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Norman M.
Norman M., Psychotherapist
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 2567
Experience:  ADHP(NC), DHP, ECP, UKCP Registered, 10 years in relationship counselling, over 2,000 satisfied mental health customers.
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I have been seeing a man who is 14 years younger than me.

Customer Question

I have been seeing a man, who is 35, who is 14 years younger than me for a couple of months now. He just told me he does not want to get into a serious relationship with me. That his life is too unstable. I am confused: he has steady employment, lives with his dad, works on his father's farm... then he adds maybe he is not capable of a serious relationship. At 35, the longest has been 14 months. I asked him this morning, after having a night of sex with him, what is unstable about his life, is it more about me? He said not to take it personally and got visibly frustrated as he was eager to leave to begin making a corral on his farm before the hottest day of the year was upon him. Per usual, he wasn't as forthright as I was hoping he would be. Per usual, when I ask the deeper, personal questions, he withdraws, acts annoyed, says oh not more questions. That we had already talked about all this last night. I said I wanted to understand, that wasn't into analyzing as he kept saying, how I tended to analyze everything.  He walked into the bathroom at one point. I felt shut out, shut down.  He wasn't going to to the emotional distance with me; he was not going to open up to me. He said it is up to me, whether we continue to see each other and have sex. Sex has been our number one attraction. The problem: I have developed feelings for him. Also, I ultimately want to fall in love, to find my life partner, to marry. Am I wasting my time with this man? How can I be free to find a true love if I am giving my body, and still parts of my heart, to this man? It is so painful to like him more than he likes me. And, sexually, it keeps getting better and better. I keep hoping he'll develop feelings for me. Have a change of heart. Should I stop seeing him or be a hopeless romantic fool, that has great sex while my heart keeps on achingly longing after the great orgasms have long subsided?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Relationship
Expert:  Dear Debra replied 2 years ago.
I do believe. This could go turn into a serious relationship. He currently lives with his dad so he must feel he has to help him. I feel he is not ready to move out from his dad house. He also works on the farm. So he has quite a big responsibility to his father. His dad relies on him quite a bit. I feel the commitment is to his dad to keep the farm running. You said intimacy is getting better and better and this is because you are developing a stronger bond with each other. He is basically telling you that his life is complicated by he wants you in his life. As far as commitment he is saying he can't right now but maybe someday down the line things could change. I feel that you are getting closer to each other, I would give up on this relationship already just yet. I feel this could grow into something much more. But its going to take time and patience to feel comfortable. He might also be scared to get his heart broken.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Did you mean to say: I would NOT give up on this relationship just yet....
Expert:  Dear Debra replied 2 years ago.
I feel you should stay in this relationship because I see you both having in time a great relationship because. I feel he needs time.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
He is not very self-revealing on an emotional level. And he initially was premature ejaculating while we had sex. Last night he sustained himself longer and was so willing to please me in bed. He stayed the whole night. We slept in each others arms. I am so in love with this man though we seem worlds apart: he is a simple, country man who loves to fish, ride dirt bikes, work on cars and go to barbeques. I love the world of art, theater, the opera, ballet, art exhibits, spirituality, health, psychology. I am a single mother of a twelve year old boy. The father has never met his son. The father chooses to remain uninvolved. This man I am dating never asks about my son. Other then opening car door for me, holding my hand, buying me dinners out, there has been little romance - no flowers... but he did make me dinner at his house once. I am scared, frustrated. I so want more from him: deeper, heart felt conversations. I don't know if he is capable of emotional intimacy. He has been in love twice in his life, he said. He won't share with me why his last relationship ended other than the women he was seeing did not want to see him anymore. He would not tell me why other than she was hot and cold and too busy for him. He was annoyed I had asked again about his past relationship and felt it had no bearing on the current topic: him not wanting to get serious with me. He was surprised I still wanted to kiss him, to have sex with him. I told him I was really attracted to him. I didn't tell him: I was falling in love with him. I have been keeping it light and frothy conversationally until last week when i asked what he was looking for. He said he wasn't ready for a serious relationship, that he wanted something casual. I said I didn't do casual too well. He said he wasn't sure what he was looking for... He is really busy helping his aging father on the farm. He said he had thought about us the whole week and reached the conclusion that he did not want to lead me on, to let me know how he couldn't get serious with me. How, then, can this grow into something much more? What do I need to do, or not do?
