Relationship Expert Alina responding to common Questions
Every month, Counselor Alina will give a quick, short answer to common questions asked and submitted to us here at Love-Sessions. Her answers can be read through our
E-mail newsletters, or by going to the Alina Answers Page on our website here.
Counselor Alina answers the following Question this Month:
This Month’s Question: As a woman, should I be expected to pay and pitch in on a date? I recently went on a date where the guy actually expected me to split the bill. Is this really the norm now?
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This is a question that comes to surface time and time again. As women, we want total freedom and independence (and we should- go girls!), but we also want to continue enjoying the experience of being treated like a lady. In my personal experience as well as observing those of my friends and on the social scene, I have learned that most men do not mind to still be the one to pay for the whole date. In fact, most men take pride in being able to treat the woman they are trying to impress and win over. However, there are some men who do expect women to pitch in and not only pitch in, but take turns in paying for the whole date. So is it the norm? Not really, but it is part of the world we live in now- where you will encounter both types of men.
There is nothing wrong with a woman pitching in as long as she does not mind it and feels empowered in being able to do so. If it bothers you however, and you are more the independent, strong career type woman who still wants a man to fully treat you- then only date those guys. Do not wait around for a man to change if he has already expressed that he expects women to financially meet him halfway (or more) on date- it will not change and you will only grow more and more frustrated over time.
Question: Why does he not contact me or answer ?
Question: I do not like displaying affection in public, but my partner does. How can I make him understand?
Public Display of Affection (PDA) is not for everyone. Many often assume that because people are in an exciting loving relationship, they are going to be all over each other and flaunt their love all the time with pride. Well, that may very well be for some people, but this is not the case for everyone- and it should not be taken personally. Not liking to display affection in public has nothing to do with being embarrassed of your relationship or your partner nor does it mean your partner wants you more than you want him or her. This is a personal matter, in which you simply are a private person when it comes to physical expressions of love and desire. You may also feel overwhelmed, anxious and claustrophobic to have your held or to be hugged and held constantly outside.
Explain this to your partner so he understands that this is not about you not wanting to express your joy of being with him, but about you personally. Talk it out and find a compromise that you both can be okay with. For example, if you do not like being held, French kissing or holding hands, be open to perhaps being pecked on the lips every now and then. This way, he is still able to publicly display his affection for you, without making you feel anxious.
Question: Why does he not contact me or answer ?
Question: Why does he not contact me or answer ?
I met this guy and we both have a mutual attraction for each other that is very strong. We went on a few dates that were great and we got along so well and he seemed to be so into me and even called me a few times after that, but he is now distant and suddenly stopped trying to get in touch with me so much. Why does he not contact me or answer my texts if he is the one who expressed interest in me in the first place and after getting along so well on dates?
The dating world is unfortunately full of mixed signals, because people are not open and straight with each other- probably because telling the truth is not what most want to hear, even though we claim we want honesty.
It seems like you and this guy did indeed have a strong attraction for each other with a lot of chemistry, but perhaps somewhere along the way as you two dated he began to realize more and more that as hot as he thinks you are, you just are not the kind of woman he wants as a possible girlfriend. Perhaps your personality or lifestyle was too much for him and was not his cup of tea. Instead of telling you he lost interest, he decided to just stop contacting you, figuring you would eventually move on. Most people feels that is the more polite route to take rather than telling you “I’m no longer interested”.
So it would probably be best to stop texting him. If he really wants to talk to you, he will look for you and if does not look for you, then focus on moving on- you don’t want a man you have to constantly chase and who does not feel mutually into you.
Question: Is it wise to rekindle an old flame?
Answer: There is something excitingly mysterious about old flames. Bumping into an old flame after a long time has passed and seeing how good they look is understandably going to arouse your curiosity, especially if they not only look good, but also seem to have bettered themselves since you last saw them and doing well.
The two of you talk, laugh, catch each other up on your lives and boom- you begin to wonder if maybe you should give it another go. Maybe things will be better this time- perhaps you two were just not mature enough or ready the first time you got involved. Should you start seeing each other again?
Sure- but that all depends. Firstly, it is most important to listen and trust your instincts. Based on the reason of why you broke up in the first place, if your instincts tell you that it seems okay, then go for it! Sometimes people are just too young and immature to make a relationship work the first time around and then meet up again and more mature adults and are able to build a beautiful and loving relationship.
