Dear Dr. Romance:

I'm a 32 yr old man who is lost when it comes to relationships. I just had a chance with a nice woman which I subconsciously messed up. I didn't accept her for who she was . I was controlling, verbally abusive, and not compassionate with her. The thing is I don't know why I did this. My mother was never really in relationship after she divorced my father. I would ask her different things about women but she would give  me vague answers. I learned about women in the streets. I was taught that women will get over on you if they can. Also I was taught that if women  were to respect me I had to control them. I don't wanna be like this though  but it's ingrained in me. I don't have money for a psychologist but I need  help -- where do I go?

Dear Reader:

You're right. Your belief system is toxic, and won't lead to successful  relationships.  Love is not about controlling the other person, it is about developing a partnership that works.   "Guidelines for Finding and Using Therapy Wisely"  will help you find therapy you can afford.  "What is a Dysfunctional Relationship" will help you understand what is confusing about relationships, and my book, Love Styles: How to Celebrate Your Differences will help you create a new model of relationship.

Love Styles


For low-cost counseling, email me at

Author's Bio: 

Tina B. Tessina, Ph.D. is a licensed psychotherapist in S. California since 1978 with over 30 years experience in counseling individuals and couples and author of 13 books in 17 languages, including It Ends With You: Grow Up and Out of Dysfunction; The Unofficial Guide to Dating Again; Money, Sex and Kids: Stop Fighting About the Three Things That Can Ruin Your Marriage, The Commuter Marriage, and her newest, Love Styles: How to Celebrate Your Differences. She writes the “Dr. Romance” blog, and the “Happiness Tips from Tina” email newsletter.

Dr. Tessina, is CRO (Chief Romance Officer) for, a website designed to strengthen relationships and guide couples through the various stages of their relationship with personalized tips, courses, and online couples counseling. Online, she’s known as “Dr. Romance” Dr. Tessina appears frequently on radio, and such TV shows as “Oprah”, “Larry King Live” and ABC News.