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Ask Rob: Dating Advice That Works!

Questions and Answers's head editor has branched into the advice area. He's prepared to offer opinions and advice for your personal, relationship and lifestyle conundrums. While he is not a professional councilor, Rob has been around the block and does get advice questions every week emailed to him.

Hi Rob,

Here's the situation...girl meets boy on vacation, he is great. They start doing the long distance thing and after almost a year she decides to relocate to where he lives. Upon which she has her own place and he eventually ends up moving in.

Needless to say once he moved in the trouble began. He was extremely messy and very forgetful, so the girl ended up assuming the "mother" role. After some months passed the girl started to resent her new position and her frustration became eminent. They argued alot, as his forgetfulness made her feel like he didn't care. The intimacy began to dwindle and eventually was none existent. He was not interested one bit. He also had somewhat of a drinking problem. If they went to a social event he would drink himself into a drunken stupor and proceed to act like a complete _____ and not remember a thing he did or said the next day! The girl was so frustrated and had soooo many conversations with him to no avail. He promised to change and the effort was never made.

Finally one day she caught him in one of his many lies and told him it was over. She knew she didn't deserve this and that he needed to grow up. The night he came to get his things he was very late and tipsy. Leaving her with a horrible image of him. After moving out he made no effort to try to re-establish the relationship.

Now the girl is going to leave town and move back home, she is very sad about the situation but knows it is not right for her. She does not want to speak to him because every time she does it re-opens the wound. Does she have to tell him she is leaving town? Should she send him a good-bye note? If so, what should it say?? Or is it best just to walk away as it is over and he no longer needs to concern himself with her?

Thanks so much,

Hi A,

Your relationship was over with this guy the moment you realized how awful he was and that he wasn't for you.
Good for you in having the courage to walk away from such a horrible person.
Since you've already explained your reasons for leaving and he's shown little remorse for his actions, moving with giving him no notice or forwarding information is fine.
If he finally notices you're gone he knows where you used to live and can look for you there.
Likely, he'll not bother.

There is a better guy out there for you,
Best wishes.


Hi Rob, I hope you'll have a bit of encouragement for me.

My new-ish guy interest is 7 yrs younger than I am (I'm 43), never been married (tho' I briefly was about 13 yrs ago), and seems very level-headed and decent. He's not a workaholic but when he's busy THAT IS IT. I've spent time with him during non-busy times and he gives me his undivided attention then, so it's really easy - in the moment - to enjoy his company without being anxious or wary. We can yap together for hours on end, and we can also be quiet and relaxed. It's relatively soon in the friendship to call it 'dating', so I don't. I think of it as 'preliminaries'. We're just getting acquainted and it can't be forced or rushed. I know this in my head.

The struggle comes from layers of disappointments in my background along with a couple of tragic circumstances involving my desire to finally trust someone with the person I am. I don't want to elaborate on the events as they're not in themselves relevant, but they left me severely hair-triggered. It seems all I have to do is THINK I pick up on the slightest hint of a guy's tepid response to me, and I lock up inside. It's been causing a degree of awkwardness. I expected it would, so very early on I explained to him that I have stuff to sort out and that it might get turbulent, but that it wasn't his fault so just to please bear with me while I deal with it. He was kind and tolerant, even when I lost my temper at him for what turned out to not be on his account at all: I was projecting some nasty leftovers onto him. He took it like a gentleman and made sure I was okay. However, he also said that when I'm going through this, he wants space.

Over the previous week, he was more than usually preoccupied on an out-of-town job. His birthday fell in that week so I paged him just to wish him a good one. No answer, not even by email. This was upsetting. All the stress and fear welled up and I couldn't get emotional distance from what I was starting to believe was wrong. I thought he was angry at me for trying to reach him, and thinking I'm a drag and a nuisance. I spent the entire week being gut-wrenched and terrified that I had messed up and lost any chance of dating him (he knows I like him as more than a friend, and he expressed a preference for taking things v-e-r-y--s-l-o-w-l-y)!

