How Do I Answer “Why Haven’t You Ever Been Married?”

How Do I Answer - Why Haven't You Ever Been Married

Evan, I have bought all of your audiobooks. I listen to them over and over again. They have been a huge help. But one question I need your help with is, what do I say to men when they ask me why I haven’t been married. I’m 40 years old and I have never been married. I’ve never been engaged. I’ve never been proposed to. And I haven’t dated many men long term. I have moved around to a few states over the last 12 years for my career. Why isn’t “I’ve been focused on my career” seem like a great answer? And let me tell you; every single guy I meet or go on a date with asked me on the first date, why I’m not married. It is not a compliment – it feels like they are trying to figure out if I am fucked up. I need your help Evan. This question is making me freeze on all my dates.

Thank you,

Susan

Hard to believe I haven’t answered this one in nine years of blogging. I’m almost positive I have a video about it in Love U, but that’s not going to help you much right now.

So brace yourself: I’m pretty sure you don’t know where this one is headed…

First off, let me disabuse you of one crucial notion: that these men are insulting you.

They are not. They are as shocked as you are that a great catch like you can, miracle of miracles, still be single at age 40. They see exactly what you see, but less. Smart, strong, successful woman. Attractive. Good energy. Vibrant personality. Lots of love to give. How did she possibly slip through and find her way to me?

At least that’s the way I felt when I was 35 and single. And the way I feel when I routinely meet and coach 40-year-old single women to this very day. So please stop with the “he’s insulting me,” routine. He’s not. He’s astounded at his good fortune and rightfully wants to know if it’s too good to be true.

They are as shocked as you are that a great catch like you can, miracle of miracles, still be single at age 40.

Next, the tough love: the issue isn’t with these men and this very predictable question (which has previously been asked by your mother, your boss, and your best girlfriends).

The issue is with you, Susan.

The issue is that you’re stumped by the question.

The issue is that you’re embarrassed by the answer.

The issue is that asking you – even in a light way – why such a great catch like you is still single at 40 is tantamount to asking you to face all your flaws and questionable choices.

That’s why you’re freezing. You’re being asked a serious, unresolved existential question that you’re supposed to answer in an easy, breezy fashion to a stranger.

It doesn’t have to be that way.

Instead of freezing up or getting angry, try making peace with your past. Once you’ve done so – instead of beating yourself up for being in this position – you can answer authentically, with a smile:

“That’s a great question. For years, I think I put my career first. It was exciting and I was successful at it – more successful than I was at dating. Because of that, I put even more energy into it, and ended up moving to a few different states throughout my thirties. Hard to have a successful relationship if you’re always moving. Finally, I realized that although I’ve seen the world and achieved what I wanted careerwise, I’m really looking forward to planting roots and creating an epic relationship. That’s how I ended up here tonight. And you?”

He’s not trying to figure out if you’ve fucked up in the past; we all have. He only wants to know that you’re confident and ready for a future.

It’s authentic. It’s powerful. It’s vulnerable. And, best of all, it’s TRUE.

Long story short: if a guy asks why a great catch like you is still single, tell him the real reason, candidly and unapologetically.

He’s not trying to figure out if you’ve fucked up in the past; we all have. He only wants to know that you’re confident and ready for a future.

Can I Reach Out to Him on Social Media When We’re First Starting to Date?

Can I Reach Out to Him on Social Media When We're First Starting to Date

I read your book “Why He Disappeared” and really enjoyed it. Thanks for all the great advice. Even after reading the book though, a man I recently dated disappeared. I was surprised because he even followed up with me after our last date to tell me what a great time he had. We were mutual friends before we started dating, and so we were already connected via Facebook, Twitter etc. While dating I would occasionally “like” his posts on social media, or maybe send him a funny article that I saw. I know that in your book you recommend against initiating contact during the dating phase of a relationship but because the things he posted are public, and it’s not as though I was texting him to set up a date, I assumed this form of contact would not take the fun of “the chase” away from him. Since he has stopped contacting me though, I’m not so sure that I was correct in my assumption. Can you offer me tips on how I should be treating the people I date on social media? It seems pretty silly not to “like” a public post out of fear of coming across too strongly. Thanks again!

