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Dating Adv ice: Let Him Say What He Means

The greatest piece of dating advice I ever got came from a friend's mother, and it was this: "Whatever a guy tells you, take it at face value."

Since I was the type to hyperanalyze a man's every comment, gesture, or sneeze, this advice came as an epiphany to me. It freed me from having to decipher what "I love you, but I'm not in love with you" meant, for instance, especially when the guy who blurted it had been happily spending his every free moment with me.

The current issue of a popular women's magazine offers two articles telling single women how to decipher their man's true feelings. The first, entitled "The Male Brain Explained" is self-explanatory. The second, "Understand His Mating Mind-Set," purports to help the reader to interpret where her guy's head is, so that she can "better date and relate to him." Give me a break.

Here's my take on this school of dating:

It is not your job to figure out what a guy is thinking (or how his flipping brain operates). It's not your responsibility to help him get in touch with his feelings, or overcome the childhood trauma of having to flush his dead goldfish down the toilet (which resulted in the shutting down of said feelings), or teach him how to communicate in an intelligible fashion.

Your job is to accept what he says at face value, and that, my friend, is extremely freeing.

Once a guy utters: "It's not you, it's me," "I'm not good enough for you, or "I love you, but I'm not in love with you," believe him. Accept that he is telling the truth (the exception to this rule is, "She didn't mean a thing to me, I swear!").

Act accordingly.

If you want a happy relationship, you need a partner who can express himself, is affectionate, and who genuinely cares about your feelings. You need someone who is in touch with his emotions. You need a man who possesses the courage that falling in love requires.

You will not find him while you're analyzing why another guy announced that he wasn't in love hours after spending an earth-shaking night with you, during which he seemed entirely besotted.

Say goodbye to the joker and open yourself to love with a better man. Stop yourself cold from making excuses. Banish him from your mind.

Hold out for the guy who deserves you.

About the Author

Terry Hernon MacDonald is the author of "How to Attract and Marry the Man of Your Dreams." Check out her blog at


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