Dr. Tracy's Advice Column

Cartoon Kiss


Paying To Meet His Family
Confused Crossdresser
Not Quite A Commitment

Paying To Meet His Family

Dear Dr. Tracy,

I went through all of your columns; present and past, and could not find a similar situation, so I hope that you'll chose to help me!

I am 32 years old, divorced and childless. After three years of grieving my failed marriage, working on my inner-self, and experiencing the dating scene, I have found a wonderful, loving, caring man that I hope to have a future with; we have been exclusive for six months now. We make each other very happy.

Here is my issue; I do not believe that men have to pay for everything at all; I treat my significant other almost as much as he treats me. We are going to Las Vegas on our first vacation soon, and we are paying our own expenses and I'm sure treating each other accordingly- we don't ever "split" date bills or anything like that.

BUT, he has also asked me to go to Canada with him this summer to meet his extended family. I am absolutely honored, because in his 33 years, he has never taken another girl up there. HOWEVER, he suprised me at end of our conversation by saying, "Well I wasn't sure if you would have the money to go". Keep in mind that we would be driving up there and staying at a reasonable cabin near his relatives. He wants to look into the pricing, and that is where we are at.

I felt that this trip is an occasion, not a vacation- and I was taken back that he expects for me to pay my own way to stay there to meet his family, am I wrong?? Although Canada is supposed to be beautiful, it is not a place that I planned to go to anytime in my near future.

Please straighten me out!

Thank you so very much, Confused

Dear Confused,

No wonder youíre confused. This is a confusing situation. The reason itís especially difficult is because you have set a precedent of paying your own way to go on trips and dates with your guy.

You never said that there would be a difference between trips that you went on for ďpleasureĒ such as your trip to Vegas, and the ones that you went on for ďdutyĒ such as the trip to Canada to meet and greet his family.

Even if you tried to separate the two kinds of trips, it would get tricky. Would you be saying that visiting his family doesnít fall into the realm of ďfunĒ trips you would otherwise take? Wouldnít that be kind of insulting to him? Would you be saying that his home country isnít high on your list?

Frankly, I think youíre trapped. You canít very well say "this isnít the kind of trip I had imagined sharing expenses for." You have to bite the bullet and say, ďOkay, Canada sounds like fun. Iíd love to go meet your family and see your home town. How much will it cost?Ē

Then, if you really canít afford the trip, say so. Otherwise, pay and pretend youíre having fun Ė thatís what most people do when they visit their spouse's family anyway. You canít really say you donít want to go, especially since you are honored to be the first woman to be taken to visit his family.

Thereís really no shame in sharing expenses. Keep in mind that the most successful marriages are the ones where two people agree to pool their assets and share everything. If you and he were married, youíd probably wind up sharing the expenses for whatever travel you do.

Good luck,

Dr. Tracy

Confused Crossdresser

Dear Dr. Tracy,

Happy New Year to you! I really enjoy reading your site. It's helped me alot, however, i still have many sexual issues that need to be resolved and those are complicated.

I'm a crossdresser, 27 yo, Oriental male, 5ft8 tall, 135lbs, slim, and medium body. For more than 10 years, I've liked to dress in female dresses specially in lingeries or sexy dresses. I was trained by my ex girl friend and now I can't stop. I'm not gay, and still like females. But I love to be treated as a girl and enjoy being touched from toes to head while dressed in mini skirt/lingeries/hiheels. I have been met with numbers of couples and guys for sex fun.

Recently, my family found out my situation and they got mad, and said that I need a counselor to cure my mental problem. I have tried to quit but end up coming back dressing as a girl. My recent girl friend dumped me because of this. I'm very depressed and do not know what to do. Please advise.

Dear Depressed,

The main reason youíre depressed is because you have low self-esteem, not because youíre a crossdresser. And the reason you have low self-esteem is because you havenít accepted yourself. You are hearing your familyís words and trying to quit an activity that you have no real intention or ability to quit. Then you are beating yourself up for continuing to do the thing that really makes you happiest.

Start with self-acceptance. Truly accept yourself for who you are and you will feel a sense of peace and the beginnings of true self-esteem. As long as you donít accept your true self, your self-esteem will suffer.