Jill

One of the trickiest things about publishing anything is that the second you’re done with it, you realize it needs further revision. It never occurred to me that one of the main concepts in Why He Disappeared, called “mirroring” would be as nuanced as it’s turned out to be. But evidently it is. Which is why your question is a perfect opportunity for me to explain how to make mirroring work best for you.

For the uninitiated, mirroring is designed for one purpose – to prevent women from chasing down men who are not interested in them. It is not a game. It is not a throwback to the 1950’s. It requires no thought and very little effort. Mirroring presumes one basic thing about that guy you like: if he’s interested in you, he’ll let you know.

So…

If he texts you, text him back right away.
If he calls you, call him back right away.
If he says he wants to see you this weekend and you’re free, say yes.
If he says he wants to be your boyfriend and you feel the same, say yes.

Mirroring is reactive, not proactive.

Mirroring presumes one basic thing about that guy you like: if he’s interested in you, he’ll let you know.

It gives men the space they need to choose you, prevents you from looking needy and desperate, and reveals what men are thinking – all without doing ANYTHING.

Mirroring is based on confidence, not insecurity. You should never have to chase a guy down and remind him that you’re alive and available and want to see him. All you have to do is be warm, enthusiastic and available when he reaches out to you.

The primary exception to mirroring comes in the form of beta/feminine men. Beta/feminine men are often some of the best husbands out there, but they conduct themselves in a passive way, leaving women wondering how they feel. In short, these nice guys are so insecure about pursuing you and making a move that they often wait for YOU to express interest in them. “You can call me, you know,” might be their mantra. Which is fine. However, this puts you in your “masculine energy,” and forces you to be the one to reach out to him to gauge his interest and availability.

As a dating coach for women, I don’t like that model. Nor do most of my clients. They may be proactive superstars in real life, but they tend to prefer being courted by men.

Which brings us back to the beginning. When a man is interested in you, you don’t have to do anything except say yes. You never have to reach out to him because he will do it for you. It’s in his best interest – whether he wants to get laid or whether he wants to be your boyfriend. You have to trust that.

Bringing this back to you, Jill, I wouldn’t worry too much that you scared off an otherwise interested guy by liking his Facebook posts. I would say that, in general, I would avoid initiating ANYTHING with a man until he’s your full-fledged boyfriend. Let him do the chasing. Let him wonder when you’ll call him back. Let him worry about whether he’s good enough to be your boyfriend.

Do nothing, Jill, and watch the men who really want you step up to the plate.

The second you start texting him, sending him photos, and following his every move thru social media, you’ve signaled one thing to him: “You’ve already won.” You don’t have to reach out to me. You don’t have to wonder what I’m thinking. You don’t have to do anything. Because I’m pursuing you. Because I like you. Because I want you to be mine.

Suddenly, there’s no mystery, no dance, no wonder – just a girl chasing a boy through the schoolyard to get his attention and wondering why he’s not chasing her instead.

Do nothing, Jill, and watch the men who really want you step up to the plate.

If you like this post, share it with your friends who need it. You know who they are. Women who aren’t sure why he hasn’t texted back, or whether he’s going to call this weekend, or whether he wants to be exclusive.

If you don’t know where a guy stands with you, try doing nothing. If you never hear from him again, chances are, he wasn’t that interested to begin with.

Finally, click here to learn Why He Disappeared – and, more importantly, how to make the good ones want to stick around forever.

Is It Wrong to Expect A Boyfriend to Help Me With Laborious Tasks?