Anyway, I never TOLD him I was feeling so scared. I just pretended it's all good, no worries, and continued to be how I wanted him to think of me. Yesterday I managed to finally connect with him online and at first he was polite but abrupt. More fear! I kept feverishly checking the list of who has me on THEIR contact list, being afraid he'd deleted me to keep me from messaging him any more.
(for many, many years I had been embroiled in obsessive fixations on any guy who paid the slightest bit of attention to me, so I had lots of hard work to do! Rotten way to feel... )
Well, surprise of all surprises, a few hours later I tried messaging him again, asking if he was still busy. He was in a better mood and, to my
shock, told me he hadn't meant to be rude to me earlier. !!!???! Wow.
I couldn't believe it. However, I just said "that's okay, I get persistent and sometimes I think it's too much. no worries" ... then I took one more risk and asked if he wanted to take a bicycle trail ride with me, and he said 'of course'. So I did then what I think is wisest; I casually told him we'll do that soon when it's a nice day .. and left it
at that. The quaking didn't stop for a while tho'.

I can hardly get my mind around this guy! I'm beginning to think I've finally met someone who can be trusted to be good to me, and who won't freak out when I'm good to him.

How then can I avoid another such tense week as I've just experienced? I'm concerned I may not be able to always mask it with an easygoing attitude. He doesn't know how much I was sweating!!!

Thanks in advance, Rob, for your insights .. it's been a real trip stepping out of that rut and into the vicinity of someone who actually seems to WANT me. ME! It's not that I don't think I'm a nice lady. I do. But I have trouble believing it comes across through the nervousness, and that a man will appreciate my openness. Apparently this one does. My mom tells me that my dad was that way too: when he's busy, he's busy. Period. He isn't mad at us or harbouring irritation, he's oblivious to it. But once he's got a mind to see us, we're the focus.
If I could just remember that ......

Hi K,

I do have some advice for you, it may not be what you want to hear, but it's going to help, honest:

1. You need to be upfront about your feelings with this guy and stop lying to yourself. You are dating - this is not a friendship thing. Dating doesn't mean "exclusive" which is the tag you seem to have added to the circumstance of "dating". The past is the past, despite the baggage you're carrying about your past relationships.

2. You do want to be exclusive but you don't know if you can trust him. Where does this mistrust come from? From within you and your previous experiences. You sound like someone that suffered a sexual assault some time ago. The fear, the distractions and the neediness. I won't tell you to "get over it". I want you to deal with it. So, start a journal, a daily diary of your feelings and the events of the day. This is important for you and your mental health! Then, start seeing a counselor. You need to talk with someone that can help you control the panic that is evident in your loneliness and that someone has to be a professional that can help, not a family member or friend.

3. As far as the guy being busy - some guys get that way. I know that when I'm working (and I work at home) I don't want to be disturbed and everyone eventually learned that it's best to let me work. There is a time for work and a time for play. Some guys like their life divided that way. It lessens the stress levels when the day can be so easily divided and it's that much more important the more demanding the job is.

So, you need to work on yourself, you need to decide where you want this relationship to go (exclusivity) and discuss this with your guy. You need to stop looking for constant re-assurance and find how to deal with the need (counseling).

Best wishes,


Dear Rob,
I am in love and the guy I am in love with says he loves me too. He says when I am sad and crying, he cries too. He says he was thinking about killing himself, but once he knew he loved me, he said he stopped. Today, he was really grumpy and mean, and it seemed like he didn't care about me or what I said or did!
Does he really love me, or is he just saying that? Please Email me back!
Confused Abbs

Dear Confused Abbs,
He's lying to you to get something from you.
I'd break off with him and avoid him until he matures.
Best wishes,


