The Real Reason Why Rejection Hurts So Much

If you have ever felt devastated by rejection, you are not alone. Recent research shows why: our brains don’t know the difference between the emotional pain of being rejected and actual physical pain. Erin dated John for six months. While he was still checking her out, she was falling deeply in love. Finally, he couldn’t deny the reality: they weren’t on the same page, and it wasn’t going to change. So he broke up with her, giving her the typical dating-stuck-in-the-friend-zone excuse: that he just didn’t see it going anywhere. This, in spite of the fact that they’d been sleeping […]

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Does Facebook Cause Breakups?

A new study suggests that if you’re like “slutty Joan,” you’re going to get a worse rap from your female friends than “slutty Jim” will get from his buddies. Are sexual double standards still going on? What does it mean in your world? On this episode of Love Strategies, Nina discusses this dicey question, as well as your own sex life and how it impacts the rest of your life. Also on the show: does Facebook cause breakups? The short answer is: it depends; sometimes yes and sometimes no. Find out when it does and when it doesn’t and why. And what do you think about […]

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He Backed Away – What Do I Do? [Love Strategies Podcast]

You are in love with the guy you believe is “the one.” Everything seems to be going great, when suddenly, he backs off. He gives you some kind of lame excuse, or he gives you no excuse, but he doesn’t give you a valid reason. You have nothing to work with, and you realized that you have been abandoned. It is a devastating feeling. Why does this happen? What are the signposts that may tell you when the guy you are dating could be the guy who exits abruptly? Most importantly, what can you do, and how can you respond? […]

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Breaking Up: Lies, Excuses, and Truths

Dear Nina: I just read Internet Dating for the Savvy Single – AWESOME. Packed with common sense dating advice. I am trying to get back to dating but I am having trouble getting over my last relationship. We met on a dating site and instantly clicked – rare. We had an eight month relationship which was fantastic. I got a STD test and found out I have HSV-1. Asymptomatic – I have NEVER in my life had a cold sore so I was shocked by the results. Needless to say my girlfriend told me that the HSV-1 was a deal-breaker. I […]

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Second Time Around [Love Strategies Podcast]

Why do we choose the people that we do? Sure, there’s physical attraction, but it turns out there are other factors at play when we act the crazy way we do in the name of love. Politics and religion have more to do with it than you may realize, even if you don’t talk about it! Find out all the fascinating science behind love and mate selection. Also in this Love Strategies show, find out what you need to know to make it more likely that love the second time around can actually work. Divorce and remarriage isn’t so easy, […]

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Miserable and Parents: Should We Divorce?

Dear Nina: My wife and I have been married for 12 years and have two children – a 9-year-old boy and 7-year-old girl. We have a difficult, unhappy marriage. There’s no outward fighting or drama, and our young children may not know there’s a problem. But my wife and I rarely have meaningful talks or display affection. We’ve become essentially roommates. We would like to divorce but are worried about the impact on our young kids. Our marriage isn’t completely intolerable. So should we stay together for the kids’ benefit? Or should we consider our own (selfish?) desires and divorce? […]

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The Running Woman: How Do I Stop and Love?

Hi Nina: I am attracted to emotionally unavailable men. However I am also emotionally unavailable; I always look for an escape clause. I watched my parents, who loved each other, have a miserable marriage for over 30 yrs (they divorced when I was 26). I swore that if I cared for someone & he or I wasn’t happy I would be strong enough to leave. I was in a relationship with a man for 6 yrs & as usual I left. I believe this was the right thing to do, for both of us. Now when I meet someone I am […]

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He’s Baaack!! Do I Give Him Another Chance?

