Tag Archives: ASK JANICE

ASK JANICE: I Still Fantasize About Being In Bed With My Ex

Woman in blue corset

Dear Janice,

I still fantasize about my ex – being in bed with him and all.  Even when I’m with my husband in our conjugal bed. This makes meeting my ex in public with my husband difficult.  Any suggestions on how to get over this?

******

Dear Friend,

I wish I had a little more information in order to help you.  For example, are you in love with your husband?  Do you have a good sex life with your husband?  Are you still in love with your ex, or do you just miss the sex with him?  How often do these fantasies occur?  Do you fantasize about your ex every time you make love to your husband?  And why is he your ex, anyway?

The answers to these questions and more will better lead you to an understanding and even a solution to your problem.  However, I’m going to give it my best shot anyway.

If you are genuinely and truly in love with your husband, and you two enjoy your sexual relationship, then you probably don’t have any reason to worry … especially if you only fantasize about your ex occasionally.  Many people believe (and I agree) that occasionally fantasizing about someone else while with your long-term partner is healthy.  Your husband doesn’t have to know that every once in a while you close your eyes and imagine he’s Channing Tatum, Boris Kodjoe or even your ex.  Trust and believe that he does the same thing sometimes.

If your ex was really good in bed, then having his image pop into your head every now and again can actually improve sex with hubby.  And hubby doesn’t need to know this.  All he has to know is that you’re into whatever he’s doing at that moment and you’re both happy.

Allowing yourself to fantasize helps you to grow sexually.  Fantasy is your own secret place where you can tap into your deepest yearnings.  It’s where you can be whomever you want and do whomever you want.

Fantasies also teach us about what we really desire.  The better you know your own desires, the easier it is to communicate them to your husband.  You also become a better lover when you know yourself sexually.  So fantasy is a good thing.

On the other hand, if you’re fantasizing about your ex to the point where it’s interfering with your marriage, then you really do have a problem.  And seeing your ex in public is the least of your worries.

Do you have some unresolved feelings for your ex?  Do you constantly compare your husband to your ex in other areas, too?  If so, does your ex always seem to come out on top?  This could be anything from a need for closure to a case of the grass being greener on the other side.  If it’s the latter, remember this: the grass is greener where you water it.

Remember, he’s your ex for a reason, and I suspect that you wouldn’t have married someone else if he were all that.  Just focus on all the reasons you and he aren’t together now.  He may have been good in bed, but you didn’t marry him.

Honestly, you need to take some time to really examine your feelings about your marriage.  Maybe all this fantasizing about your ex is merely a symptom of problems within your marriage that need your attention.  If this is the case, look deep within your heart to figure out what’s wrong.  And be brutally honest with yourself.  Now is not the time to sweep your feelings under the rug.

Finally, talk to your man.  If you’ve got problems, then you BOTH have problems.  That’s what marriage is: a partnership through the good and the bad.  Don’t bring up your fantasies about your ex, though.  They have nothing to do with your marital issues and would just hurt your husband unnecessarily.  But otherwise, be honest about how you feel.

The solution to your problem begins and ends with your own analysis of your marriage and your heart.  You need to get to the real reasons behind your fantasies.  If you married the right man, and I suspect you did, then work hard at fixing your marriage.  Once you begin to do the work, seeing your ex in public won’t be a big deal anymore because all your focus will be on the man who has your heart: your husband.

Good luck.

My Inability To Sexually Please My Lady Is Killing Me: ASK JANICE

Hi Janice, I’m one of your loyal male readers who has been reading your articles since your column first came out. Now,I have my own problem.

I don’t believe in casual sex and only engage in sexual intercourse after a serious commitment. I’ve never had any problems pleasing a woman but my current lady is very prude and doesn’t loosen up and let herself enjoy the moment. Even oral sex – which I give freely – doesn’t get her off.  Her job is pretty “big” and she takes herself pretty seriously – maybe too seriously. She seems happy, and so am I, but this is beginning to affect my ego. I need to get my mojo back.

 Any suggestions? 

 Loyal and humble in Detroit

Dear Humble in Detroit,

First of all, thanks for reading and supporting my column.  I love hearing from my male readers, and really appreciate your honesty.

As far as your issue, you need to understand that your lady’s inability to get off isn’t your fault.  I totally understand how this affects your ego, though.  Everyone wants to believe they are capable of pleasing their partner.  It’s hard not to take it personally when, despite your best efforts, your partner doesn’t achieve the desired “happy ending”.