Expert:  Dear Debra replied 2 years ago.
You both having different interests is intriguing to people because you both can bring so many things to this relationship. You can show him a new way of life since you like different things. He also has many things he can show you about farming and a simpler life. I do feel this relationship will work. What you see as total opposites I see as two people wanting to experience each others lives. There are certain things I see with him that shows me that he does care. It is like you both are in a committed relationship, but he feels he might be burdening you with his problems. One would be that he has to take care of his father. He doesn't want you to have to take on his problems. It would be nice to plan a date with something he might like to do. When he said about someone he once love didn't have time for him, this is a clear sign he wants someone to be there for him, to share his life with. You could plan maybe a picnic right on the farm. grab a blanket, pack a few favorite foods and this will give you time to talk about your relationship. He has made you dinner before, so that would be a nice gesture that you are thinking of him, that you are willing to put in the time for him. This relationship is going to start of slow and I feel he needs to understand you more and how you feel. You could tell him how much you care about him so he knows there is more in this relationship than he knows.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Your response is very optimistic. Have you ever read the book: He's Just Not That into You? Pg45: guys tell you how they feel even if you refuse to listen or believe them. "I don't want to be in a serious relationship"
Truly means "I don't want to be In a serious relationship with you"
Or "I'm not sure you are the one.".
How is telling the man I'm seeing that I care for him, that I'm falling in love with him going to change his feelings, which are casual, not wanting to get serious with me, how he is afraid of commitment, how he doesnt want to lead me on? He told me it wasn't me but his saying his life is unstable with steady work and long time living with his dad on the farm, seems pretty stable to me. In fact, he has an incredible work ethic. So July 23-27how is making a picnic lunch and talking about my feelings going to persuade him otherwise. In fact, I did say I care for him to him. All he could say was thank you. I've initiated the last few dates because I hate waiting and wondering plus I have a child to arrange child care for if I do go out on a date. Usually, he says he definitely wants to see me and there is mutual excitement to see one another. Now, since I've instigated what is he wanting conversation, the recent dropped bomb of wanting to keep it casual, has rocked my hopes for anything more, deeper.
The man I have been seeing has called me and texts me less and less.
It seems I wait by the phone more than I care for, waiting for him to call. And as far as different interests. I would love to go fishing with him! But when I asked him to go on an Art walk with me. He said he wasn't interested in ever going. So I ask you again, how could this relationship ever evolve to a committed relationship? I ask if he ever wants to marry. He wouldn't even answer me. When I ask him last: where do we go from here? Do we still see each other, and talk on the phone? He says: it's up to you. It's up to me! I'm already exasperated from initiating dates, to him not asking intimate questions of myself. Only on the first date did he inquire more deeply about me. I feel diminished, demeaned by being crazy about him-held in check- to hope he amps up calls and our once a week visits- but, no, now. This: keeping it casual. My heart is on the line. I don't do casual once sex is involved. You offer me hope in your response Debra,but seriously is it not false hope at best? I want to be in love, to share my life with my best friend, lover, husband. I've never been married before. All the men from my past have been emotionally shut down, much like the man I'm seeing now. I so long for a mutually respecting, equally adoring and loving relationship. Instead, am I not settling for whatever crumbs of hoped for love, and hot, lusty sex? This man is very sexy to me. The sound of his voice, his smell, the thickness and smoothness of his skin, his deep tonguing kisses, just laying in his arms: keep me wanting him more and more. My heart feels like its breaking into a million glass shards, piercing pain, fragile, broken. And: he still is all I can think about. Now what can you advise me?
