Can't Get Past a Second Date

Q: I have reached a point in my life where I want to have a relationship with a woman and nothing seems to work out. I haven't dated much, and when I do nothing ever goes past a second date. I don't think the problem is with the other person (that I know of), and I am not a complete loser. On dates, I talk about work and current newsworthy events, etc. I am intelligent, nice, polite, etc., but am also in a quandary as to how to proceed. Co-workers want to get me a hooker and I really don't want to go that route because of my beliefs and respect for myself. I also don't want to come across as someone that I am not. By the same token, I don't want to be so open about my inexperience that I drive a potential mate away or attract the wrong element. Are there any hard questions I should be asking myself or potential mates? I realize it is kinda insane to be doing the same thing over and over again without having an idea as to how to get to the next level. Could it also be that I haven't met "the one" that understands me or is this mission impossible? -- Joe, 40

Dr. Susan: You can only get over your feeling of being too inexperienced by going on more dates. Seeing a hooker will not help your confidence, I don't think, as you'll know she was paid for. Continue being yourself, and don't worry about attracting the wrong element, whatever that is. Think hard about what sort of woman you're looking for, and then do some research as to where such women spend their free time. Just be real. Talk about whatever comes to mind, but also remember to ask questions so you can get to know who SHE is. Women like to be listened to. If you have a good time together, it should feel natural to ask her out again. And again. And then when you sense there's some chemistry between you, you reach for her hand, or you kiss her. It's certainly not impossible for you to find someone who gets you, but I suspect your anxiety is interfering with your being natural and comfortable to be with.

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