Hi Rob,
I've always had guy problems and never thought I would find "Mr. Right" until last night. I had the best date that I have ever had in my life with this absolutely wonderful, gorgeous, down to earth, funny, and sweet guy. He is everything I want and more. How I got to be so lucky is a mystery to me. My problem is, every time I "fall" for a guy it never works out. Actually, none of my relationships ever worked out but I don't think I have ever been so swept off my feet like this before. He tells me how beautiful I am and he wanted to meet my parents and my kids (which I was a little hesitate at first because I didn't and still don't know if he is going to stick around). The way he talks about "us" makes me feel like we have something special going on but I am so scared that it's "too good to be true". Things did move a little too fast and I am hoping that it didn't ruin what could be. I know what I want in life (although I am only 24, I am ready to settle down) and I need to know how to hold on to it. I can't let this guy go. Any Advice???

Hi A,

I'd be quite worried about this guy. Does he seem like a 'player'?

After all, the guy would have to be quite self-conscious, with little or no self-esteem (or a stalker) to want to settle down with someone so quickly.
There must be more to this story.
Slow down, don't involve your kids or parents with him until after date 6 or 8.

Don't let him start controlling your life. Beware if he calls you every day, several times a day, wants to plan out everything for you.
Warning bells should be going off that he may be a control freak, or worse.
Try to get some of his history, previous and current jobs, previous and current friends.
Arrange for some group dates, some group activities so you can get your friends opinion of him.

Don't plan on moving too fast, it's your future and you don't want to be planning it on the run like this.

Best wishes,


Hello. I'm thirteen years old. ( I know that's young but please keep reading).

Well see, almost a year ago, I went to a school dance. When I went, there was this guy that I liked. (only a little bit though ) I slow danced with him twice, and things were going great. After the second slow dance, I turned around and my friend said that he wants to ask me out. I got scared and ran into the bathroom. all my fiends were telling me that I should say yes, but I said I would think about it. He came walking toward me, and I ran away into my dad's car.

As the weekend passed, Monday came. my friend told him that I just wanted to be friends with him. She said that when she told him, it looked like he was about to cry. The reason why I said I wanted to be friends was because he was going into high school, and I was staying in middle school. I feel really bad, and need some advice. In almost four months I will be going into high school and I will see him but I want to no whether I should just move on, or wait until high school, and get to know him more. please help me.


I'd not worry so much about one guy.
Make as many friends as you can and stay single.
Single people have more fun in school because they don't have to worry about their boyfriend cheating on them. Or trying to keep their boyfriend from liking other girls.

You should also try to find friends that are the same age as yourself and not get caught up in 'popularity contests' between others.
Keep true to yourself and you'll have all the friends, and later boyfriends, that you'll ever need. Beware the 'fly-by-night- friends that only want you around because of what you can give them, they'll only stab you in the back later.
True friendship, like love, has no demands on you. Always remember that.

Best wishes,


Hey Rob,
I am having a little trouble here, and I desperately need advice alright here it goes. I am in love with my best friends boyfriend, me and him have dated before and I can't control this jealousy I want him back so badly but I don't know if i should go there. He likes me and I like him, but is booting my best friend outta the picture and putting me into her place in my attempt to light an old flame a good idea, if so how do i do it?
~Desperatley in love~

You've been kicked to the curb once and now you want to give him the chance to do it again?
Don't go there.
Don't be jealous, be unforgiving.
And find someone else to date, if you have to date.
Maybe you should be single for a while.....
Best wishes,


Dear Rob,
I'm friends with this girl and we get along quite well. The trouble is that she's dating another guy. When we get together, nothing sexual, all she does is complain about her boyfriend. I tell her to dump him, but she doesn't listen. It's the same complaining about him every time we get together. And I really like her. What can I say to her to get her to dump her boyfriend and go out with me?
Thanks, BM