Expert:  Dear Debra replied 2 years ago.
Everything you have told me and described about things he has said and done, I can see the differences if he cares and loves you. You are in this relationship and you are in love, so your emotions are fully in this relationship. I am looking at your relationship in a different way. I have never read that book, but I can tell you often times when a man doesn't want to admit their feelings is because they do not want to share all those emotions. A man and a woman are different in many ways. Women tend to analyze everything about a relationship and everything a guy says and does, woman read into it. But really all guys are doing is spending time in a relationship. I bet the whole time he is with you, he is thinking about how beautiful you are, he is not thinking about where the relationship is going. He is just enjoying the time he has with you right at that moment. You think he is making excuses because you feel he is stable because he is working and lives with his dad. But he is not saying that type of stable. He feels like his life is unsettled because he is taking care of his dad. He is focused on taking care of him and I am sure he would love to work, have his own home, even have a family of his own. But he is clearly saying he can not do that right now. A picnic is a nice gesture and it shows you are thinking of him, also telling him how you feel is reassuring him that you care, so that he knows this relationship could go further when he is ready. I can say this, you love this man and it is worth seeing where this is going to lead. I see these relationships work out everyday. People starting off as friends, not getting in committed relationships, to people proposing. A relationship can change in a day.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Dear XXXXX,
Typically, I would have heard from the man I have been seeing by now.
However, as I said the last I saw him, Saturday morning, when he left bright and early at 6 a.m. after spending the night, having sex, he had said it is up to me whether we continue to see each other and talk... He also said he would call me soon, and kissed me goodbye as I laid in bed. It is now going on Tuesday. There has been no text or call. . My heart feels heavy and there is knot of a piercing pain in my gut. His pulling away from me on our last date Friday night - his leaning back from me in the restaurant, him not holding my hand like he usually does when we went for a walk (he kept his hands in his pockets), and the subsequent "talk" later of him not being able to get in a serious relationship, and now the lack of a phone call or text, makes me feel like he is breaking up with me, ending things with me. I am praying he isn't doing a disappearing act on me. I am really wanting him to call, to hopefully, for him to want to see me this weekend. I had hoped he would have called by now to talk at least. I have called him or texted before when there have been long lulls: like is everything alright? Calling to check in..
I don't want to be the one to pursue or keep taking the initiative. I feel like I am being a complete fool. Usually, I would have asked to see him Saturday and would know I would see him them so the every few days contact would be less painful. What I really want: is a man who wants to call me every day. This man even said he should be calling me more. I don't want him calling me out of obligation however. And he said this prior to announcing he just wanted to keep things casual. I don't do causal well. I know I am unhappy in my life. There is far more instability in my life than his and thus was hesitant to begin dating to begin with: I am currently unemployed and very fearful about what to do next. The house I am living in is up for sale and I am not sure if it will sell, and when and if it does, where I will live next. I am still grieving the loss of a beloved home in a short sale three years ago when I moved despite feeling deeply conflicted about moving. Now, I regret I ever moved. Additionally, I have a pattern of making men all important, and neglecting myself, my own life. I know I am relying to much on this new man to fill me up, to be my one spot of happiness, or at least, fun, and fireworks, sexually, and longed for, romantically. Yet, if he was pursuing me more ardently, wanting a serious relationship, calling, texting me more often, sending me flowers, complimenting me, courting me... maybe all this angst wouldn't be so acute and nearly paralyzing me from focusing on my own life. By choosing yet another emotionally unavailable man, my own stuff gets triggered - abandonment issues, self-worth issues. I have been obsessing over this man. I don't call or text him very often and usually only if he calls or texts me, and sometimes even then, not right away. I don't seem to be on the forefront of his mind, that I matter that much to him, that he is interested in me that much: he apologized a couple times for not calling because his life being too crazy, hectic, too busy.... So now what? My fear is he will disappear on me- that he never will contact me again. This is playing into my major abandonment issues. He has been respectful enough to me, to be honest about his intentions: nothing serious, casual, doesn't want to lead me on. You say: have a picnic with him. I would love to. Yet, I feel he needs to honor his, I will call you soon. Soon is quickly expiring. How long should I wait for him to call or text me? I feel he is removed from me when he doesn't call or text. I feel forgotten. I am trying hard to focus on my own life and my own happiness. Yet, I long to hear from him, to see him again. And, by him telling me, it is up to me when I ask him: where do we go from here, do we still get together, talk to each other on the phone. I have already mentioned this to you before but feel it is crucial to reiterate. What is he really saying here? It feels so weak, sad, uncaring. It feels like he wants: ultra casual. How can such a man respect me, if I chase him. How can I respect myself, more importantly? The last two nights have been sleepless, broken hearted, inconsolable nights and the days stretch drearily on. This is what happens usually after a break-up. Is this a break-up? I have never experienced such a strange, casual affair before.
