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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).
By the way - we released a new article via DatingAdvice.com in late February and it's about not getting caught up in negative stats saying you'll never find someone - that article and more are featured here as we give you the best of Doc by contributing his greatest thinking to that site monthly (MAKE SURE TO SCROLL DOWN ON THAT LINK ABOVE FOR ALL THE ARTICLES AS WE CONTINUE TO GROW THAT PAGE)!
Long-time, loyal student, first-time writer. I’ve read your book, your articles, and listen and re-listen to your radio show regularly. I follow “The System” religiously and it works! Up to a point.
I’ve been dating Caprice, a Flexible Giver, for 21 months. I stay off the phone, unless it’s to make a date, I’m a Challenge, I keep things light and funny, I even walk on the outside of the curb (and have explained to her why). Even her parents and brothers like me. After about a year and a half of dating, Caprice brought up marriage. Taking a page from your book, I told her I’d marry her if she kept being a good girl.
However, all of it seems to have backfired on me! Caprice is now saying she doesn’t know if we’re compatible. She still says she loves me and is still touchy with me (so I don’t think it’s just Womanese). One of her specific complaints is that I don’t communicate, and that she doesn’t really know me. In your book you say not to talk too much about yourself and only tell her things that will raise her Interest Level. I shut my mouth and make sure I listen, but if she asks what I think about something and I think my answer will lower Interest Level, I don’t say anything. Should I open up more?
When I called Caprice on her sudden change in attitude, she explained that she’s been thinking about us a lot. She also said she’s changed a lot for me, so why can’t I change for her? I pointed out all the things I did for her, and that I don’t tell her everything so that I don’t overburden her with my problems. But she said she wants to know everything about me. She said that maybe I was too good for her. I told her that doesn’t make sense. Damn, they’re crafty, Doc, because I don’t even remember her response. I think she said, “I just want you to be happy” (I’ve heard that in the past, right before the door hit me on my way out!).
Caprice also said that she thinks she loves me more than I love her (which is the perfect situation, per your book). So I pointed out that my actions show that I care, not my words. She countered that she needs words too. But I don’t want to get too mushy, like your book says. Caprice did admit to having a fear of commitment, by the way, but I don’t know what that’s supposed to mean.
Doc, you’re the only one who can coach me now, because you’re the only one I trust. What should I do? Should I just be more open? Should I tell Caprice everything? Am I doing something wrong? How can I fix this? For the time being we’ve left it at “we’ll try harder to communicate better.” I’m pretty sure her Interest Level is still above 50%. Thanks for everything, Doc!
Syward - who’s scratching his head
Have you checked out Doc's latest FREE video: HOW TO STOP OBSESSING OVER SOMEONE YOU WANT (REMEMBER, THE NEXT VIDEO COMES OUT ON 3/5/2023 AND IT TACKLES THE QUESTION OF DO WOMEN PREFER A LEAN OR MUSCULAR BODY - OR IS THAT EVEN THE POINT?)
When you say “The System” works only up to a point, you’re wrong straight out of the gate. I appreciate all your hard work, dude, but my techniques don’t have limited effectiveness. On the contrary -- “THE SYSTEM” WORKS ALL THE TIME ON EVERYTHING. If you missed something in the Dating Dictionary or misinterpreted my techniques, then it’s not a problem with my book; it’s a problem with you. So please don’t say it only works “up to a point.”
When I look at your history with Caprice, you said and did all the right things. So far you’re doing great. To you Psych majors, if all of your strategy seems to have backfired on you, it’s because of the girl, not because of my book. Like the great Doctor Freud once said, “Don’t attack ‘The System’ if the girl’s off her rocker!” Think about it, Syward: when Caprice says she doesn’t really know you after you’ve been dating her for 21 months, is that really possible? How can she not know you if she’s seen your actions all that time?
When Caprice asks what you think about something, you should always come back with something funny. Kid her about whatever she wants to know. In other words, give her what’s called a “non-answer answer.”
What happened here wasn’t just a sudden change in Caprice’s attitude. She’s been thinking about all of this stuff for six months. That’s also in the book, and either you missed it or didn’t really take it in, my friend. And if she’s been thinking about it a lot, what she really means is that she’s been thinking a lot about it negatively. So there’s Womanese going on here whether or not you know it.
When you told Caprice you didn’t want to overburden her with all of your problems, she should have taken that as a supportive compliment. But when she said she needed words as well as actions, right there you were finished, dead in the water. What you have here is a girl who’s been brainwashed by the worst of American culture. And what she’s been brainwashed with is the idea that if you’re not mushy and pouring out your heart about all your negatives and hang-ups and insecurities, you don’t have a fulfilling relationship. You’ve treated this girl perfectly for 21 months and that’s not good enough? What’s not to like?
I know that you’re confused because Caprice said she had a fear of commitment, but you can be sure that she has a fear of something. You should have asked her what she meant by that, because what she said to you doesn’t make a lick of sense. One minute she brings up marriage and now she has a fear of commitment? How is that even possible? This girl’s showing heavy signs of being a loon.
What should you do? There’s only one thing you can do with Caprice now, Syward: drop her. Being more open with this girl won’t help because she wants to know it all. And don’t go telling her everything about yourself unless it’s positive.
No, you’re not doing anything wrong, buddy. The hard truth is that you can’t fix this situation because you can’t fix her. Caprice has low Self-Esteem and she has to hear all kinds of mush to feel good about herself. Mush is not manly.
Remember, guys: a self-reliant woman can live on your actions alone, but a woman with low Self-Esteem cannot.
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