But trust me when I tell you, the only one standing in the way of your lady reaching paradise is her.  Remember, the biggest and most important sexual organ is the brain.  And it sounds like your lady’s issues begin and end in her head.  Only she can really get to the bottom of what’s keeping her from letting go and enjoying herself.  You can do all the stroking, kissing, licking and sucking you want … but if her head isn’t ready to let go, her body will never get there.

That’s not to say that you can’t help her, though.  You can start by relaxing yourself.  Don’t make such a big deal out of it when she doesn’t climax.  You may not realize this, but your eagerness to please puts a lot of pressure on your lady.  Orgasm isn’t always necessary for sexual enjoyment, especially for women.  If she’s satisfied with the intimacy and closeness of being with you, then let her be.  If she’s capable of having orgasms alone, she’ll eventually get comfortable enough to have them with a lover.  You may just have to be patient.

Also, reassure her of your feelings.  Your lady may need more reassurance that you only engage in sexual intercourse within the confines of a committed relationship.  This may be obvious to you, but she may need to be reminded.  Maybe she doesn’t really believe that you’re committed to her.  She may have trust issues, and your assurance of her place in your life may help overcome those.

Encourage her to talk about her own feelings about sex and relationships.  Her long-held religious or moral beliefs may be interfering with her ability to enjoy sexual activity with a lover.  Without putting too much pressure on her, get her to open up with you about those beliefs.  Just talking about them and knowing that you understand and respect her beliefs might help.

You also have to consider that past trauma or hurt may be affecting her ability to reach orgasm with you.  It may not have been a former lover or partner, it could even be some issues she’s had with male relatives or even her father.  If you suspect this is the case, strongly encourage your lady to seek professional counselling.  She may need help to recover from a horrible past.

The main thing I want you to know is that this is an issue that may not have anything at all to do with you.  She may love you, be turned on by you and enjoy being intimate with you.  But because of her own issues, she just may not be able to climax with you.  You’re not the problem, she is.

So be patient with her and yourself.  And on behalf of women everywhere, thanks for your efforts!

My Boyfriend Feels Inadequate Because I Don’t Orgasm During Intercourse: ASK JANICE

inadequacy

Dear Janice,

Just recently, my boyfriend of three years threw me for a loop.  I thought we enjoyed a satisfying sex life, but apparently he disagreed.  His problem:  he’s frustrated that I only orgasm through manual or oral stimulation, not during intercourse!  When I asked him why it mattered as long as we both enjoyed ourselves, he said it made him feel inadequate.  Ever since our conversation, he’s seemed reluctant to make love with me.  What should I do?  Should I start faking orgasms to make him feel better?

Signed,

Not a Faker

*******

Dear Not a Faker,

My first thought when I read your letter was “at least she has a man who cares whether or not she cums”!  Girl, consider yourself blessed to have a man whose heart (and tongue) seems to be in the right place: he’s obviously willing to do whatever you need to achieve orgasms.  However, his feelings of inadequacy just because you don’t orgasm during regular intercourse are misguided.

I can’t tell from your letter why you don’t orgasm during intercourse.  Is it a matter of him finishing a little too quickly?  Could it be that the positions you try don’t allow for enough direct contact with your clitoris?  It’s likely easier for you to achieve orgasm through manual and oral stimulation because of the direct contact with your clitoris.

At any rate, I’d hate to see this issue ruin your three year relationship, especially when it doesn’t have to.  First of all, even though he’s willing to stimulate your clitoris enough to bring you to orgasm manually and orally, I’m not sure your man fully understands the importance of that delicate little organ of yours.  Explain to him (or remind him) that women are blessed with a piece of anatomy whose sole purpose in life is pleasure!

Where the man’s penis is a multi-purpose organ with about 4,000 nerve endings, our glorious clitoris, which only exists for our pleasure, has more than 8,000 nerve endings!  That’s why, for many women, the clitoris can’t be left out of the equation during sex.

You might try positions where your clitoris can be more engaged in the act.  For example, if you get on top and angle your body just so, your clitoris can be stimulated by coming into direct contact with his pelvis.  Or, no matter who’s on top, one or the both of you can also manually stimulate your clitoris during the act, as well.  Experiment and I guarantee you’ll have fun finding ways to make it work for you.

Now, if the issue is that you just need a little more time to orgasm during intercourse, there are other things you can try.  Go online and research cock rings and other devices that help delay ejaculation.  Nowadays you can order just about anything your heart desires online, and it will come directly to your front door in discreet packaging.  There are also natural ways for a man to delay ejaculation involving deep breathing and different positions.  Again, do a little research online.  There’s a wealth of information out there.

