Lori Gorshow is a dating coach with a company called Dating Made Simple. She works with a variety of clients, including single men and women, families with adolescents, and pre-marital coaching for couples.
Lori has earned a Master's Degree in Social Work and extensive training in coaching. Through this counseling and coaching experience, she has worked with a wide array of clients in an assortment of situations. As a dating coach she has experience with individuals entering the dating world after a divorce, parents and teenagers struggling with social skills, and techniques to improve your skills in attraction, communication and self esteem.
For more detailed information on Lori Gorshow, visit her interview at Lori Gorshow, MSW - Dating Coach.
Popular Questions Asked of a Dating Coach
I have been seeing a woman that was my first and only love. She is currently married and we recently had a falling out. I decided that I did not want to be in that type of relationship in my life. I know that society says it is wrong and the bible says that too. I truly do care for this woman despite all we have been through and what we are up against. However, I want to have more balance in my life and know I need to distance myself from her. I was hoping to get insight from you. She has tried to contact me and I do not know what to do because I feel so strongly for her.
-- Contributed by: CK
You can love someone and let go of a relationship with her. By letting go, you keep the memories and open yourself to finding a partner who is single and available. Ending the current relationship will not be easy. What makes it more difficult is that you cannot imagine finding an available partner who you will love deeply, and so you hold on to a partner you love and who is not available. If you are truly ready to have more balance in your life, then you will have to end the current relationship.
The next time this woman contacts you, use the opportunity to set some limits with her. You can do this by saying to her, "I love you and always will, but I will not continue to put your happiness above my own. I will no longer maintain a relationship with a married woman. Should you decide to pursue a relationship with me, you will need to be single and available. Anything less is not OK with me. If you love me, you will respect my desire for love and happiness and you will not contact me in any way or in any form until you are single. If you cannot respect my wishes, I will have no choice but to ignore your attempts to communicate with me."
You will not find the happiness you are seeking until your words and actions match.
I have been dating a great guy for 3.5 years now, we seem to have grown together and become great friends as well, and I have always felt he was the love of my life, but he keeps doing things that make me doubtful about investing my time. The subject of marriage is still a bit touchy because he says "I wouldn't mind spending the rest of my life with you, but you're putting on a lot of pressure and I feel I can't give you all the things you want." I know that he understands I want him to become successful in whatever he does in life (he thinks that's pressure), but I only bring up the marriage thing like every 4 months or so!! Recently he lost his car, stopped working because he was bored at work, and said he no longer has a reason to work full time. I let him borrow my car as often as he needs and I used to lend him money, but he still hasn't paid me back in over a year. Also, he doesn't take me out unless it's my birthday or Valentines, so I pretty much always get stuck with paying for stuff. I'm really feeling like I'm going in circles with this guy. I need to know if maybe it would be better for me to move on with someone who has the same important views on marriage, but then I feel guilty because the relationship is fine. I used to buy him stuff and offer to pay for stuff, but I always expected that once he got on his own feet, he would offer to do the same for me. However, when he started to work full time and I went back to school and worked only half time, I nagged about not going out anymore and he still never took me out or offered to help me with my bills (the kind of stuff I did for him when I was working full time). Even though the relationship is fine, I'm not sure I'm satisfied. We don't even live together yet and he doesn't like to talk about the 'future' or 'plans' what am I supposed to do? What am I supposed to feel?
-- Contributed by: Angela
There is a saying that says, "If you do what you always do, you get what you always get." You provide many examples of how your boyfriend is not meeting your needs, wants or expectations for a partner. One reason he has not asked you to marry him is that the two of you have very different views on dating, supporting a partner, finances, career success and marriage. Just because you each want different things from a relationship doesn't mean either of you is a bad partner. It simply means you're not the right partner for each other.
I think your boyfriend is trying to tell you this when he says, "I feel I can't give you all the things you want." It's not that he can't, it's that he chooses not to. This relationship is not fine, so there is no reason to feel guilty for ending it and finding a partner who shares your views about marriage. Finding a partner you have more in common with is sure to lead to your happiness and satisfaction in a relationship.
There has been a lot of eye contact with one of the contractors working in our building (they are only there temporarily). I'm not sure if it's a friendly flirt or an I'm interested in you flirt. It's been going on for the last five weeks, and I am at a loss at this point in time. Some say, if he was interested he would have approached me by now. I've backed off from flirting further with him. Your thoughts?-- Contributed by: Lori
When a contractor is hired for a job, there is automatically an imbalance of power. With the imbalance comes the risk of losing one's job should he do or behave in a way misconstrued as inappropriate. This could be one explanation for why the contractor did not approach you. Another possibility is that he is unavailable and saw flirting as harmless fun.
If you are interested in him and want to pursue something, then find a way to talk with him and let him know your interest. This will also give you an opportunity to gage his level of interest. When the conversation ends say something like, "well, it was nice talking to you. I hope we get a chance to do it again sometime." By letting him know you are interested in something further, you give him the opportunity to take you up on your offer without risking too much should he not follow through.
