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SHOULD YOU KEEP YOUR EX AS A FRIEND?

Women Don't Lie - Men Don't Listen
Success Coach - Doc Love


Hey Doc,

The girl I’m currently dating is totally a keeper. Sumino has all of the qualities we men are supposed to want and find in a woman. She treats me like I’m a king! And I’m totally in love with her.

So here’s my problem, Doc. Before I started dating Sumino I was constantly hanging out with my best friend, Courtney, usually once or twice a week. We would go out for coffee or just hang out at her house. (Courtney and I used to date when we met at my last job, incidentally, and after our romantic relationship was over, we stayed friends.) And if I had a chance to date Courtney again I wouldn’t, because I don’t see her as girlfriend material (she has many flaws).

Well, after six months of dating, Sumino and I had an intense confrontation. She told me that she didn’t want me to talk to or hang out with Courtney anymore. Sumino says that since Courtney is my ex-girlfriend, she has a problem with my seeing her. I told Sumino that Courtney and I dated in the distant past, that our romance was ancient history, and it didn’t mean anything to me. She countered with “It doesn’t matter. The fact is, she’s your ex,” and she wants me to completely disassociate myself from Courtney. The strange thing is that I consider Courtney to truly be my best friend.

So I’m torn in two directions, Doc. I leveled with Sumino about the fact that Courtney is indeed my closest friend. She got extremely angry. I was surprised at this wildly emotional reaction because I have never seen that side of her. Frankly, it was a little disturbing.

I can’t just let go of Courtney because she means a lot to me, but I don’t want to make my current girlfriend upset because I see a future with her. So what should I do, Doc? Do I stop hanging out with Courtney and give in to Sumino’s demands, or do I just let Sumino stew in her jealousy?

Please, Doc, help me with your insight.

Paul - who’s stuck in the middle

Hi Paul,

Well, I gotta hand it to you. You seem to be able to hold the attention of two women. That’s the good news. The bad news is that you don’t quite know what to do with either one of them. I’ll straighten you out here, but as the great bard Shakespeare once said, “Something is rotten in the state of Denmark.”

By the way, Paul, who dropped whom in your relationship with Courtney? Elementary. As the great relationship detective Sher“Love” Holmes would conclude, “Apparently you dropped her, because when a gal drops a guy, the last thing she wants is to stay friends with him!” Taking it a step further, you say you wouldn’t want to date Courtney, but the more interesting question here is, would she want to date you?

The answer is 50% yes. The other 50% is that odds are Sumino knows that you were intimate with this girl. And when a girl’s in love, she’s like a kitty kat -- territorial. She doesn’t want other pussycats around her man. Don’t forget that basic law of dating, Paul – kitty kats kompete.

You mention something else that’s very curious: Courtney has “lots of flaws.” Then why the hell is she playing Siegfried to your Roy? What flaws does she have that don’t work in a girlfriend but are acceptable in a pal? Paul, this is like saying “I don’t want Courtney because she’s a thief. I wouldn’t want to be in love with a thief, but I’ll certainly have a thief as my best friend!” Aren’t you contradicting yourself here? Or more dangerously
-- rationalizing? Come on, dude! What in the world are you talking about? You’ve got to get your head straight or the next thing you’ll be doing is playing golf with O.J.

Nevertheless, what you should have done was pinned Sumino down on what was wrong with seeing Courtney casually if the romance between the two of you is indeed dead. And you should have pressed for a straight answer. What you got instead was a generality, which did both of you a disservice. When you’re involved in a significant, big-time argument, you need to get at the truth in order to avoid the festering resentment that can undermine all relationships.

But let’s dig deeper. Your romance with Courtney “didn’t mean anything” -- to you. But what does it mean to Sumino? You should have convinced your current girlfriend that it meant nothing so far as she was concerned. In other words, you left out what was really important.

What Sumino would have said, if she were being completely honest, was that the situation is negative because Courtney wants back in with you. And if she’d said anything else, then you’d have to cut her loose. Because Sumino’s jealousy is the only thing that counts in this mess. Any other explanation would have been worthless – because she has no right to tell you whom you can and can’t run around with.

You keep repeating that Courtney is your best friend. How come you’re not hanging out with the guys? Don’t you have two or three drinking buddies like most guys do? What are you doing with a girl as a best friend? I’m not saying it’s not socially acceptable, but don’t you think you should have two or three guys in line ahead of her?

The point is that something is wrong with this picture. Paul, if you don’t have a few male pals to hang with, your girlfriend should be your closest friend (even though I generally deplore the word when it comes to dating relationships). If you’re thinking long-term with this babe, shouldn’t she be your bosom buddy instead of a flawed ex?

When it comes down to it, Sumino is furious with you because you’re telling her that your best friend is an ex-flame. Don’t you see how in a girl’s ears that would sound baffling at best? Or as they say in Tel Aviv, “IT AIN’T KOSHER!”

Finally, it bothers me that you’re speaking more highly of a discard than you are of your main squeeze, the one you say you really want to be with. Even if you don’t come straight out and say it, that’s what I’m reading between the lines here. Maybe you have to look in the mirror and face up to what’s really there.

But if you really want Sumino for the rest of your life, you have to capitulate to her demands and get rid of Courtney. But upon doing so, you have to say to her: “Darling, if you want me to, I’m going to get rid of her -- for you. But you owe me one -- a big one!” Let Sumino know that if any major issues arise between you in the future, you’re going to wave this IOU over her head like a flag. Because hopefully this is the first and last time she asks you to do something you really don’t want to do.

Remember, guys: don’t waste your time with a has-been.



To send me your love questions or to find out more about The "System," visit me at http://www.doclove.com or call (800)  404-2644.

Doc Love is a talk show host and entertainment speaker who coaches men in his seminars. For the past 30 years he has asked thousands of women, "Why do you stay with one man versus another?"


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