Coming April 1st to Jenn X…

BREAKUP BOOTCAMP!!!  Every day in April, I’ll be giving you the best ways to not just survive, but THRIVE, during and after a breakup.  We’ll figure out how to totally disengage from your ex, start the healing process, and move on to an even better and more fabulous you!  Sound good?  I thought it might!  Tell all your friends and stay tuned!  

If Carrie Bradshaw is a cosmopolitan, Jenn X is a scotch on the rocks.

Jenn X Fan

No matter how much you think you love that a-hole, always remember to love yourself more.

Jenn X

This reader's guy doesn't want to have sex with her. What's his deal? Find out in my latest Reader's Question...

Have you ever been involved with an addict? In my latest Q & A, I use my personal experience to help a reader.

Valentine’s Day: Are you feelin’ the love?

Valentine’s Day.  It’s that time of the year when every store on the block breaks out the tinfoil red hearts, the mass-produced chocolates, and the cheesy, overly-sentimental cards.  You can’t avoid the diamond commercials or pull up your favorite shopping website without being assaulted by a banner promoting the “perfect” Valentine’s Day gifts.  And the anxiety all of this can cause?  Whew!  Many women in relationships will stress over whether he’ll make it special enough (or if he’ll blow it off completely).  Those who are single may feel extra lonely.  Is this really how love is supposed to be celebrated?

I will never forget my own worst Valentine’s Day.  I’d just broken up with a man - who I refer to in my book as “J” - after a four year relationship. When I came home that February 14th from a long day at work, I discovered “J” - who was in the process of moving out of my place - gave me a present.  A piece of jewelry?  A bottle of perfume?  An “I still love you” letter?  Nope.  Thoughtful “J” decided to leave me a phone book, opened to the page of a florist.  He’d handwritten the work address of his ex-girlfriend (a woman who I was certain he was still in love with) next to one of the flower shops.  It didn’t take a genius to figure out what was going on…

If you are like me, you’ve probably had some crappy Valentine’s Days.  And I’ll bet you’ve had some good ones, too.  That’s the problem with Valentine’s Day.  While - at its best - it is supposed to be a day to honor our significant other, it can also be disappointing or even downright miserable.  This is why I often say I have a love/hate relationship with Valentine’s Day.

The idea of having a special day to celebrate your relationship isn’t necessarily a bad thing.  But what about the rest of the year?  Aren’t the other 364 days equally - if not more - important?  Shouldn’t those of us in a relationship endeavor to treat our partners like it’s Valentine’s Day every day?  Shouldn’t we strive to love and honor them on February 15th, as well?  Let’s face it, if this isn’t happening in your relationship on a consistent basis, the best Valentine’s Day in the world won’t make it any better.  So use the upcoming holiday as a reminder of what is really important.  It’s not about where he takes you to dinner or how many red roses he buys.  Being a part of something that both people work to sustain and cultivate is much more meaningful.  

If you’re single this Valentine’s Day, don’t be discouraged.  It’s supposed to be a day about love, right?  So show yourself - and those close to you - some of it.  Tell your BFF how awesome she is.  Buy yourself something frivolous.  Call up a mentor or a teacher and show your appreciation for what you learned from them.  There’s no law that says Valentine’s Day only applies to romantic relationships.  And the amazing thing about love is that when you give it out, it always comes back to you.  

So as February 14th quickly approaches, try to rise above the hype and keep it in its proper perspective.  Whether you’re single or in a relationship, look at it as a reminder to love every day.  After all, that’s the true meaning of Valentine’s Day.   

Jenn Clark is a relationship advice expert, dating coach, and author of the book “How to Be a Goddess (A Step-by-Step Guide to Becoming the Woman Men Dream About…).” 

You can find it on her Facebook page www.facebook.com/jennx30somethingandsingle

Or on amazon.com at the following link:

http://www.amazon.com/Goddess-Step—Becoming-About-ebook/dp/B006HBSWSS/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1323467354&sr=1-1

For a limited time only:  Buy Jenn’s book THROUGH HER FACEBOOK PAGE and receive a free hour of one-on-one relationship and dating coaching!  


