I ran into a guy that I had a huge crush on 10 years ago when we worked together. He’s gorgeous, and I was thrilled when he asked me out. We had a great time, but he spent the whole evening talking about his recent separation from wife No. 2. I listened and made suggestions about dealing with her. He seemed to really appreciate me. He kept squeezing my hand and, later, he kissed me good night. I realized that I really like this guy. I could see myself with him long term. Then, on our fifth date, he starts talking about some 20-year-old woman he met at a party and who is his soul mate. What am I missing here? How did I go from the person he was calling and texting daily, having wonderful dates with, to the person he talks to about women he’s crushing on?
Actually, how did you go from five dates to being heart invested? Oh, I know: You had your eye on him back in the day. Running into him again and breaking bread together is not a sign that Cupid has coupled you for a lifetime. Maybe the sole, uh, I mean, soul purpose of being his gal pal was to companion him, briefly, through the messy aftermath of marriage No. 2. And, since luck is in your corner, this dating experience gave you a glimpse of his immaturity. He’s still attached to wife No. 2 but fantasizing about another woman as his soul mate while tossing you a few crumbs to keep you in his dating pool. Whew! Aren’t you relieved he’s interested in someone else?
Now, jot this down in the notebook of your memory: When a man you’re pining for is walking wounded because of an unresolved relationship, don’t play therapist. Yes, he may be grateful if you do. However, unless he is co-dependent, he won’t think of you as the perfect romantic partner. He will think of you as the friend who helps him solve problems with women. It’s also kind to practice self-discipline. Don’t give yourself completely, even in thought, to a man who is separated. He may think of himself as divorced, but he’s not. The raw emotions and messy finances are clear signs of a clouded life. Why get involved? He can’t give himself to you fully when he is still attached, mind, body and household, to someone else. So let him run after the 20-something. You deserve a man whose maturity matches your own.
I started my own massage practice and am struggling to earn enough money to live on. I have plenty of clients, but most of them tell me that they can’t afford my full fee. If I continue to provide reduced-rate services, I will have to take a second job. Some business books say I should turn away clients who can’t pay my fee. That worries me, because I don’t know if it will ruin my business.
If the primary feedback you receive is that your fee is too high, you may be targeting the wrong segment of the population. Move your practice to a zip code where more high-income earners live and work. Or reduce your fee and serve the people contacting you. If you choose the latter, opt to designate a percentage of your practice to those on a tight budget (moms-to-be or newly unemployed, for example) and fill the rest of your schedule with loyal, full-fee clients. But remember, most of us struggle financially, so make your service beneficial enough that we include it in our monthly budget. After all, massage is as essential to health as a gym membership, right?