I have been dating a man much younger than me for a little over two years, this being our third breakup. He moved in with me 7 months ago partly for financial reasons and for a shared goal of starting a new job that took 3 months to ramp up. He wanted to live with me and he made a commitment to stop dating other women and be with me exclusively. Prior to moving in, he asked me if I ever thought of marrying him, while I told him I would like to be married in the next five years....I didn't really answer. The first three months of living together was really happy and great, he acted more in love with me then the other way around, he followed me like a puppy dog and asked me for advice on all major decisions. Then he did something that made me angry, so I told him about it and he just got upset. I thought he was being irresponsible and making bad choices. Instead of doing better, it got much worse. So, we continued to fight and I asked him to move out.
With everything, I thought of ending it forever, but he never really broke up with me, he said things like you are not my girlfriend and acted as if I made up our whole relationship and that he and I were just roommates. This could not be further from the truth, he told me he loved me, he slept with me arms wrapped around me many nights and he showed his love in many ways.
He has been calling me a lot since he moved out, sometimes several times a day, and one weekend (Valentine's). I ignored his calls the whole time. I finally saw him for the first time for only an hour and he said he wanted to call me, and he says he wants to take me out to dinner when he gets his big commission check.
''I really have deep feelings for him, but I don't want to live with his irresponsibility, as long as he lives somewhere else I think I can keep it together with him if he wanted to do so until he is ready to be more responsible. Since he has taken on the second job at night and moved into the house with many fix it projects, he hasn't been going out as much. He brags about the new job, he talks about working out and asked me to go work out at my gym, but then canceled and asked me to lunch instead. When I saw him he seemed shy and happy to see me, but since then he has not seen me. Next week he says he may work on a painting project with me at my house, we used to have fun doing that. When I got out of the car after seeing him the other day, he wouldn't let me leave, he kept saying, I want to do a business together, let's do something, let's get a job together, and so on and I told him I had to talk to him later about that.''
How can I get him to want a relationship with me? I think he feels like he can't have one because of all his financial stuff and that his job isn't really settled. He even used to say, I am not going to be in a relationship fully until I can bring everything to the table....so what is he going to do, just get rid of me because he isn't ready? I don't care that much that he isn't ready. I just love him and want to stay with him, I am 50 and don't want children and neither does he. I don't even really want or need to get married. I want a relationship though.
-- Contributed by: Karen
I once heard someone describe an audience at a meeting by saying people would rather sit by someone they knew and hated, then to sit by someone new. Some couples are like that too. They would rather stay in a miserable relationship then to look for someone new who could be wonderful. It is easy to see what traits make for a good partner; honesty, trustworthiness and integrity. When times are hard in a relationship the couple needs certain skills to manage the tough times; the ability to listen to one another, hear the other's perspective and problem solve for solutions. Without these traits and skills, relationships eventually end.
In your question, you describe in detail a relationship filled with examples of accusations, distrust, lies and anger. When problems arise, someone has walked away, denied the relationship or pushed the other person away. This relationship has run its course. All that connects the two of you is your history. As hard as it will be, it is time to let go.
My boyfriend and I have been dating going on 19 months. After a brief whirlwind courtship, we fell pregnant and have a beautiful baby girl now 6 months. After our baby was born, we went over to New Zealand from Australia to visit his family and introduce them to the new baby. When we arrived, he was arrested. He is now out on bail and can't leave NZ. I left my home and my family and moved over to NZ (which I hate) to be with him and support him and to try to make things work. I am so lonely here and don't know the city or anyone. I have no friends of my own. He got a job working nights and a recently got another job working days. He is now more concerned about going and meeting up with his old friends instead of spending anytime with me. Every time I try to tell him that I'm lonely and that I want to spend more time with him, he says that I'm like a jailer and that he isn't used to living with rules. I rarely leave the house and when I do, I am always with the baby. Only now after three months do I get one hour a week where I can go to a dance class to have a break and do something for myself. He says that we do spend time together because we live together. But it doesn't feel like a relationship anymore its more like housemates. He doesn't even make time to have sex anymore. I don't even have anyone to talk this over with, I don't see anyone but my baby girl all day with occasional glimpses of my man but other then that I'm so lonely and craving adult attention. I feel like I have tried everything to make things easier for him. I don't mind him going ou,t I just don't think its fair for me to have to look for him in the morning cause he hasn't come home yet or when he does come home so wasted that he sleeps all day. I can't rely on him to take some of the load of taking care of the baby or that there is no time to be a couple. I love him so much but I feel like this isn't working out and I should go back home where I have support from my family, where I have a life outside of being a mother and I don't have money trouble on top of a failing relationship and loneliness. Am I being unreasonable or is it time to go?-- Contributed by: Lonely Rachel
Dear Lonely Rachel,
Being the adventurous type, I tend to seek out new experiences. Recently, I had the opportunity to test this. You know what I discovered? That for all my bravado about loving change, I actually have a period when I don't really enjoy the change process. The bigger the change, the longer I experience feeling unsettled, unsure and like a fish out of water. I feel alone.
No matter how excited about starting a new job, having a baby or moving to a new state or country, we all go through a period of feeling doubt. How long this misgiving lasts has to do with the steps we take to move through the feelings of anxiety. If we try to hold on to the past or make comparisons to our old familiar places, friends, life, we tend to experience disequilibrium longer. Disequilibrium is the feeling that we can't control our life or current situation.