Finally, you both need to remember that the female orgasm starts and ends in the woman’s brain.  There could be any number of emotional and psychological reasons why you don’t orgasm during intercourse, and they may have nothing to do with your boyfriend.  Only you can determine that, though.

As far as faking it goes, while I’m all for honesty in relationships, I do believe there are times when it’s okay.  For example, you’ve had a horrible day and have a lot on your mind.  You welcome and enjoy the intimacy of making love with your man, but because of where your head is, an orgasm just ain’t gonna happen.  I mean he could magically turn into Idris Elba and lick you for eight hours, and you still won’t cum!  You don’t want him to feel bad, so you put on a little show and fake it.  In fact, you do such a good job it makes him cum even faster.  Now everybody’s happy and you can get some much needed sleep.  Under those circumstances, it’s okay to fake it.

But to fake it all the time just because your guy insists that you have orgasms during intercourse?  Nah, I don’t recommend it.  That kind of deception will only undermine your relationship and you might come to resent him.  Just try some of my suggestions and reassure him that you’ve been very satisfied with your sex life.  If he still has issues, assume that there are bigger problems afoot.

Good luck!

Help! I’m In Love With My Boss: ASK JANICE

Dear Janice,

I love your work!

I need your advice. I am in love with my boss! He’s attractive and a really good man. And even though he’s a little older than me, we have so much in common.

But there are differences, too. He’s white and I’m Black. Also, he comes from a completely different religious background than me. I’m not sure we could get past these obstacles.

Sometimes, I think he feels the same way I do. But, I’m not positive. All I know for sure is that I love him and I want to marry him and have his children.

Please help me. How can I get this man?

Thank you.

*****

My Sister,

There’s nothing quite like a workplace crush, is there?  They’re easy to fall into since you see the person every day.  Your crush is your boss, though.  So there are some important things to consider.

First of all, does your job allow workplace romances?  You don’t want to embark upon a relationship that could get you (or him) fired.  Some employers worry about sexual harassment lawsuits, the appearance of favoritism and the like.  Often, they will have policies which prohibit workplace relationships.  Be sure to review your employer’s policy carefully.  These days, any legal and paying job is a good job, and I don’t want you to lose yours.

Even if your employer allows romantic relationships, they still may have prohibitions against supervisor/subordinate relationships.  They can make for very tricky waters.  So even if your workplace allows personal relationships between employees, they may draw the line at relationships where one person is in a position of authority of the other.

Now if your job prohibits boss/employee relationships, it could still work if one of you were to transfer to another position within the company.  For example, if you transfer to a different department where you no longer report directly to him, it could work.  But I’m getting way ahead of myself, here.

Racial and religious differences aside, you need to determine if you both want the same kind of relationship.  He may be interested in you, but is he looking for a wife and mother for his children?  It’s clear from your letter that you want to marry him.  You need to find out the real nature of his “interest” in you.  Is he only interested in friendship?  Or if he’s attracted to you, is it just sexually?  Does he see you as a potential life partner?  If he isn’t interested in the same thing, then it isn’t worth your heart or your job to get involved with this man romantically.

I don’t know either of you well enough to say HOW you can find this out, at first.  However, if he’s given you some indication he might be interested, then maybe you should just be bold and ask him.  Just be prepared to really listen to his answer, though.

If asked, most men are honest about what they want from the relationship at the outset.  The problem is that we women refuse to listen!  He’ll say he isn’t looking for a commitment, but we’ll sleep with him anyway thinking he’ll “fall in love” and change his mind later.  Then we end up heartbroken because we’ve spent however many months or years waiting for him to give us the relationship we want.  And why?  He said from the beginning that he wasn’t interested in a commitment.

It gets worse.  The very same man will often turn around and marry someone else!  You see, when he said he wasn’t looking for a commitment, he meant with you!  So when he turns up married to some chick he’s only known 2 months and they live happily ever after, you’re left bitter and alone, wondering what the hell is wrong with you.  The only thing wrong is that you didn’t hold out for what you wanted.  You settled for less, and that’s what you ended up getting.

I’m not saying this will happen to you.  BUT, you must be clear about what you want from the beginning and, (this is very important to remember) you must LISTEN to what he tells you he wants.  Don’t just hear what you want to hear; hear what he actually says.  And if he doesn’t want what you want (marriage, children) then you need to keep it moving.  It’ll be hard to get over him since you see him every day, but you can do it.

