Dear Dr.Romance:

My friends were joking that I have never been single, and I argued that I have - but they said my definition of being single was wrong! true, I tend to have long term relationships, but before I met my last boyfriend I was "single" for nearly a year. I define this as not exclusively being in a committed relationship with any one person, but yes I dated a few guys. they say that because I was dating, I wasn't single.... what is your view on this?? (i'll award best answer to someone who supports my argument lol)

Dear Reader:

The definition of "single" varies. Some people who are getting divorced or already separated identify themselves as single. People also lie and say they're single when they're in a committed relationship or a marriage. I think that what single should mean is that you're not exclusively dating one person, or committed to anyone, or still married, even if you're separated. I don't agree that single means the same thing as celibate. Don't assume your date is exclusive with you if you've never talked about it. "Guidelines for Successful Dating" (http://www.tinatessina.com/guidelines.html) will help you find a great relationship. To go from dating to commitment, read The Unofficial Guide to Dating Again (http://amzn.to/xV50Yi).
You might also like Dr. Romance’s 3 tips avoid repeating your past relationship mistakes

1. Be suspicious if it all seems “too good to be true” – it probably is. If your subconscious, neurotic needs are running the show, it’s fabulous at first and then horrible. If your common sense is running it, it starts out tentative, and grows stronger when you meet the right person. If your friends are worried about this relationship, listen to them. They could be wrong, but what if they’re right? You need to find out.

2. You shouldn’t feel like you always know what to do. You and this new person are doing a new thing. Seek to work as a team to figure it out as you go along. If either one of you is in charge, there’s probably a problem. If you’re working together, even though it’s not too smooth, it’s probably going OK.

3. Don’t keep secrets. Talk about past relationship issues, and be willing to share your emotions and reactions with each other. Getting to know each other is the key to developing a working relationship. Don’t follow some set of mental rules – they’re always a trap from your childhood – don’t repeat your early family. That style doesn’t suit who you are as an adult. Instead, seek to learn something new, about yourself and about each other. If you’re afraid that telling the truth will upset your partner, you need to test that right away, to find out if you can get through the problem. Screwing things up is the way to find out if you can fix them together.

Author's Bio: 

Dr. Romance's muses on love, relationships, celebrities, culture and life in general. In top 10 Sexperts! Redbook.com's Blog of the Month: 'If anyone can call herself "Dr. Romance," it's REDBOOK Love Expert Tina Tessina. With a Ph.D., eight books and 30 years counseling experiencing under her belt, Tina has a lot to say about the everydays of life and love. Get to know the Doc.