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(Editor's Note, this letter was written before Doc's death in August, 2020 but still relevant as Doc's principles are timeless).
I have a big problem. I became friends with Shania, who I used to work with. We had the best times of our lives together – at least I did -- and she also tells me she did too. After she left her husband, we started to date. We then spent two years together in a romantic relationship.
Then the unfortunate happened. I went to work one day and came home that evening to discover that Shania had moved all her stuff out. Keep in mind that no fight happened prior to this, and she couldn’t wait for me to get home from work. Later I learned that she had gone back to her ex-husband. She called me from the day she left, but I refused to speak to her.
After three months, I broke down and we talked. Shania wanted to see me again. She was still living with her ex. We hung out a few times and then stopped talking again. Two months later she began to call me all over again to tell me that she missed me and loved me more than anything and that she only hoped I could forgive her for leaving me. I told her that there was no reason for her to leave in the first place because I gave her everything she wanted in a man. And I told her it was easy to forgive but not forget.
Shania has continued to call me and sometimes-even shows up at my place, but the weird thing is that she’s still living with her ex. I still have strong feelings for her because we had the best relationship I ever had with a woman when we were together.
To this day Shania continues to tell me that she doesn’t love her ex and all she wants is me back in her life. I explained that it’s hard to accept that because she’s living with him.
Doc, all I want is advice. I know the final answer comes down to me alone, but with some moral support my decision might be easier. I’ve tried dating other women but it never works out because Shania is always on my mind. Can you help me, please?
Corey - who wants to know if love triumphs over all
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I just hope it was Shania trying to convince you that you were having those “best times of your life,” and not you convincing her.
Dude, you didn’t give this girl enough time to get over her ex. To you Psych majors, even if the woman dumps the guy, there’s an un-bonding process that takes time. I don’t want you being the rebound guy.
The bad part of this process is that the woman might be emotionally ready to get into a new relationship after going through 10 guys, and you’re number 11. Then you missed the boat. But the important thing is this: she’ll eventually come to you if you stay away from her long enough. Guys, you have to be at arm’s length romantically when she’s on the rebound.
Now, let me get this straight. You spent two years with Shania and she never asked you to get married? She didn’t beg you for an engagement ring? She didn’t ask you, “Where’s this going?” Don’t you find that strange? (Assuming her Interest Level was 96%, of course!)
So -- she was gone before you knew what hit you. Wonderful. Man, I’d hate to see how she would have dumped you if she wasn’t sensitive! Here you’re walking around with 89% Interest Level, and you come home and Shania and her ex got together behind your back and hauled everything out of there.
Corey, when you opened the door that night, did it feel like a chainsaw slicing into your heart? I feel for you, guy.
So what the heck happened? How did Shania’s Interest Level drop? Or was it not up there to begin with? The Reality Factor says that if she was on the rebound, it couldn’t be.
A very small percentage of women don’t fight – they just disappear. You happened to find one, man. It’s better that way, because at least the beheading is quick -- I hope.
Shania didn’t go back to her ex-husband. She never left him. She left you, Corey, not him. Sadly for you, you got it backwards.
But when she had the gall to come around after ripping out your guts, you refused to speak to her. Fantastic! You finally showed her you were a tough guy. Why would you ever want to talk to someone who slapped you down like she did?
But then you wore down and gave in like a real Wimpus Americanus. She might still be living with her ex, but I’m sure it didn’t stop you from jumping all over Shania!
But she wasn’t through playing with your head -- she cut you off again. Great! Inconsistent behavior is a very strong character trait in a woman.
Corey, you gave her everything she needed in a man, all right, except the ability to keep her Interest Level in the 90s.
Let me tell you something, my friend. Forgiveness and forgetting are twin sisters and they travel together. If you can’t do both, then you haven’t done one.
Sure you have strong feelings for Shania – but you have to fight them. This is where Patience and Discipline come in. They’re two key factors in the Dating Dictionary, which you have to get and memorize ASAP. It’s easy to be tough when you have 40% Interest Level in someone but when it’s bordering on 100% - like yours is – toughness is a little harder, isn’t it Corey?
You’re trying to extend these “best times of your life,” Corey, but it’s over. This girl was either running hot and cold or she had high Interest Level in the beginning and you were too available, came on too heavy and weren’t a Challenge, and so all of a sudden the ex looked better. And remember, she originally left him.
What you have to do now is disappear. I know she’s always on your mind, but when you ask whether love triumphs over all, the fact that you’d even use that phrase shows me how much you don’t understand about women.
Remember, guys: if they live with someone else, they don’t care for you.
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