Heart of the Matter with Todd Bell and Justine Love

Feb 14, 2013

It's Valentine's Day again - a day full of love, happiness, and...problems.

Join Justine Love and Todd Bell as they dish relationship and Valentine's Day advice to readers.

Need advice? Submit your dilemma for Justine and Todd to respond to now.

Good afternoon, everyone! Glad to be here! Justine's computer is mad at her for not giving it a Vday gift, but we're in communication, so all answers will be coming from both of us, via me!


Ugh. I'm seriously dating someone back home but have started a "for now" relationship with someone where I am assigned temporarily for work (overseas). That someone also has a committed partner back home. We know this relationship has an expiration date (the day we leave here to go back to our real jobs) so that is how we rationalize to ourselves that it is okay. I want someone to tell me that it is okay! Can you?

No! Loneliness is difficult. And both of you are lonely. So, you're both getting the attention you need to fill a void. Don't confuse yourselves. Someone is going to be hurt - and it'll probably be YOU! (JUSTINE)

Today is Valentine's Day, and I still don't have a gift or any ideas. What is a great last minute gift or idea?

JUSTINE: Skip the traditional, "going to dinner," thing and have a late night, romantic breakfast at the pancake house. Also, buy them a pictorial book to someplace you'd like to go to together in the future.

TODD: Declare your love for one your love interest in a public place. Also, go somewhere different, like the spy museum or the newseum. It'll most likely be empty and you can have the whole place to yourselves!

Why does your mate wait every year to go to the store and get flowers/card after work, when you knew this day was coming all month? (complacent?)

TODD: Unfortunately, because we think we have too much time and take it for granted. Sad, but true! 

JUSTINE: Thank you, Todd, for being a stand-up kinda man!

TODD: yw lol!

So I'm a man. Should I be upset that I might not get a present from my girlfriend?

JUSTINE: YES!!! You deserve something, also!

TODD: What did EWF say, Manny? "That's the way of the world!" LOL! But, if you really want something, TELL her! Do it, respectfully, though. You can say, "baby, you know... it really makes me happy to see you happy to receive your gifts. I'm sure you'd feel the same way to see ME happy!"

Seems like Valentine's Day has become all about women getting gifts. But seems like to me that it should be both ways. Should I feel crazy for wanting presents lavished on me just like my wife wants presents lavished on her?

PG MAN, see our responses to Manny... Good luck!

I have an admirer who's admitted to having a crush on me -- to which I responded positively -- but he hasn't initiated anything beyond occasional social media communication (text, Facebook). What's a girl to do?

JUSTINE: He's either in a relationship, in jail, or MARRIED! If you're really interested, you'd meet! We're in the greatest city for first date sites! For example, The National Portrait Gallery and ANY of the museums, because they're free and they force you to TALK about what you're looking at!

TODD: Agreed. And it may be nerves, on his part. A lot of times, men will admire women from afar, with absolutely NO expectation that an advance would meet a positive response. So, it may be that he's just in SHOCK... Or, maybe as Justine said, he's either in a relationship, in jail, or out with his WIFE on Valentine's Day! 

I'm a single woman and will be celebrating my 50 birthday later on in the year. I've never been married and I'm not even dating. I'm beginning to think that I may be meant to be alone forever -- a thought that really makes me sad.

JUSTINE: Let's celebrate the fact that you are 50! It's a whole new journey, and the best one that you'll encounter. You'll have to change the venues and people with whom you associate in order to create your desired outcome. For example, go to events that are community service-minded because there are lots of single, community-focused men there who are passionate about something other than themselves. And be nice. Give compliments. You can get a lot from a simple smile or a "hello."

TODD: It all starts within. You have to change your mindset. To borrow a popular phrase, "name it and claim it." But first, claim happiness and joy. Do things that you enjoy. Hobbies, events (as Justine mentioned). Men can detect women who are unhappy and react accordingly, by staying away... FAR away. Men LOVE women who exude vitality and liveliness. You'd be surprised at the difference. Too many women walking around either mad or just plain moping around. "AIN'T NOBODY GOT TIME FOR THAT!!!"

Why do you care if they get the card and flowers the day of, after work or weeks in advance? They got you a card and flowers, right? Be thankful. Plus who wants day(s) old flowers? Best to get them fresh. And if (s)he's getting fresh flowers why NOT get the card at the same time. I'd be thrilled if my husband comes home tonight without anything but love in his heart for me. Jeez!

JUSTINE: I hear ya... But you KNOW you want a present lol!

