Dr. Tracy's Advice Column

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Why He Won't Commit
Money and Love
Too Many Friends With Benefits

Why He Won't Commit

Dear Dr. Tracy,

I dated my partner for 2 years when I was 18-20 years old. We broke up and after 8 years have got back together and since been seeing each other for 2 years this month. We have had a very rocky relationship over the past 2 years - upsets mostly fuelled by past relationships, especially his 2 ex girlfriends as I feel he was used and abused (so to speak).

But we do love each other and have a very deep connection and I miss him every minute im not with him and continued to miss him for years after we broke up the first time around.

I've been putting the pressure on him to make a committment to get married. The pressure being mostly tears, sadness, depression on the reasons why he won't propose. He says he loves me more then anything and we have bought a dog together and have been living together for the past 1year and half. He is 2 years younger then me and im considering that to be the reason why he won't committ though im concerned as we've been talking and fighting about this for 1 year and im tired of being sad and concerned and depressed about the same issue and have not been able to sleep in the same bed as him for the past 3 years out of my own depression.

What's holding him back from this committment when he says he loves me so much and we share so much love? I feel so heart broken.

Dear Heart Broken,

This guy would have to be nuts to make a commitment to you uder the circumstances. Let's see, you nag him about his ex girlfriends and tell him they abused him. That's not going to make him feel happy.

Next, you're depressed and sad all the time, cry and insist he commit to you. That doesn't make him want to be with you at all, let alone forever.

And worst of all, you haven't slept in the same bed with him for the past three years.

This is not a problem caused by your age difference. Two years isn't a big deal. No man in his right mind would marry a woman who won't sleep with him, who is unhappy and cries all the time, and who nags him about his ex girlfriends.

If you really want a commitment, then stop fighting and nagging him about making a commitment. Stop acting like a sad sack and start sleeping in the same bed with him. That's not rocket science, it's just common sense.

No man wants to spend the rest of his life with a woman who won't sleep with him. Sex isn't everything, but it is important. If you don't make him happy in the bedroom he will eventually find someone who will, and then you'll really be heart broken.

So stop nagging him about making a commitment and show him how much you love him. You can't nag a man into making a commitment.

Good luck,

Dr. Tracy

Money and Love

Dear Dr. Tracy,

I just turned 24 and my boyfriend is 28. We have been together 3 years, neither of us has been previously married. We love each other very much and have many plans for the future; however, we currently both live with our respective parents. My concern is that I am starting to lose faith in ever achieving any of our goals together.

When we first met, he seemed very confident and successful in his career. At the time I was finishing my Bachelor's. Presently, I have been teaching for two years and I am working on a Masters in my field. While I continue to accomplish my personal goals, I cannot say the same for my boyfriend. He lost his job 3 months into the relationship and was unemployed for 2 years. During that time, however, he did decide to go back to college. Ten months ago, he got a new job and was successful while still attending college. However, he recently quit his job (without obtaining another one) because he was having trouble with his boss. Before he quit he was missing days and getting there late because he wanted to avoid his boss.

While I tried my hardest to be supportive during his first experience with unemployment, I find that I am having difficulty being supportive at all this time around. Although it's only been a few weeks since he quit, I am afraid that this behavior is a pattern with him. I know his field of study is a lucrative one and he is a very intelligent man, but he has admitted to me that he has problems with laziness and initiative. I myself am very goal-oriented, disciplined, and motivated and find that even though we are not living together yet, it is becoming a problem. Our plans were to move in together this summer and then make plans to get married. However, with his job loss those plans are now on the back burner.

He now seems to be very insecure, to have low self-esteem, and lack any initiative to succeed in life. I don't want to hurt him when he's down, but I'm starting to lose respect and attraction towards him. I love him very much and want to make a life with him, but little things are starting to annoy me and I feel resentment because it hinders our plans to move forward in our lives. I feel the only decisions to be made are: break up or accept his work pattern. What do you recommend?

Dear Annoyed,

This is not a matter of having enough money to have a successful relationship. Money isn't important, love is. Lots of people get married without two pennies to rub together and they spend their lives together happily married. Some never make a lot of money, but that doesn't mean they aren't happy together.