Expert:  Dear Debra replied 2 years ago.
I want you to call or text him and ask him to go out somewhere that you would like, even if it's dinner at your house or dinner at his house. Set up something so you both have a plan. Right now he has not contacted you for a bit, so you want him to know you are still there, he could be waiting for you to peruse him because he doesn't know how you feel either. It is important you share how you feel. I want you to tell him that you can not wait to see him and would like to plan something simple, maybe dinner, or think of something he really enjoys, maybe a day of fishing and pack a lunch. This way you both can talk over a day of fishing. You need to not think you are the only one in this relationship, he needs to give in as well to make the effort, but that will come in time. Right now you need to think about creating a bond together. You mentioned about basically putting your life aside and focusing on a man. You are right in the fact that you need to put more in your life. You want to establish the person you are, so you can have a happy, solid relationship. You love this man and I want you to begin to peruse this relationship, so he knows how you feel. If you could please accept my answer, by hitting the accept button.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Are you serious? When does a woman pursue a man?! How does this create a bond? If anything, does that not scare the man off?! He knows how I feel, I told him I cared about him, enjoy him, that I am attracted to him. He knows. How is my pursuing him, going to create a bond? It makes me feel less like a woman. I want a man to pursue me. He knows I like him. He knows he can have me. His efforts are casual per his desire to keep it casual. I am so confused as to how my initiating is going to bring him closer to me. Is is not emasculating form him? At the very least, he gets to enjoy the ride, while I make all the effort. I would say this isn't very rewarding for me. Remember all the heartbreak I am going through. Please, Debra, honestly, how can you advise me to pursue him?!
Furthermore, my fear is I will suggest getting together, and he will say he is busy...
how humiliating that would be... adding more hurt, more devastation to my already hurt feelings of feeling rejected by him by him saying he cannot be serious about me. How can I create a bond with a man anyways, who wants to keep things casual?!
Expert:  Dear Debra replied 2 years ago.