Change brings about disequilibrium. Even though our loved one wants to support and help us through this uncomfortable situation, he really can't ease our pain. You turned to your boyfriend for support to ease the pain of being alone in a new country. However, the longer you experience disequilibrium the more you turn to your boyfriend for support. The more you lean on him the more he resists you. Not because he doesn't care about your happiness, but because he can't be your whole world of support. His resistance has contributed to your feeling isolated and alone. This behavior is having a disastrous effect. Part of what is happening between the two of you is a result of his behaviors as well as yours. You've changed too. Becoming a mother and moving to a new place will cause change.
Before you decide if you should return to Australia or stay where you are, try taking steps to make New Zealand your home first. This means being connected, involved and becoming a part of New Zealand. Get on the Internet, contact your child's doctor or local church, and find out about mom and baby programs you can get involved with in your community. This will introduce you to other new mom's and possible playmates for your daughter. Check out community programs and events such as the zoo, museums or other local places of interest. Take your daughter on excursions daily or weekly, prioritizing the free ones to visit first. As you begin to become more independent, this change will grab the attention of your boyfriend.
With your new independence, you can begin reconnecting romantically to your partner. Start by asking him to invite another couple over for dinner. As you connect with the community, ask your boyfriend to join you and the baby on a sightseeing outing. Invite your boyfriend to go out as a couple. For a babysitter, he might ask one of his family members or you might ask one of the new mom's you've met through a mom and baby program. As you expand your efforts to connect and familiarize with New Zealand, your confidence will go up. The better you feel about yourself and your surroundings the greater an impact you'll have on those around you.
Is This Abuse?
Dear Lori, I need help. I am wondering if I should get back together with my now ex- boyfriend. I broke up with him after a generally happy one-year relationship. It ended after an argument one evening in which he accused me of cheating on him and then choked me twice. I never cheated on him. He says that I made him feel jealous because I did not introduce him to enough of my friends and while we hung out with my sisters he had not gotten a chance to meet my parents yet. I never met his either, however. We were planning on getting married someday and having children. We certainly had our arguments but the choking really scared me. I am confused. I don't want to make a mistake and find myself in a domestic violence situation someday. He desperately wants to get back together and calls and texts me several times a day.-- Contributed by: Amelia
There is NEVER a justification for the use of violence in a relationship. You are wise to be wary of getting back with your boyfriend after the choking incidents. The fact that he abused you and then blamed you for his behavior is an indication that you have experienced domestic violence in your relationship. It is likely that should the relationship continue the domestic violence would escalate over time.
Before deciding if you should forgive him and get back together I would recommend you call the domestic violence hotline at 1-800-799-7233 and learn more about domestic violence in dating relationships. Ask the counselor if based on the information you have provided, would couples counseling would be beneficial? If the answer is yes, then ask for the names of treatment providers in your area who work with couples. If treatment is appropriate, tell your boyfriend that the only way you would consider getting back with him is if both of you successfully complete counseling.
His refusal or agreement will help you to decide if you should get back together and whether there is a future for the relationship.
Moving Out Was a Mistake
I met a wonderful man 3 years ago and started seeing him on an almost daily basis from the start. He was still going through a divorce at the time. Things were great and a year later, I moved in with him. We are very compatible and never fight. He was always up front about not wanting to get married again, which I was fine with. I felt he was committed to me because we were looking to buy a home together and he said that he wanted to be with me forever. Something seemed to change recently; he is not interested in looking for a house anymore, even though our lease is up in a couple of months. He has also been a little distant emotionally. And I have noticed that he and the ex seem a little flirty when talking on the phone. I finally had a breakdown about the situation and moved out. Now I think I made a huge mistake, but he says we need to stay apart and figure things out. He tells me that I (me not him) is not ready to talk about it yet. What do you make of all this? I am miserable.
-- Contributed by: Donna
You moved out when you noticed changes in your boyfriend's behavior. He had a decreased interest in looking for a house to buy, he kept an emotional distance from you and he became more flirtatious with his ex on the phone. I assume that when you moved out you hoped he would come after you and want to work things out. Since he didn't, I am guessing this is the reason you feel that moving out was a mistake.
You say that the two of you were compatible and never fought. The problem with having never fought, you never worked through difficult problems either. Fighting or lack there of is not a good or bad thing in a relationship. The ability to bring up issues and work through them is a key ingredient for couples. The lack of experience with fighting may be why your boyfriend is addressing this problem by avoiding you. He may lack the skills for addressing conflict in a healthy and upfront manner. What I hear him saying is that what he has to say you are not going to want to hear, and he is probably right. That however doesn't mean you can't deal with whatever is going on between the two of you.
Call your boyfriend up and tell him that you want to know what has changed for him. Should he tell you that you are not ready talk about it, tell him that you may not like what he has to say but you are ready. If possible, set up a time and place to meet. It may be helpful to pick a neutral place. If he refuses to meet with you in-person, you may have to settle for talking on the phone. Keep in mind that talking and learning the truth is the goal.