"TV Relationship Expert Dr. Michelle is your relationship, career and personal coach for advice and coaching on life, love, and work."
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Dear Friends,

I believe we can learn a lot from each other’s difficulties and accomplishments. I created the Ask Dr. Michelle column to share my advice with many people at the same time, who although they don’t know it, are often facing some of the same challenges. I hope that my comments provide you with some insight into situations that you are facing in your life. If you have a question that you want me to answer, submit it below. I wish you all the best. (I try to answer as many questions as possible, but please understand that due to the number of questions that I receive I am not able to answer every question.)

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I regret having sex with my boyfriend

  • Recently, my boyfriend of one year and I had sex for the first time. We had talked about it a while before, and both had beliefs of waiting until marriage, but unfortunately that isn’t possible now. Even though it takes two people, I still feel hurt that my views were made clear and well known, and he couldn’t respect that. I, of course, could have stopped it from happening just as easy as him, but I did not. Am I wrong to feel upset at him? Or should I just except that we made a mistake? We talked afterward about it and agreed it shouldn’t have happened, and are still together continuing a strong relationship. I guess part of why I’m upset is I wanted my first time to be special, and definitely not something to look back on as a mistake. Any tips on dealing with this?

  • Everyone makes mistakes. You have to accept that you both made a mistake. If you still strongly believe that you should wait to have sex until you are married then don’t focus on the fact that you made this one mistake. You can decide from this day forward that you won’t make that mistake again, and you don’t have to become sexually active until you are married. I know once you are married, it won’t be the “first” time, you won’t ever get the first time back again. But, if you think that sex should be saved for marriage, continue to save it.

    You may feel that your boyfriend pressured you to have sex, but as you said, you could have also stopped things from going forward. If you feel that he pressures you into many other things you don’t want to do, then you should talk to him about it. But, you can’t expect other people to respect your wishes if you aren’t respecting them yourself. Even more than he owes you the respect of backing off, you owe yourself the respect of standing your ground and sticking to your word about waiting to have sex. You are expressing your anger toward him but deep down inside you are probably actually mad at yourself because you know you compromised on something that you didn’t want to give in to. You simply have to forgive yourself and your boyfriend if you expect to continue to try to have a happy and healthy relationship.

    You can still have a “special” first time, it can be the first time you have sex after you are married. Don’t beat yourself up too badly about this. You can’t take it back, all you can do now is plan that in the future, you will stand up for what you believe in and not be pressured into doing something that you don’t want to do. Everyday is a chance to start over, so start over today.

    Wishing you all the best!

    Dr. Michelle

Does it matter if your potential soul mate lives in another state?

  • When you finally meet someone who could be a potential soul mate, does it matter if they live in another state?

  • Distance does not mean that you cannot pursue a friendship or romantic relationship with someone who lives somewhere else. With today’s technology of text, chat, email, video chat, free internet phone service and social networking sites, it is easy to keep in touch with someone long distance on a regular basis. Sometimes the distance allows people to really get to know more about each other before they get physically involved.

    I do feel however, that before you or your partner decides to move closer to each other or move in with each other, that you take a significant amount of time getting to know each other. You still need to follow some of the same rules of dating that you would follow if you were living in the same place, which include taking your time to really get to know a person before you decide to move in, get married or have kids. Oftentimes, when you just talk by phone, you don’t get to know what someone is like on a day-to-day basis in person. It can be like an extended honeymoon period where everything stays very happy all of the time because you aren’t doing the more boring or difficult things like deciding who is going to cook dinner or clean the bathroom. Instead you may just be sharing all of the good times and avoiding the bad, which you can’t avoid when you are together in the same space. It may be that on your short visits to see each other that you have a great time, but those short visits are not the same as living together.

    Sometimes the distance between people is what keeps them excited about seeing each other, like the idea of “absence makes the heart grow fonder.” You will have to make sure that you and your partner don’t get bored with each other when you are always able to be together. Whatever you do, don’t be discouraged by the distance, just take it slow. Good luck!

    Dr. Michelle

We are no longer dating so do we have to be friends?

  • I recently stopped dating someone. She felt that we could know longer see each other, but she insists that we can still call and talk to each other. I don’t call, but she feels like I should still call her as if we are still in a relationship. I need to know if I need to tell her that if she wants to call me she can, but I don’t have to call her. I don’t want to play any games with her as I stated from the start of our relationship. What is your advice to me? Please help me?

  • The woman you used to date wants to have her cake and eat it too. She cannot demand that you continue to treat her like you all are dating, if you are no longer dating! If you want to be friends with her that is fine, but SHE can’t tell YOU that you MUST call her. It sounds like she still wants all of the comforts and benefits of dating without the costs. Maybe she wants you to hang around for a while and help transition her out of this relationship with you until she is ready for a relationship with someone else. It isn’t fair to expect you to treat her like a girlfriend if she isn’t going to treat you like a boyfriend. Don’t feel obligated to let her play with your feelings. All you need to do is stand up to her and set some clear boundaries that work for you. You are acting like you have to compromise with her (as if you are in a relationship) when you don’t owe her that. If you don’t want to play these games then speak up and say so.

    Good luck!

    Dr. Michelle