Love Advice

Love Advice: Bi-Sexual Friends…With Benefits?

Judy-Torres

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Dear Judy:

I’m a 32 year old, divorced for 7 years, single mom. My best friend is a 32 year old, divorced for 1 year, single mom. We are both bi-sexual, as are several of our mutual and not mutual friends. Friends with benefits is fairly common in our circle, for both physical and emotional needs and just for fun because we’re friends. Yet, my friend constantly denies her belief in FWB, saying how it never works out, ending friendships etc. I have no problem with her viewpoint, and while we are affectionate with each other at times (hand-holding, cuddling, cheek kissing) I have kept my hands to myself, as it were, despite wanting to just kiss her silly at times.

But then she’s gone and had sex with her ‘best friend’ who lives in Washington DC (several states away), twice. Twice! And since her divorce she constantly talks about trying to find jobs in DC and this friend can help her get a place and I simply sit there and listen while she essentially talks about leaving me and our friendship and everything I’ve done for her.

This has happened to me before with anti-FWB friends who don’t practice what they preach, at least not with me. Obviously, this hurts my pride and self esteem and causes great self doubt.

So now my one sided best friend will leave, eventually. It may be next month or next year, but it will happen. So, knowing that I apparently wasn’t the one, and knowing that when she moves we will most likely grow apart, I want to know if I should just confess it all before she gets on the plane (or rental car, as it were) or just put it on my long list of ‘ Shoulda Dones’ and leave it be?

Thank you for any assistance you can offer,
Bisexual Boricua in the Bronx

 

Dear Bisexual Boricua in the Bronx,

The major rule about a friend with benefits is that you have NO intimate feelings for the friend. Is this different – do you have feelings for your friend? Why would you be so upset about your friend connecting with someone else? If you’re just friends and nothing else, then you should be happy for her. But I have a feeling this is about your pride. You feel that because you’ve shown her respect by not making a move, you should be naturally next in line. But no – she didn’t even consider you. How dare she? Right? Not happening.

I believe that if she was really interested in you, she would have given you a clue, given you a green light that it was okay to make a move. But she hasn’t. She’s already hooked up with someone else. Look at her ACTIONS , not what she’s telling you. The bottom line is this: if she was interested SHE would be with you. Period.

If you need some form of closure on this subject then go ahead and ask her why she chose her friend first, and not you. But isn’t it possible that her friend is more than a friend to begin with? I’m as open minded as Lady Gaga, but I believe this friends with benefits game just leaves you feeling hurt, empty and it’s just an excuse to keep you from finding real love. And everyone deserves that, even you, even a bisexual Boricua from the Bronx! There are no benefits, just pain. Move on, move forward, my friend!

Love, Judy

Love Advice: Mid-life Crisis

Judy Torres

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Dear Judy:

My father is in his early 50’s and I am 19 years old. He and my mother split about six years ago, and he has begun to date women who are only a few years older than I am — young women who could easily be my peers in the classroom.

My dad is a wonderful guy, but when it comes to women he’s very superficial. He doesn’t see any problem with dating very young women, and tries to push me into “befriending” each girlfriend. He will also sometimes make me baby-sit for their children — the children they had at 16 or 17 — and tell me that it’s a “bonding experience.”

Most of these women are ditzy and dumb. I am a serious-minded academic and would prefer not to interact with these people, and I would definitely not want to have one of these women as a stepmother.

How can I explain to my father that the age of his girlfriends makes me uncomfortable, and I would rather not be forced to “get along” with them?

Sincerely,
Embarrassed in Elmont

 

Dear Embarrassed,

It sounds like your father has been going through a rough time. He is not the only man to go through such a time – in life we call this a “mid-life crisis.” Because you are much younger and a “serious-minded academic,” you see the “dysfunction” clearer than he does. Divorce/separation is a hard thing for all, and trying to start over and find oneself again in their 50’s can be VERY challenging. At such an age, the first thing that might enter one’s mind is: “Who will think I’m attractive and desirable at this age?” He is in a state of panic, and doesn’t realize it. Younger women showing interest in him is a HUGE boost for his ego. Not only does it make him feel wanted (which we all need to feel), but to some extent is keeps him attached to the youth he is afraid of losing.

