Hi Lucia,

My boyfriend’s birthday is coming up. What is the limit on the dollar amount to spend when buying a gift for a man? I don’t mind taking him to lunch for his birthday, a movie or purchasing a small gift of appreciation. We’ve been dating for 10 months. What do you suggest?


Dear AKS,

I think that after 10 months you can take him to either lunch or dinner and give him a card. Depending on how close you are, you may also consider a small, inexpensive gift.

Dear Lucia,

I broke up with my boyfriend over six months ago. He asked if we could still be friends because he could not imagine his life without me in it. My response was no. He continued to call anyway, about once a week.

After a few months, he started to call more frequently. He said he missed me and wanted to talk to me. We had one face-to-face visit. He did ask to see me on several occasions but I had plans so I declined. Last week, he said that he loved me but it’s complicated and asked me not to make him explain.

What is your interpretation of this conversation? He is the one who brought up the feelings stuff. This is so maddening. I still care for him deeply but I refuse to put myself out there again for him if he has not changed.

The romantic in me wants to believe that my absence has made him realize that he loves me but it’s possible that he is playing head games. We were together for about a year prior to the break-up. We had some good times and some bad times but near the end the bad overshadowed the good and I was tired of being miserable.


Dear Lisa,

It’s essential that you find out what he means by “complicated.” When you are having a heart to heart discussion with someone, you need to ask for clarification on things you don’t understand. His explanation holds the key to what is really going on.

I was in a similar situation once. I was dating someone casually, he didn’t seem to want to move the relationship forward, and I couldn’t understand why. I asked for clarification and found out that he did like me and thought about me all the time. However, he was scared because he had been badly burned in a recent relationship and he was not ready to go there again at the moment.

Could it be possible that your ex is in a similar state of mind? One way or another you need to find out why it’s “complicated.” Let me know.

Dear Lucia,

You’re doing a great job with the articles. You’re straightforward and give good advice. I have a small dilemma. Who do you think should make the first move when they see someone that they like? Should the guy say hello first?


Dear Andreea,

While in the long run I don’t think it makes that much difference, the general consensus seems to be to let the man say something first. Dr. Pat Allen, author of Getting to I Do says that, “He who speaks first, is male.”

She means, if you want to be the female energy in the relationship, you need to let the man be the male and males generally like to take charge and pursue. You can always help the process along by smiling at someone you are interested in.

REMEMBER: Love inspires, empowers, uplifts and enlightens.

Write to Lucia at: www.theartoflove.net.

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