What should you do when a new guy only seems interested in you for sex?? New Reader's Question!

Reader’s Question: Will he ever leave her for me?

Dear Jenn,

I dated the love of my life a few years back.  He broke my heart and I haven’t been the same since.  He is now dating another girl who he lives with.  Somehow, we remained friends through it all.

A couple of months ago, I confessed how I feel to him and he told me he wants to be with me.  He asked that I give him until next June to take care of things on his end.  He says he feels like he “owes” it to her.  I wouldn’t be living with someone if I truly wanted to be with another man and I have my doubts about his sincerity, yet I find myself playing along with him.  How much could he truly care about me if he’s going home to someone else every day and going to bed with her every night?

I want to quit with this insanity and find a nice, single guy but I can’t seem to stop waiting for him.  Do you have any pointers?

“S”

Dear “S,”

It seems to me like you have a right to be skeptical of your ex-boyfriend.  Telling you he needs to wait almost half a year before he can breakup with his current girlfriend sounds like a textbook example of a man stringing a woman along.  It’s an excuse, plain and simple.  If he were truly serious about his intentions with you, he’d be busy making plans to be with you again.

The truth is a healthy and decent person can’t live two lives.  They can’t be with their significant other one night and their secret lover the next without feeling a tremendous amount of guilt and inner conflict.  If he’s content to spend time in both worlds without making a decision, he’s probably not that invested in either. 

One of the most hurtful mistakes we can make in love is to get involved with someone who is unavailable.  Married men (and women) or guys with girlfriends are almost always bad news.  Chances are extremely high they will not choose us over their current relationship, which can totally damage our self esteem.  If they do leave, we can’t help but wonder if they will betray us in the same way.  Essentially, getting involved with someone who is spoken for is a lose-lose proposition.  Not to mention the fact that it is shady, even if you two aren’t physically involved right now.

You say you can’t stop your relationship with him.  This, my dear, is total BS.  You absolutely can.  If you really wanted this to end, you would end it.  What you want is for him to leave his girlfriend and for things to work out with you.  In order to clear up any delusions you may be experiencing, let me be clear:  This isn’t going to happen.  There are no happy endings in these situations.

Now is the time for you to get strong, “S.”  Realize that continuing in this kind of situation is only going to cause you even more pain and let him go.  As soon as you decide to move on once and for all, you will begin to start to heal - which it sounds like you’ve never really done.  So I say it’s time to pull the rip chord and end things with your ex.  As long as you are hanging onto him - or even onto the idea of being with him - you’ll never be ready for that nice, single guy you say you want.

XX    

Jenn Clark is a relationship advice expert, dating coach and author of the book “How to Be a Goddess (A Step-by-Step Guide to Becoming the Woman Men Dream About…).” 

You can find it on her Facebook page www.facebook.com/jennx30somethingandsingle

Or on amazon.com at the following link:

http://www.amazon.com/Goddess-Step—Becoming-About-ebook/dp/B006HBSWSS/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1323467354&sr=1-1

For a limited time only:  Buy Jenn’s book THROUGH HER FACEBOOK PAGE and receive a free hour of one-on-one relationship and dating coaching!  


Relationship Advice: How he decides if you’re “the one”

Have you ever wondered what causes a man to fall in love and want to spend his life with a particular woman?  We’re often conditioned to believe that if we are pretty enough, agreeable enough, and do enough nice things for a man, we will win his heart.  That usually doesn’t work so well, however.  Just ask any girl who’s gone out of her way to please a guy only to have him tell her something like, “I don’t know why, but I’m not feeling it” or “It’s not you, it’s me.”

Whether or not a man falls in love with you has little to do with how much you do for him.  In fact, it’s usually the ladies who don’t work overtime to gain a guy’s approval who  have greater success in their relationships.  Why is this?  Because deep down, men want to make women happy.  They want to be the ones to “give” and for you to “receive.”  When you make it your mission to put his happiness before your own (and therefore act as the “giver”), he’s not able to give to you.  Essentially, you are taking his job away from him.  

