Dr. Tracy's Advice Column

Cartoon Kiss

1/27/2002

When Three's Not a Crowd
In A State of Shock
When Religions Differ



When Three's Not a Crowd

Dear Dr. Tracy,

I am a 25 year old female who has been bi-curious for quite some time.

Fortunately my curiosity has come to an end. For the first time I have had a sexual experience with another female. This is where it gets complicated for me. I met her through her husband. I've known him for about 8 months or so. He works at the car dealership I bought my car at. Upon meeting him I was attracted to him and after talking to him discovered that he was indeed married. It wasn't a problem, I just decided not to pursue anything with him in a romantic sense because I am not one for breaking up marriages or cheating husbands. Although I must say that weekly phone calls from him and my visits to the dealership seemed to develop a sort of friendship. So as we talked and got to know each other little by little I grew more and more fond of him and the way he is.

He recently started calling me more often and our conversations got into more depth as time went on. He was asking me what I know about him and why if any reason I chose not to pursue him and I told him straight forward that it was because he is married. He then decided to tell me that his wife is bi-sexual and wondered if I had a problem with that. Much to his surprise I informed him that I wasn't bothered in the least because I, myself, was bi-curious. Well, that was it. He was determined for me to meet her and for everybody to get to know each other. He said to me if everything went right and we all clicked, ultimately what he wants is for me to move in with them. Well being that I was just curious at the time, I couldn't even fathom such a relationship but my curiosity got the best of me and a few weeks later I went to meet her.

And we did hit it off! Extremely well. I can know say that I am in no way curious anymore I am definitely bi-sexual. My life seems as if it has changed drastically since I've realized this about myself and so many decisions and thoughts are going through my mind. I now talk to them both everyday and we see each other as much as we can. It ended up that night that I had sex with her and with him. They had informed me that before they got married he had agreed to her wish of looking for another woman to be in the relationship with. And here I am! So, they gave me the key to the house and are all ready for me to move in. I'm hesitant because this is all so strange and new to me but is it true that three's a crowd or could this really work and I could have the best of both worlds?

Dear Bi-Curious,

Your being bi-curious is really quite normal. In a sex survey of American women, the most frequent sex fantasy most women had was to make love with another woman. However, most of them had never had a chance to live out that fantasy. Maintaining a bi-sexual lifestyle is even more difficult than a heterosexual one because it's hard to find a man and a woman you like, and even harder to find a situation that works sexually and emotionally for everyone involved.

In your case, you came upon a serendipitous situation, meeting a man you found attractive who is open-minded, unthreatened by and accepting of his wife's bi-sexuality, and willing to actually facilitate the experience for her.

Now that you've had the bi-sexual experience and it has convinced you that you are indeed bi-sexual, I would suggest that you use caution in moving in with this couple. It's one thing to have a great sexual experience, another to move your life in with theirs. Take your time and get to know them both better first. There are lots of questions to be answered. What would your obligations be? Who would pay for what? What kind of privacy would you have? What are their expectations? What are yours?

I'm not saying that this is an impossible situation. I have known threesomes who have lived happily together for many years. However, I have also known threesomes with the best of intentions who moved in together and quickly discovered that making love is just a small part of real life. They discovered that they had different ideas about housework, or who does what, when and to whom. The other problem with threesomes is that they sometimes divide into a twosome and a third wheel, leaving one person feeling left out and unappreciated.

Being a couple is tricky enough. Being a threesome triples the difficulties.

However, there are some advantages to being a threesome when it works. You are never lonely. You always have a girlfriend to talk to, to shop with and to understand your emotions, as well as a man around the house. For the man, there's the obvious advantage of having two women, although that sometimes proves to be a double-edged sword for the man who isn't always ready to perform. If his ego gets involved, he can begin to resent the fact that he's not as indispensable as he would like to be.

Having the best of both worlds is always tricky.

Good luck,

Dr. Tracy



In A State of Shock

Dear Dr. Tracy,

I am a 37 year old female who has been divorced for almost two years. Soon after my divorce was final, I began dating a man that I really liked a lot, but it ended rather hurtfully when he chose to become exclusive with another woman he was dating at the same time. I accepted his decision and moved on and we were able to remain friends, talking occasionally by phone and e-mail. When his relationship with the other woman went bad and eventually ended, we became closer and started dating again this past August, and this time everything went wonderfully, or so I thought.

After dating for a couple of months, he told me that he was in love with me, and I was ecstatic since I had always felt an attraction for him and was in love with him, also. I assumed (wrongly) that when he told me he loved me, he meant that we were in a serious relationship in which we would only see each other, since that's what he did with the previous girlfriend. However, I found out yesterday that he has had casual sex with another woman several times since we began dating again. I am still in a state of shock and hurt that he could say that he's in love with me and that we could spend so much wonderful, loving time together and that he could still have sex with this other woman. He says that I misunderstood his intentions when he told me he loved me, and that he had never meant that he wouldn't occasionally see other women, until we actually sat down and discussed being exclusive with each other.

