Dear Dr. Romance:

Thanks for sharing the great article  "A Good Cry" !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I have a question about it: 
"....If you're trying to help someone cope with a loss, don't try to make the bereaved person feel better. It just shuts down their grief, and makes them feel that their feelings are unwanted. Listen if you can. Have patience with the grieving person. Support them when they cry; it's part of the process....."

What do you meant with Support them ? or how to support them apart from listen to them.

I also wonder if in all your articles do you have something about friends can not be boyfriend-girlfriend anymore.

After a despicable divorce done by my wife (almost 4 years ago- we were married for almost 20 years) I am finally trying to go on with my life. Yes, it is still very difficult to go on again. (sorry if I disappoint you).

I have several friends (most of them women) and with some of them I tried to start a relationship but they told me that I crossed the border of only be friends. In other words they just see me as a friend and not a 'candidate'. When I asked how can that be, they told me that I am extremely sweet, courteous, funny. They say I am a diamond as a man but they can not see me more as their partner.

One day I was talking about that with a friend (a man) and he told me the same. he told me that I am too sweet with the girls and that can be the problem. I asked myself 'what's the problem with that?'

Sometimes it gives me the impression that maybe a today's girl does not matter all these characteristics I do have. Do you think that perhaps I should be try to be more bitter and unpolite?  After my divorce I lost all my confidence and now after these events my confidence (and my heart again) are starting to feel pain again and honestly I do not want this pain again. The worst thing is after that happens, I am not able to see her again as a friend and I do not want to have contact with her (because I have feelings for her) anymore which cause me a lot of pain but I think is the best for me (and my hurt heart)

Warm regards and thanks again for this article !!

Dear Reader:

To answer your question: "What do you meant with Support them ? or how to support them apart from listen to them." Listening is important, but understanding and giving feedback that shows you understand is as important. When someone is sad or grieving, they need someone else to listen to them talk about their feelings. This is not always easy.

I think these women are trying to be nice, and not hurt your feelings. Of course friends can become lovers, but both parties need to want that. I think perhaps your ongoing anger at your ex-wife is putting your lady friends off. Whether you mention it or not, they may be picking up scary, angry vibes under the politeness. You also may be not paying attention to whether your lady friends are giving you signals that they want to be closer. You may be too wrapped up in your own feelings, and not picking up the right signals.

"Do you think that perhaps I should be try to be more bitter and unpolite?"  Definitely not. Bitterness and rudeness will only push people away. I think looking inside yourself and processing the anger that is leaking through this email is the way to go. No matter how polite you are, if you're still holding so much anger toward your ex, people will sense it.

Forgiveness is not easy. When you have truly forgiven, there is no lingering resentment, because the problem is solved. You have learned how to heal the hurt and prevent its reoccurrence, so you can forgive and wipe the slate clean. Knowing how to express feelings and figuring out a way to prevent a similar hurt from happening again makes it possible to forgive each other.

The dictionary defines to forgive as "to give up resentment of" but my definition of forgiving is a bit different. Giving up resentment is nearly impossible when there are too many real injuries to forgive. It can also be unwise, because resentment is a reminder to be careful around this person or in this situation. Letting go of resentment without fixing the problem makes you vulnerable to being hurt or mistreated over and over again.

However, hanging on to resentment will not protect you or allow you to let go of the past and move on. As long as you hold onto resentment, you will feel like a helpless, hopeless, dependent victim of your past history. You do need to learn to forgive, but just "giving up resentment" is not sufficient.

Steps to Forgiving
To forgive effectively, follow these main steps.

1.Understand why you're hurt. It's common to have hurt feelings and be disappointed but not know exactly what it's all about. What are you feeling? Are you angry at someone? What did he or she do? Are you sad? Why? Taking the time to get clear about your disappointment and hurt feelings will make it easier for you to be clear with your partner, and easier for your partner to figure out what to do. If your partner did something wrong, just blaming still doesn't make it clear exactly how you were hurt, or what exactly you need to forgive your partner for.  

2. Know how to take care of yourself. It seems very logical that if someone else hurt you, then that person should fix it. But it doesn't always work that way. If someone who loves you has hurt you, he or she either doesn't understand how you feel, isn't thinking clearly, or isn't in control of his or her own actions. This can be true in minor hurts and major ones. If it's a very serious problem, get help. Forgiveness skills are so important that you really need to learn them if you don't have them already.

3. Figure out your responsibility in the problem. Were you too defensive? Did you not understand your partner? Were you so focused on your own goals, you didn't consider your partner's? Most problems are contributed to by both people involved.

4. When you really understand what happened, and have accepted your own share of the responsibility, the blame and anger should fall away. At that point, it's easy to let go, forgive, and move on.

Dr. Romance's 3 tips to getting over the drama of a breakup.

Breakups are hard enough as it is. If you indulge in drama, it gets harder to move on and rebuild
your life.

1. Swear off guilt: Guilt is like time payments you can keep suffering forever. Instead, do the grieving you need to do, figure out how you helped create the problems (or stayed around for them) and decide to change what didn't work before. Grieve all you need, but don't exaggerate your feelings.

2. Don't assign blame: If you blame your ex, you'll eventually turn that blame on yourself. So, instead of blaming, find some more neutral things to say "We saw things differently" "We had some good years, then things changed" Everyone's just trying to survive this difficult situation, including you and including her. Take responsibility for your part of the problem.

3. Focus on re-building your life. Drama is not practical it's a negative fantasy. Focus on the practical things you need to do and think. Get your emotional, personal and financial life together as soon as you can. Think about all the things you've been freed up to do, and do some of them. Try things you would never have done before, or things you've always wanted to do. Use the energy from your anger and grief, and channel them into doing things just for you. Try out for that local theater, take dancing lessons or an art class, learn to scuba dive, get a pet, plant a garden. All of those things will keep you focused on the present and the future, instead of the past.

What's important is that you communicate that the air is cleared, the hurt forgiven, and the problem is over. You won't be able to do that honestly if you haven't done the previous steps.

You don't have to condemn your partner to protect yourself from out-of-control or thoughtless behavior. Instead, you can recognize that both of you are fallible human beings, do what is necessary to fix your part of the problems, and then move on.  

Once you let go of the anger, you'll find that other people, including women, are more comfortable around you.  That's the key to making a connection.

"Better Intimacy, Better Sex" will help you understand how to create closeness.  "Getting to Yes" will show you how to get the kinds of responses you want. "Friends with Benefits" will answer your questions about the friend/lover difference.  My new course: Grief: What it is, Why we have it, and How to get through it  will show you how to process and resolve your grief and anger over the divorce.

Love Styles: How to Celebrate Your Differences  will teach you tools for discovering a potential partner's needs and wants.

Love Styles Grief

For low-cost phone counseling, email me at

Author's Bio: 

Tina B. Tessina, Ph.D. is a licensed psychotherapist in S. California since 1978 with over 30 years experience in counseling individuals and couples and author of 13 books in 17 languages, including It Ends With You: Grow Up and Out of Dysfunction; The Unofficial Guide to Dating Again; Money, Sex and Kids: Stop Fighting About the Three Things That Can Ruin Your Marriage, The Commuter Marriage, and her newest, Love Styles: How to Celebrate Your Differences. She writes the “Dr. Romance” blog, and the “Happiness Tips from Tina” email newsletter.