Dr. Tracy's Advice Column

Cartoon Kiss


Waiting To Break Up
Is He Being a Jerk?
Dating Agencies

Waiting To Break Up

Dear Dr. Tracy,

I have had a crush on a friend of mine since I met her in High School. I always wanted to ask her out but the timing has always been wrong. In High School she had a boyfriend and we went to different colleges. By the time I found out that they broke up, I had a new girlfriend and she was moving to the other side of the country. We have remained in contact through email and letters.

She has recently moved back to get her masters degree and she lives about an hour from me. We have gone out a few times as friends and I want to make a move but I am not sure if she just thinks of me as a friend. To make matters worse my current girlfriend is pushing me to get married and I want to break up. I can’t break up with her for a few more months because she is the maid of honor in my sisters wedding. Should I just take a chance and tell the girl I have a crush on how I feel or do I need to wait until I break up with my current girlfriend first? Please Help

Dear Waiting,

You have a girlfriend and you're seeing another woman, "just as friends." But not really. Come on, you know you are seeing her as more than just friends, at least from your point of view if not from hers. So you're cheating in your heart, being unethical and lying to your current girlfriend by pretending you still want to be with her when you don't.

Your trouble is that you're being a cad and still trying to have everyone like you - your sister, your current girlfriend, and the woman friend. That never works. You're going to have to start being honest.

The longer you wait to break up with your girlfriend, the worse it's going to be, for her, if not for you too. After all, going to your sister's wedding with her will make her think even more of wedding bells in your future than she is now. It's really not fair to stay with her and keep letting her hope that you and she will get married just to get through your sister's wedding.

If you break up with her now, your sister will be upset with you, your girlfriend will be angry, hurt, and upset with you, but you will be true to yourself. When all is said and done, you have to be able to live with yourself. You have to live with integrity if you want to feel good about yourself.

You could, of course, make a pass at your friend while you're still involved with your girlfriend, but your friend's first thought will be whether you'd do the same to her if she becomes your girlfriend. Also, you'll look like the kind of guy who will stay with someone you don't want, just because you don't have another woman immediately available -- and women don't find that very attractive. Your friend is also liable to conclude that your break-up with the girlfriend will depend on her answer, and no woman likes to be put in that position.

All things considered, it's in your interest to be free before you make a move on the friend. It's also the right thing to do.

Good luck,

Dr. Tracy

Is He Being a Jerk?

Dear Dr. Tracy,

I'm having guy problems. my Boyfriends mom tried to commit suicide and now he's being a jerk. I've emailed and emailed him and he does not answer me? I know we are friends now but I love him and He loves me. I met him on the net. He was planing on seeing me soon. He was the right age for me and I loved him alot.

I hope I didn't push his mom over the edge since he was going to tell her that he was coming to see me and then this happened. I have a question for you. When a guy says that he does not have the emontail strength do to two things take care of his mom and be a boyfriend to me does that mean he's breaking up with me? He lives In New York and I live in North Dakota so that 's another problem the long distance thing. I need you to help me ok please

Dear Jerk Lover,

No wonder you're having a guy problem. You can't really expect your boyfriend to leave his suicidal mother in New York and come to see you in North Dakota. He has too many problems right now to deal with you and having a relationship.

He's not being a jerk. He's being a concerned son. Having a mother try to commit suicide has got to be terrifying for him. You should have some compassion for his situation. Instead of demanding that he answer your emails and come to visit you, this is the time to tell him to spend time with his mom and take care of his family problems. The reason you should tell him that is because if he's a decent guy, that's what he's going to do anyway. Demanding that he do anything else will make you look selfish, immature and cold (if you don't already).

Timing is everything in relationships. For a relationship to work out, a man has to be available and commitment-minded. Your fella is neither. Right now he has his hands full and the last thing in the world he needs is a girlfriend. And it may take some time before he's ready for a girlfriend. A man whose mother is suicidal is bound to have some residual problems from living with a disturbed mom.