Women pursue a man they want to have a serious relationship all the time. The guy then knows that the woman wants to have a relationship with him. It creates a bond because the guy knows the woman is interested in him , it takes the guess work our of whether a woman likes them. This does not scare a guy off, men are just as worried if a girl likes them as well. They back off some times if they are unsure how a woman feels.Not all men will pursue a woman because they don't want to get their heart broken. They don't want to put their feelings out there and feel weak either. To peruse him you want to call him or text and tell him when is the nest time he is free to have a special date, then you want to set up something nice, but simple. You also want to begin by asking him how was his day, so he knows you are interested in his life. He will begin to share his life, get use to you asking and him sharing that you both will develop a bond. If you both are not in contact with each other, you are not connecting.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Why would I want to pursue a man who blatantly told me he wants to keep it casual? I would define casual as not interested in developing a bond and seeing each other maybe once a week, or worse, every other week. The phone calls are light and every other few days. This is too infrequent for me as it does not allow for a deeper connection, a bond. He says he wants to keep it casual, does that not infer he does not want to share his life with me, to develop a bond? Like I said, there is NO guesswork for him. He KNOWS i like him, that I want a relationship with him. He is not backing off from me because he is unsure how I feel. I told him, as I said, I care for him, I enjoy him, that I want to know him on a deeper level. I am not breaking his heart. I am available and on the ready so see him. He is the one that is aloof, not calling when he said he would call me soon. He usually reaches out to me to ask how I am doing. He has yet too. I take this as an indication he does not want to see me anymore. So why would I want to ask him out and risk further rejection as I asked you before? Where is there a promise of a bond, of a committed relationship developing here?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Why would I want to pursue a man who blatantly told me he wants to keep it casual? I would define casual as not interested in developing a bond and seeing each other maybe once a week, or worse, every other week. The phone calls are light and every other few days. This is too infrequent for me as it does not allow for a deeper connection, a bond. He says he wants to keep it casual, does that not infer he does not want to share his life with me, to develop a bond? Like I said, there is NO guesswork for him. He KNOWS i like him, that I want a relationship with him. He is not backing off from me because he is unsure how I feel. I told him, as I said, I care for him, I enjoy him, that I want to know him on a deeper level. I am not breaking his heart. I am available and on the ready so see him. He is the one that is aloof, not calling when he said he would call me soon. He usually reaches out to me to ask how I am doing. He has yet too. I take this as an indication he does not want to see me anymore. So why would I want to ask him out and risk further rejection as I asked you before? Where is there a promise of a bond, of a committed relationship developing here?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Why would I want to pursue a man who blatantly told me he wants to keep it casual? I would define casual as not interested in developing a bond and seeing each other maybe once a week, or worse, every other week. The phone calls are light and every other few days. This is too infrequent for me as it does not allow for a deeper connection, a bond. He says he wants to keep it casual, does that not infer he does not want to share his life with me, to develop a bond? Like I said, there is NO guesswork for him. He KNOWS i like him, that I want a relationship with him. He is not backing off from me because he is unsure how I feel. I told him, as I said, I care for him, I enjoy him, that I want to know him on a deeper level. I am not breaking his heart. I am available and on the ready so see him. He is the one that is aloof, not calling when he said he would call me soon. He usually reaches out to me to ask how I am doing. He has yet too. I take this as an indication he does not want to see me anymore. So why would I want to ask him out and risk further rejection as I asked you before? Where is there a promise of a bond, of a committed relationship developing here?


Customer: replied 2 years ago.
HEllo? i have asked a question three times and still have not heard from you... is this working properly?
Expert:  Dear Debra replied 2 years ago.
THIS ANSWER IS LOCKED!
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Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thanks for getting back to me. My concern: he said he would call me as he left me last Saturday morning. I usually would have heard from him by now, a text or a call. I have yet to hear from him. I am feeling angry and extremely hurt. Is he pulling a disappearing act on me? It feels like he is, like he has totally dumped me. Yet, I could be projecting my abandonment fears on him. If he doesn't want to see me anymore, I like to think he would call me and tell me so. I know if a man wants to see you, he will call. He is not calling, so it feels like he is not interested in me. I feel like we are ending things/breaking up. But since we haven't officially talked as such, I cannot know for sure. The ambiguity, his distancing from me, is making me obsess on him even more and worry and cry. Yes, I want to be with him. But does he want to be with me? You say, to call him. My fear: given the lack of communication, he does not want to see me. What if: I will call him and he never calls me back. This would utterly devastate me. Yet, we have always talked before. My fear: he will be like my father who abandoned me. Him not calling me has triggered my abandonment issues so I can barely function and have spiraled down into a nearly incapacitating depression. By the man not calling me, is he dumping me? Is it over? Because he said he would call and he is not. The conflict: he said it was up to me when I asked where do we go from here - as far as seeing each other and talking on the phone.. So is he waiting for me to initiate contact even though he said he would call me? I hate feeling so conflicted, scared, out of my mind confused. I want to see this man. But since he wants to keep it casual, maybe, he doesn't want to see me? Time is passing. We last spoke Saturday morning. I hope to talk to him by tonight, but feels scary to call him. How do I push through the fear? And, why is it the many relationship books I read, say don' call the man?