Dear BM,
It's too late for you dude. She's turned you into a girlfriend, someone she can confide in, talk with, have 'bitch and moan' sessions with about the current state of affairs of her life. Just like she would to any girlfriend.
You need to break it off with her and fast. The sooner the better. She's never going to break up with her current boyfriend, and even if she did, she wouldn't go out with you. Not that now you're a girlfriend to her and all that. You'll only remind her of him.
You have to tell her "Go get couples counseling, stop telling me all this, I can't help" and no matter what she says, plan other things to do when you'd normally hang out together.
She may try to guilt you into staying her girlfriend, but really, you're a guy, you don't want to get in the middle of her relationship while she keeps you from pursuing any new relationships of your own.
So now, if you keep seeing her, being 'there for her' you have no one else to blame but yourself.
Good luck,


Hi Rob!

I would love some advice please.
I have known Woody since we were 13. We went to school together, went to different universities and since returning to our home town we have again become friends. In the past few months though I have realised that I might want more than friendship. Normally I can tell if a man is interested in me but his actions have me totally confused. He came to my birthday party in January and spent most of the night by my side. At the end of the night after everyone had passed out and found a place to sleep we went to my bed and SLEPT together. No sex. No touching. But in the morning we were mucking around and started play punching each other and playing knuckles! I don't know why. I thought it was odd for a guy to lie beside me all night and not make a move. A month or so later we were out on the town with a group and by the end of the night he was walking me to a taxi then asked if I wanted to come to his place for a drink. I went and he poured his heart out to me about his pressures at work and family relationships etc. He told me some very personal stuff. The we again shared a bed though this time we lay in each other's arms all night. That's all. In the morning he was strange and would not walk me to my car. He later apologised for rambling on about his problems all night. I told him i was happy to listen anytime. Since then whenever we see each other out we are always friendly and he stays by me most of the night. Once again the other night we started mucking around and playing knuckles. My hand was quite sore the next day! I realise how ridiculous this sounds. We are both 26 for goodness sake! How embarrassing! I never really see him chat up other girls. I know he respects me and I know i respect him. Maybe we are just meant to be friends but I can't stop thinking about what it would be like to kiss him. I am such a chicken and am unable to tell him how I feel. I don't want to embarrass myself by making a move only to be rejected. If I knew he was keen I would though. We share a lot of mutual friends and people like to talk... Do you think he likes me as more than a friend? Why hasn't he made a move on me? I know you will tell me to tell him how I feel but I am seriously too scared to. What is your opinion and how can I tell if he is interested in being more than friends? Please help. Thank you, Nat.

Hi Nat,
I bet this guy has a haphazard relationship with all the females in his family.
He was the 'good kid' that treated everyone with respect but didn't form relationships well as a youth.
Now, he's got you to be the 'nurturing type'. And you're feeding this dependency by how you're treating him.
He won't make the first move, ever. He doesn't know how. Unless in anger, which I bet he's slow to boil too.
While this might feel good to you, you get to teach him how to be, he'll end up using you because of his dependency and weakness in relationships.
You need to wait until he matures a lot more before going into a romantic relationship with this guy, unless you want to 'mother' him for the rest of your life.
Give him room to grow, keep as friends but back way off of any romantic feelings or you're setting yourself up for a lot of disappointment.
Best wishes,


Dear Rob,

I met a woman in a bar on Christmas Eve, who I've liked for so long, but who I always figured was out of my league. She is beautiful and has a great personality but I was encouraged by a girl friend I was with to go and talk to her. She was with a guy but I waited until she went to the bar. I came up behind her and said hi and suggested she ought to ring me and maybe we could go for a drink. She said there was only one problem, that she didn't have my number. I had already written it down, just in case, so I slid the number into the back pocket of her jeans asking her to give me a call when she was free and we'd go out.

I went back to my friends, but really wanted to be with this woman. I saw her leave the bar, but the guy went one way and she went the other. I followed, called her name, she waited and I walked along with her talking about old times, friends we have in common. We'd kind of grown up together, knowing each other, but not really acquainted. She said how gallant I was to walk her home and gave me a long kiss when we got to her house. She said she had to go and (I guess this is where I turned into a dope) I said I'd really like to see her again and to make sure she rings me.

