Dear Readers,

Since my last few columns have been longer than usual, I haven’t been able to answer a lot of letters. I’ve decided to devote this entire column to Q&A. Enjoy!

Dear Lucia,

How do I let my boyfriend know my needs are not getting met without seeming needy? He says he loves me, but he doesn’t show it in a way where I feel loved. How do I approach this without accusing him of not loving me? I know he does, but I need him to show it – to compliment me or make me feel special to him.

—Needy in L.A.

Dear Needy,

We all have what most people call "needs" in a relationship. This is a misnomer, since the only things we "need" in life are air, water, sleep and food. What you call needs, I call desires. You desire that your boyfriend act a certain way in order for you to feel loved.

Everyone has different ways of expressing their affection depending on how they were raised. Just because he doesn’t express it the way you would like it expressed, doesn’t mean he doesn’t love you. This is more about you and your own insecurities. The fact that he is willing to verbalize his affection is a good thing.

I would suggest that you give what you would like in return. This means, you compliment him and you make him feel special. If he really cares for you, he will reciprocate. If not, and you’ve spoken to him about your "needs" and things still don’t change, then you may have to find someone else that expresses himself in a way you’re more comfortable with.

Dear Lucia,

How much time after beginning to date someone should a girl wait to have "the talk"? I’ve been dating someone for a month now but don’t know where we stand – whether we’re just having fun or if it’s monogamous. I want to ask, but I’m not sure if it’s too soon right now.

—Jade T.

Dear Jade,

When you first start to date someone, you need to keep two things in mind: Assume that person is seeing other people, and don’t assume they want a committed relationship with you. One month is definitely too soon to be having any kind of "we" talk. You barely know this person. How do you know you even want to be in a monogamous relationship with them?

Your attitude when you first start to see someone should be, "Show me who you are, and I’ll decide where you fit into my life." Don’t automatically assume that they would be good boyfriend/girlfriend material. When you first meet someone, you’re not seeing the true person because they are on their best behavior. You’re actually meeting their "press agent."

Let time be your guide. If they invite you to family functions, want to see you every weekend, and talk to you almost every day, you’re safe to assume you’re his/her main squeeze. Only then should you ask whether he considers you his friend or more.

Dear Lucia

Why would a guy ask me to call, not answer when I do, then get upset when I stop calling?

—Amber B.

Dear Amber,

It’s all about control. He wants to have the control! If a guy asks you to call him, it’s because he has no intention of calling you and doesn’t want to be asked, "Why didn’t you call?" By putting the ball in your court by asking you to call him, he is putting you in the position of not being able to ask why he didn’t call, because he told you to call. See how sneaky this is? If a guy asks you to call him, he is probably not that interested, otherwise, he would take charge and call!

This is why he doesn’t answer when you call. He wants to keep you at the periphery of his life, so that you’re there when he needs you, but he doesn’t want you to be involved in his everyday life. This explains why he gets upset when you don’t call. He wants to know you’ll be there for his own selfish reasons, and feels he’s losing his grip on you when you don’t do what he says. My advice? It’s time to go.

Dear Lucia,

A guy has offered to take me to the museum and to dinner. This will be the first time we’ll meet after a few e-mails between us. He suggested meeting at the museum at noon, but then assumed we will eat around 8 or 9 at night. How much time should you allow for a first meeting with someone you know only from an online dating profile?

—Marisa K.

Dear Marisa,

You’re setting yourself up for disaster. You said you’ve exchanged e-mails, but have you spoken on the phone? Never meet someone without first speaking to them several times! The first date should just be coffee or drinks. If you like each other, then you can then progress to lunch or dinner. If you don’t, you’re free to leave. Committing to a museum and dinner is just too much time to spend with someone you don’t know.

REMEMBER: Love inspires, empowers, uplifts and enlightens.

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