Is there any hope for long distance relationships? Before the relationship became long distance, we were both very close; now wer'e just more of good phone friends. I plan visits up to twice a year, but it's not the same. My friend will always be a part of my life. She won't relocate, but there maybe a chance that I could. There is always the chance that she has moved in another direction. Another chapter in the book could be starting.

TODD: Long-distance relationships are TOUGH. Been there, done that! Although there are exceptions, I think the rule is that they generally won't work, as your question is indicating. If you feel as if the love is going, or gone... Then, it's probably time end it, amicably.

JUSTINE: I agree with you 100%! It is the HARDEST work you will ever do. It's alright if you both move on, because the love you had... nothing could take it away! That's why you're still friends. Why hold each other's hearts hostage, when you could both move on. You can still be friends, but let it go!

TODD: True. Many are under the impression that break-ups have to be nasty, so they act accordingly. But that's not necessary. As they say, some folks are in our lives for a season. If you end it, peacefully, you'll have less baggage to bring along with you to a new "season."

So I just noticed that my girlfriend changed her status to married. And not to me. I didn't even know there was someone else. I'd like to ask WTF but I think I might cause physical damage. Any suggestions?

JUSTINE: That case is closed. She's moved on, and so do you. Sorry she wasn't woman enough to say it to your face. That's like breaking up on a "Post-It."

TODD: Consider it a favor, delicate. If she lied to the man who she MARRIED, then what do think she'd do to you - the man that she didn't??? It'll hurt now, but time heals all wounds. Let it go and give another woman, who's deserving of your heart, a chance.

I'm dead guys. I have nothing planned. I dunno why. I froze up and couldn't figure out what to do. How can I put something together really quickly (that doesn't look like it was put together quickly)?

JUSTINE: Go to the grocery store and give her three recipes and then you're gonna cook that meal together. A whole lot happens in the kitchen!

TODD: No doubt. I think one of my children was conceived while I was cookin'!

JUSTINE: Also, try a wine-tasting. Many liquor stores and wineries have them. Or take a walk to the MLK Memorial at NIGHT! Very peaceful... and breath-taking.

I have a real crush on this gal that I'm afraid to go up to. Is it weird to introduce my interest in her on Valentine's Day, basically using the day as an opportunity to say "hey"?

JUSTINE: NO! Any day is perfect! You should've said something before!

TODD: It's never weird to tell a woman how you feel. You could actually get her a generic Vday card and ONE rose and go "old school" by asking, "Will you be my Valentine?" She might think it's cute and funny and it's a great ice breaker!

The lady who I thought would be my valentine stated she didn't want to be exclusive. Does she still get a Valentine's day gift? Not from me.

JUSTINE: Absolutely NOT! She's probably getting it from someplace else... But, you could send her gift to ME!

Is it disrespectful to send different kinds of flowers besides roses? My gal isn't gonna get mad if I do a beautiful arrangement with non-roses just to mix things up, is she?

JUSTINE: NO. You're not the norm. And you're sending her the message that she's not the normal love interest! I love gladiolas and tulips!

TODD: DEFINITELY not disrespectful! It shows that you think outside the box. Plus, you actually GOT her something that required more thought than the typical arrangement. Good job! I think I'll steal that idea!

I always get my husband a little something for Valentine's Day. It never crossed my mind that I didn't have to. I just thought all women do the same. My mom always got something for my dad, and my sister does the same for her husband... BFF too.

JUSTINE: Well, why break tradition! Keep it.

TODD: Kudos to you! As men, we typically don't expect much on the big day. But we really DO appreciate it when it comes, and it shows that you're a different kind of woman who REALLY goes out of her way to show how you feel about him!

Well, thank you all for joining us with your questions! We really appreciate you all taking out the time to join us for this first chat and we look forward to many more. We'd also like to thank Delece, Chris and all at the Washington Post who helped make this possible. 

Stay tuned for our next chat and you can follow us on twitter @justaskjustine, and on facebook by typing in, "Todd B. & Justine Love Back Together Again."

Happy Valentine's Day and remember: If nobody told you "I love you," today, WE DO!

In This Chat
Todd Bell
Todd Bell is a radio personality on WPGC who can be heard Tuesday through Friday, from 2-6 a.m. and Sunday nights from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m., spinning "slow jams," on "The Coolout." For six years, he co-hosted "Lovetalk & Slowjams" with Justine Love. He resides in Washington, DC with his wife, Michelle and their three children.
Justine Love
Justine Love is the director of community and public affairs for CBS Radio Washington. For 13 years she was a co-host of the popular and provocative nightly radio show "Love Talk and Slow Jams" on WPGC.
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