If you can get past the romance in the workplace issues, and if he wants the same kind of relationship as you, then the racial and religious differences can be handled.  Both of you must be honest and open with each other, though.  And you have to be respectful of each other’s beliefs and practices.  You have to present a united front with your friends and family so that they all understand that you are determined to work hard at making your cross-cultural, bi-racial, two-religion relationship a success.  That may mean standing alone against opposition from your loved ones.  None of this will be easy, but it isn’t insurmountable.

I hope this helps.  Good luck to you on your quest for love.  I hope this works out for you!

Janice

 

 

How Do I Get A Man To Commit To Me? ASK JANICE

Dear ASK JANICE,

I am crazy about this man I’m dating, but can’t get him to commit.  When we’re together, he’s totally into me. He treats me well and truly fulfills my needs in bed.  But, he always insists we’re not in a “real relationship”.  He says he’s not looking for a relationship right now, but that he does care about me.  Whenever I push him for more, he gets pissed.  And then sometimes I don’t hear from him for weeks!  What am I doing wrong?  How can I get him to commit to me?

Can you help a Sista out, please!

*****

Hey Girlfriend,

First of all, you need to stop beating yourself up over this guy.  No woman can force a man to do anything he doesn’t want to do.  The only thing you’re doing wrong is accepting less than you want and deserve.

He’s already told you everything you need to know.  He cares about you, but doesn’t want a “real relationship”.  In other words, he’s just not that into you.

The bottom line is when a man wants to be with you, he’ll be with you.  There will be no excuses and definitely no going weeks without hearing from him.  You won’t have to pressure him or push him for more.  He will be with you, plain and simple.

Clearly, you want more from this man than just casual sex.  Sadly, you’re not going to get more from him.  He already knows that he doesn’t have to commit to you to sleep with you whenever he wants.  And since this kind of relationship works for him and you allow it, nothing is going to change.

My advice to you is that you end things with this guy.  You’re not getting what you want from him, what you deserve.  And that’s my point: you deserve the kind of relationship that YOU want.  You deserve to be with someone who will commit to you and really treat you with respect.

I don’t know if you’re settling for less than you deserve because you’re afraid to be alone, or if you’re truly in love with this guy.  But, you need to stop … NOW!  Men get away with treating us so casually because we allow them to.  You’ve given him all the power in this so-called relationship, and that’s just wrong!  You’re worth more than that, Sister.

I would also argue that your guy doesn’t really care about you, at all.  He obviously knows how you feel about him, yet he’s perfectly content to keep you dangling on a thread while he goes about his merry way.  If he really cared, he’d either give you the relationship you want and deserve, or he’d leave you alone.  But as long as you allow it, he’ll keep coming back for casual sex and a half-assed relationship on his terms.

This just isn’t the man for you, my friend.    The great Maya Angelou says that when someone shows you who they are, believe them.  Your guy has painted you a very clear picture of who he is.  You need to believe him, and cut your losses.  Let him go.  Walk … no RUN away as fast as you can.

Trust me, when you let go of this guy, you’ll be doing yourself a huge favor!  Other than some occasional good sex, the only thing this man is doing for you is standing in the way of the man you’re supposed to be with.  As the Church Mothers say, “Girl, he ain’t doin’ nothin’ but blocking your blessings!”

Leaving this unfulfilling relationship would be an act of genuine self-love for you.  And like I always say, no one else is going to love you unless you love yourself first.

My dear, you deserve to have the kind of relationship that you want.  You deserve to be with a man who will commit to you.  Stop giving yourself to men who won’t give you what you want and deserve.  Stop selling yourself short.

Let this one go.  Let him be someone else’s problem.  Your King is out there, and this guy is just in his way.

Should I Stay With The Father Of My Child Or Go Back To The Guy I Really Love? ASK JANICE

Dear Janice,

I am a very confused lady right now. A few years ago, I met this wonderful guy, and I fell in love with him. At the time, he was at university and I hadn’t yet joined. Unfortunately my sister who worked in that university was not happy about the relationship and made him suffer. I  was experienced with relationships while he, on the other hand, was not. I mostly decided what to do when we were together. Then, I got bored with the whole relationship and we decided to end everything.

We both moved on but kept our friendship strong. He met this lady and together they have a daughter. But. now things are falling apart. His lady is not interested in the relationship. As for me, I met this guy and together we have a beautiful girl. The problem is we are both sickle cell carriers and this daughter of ours is a sickler. My boyfriend on the other hand is a drunkard and at times he even ends up urinating on himself.  A part from all that, he always comes back home late and he is never home, be it a weekend or public holiday.