Expert:  Dear Debra replied 2 years ago.
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Customer: replied 2 years ago.
It is highly unlikely he isn't calling me or texting me because he is "busy" or because of his dad. When he was busy before he let me now he couldn't see me. He has consistently called or texted before by now. Our last conversation about him wanting to keep it casual, his pulling away from me, him saying it is up to me in whether we see each other and talk on the phone indicate: he does not want to see me anymore and/or he is waiting for me to call or text him with my decision to see him casually. Bottom line: I need to decide if I can see him casually. I don't just want to be a booty call. Certain behaviors indicate he is not wanting to see my anymore: him not calling or texting. If he wants to not see me, I need to know, I need closure. I'm really having a hard time trying to understand how you think he is still interested in me, that he is just busy, that he still wants to see me. The only way to find out is to call. Do you really think I should invest my time and energy in a man who wants to keep it casual? What do you think casual means?
Expert:  Norman M. replied 2 years ago.
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Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I am confused as what happened to Debra. But thank you, Norm, for your answer. I did take Debra's advice. I texted the man I have been seeing Friday to invite him out Saturday. No response from him. I called him Saturday afternoon. He did not answer. I left a message to please call me. That I would like for him to join me to see a movie that night. How was he? Nothing. No call or text from him.
Like I said to Debra, this man has always called me or texted me on a regular basis before in the two months that I have known him. Not hearing from him for over a week now is a major red flag. Would you not agree he is disappearing on me? I would never have thought he would do something so cold and disrespectful. I am engulfed in anger, fear, sadness, shock. So my greatest what if fear has been realized: I called him and he has not called me back. I am devastated. (My father abandoning me int he past wound is deeply triggered). I have been fighting the urge to drive to his place to confront him. I could call or text him again. But to what avail if he is not going to return my call or text?

Please advise me how to handle a man who so far appears to be disappearing on me. I have never experienced this before... well, aside from my monster, my father. My father refused to talk to me when he divorced my mom. 25 years later, he still won't talk to me.... The man I have been dating has been kind, respectful, keeping his word, emotionally repressed... He has always kept his word when he said he was going to call me... until now. If he wants to never see me again, I would like closure. To see him face to face, to say goodbye. Why hasn't he called?!
Expert:  Norman M. replied 2 years ago.
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Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Speculate away.... as the WHY is what is driving me crazy. Do I not deserve the dignity of a response, a goodbye with explanation? How can I get this if he NEVER responds to my text or phone calls (another projected fear) that could be realized) to arrange a meeting for closure? Do I just show up at his house and force a confrontation? I am so furious. I am so heartbroken.
Expert:  Norman M. replied 2 years ago.
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Customer: replied 2 years ago.
You say communicate at a distance. That is what is so hurtful. He is NOT communicating. He has not returned my one call or my one text. The call and text I made, on Saturday, was an invitation to get together, to ask how he was, how I have not heard from him... I want to send him another text saying how hurt and confused I am that I have not heard from him and how I would like to have closure, how I would like to see him face to face and have the dignity of a proper goodbye. I never wanted a commitment from this man. All I asked him was what he was wanting and he assumed I wanted a commitment. We were in the process of still getting to know one another... I want to communicate this to him as well, that I had my own trepidations about dating, and in particular, with him. I understand he may be scared. How can I encourage him to see me one last time so I can get the closure I need and keep intact the respect and kindness, and honesty we have had for one another? What can I text/say to him to get the closure I need, to have him communicate with me, to meet me, to say goodbye?
Expert:  Norman M. replied 2 years ago.
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