You shouldn't worry about whether you had anything to do with his mom's suicide attempt. People who try to kill themselves are crying out for help, and her problems are much deeper than whether her son has a girlfriend he wants to visit in North Dakota.

Instead of demanding a visit or a relationship, be a good friend and leave him alone until his life gets straightened out. Or find someone who is ready to be with you. In fact, assume he's breaking up with you for the time being. Long distance relationships are hard enough without the problems your boyfriend has at home. With those problems, a long distance or even a close to home relationship is just not going to happen.

Good luck,

Dr. Tracy

Dating Agencies

Dear Dr. Tracy,

I am a single, attractive, 33-year-old teacher and have never been married. I do not meet men in my job. I have tried lots of different ways of meeting someone, going to classes, taking up tennis, hanging out with friends at pick-up spots of Friday night, and asking people to introduce me. It just isn't working and I'm getting worried about whether I will ever meet anyone. My question is, do dating agencies work? I'm getting desperate.

Dear Desperate,

Yes, dating services absolutely, positively do work. I know many, many women of all ages who have men and married men at dating services. Most people think that if you meet someone at a dating service, it won't last. They think that love only lasts if you meet someone by accident. That's just not true. I met a lot of men by accident, but the one I married was a man I met through a dating service, Great Expectations. And we're still together twenty-two years later.

So forget trying to have a happy accident. Instead, get going and approach meeting someone just like you would any other project. Outline your goals (marriage, children, etc.) and begin to picture yourself accomplishing them. Be sure to write up a description of the man you want to meet. Then join a dating service. There are many new ones that have become available since my experience at Great Expectations. There are online dating services for every taste and type. There are services for different religions, different races, and general services. Recently, I have gotten good feedback about love@aol.com and match.com.

Just joining a service isn't enough. You have to work hard to make the system work for you. I know of one woman who dated over 300 men from a service before she found Mr. Right and married him. Dating services work because finding a mate is a numbers game. You have to have a quantity of qualified, eligible, commitment minded members of the opposite sex to find the one that's right for you. At a dating service you can meet more men in a year than you ordinarily would in ten or twenty years.

My three main rules for women over 30:
1. Choose instead of being chosen. Don't wait around for some man to choose you; start choosing men. That way you get what you want.
2. Choose from a quantity of men, and date a lot while you're deciding. That way, you won't choose someone because he's all there is.
3. Choose from among the men who really want you. In other words, choose someone, and if he doesn't respond, move on immediately. Why fight it if someone isn't really interested?
All of these rules are much easier to apply if you've got a lot of men available through a dating service.

You're at an age when you should be getting serious about finding the right person. Don't delay. It'll take a year or two to find him, stabilize the relationship, get engaged and plan a wedding. Then you'll want to have children. The longer you wait to take action, the more difficult everything, including conception, becomes.

Finally, I recommend my book, "Marrying Later, Marrying Smarter," which you can find through your local library.

Good luck,

Dr. Tracy

Submitting a Question to this column

Dr. Tracy regrets that it is simply impossible for her to answer all of the hundreds of questions submitted to this column each week. However, she does read every question, and tries to select the three which are of the most general interest to the visitors here.

Dr. Tracy says, "Is your question urgent? Many of the most beseeching, desperate messages I get are not answered in this column because the answer is just a couple of clicks away in my Love Library. Have you tried my Love Library? I know that nobody goes to libraries anymore, but check this one out -- it's so easily searchable that it's fun and easy to use!"

If you can't find your answer in the Library and you feel you MUST have an answer, you can get a personal answer from Dr. Tracy within two business days by availing yourself of her inexpensive private counseling.

You may submit your question to Dr.Tracy's column by e-mail here. (Tips: to increase your chances of having your question chosen, state your age and your marital history, and remember to use paragraph breaks so that your question isn't just one big, hard-to-read clump of words. Also, questions in all caps won't be answered.)

(Featured art from cover of Letting Go, by Zev Wanderer and Tracy Cabot, published by "Bitan" Publishers, Tel-Aviv, Israel)
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