CAN'T SHE STOP TALKING ABOUT HER EX-BOYFRIENDS?
Don't Lie - Men Don't Listen
Success Coach - Doc Love
I have the greatest girl in the world. Caprice and I have been dating for over 18 months.
She's a giver, she's flexible and she's honest as a nun. We are constantly having fun, and
the conversation never dries up. Our families are close, and everyone assumes that we will
But as you say in your DATING DICTIONARY, "There are no clean deals." And I'm
hoping that you can shed some light on my situation.
The problem is that Caprice keeps talking about her old boyfriends. I know you probably
think that she's rubbing them in my face, but she actually isn't. She feels that honesty
means openness about everything. She inadvertently brags about what great things these
guys have done, and I could care less.
I've tried ignoring it when she starts rhapsodising about these guys. It's mainly two
different ones and ignoring it doesn't seem to discourage her. And to be real honest, it's
starting to get on my nerves.
I'd like to tell her that it bothers me and ask her to stop. But I'm afraid that if I tell
her that it bothers me, then she'll think I'm insecure and she won't see me as a
Challenge. I know how important you say it is to always be a Challenge. So how should I
handle this Doc?
Tom - who doesn't want to hear about her old boyfriends
Women often complain that their dates or boyfriends talk too much about their former
girlfriends, but many women are equally guilty of the same indiscretion. (Women also hate
it when men look at other women.) A considerable number of gals seem to think that being
honest means being open about everything. But honesty and openness are two different
things - that's why they're spelled differently.
You can be honest without being open, and it's better not to be "open" about
your former lovers. Whether you're a man or a woman sharing with your current partner all
kinds of details about your past relationships is the opposite of romantic, and it's also
unloving. It serves no positive purpose. And most important, it's disrespectful to the
Tom, although your girlfriend is naïve and is not purposely being unkind to you, she has
to "get it" that her behavior is starting to jeopardize your relationship. So
here's what I recommend:
First, use humor to give her the big hint that what she's doing ain't Kosher. For
instance, when she starts going on and on about what a fantastic singer her ex, Jimmy, is,
you say: "Oh yeah? That's interesting. My ex, Cassandra, used to be a backup singer
for Sting until she couldn't deal with his ego anymore. But you should hear her voice, she
makes Christina Aguilera sound like Phyliss Diller. I think Cassandra is such a great
singer because she has an amazing lung capacity." And then wink at your girlfriend
like Dennis Quaid would, and walk out of the room. Let her wonder whether you were for
real or not.
Try the humor strategy up to five times (each time you would use a different silly story)
and then if she still doesn't see the light, you can try simply telling her that her
behavior bothers you and that you'd like her to stop. By doing this, you are still being a
Challenge because you are saying "no," setting limits, and insisting that she be
respectful. You can tell her twice to cool it if you have to, but don't do it a third time
because that would make you a nag.
Hopefully she'll get the drift by this point. If she still continues with her unloving
behavior, we would then move to the hardball, ultimatum stage. (As a general rule, I do
not recommend using ultimatums. However, sometimes they are necessary when all else fails
and your partner is not responding to more gentle proddings. You have to know if she'll
get in line BEFORE you say "I do".)
So here's what you can do as a last resort: As soon as she starts in again with the
anecdotes about her former lovers, look at your watch and say "oops, I just
remembered I have an appointment" (even if it's ten at night) and then leave
abruptly. Don't call her for a week. If she calls you, let her talk to your answering
If she doesn't wake up after all that, Tom, then her head is made of concrete.
Remember, guys, if she wants to keep you, she's can't disrespect you - and get away with
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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