So how do we do it?  How do we conduct ourselves from the beginning of a relationship (yes, the very beginning) so that a man is more likely to see us as a keeper?  

The overall idea is to set yourself apart as a “high-quality woman.”  You want to differentiate yourself from the rest of the girls out there who allow men to (as I like to say) throw them scraps and call them dinner.  You need to have unwavering confidence, a backbone, and a joy for life.  You need to know who you are and like that person.  Those are the qualities that will attract more potential long-term relationships than a set of D-cups, perfectly-toned abs, and a sexy Facebook profile picture ever will.  So instead of focusing on the exterior (as we women often do), let’s take a look at some of the things that really make men fall in love.  

He falls in love with the woman who doesn’t lose herself in the relationship.  It may seem odd that one of the main traits that causes a man to want a long-term commitment  with a woman is her independence.  The truth is men like women who have their own lives.  Clingy, needy girls scare them.  Why?  They see that kind of behavior as pressure and we all know how little men like to be pressured into something - especially a relationship.  Most men find it easier to commit if they aren’t pushed, coerced, or guilted into it.  By not acting like you will die without him, he begins to wonder if he’ll survive without you.

He falls in love with the woman who is more than a sexual conquest.  I know of so many women who have attempted to use sex to get a man to fall for her.  They think, “If he sleeps with me one more time, I’ll amaze him to the point he has to be with me permanently.”  Bad move, sisters!  I don’t care how flexible you are, how many moves you know, or how freaky you like it - no man will fall in love based simply on good sex.  In fact, men are much more likely to feel intensely about a woman if she waits to have sex with him for a while.  The one night stands, the sex on the first date chicks, the girls they have a drunken romp with?  They don’t seem to last too long, do they?

He falls in love with the woman who allows him to miss her.  Yes, “absence makes the heart grow fonder” is an overused cliche.  But most cliches become cliches because they are true.  Did you know that men fall in love not only because of how they feel when they’re around you, but by how they feel when you’re apart?  Men equate missing a woman with love.  They interpret “I really want to be with her when I’m not” to mean “I think I’m falling in love with her.”  Dumb girls want to be with a guy 24/7 no matter how much time he wants to spend with her.  Smart women know that spending time apart is what causes him to want to be with her 24/7.

He falls in love with the woman he had to work to get.  When we become too smitten with a man too quickly, his interest in us almost always lessens.  Men like to feel that they have won us over and that they’ve had to expend some effort in attaining us.  Being a “hard to get” woman isn’t about playing games.  It’s about protecting yourself and making sure a man is up to your standards before giving him your heart.  Guess what?  This is exactly what makes him feel like he has earned an incredible prize when you give it to him.    

He falls in love with the woman he has fun with.  Men don’t want to marry their mothers.  (And if they do, that’s a big problem.)  This is why engaging in domestic activities like cooking and cleaning won’t cause him to fall in love with you.  Men don’t want to marry a woman who is a complainer, a nagger, or a nitpicker.  Nor are they interested in spending a lifetime with a woman who turns everything into an argument.  A man wants to marry a woman who is his best friend, his lover, and his champion.  He wants a woman who makes him feel good; a woman who makes him feel like a man.  No relationship will be perfect and every couple struggles with conflict.  But if time with you brings him a lot more pleasure than pain, he’s much more likely to see you as the girl of his dreams. 

A man won’t decide that you are “the one” based on your attempts to convince him or talk him into it.  Instead, he convinces himself because he comes to view you as a woman who is too special to let go.  As a result, he will strive to always treat you with respect and to care for your feelings.  So realize your worth and refuse to settle for less than you deserve.  When we believe in ourselves, others are much more likely to do the same.

Jenn Clark is a relationship advice expert, dating coach and author of the book “How to Be a Goddess (A Step-by-Step Guide to Becoming the Woman Men Dream About…).” 