However, if your relationship ended in the past due to abusive circumstances, for example (whether it be physical or emotional)- then it would be best to either not get involved at all or approach with extreme caution, as it would take a lot of time for your ex to prove that he or she has truly made the changes necessary in order to have another chance with you.
If you and your old flame decide to give things another try, just start at a slow pace. Enjoy getting to know each other again slowly and be prepared for either outcome.
Question: How should you handle having a crush on your friend’s boyfriend or girlfriend?
Ah, yes- the dilemma of being attracted to your friend’s lover. There are some lines in life that we know should not be crossed- and one of them is going after your friend’s boyfriend or girlfriend. It is a loyalty that friends expect from each other and rightly so (why call each other friends otherwise?)
The best thing you can do in this situation is to remind yourself just that. You cannot control who you feel attracted to, but you can control how you handle it. There is nothing wrong with feeling attracted to your friend’s boyfriend or girlfriend (what you privately feel and think is your business and hurts no one), but you have to remember that this person is in a relationship with your friend and you should give their relationship the same respect you would expect your friend to give your relationship, if they were attracted to your boyfriend or girlfriend. Another case of treat others the way you would like to be treated.
What if your friend’s lover flirts with you and gives you the inviting eye?
It still does not make it okay to go after them, unless your friendship with your friend means nothing to you. You have to decide whether your friendship is worth losing over a crush you are having that will most likely pass.
Question: Can you make a relationship out of texting?
Can you make a relationship out of texting?
Whether you love it or hate it, text messaging has become one of the primary ways people choose to communicate with one another. Some find it fun and convenient, while others find it lazy and empty when it comes to really connecting with someone.
Many people find themselves trying to build a relationship out of texting. They meet someone interesting, they exchange cell phone numbers and text each other much more often than they actually talk on the phone, e-mail or see each other in person; and yet many still have high hopes and expect a relationship to grow out of all these flirty and friendly text exchanges.
Question: Is that expectation unrealistic or can you actually make a relationship out of text messaging?
While you cannot expect to create a real deep, loving and long lasting relationship out of just texting alone, you certainly can use texting as a way to spark each other’s interests and get things flowing.
Flirty and friendly text messaging can help get you both get curious about having a date together and finally get together in person- and the dating can then start. From there you two will be able to decide if you want to continue dating and get more serious or not. So while texting can and should be used as a tool to stay in touch and keep each other hooked and interested, it cannot be seen as the way you have an actual relationship with someone, as a real meaningful relationship requires connecting on a much deeper level other than sending each other text messages.
Question: Is it ever okay to lie in a relationship?
Answer: The word “lie” can be such a dirty word, because it means keeping the truth from someone and involves some kind of deception. Is lying always a bad thing though?
It depends on the lie. While we all prefer to be told the truth all the time (or so we think we do anyway), sometimes it is best if certain things are left unsaid.
There is a difference between a big lie where you are really deceiving your partner and a little white lie that will not really hurt anyone and is actually better if not said at all. It also depends on the relationship and friendship you have with your partner. Some couples are very close and open with each other completely and are not sensitive to hear all kinds of truths from each other. However, there are some relationships where one partner may be sensitive to hear certain things about themselves or certain things, where it would be better for you to answer certain questions or make comments in a more sugar coated way. These kinds of white lies are not hurtful and will not be a betrayal to your relationship in any way. Lying about who were out with the night before or being in one place and saying you were in another for example, are lies that can be damaging to your relationship and can break a trust that can be very difficult to earn back.
Question: Is text flirting cheating?
Answer: With advancing technology, comes more ways of keeping in touch and communicating with people. Flirting used to be something you did in person when you came across someone you found attractive. Today, you can not only flirt in person, but via e-mail and text messaging as well. In fact, texting makes flirting even less dangerous because you are safe from getting caught physically interacting with someone in
a flirtatious and sexual way and all text messages can get deleted before you even learn of them.
Is text flirting cheating though? That depends on the words being exchanged, as well as how it makes you feel in the relationship. A friendly text exchange that seems a bit flirtatious but is not really sexual is not really considered cheating. However, if the texting between your partner and another person become more and more sexual and become frequent, it can be cause for concern. It does not mean your partner will actually go and physically cheat on you with this other person, but it does mean he or she is starting to pay too much attention to someone in a sexual way. Most importantly, if it makes you feel upset and betrayed, then that is enough reason for your partner to stop if he or she truly cares, loves and respects you.
