Q: My relationships never work out. I jump in bed too fast or else do other things that drive men away. I know I can be needy, but that's just how I am. I don't want to spend the rest of my life all alone. I'm thinking I need to hire a dating coach to help me finally get it right. What do you think? My friends all say it would be a waste of money.
Steve: Maybe yes, maybe no. In the end, there's pretty much someone for everyone. But it can be difficult finding that right person. First, understand that you'll never find perfect. Or be perfect. Ain't there. But you ARE looking for people who agree with you. Make a list. Think about things that are good for you. Be yourself, not just make behavior to win another. That will not work, because you only make a relationship when you are yourself.
Mia: Since nothing changes until something changes, hiring a dating coach isn't a bad idea. She can help you present your best self and also talk you through various dating mistakes, such as overanalyzing a situation or getting sexual too quickly. Before you plunk down your credit card, ask yourself: Are you really ready to listen and take another person's advice? A lot of people say they are, but then when a coach tells them to lose the gray hair or drop 20 pounds, they balk. Also, do your research. Check references carefully before you sign any contracts. There are lots of folks these days claiming that they're dating coaches, but they'll just take your money. Don't fall victim to a scam.
Q: I've been divorced twice, and I cannot even think about a third failure. Yet here I am, age 38, and tempted again. How can I know if this one will work? How can I know I may find the best woman ever in 10 years? Do I become a third husband in a row? I do NOT want to do that if the relationship falls apart. Tell me what to do.
Mia: Whoa, dude! You're moving too fast. You don't want a rebound relationship. Before you start fretting over getting married again, focus on reconnecting with another person romantically. Take your time, and get to know her. Maybe you'll marry again. Maybe you won't. Don't let marriage be your goal. Let your goal be self-discovery and also falling in love. I wish you luck.
Steve: There are plenty of things to do. But none of them carries a guarantee. Get to know her. Spend time with her. Become friends. Generally speaking, people you care about now who also care about you now will be wonderful partners. But, alas, there's never a guarantee. That's life.
Between them, Steve and Mia have logged more than a few decades in the single-and-dating world. They're also wise to the ways of married life. They don't always agree, but they have plenty of answers. Contact them at S&M c/o Daily News, 801 Market St., Philadelphia, PA 19107 or firstname.lastname@example.org.