Is It Wrong to Expect A Boyfriend to Help Me With Laborious Tasks

I am a single mom of 5 children, (teens and very young adults). My BF and I have been together 4 years and he comes over almost every day. I rarely go to his house as I am a busy mom with work, kids, and sports. He has a daughter and visits with her every other weekend. My question is: should he help me with major projects around my house? I don’t expect him to pay anything out of pocket but to help. The main water line to our house broke and we’ve been without water for 2 weeks and to save money, my 2 older boys and I were digging/shoveling dirt and rock 2ft down and about 4ft across and my BF did not offer to help. He was watching the Warriors game in my house while we were outside doing some serious hard labor. I feel since he’s here almost every day that he should be a man and say, I got this babe let me help you. But he didn’t. It upset me and made me question his character….

Thanks,
Patty

I hope you’re alive to read this, since I answer emails a month or two late and you were already without water for two weeks. If you are, brace yourself for what may be a more nuanced answer than you want.

People (not just men) are selfish – by which I mean that we all seek to avoid pain and receive pleasure.
People (not just men) like to give and receive love in a variety of different ways.
People (not just men) aren’t mindreaders.
People (not just men) aren’t always going to agree on what’s appropriate behavior.

You with me so far? Good.

As a dating coach, I would be more likely to question why you have a boyfriend for four years and you’re not married, or why you have a boyfriend for 4 years and just realized that he’s selfish.

I can only guess that the kids make moving in/marriage too complicated so you both stay content with the status quo, and that he’s selfish in a lot of ways, but you’re only highlighting this one.

Next time, consider the time/money/frustration equation and see if you can have someone else fix the problem for you.

But again, that’s just a guess. I’m a professional husband and I can point to a dozen instances in which I recall being similarly selfish and my wife can point to three dozen more. My point is that this doesn’t seem to be about the water line; as you said, this seems to be about the very nature of his character.

Is this the norm, or is this an aberration? If the latter, you let him off the hook and perhaps ask him for his big manly help on this monster project. If the former, you have to assess whether his selfishness predominates enough for you to get rid of him entirely. Only you can answer that question.

I agree with you that sitting on the couch and watching TV while you’re sweating up a storm is somewhere between selfish and clueless. But unless you specifically asked him to lend you a hand and he pointedly said no, it’s not like he’s rejected your cry for help – he just didn’t offer to – probably because it’s much easier to watch the NBA than it is to dig into rock.

Personally, I would never dig into rock to fix your main water lines, nor would I let you dig into rock to do so. That’s what they invented plumbers for. Next time, consider the time/money/frustration equation and see if you can have someone else fix the problem for you – perhaps your generous new boyfriend will even throw in a few bucks to make it happen.

I’m Dating a Man Who Dated a Model and I’m Feeling Really Insecure.

I'm Dating a Man Who Dated a Model and I'm Feeling Really Insecure

The man I am involved with is a fashion photographer, whose latest ex is a model. I am in general quite self-confident (I have a great career that I love and have been dreaming about, and in general am happy with everything else in my life), but I am starting to feel inadequate about our relationship, or rather, how he sees me and why he is with me. I don’t look even close to how models look and I don’t want to look like them, to be honest. I have always been comfortable in my skin until I met him.

Now all I can think about is how he sees me and all my imperfections, which are many – I’ve gone through many surgeries and other related medical treatments. This has given me strength and taught me to love myself, but it certainly left its marks on my body. His involvement with models bothers me and most of his friends are from the industry. I believe that since it’s just the beginning, it’s probably easier to end the relationship not to hurt anyone in the future. But something stops me as other than this, he’s everything I’ve always wanted in a man. I am scared to bring it up with him as I don’t want him to think I am not the self-confident and strong woman he thinks I am, and I obviously don’t want him to quit his job or to unfriend anyone, as it’s his life and his choices. What would you advise in this situation?

Lainie

Once upon a time, there was a very confident dating coach. He had gone out with hundreds of women, hooked up a decent amount, and never had any doubts about getting a second date (Of course, he was wrong about 20% of the time, but that’s neither here nor there.)

