2/15/98 Advice Column
No wonder you're confused. You think that a man can only make mad, passionate, perfect love with a woman if he is in love with her. What a mistake that is! Lots of men go from bed to bed making love as if that woman is the last woman in the entire world.
I can't tell you how many men I have known who were capable of this. Of course you think he loves you truly because he's so convincing. But believe me, just because a guy loves the lovin' doesn't mean he's in love with you. It's even possible that he's just staying in practice with you while he looks for a "money woman."
Your problem is that you've been letting this guy make love with all these other women (you probably have no idea how many) and you too. It's time to put your foot down and let him know that if he leaves you again you're not taking him back. And by the way, have you realized you're not just sleeping with him, but with all those women and everyone they slept with - at least when it comes to sexually transmitted diseases. This is one high-risk dude. Stop being a sucker for him, and stop taking risks.
If I were you, I'd let him know exactly where he was going - out! You're not doing yourself any good by taking him back all the time, you're just teaching him that he can get away with leaving you and coming back whenever he wants. This guy is never going to realize he's in love with you as long as you let him play you for a sucker. Men don't realize they're in love with women they can walk all over. And this is playing havoc with your self-esteem.
Read this middle-aged child the riot act and tell him to shape up or ship out of your life permanently. You're wasting your best years on him -- even if he is a mad, passionate lover.
There is a lot more to this story than I can type in one message. We are both young. I'm only 19 ad he's just 20. He brings up the subject of marriage on a regular basis. The young girly in-love part of me says yes, go for it, and the motherly side says wait longer until things getmore established between us. I'm just not sure what to do. Leave him or love him??? We've been through thick and thin together and my love for him grows stronger instead of weaker. But I need some advice on which way to go. Give him another chance or just let things be and find someone else?
Your heart is right. He may very well take off again and that's only one of the chances you're taking in this non-monogamous relationship. It doesn't matter if a guy has sex with other women or other men, he's endangering you and your children by possibly exposing you to sexually transmitted diseases.
You will always have this man in your life, since he's the father of your children. And you should give him another chance to become a father and a general good guy, because he is growing up. On the other hand, just because you love him, that doesn't mean you should marry him. Often the most lovable guys, straight or gay, don't make good husbands for one reason or another.
So listen to your motherly side, and do what's best for your children. That means giving them consistency in life -- a husband who stays, not strays. Give him enough time for you to be sure. Wait and see if the nails get long again or the hair starts to grow. If you're not sure that all this is behind him, a marraiage would be misery. Even if he didn't cross-dress for years, every time he came home late or didn't call you'd always be wondering if he's going to leave you again.
Ann met me at a restaurant for dinner, and she turned out to be a very attractive, intelligent, and interesting woman. We met at 7:00, and the evening progressed nicely, we seemed to be getting on pretty well, and Ann seemed to be warming up to me during the evening. After dinner we ended up going 'club-hopping' looking for music, and danced a little. At one club we ran into a man whom she had a prior acquaintance with, she didn't feel very comfortable around this guy, and started moving closer to me. I responded by putting my arms around her, and she put her hands on mine. This, I took as a good sign! She finally ran out of steam at around 1:30 and, as we were walking back to her car (she drove us from the restaurant) she put her arm around me. Another good sign, and hardly a subtle one. She held my hand while driving back to the restaurant and, when we got to where my car was parked, as she didn't seem in a big hurry to get rid of me, and I'd had such a good time with her, and she looked so darned good, I gave her a good night kiss. This was a NICE kiss, too, long, and soft, and slow. Not wanting to overstay my welcome I was about to get out of her car, but then SHE initiated a kiss, and this was a much more passionate one. She introduced her tongue with this one, VERY nice kiss. Very nice first date. And SHE suggested the second date, so I followed up on it the following week by giving her a call.
For our second date we went to a dance, and we met there because she didn't yet feel comfortable telling me where she lived. THIS time the 'energy' was off right from the start, and for the whole evening she was acting distant, even a little cold. This particular dance was sort of on my "turf" and we ran into some women that I knew, one of whom had asked me to dance. But I politely turned her down, saying that I'd come with somebody, and stayed by Ann's side the whole evening. She didn't want to stay very long though, so I walked her back to her car. Even though it was quite cold out, she kept her distance and, picking up on this 'body language,' I let her be. When we got to her car she hopped in and drove away. That was it. Earlier that day I had even tried my hand at making some Mediterranean pocket bread from scratch and I'd brought her some for her to take with her, but she turned it down. I know she's been under a lot of pressure at her job, and being the attractive woman that she is there's other men that she's seeing, so while still at the dance I asked her about her calendar. She had said that she was booked solid for the whole next month, but I could call her after that if I wanted. Now I'm not really sure if I want to, I feel like I've been brushed off. How'd you read the change of her attutude from the first date to the second? Personally MY tendency is to not stick my tongue in someone's mouth if she's not a person I've got romantic interest in!
But then, before she even decided if she really liked you or not, you show up with home-baked bread, uninvited. A slightly weird thing. That must have made her think she had given you too many yes signals.
Also her refusal to let you pick her up at home was a signal. A big signal that she's unsure about you and doesn't want to let you get too close. You seem to have missed that one and focused only on the tongue incident. And the energy was off, which is always a signal. Next time when the energy seems off on a date, ask what's wrong right away and try to change it. Don't keep on going with the energy getting worse.
When you asked her about her schedule and she said not for another month -- well, that's the kiss of death -- without a tongue.
What went wrong, you're asking me. Well, one tongue in your mouth and you started acting like it was true love. You treated the tongue in the mouth as a big green-light signal when it was obviously just exploratory. Also, it's better not to take women you're interested to affairs with other women you've known. You take all kinds of chances -- that she won't like the situation, the dance, your friends, or the music. Instead, find out what she likes and try to keep her to yourself until the relationship solidifies. Then chance taking her around your friends and activities. By that time, you will hopefully have built up enough good feelings that they'll overcome a boring dance or off-putting things your friends could do or say.
This relationship was obviously too frail to overcome a less-than-perfect evening. Or maybe she just thought about it and changed her mind. Or maybe she didn't like the way you kissed. There are a million reasons why the signals change. The important thing is to keep reading and reassessing the signals all the time, and not to overrate one sloppy kiss.
Read "Why People Love" in my Library for more insight into how signals work and why.
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!"
If you can't find your answer in the Library and you feel you MUST have an answer, you can get a personal answer from Dr. Tracy within 48 hours by availing yourself of her inexpensive private counseling.