Question:Is moving in together a bad idea?
Answer: Many people move in together, so this is nothing new. Whether it is a good idea or not really depends on the two people involved. Some claim moving in together is good, because it gives them a chance to really get to know their partner, making it easier for them to decide if they want to really spend the rest of their lives together or not. This gives you two the opportunity to enjoy the experience of sharing your lives together without finalizing anything (such as marriage), so you can change your mind later if things do not work out, without going through all the legal stresses.
However, there are also some who claim that moving in together was a mistake because it sucked out all the excitement and mystery in their relationship and did not motivate either of them to get married or take any steps further into their relationship. You two are also sharing expenses and everything else like a married couple (only without the legal papers), but have no real responsibility for each other, so if things end up not working out, nobody owes each other anything really- and this is fine, as long you understand it and are okay with it.
So moving in together can be good and bring you two closer, but it can also be the opposite. In the end, you and your partner have to decide if you feel it is worth taking that chance and if you feel you both are ready to take this next big step in your relationship.
Previously handled issues by Alina:
Question: I have different career and life goals than my partner. Will this relationship work out in the end, even if we are not on the same page?
Answer: Every individual has his or her own idea of what success is, whether it has to do with career, love, family and life in general. No one is going to think and believe exactly alike and there are going to be differences, which can actually help add variety and keep things interesting in a relationship. You both will have something different to offer and learn from each other, which can really help you grow into a very strong couple. So there is nothing wrong with having different ideas about things and your relationship should be able to work out just fine, as long as you both truly want to be with each other and support each other in these differences.
However, one exception is if your differences are extreme. If, for example, you believe both people should work and contribute financially but your partner is more traditional and believes one person should stay home while the other brings home the bacon, then this probably will not work out in the long run. Also, extreme religious differences and opinions on values can create serious issues, so make sure you talk about this with your partner and see if a comfortable compromise can be reached before you take any further serious steps.
Question: Can someone really be just too busy to return your call or text message?
Answer: The dating world can be tough and it is not always easy to find someone we feel really drawn to, so when we do meet someone that strongly appeals to us- we set high hopes that the person will like us as much as we like him or her, hoping that it will lead to serious dating.
Your first date seemed to have gone really well and you even talked a few times after that, making things look very promising- when suddenly you find that your phone calls and/or text messages are not being returned as often, or at all. Anyone would feel concerned and burned by this sudden change, but it is in our nature to make excuses for people so that we can feel better and hang on to the high expectations that were set. Can someone really be too busy to get in touch with you? Not if they really want to hear your voice! While it is good not to panic and jump to conclusions when someone does not immediately return your calls and texts, you also should not make excuses for them just because you like them and are hoping for more to happen between you. If you two are just getting to know each other, then this person could be going through some personal problems and did not think to keep you up to date, which is nothing personal and he or she will eventually come around. However, it is also important to keep in mind that if this person is truly interested in you, they will definitely not forget to keep in touch with you- if only for a quick second to say in touch.
Question: Is it wrong to go after someone who is already in a relationship??
Answer: This one may seem tricky because while you want to try and do the right thing by respecting someone else’s relationship, you also cannot help the way you feel. Before going after someone who is currently involved, it is important to first observe their behavior towards you. Is he or she heavily flirtatious? Has this person shown a romantic interest in you? If you have talked with this person and the two of you have expressed interest in each other, or you have reason to believe that the two of you could be a good match romantically, then go for it- gently. Talk to this person and let them know how you feel and if he or she responds mutually, then you two can take the next steps from there. Let him or her know that you want to get to know him/her better, but cannot do so while they are still in a relationship. If this person feels that strongly for you and is interested enough in you, he/she will break up with the current partner and do the right thing.
Note: Many people often ask about the partner of the person they are interested in. They wonder if they should take that person’s feelings into consideration. Keep in mind that the one that needs to take their feelings into consideration and deal with them properly is their partner, not you. Just do your part by being honest and letting this person know that you will not get involved unless they are free. This is being considerate to their partner, because you are not suggesting any dishonest acts or behavior.
Question: Should Ex Lovers be Friends?
Answer: Being friends with an ex is not always possible, depending on how the relationship ended. If it ended on really bad terms, it is most likely that both people involved with just go their separate ways, ending contact. However, there are times when an ex couple can get past all their issues and remain friends. Should ex lovers be friends?