Dear Nina: I just started reading your book [Temptations of the Single Girl] again after one year. I find it fascinating how it’s actually a work-book, and so many thing I didn’t get when I first read it, I’m starting to understand more now. My question is simple: After you’ve broken up a relationship and the guy comes around again trying to patch things up and start fresh, what is the attitude that you have to have with him, in order to avoid past patterns and eventually a second broken heart? What do you come to the table with, in order […]

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Relationship Rehab [Love Strategies Podcast]

If you are over twenty one and you have had your heart broken, you know what it’s like to need some recovery time. Nina dubs this “relationship rehab” and gives you the tools to effectively manage yourself through this very necessary life stage. The temptation is to skip over it, but that puts you on the “serial monogamist” pathway – the names & faces change, the issues remain the same. Learn: How to know when you need relationship rehab  To identify the patterns that need changing in order for you to attract a good, loving relationship What it means to put your […]

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The Man of My Dreams is Dating Another Woman in Reality

Dear Nina: What a God-send to find your site and books! I’m heartbroken after 1.5 years with the man I thought was the love of my life. I’m ordering your book Temptations of the Single Girl today and can’t wait to read it; I think I’m dealing with Loving a Wounded Guy. He was just ending a very painful marriage when we met, and I thought that all he needed was a good woman to help him heal. Because of his emotional fragility, I never brought up commitment or marriage, so I guess I Denied My True Desires as well. I […]

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Put the “Break” in Break-Up

“I choose to reclaim my sense of personal power.” Great! That’s a wonderful first step for you post break-up. Now you need specific actions and behaviors in order to maintain your personal power. I’ll start with a list of “don’ts”: Don’t call your Ex unless you have a specific purpose such as arranging to return belongings; in that case, keep it short and sweet When you feel the pain and resentment rise up, do not call your Ex while you are feeling that way; instead, take a few minutes to “download” – write your thoughts and feelings in the form […]

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Get Back in the Driver’s Seat of Your own Life

Nothing grabs your attention more than having someone you love abruptly exit. It’s emotionally traumatic, meaning that there’s no way to prepare yourself for such a sudden loss, so it hits you on all levels. You’re sad and/or angry, you can’t sleep, you can’t concentrate at work, and you wear out your support network with long, obsessive conversations about why this happened and what you might do. Deep down, what hits hardest is the realization that you’ve lost all sense of control over the situation. Your Ex has grabbed all the power in the relationship. This situation, like all challenging […]

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Do I Chase? Do I Grieve? Do I Move on?

Sara writes: “Help! My boyfriend, after a 3 month intense relationship, suddenly backed off. Is there any hope he’ll come back?” Danielle writes: “What can I do to win back the man I love? He broke up with me after two years saying he wasn’t ready for a commitment.” Chris writes: “I’m in love with Kristen and she went back to her old boyfriend after dating me for six months and telling me she loves me! Can I get her back?” What all of these stories have in common is loss: the person you loved left, backed off, or went […]

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If These Walls Could Talk, They Would Say “Tear Me Down”

What happens when you get to the point of “No matter what the outcome I will be okay?” I seem to have the problem now that I know I’m okay and don’t need someone, I don’t get close to anyone. There is an important distinction between individuation (basically, that I am a separate human being who is complete even when not in a relationship) and the fear of intimacy. You know it is the latter when you don’t allow yourself to get close to another person. As human beings, we seek the middle ground, but sometimes we miss. Perhaps at […]

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There’s No Pill for Being Obsessive-Compulsive Over an Ex

Sandy fell deeply in love with Greg over the course of their romance. By the fourth date she was sure he was the one for her. He seemed to return her feelings and their relationship progressed nicely until the fourth week. Suddenly, he stopped calling as much, begging off with excuses like overwork and needing time with his buddies. The more he pulled away, the more obsessed she became with trying to get him back. He began avoiding her calls and not returning her emails, and this sent her into an emotional tailspin. This story took a dramatic turn when she showed up at […]

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Listen to Your Emotional Red Flags

Cindy met Bill through her tennis club. He was charming, good-looking, and he swept her off her feet in a whirlwind courtship. Pushing for a quick marriage, he proposed after only two months. Though she felt a few flutters of anxiety, Cindy accepted, hoping for true love. Six months later, she deeply regretted the haste. Bill turned out to be both alcoholic and verbally abusive, with the threat of physical abuse lurking in the volatile atmosphere. Frightened, she moved out and filed for divorce. Later, she reflected on how she had gotten herself in such a painful place. Something deep inside Cindy had sent up warning […]

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Among the Rebounding Relationships, Someone is Bound to Drop the Ball