Your father is an adult – he is free to do whatever he wants, and free to date whomever he chooses. You cannot tell him how to live his life. BUT you don’t have to play third wheel here…it’s awkward! At 19, you are now a young woman, and this is a great opportunity to show your father that you can make your own choices as well. Let him know that you love him beyond words, but you are not a babysitter – you are his daughter. Life is about setting boundaries. Let him know that you don’t mind an occasional update on his dating life, but his dating life seems like a revolving door – one woman after another – and it’s unfair to both you and him to have to adjust to a new woman every time you get used to a different one.

Set your boundaries. You are an intelligent woman for 19. Tell him you don’t want to be involved in his private life until he believes for sure she is someone he thinks he will marry. Tell him not to force you to be these women’s friends – you are quite capable of deciding who you want to be friends with, and pushing you to do so only builds resentment.

Lastly, let him know that he and whichever woman he dates are adults, and if they want to go out and have fun, they can find a babysitter. Give him more time, and he will eventually realize what he is doing…and if he doesn’t, and he truly finds a woman whom he wants to marry, then he is entitled to do so. But you are entitled to be yourself, and be the daughter! You will be by his side because you love him, but you don’t have to tolerate being in the middle anymore!

Love,
Judy

Love Advice: Former Playboy…Or Still Playing?

Judy-Torres

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Dear Judy,

I’ve been dating a 29 year old guy named Jack for just over a year and a half….we have a very strong, loving, honest relationship….we have tons in common, still talk on the phone for four hours at a time, are open and honest with each other, very affectionate and loving with words and deeds, the sex is great….we are best friends and soulmates…we will finally be moving in together in January….we just bought a new vacuum cleaner and a set of dishes, in fact….we also have talked about plans to get engaged within a year …we have talked about wanting kids together eventually when we are married and both ready.

It all seems perfect right? Maybe it is and I am just paranoid, but I am just so afraid anyway.

On the down side for him is his past. In his youth, he was always a huge playboy; he was all about the sex and the fun. When his friends find out how serious we are, they always laugh and say ‘Wow,’ and I don’t know what to think. Is it normal to think this way about past loves? Do I have anything to be worried about? Was he just being a dumb male and confessing a bit too much of his private thoughts?

Please help. I have been badly betrayed by men in the past. I’m not sure if I am just being paranoid over nothing, or trying not to be paranoid over something I should be afraid of.

Sincerely,
Terrified in Tarrytown

 

Dear Terrified:

I certainly can understand your concerns and you are wise to question this. While I have no doubt your boyfriend really cares about you, it seems that as he gets closer to making a real commitment (getting engaged, moving in, etc.), he is very frightened and that may be one of the reasons his mind is straying to past relationships and other women.

On the other hand, if he has unresolved feelings for these woman, when things get rough between the two of you, he may turn to the fantasy of what that might have been like, and believe me, it is impossible to compete with a ghost.

Secondly, I would question his concerns about commitment in general. What kind of family does he come from? Does he have a good relationship with his mother? Are his parents still together? Is he stable emotionally? Is there any history of depression or anxiety in his family?

There is nothing wrong with playing the field before making a commitment, but as the two of you get closer, he seems to be questioning “the one who got away.”

On the plus side, you two seem to be very good friends. You say you talk on a very deep level. If this is true, you absolutely need to voice your concerns. Believe me, they are valid ones.

Ask him how serious he is about his feelings about his past and if he is really ready to make the kind of commitment you both are. I can tell from your letter that you are an intelligent and thoughtful young woman. You deserve to put
these issues to rest. Otherwise, they will haunt you and destroy what actually seems to be a very lovely relationship.

Good luck in this matter, and please, keep me posted!

Love,
Judy

Love Advice: Disrespected Me But He’s Sorry…

Judy Torres

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Querida Judy,

My boyfriend and I have been on the outs lately and the worst part is that we live together so we have to deal with each other every single day. I work from home, so I’m in this hostile space all day.

Last week, my boyfriend and I went out on a date with other couples. He invited one more person though. A stripper! She didn’t come with a date but she came with her twins hanging out (if you know what I mean). I began interrogating him…who is this woman, how do you know her, why did you invite her?

The whole thing ended up with he and I coming to blows! He was mostly blocking my girly punches, but I did break his pinky finger. We are barely on speaking terms and I realize that I may have been acting out, maybe I was insecure, maybe he was wrong, maybe this, maybe that.

The point is that I am sorry and so is he. Do you think that after we showed each other so much disrespect and in
front of our friends AND in a public space, that we can come back from this hell and love again?

