her weight to distance herself. Approach it in a very caring manner.

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How do I get my boyfriend to watch what I want to see?

How does your boyfriend get you to watch what he wants to see? Both of you need to learn the definition of the word "compromise." Agree to take turns, unless it is something that you or he are morally opposed to or something that brings back a trauma. One of my patients can not watch anything with gun violence because one of her close friends committed suicide with a gun. Relationships are about sharing and compromising. Relationships are a two-way street.

I wanna dump my GF cause she's a bitch but I think she might wanna kill me!

If she's really a bitch, you need to end the relationship. If you are serious about feeling threatened, you need to take your concerns to law enforcement with documentation. Are you writing this question because you just had and argument, or is her bitchiness a consistent thing? If it's consistent, why would you even consider staying. If it occurs in what appears random fashion, both of you should begin journaling the episodes to see if you can identify when and/or why it happens. It can be a psychological, hormonal, or situational event. You need answers.

I'm sexting my GF but she won't sext back. Isn't everyone doing this now?

No, not everyone is doing this now, and NO ONE should do it. Please keep in mind that literally everything that exists in the digital world is permanent. It still exists somewhere, regardless of whether you think you erased it thoroughly or not. More and more, such communication comes back to haunt people. A perfect example is in today's news with Anthony Weiner, who obviously has a huge problem. Don't ever put anything out into the digital world that you would not show to your children or grandchildren. It' not as hard as most people to think to dig up the past. Even though many consider it illegal, employers and universities often check social media and make decisions based on their findings.

My boyfriend is embarrassed to go out with me in public even though everyone knows he is in a gay relationship. What do I do?

It doesn't sound as if he is totally comfortable with who he is. If he were, he would have no difficulty going out. I would recommend enrolling in a support group for gay couples. Hearing how others have gotten over the hurdle is often very helpful.

How do I stop my wife from being an exhibitionist? She really likes to flaunt her hot bod even though She is a mother with 2 kids.

Somewhere in there your wife is seeking attention. Especially if one or both of your children are young women, she is modeling how they should look. That can be a problem. Are there cross-cultural issues at play? Different cultures have different "rules" for what is socially acceptable for females, and often times there are culture clashes. I would question what went on in your wife's younger years that prompts her to be an exhibitionist, assuming you mean lots of cleavage, lots of leg, and lots of accompanying behavior. Many times these behaviors in grown women are indicators of something traumatic in their youth. You can communicate that you really appreciate a classy look, and see how that flies. Sometimes it also has a lot to do with age, meaning many of us try to "recapture" our youth in different ways. The polite term is "midlife crisis." The two of you need to have an open, honest, and respectful talk. Explain how it makes you feel.

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My Bf wants to have kids but won't get married. I'm not OK with it even though people do that today.

Though it's merely an assumption, I'll address the question as if you are female.
While having a child by choice out of wedlock is more accepted than it was years ago, both partners have to be happy with the decision. Your BF may use the line, "I don't need a piece of paper to tell others I'm committed," but marriage has a more definite ring to it. Research has shown that intact families, whether straight or gay, provide a more secure environment in which to raise children. Yes, there are many, especially in the entertainment community, that see nothing wrong with having children together but not getting married. Again, it goes back to the level of comfort for both of you. It is a huge decision because it involves more than just two lives. You may need help making the decision, so don't hesitate to seek professional advice if you feel you need it.

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How do I get my friends to accept my transgendered GF???

Unless people have been educated about transgendered individuals, many will have trouble with the concept. The Lesbian-Gay-Bisexual-Transgender community has made a great effort to try to educate others and to teach tolerance and acceptance. If you are located in a city that has an LGBT community presence, they would be a great source of information for you. In the meantime, you can educate yourself and try to pass the information on to your friends. Some will be accepting, and some will not. It then becomes your choice as to whether or not you want to continue the friendships. If they are truly good friends, they will trust you and listen to you. It is then, also, up to them as to what choices they make.


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