My only excuse is that I didn't want to be too pushy and scare her off, but I think maybe I was too laid back.

Needless to say she didn't ring.

Last week I met up accidentally in a bar one afternoon. She was with friends, so I just said hi on the way to the bar. She seemed pleased to see me and we chatted. She told me she goes to a bar with friends after work on Fridays and I said maybe I'd see her there. We talked briefly and then I said as she was with friends I guess I should go.

I kicked myself afterwards, because I realised I still hadn't got her number. I had a couple of drinks, thinking she would come to the bar and I could ask her then, but she didn't. I didn't want to go and ask, right out in front of her friends, so I waited until she was alone.

When I went up to her though, I just said Hi, I've been waiting for you. It sounds so dumb, I know. She just said "What, all your life?" What a great come back, I thought. I just said "Yeah, probably". I asked for her number which she made me read off her mobile because she didn't have her glasses. I said she just wanted to make me wear mine, got her number and asked what house number she lived at. She told me and this time she said we should meet for a drink.

Now this is where it has stalled. I rang her mobile, but it was switched to messages. I didn't leave a message, because I wanted to be able to speak to her. A couple of hours later I rang and the same thing. This time, I didn't want her to think I wasn't interested or hadn't rung, so I left a message saying I'd like us to meet for a drink, left her my home phone number and said I was looking forward to seeing her. NOTHING!
No response, no call, no message.

My brother says she knows I'm interested, that there are maybe a thousand reasons why she didn't get back to me and none of them will be what I'm thinking. She obviously likes me and I should just wait.

My daughter says I've asked her and that I have to leave it until I bump into her sometime. Anything else would be like stalking and scare her.

I want to send her a text asking her for coffee because she's off while school is closed (she's a teacher, not one of the kids!). I'd like to just go round to her house to see her and I was tempted to go to the bar after work on Friday (where she will be).

Who is right?

Hi John,

Actually all of you are right, but I prefer your daughter's answer that you may scare her off.
Your brother doesn't get out much, don't wait too long.
You're too nervous and panicky... she's just a girl after all.

You're putting this lady on a pedestal and have to stop that immediately.
Regardless of her beauty, she's just a sack of skin and bones, 90% some-odd percent water. Like you.

When the last time you contacted here exceeds 5 days, call her and make plans for a week in advance. Nothing big, you want that coffee finally.

Most importantly, stop drinking around her!
You see her, order a cola and leave your drink at the bar.
Do Not go to her house.... my good man, put yourself into her shoes.

Best wishes,


Hey Rob,

I need advice ASAP!!
A few years ago I was friends with this guy (#1) who I was always sort of into. Then we started dating which was even better. We got a long great, he was so nice and such a gentleman. Then things just went on a hiatus we'll say with no real closure. I often hoped we could start things up again.

Then a year or so passed and he got in contact with me by email. It was great to hear from him again because I always wondered about him. So anyways we emailed each other back and forth all the time. then he told me that he messed up an excellent opportunity with us and wanted me back. I was floored because I always wanted to start things up with him again because he is such a great guy and I loved being with him.

But I just started dating another guy (#2) but I told him if this chance came to me again I'd love to. So after a while we lost contact again. Meanwhile me and guy #2 turned out to be an amazing guy and we fell in love. After 7 months or so we moved in together, which is kind of hard, but the important thing was that we loved each other.

One night we had a fight, that night when I went to bed I had a dream about guy #1. Even though I was with guy #2 I still thought and always wondered about #1. So the next day I got back in contact with him again since I haven't heard from him in a while. It was great to hear from him and he said the same. We decided to get together and catch up, I wasn't too sure on how things would play out since my feelings were never really resolved for him. We got together and it was great. We talked so much and it was easy to tell that our feelings for each other were still there. He even told me he never put away his feelings for me. then later that night we kissed. a few days after, my boyfriend (#2) found out and was really hurt.