Maybe I'm hopelessly naive, but when a man tells me he's in love with me, this in itself is a statement of commitment. We talked on the phone for a couple of hours last night, and I fully explained what I had assumed he meant (when he said he loved me), and he fully explained what he had actually meant. The problem is, even though I've tried my best to understand his idea that we should still be able to see others occasionally, I just can't. This is not my concept of being in love at all, and I'm afraid that he and I are not going to be able to work this problem out.

He told me that he has thought about having the "exclusive" discussion with me and has thought about our relationship as a long term one, but that after his last failed relationship, he just can't commit to me right now. He has also said that the woman he had sex with has no expectations of him beyond sex and that he considers her only a "friend". While I hate the fact that he has had sex with her, I'm willing to try to get over it. Do you have any ideas on how we can resolve this situation with a happy ending, or, in light of the fact that he's had sex with someone else, does it sound like a lost cause?

Dear Shocked,

I can understand why you might think that telling each other you are in love would indicate that you would stop seeing other people. Obviously, though, your guy doesn't think the same way. And strictly speaking, saying you're in love doesn't automatically include an exclusive commitment if you don't say the words.

He could be one of those men who tells everyone he's in love with them. Perhaps he told this other woman he was in love with her, too. You might get in touch with her and ask her if they really are only "friends" with no expectations beyond sex.

With most people, especially women, if you're truly in love, you just don't want anyone else. However, many people, especially men, go through a relationship phase where they are in love but not sure how it will work out and not ready to commit. During this phase, they feel that the whole idea of not being exclusive is to remain open to other people, and to do a little comparison shopping, so they can be absolutely sure they're ready to commit. Some men consider the entire time period right up to their wedding day as their last chance to sow their wild oats.

In any case, he wants to keep seeing you and this other woman too. If you can't handle that emotionally, you can't. And if that's how you feel, tell him that you certainly love him, that you will miss him, but that you don't want to see him and other people too and you don't want to have more than one relationship at a time. Tell him that if he wants to have an exclusive relationship, you're willing, but otherwise, you're going to stop seeing him. Don't agree to just be friends. (He certainly didn't hesitate to end his relationship with you before, so don't hesitate to end it with him.)

However, if this man is perfect for you in every other way, you might consider an alternate course. Tell him that if he isn't ready to be exclusive, you'll keep seeing him, but you're going to have to do some comparison shopping yourself, to see if perhaps your love for him isn't misplaced. Then make him think you're dating and having sex, whether you are or not. If sheer jealousy doesn't drive him to ask for an exclusive relationship within six months, you can probably conclude that he's not really in love with you as much as he says he is.

Good luck,

Dr. Tracy



Toxic Relationships

Dear Dr. Tracy,

I am 53 years old and am currently divorced from my second marriage. Most of my relationships are younger by about 10 yrs. I am told I don't look my age.

My question is this, all of my relationships have been toxic, this current one is very toxic. He has stolen, lied, cheated on me and stolen from my daughter.He use to live with me, but I kick him out for all of the reasons above.

My questions is this I just don't understand why I keep taking him back, when I hate myself afterwards for it. I just don't know how to let go of him. He makes my life miserable. I sometimes let the phone ring and not answer it and other times I get so lonely I give in and go runing.He'll tell me to meet him at a certain place and then he never shows up. How do I let go!!

Dear Miserable,

If all of your relationships have been toxic, it's time to look at the consistent factor in all of these relationships - you!

You are the one who's always there. You are the one who always chooses these men. So perhaps it's time to choose a man your own age instead of one 10 years younger. Choosing men who are so much younger than you puts you at a disadvantage, no matter how young you look. He will always feel like he's got an "older woman," and you will always feel like you have to put up with more than you should because you've got this cute young studly guy.

Let's be clear about exactly what you keep doing: instead of insisting on a man who is honest, doesn't lie, cheat or steal, and is maybe a little older than you, you take a young guy who moves into your house and abuses you. You should look into your heart and ask yourself what you get out of these relationships. There is always a payoff when you keep going back to a toxic relationship. Perhaps it's because a younger man makes you feel younger than you are. Perhaps it's just getting a "fix" of young-guy sex.

Whatever your payoff is, it's not worth taking back a jerk and hating yourself afterwards for it. If you're lonely, find a nice older man who will be there for you. If younger men are taking advantage of you, only you can answer this simple question: is the screwing you're getting worth the screwing you're getting?

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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