What is important is shared goals and respect. You have lost respect for your boyfriend and that's the kiss of death. You can't spend your life with someone you don't respect.

You are already losing your attraction to him, and once that happens it becomes a downward spiral and only gets worse.

The things that annoy you and make you resent him now will really annoy you and make you even less attracted to him in the future. Little things get worse, not better after you're married, and his lack of ambition and inability to hold down a job isn't likely to get better.

Sometimes opposites attract and that's fine, but if you don't respect and admire the man you're going to marry, then you shouldn't think about making a life with him.

Definitely don't rush into anything with this man. Give him time to get his life together, and if he doesn't, then move on. If you're having trouble being supportive, that's a sign that your resentment is standing in the way of your love, and that's sure to get worse, not better.

The best thing you could do is break up with him now and look for someone who shares your values and who you could respect. You're right, you have to break up or accept his work pattern and I don't think you're ready to accept him the way he is. So the answer is obvious if sad.

Good luck,

Dr. Tracy

Too Many Friends With Benefits

Dear Dr. Tracy,

I love your love library and can understand it well for singles....but when singles have children....I cant get my head around this one. I would have given up quickly but I dont know what I want either. I dont think I want to be married again...as I was for 15 years but he died and I am afraid of men taking advantage of me and my children so that I lose my home. On the other hand I do want a romantic loving bf who will be a partner and all that...just not to live with.

Me...a widow for 8 yrs, 45 with a 5 year old and grown up kids. Him divorced for 4 yrs with an Xwife who plays with his head...and breaks into his house still and takes his stuff and a 9 yr old who doesnt like staying over other peoples places because she gets scared. He now said he grew weed for a year for the money but never smoked it but she sent police over to bust his hydroponics. He says he has a FWB for years with a married woman who lives across the road, I cant compete with that. I said why dont you be with her but he said she is not his type (he didnt look at me when he said that so I assume she is his type but she doesnt want to leave her spouse).

If he wasnt so perfectly my type in looks, childhood....we went to the same school....and the same age as myself and loving towards his child...I would have just nixed the whole deal as I hate drugs and anything to do with them. He doesnt seem to believe in love at all, plenty of fish notion, and was unfaithful to every woman he knew. I dont want to fix him, I dont really like monogamy either (BUT only if Im number1), like the sex but cant seem to get my mind around.....the fact its hard to go out and deliberately meet others given the fact I am in the same boat as he is except I dont have a FWB. Is he a broken popcorn machine? Am I? Is there any point keeping dating this fellow.....I'm not inlove but I definitely would be if he fell for me.

The question is....dump or stick with him? He's entertaining and great in bed.....and I havent had sex in ages. Dont really like ONS that much. How did you get the Old Seducer to be with you? How can you use the Love Library when the kids and FWB get in the way (mix)?


Dear Ambivalent,

No wonder you are ambivalent about this man. He has so many problems. An ex who is out of control. A child who has fears of staying anywhere but home, and an arrest record for growing pot.

Instead of being ambivalent, accept him for what he is. A sexual guy who is good for sex, but little else. I don't think he's going to take advantage of you financially, but you should be careful. Most of all, be careful that he doens't give you a sexually transmitted disease since he is obviously having sex with other women.

The first thing you have to have in a man is availability and willingness to be with you and put you first in his life. Even if he's available for sex, this man is not going to put you first. So if that's a deal breaker, move on.

However, if the old seducer is fun in the sack and you can keep from falling in love with him, then enjoy him for what he is. If you want more from him than he'w willing to give, then dump him now.

Whatever you do, don't fall in love with him. He'll make you crazy, he'll cheat on you, and you can't trust him. That said, have fun. It sounds like you're not in the mood for a real commitment, so even though this guy is definitely a broken popcorn machine, you wouldn't want a man who is looking for more than you are willing to give.

Nobody really likes one night stands, but it's hard to get a deep committed relationship when you have so many fears about letting somone into your life.

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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