Then, one day, the dating coach met a SEX coach. He was flummoxed. Not that he was previously insecure with his performance in bed, but, really, a SEX coach? Belying his experience, he interviewed the sex coach like an insecure, needy intern, and although they did hook up (he’s proud to say), he was EXTREMELY self-conscious about the entire thing (and somewhat surprised that she was so selfish in bed.) They did not continue beyond two dates – largely because of his insecurity. He simply wasn’t confident enough to be himself around her.

99% of us are NOT models.

That’s personal anecdote #1. Here’s a similar story from the other side – your letter reminds me of an ex-girlfriend of mine who used a similar line of thinking to justify breaking up with me:

“You like looking at models. I don’t look like a model. You must not be attracted to me. I’m going to make a big deal about the fact that there are more attractive women on Earth and ruin what was previously a great relationship over my own insecurity.”

So let’s get this straight, Lainie:

I have no idea who your fashion photographer guy is – whether he’s the guy you’re “involved” with, which might just mean he’s fucking you, or whether he’s a “boyfriend,” which means he has committed to exploring a long-term relationship with you. But I do know this:

99% of us are NOT models.

I have never walked into a party and felt like the best looking guy in the room. I’m okay, but my self-esteem derives from my intelligence, my wit, my moral compass, my heart, my sensitivity and so on. I realized that I didn’t have to win a beauty contest with all other men. I just had to really, really like myself – to the point that I never worried whether women would like me.

It was that CONFIDENCE – not intelligence, money, or looks – that served me well for 10 years and 300 dates. And it’s that same confidence that will either allow you to recognize that you’re a prize for this photographer…or sabotage it with your own insecurity.

Put it this way: if he’s with you, he’s attracted to you. Case closed.

Put it this way: if he’s with you, he’s attracted to you. Case closed.

What’s going to KEEP him attracted to you is your confident, positive, queen-like attitude – where you can be yourself at all times and realize that if this guy doesn’t appreciate you as you are, it’s HIS loss, not yours.

Don’t break up with him, Lainie.

Break up with this negative self-talk and you’ll be just fine.

Can I Stay With a Man If I’m More “Masculine” Than He Is?

Can I Stay With a Man If I'm More

I’m a 24-year-old woman living in Las Vegas who has no trouble finding and keeping guys… some of which happen to be good guys! Like my boyfriend. (I attribute that skill set to you and other dating coaches who helped me get into the dating world of adults in a healthy way.)

My boyfriend is a hard worker, great blue eyes, gentlemanly, fun man who I’ve known for about a year and have been dating for 2 months. I love being around him and being intimate with him…except for one thing: I’m “stronger” than he is. And I don’t mean this in some kind of man-bashing way. I’m not a man hater, I LOVE men. I prefer being the submissive partner and am sooo excited when I’m with a man I can relax and be my complete feminine self with. So when I say “stronger,” I suppose what I’m really saying is I feel like I have to be more in my masculine around him and it’s turning me off. Big time. He looks to me for strength, he looks to me for self-control, and he looks to me to “keep him in check”. I don’t want that. I don’t want to mommy him and I don’t want to feel like I need to monitor him. It kills all attraction for me!

I’ve told him this and his only response is, “that’s what I need in a woman.” He’s already said he loves me and has proposed. Which should excite me but his rush turned me off even more!!!

Am I crazy for wanting to break up with a good hard working man who treats me wonderfully for these reasons? He’s flipping a switch in me I can’t even flip back on my own when I try to…

Rain

You’re not crazy, Rain. In fact, you sound like you’re seeing things completely clearly.

I know I’ve written about this before. And that sometimes I need to repeat myself in case the message wasn’t clear the first time around. But some people just can’t be bothered to click on links, which is why I’m going to give you largely the same message as I gave to the other women who were dissatisfied with seemingly great guys.

Through no fault of your own, you’re not feeling it for this guy. Period.

