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Q. I've been with my boyfriend for over 9 months now. We were engaged and broke off engagement on grounds that it was just too soon for both of us. Lately I've been feeling like he's lost interest in me. He spends most of his time on computer or asleep and we hardly ever speak to each other. He's very snippy and when we do speak, one of us always gets angry or we start an argument. I'm beginning to stop loving him, and I'm not sure how to bring up any conversation about this without starting an argument. He always says that I'm putting words in his mouth or what I'm saying is a lie, when I know it isn't. Even our close friends have realized that our relationship is falling apart. Should I try to discuss this with him or should I decide to end things and see if that is for better? ~Anonymous
A. Dear Anonymous, I think it is always better to try to talk things out with your partner. How about you try to talk to him about what is going on between two of you and try to listen when he responds. Most of all, refuse to get into an argument with him. Arguing is often one way to avoid dealing with real issues, so if you refuse to be pulled into an argument, you might just have a chance to get to truth. ~Your Relationship Coach
**Featured Question** Q: I'm just at point of bringing a new email "relationship" to next level of an actual date. Any tips on making our first encounter work? Or tips in general? ~Anonymous
A. Dear Anonymous, I would like to offer you some tips for meeting people online and then dating them. Specifically, it is important to remember that meeting someone online is different than meeting people during course of everyday life. Therefore, relationships formed online need special handling while you get to know each other.
1. If you meet someone online and either feel chemistry or think there may be a potential, set up an in-person meeting.
I suggest you do this sooner rather than later, as soon as possible in fact. You want to really meet person and perhaps form a relationship with him or her, and not form a relationship with his or her online persona only. No matter how honest and forthright a person is, you cannot fully experience someone while solely interacting online - you only get a one-dimensional take. Too many times I have seen people falling in love online or by email, only to meet and find out they are not very compatible.
2. Have low expectations and see if you can be detached from outcome of first meeting.
It is stressful to meet someone new, even more stressful if you have gotten to know each other in artificial environment of online dating. Don't add to either of your discomfort by having huge expectations about how things will turn out. See if you can allow for chemistry, perhaps a relationship. But if not, allow for friendship or some other significant connection.
3. Stay safe during meeting.
This almost goes without saying, but I will say it anyway. Meet this new person in a well-populated public place only, and remain in public place for entire date. If there are more dates with this person, meet in public place until two of you really get to know each other. And while you are out on these dates, have your cell phone with you, have a back up plan to take care of yourself and let a close friend or family member know where you are and who you are with.
4. If you meet online first, then meet in person and like each other, you still need plenty of time to establish relationship.
When everything goes right and person you met online turns out to be just person you like/want/are attracted to, still take time to get to know each other in everyday, real life. As far as I can tell from coaching hundreds of singles, biggest predictor of a successful relationship is amount of time a couple takes to get to know each other, in person. In other words, if you take three months of real life dating to get to know each other, you are more likely to have a successful relationship than if you got to know each other mostly online, or if you jumped into a relationship quickly.
5. Do not get physically intimate until you know each other in real life.
To follow up on above, second biggest predictor of a successful relationship, as far as I can see, is establishing intimacy slowly. Really, there is nothing wrong with sex between consenting adults, except that it creates a false sense of intimacy. Once you sleep with someone, you will often feel close and endearing toward each other. You will tend to overlook incompatibilities, which may otherwise make this relationship a "no go." Unfortunately, this sense of intimacy will last at outmost for about 3 months, at which point all things you could not see or refused to see in beginning will reveal themselves. It's better to see things as they are at start and have a choice about whether or not to go forward with relationship.
Your Relationship Coach, Rinatta Paries www.WhatItTakes.com
(c) Rinatta Paries, 1998-2002. Do you know how to attract your ideal mate? Do you know how to build a fulfilling relationship, or how to reinvent yours to meet your needs? Relationship Coach Rinatta Paries can teach you skills and techniques to attract and sustain long-term, healthy partnerships. Visit www.WhatItTakes.com where you'll find quizzes, classes, advice and a free weekly ezine. Become a "true love magnet(tm)!"
Having coined the phrase "relationship coach," Master Certified Coach Rinatta Paries works with singles to help them attract their ideal relationship, and helps couples create more love and fulfillment in their existing relationships. Visit her web site at www.WhatItTakes.com or e-mail her at coach@WhatItTakes.com.