Dr. Tracy's Advice Column

Cartoon Kiss


Saying "I love you"
When to Tell the Truth
No Undies, no Nookie

Saying "I love you"

Dear Dr. Tracy,

My name is Amanda and I'm a single 25 year old woman residing in Alaska. I've been with my boyfriend a little over 3 months. I said I love you a couple weeks ago and he said that he couldn't say it because he wasn't ready and he doesn't know what love is.

That hurts. no one wants to say I love you and not hear it in return. I think he does love me, I see it in the way that he looks at me and holds me and wants to be with me a lot. We have a great time together. He has said it a couple times when he was drunk but he won't say it besides that.

I want to be with him but it's been like 3 weeks since I said it and I don't know how long I should wait to hear it back. I think when he started dating me he didn't expect to like it this much and he had plans to travel and not settle down right away and if he says he loves me then it makes it that much more of a committment to walk away from.

I don't know though, and an outside perspective would certainly be appreciated.

Dear Waiting,

Waiting to hear those magic words, "I love you," can be stressful. You want him to say it. You need him to say it. And he doesn't.

So you said "I love you" hoping that he'd say it back. When he didn't, you were left with egg on your face and a hole in your heart.

Yes, you said it too soon. Three months into a relationship isn't the right time to blurt out "I love you" first. Especially when you knew he didn't expect to settle down and wasn't ready. What you did is like trying to prime the pump but it backfired.

If he only says "I love you" when he's drunk, then that's the only time you should say it too. Saying "I love you" in a moment of passion or when you're drunk is an easy way to say it but not be held to a further commitment. That's why he only says it then.

In order to get back on the same page with him, stop saying "I love you." Don't say it again until he does. Make a pact with yourself that you will wait until you have been together at least six months before you start using the "Love" words.

You should wait to hear it back until he's ready to say it, which could be three more months or even a year. Whatever you do, don't say it again. Don't try to force the words out of him. You'll only make him feel cornered. If he wants to tell you he loves you, he will.

He's told you he isn't ready and doesn't know what love is. Show him what love is by your actions. Don't tell him. Practice non-verbal ways to communicate love. Look at him with love. Touch him lovingly. Show him you are a loving person by the way you treat others, pets, and plants. Be nurturing. Cook for him. Be affectionate. Don't let the words take on more importance than your actions.

If you show him what love means, he'll have a better chance of learning to love you back and you'll be more likely to hear those magic words. If you don't -- if a year has gone by and he's still talking about his planned travels -- then you might want to reexamine why you think this man may ever settle down.

Good luck,

Dr. Tracy

When to Tell the Truth

Dear Dr. Tracy,

I'm in a deep dilemma. I believe I've found someone and I'm beginning to falll for him, likewise he's feeling the same way too. We've been dating for about a month though we've known each other for 10 years but the connection then was just a greet or 'hello'. The problem is he does not know that I'm divorced. My marriage lasted 6 months and I don't have any children. I wanted to be honest and tell him the truth since we started dating but on the other hand I'm so afraid of losing him. How can I confess the truth to him without hurting him and yet make him accept who I am? When will be the most suitable time for that? I've failed in my first relationship and I don't want to be disappointed again. I'm so deeply in love with him.

Dear Procrastinator,

The worst thing you can do in a relationship is avoid getting a problem out on the table until you're well into the relationship. You didn't want to tell him you'd been married before because you were afraid he'd be turned off and not want to pursue a relationship with you.

That's exactly the worst thing you can do. The time to tell a man any bad news about yourself is in the very beginning of the relationship, not when you're well into it. Get it out and get past it on the second date. At that point, you're not that invested in the relationship and you aren't that afraid of losing him. By waiting until you are well into the relationship, you've missed the best opportunity to tell him.

Getting bad news out first, before neither of you are that into each other, makes the bad news not such a big deal. Who cares if someone you just started dating was married before? However, the longer you wait, the more it looks like your prior marriage is something you've been hiding from him. In his eyes, that will seem to be a betrayal of the trust that is just beginning to build between the two of you.

Tell him immediately. Explain to him that you are a very private person and hesitant to go into your history with people, but you meant to tell him before now. The sooner you get all your cards on the table, the better off you'll be. You didn't think you could hide your previous marriage forever, did you? Trust me: he will find out eventually.

If you lose him now over this, it's better than losing him when you're even more caught up in the relationship. The advantage you would have had in the beginning is that it's always easier to lose someone you haven't been intimate with than someone you have.

Make sure he's in a good mood first. Say some really nice things about him. Then tell him. Promise him that there are no more skeletons in your closet and hope for the best.

Good luck,

Dr. Tracy

No Undies, no Nookie

Dear Dr. Tracy,

Please help - My Age is 55 - Married to a younger person several years younger than myself. Now he seems to have lost interest in me.

More upsetting is that he likes dressing in women's clothing when we have sex. He loves women - and he has had several affairs. He does not like gays.

He doesn't ask me to dress up in my underwear - he wants to wear mine. The 1st time I met him he asked to wear my knickers. Why?

These days he has gone off sex completely with me because I have told him I will not have him dress up in my underwear and don't want him to practice anal sex with me.

Could you please answer this question? I am desperate.

Dear Desperate,

You really have no basis for being upset. It's a bummer that he wants to wear your underwear and have anal sex, but the truth is that you knew his kinky proclivities. You say the first time you met him he asked to wear your knickers. And you married him anyway.

He probably married you thinking that you totally accepted his dressing in women's clothes and having the kind of sex he wants. That's one of the attractions of older women for a younger man - that the older woman is more accepting and sexually sophisticated.

Now you've changed the rules and you're complaining that you aren't getting sex. The answer is simple. If you want sex with him, you'll have to do it his way. If not, you're not going to be having any.

Why does he want to wear your undies? It's possible that as a youngster his first sexual turn-on came from a woman's silky panties. Maybe his mother's or his aunt's or a girlfriend's. In any case, he's become fixated on that way of getting turned on and chances are won't be turned on unless you agree to continue.

It would be very different if you hadn't gone along with his having an underwear and anal fetish. But you did. Now you've led him to expect the same turn-on will continue. So you're as much to blame as he is.

If you're that desperate, try negotiating. Maybe underwear and no anal. Or maybe his way every other time and your way the rest of the time. Desperation calls for desperate measures. I don't think he's going to change, so either accept that you won't be having sex with him or give him your underwear.

There are lots of women living with men who like to cross dress. Some of them even help their husbands dress as women. Your guy only wants to wear your underwear to have sex. It could be a lot worse.

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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