As for your sexuality, you are in a very special category, and donít fit into the definition of straight, gay or bi. Peopleís sexual needs come in all shapes and sizes. Donít try to fit yourself into a conventional mold Ė it just wonít work.

Look for a partner, male or female or somewhere in between, who will accept you exactly the way you are, and who will love you with all your lovely lingerie. Donít pretend to be what youíre not. Put your cards on the table when you first become interested in someone and they show theyíre interested in you. Thatís the time to let them know about your crossdressing. That way you protect yourself from becoming too involved with someone who is only going to reject you as soon as they find out about it.

Good luck,

Dr. Tracy

Not Quite A Commitment

Dear Dr. Tracy,

I am a 41 year old woman divorced for 6 years. About 2 months ago I met a 43 year old man through an internet dating site. We began dating, really hit it off, and agreed to date exclusively about a month ago. Once we agreed to only see and date each other, I removed my profile from the internet dating site and he told me he removed his as well.

Yesterday, I discovered that he had emailed another woman through the internet dating site last week and suggested they meet. I only found out because coincidentally he emailed someone I knew.

I confronted him on this and he told me that he never intended to actually meet this other woman, that he only wanted to see if she would respond. He apologized, saying it was just a stupid male ego thing and that he doesnít want to see anyone other than me. He seemed truly sorry and sincere.

I then asked him why he was still on the dating site at all. He said he wasnít really because he had hidden his profile, so he wasnít available for others to see and contact (but obviously he can still see and contact them!), and that he didnít want to resign his membership because he had already paid for the whole year and didnít want to lose the money he had paid.

Is it really possible that he never had any intention of meeting this other woman and his behavior was just male ego? Should I take this incident, which has taken place only a month after we agreed to see each other exclusively, as an indication that he is possibly a womanizer and incapable of being faithful? Am I making too much out of the whole thing since he never actually did meet this woman and nothing actually happened?

Iím also concerned that he doesnít want to resign his membership in the online dating service even though he says that he is not interested in dating or meeting anyone other than me. Is that a legitimate concern or am I expecting too much after only 2 months of dating?

I hate to throw away what in every other respect has been a wonderful relationship up to this point over something trivial. On the other hand, I donít want to discover later that Iíve played for a fool when all the signs were there right from the beginning.

Thank you for in advance for any advice you can give me!

Dear Concerned,

Youíre either exclusive or not exclusive; thereís no partway exclusive. The man youíre dating agreed to date only you. You removed your profile and he didnít, at least not totally. And worse, he wrote to a woman after he agreed to see only you. To top it all off, he refuses to drop his membership.

Can you trust him? Hardly.

I doubt if he would have been as forthcoming with you or as sorry or sincere if he hadnít gotten caught. Now the problem is that you will always have a little doubt in the back of your mind about him. Itíll take a long time for you to forget his indiscretion and totally forgive him, and maybe thatís for the best.

Frankly, I donít believe his story, that he had no intention of meeting this woman and was just massaging his ego. You're right; he could be a womanizer. You really havenít been with him long enough to know one way or the other.

You and he have gotten into an exclusive relationship really fast, perhaps faster than you should have and before you were both truly ready. Now itís time to slow down and find out if he can be faithful. Be on the alert and donít fall into a pattern of his having online relationships with other women and claiming heís being faithful just because heís not really meeting them. Being really committed to someone means you donít flirt with others, online or in person.

One indication of his true intentions is what he does with his membership. If you care enough about someone to ask them for an exclusive relationship, that's a big deal in your life. Compared to that, walking away from an investment in an online service is trivial. (Of course, if he claims he's dropped the membership, you'd need to find a way to check...)

Give this relationship six months and then reevaluate it. By then you will have seen his true colors more clearly, but you could be watching him for years and wondering when the womanizer will appear. The real question is, how wonderful your relationship is and how trivial you decide his flirtation really is. If it turns out to be a one-time occurrence and never happens again, great. If not, if he repeats the behavior, be smart and say good-bye.

Good luck,

Dr. Tracy

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