But, this ex of mine is a fun-loving person, loves dancing, hanging out and that is exactly what I want in a guy. My current boyfriend on the other hand is a total bore, he only goes out with his friends. I have fallen in love with my ex and he claims he has changed and grown up. I believe him coz I can see it. What can I do ????

***

Dear Confused Lady,

Ah yes, falling back in love with the ex-boyfriend … I’ve been there and done that and even have the T-Shirt!  So, don’t worry, yours is not an uncommon problem.  However, as there are kids involved, you do have to be careful.

Let’s take both of these men separately.  Your current guy, the father of your child, sounds like he has some major issues.  Not only does he sound very immature (only hangs out with his friends, when he has a wonderful woman and daughter to spend time with), but he probably has a serious drinking problem, too.  That is a very toxic situation for you and your daughter.  I’m sure that in his few sober moments, even he probably realizes that he doesn’t want his child growing up in a home where his behavior is so erratic that he urinates on himself.  And I know you don’t want that for your daughter, either.  So, regardless of what happens with your ex, you need to remove yourself from your current situation right away.

Run, girl, run!  End that relationship quickly, before someone gets seriously hurt.  Of course, I hope your current guy gets help.  But, it’s not your responsibility to stick around to make sure that he does.  Get out, now!

Remember, though, you’ll probably have to agree to some kind of visitation arrangements regarding your daughter.  Just make sure they are supervised visits.  In fact, you should probably document all of his crazy behavior because you may end up in court over this.  But, that will all come later.  For now, get out!

As for your ex, I suggest you tread very carefully, there.  I want you to think about a few things before you go back into a relationship with this guy.  First of all, there are two children involved.  And while his current relationship may be falling apart, he has to do what’s best for his child.  Dumping his current girlfriend for you may jeopardize his ability to see and raise his own child, and if that happens, he’ll end up resenting you in the long run.

If his current relationship is really on the brink of ending, I suggest you wait it out.  Let him end that relationship before you agree to see him romantically again.  In order for him to have a clean break with his child’s mother, that relationship needs to come to its own conclusion and should have nothing to do with you.  If you’re the cause of their breakup, it can and will get ugly.  Because no matter what, she’s the mother of his child.  That means he will have to deal with her in some capacity for the rest of that child’s life.  And if you want to be a part of his life going forward, you can’t be the reason he leaves his child’s mother.  Trust me.  You don’t want her as an enemy, because she will undermine your relationship.

Secondly, you claim that you can see that your ex has grown up … that now he’s exactly the kind of guy you want to be with.  But you need to ask yourself if that’s really true.  Are you seeing that he’s matured because he’s had a child and has had to grow up?  Or has he really changed so much, that he’ll be completely different this time around?  Remember, you left him because he was a bore and you had to take control in the relationship.

You know the saying “the grass is greener on the other side”?  Well, it really never is.  The grass is the same … always.  So be careful, here.  You see things you like in your ex when you compare him to your current boyfriend.  Well, compared that guy, Jack the Ripper would seem like an angel!

I want you to take a cold, hard look at your ex, not through the prism of your current boyfriend’s issues, but with fresh, objective eyes.  Is he really so different from the guy he was when you were with him?  Or are the same qualities that drove you away still there?  Is he just putting on his best behavior when you’re around?  Or is he truly transformed into a whole new man?

Someone older and wiser once gave me some great advice.  She said that you should never, ever backtrack to old relationships.  She claimed that the reasons you left to begin with are still there.  They may be polished up and shinier than before so you’d hardly recognize them. But, they’re still there.

I do know of people who have broken up, only to reunite later and have a happy ending.  In fact next month, I’m going to the wedding of one such couple, who’d been separated for more than 20 years.  So, yes, sometimes going back to the ex-boyfriend really does work.  But, those success stories are very rare.  You and your ex may very well be another exception to the rule.  But, you must take things slowly.

Stay away from him and let him get out of his current relationship, first.  This will make it easier for him to still be able to see and raise his child … and the child’s mother may be more accepting of you in the future.  And believe me, you’re gonna need her as an ally.

Then, after you really evaluate whether or not this guy has really changed for the better, go ahead and give the relationship another shot.  But make sure you ask yourself the hard questions, first.  And by all means, remember that there are two children involved and their well-being must come first for everyone.

Good luck.