Cherie writes about her Ex dating a crack addict while continuing to see her (Cherie) on the side. She asks: Number 1- Do we still have a chance to get back together? Number 2- Will he stay with her? She says, “he is in a rebound relationship and I don’t think it will last much longer.” Cherie, your focus is entirely in the wrong place. Instead of wondering if you can get back together with this guy, you should be wondering why you want him back. You describe the relationship as a drama-rama of fighting and breaking up, followed by his hooking […]

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Don’t Cry For Me Argentina…or At Least Not For Long

If breaking up is hard to do, recovery is even harder, or so it seems. Heartbroken, licking your wounds, you may express your pain in a myriad of ways: withdrawal from friends and normal activities; eating empty carbohydrates or sweets (Ben & Jerry’s looks really good right now); drinking to excess; not eating (your appetite is gone); working too much; obsessively thinking about the lost love. But how long should you engage in this wound-licking, often dysfunctional, behavior? The answer is, of course, it depends. It depends on how long you give yourself permission to wallow in self-punishing behavior. Drinking too much, […]

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Anger Management: Don’t Scare Her Away

Dear Nina: My ex-girlfriend and I met on Myspace, emailed for a week, phoned for a week, then met for dinner and a walk. We dated for two and a half weeks, walking along the beach holding hands. Then she blew me off, saying it was just a friendship and she didn’t have time for a relationship. I was angry but I moved on. A month later, she called me, apologized and wanted another chance. We dated for three months and it went well. Her only complaint was that it was annoying to witness me getting mad at drivers in […]

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How Do I Ween Myself Off an On and Off Relationship?

Dear Nina: I have been in an on and off relationship for a year and a half and I know it’s not what I want. I’ve started to go out with someone new (only a couple of dates) and I know I need to tell my boyfriend, who in the past has been possessive and jealous. What do I say, and how do I handle his questions?   – Carolyn Carolyn: There is no easy way to tell someone that you are moving on, yet it’s not fair to take those steps while keeping the other person in the dark. […]

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In the Dating Pool: It’s Better to Dip Your Toes Than to do a Cannonball

Dear Nina: I’m in my mid-30’s. I haven’t dated for a couple years probably because of too much trauma in past relationships I’d kind of given up. I’m bucking up and getting back into the swing of things. I’ve never been married. I really want children and a best-friend, love-of-my-life husband. So, I’m doing my best to try a new way. I’ve read two of your books. In Temptations of the Single Girl, you recommend just going to lunch with someone on the first date. How by the book do I need to do this? I understand why this is […]

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How Do I Get Over His Cheating?

Dear Nina: I read Temptations of the Single Girl and absolutely loved it! It really spoke to me in a time of need. My question is this– how do you get over a relationship where there were multiple instances of cheating? I just found out my boyfriend of eight months began cheating on me for the 3rd time. I finally was able to walk away, but he said so many things and did so many things inconsistent with that type of behavior that I’m desperately afraid that I will have trouble believing what any man says for the rest of my […]

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Should I End It?

Dear Nina: I have been dating a guy for 4 1/2 months. He is 43 and I am 48. We hit it off immediately. I made the error of sleeping with him on our first date (I initiated it). He has never been married and has no children. He wants a non exclusive relationship to see how things work out between us. He says he has only been in love once (15 years ago) and does not want to rush into anything. I agreed to wait and see if he decides he wants to be with me exclusively. I am […]

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Overcoming the Temptation to Settle

I’ve recently ended a loving, healthy relationship (after three years of dating) due to my partner’s unwillingness to make a long-term commitment. This was someone I deeply loved who was right for me in many ways, and I am struggling to understand why this has happened and what I need to do to go forward. How do I come to terms with this loss so that my heart is open in the future and I can move on to something even better? – Jennifer First of all, I acknowledge you for doing something that takes tremendous courage and strength. You […]

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Can Former Lovers Be Friends?

I’ve been asked this question countless times over the years: Can two people who were in love and break up then be friends? The answer is twofold: It depends, and maybe in time but usually not at first. To really get at this answer, we have to look at a definition of friendship. There are many kinds of friends in life – some are situational, such as co-workers or school mates. When you change jobs or graduate, those friendships often don’t last. It’s not that you didn’t like each other; it’s that you didn’t have a bond deep enough to […]

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