You can find it on her Facebook page www.facebook.com/jennx30somethingandsingle

Or on amazon.com at the following link:

http://www.amazon.com/Goddess-Step—Becoming-About-ebook/dp/B006HBSWSS/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1323467354&sr=1-1


For a limited time only:  Buy Jenn’s book THROUGH HER FACEBOOK PAGE and receive a free hour of one-on-one relationship and dating coaching!  

Reader’s Question: Did I blow it with this guy?!?!

Dear Jenn,

I met a man online a couple of months ago.  The first time we got together in person, it felt like everything clicked and I’d known him forever.  We ended up sleeping together on the third date and have had regular sex since.  I stupidly told him that I was crazy about him and asked him where the relationship was going.  I was supposed to meet his family over the holidays but I didn’t hear from him until after he left his parents house and he never even brought it up.  Did I blow it with him?  He’s the first guy I’ve really liked in almost two years.

“K”

Dear “K,”

First off, let’s quit with the “did I blow it?” crap.  We women put so much dang pressure on ourselves when a man exhibits bad behavior.  We blame ourselves and tend to think everything is our fault.  B.S.  In my humble opinion, I’d say he blew it by acting like a jerk and flaking on your holiday plans.  (Can I get an “Amen,” ladies?!?)  So let him take the lion’s share of the responsibility on that, okay?

All this being said, women often make it much too easy for a guy to exhibit bad behavior and treat them disrespectfully.  It’s true!  And hopping into bed with him and confessing your strong feelings for him much too quickly aids in this.  When you become physically and emotionally involved right away, you don’t protect yourself.  You haven’t had the opportunity to check out his character and determine if he’s worthy of your investment.  (Sorry, but one great first date is not enough to determine if you are “soul mates.”)  You’ve given your body and your heart without requiring that he honor those gifts.  What happens as a result?  He doesn’t appreciate them as much as if he’d had to work for them.

One of the big problems with having sex on the first few dates (or even within the first few months) is that it often causes us to attach.  Every so often, it works out.  The guy is great and there’s not much harm done.  When it really sucks is when we attach to an a-hole.  This is why it’s always better to determine whether or not he’s an a-hole before we have sex with him.  Make sense?  I thought it might.

Once we attach and enter the “sex haze,” that’s when we start saying stuff like:

“I’ve never felt this way before.”  

“I’m falling for you.”  

“How do you feel about me?”

“Are you serious about us?”

And now boyfriend knows you’re smitten.  He thinks either, “Wow, she really likes me and I’m not sure how I feel, so I’m going to pull back” or “Wow, she really likes me and I can do whatever I want and not worry about making her happy anymore.”  That’s what I call a lose-lose proposition for the woman in question.

Don’t get me wrong.  When you and a guy are super serious about each other and he’s wonderful and just the mere thought of him makes you happier than you’ve ever been, you absolutely need to let him know how amazing you think he is.  But after a few dates and a bit of hot sex?  Ummm, no.  I don’t think so.  When we do this, the man in question will invariably pull away - which is exactly what I believe is happening to you now.

If I were you, I would try to get some distance on the “relationship” and some perspective on this guy.  If he’s pulling away or breaking plans with any sort of regularity, I say you pull back, too.  That’s usually to best way to counteract the “I’m crazy about you, are you crazy about me?” stuff.  Whatever you do, don’t chase after him or say things like, “Why are you treating me like this?”  Do that and he’ll run even farther away.

Here’s the bottom line, “K.”  If he’s the guy for you, your actions can’t “blow it.”  If he’s truly crazy about you in return, he’ll show that to you.  If he’s the real deal, it will become clear.  And if he’s just another impostor?  Well, it’s always better to know sooner rather than later.

XX,

Jenn  

Jenn Clark is a relationship advice expert, dating coach and author of the book “How to Be a Goddess (A Step-by-Step Guide to Becoming the Woman Men Dream About…).” 