How Can A Man Help A Woman Ejaculate? ASK JANICE

Istock photo

Dear Janice,

I am a heterosexual male who has experienced female ejaculation from two sexual partners over the years.  That is to say two where I’ve been able to recognize that a female ejaculation has occurred. After love making in the missionary position with the first partner, I would many times have a slick wet spot on the left side of my pelvis. I had no idea it was the result of female ejaculation until one day I actually heard it squirting out onto me.

I casually mentioned to my lover that she could ejaculate, but she gave little verbal response or acknowledgement about it. About five years later another lover would catch me off guard with a gushing female ejaculation as I was pleasing her orally. I wasn’t sure what to do so I swallowed most of it.  I later experienced that this lover would have as many as three gushing female ejaculations in less than an hour.  Like my previous lover she didn’t say much about it, even when asked.  I wanted to know if the experience was a greater level of pleasure than orgasm without female ejaculation.  Was it a greater enhanced experienced, or just a different pleasure experience? Does it feel really good? Those were my questions.

As a male lover who is committed to giving his lover every level of pleasure, should I encourage my lover to seek the experience of female ejaculation?  I recently read an article that said many women hold back and don’t push forward because the sensations prior to ejaculation feel the same as when they have to pee.  So they hold it thinking they don’t want to pee on a lover and be embarrassed. I also learned that not every female has the ability to ejaculate.

Janice, how do you think this willing male should approach the subject of female ejaculation?  Please help me answer my questions.

Thank you,

Dave in Michigan 

 

Dear Dave from the Mitten State,

First of all, on behalf of women everywhere, thank you for being such an attentive lover!  It truly is a beautiful thing to encounter a man so committed to giving his lovers pleasure.  I wish we could clone you and replace all of those insensitive clowns out there who are only in it for themselves!  And can I say that I’m so pleased to hear about your partner who had three ejaculations in one hour!  Bravo!  You obviously know what you’re doing!

I also want to thank you for not reacting negatively towards those of your lovers who do ejaculate heavily.  Some men would be put off by that, and you seemed to handle those situations with grace and sensitivity.  Again, bravo!

I don’t know a lot about female ejaculation the way you describe it.  I don’t know how common or rare it is.  I suspect that it’s largely involuntary, and really has no bearing on the level of sexual pleasure experienced.  That is to say that I don’t think a woman who doesn’t ejaculate upon orgasm experiences any less pleasure than a woman who does.

All women are different, especially when it comes to sex.  Some women get so wet during sexual arousal that they drench the sheets, their lover and anything else in the near vicinity.  Other women require artificial lubricant just to get going.  And don’t get me started on how a woman’s hormones can affect all this, including where a woman is in her cycle, how close she is to menopause … there are so many variables here.

So, rather than encouraging ejaculation per se, you should continue to encourage your partners to just let go and enjoy as many orgasms as you can give them.  Some will squirt, others won’t.  As long as you reassure the squirters that they have nothing to be ashamed about, then you’re fine.   And as long as you don’t assume that the non-squirters aren’t enjoying themselves, then you’re fine.

You just keep pleasing the ladies and being the sensitive lover you are.  And hey, maybe you could even teach of your male cohorts some of your tricks.  Believe me, there are a lot of guys out there who don’t have a clue!

Thanks for writing, Dave.  And keep up the good work!

 

Ask Janice your intimate question about love and relationships at ASKJANICE@suzyknew.com

Help! My Crush Only Wants To Be Friends ASK JANICE

Dear Janice,

I’m 19 and i have a crush on this guy. I like him a lot although we have really friend-zoned each other. Should i confess my feelings to him or just leave it? I’ve never liked any guy this much.

****

Dear Friend Zone,

Honestly, there’s really nothing more depressing than being in the friend zone of your crush!  But, don’t despair!  As his friend, you’re actually in the best position to get a real relationship out of this!  But, it’s gonna take a little patience and a little risk.

First of all, what you need to realize is that the best, long-lasting relationships are always based upon friendship.  Sure, there’s attraction, passion, sizzle and all of that.  But, without a real friendship, those relationships end quickly.  So, if you and this guy are really good friends, then you’ve already laid a great foundation for something that could really work for you.  You just need to get him on the same page as you.

And this is where you may need patience.  Guys tend to be a little slow when it comes to realizing their really feelings, especially when they involve women.  However, you can use this to your advantage.  While he’s slowly realizing how perfect you are for him, you need to be doing things to show him how perfect you are for him.  That means, you need to ramp your friendship game up even higher.  Become his main confidante.  Be there for him when he needs someone to talk to, to vent to, to just be with.  Become more than his friend, become his best friend.

