Dr. Goodheart's Flirting Hints
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Dr. Goodheart's Flirting Hints for Dating Success

Hangin' On, & Lettin' Go
How to tell if Your Man's Holding You Back - And what to do about it...

~ It seems like we hear about it all the time in the tabloids; men and women splitting up because of "irreconcilable differences". From Jess and Nick, to Angelina and Billy Bob, to Nicole Kidman and Tom Cruise, it seems everywhere woman are splitting up and stepping out. With all three of these women on an all-time personal and professional high: Jessica Simpson's multiple endorsement ads, record deals, acting gigs, and rumors of her many 'beaus'; Angelina's longstanding liaison with Hollywood hunk and proud-foster 'papa' Brad Pitt and her multiple box office hits and celebrity fame; Nicole Kidman's multiple Oscar noted performances and big-league status as well as her recent rumored nearly-nuptials with country star Keith Urban , it seems that perhaps these woman should have stated there reasons for separation as "oppressive partner" rather than "irreconcilable differences". Not to say that was the case, but it is to suggest that perhaps a little "suffocation" on behalf of their male counterparts, and specifically their egos could have at times, been felt to threaten the success of these "independent women."

Usually "possessive" and "jealous" types are easy enough to spot. But sometimes that "oh so adorable adoration" can get a little overboard without one ever noticing. That said, your man could potentially be holding you back, whether for selfish or good intentions. He may just be trying to protect you, or he may be attempting to thwart your success for sake of his own. Whatever the case, both can be damaging, to the relationship and your mental health. Likewise, it's not always men that are the culprits and it should be noted that generally those "nice guys" are just as susceptible to lavishing our every needs for sake of their own. Still it is important to objectively reflect upon your relationship and make sure that you and your partner are on mutual ground. That means feeling like you each support one another and are each other's biggest fans, not biggest buzz kills. To see if your man is possibly guilty of holding you back from your dreams refer to the following "culpable scenarios."


After accomplishing a major milestone in your personal or professional life does your partner really participate and elevate your celebration of success or does he merely smile and give a nonchalant "Good for you honey" as a response? When you're in the middle of trying to reach that goal does your partner support you in the process or does he find ways, no matter how nonchalant, to interject "mini-mountains" into your course of action? Chances are if your partner's the type to invite pals over the night before your big exam, or to accidentally forget about that big celebration brunch you've been planning, then he's far more into his own concerns than your own. His passive-aggressive behavior is a sign that unless he's somehow involved or affected by the circumstances, your concerns are simply of no concern for him, and that is never a healthy component for a relationship.

CULPABLE SCENARIO 2) Professional Pessimism

Men are extremely sensitive when it comes to feeling insecure about their 'career' status. As such, be aware that it is likely your current 'rank' will generally be, even if subconsciously, in comparison to his (even with supportive partners). Still, your partner can be generally happy for you for that recent promotion even if he's feeling a little down about his own status: a truly supportive partner will always show genuine enthusiasm and adoration for your professional accomplishments. Conversely, if your promotion garners obvious tension that leads to pervading jealousy, inexplicable fights, etc., chances are your partner is more interested in being "better than you" on a professional level; there is an obvious lack of genuine respect and admiration for you as a significant other. If your partner is always encouraging you to leave work early, call in sick, brush off assignments, and seems indifferent or even bothered by your progressive career development, chances are he may be trying to slow down your rate of success to either be inferior to, or equal to his own.

CULPABLE SCENARIO 3) Limelight Leech

Is your partner the type that cuts you off in the middle of your shining moment, be it while you're telling a joke at a party, being complimented, or being referred to for advice? "My boyfriend used to always cut me off mid-sentence in the middle of a story so he could finish it, but his version was always full of corny or lewd jokes to get a quick rise and keep the spotlight on him. I felt invisible, and embarrassed to be with him."-Mary, IL. If you're man is the type to always steal the spotlight and/or redirect it back towards him and away from you chances are he's having an insecurity fit. A lot of men simply can't handle being outdone; by female or male, and their competitive nature can make them subconsciously overtly competitive. Still, a respectful partner will allow you to shine in your moment and supportively hold your hand the whole way through. Anyone who does otherwise may simply not be ready for a true commitment. Supportive partners always try to include, not exclude you from the action, spotlight or no.