You can find it on her Facebook page www.facebook.com/jennx30somethingandsingle

Or on amazon.com at the following link:

http://www.amazon.com/Goddess-Step—Becoming-About-ebook/dp/B006HBSWSS/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1323467354&sr=1-1

And don’t forget:  Between now and the end of the year, Jenn is donating 10% of her book profits to “No Bully,” a national anti-bullying organization.  You can find them at www.nobully.com Let’s all do our part to stop bullying!

Relationship Advice: Getting back out there in 2013 

As 2013 quickly approaches, it’s time to start thinking about your New Year’s resolutions.  Many of us will pledge to get in shape or quit a bad habit in a quest for self-improvement.  But what about our personal lives?  Shouldn’t they get some attention, too? 

Maybe 2012 wasn’t the best year for your love life.  Maybe you suffered a major heartbreak or a multitude of dating disasters.  Maybe you were in a romantic desert and starting worrying you were going to be single for the rest of your life.  We’ve all been there.  And when it comes to relationships (or lack thereof), there’s bound to be some low times.  

So if the past year was not your greatest when it came to romance, that’s okay.  It’s time to begin to look forward instead of backward.  There’s no reason why 2013 can’t be the year Mr. Right comes a knockin’.  Use the following tips to help jump start your dating life - and to have some fun as well.

Make sure you would date you.  After a long-term relationship or a long time being single, it isn’t uncommon for women to - errrr - let some things go.  Maybe there are some improvements to be made - both to your outside and to your insides.  Take the time to make them.  The better you feel about yourself - emotionally, physically, and spiritually - the more confidence you’ll exude.  And nothing is more attractive than a woman who carries herself with confidence.

Move on.  Is there a toxic ex or a broken relationship that you can’t seem to let go of totally?  If so, the new year is a great time to remove it from your life once and for all.  Here’s the deal:  Unless we move beyond our pasts, we’ll never get to our futures.  So this NYE, give a midnight kiss off to that jerk who dumped you or to the guy who never seemed to care as much as you did.  Those impostors are simply holding you back from finding the real thing.  

Try something new.  Part of getting back out there is putting yourself out there.  And the best way to do that is to expand your social circles, activities, and interests.  Why not resolve to make 2013 the year you join that running group or take a class in the foreign language you’ve always wanted to learn?  It doesn’t matter what you do, so long as you do something.  Broadening your horizons not only helps you to improve yourself, it also helps you to make new acquaintances.  And you never know where those could lead…  

Get online.  Online dating probably isn’t the best way to meet your future soul mate (no matter what the commercials may say), but it is a great way to dip a toe back into the dating pool from the comfort of your own home.  Let’s face it - it’s totally exciting to have an inbox full of messages from potential suitors.  (Even if they can’t spell, write inappropriate things, or look more like Seth Rogen than Channing Tatum.)  If nothing else, having a few match.com dates will help you to brush up on your dating etiquette and flirting skills.  Which is never a bad thing.  

Rally your troops.  When one of my good friends became tired of living the single life, she put her friends and family on notice.  She told them that she - a woman who had done a lot of nice things for others - was now ready for some payback in the form of set-ups and blind dates.  Ask the people around you if they know of any great, eligible bachelors you might get along with.  Tell your friends to be on the lookout for potential candidates for you.  Almost everyone knows an unattached man or two.

So here’s to 2013, ladies, and all the new adventures and possibilities it will bring!  Getting back into the dating scene may seem like a tough task, but it doesn’t have to be.  Always remember that your life can be as great as you choose to make it.  Keep a positive outlook and work on being the best you that you can be.  When we do that, it’s usually not too long before a new someone special enters the picture.  

Jenn Clark is a relationship advice expert, dating coach and author of the book “How to Be a Goddess (A Step-by-Step Guide to Becoming the Woman Men Dream About…).” 