And let him be those things to you, too.  Start confiding in him more.  Ask for his advice more often (men love to feel needed).  Try to spend more time with him.  But be careful!  You don’t want to come off as needy or stalker-ish!  There’s a very thin line between appreciating someone’s presence and a getting restraining order against them!

Anyway, once the two of you become even closer friends, you’ll be in a great position to turn things in a more romantic direction.  And this is where you’ll have to be direct.  Men, especially younger men, don’t really get subtlety.  Openly flirting with him probably won’t work.  You might have to beat him over the head with it (not literally, of course – there are laws against that).  But make it clear that you want to take your relationship to the next level.  Be honest about your feelings for him.  And if you play your cards just right, by now he’ll believe the whole thing was his idea, anyway.

But there are risks.  Even if he loves and needs you as his friend, he still may not ever feel for you the way you feel for him.  He may even be in love with someone else, leaving you in the friend zone forever.  And man, have I been there!  It hurts like mad, but you will get over it, eventually.  The problem is that if that happens, it’ll change your friendship.  He’ll probably act weird around you and things will be awkward for a while.  Hopefully, you’ll be able to move past it, though.

Or, things may work out and the two of you become romantic, and everything is great for a while.  But, if the relationship ends (especially if it ends badly), it could ruin your friendship forever.  Not only will you have lost a boyfriend, you will have lost a best friend, as well.

So be sure this is a risk you’re willing to take.  When you try to take a guy from the friend zone to the boyfriend zone, it could get messy and you could get hurt.  But, if you do it right … you could very well establish a great, long-lasting relationship.  You’ll need to be patient, but if it works out, it’ll be well worth the wait.

Good luck!

How Do I Find A Good Man? ASK JANICE

Dear Janice,

I have a good job at a good company making good money. I just turned 31, and I really want a man – someone who can provide for a family. But, as a Black woman, I find it hard to find a Black man with a good salary. Also, I must say I haven’t received a lot of attention from non-Black men . But, the ones who are paying me attention don’t seem to be doing that well financially. Maybe I should just be looking for a good man, but it’s hard for me to seriously consider someone who makes less than I do for marriage.  

I would like your help in thinking this through. 

PS I love your articles and read them all the time.

Loyal Fan

***

Dear Loyal Fan,

First of all, thanks for your patience.  I’ve had some family and health challenges lately, which have prevented me from writing.  Things are a little more stabilized now, and I’m slowly getting caught up with everything.  So, thanks for your loyalty and patience.  It is much appreciated.

Now, about your situation … First of all, you are not alone.  The reality is that even though on average, women still make about 70% of what men make on the job, there are more and more single women who find themselves dating men who make less money.  This is a by-product of the great strides women have made in the workforce, shattering many of the glass ceilings which had previously held us back.  Things still aren’t equal, though.  We still have a long way to go.

However, while there have been changes in women’s salaries, our attitudes about who should be the breadwinner in the home should be haven’t changed.  Your own attitude about it proves this.  You admit that it would be hard to seriously consider a man for marriage if he made less money than you do.  And believe me, I understand how you feel.  I mean, we all grew up with stories about Prince Charming sweeping in and taking care of us, right?  And no matter how accomplished we become professionally, in the back of our minds, many of us still want that fairytale.

But we all need to get real!  Those fairytales were written when more women stayed home than were in the workforce.  And honestly?  None of those stories were really written for us Black girls.  So, we need to release those unrealistic and antiquated ideas about what marriage really is and face facts.  In today’s economy, it usually takes two incomes to live comfortably.  And if both of those incomes are coming into the same household, does it really matter whose is larger, the man’s or the woman’s?

Listen, the reality is that a wealthy man can be a wife beater, chronic cheater and low-down, pumpkin eater just as well as a hard-working, but lower paid man can.  Conversely, a hard-working, but lower paid man can be a sweet, supportive, loving husband, just as well as a wealthy man.  My point is that what you want is a good man, period.

A good man will take that less than huge salary and stretch it, save it, invest it and do whatever it takes to provide for his family.  A bad man can take a huge salary and squander it on other women, drugs, alcohol or gambling, leaving you with far less than what you started with.

Stop looking at paychecks and start looking at personalities.  Stop looking for someone to take care of you, and find a man who will take care of business WITH you.  After all, if a man is working and bringing home a paycheck (even if it’s smaller than yours), he is contributing to the household.  You still have more with his smaller salary than you do without it.  And with that smaller salary, you’re not sleeping alone.