It doesn’t matter if he’s cute, kind, fun, and hardworking if YOU’RE not attracted to him. Sure, there are women who would kill to find a guy like your boyfriend, and, you know what? They should get a chance at him. Because, through no fault of your own, you’re not feeling it for this guy. Period.

Doesn’t mean there’s something wrong with you. Doesn’t mean you’re too picky. Doesn’t mean you’re heartless for breaking up with this young man. If anything, you saw into your future and you didn’t like what you saw: a 50-year-relationship with a man who conducts himself like a child.

Is it possible that he’ll grow up? Sure. Is it probable? Maybe. Do you want to take your chances and wait? I wouldn’t think so. One of my core coaching principles is that you should never have a relationship dependent on someone changing on your behalf.

If you don’t trust a guy, don’t marry him and think it’ll get better.

If you have no fun with a guy, don’t marry him and complain that your marriage is boring.

If you are not attracted to a guy, don’t force yourself because he’s nice and you don’t want to hurt him.

He deserves a woman who is attracted to him – AND is willing to put up with being in the Mommy role.

Let him down gently and when you get back out there, maybe raise your age range by a few years to start dating men instead of boys.

It’s only been two months and he’s proposed to you. This is not a man who is ready to make smart, long-term decisions – for himself or for you. Let him down gently and when you get back out there, maybe raise your age range by a few years to start dating men instead of boys.

A young woman with a good head on her shoulders like you will have no shortage of options – and will be able to sift through lots of guys until you find a suitable masculine complement.

Finally, if any of you ladies are looking for a cute, kind, hardworking 24-year-old to take care of – hey, sometimes, it’s easier to make all the decisions! – I predict one is going to be on the market really soon.

I’m in Love with a Separated Man Who Is Not Pushing to Finalize His Divorce.

I'm in Love with a Separated Man Who Is Not Pushing to Finalize His Divorce

I have been dating a wonderful man for the past 5 months. We both felt an instant incredible connection. I’ve called him my “person” and he has called me his. We are in love and I know it’s right.

Unfortunately, he is married (separated) and getting divorced. There has been an incredible amount of transparency regarding this – the issue, however, is that in the course of our relationship, there has been no real progress to go through with the divorce. They still live together (sleeping in separate rooms). His wife knows all about me, but he went away with her to see her family (a “goodbye” type of situation) during my birthday weekend. Needless to say, my anxiety and uncertainty about our relationship heightened and caused doubt. I ended up becoming THAT girl (the one who needs too much reassurance) out as a result and we have decided to take a break. I have told him I support him 100% in whatever he needs to figure things out in his life. I know that he needs to do this in order to truly be able to pursue a future with me. He must grieve, mourn and separate before he can maintain a healthy, loving, confident relationship with me. I also know that he said the reason why it’s been so slow is because they are just in this robotic routine that has become very easy. Ultimately, I just want to know that I was right to feel the concern I felt due to the lack of progress? Or should I have been more understanding? I am fearful that perhaps I pushed him away and he may not come back to me when all is said and done. I also wonder if this is so easy for him that he will never get divorced and settle for a life of being roommates with his wife. I don’t want to lose him because I truly believe he is the love of my life. And I know parting ways right now was the right thing to do. I am just so fearful that this is the end of us. I really appreciate your advice.

Sheree

Hate to throw your words back at you, Sheree, but let’s start right at the top:
“We are in love and I know it’s right.”

Um, no you don’t. If it was “right,” you wouldn’t have written this letter to me. I’ve never received an email from a happily coupled up woman asking me for advice on her non-existent problems.

So here’s what we DO know:

    o You chose to date a separated man who still lives with his wife.
    o Either because of the circumstances or because of your natural disposition, you acted anxious and needy.
    o Your insecurity either suffocated him or pushed him away to the point that he was willing to break up with you.
    o You’re not even his girlfriend, yet you think you have the right to tell him what to do with his marriage, separation and divorce.

You’re not even his girlfriend, yet you think you have the right to tell him what to do with his marriage, separation and divorce.