Sincerely,
Insegurita

 

Dear Insegurita:

Broken pinky finger. Blows. Stripper. This all sounds so Jerry Springer to me. In other words, your relationship seems HIGHLY dysfunctional. Chica, I live by one standard that has never steered me wrong: home is a safe place. At home I can be myself. It is the one place on earth where no matter how bad my day went, once I walk through the door, serenity envelops me. Home is especially NOT a place of hostility. So, I live by the belief that if my home cannot be that safe place full of peace & love, someone has got to go.

He invited someone WITHOUT telling you, and to make matters worse, he invited a stripper?! Sorry, but he definitely knows her from somewhere…wonder where? And though I have no proof, I get a strong feeling that he invited her to get a rise out of you. And it worked. He obviously might have been sabotaging things so you would break it off. To me, once things get physical, and you are behaving in unladylike ways, it’s time for a break.

You mention that your boyfriend is sorry, but I read nothing in the letter where he asked your forgiveness. Better to live alone and be in peace, than to live with someone who leaves your heart in pieces. Love is patient, love is kind. My dear, love does not hurt. You need a break. You need solitude. Remember home is peaceful…and I truly wish you peace.

Love,
Judy

Love Advice: Does He Truly Love Me?

Judy Torres

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Dear Judy,

My boyfriend and I have been seeing each other for 8 months. I feel like whenever we hang out with our friends he goes out of his way to put me down. He also puts me down when we are alone. He calls me names, he criticizes
me and says very hurtful things. How can someone who tells me he loves me insult me and make me feel so worthless?

I love him and want to work this out. What should I do?

Sincerely,
Hopelessly in love

 

Dear Hopelessly in Love,

Eight months, let alone, 8 days or 8 minutes is too long to accept or endure this type of treatment toward you. The
sad fact that he calls you names, criticizes you & says hurtful things to you has NOTHING to do with you. He’s the one with a problem. He is insecure, inferior & in therapy is where he should be!

He obviously feels good when he makes others feel bad…nothing to do with you. You are a child of God, born in perfection the way He planned it. Love does not hurt. Love does not hurt. Yes, I said it twice in the hope that you will let it seep into your brain & into your heart!! When a man loves you, he will raise you up, lift you up, and be SO proud of you, that when he’s around his friends, he has nothing but wonderful things to say about you.

So now, what to do? You know what to do, you’re just afraid. Don’t you allow this to go on one more day!! If you don’t put a stop to this now, I fear one day, before you know it, he might shove you, or worse. Put your foot down, hold your head up…and tell him that if he wants you, he can no longer say or do things, in front of others or in private, that make you feel less than loved.

If he does not change or if he tells you that you’re being silly, or too sensitive, walk away. Love does not hurt! Big hug. You can do it!

Love,
Judy

Love Advice: Questioning Loyalty? Ask how she would feel.

Judy Torres

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Dear Judy:

I met Heather three months ago when I went out to a nightclub. Heather is the kind of girl that I’ve been looking for all my life. I’m not a young man, Judy. I’m older and I’m really particular about what I like, want and will put up with. Anyway, Heather told me she loves me, and I told her that I loved her back.

Now here’s the problem: I called Heather two days ago to ask her out on a date for our usual night. But a friend she hasn’t seen in many months (who lives and works out of town) called her up out of the blue and said he wanted to get together with her. She offered to let him crash at her place. The issue? Heather broke our date and her friend is a guy. I can’t get it out of my head that she broke a date with me to go have a couple of beers with this guy. I am angry beyond belief here. I do love Heather and care for her more than any other girl I’ve dated in years, but I won’t stand for disloyalty. What should I do?

Sincerely,
Jilted in Jericho

 

Dear Jilted in Jericho:

Here is the question that mankind has been trying to answer since our very existence: Can men and women be just friends? It is so exciting and wonderful when we meet the person who we believe is perfect just for us. You may have heard me say this before, but I believe it is worth repeating. It takes approximately a year and a half to truly know a person. You have only known Heather for ninety days. It’s been 90 days
and you and Heather have already said “I love you” to one another. However, you still don’t really know Heather. You only know the fantasy of what you believe her to be. So she may be wonderful, but she will have flaws.

People who have nothing to hide, hide nothing. Do you know this man’s name? How long have they been friends? Why does he need to stay with her? We cannot just stop being friends because it makes our mates uncomfortable. However, we need to be respectful that the new love in our life as well.

