Dr. Tracy's Advice Column

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Having Doubts About Love
Nude TV Viewer
Can you say "Flake?"

Having Doubts About Love

Dear Dr. Tracy,

I am 22 years old in a relationship with a 23 year old guy who is absolutely amazing. We have been dating now for about 3 years. He treats me like a princess and there is nothing that he wouldn't do for me and vice versa. We have lots in common, enjoy each others company when and have common family goals.

We have really jumped to the next level in our relationship by buying a house which would be ready in April, 2008. I was really excited up until recently. I have started to doubt if we are all that perfect for each other or I am just being paranoid?

My only problem with him is that he is soo in love with me that he has abandoned his own life completely. He wants to spend every single day together and do everything together. His confidence level is low and feels that he is no one without me. He is not very outgoing and keeps mostly to himself. On the other hand, I like to be around people and interact. I have lost all my friends because we are always together.

I am really confused as to what I should do. Should I stay with him and work on getting more confident and outgoing or should I explore more? (my mom keeps telling me to explore because she thinks I can do better, but that's moms, they all say that to their daughters)

Please Help.... I don't want to hurt him any longer and he is very up to date with how I am feeling and it's killing him.

Dear Confused,

You and your boyfriend are both very young, but there are lot of good things in your relationship. You both have common goals and care deeply for each other. You have future plans and a new house. He treats you like a princess and that's always a good thing, especially after three years of dating.

The downside is that you are starting to have doubts. One problem is that you're listening to other people instead of your own heart. Your mother isn't going to spend her life with this man nor are your friends. You are. So the doubts that are important are the ones that come from within yourself.

You and your guy have both made mistakes here. You've lost yourselves in the relationship, and that's easy to do. When couples get together, they tend to block out the rest of the world and concentrate on each other and the lives they are building together. However, it's not healthy to lose yourself totally in your relationship. Co-dependency is okay to a degree, but not when it takes over your lives.

You are both guilty. You have allowed him to spend every single day with you and to do everything together, and that would be fine if you were happy with the arrangement. And you may have been for a while. But now you need a change.

Relationships, especially with people as young as the two of you are, have to be flexible and you have to be willing to make changes. You are both going to change plenty in the next few years and what you need from each other will change as well.

Think of your relationship as evolving. Don't dump the whole thing. Change it.

He has to become more self-sufficient and you have to let him spend time alone. Encourage him to develop friends and hobbies. Let him go take a class or volunteer somewhere. Don't take no for an answer. Tell him he has to do it.

Positive feedback from other people will be so good for him. Right now, the only positive feedback he gets is from you, so he's like an addict that needs a fix, and you're it.

You have to do the same thing. Spend time away from him. Make plans with your friends. Get out and interact with people, even if he doesn't want to. Couples don't have to do everything together all the time to have a good relationship. As a matter of fact, it's better if you don't. That way, you bring something fresh back to the relationship from the outside and you don't get stale and set in your ways.

Stop hurting him by complaining about what you don't have. Begin planning to get more into both your lives and you will be happy again. Concentrate on the positive. Make a list of what you want, not what you don't want.

When you are more of the best you can be, your relationship will flourish.

Good luck,

Dr. Tracy

Nude TV Viewer

Dear Dr. Tracy,

I don't know who to ask this to, I hope it doesn't sound too dumb. I'm 29, GWM, in California. I recently started dating this guy who I really like but he's kind of a nudist. He's 36, great job, great place and really handsome and caring. The first night I spent at his place, we had sex and it was great, then we both went to bed naked, I know lots of guys sleep naked, including me. But in the morning, when we got up he just went about his business nude, making coffee, some breakfast and everything without putting on anything. It's been like that every time we've gotten together. Even more so now when we're spending more time together. In the evenings sometimes he watches TV nude when I'm there. So is this normal? Am I just being a prude or what? It just bothers me because I wonder what is ok and what is not.

Thanks for any help you can give me.

Dear Nude Newbie,

You and your new guy are both old enough so that you've seen lots of naked men. So what's the big deal? He's handsome, he's caring and you really like him. You can like him even better without his clothes.

Don't be such a prude. Nudism is as old as the hills and has been around in a healthy atmosphere forever. Nudists are not sexually promiscuous, they just like to be naked and it's okay. It's perfectly normal.

You're being really uptight. Get over it. Get naked and join the fun. There's nothing more freeing than taking all your clothes off and totally accepting the body that you have without being self-conscious or inhibited. Self-acceptance is the route to peace and good self-esteem. Maybe you and your new boyfriend can visit a gay nude resort together some day. Just think of the possibilities.

Stop limiting yourself with your old-fashioned attitudes about nudity and get with the program.

Good luck,

Dr. Tracy

Can you say "Flake?"

Dear Dr. Tracy,

Im 20 years old and my boyfriend is 23. Hes a really nice guy and hes so sweet to me, but hes so irresponsible when it comes to school and work and spending money. We've been dating for about 2 years now but I have no security with him. Hes 23 years old and has been fired from almost every job hes had or just quit without saying anything to them. Hes going on like his 5th year of college and doesnít have his associates degree yet and im about start on my bachlors degree. He always calls into work atleast once a week. I want him to grow up and be a man but he just wont. I talk to him about it and he just tells me I donít need to worry that hes just having fun now and he knows what hes doing and that when it comes time to get a real job he will settle down and do it, but I donít really believe him. His parents spoil him to death and its so annoying.

Please Help I donít know if I should move on or try and work on it with him.

Dear Wanting a Man,

You want a man, but what you have is an irresponsible child. He's the worst kind of flake and not showing any signs of getting any better.

When you pick a man for a life partner, you have to be able to depend on him. You have to count on him to take care of your children and if you become ill, you might have to depend on him to take care of you. You need to be able to trust him not to abuse your credit cards and checkbook.

This guy can't stay in school, he can't keep a job, and he just wants to have fun. You don't believe that he'll change and I don't blame you. I don't believe it either.

If you try to work on it with him, you'll get absolutely nowhere. He won't change and you'll wind up angry and frustrated. He has never shown a responsible bone in his body. If you want security, he's not your guy. Not now, and maybe never.

Either accept him for who he is and just keep him around for fun, or move on. Don't drive yourself crazy hoping he'll change. Some men never grow up and he could be one of those perpetual children.

Unless you want to be the "mommy," find a guy who can manage to stay in school, keep a job and spend money responsibly. Let Peter Pan fly away.

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!"

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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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