Dont Tell Him What to Do

If your boyfriend wants to join the new "in" health club where all the leggy model types work out, don't tell him to jog on the street or exercise at home. Say, "That's great!" and go about your business. Don't show that you are jealous or insecure. If he loves you, it won't matter how pretty the girls at the gym are.

If he'd rather go camping with his friends on the we&ends than be with you, either let him or break up with him, but don't tell him what to do. Our friend Marcy was seeing Joe for a couple of months when he suddenly started to make weekend plans with his friends. Conditioned by her therapist to be honest and up front about her feelings, Marcy told Joe that she felt abandoned.

He immediately started making weekend plans with her. She was ecstatic. But after a month of togetherness, he suddenly stopped calling. She never heard from him again.

The moral of the story: don't play social director. If Joe didn't want to spend weekends with Marcy, being asked to wasn't going to change his mind. Men do what they want to do. If they can't live without you, it's very clear. If they can live without you, it's also clear. Don't be dense. Read the tea leaves and move on to the next man if necessary!

If, after dating you for months, he has never introduced you to his parents or friends, that means he doesn't want you to meet his parents or friends. He may simply be shy about the whole thing. Don't be pushy and suggest meeting them if he doesn't bring it up. We don't force ourselves on the family. We don't make friends with his roommate or take his mother to lunch so that she'll tell him to marry us. No one can make him marry us. Either accept the situation as it is and be patient; or date others, but don't force anything to happen.

Finally, don't try to change his life in any way. Don't go through his closets and throw out his favorite but disgusting old jeans and then suggest you and he go shopping for new ones. Don't try to turn him on to tennis when he loves drinking beer and watching football. Don't sign him up for career counseling courses because you're unhappy with his current job. Don't push your interests on him either. If he loves steak, don't preach the virtues of vegetarianism. You don't own him. Don't fix him. You will end up emasculating him and he will come to see you as a domineering shrew. He wants someone who makes him feel good or better, not inadequate. So leave him alone. When he asks you what to wear or how to play tennis, you can help him. Until then, just be there.

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