Well, it is wonderful if two people who realize they are not really compatible as lovers, are able to turn that into a friendship and if you are able to be friends with an ex, you should be able to have that friendship. However, just make sure your friendship does not cross the line by spending too much time together, especially if there are new romantic partners in your lives, as you would not want to jeopardize your new relationship. Just keep the friendship appropriate and fair to everyone involved.
Question: If you have been seeing someone for a long time and they still are not ready for a full on relationship, is it okay to wait or is it hopeless?
Answer: This is a good question that many people already have the answer to, but insist on making excuses for their partner. The truth is, if your lover really enjoys being with you that much and feels you truly are a catch, then he or she will not want to gamble all that by refusing to enter a full on serious relationship with you. After all, what is he or she waiting for? If he or she wants to be with you, then you will be together and no one will hesitate at the thought of being in a relationship with you- they will not want to risk losing you.
Note: If your lover shows signs of having commitment and intimacy issues that you believe goes deeper, then perhaps he or she should seek help for that, so that he/she can enjoy being in a healthy committed relationship with you. If your partner wants to be with you and make healthy changes, then he/she will do what it takes and will not make excuses.
Question: Is there such thing as love at first sight?
Answer: When we think of “love at first sight”, we usually imagine seeing someone and instantly falling in love with them, knowing then and there that he or she is someone really special, and perhaps even “the one”. This is a beautiful thought and we all want to believe that love can be this miraculously and easily arranged, but it would be best to come down from your cloud just a tad and see things more realistically.
While there is such thing as feeling very drawn to someone at first sight, it certainly takes more than a glance or look, to fall in love and feel love for someone. Feeling real true love for someone you do not know is very unlikely, as it takes time for that kind of bond to grow.
However, all serious romantic relationships start with a mutual attraction between two people. So these attractions at first sight are important to get the ball rolling, just do not confuse your strong attraction for someone for love. Start with the attraction and take it from there.
Question: When should you break up with someone?
There is no standard answer to this question, because every person’s idea of what good reasons are for a break up differs. You need to ask yourself what your limits are when it comes to disappointments in a relationship. What are you willing to work on and for how long? What things are you not willing to forgive or stick around for?
The best way to determine whether you should break up with your partner or not, is if you no longer feel connected- regardless of the efforts being made or not made (on one or both your parts). If you no longer feel motivated to continue the relationship and work with your lover in taking the next steps, then this relationship is most likely no longer working for you. The sooner you figure this out and honestly communicate with your partner, the better.
Additional Notes: Emotional and physical abuse is something no one should accept in a relationship, and should leave right away and seek professional help, as well as support from friend and loved ones.
Question: Is there hope for a relationship if one person wants to get married but the other one doesn’t?
Alina’s Answer: Two people do not have to get married in order to show how much they mean to each other. However, depending on your beliefs and values, marriage can indeed be essential and necessary in expressing true love and commitment. There is hope for a relationship if both people involved love and respect each other enough to find a compromise they both feel good about. If your partner is not completely “against” marriage, then it should not be such a huge problem for him/her to compromise and get married so you can feel more secure in the love relationship between you. If marriage is something you really want, but it is not more important than being with your partner, then perhaps you might want to consider not getting married (it is all about setting priorities). However, if marriage is a “must” for you and is against your moral values not to get married, you will then have to review your relationship and see if it will really work for you in the long run. Again, there is hope if you both can work together, but if you two are on complete opposite sides and cannot compromise, it would be best to make some important decisions now, rather than get very disappointed later.
Previously handled issues by Alina:
Question: Is it true that once a person cheats, that person is always a cheater and cannot be trusted again?
Alina's Answer:The experience of being cheated on is very painful and upsetting. However, if your partner cheats on you, it does not necessarily mean that he or she will always cheat on you from that point on. You should know your partner well enough, so his or her behavior after getting caught cheating will give you strong clues as to whether he/she will most likely cheat again. Pay attention to the effort being made on his or her part to make it up to you. If you still want to be in the relationship after being cheated on, the best thing to do is give yourself time to heal and get over it. You also need to give your partner time to prove to you that he or she can be trusted again, which will take a while since trust takes time to earn and even more time to re-earn. So no, once a cheater does not necessarily mean that a person will always be a cheater. People make mistakes sometimes and regret it and never do it again. Just keep an eye on it and listen to your instincts.
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Written by Alina van Jenni