I don’t think Heather has done anything wrong in breaking your normal date night. Life happens, and sometimes there will be disappointments. I do think, however, she should be willing to introduce him to you while he’s in town – have lunch together. Ultimately, you need to ask yourself if YOU are okay with her having male friends. If the answer is no, then you need to let her know that you are not comfortable with this. The most important thing here is for you to tell her that this makes you very uncomfortable.

Ask Heather how she would feel if you had a female friend stay over your house? This is a great way to open up the “friend” conversation. Can she have male friends? Of course. Can they stay over? Uh, no.

You sound like a wonderful man. Approach her with a mature tone of voice, and do not come across possessive, that’ll just scare her away. God bless!!

Love Advice: Turned Off by Post Traumatic Stress Disorder?

Judy Torres

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Dear Judy:

I recently got out of the Army and am now going to college. I did a tour in Iraq where we did and saw some things that were pretty bad. Some of my nonmilitary friends think I may be a little “nuts” when I laugh about the things we did and when telling my stories. Now, since being out, I have been with a few girls. It’s hit or miss with having good sex. Sometimes I can’t get it up or finish too quickly, and other times, I feel like I’m in a porno. I’ve done some research on this topic, and it could be PTSD or lack of an adrenaline rush or just trying to readjust to regular life. I don’t think I have PTSD — it just seems that I’m all about the adrenaline rush.

It’s just kind of hard to get excited about anything in life nowadays, including sex, so I have to take it to severe extremes. But I’m afraid someone’s going to get hurt. Help me out, please. What do you think I should do?

Thank you,
Soldier Boy in the South Bronx

 

Dear Hero:

Anyone willing to go to war to protect our rights, our freedom, and to allow us to go to bed with peace of mind is a hero in my eyes. Thank you so much for sharing your story, because I know there are many out there experiencing exactly what you are, but haven’t had the courage to speak up. Since I am not in the military, and have never been subjected to the horrors of war, I cannot relate to your stories, and nor can your friends. So my first bit of advice would be to find a veterans support group where you can share your stories, and no one thinks you’re a little “nuts.” The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are a different type of war – having occurrences of suicide as many as those from the Vietnam War! Today’s military men are sent to war for longer periods of time, and sent for more than one deployment/tour – some are returning four times! War is hell, and you are eyewitnesses to the unthinkable!!

I know you’ve researched PTSD – Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. I have too, and just in reading your letter I can tell you that it appears you are experiencing some of the symptoms. For example, you say that you find it “kind of hard to get excited about anything in life nowadays.” To me that sounds like one of the symptoms: hopelessness about your future. And when you talk about “needing an adrenaline rush,” it reminds me of the symptom of destructive behavior. You’re looking for something to give you that edge that you most likely felt when you were in Iraq. Impotence & premature ejaculation are also symptoms for many veterans experiencing PTSD, but many are not talking about it for obvious reasons of feeling shame and not “feeling like a man.”

And, although I am not a doctor, I recall in college taking a psychology class, where the professor told us that sex is not just something that feels good, but something that gives us a sense of power. Sex also involves being vulnerable, and after going to war, who wants to feel vulnerable? I am wondering if the problems you are feeling during sex are linked to feeling out of control, or feeling somewhat powerless. And I think your experiencing of sex like a ‘porno’ is your feeling of being detached or removed from being connected, vulnerable and close to someone – also a symptom. The fact that you mention that you are worried that ‘someone might get hurt’ to me is a red flag that you are VERY aware that you feel a bit out of control. Besides, who in the world would be able to function at all in life after seeing the horrors you have?!

The biggest question here is, how LONG have you been feeling this way? If you’ve felt like this for more than a month, I would say it is time for you to seek professional help – find out if you actually have PTSD or some other form of anxiety disorder.

You can reach out to the National Center for PTSD at www.ptsd.va.org or call toll-free National Caregivers Support line: 855-260-3274, or speak to your doctor for a referral. And if it’s a true crisis and emergency, call 911.

Many veterans feel like the civilian public does not care…please know that we DO. I pray for you, for your peace of mind, for your life to feel like it’s back to “normal” and for you to feel joy, emotional connection and real LOVE with a good woman! You have been a hero to us, soldier. Now it is time to be a hero to you!!

Love,
Judy

Latina Stars Turned Authors

Two Latina celebrities are sharing personal experiences inside their first published books.