Hate to tell you, my dear, but you’re in way over your head. You’re THAT girl on steroids.

You are exhibiting all the feelings of a woman in love – the high highs, the low lows, the obsessive thinking, the lack of perspective, the need to put his feelings before yours – but this is not love.

Love is what happens AFTER this obsession goes away. Love is what happens AFTER the smoke has cleared and you can assess your relationship properly. Love is when TWO people are committed to each other by choice every single day, not when one person has tingly thoughts and can’t let go of a complicated situation.

I’m not saying he doesn’t care about you. I’m not saying he’s a bad guy. For all I know, you are wonderful together – true star-crossed lovers, that, in different circumstances, may have a chance.

Love is when TWO people are committed to each other by choice every single day, not when one person has tingly thoughts and can’t let go of a complicated situation.

These are not those circumstances.

Objectively, you chose a man who is both physically and emotionally unavailable to you – and while he is in no rush to get married again, you’re putting your entire life on hold for him.

I couldn’t tell you if he’s going to go back to his wife, move out, or how quickly he’ll be able to move on. I can tell you that these are decisions that are dependent on what’s right for HIM, not what’s right for YOU.

What’s right for you is to break it off entirely, cut him off entirely, and, when you’re ready, start dating an emotionally available man who doesn’t have a wife at home. I guarantee that you can find these same “in love” feelings without all the complications.

Are You Too Busy to Find Love? Think Again.

Are You Too Busy to Find Love? Think Again.

As a dating coach for smart, strong, successful women, I have heard every variation of “I’m so busy” that you can possibly imagine.

I don’t doubt that my readers and clients are as busy as they say. If you’re a single mother with a full-time job, your schedule seems to be booked solid. Hell, my wife is a stay-at-home mom who gets occasional babysitting help and even she doesn’t have a spare second, often folding laundry and answering emails long after I’ve gone to bed.

Enter Laura Vanderkam, married mother of four, author, and speaker. She had a sneaking suspicion that although she was, in fact, juggling many responsibilities, her schedule wasn’t as tightly packed as she made it out to be. So Vanderkam logged on a spreadsheet in half-hour blocks every one of the 8,784 hours that make up year. And while she didn’t discover a way to add an extra hour to every day, she “did learn that the stories I told myself about where my time went weren’t always true. The hour-by-hour rhythm of my life was not quite as hectic as I’d thought.”

Vanderkam isn’t just a mom with an agenda. She actually writes about time management for professionals and the innocent lies we tell ourselves. As she says in her article, “I know that professionals tend to overestimate work hours; we remember our busiest weeks as typical. This is partly because negative experiences stand out in the mind more than positive ones, and partly because we all like to see ourselves as hard-working. One study from the June 2011 Monthly Labor Review found that people estimating 75-plus hour workweeks were off, on average, by about 25 hours.”

Do you have 7 hours that you’re using for reading or television that can be reallocated to your love life? If so, then you can find the relationship you deserve.

The author is not immune to exaggeration herself, and after logging her time meticulously, she discovered, “If I worked 37.40 and slept 51.81, this left 78.79 hours for other things. This is a lot of space. Even if I felt I was constantly packing lunches, I spent a mere 9.09 hours weekly on housework and errands. There was some driving around — 7.84 hours a week — but there was also time for singing karaoke twice, picking strawberries, peaches and apples and even two solo beach days for me: one on the Atlantic, one on the Pacific. My life wasn’t just train-car-bathroom pumping.”

She continues, “I am not the only one for whom time tracking has led to a sense of abundance. I have found that for women especially, it is the best antidote to the pernicious narrative that professional success requires harsh sacrifices at home….By showing us that we do, in fact, have the privilege of free time, time tracking also nudges us to make wiser choices about how we spend it.”

How does this apply to you and dating? Well, let’s take a step back and try to reverse engineer a successful love life, like I do for my Love U clients.

Imagine you got to go on one date per week.