You can find it on her Facebook page www.facebook.com/jennx30somethingandsingle

Or on amazon.com at the following link:

http://www.amazon.com/Goddess-Step—Becoming-About-ebook/dp/B006HBSWSS/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1323467354&sr=1-1

And don’t forget:  Between now and the end of the year, Jenn is donating 10% of her book profits to “No Bully,” a national anti-bullying organization.  You can find them at www.nobully.com Let’s all do our part to stop bullying!

Have you read "How to Be a Goddess" yet? If not, now's the perfect time to get it! Throughout the month of December, Jenn is offering a FREE one hour relationship coaching session when you purchase her book THROUGH HER FACEBOOK PAGE. Click here to find it!

Reader’s Question: When he treats you like crap

Dear Jenn,

I like a guy who often ignores me and treats me like an option.  Initially, he was attracted to me, but now he seems to have lost interest.  To make things worse, he has started dating my friend.  He never asked me on a date or involved himself (except physically) with me.  What should I do about him?

“N”

Dear “N,”

Oh, honey…  This guy sounds awful.  I mean, really, really awful.  I’m sure there were things that drew you to him in the beginning, but what on earth do you see in him now?  It sounds to me like he treats you terribly and with zero consideration.  What are you possibly gaining by continuing to have feelings for him?

No matter how much you think you like this guy, you have to like yourself more.  You have to start getting some self-respect back.  This means that you stop trying to talk to him.  You stop worrying about his feelings for you.  And you stop giving him any more of your time, energy, or emotions.

It’s always important to remember that guys who treat you badly are bad guys.  There’s absolutely no use in trying to get them to treat you better.  In fact, the only course of action with men like this is to stay away from them.  So if I were you, I would make up your mind right this minute that he is completely out of your life.  Let your friend have him.  (Although I can’t understand why - given your experience with him and assuming that she is actually a friend - she would want him.) 

Something very cool starts to happen when we refuse to allow people to treat us badly - we begin to be treated better.  When we stand up for ourselves and refuse to indulge in feelings for people who are intentionally cruel and disrespectful, we start to meet men who act the way we deserve toward us.  By giving this guy any more of your life, you are wasting time on someone who isn’t worth it.  Further, by throwing away your emotions on him, you may be preventing a good guy from coming into your life.  “N,” the bottom line is this:  Move on and never look back.

XX

Relationship Advice: Is he ready to get married?

Contrary to popular belief, most men eventually want to get married.  If that weren’t true, marriage would not happen as often as it does.  The fact is most people end up getting married at some point in their lives.  How many of those men are led down the aisle while kicking and screaming?  Not too many.  In fact, the vast majority of weddings contain a groom who looks adoringly at his wife-to-be.

All too often, women make the mistake of thinking she somehow has to coerce or manipulate a man into proposing marriage.  She thinks that if she doesn’t give him an ultimatum, he’ll never get there on his own.  Usually, the problem isn’t the idea of marriage itself that causes him to refuse to get down on one knee.  Instead, it is either that he doesn’t want to marry the woman he’s with or that he simply isn’t ready to tie the knot.

So how do you know if the guy you’re with is ready to settle down?  As with most things concerning men, you can tell a lot more from his actions than from his words.  So check out the following list to see if he’s marriage material.

  

He ‘d rather hang with you than go to bars with his friends.  When a man is looking to settle down, traditionally single activities fail to have a strong appeal.  Sure, he may do the boys’ night out thing once and a while, but he’d rather spend Saturday nights snuggling on the sofa with you.  If you suspect he isn’t quit finished sowing his oats, there’s cause for concern.  A marriage-minded man doesn’t want to keep playing the field.  And he’s certainly not going to be looking over your shoulder to see if something better might be coming his way. 

He’s got his career in order.  Many women underestimate the importance men place on having their career and finances set before saying “I do.”  By taking his life seriously, he shows that he’s taking your relationship seriously as well.  Sure, guys who dream of rock stardom may be hot.  And younger guys who would rather party than earn a paycheck can be fun for a bit.  However, when it comes to marriage, his checkbook matters.   

