Following is a response to Online Dating Stories (May 11):
Reader – “I'm a woman, 54, with two school-age kids, an older daughter and a grandson, and I’ve been online dating for more than a decade.
“It resulted in two long-term relationships during those years, but neither led to a family union.
“I agree with the belief that dating is better than moping. Just tread lightly, with a touch of humour, a motto that Safety Comes First, and the slogan, “A rolling stone gathers no moss.”
“I’m now in an amazing relationship. We just celebrated our one-year anniversary, we’re on the same page, and planning our future together without holding back.
“I'm a giver and a nurturer, and I’ve learned that some men take advantage of these traits.
“Well, this man exceeds me, and makes me feel that I’ve found true love where giving and receiving are a natural exchange, not an elaborated, pragmatic scheme.
“Online dating works! It comes with no guarantee but neither does moping around on your own.”
Ellie – Personal stories like this are the best testament about how to make online dating work. Readers are also invited to send in any cautionary tales from negative online dating experiences.
I’m in a relationship with a talker. I literally feel like I’m drowning in words.
Early in the relationship it wasn't so noticeable, but now that the first bloom of passion has faded and we live together, I’ve realized that I’m with a guy who talks non- stop.
He’s a good person whom I love very much, and he’s proven his commitment to me and this relationship.
I feel like we’re compatible in so many ways - except for his need to talk all the time.
I’ve tried to bring this up in gentle ways – joking, and occasional comments to try to make him aware of this characteristic.
He says he knows he does this, but it hasn't changed his behaviour.
If he’s in the midst of one of his long-winded stories, he gets very hurt if I point out to him that he has been speaking non-stop for 20 minutes.
His dream date is an evening at home, with the TV off, and him talking. His favourite vacation - long car drives so he can talk the whole time.
I need some strategies to try and deal with this or I fear I’ll have to say good-bye to a good man because he talked me right out of the relationship.
P.S. I suspect that anxiety is part of the issue. I’ve encouraged him to seek counselling and talk to his family doctor, which he hasn’t done.
Too Many Words
He’s a compulsive talker and it’s the compulsion that’s the issue.
But whether this reflects anxiety, or insecurity, or some other behaviour strategy (Combatting fear of rejection? Controlling attention?) can only be investigated by a professional if he’s willing.
Do not try to diagnose him yourself. He’s likely had this communication pattern for years.
Tell him that you love him and want the relationship to last.
But be direct (and gentle). Say that his obsessive talking will come between you, unless he seeks therapy to probe the reason.
Offer to attend some sessions with him, so that you’ll both recognize when the triggers for him to talk compulsively take hold.
And so that, by learning behaviour modification techniques together, you’ll both know how to help him change the pattern.
I'm 15 and have liked this guy for years. He mostly talks to me about homework.
I'm Indian and so is he, but he's mostly friends with the white kids and all the brown girls hate him.
My friend’s also Indian and she hates him. But he texts her about things that aren't homework and I feel they really like each other.
She said there's nothing going on.
But the texts continue. She knows how much I like him, but obviously doesn't care. What should I do?
By age 15, the kids you’ve liked when younger have changed somewhat and so have you.
Liking someone gets more complicated.
But one “guideline” can help you:
There’s no pleasure in liking a guy who doesn’t like you the same way. Others will like you, when you’re more self-confident and friendly with them.
Stop worrying about this guy who sounds too discriminatory about whom he befriends, to trust.
Tip of the day:
Online dating is as successful as you make it, so long as you guard your safety and have realistic expectations.