Women Don't Lie - Men Don't Listen
My name is Joey. I'm nineteen years old and I went out with this girl for a year and a half. She was my first love - I mean I was head over heels for this girl. She was beautiful, very attractive, very intelligent and funny - qualities you can't always find nowadays. She always said she loved me - that's what she said, even after she cheated on me six months into our relationship.
After what she did, obviously, my trust in her diminished. We would argue almost every day. It got very bad - yet I was the one to call her, I was the one to forgive her, and I was the one to want her back.
As the year went on, she kept playing with my head with her lying and other mind games. No person has ever made me feel like garbage the way she did.
Then one day, she screwed me over for the last time. It's now been six months since I've last talked to or seen her. During the holidays, she left me a message on my answering machine wishing me a Merry Christmas and "all the best" for the New Year, but I didn't call her back.
Even though I hate her guts for what she did to me, I'm still in love with her! Why did she call me - did she do it just because it was the holidays? Does she feel guilty about what she did? Should I call her back? I know I shouldn't because it wouldn't be the right thing to do - but I'm so confused! Please coach me, Doc!
Joey who is very mixed up
As my Uncle Jethro Love would say, "That girl played you like a fiddle, boy!" You may not think this is the right time for levity, but it really is. Let's proceed.
One line from your letter brought tears to my eyes - it nearly made me fall off my chair, laughing. The line was, "Does she feel guilty?" Boy, are you na?e! Maybe you should quit dating and do stand-up. The reason for my fit of laughter is this: your question doesn't apply to the situation. Joey, when a woman's Interest Level is 49% or lower, she couldn't care less about your feelings. How can you ask a woman to feel guilty about the way she's treating you when she doesn't care about you - do you see the contradiction?
Let me put it to you even more bluntly, your girlfriend's Interest Level in you is dead. You either killed it through not practicing confidence, self-control, and Challenge - the three male strength qualities - or it was never above 50% to begin with. The moment your girlfriend's Interest Level got below 50%, she started thinking about other men. Contrast this to women who have high Interest Level - they are monogamous and would never even think about having an affair.
The male cannot fathom that a woman who supposedly loved him at one time could put him through such excruciating pain; but when a woman's Interest Level hits 49%, she's more than capable of doing this. Joey, your male ego is working overtime right now telling you, "She still loves you. Give her another chance. She's just confused." She's not confused, she just lacks Interest Level - not to mention integrity, as her infidelity demonstrates.
Look, guy; I know you're in a lot of pain. The words, "But I was always good to her!" must be running through your head. Right now you're asking yourself, "If love is supposed to feel so good, why do I feel like I feel like I belong in Intensive Care?" You feel this way because you didn't run a tight ship, and now your love boat is on the bottom of the ocean.
The real question to ask yourself is: "Why did I stay with a woman who knifed me in the back?" Down deep you knew it was over with this girl, but you stayed with her anyway. I'm curious - are you a masochist? Because if she had used a real knife, you would have asked her to break off the blade, like they do at Rikers Island. Am I off base here, Joey?
Before you get too depressed, there's some good news. You may already be on the right track. You said you haven't called your girlfriend in six months - even after she called you over the holidays. You did the right thing. She called because she wondered why you stopped groveling so soon. If you had taken her come-on seriously, she only would have tortured you some more before eventually dropping you. At this moment, she's responding to you being a Challenge, but this is only temporary. Why? Because you're pricking her ego, not raising her Interest Level.
Joey, I know you're thinking of your True Love every waking moment, but you need to remember that she's only thinking about the guy who replaced you! It's time to write her off and get new home phone numbers.
From now on, Joey, let The "System" be your guide. Go slowly, and never forget how bad it was for you to lose your objectivity. Just remember, when it's over with a woman, it's over - because once her Interest Level hits 49%, it ain't never coming back.
Guys, e-mail me at email@example.com with your love challenges. All will be answered, but because of space, only letters of general interest will be printed. To find out more about The "System" visit me at: www.doclove.com or (800) 404-2644.
Doc Love is a talk show host, entertainment speaker, and coaches men in his seminars. For the past 30 years he has asked thousands of women, "Why do you stay with one man versus another?"