"Ask Dr. Tracy"

1/28/96 Advice Column

"Let's just be friends," A classic Waffler, Overweight Guy Looking for Love




Dr. Tracy,

Hi! My girlfriend broke up with me two weeks ago and told me our relationship would be better as friends. What does that mean?

Mark

Dear Mark,

When your girlfriend breaks up with you and tells you she just wants to be "friends," that's usually the kiss of death. Don't hold your breath on this one. My friend The Old Seducer says, "give up any hope of romance with her, but if she means what she says and is willing to be a friend, take her up on it. Most guys don't have enough women friends, and that's why they don't understand women."

In any case, find another girlfriend right away. Sometimes women are perverse. They don't really want you until someone else wants you and you want someone else. Then they try to get you back. There's only a longshot chance you'll get your ex-girlfriend back, but going out with other girls is a win-win strategy for you. I suggest you read "When to Get Out" in the Love Library.




Dear Dr. Tracy,

I am twenty-eight years old. I am currently working as a nanny. The relationships I have had in the past have all been with men a few years younger than me, have lasted over a year, and ended in disaster- with them leaving me for someone else, and in each of two cases marrying the female I was left for. Thru the children I work for a met a man who is completely different. He is older, for one thing. He has been on his own since he left to go to college. He is different physically from anyone I ever dated. I've made all the lists the self-help books suggest and I see that he is different in many, many ways from the others I have dated. I thought maybe the change is what I needed.

My problem is this. We have been together for three and a half years. He has yet to make a committment to me. I know he loves me as much as I love him, yet he waffles on the idea of committment. One week he'll say that he sees us together for the rest of our lives, and the next week he'll say that the five year age gap is too much. Neither of us want to live together outside of marriage, yet he doesn't seem to want marriage either. I wonder if he is scared because he thinks that being together forever will be BORING. Perhaps he thinks that we will run out of things to talk about and places to go and we will end up just staring at each other. I don't know. I am very confused. How can I show him that I can keep the home fires burning? Or do you think the coals have been smoldering too long and should just be snuffed out?

Susie

Dear Susie,

It's time to make a stand. Tell him you you want to be married by the Spring of '97 and engaged this year for sure. Let him know in no uncertain terms that if he hasn't made a commitment (meaning you're engaged) by (you pick a date, but remember, it take 3 - 6 months to plan a wedding), you're going to start looking elsewhere. If you have a good relationship, he'll shape up. These coals have definitely been smoldering long enough to start a fire.

If he accuses you of giving him an ultimatum, tell him you're just making plans to get on with your life and you're being nice enough to let him know ahead of time.

If he doesn't make a definite commitment (again, not a ring, a date) by the time you say, cut him off totally. No friendship, no talking, no nothing. Sometimes men have to be totally without you to really miss you and appreciate what you mean to them. Read "The Broken Popcorn Machine" in the Love Library to see if it applies in your situation.




Dear Dr. Tracy,

I am a 24 yr old SWM who has never been on a date in my life. I have met some great girls online who have been interested in getting to know me and we have even exchanged photos and called each other. However, long distance relationships do have a downside. They make it hard to actually spend "quality time" with them. I am a little overweight and find it rather hard to find the courage to ask a girl out. Actually I find it hard to find someone to start out being friends with. I know it's probably me but I need some solid advise. I always have had the idea that if I was able to date a girl who was slender to average size, it will give some extra boost to lose weight seriously. I would like to meet a girl from the Oklahoma area, however, there doesn't seem to be anyone in cyber-land in the area who is interested in getting to know me! OH WELL!!!!

James

Dear James,

Stop blaming your weight for everything. I've dated fat guys who were tons of fun ;-) They had great personalities and lots of women. Forget your weight and concentrate on becoming a really good friend. Be supportive and giving. If a woman has a great time with you, if you're a good buddy and a good lover, being a little overweight doesn't mean a thing except "more to love."

However, don't look to a woman to give you weight loss motivation. People don't lose weight for others, they do it for themselves. Join Weightwatchers. There are lots of women there. You'd have better luck finding someone to lose weight with than looking for a slim woman to make you lose weight. Read "Are You Looking or Waiting?" in the Love Library. Best of luck!




Questions may be submitted to Dr. Tracy's column by e- mail. Questions of general interest may be answered in this column, however Dr. Cabot regrets that she cannot answer all questions submitted.




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