Dear Dr. Romance:

I read Age Differences in Dating I did date for about 3 years a woman about 4 years older than me. I love her still and we separated because one thing I felt was that she never wanted to open up about herself. The following comment caught my attention: ( I underlined and bolded the parts I would like some more explanation from you about this recommendation, since I did talk about and asked about her life, as a way to develop a stronger bond and intimacy with her.)  "Make Conversation Interesting and Easy, With No Deep Secrets: You can talk about anything, including your personal lives, past relationships and love in general, but don’t be the one who brings up the intimate topics first. Be careful not to pry too deeply into your date’s private life and secrets, unless the information is voluntarily offered. You’ll learn a lot more about your date if you are genuinely interested in hearing what he or she has to say; than if you conduct an interrogation."

Any response would be greatly appreciated, since I do want to understand what I might have done wrong.

Dr. Romance responds:

After dating three years, it's not unreasonable for you to want a woman to open up to you.  I can't know for sure what was wrong, but perhaps she felt you would judge her, be too jealous, or not understand something in her past.   My recommendations were for people in new relationships. "Is Dating Scary? Here's What to Do" will help you understand what works in dating. "Getting to Yes" will help you get a good response without being intimidating.

Love Styles: How to Celebrate Your Differences  has guidelines which will help you talk about intimate topics successfully. 

Lovestyles cover

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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.