Dr. Tracy's Advice Column

Cartoon Kiss


Hooked on an Ex
Is Looking Flirting?
Freaked Out About Having Kids

Hooked on an Ex

Dear Dr. Tracy,

My name is Tammy, I am 31 years old and very single. My ex-boyfriend, Dean, 32 broke up with me almost 5 years ago but I still want to be with him. We started out young (I was 14 he was 15) and we were on and off for over 13 years. Of course we had problems but I feel like I especially did whatever I could to work things out and hold us together. I wasn't an angel so I won't try to make it seem that way but anything I did he didn't have to hear about it in the street.

Basically, we had a long distance relationship for awhile when I was away for college. After moving back home we got back together and I ended up moving away for about a year for a job opportunity. We were still together when I was preparing to move back home when I really noticed the change. He was always busy, always working, had no time for me. Through snooping, I found out 4 months after the move that he had been involved with someone else. He said he didn't want to break up and of course I wanted to work things out, but after a couple months of "trying" he broke up with me saying he just didn't want to be in a relationship anymore but he still loved me. The drama ensued, I lost my mind (for a long time), I did everything I could to hold onto him, drive by's, walk-in's, phone calls, discussions with his mom, whatever, it didn't matter to me. You don't just throw away 13 years with someone.

Anyway, he ends up with a baby by the girl he cheated on me with despite the fact that he constantly told me he was no longer involved with her. Through all the drama, the mean words, the fussing and fighting, we still maintain contact with each other. The calls are infrequent and short, I want to spend time with him, he still says he is too busy. We haven't seen each other in at least 7 months now. When we argue he'll say "I never want to talk to you again, don't call my phone, stay out of my life". Most times I call him first but there have been times when I tell myself "this is it, I'm through" I won't call him for weeks but he turns around and calls my phone to say "I wanted to see how you were doing since we haven't talked in awhile".

If he is so over me and the relationship, why doesn't he just leave well enough alone by not calling after he's heard nothing from me? Like I said, I have been more than willing to work things out, nothings perfect. I am a good person, I've always been there for him, I know love isn't enough but what more can I do? If he refuses to be a part of my life and refuses to allow me to be apart of his shouldn't I just stop all communication. He thinks there is nothing wrong with maintaining contact to see how each other is doing but I am still very hurt by everything that has happened between us and I simply want more.

Dear Hooked,

You are addicted to having this man in your life, long after he has moved on.

You are allowing him to dominate your life and you are throwing your life away yearning for a relationship with someone who doesn't want to be with you. If he wanted to be with you, he had lots of chances to do just that.

You've done everything possible to get this guy to love you and he hasn't come around. After thirteen years, it's time to say goodbye once and for all.

Don't agree to talk to him or keep in contact, at least not until you're involved with someone new. Then when you have a life with someone who really cares for you, it's okay to contact your old boyfriend just to say hi, but not to get him back. Relationships are like business deals -- once they go sour, they just keep going downhill. Don't let yourself get sucked into waiting for him forever.

You are at a time in your life when you should be marrying and starting a family, not trying to get someone back who isn't going to respond to you the way you want.

Like a drug, if you get a little, you will want more. So save yourself and turn off your need to contact him. Find someone who will love you and move on with your life.

Just because you love someone doesn't mean they will love you back, no matter how much you love them. If you continue to try to communicate with him, you will be just like a drug addict looking for a fix. An addict can't put the needle in his arm just a little bit and you can't talk to him just a little bit either. Being a love addict can ruin your life just as much as being addicted to heroin.

There are men out there who are ready and willing to love. Find one.

If you don't move on, you will have to ask yourself what you get from this situation. Perhaps wanting this man who doesn't want you is your way of avoiding a real commitment, because that's what you're doing.

Good luck,

Dr. Tracy

Is Looking Flirting?

Dear Dr. Tracy,

My fiancee and I are in our late 40's. We're both attractive people an share flirtatious looks from the opposite sex. We've known each other for 1 1/2 years and live together. For seven months now my fiancee has been going beyond looking at other women with me sitting at his side. I notice the women first and look over to him and he'll turn away from looking at her. Sometimes it's 3 to 5 times that I catch him doing it. He can even be holding my hand and giving me kisses.

One of my friends even noticed it. We always go out together, he comes home every night and takes very good care of me. I've spoke to him about it and he denies he is flirting. He keeps doing it and it is beginning to seriously bother me. We haven't made plans for the wedding and I'm feeling he doesn't love me. Am I right?

Dear Bothered,

You and your fiancÚ both enjoy flirtations looks from the opposite sex. So what's the big deal if your fiancÚ looks. All men look. Looking is not a sin. Looking doesn't count as infidelity and it doesn't even count as flirting.

Real flirting is when someone initiates conversation, compliments the person and tries to make contact later. Your fiancÚ isn't doing any of those things. He's just looking.

The best thing you could do would be to acknowledge the looking and maybe even join in. You could comment on the woman he's looking at, such as, "She's cute, but not as hot as I am," or, "She's cute but has really bad legs." It doesn't matter what you say, the key is to not let the looking become a big sneaky thing that he has to worry about, and not to sound jealous or insecure.

Let him know you know what he's doing and that it's no big deal. After all, if he's good to you and there for you, what does it matter if he looks?

I don't think his looking means he doesn't love you and I do think you're making way too much of this.

Marry the man and live happily ever after. If looking at attractive women is the worse thing he ever does, be grateful, you have a winner there.

Good luck,

Dr. Tracy

Freaked Out About Having Kids

Dear Dr. Tracy,

Im a 29 year old male.. I have a 3 year old little girl from a past relationship. As much as I love her and would do anything for her I am in no way maturnal, all thru the pregnancy I was freeked out. I have on and off relationships and don't think I will get married for quite sometime. It freeks me out before I have sex -- even after! making sure the condom is safe and secure. When we are done I squeeze the condom to make sure it worked with out any leaks. The truth is, I have be 100% that it went ok. This can be extremly stressful if I am with someone for a few months.

I really don't want anymore children. My question is.. I'm thinking of having a vasectomy. (I'm that freeked out about getting anyone pregnant) Is this ok for a guy of my age? What if I meet someone I love and want to spend the rest of my life with? If she knows I can't have anymore children at the start she won't give 100%. I have no problem being on my own but what if?

I will have to go in and out of relationships till the end. I feel it's the right thing to do and I want to do it.

Please help

Dear Reluctant Dad,

Having a 3 year old from a past relationship is making you way too freaked out about sex. If the condom leaks, it's not the end of the world: that's what "Morning After" pills are for.

If you really don't want any more children, you should never get to the point of being in love with a women before letting her know how you feel. Tell anyone you date as soon as possible so they have the choice of being with you or not. You don't want to lead someone on who wants a family and have them find out later that you are totally against having children.

As far as getting a vasectomy, that's a big step for someone your age. You could meet a woman you love so much you want to have children with her, and then you couldn't.

Birth control works. Don't take the drastic step of having a vasectomy. You're right, most women in the age group you are dating want to have families and if you have a vasectomy they won't want to give 100% of their hearts to you.

There are women out there who don't want children. But they aren't the norm. Most women want children and if you only want to date women who don't want to start a family, or who don't already have children, you will limit your choices a lot.

Give yourself time to get over your fears about having children and don't rush into a vasectomy.

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.

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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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