He treats you well right now.  Let’s get something straight.  If he acts like a jerk while you are dating, putting a ring on your finger won’t magically turn him into a model mate.   If he cheats, achieving the title of “Mrs.” won’t cause him to become faithful to you.  Guys who are husband material act like husbands before they’re actually married.  So if you’re struggling to get him to treat you the way you want to be treated, things should not progress to the altar.   

He’s made you a part of his family.  Guys who are ready for matrimony will involve you in all aspects of their lives.  This is especially true with their family and friends.  You should be invited to his major family functions and have gotten to know his buddies.  In addition, he should be doing the same with your family.  If he doesn’t want to get to spend any time with your close relatives, that’s a bad sign.  He should want to be an important person in your life, too.

He makes long-term plans with you.  When a man talks about the future in terms of “we” and not just “me,” that’s a strong indicator he plans to be with you for the long haul.  Acting as if you will be a permanent part of his life usually means he wants you around permanently.  (One caveat: If he starts talking about forever when you haven’t known him for very long, be suspicious!  Those men are usually players who say all the “right things” to try to get a woman out of her pants.)  If you’ve dated for a while, be wary if he refuses to include you in his future.  If you can’t get him to commit to going on vacation together in a month or two, you can’t very well expect him to commit to a lifetime.

He has married friends.  Very few guys are excited to be the first of their bachelor crew to settle down.  While most women shudder at the thought of being the last single girl in their group of friends, most men aren’t as concerned with that kind of thing.  However, he doesn’t want to be the only single 35 year-old at the bar either.  So if most of his friends are heading down the aisle, he’ll likely decide it’s time for him to make the trip, too.

He’s the one who moves the relationship along.  Too many women put too much effort into making a relationship work while the guy refuses to lift a finger.  We move things forward and are the ones to push for exclusivity.  We initiate most of the contact.  We plan most of the dates.  How does this make the woman feel?  Like she doesn’t matter that much.  Like he’s not invested.  Guess what?  She’s right.  If he’s husband caliber, he’ll have no problem standing up and being the man in the relationship.      

He’s honest and open.  Men who are truly ready to share their lives with a woman don’t want or have a need to keep secrets from her.  Further, he knows how to have mature communication and is - at least somewhat - in touch with his feelings.  If he frequently shuts down on you or shuts you out, that’s not someone you want to partner with.  Nothing will make you feel lonelier than being married to someone who you can’t communicate with.    

He’s your biggest fan.  Does he love you as you are?  Or is he consistently trying to change you?  Does he compliment you more than he criticizes?  A man marries the woman he thinks is amazing; the woman who he thinks is the greatest female on earth.  If he doesn’t feel like the luckiest guy in the world to have you, he doesn’t deserve your hand in marriage.    

He’s always there when you need him.  Your future husband should be your rock and your support.  He should help you with your problems, cheer you up when you’re down, and bring joy and comfort to your life.  If he’s dismissive, disrespectful, or uncaring, he’s not “The One.”  If you can’t count on him to be there for you in the bad times, he shouldn’t be allowed to be a part of the good times.    

While marriage is a great goal, one of the biggest parts of getting there is to have a relationship with a great guy.  So if you’re looking to settle down, make sure the man you’re with is moving in the same direction.  Be sure he’s someone who you’ll be happy to spend the rest of your life with.  Spinning your wheels or trying to convince a man into marriage isn’t the answer. 

Jenn Clark is a relationship advice expert, dating coach and author of the book “How to Be a Goddess (A Step-by-Step Guide to Becoming the Woman Men Dream About…).” 

You can find it on her Facebook page www.facebook.com/jennx30somethingandsingle

Or on amazon.com at the following link:

http://www.amazon.com/Goddess-Step—Becoming-About-ebook/dp/B006HBSWSS/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1323467354&sr=1-1

And don’t forget:  Between now and the end of the year, Jenn is donating 10% of her book profits to “No Bully,” a national anti-bullying organization.  You can find them at www.nobully.com Let’s all do our part to stop bullying!