Besides, just looking at dollars alone doesn’t give you the whole story.  Maybe he’s at the top of his field in an industry that just pays less than yours.  Or maybe he doesn’t bring home as much cash, but his job includes other perks like cheaper health insurance, better life insurance, travel perks and other things.  Maybe he doesn’t make a whole lot of money on the job, but he’s so skilled at mechanics or household repairs, he can make double that under the table on the weekends doing side jobs.  Maybe he doesn’t make as much because he works fewer hours, but that means you get to come home to a clean house, a hot meal, a hot bath and some good lovin’!

Money isn’t everything, my Sista!  Give me a good man with a moderate income and I can turn that into a lifetime of bliss!

Don’t get it twisted, though.  I don’t believe in supporting a man who isn’t at least doing his part.  You may not be making as much as me, Brother, but you’d better be making something!  I don’t believe in raising a grown man!  And if he is looking for a free ride from you, then he needs to go with a quickness!

You’re only 31, Girlfriend.  There’s still plenty of time for you to find the right guy, so stop fretting.  I just want you to focus on finding someone who is good to you and for you, and that doesn’t have anything to do with the amount of his paycheck.  You’ve got a good job with a good salary, and can take care of yourself.  You don’t need a man to do that for you.  What you need is a man who will enhance your life in ways that can’t be measured in dollars and cents.

Seek a man who will treat you the way you deserve to be treated; who will love your truest and most authentic self.  Find someone with whom you’re compatible … someone you enjoy spending time with.  And as long as you two are compatible socially, sexually, spiritually and intellectually, then a disparity between your salaries won’t matter at all.  Because if you find the right man for you, you will find a life partner with whom you can build a great life together.

Happy Hunting!

Janice

Help! I’m Involved With Two Men: ASK JANICE

I'm Involved With Two Men

Dear Janice:

I’m involved with two men: one gives me the attention I crave but can be too weak and needy. The other is handy, better looking and more charming.  But, he is painfully aloof.  I’d like to have just one man in my life.  Should I choose one over the other, start over, or accept that I need two men to fulfill my needs?

Involved With Two Men

*****

Dear Involved:

Ah, you lucky, greedy girl!  I wish I had your problems!  As the song says, “I’ve got 99 problems, but too many men ain’t one”!

Well, my dear, the way I see it, you only have one choice: keep ‘em both!

Listen, the first thing you need to realize is that no one, single man can fulfill ALL your needs!  And he’s not supposed to!  That’s why we have girlfriends, hobbies, kids … if we depended on just one man (or just one person, for that matter) to meet all of our needs, not only would we never be satisfied, but the object of all that “affection” would buckle under the weight of so much pressure!  Can you imagine being anyone’s EVERYTHING?  Phew!  Nobody has time for all that!

Having said that, though, your man should at least fill some of your basic needs: companionship, sexual, emotional (some of them, though … not ALL of them) and even friendship.  As for the rest … well, it’s like I said.  You’ve got your girls, your church, your hobbies, your career, even your kids, if that’s part of your life plan.

And if one man isn’t meeting even those very basic needs, then maybe you do need to get you one or two more.  As long as you’re not married or breaking any promises, there is nothing wrong with dating more than one guy.

Now, as far as your specific men, I would say that your real problem isn’t that neither one meets your needs.  No, the problem with these guys is that you need to train them a little better.  I’m not saying you have the power to change a man.  No woman can really do that.  But, any woman worth her salt knows how to “help” a man modify his behavior to better meet her needs.  Tell Mr. Needy when he’s being too clingy … be honest and open about how incredibly annoying that is, and how he could lose you if he doesn’t chill with that mess.  I never could tolerate an overly clingy guy who wanted to be up under me all the time.  Ugh!

And Mr. Aloof?  Shoot, all he needs is a few instances of you not being available for him when he wants to be with you.  Don’t answer his every call.  Don’t always be free on the nights he wants to hang out.  Give him a taste of his own medicine and one of two things will happen:  he’ll either get the message be more available to you; or he’ll move on to someone else who will put up with his randomness.  If the latter happens, then good riddance!  Your problem is solved for you.

I suspect that this “problem” will soon resolve itself, though.  One of the guys will take himself out of the equation either by messing up so badly, that you kick him to the curb, or by finally getting on your last nerve to the point where you … that’s right: kick him to the curb.

In the meantime, enjoy your abundance of men, girlfriend! And keep us posted! Those of us who are single and can’t even find one half-way decent guy can just live vicariously through you.  Get the most you can out of both of them while you can!  Just remember not to practice deceit, because a betrayed man is an angry man … and an angry man can be dangerous.  And of course, practice safe sex … always.  Enjoy!