Not three blind coffee dates, but one-prescreened Saturday night drinks date with a guy you’ve been flirting with during the week via email/text/phone.

How much time would it take to make this happen? By my experience and calculations, if you put in a half-hour a day to online dating, juggle short conversations with 7-10 men on Match that lead to phone calls, you can get yourself one date per week. That’s 52 dates per year. That’s a LOT of chances to find love. But it does mean allocating about 4 hours/week to online dating, 1 hour/week to phone calls, and one night a week for a date.

Do you have 7 hours that you’re using for reading or television that can be reallocated to your love life? If so, then you can find the relationship you deserve.

Your thoughts, below, are greatly appreciated.

What’s The Best Way to Keep the Interest of a Married Man Who Plans to Divorce?

What's The Best Way to Keep the Interest of a Married Man Who Plans to Divorce

I have reconnected with a college friend (never dated) since a reunion 5 years ago. He is smart, funny, and successful. We have spent time with mutual friends over the years, since he comes to town for work every three months. He is very attentive to me, and my friends think he is still harboring a college crush. On our last get-together, he confided to me that he is not happy in his marriage – they have slept in separate bedrooms for three years and no longer have sex. Our other friends have mentioned many times that he is very unhappy in his marriage. He has twin children who will be leaving for college in about two years, and he said that he believes he will initiate a divorce if things don’t change.

What I haven’t told you is that I have had deep feelings for this guy for over three years, but I have kept my distance because he is married. Now that I have this information, I can’t stop thinking of him.

How can I keep him interested without crossing a line? I don’t want to be the “other woman”, and I will not make out with him or have sex with him (unless he is separated and has filed for divorce). I would have to be confident that his marriage is really beyond saving, because I don’t want to interfere. I am also not altering my dating life, since I know that there is no guarantee that things will work out for us – waiting around for 2 years seems foolish, and a little crazy.

What is your best advice for what can I do now to have the best chance with him later? I really like him, and I think we could be very happy together, when the time is right.

Thanks,
Tami

Dear Tami,

Let me start by ripping off the Band-Aid: you’re making a big mistake.

One of the core tenets of my coaching is that no man is “real” until he’s your boyfriend.

What that means is that, until you’re actually a committed couple – one that talks every day, sees each other 3-4 times a week, leaves weekends open for each other, makes plans in advance, talks about a future, and still gets along famously, you really don’t have anything except:

Hope. Fantasy. Projection. Potential.

No man is “real” until he’s your boyfriend.

Your college friend is all of these personified.

Let me count the ways that he’s not real – and certainly no one you should build your life around.

    1. He’s married.

    2. He lives in another town, maybe another state.

    3. You’ve never gone on a date with him in all the years you’ve known him.

    4. He will not be available to go on a date for at least two years – and that is presuming that he does, in fact, separate from his wife, and immediately wants to start dating you – instead of taking a break from women or going on his local Tinder to see who’s out there.

    5. Even if he does have these equal feelings for you, you will then be dating a separated (not divorced) man who lives somewhere else, thereby setting you up for a long-distance relationship. Not just an LDR, mind you, but one with a man who will be in no rush to get married, and would probably ask you to move to be with him (since he’s successful and likely rooted at his job.)

    6. It’s not until THEN – a good 3+ years from now – that you’ll finally face the same long odds that every couple with an initial crush faces – will we actually be COMPATIBLE for 40 years? (Statistically speaking, the answer is no. Most crushes don’t result in marriage).

Keeping this barely flickering dream alive would be the WORST thing you could possibly do.

So, Tami, how does that sound? Not too good from this dating coach’s standpoint.

Which is why I apologize for not answering your original question about how to keep him interested in you for the next three years. Personally, I think keeping this barely flickering dream alive would be the WORST thing you could possibly do, and I wouldn’t want to enable such a choice. Sorry.

Try finding a local, unmarried man and you can actually be MARRIED in three years instead of first starting to date.