I didn't mean to hurt him, I didn't tell him because I wanted to figure out my feelings before I did anything. he was hurt but we didn't break up, but he had trust issues with me after that for a while. I'm really confused because I love my boyfriend, but I find myself wanting to be with guy #1. I've been hanging out with guy #1 recently and he really wants to be with me and commit. I would love to see what we can have together but I don't want to risk losing my boyfriend (guy #2) because we do have something special, but I also feel me and guy #2 can have something special too. I feel like if I pass up this chance with guy #1 I'll always keep on wondering what could have been with us (like I have before) I really would like some advice on what I should do, because at this point I'm clueless and I know I need to do something ASAP so I don't string along both of them please help....
Confused out of my mind

Hi Confused,

"The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence".

Guy #1 is a passed love, leave him in the past. Tell him things were great, but you need to move on and love who you are and who's really important in your life right now (guy #2). You've matured now, you know more what you want out of life. Guy #1 brings you back to a different time, but I don't think it'll be a better time. I even have a suspicion he's using you until he can find someone better, otherwise why all the gaps? He does know how to dial a phone, send an email, right?

Stick with guy #2, if he'll forgive you.
Really, you've cheated on him once, if he was asking for advice I'd tell him to drop you big time. You need to really patch things up with guy #2.

Best wishes,


Dear Rob,
I am a college student in Arkansas. There is a guy at school that I am really attracted to. I recently asked him on a date and he agreed. We went out with a couple that are mutual friends to us. We had a great time, and well we drank quite a bit and while drunk he revealed to me how much he likes me as well as acting on it. Now he doesn't say much to me or act interested. Still I asked to see him again on the phone and he agreed but hasn't said anything to me about it or acted interested. If he keeps agreeing to see me, why doesn't he act like he likes me? Is there something I could say, or a better way to approach him to lighten him up or be more "friendly" with me?

You've been used. He now isn't interested.
Don't bother trying to get back with him, you'll only end up giving more of yourself without anything in return.
Move on and find a nicer guy.
Best wishes,


Hi there Rob,
I am from the UK. I URGENTLY need your advice.
At my place of employment I have a female who seems to be attracted to me , but I realise I may well be wrong. She has touched my hand, and also stroked my face and has rubbed her body against mine and rubbed her leg against my legs under the table. I have seen her looking at me on numerous occasions, plus many other things. This has been going on for a long time.

The problem is that she is getting married in a few weeks which obviously suggests there is no attraction from her, but with all the things I've mentioned above I feel an attraction to her. But even though she is getting married she is still persisting on touching me and looking at me etc. I have tried to ignore her advances but she still persists. But I have touched her in response to her touching me. But sometimes she will totally ignore me as if she isn't interested, and I feel the temptation to go chasing her because my gut instinct tells me this is what she wants me to do, although with her getting married in a few weeks she is probably trying to stop flirting with me. I have a gut feeling that there is an attraction and that she thinks about me a lot of the time.

I do have feelings for her but only because of what she been doing. Is this understandable? I am trying to forget her by ignoring her advances because with her getting married I have no choice but to move on. Can you give me your opinion on this situation and advice of how to deal with it. I don't want to say anything in case she's only being friendly.


I've met this type of girl before.
As a teenager boys were only interested in her for sex and after plenty of years of this training, this is how she gets attention.
She's a flirt that doesn't care for the consequences. She's getting married to another guy but at work you're her plaything because she's there's no one else around to take her suggestive touches without going to far.
You're a safe toy for her. And her future husband is in line for a whole lot of heartache.
She does not want to date you. She does not want a relationship with you.
I recommend that you keep your distance, even going to your boss and getting a transfer that will put you out of her reach.
My fear is that if her actions towards you get noticed you could be in for a whole lot of trouble.
Best wishes,

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