Body Book
Cameron Diaz shares her formula for becoming happier, healthier, and stronger in this positive, essential guide that is grounded in science and inspired by personal experience.

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The Love Playbook: Rules for Love, Sex, and Happiness
Lala Anthony channels her most rewarding and challenging lessons into a personal playbook, providing empowering, go-to advice for healthy relationships and a happy life.

Nine West Celebrates The Premiere Of "Project Runway All Stars" Season 2 At The Lexington Avenue Flagship Store In NYC

Has Online Dating Become the New Bar Scene or Something Else?

online datingThe way people have dated in the past has greatly changed by one thing, the Internet. Online dating sites have become such a “go-to” place to meet compatible men and women that some people may even feel they have to alter their profile of whom they really are just to get noticed. While this should not have to be the case, here are some sites (and there are of course many more) specifically for Latinos to help you find your soul mate: www.latinlovesearch.com, www.latinopeoplemeet.com, and www.ichatlatino.com.

Now here are two ordinary people, Judy Hernandez of New Brunswick, NJ and Nick Powanda of Colonia, NJ, that give their insight about the benefits, disadvantages, successes, and if making any changes to your online profile more attractive for online dating. Remember, that online dating is a personal choice and traditional dating may be something that is more for you, but you and only you can decide that for yourself.

Interviewer: What is your take of online dating and do you feel that it is a benefit or a disadvantage to finding your soul mate?

Judy Hernandez (JH): Online dating is a great way for busy people to meet people. A benefit to online dating is that you can see the profile of many people at one time, while a disadvantage is that people may not portray themselves honestly.
Nick Powanda (NP): I think that with an online dating service you get to put all of your personal opinions and hobbies, to name a few, on display for millions of other users to see. It makes it a lot easier to find someone you really connect with and on a much more personal level.

Interviewer: How successful do you think online dating is overall?

JH: I believe that online dating has a high success rate because it’s becoming the norm. I’ve also heard that people who meet online have gotten married.
NP: As for how successful it is I know a couple who met online several years ago and I they just recently got engaged. I met my last girlfriend online, and for the most part she was a semi-long-term girlfriend and a friend of mine has also had a couple long term girlfriends that he’s met online.

Interviewer: Would you change anything about yourself to make your online profile more attractive?

JH: I wouldn’t change anything about myself to make my online profile more attractive because if someone is going to want to meet me, I would want them to know the real me and I would never portray someone I am not.
NP: When it comes to my online presence, what you see is what you get. I want to present myself exactly as I am and I don’t feel like I need to “sugar coat” anything to please anyone.

So, is online dating right for you?

Fell in love in Brazil…now what? Judy Torres gives her advice!

Ask Judy
The Freestyle Legend con un corazón de oro!

long-distance-relationship_m
Dear Judy,

I went Brazil a few months ago and as you can only guess…I fell in love. I am partly disappointed in myself for allowing this to happen. I am usually against this kind of thing—the whole long distance relationship thing.

So, my handsome Brazilian says that I should either move in with him in Recife or we could work things out so that he can come live with me here in Queens.

I’m just torn because there is no one here that comes close to him in any way. I am half Brazilian too and he brings out the best part of me…the Brazilian side :) We are pretty perfect together. Sadly, I have seen people get used in these types of relationships. But I have also seen these situations work out beautifully.

If you have a crystal ball in your handbag, can you take it out and tell me how things are looking for me and my man?

Obrigada,

Belinda

Judy Torres
Dear Brazilian Beauty!!

When it comes to love, we cannot help whom we fall in love with. Long distance relationships can be exciting. We are away from home, out of our element, and many times we experience a temporary lapse of sanity, resulting in breaking many of our own rules. Being in a different place allows us to relax, and be a little less inhibited.

My crystal ball is hazy on this. I cannot see clearly at all and perhaps neither can you. So, my dear, my advice is to take a year or two to get to know one another. Next time you see your boyfriend, have him come visit here. Let him see your American lifestyle first. Now, if you decide to take the dive, then I would say let him come to you. He’s a man, and when a man wants a woman he will do anything to have her.

Loving someone is a risk. You can fly and soar and have happily ever after, or you can crash and burn. BUT, you will walk away with wisdom, and you will not have to live with wondering “what if”. Just do it in a smart way. You don’t want to go to Brazil and be without friends and family who can be the little angels on your shoulders, warning you if they see danger. Be smart about going forward, and protect yourself.

All the best,

Judy