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Ask Dr. Sherry: 'Why Can't I Keep a Man?'

"You and many other women are working way too hard to get a man," says the doc.

You’ve seen celebrity clinical psychologist Dr. Sherry Blake, author of The Single Married Woman: True Stories of Why Women Feel All Alone in Their Marriages, keep the Braxton sisters calm on the hit show Braxton Family Values. Now it’s your turn to sit in her chair…

Dr. Sherry,

I’m a faithful reader and I love your heartfelt and real advice. Here’s the scoop: I’ve been having a hard time keeping a man in my life. I’ve noticed certain patterns and I always end up with the short end of the stick. I was recently seeing this guy whom I reconnected with after not speaking for a year. The reason for our one-year hiatus was that I never called him after our first date. He called me up a year later with the hope of getting a second chance, but I think I blew it when I told him that I’m keeping my options open. I tried explaining myself by breaking down my reasons for feeling this way. As a result, he became very distant. I’ve tried to straighten things out numerous times now, but to no avail. What should I do?



Dear Confused,

Thanks for being a faithful reader. I appreciate each of you. Now, your dilemma is very common among many women. Yes, in some cases, a woman has a man, but her behavior runs him away. However, I don’t think that is the case here. The problem may not be keeping a man, in your case, but rather its getting the man. You had a one-year hiatus from this guy because you did not call him after your first date. Really? Why was it necessary, or your responsibility, to call him back after the first date? When you agree to do things like this, you give the impression that you are desperate or hungry for a man. This allows him to have little investment in establishing a relationship with you.

If this guy really wanted a relationship with you, and you failed to call, he would have called you—trust me!—and it would not have taken him a year to do it. Stop blaming yourself for his distant behavior. He is playing games too! He only called to see it you would still be around. You have no need to explain yourself to someone that is not worth an explanation or a conversation.

You and many other women are working way too hard to get a man. If you are working that hard to find a date, you will find yourself working even harder to make him your boyfriend or your husband. Think about it.

The reality is, this guy was never yours to keep. Move on and count this as a lesson learned. Never work harder than the other person is willing to work to have a relationship. Otherwise, you will always end up with the short in of the stick. Set your priorities and wait for a man worthy of your energy to come around. — Dr. Sherry

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