Dr. Tracy's Advice Column

Cartoon Kiss


Getting Married, Or?
Online Dating
Keeping Her Hooked

Getting Married, Or?

Dear Dr. Tracy,

I read your book at a time when I was just beginning to study NLP (Visual, Auditory, & Feelings types). I found it helpful on that level as well as a dating level. My sincere compliments to you for being the early adopter.

That said, I am 41 yrs old, been divorced for 11 years, was married for 10. (Married at 19) Have a 13 yr old daughter. I am successful, intelligent, accomplished (26 books myself) and own a small company. I am frequently loving, kind, sweet, gentle, giving, and compassionate. I am naturally philanthropic, communicative, yadda yadda yadda. I guess I am somehow seen as a "catch" despite a lot of things drooping that didn't a decade ago when I was first released from hell.

Here's the problem: I've gotten 12 marriage proposals in the last 11 years, albeit 6 of them in the first 2 yrs after my divorce. Four of them are from men who were extremely serious about "capturing" me like a feral cat but who had never slept with me. The most recent is from a dear, sweet, short, smelly, uneducated, scruffy, uncouth man who just inherited $2 million and has a heart of gold and to me the sexual chemistry of a tub of margarine.

I'm just not sure I want to remarry. I can't remember good things from my marriage. I can get sex from men I date if I want that, until I get tired of them and have to remove them from my life. I have dozens of interesting men to talk with. I've fallen in love three times since my divorce, and would have moved heaven and earth to be with those guys, but one was a player and two are so emotionally closed off that I knew in my heart that they were wrong.

But lately, as my child individuates increasingly, I can imagine that it would be nice to have a companion, and regular sex with someone I'm building a life with and who isn't too awfully annoying or pesky.

How do I figure out if remarriage is really what I want in my heart of hearts and I just need to sign up for your coaching at $175/hr or if I am destined to be liberated from all standard social relationships when my child goes to college in just 4.5 years and I become a wanton woman traipsing around Europe sleeping with any old prickly-whiskered geezers who want me?

I get the feeling I need to make up my mind one way or the other now. I spend a lot of wasted time looking for and dating men who never, ever seem like they'd be long term interesting on any level. I actually have a low opinion of most men in general, and I'm sure that doesn't help. Help!

Dear Accomplished,

The simple answer to your question is that you really don't want to marry. Women who want to be in a lifelong committed relationship with a man, who want to marry, almost always know it in their heart of hearts, even if they don't admit it to everyone.

In order to achieve a goal, you have to be able to picture yourself having that goal, and where marriage is concerned, you have no vision. And the vision you have doesn't seem to include love. It's really not a bad 4-letter word!

You say it would be nice to have a companion who would give you regular sex and with whom you'll build a life if they're not too annoying or pesky, but you don't say anything you're going to do for this companionship. Relationships require give and take and I'm not sure how much you want to give. Besides, all men have their pesky and annoying moments. The idea is to find one who you love enough that the love you share makes up for lots of annoyances.

Since you have a lot of disdain for the male sex in general, it would be very difficult if not impossible for you to get into a healthy relationship. Respect is a necessity, and if you can't find a man you respect, your relationship won't work. The other necessity is trust. They go together. You can't trust someone you don't respect.

So you are right, you do have to make up your mind once and for all if you want a committed relationship that includes love and being there for each other. The way you're doing it now is just playing. It's not serious and you're sure to wind up with men who are just playing too. Men who are serious about wanting love are looking for women who have serious long-term goals.

Then you'd have to shift your attitude about men in general and begin upping the ante in your dating. A guy with many millions is hardly a catch if you feel that you totally look down on him because he's a scruffy dear with the sex appeal of margarine.

Being a successful woman tells me you know how to accomplish something if you really want it. So the only conclusion about your being alone is that that is exactly what you want. When you really want something else, I'm sure you'll take steps to make it happen, including calling me if that's what it takes.

Good luck,

Dr. Tracy

Online Dating

Dear Dr. Tracy,

I recently found out that my boyfriend has been on match.com for a while (even before I know him) and I know he is still corresponding (match.com). How do you stop a guy from continuing his correspondence with other women? Should I confront him?

I am unsure if I should continue our relationship. What crossed my mind is he is just dangling me along until he find somebody he really likes.


Dear Desperate,

If he's really your boyfriend, you have every right to insist that he get off match.com. Online dating services are there so you can find someone. People who already have girlfriends or boyfriends shouldn't be online looking.

Do you and your boyfriend have a committed relationship? If you do, then he's not serving your commitment with integrity. No matter what excuses he gives, he has no business browsing or being browsed.

If you and your boyfriend don't have a committed relationship, or you're not sure whether you are committed or not, it's time to find out. Let him know that you know he's online. Then, without making a huge scene, tell him that you really want to know if he is still looking, because then you'll get active on match.com too. That would be only fair.

You need to know where you stand. If he says he's on and wants to stay there, then you don't have a commitment and you should certainly start looking around. Two can play the dangling game. See how he likes it when he finds your profile out there in cyberspace. If you're really important to him, he'll stop looking. If not, at least you'll know and you can move on.

Never make a commitment to a man who hasn't made a commitment to you. If he's still looking, you should be too.

Good luck,

Dr. Tracy

Keeping Her Hooked

Dear Dr. Tracy,

I began a relationship with a man from work in July. It was not at all planned. He is the most amazing person I have ever met and want to spend the rest of my life with him. Several problems: I am married. He has a girlfriend.

My husband found out about the affair. We were married for 3 years but together since university, 8 years ago. He is divorcing me for adultery. I am disgusted with myself for what I did whilst married, but my husband and I were practically over. By that point we were not even sharing a bedroom.

My "partner" claims he and his girlfriend are to separate. I knew of this even before we started a relationship. She wants marraige and children. He made it clear he does not. He has had a vasectomy and will not reverse it. He claims that there are problems in their relationship and he refuses to discuss why he is still living in her house. He says there is a reason why he is still there but won't discuss it.I think that he is waiting till he can afford his own place.

He has just ended our relationship, claiming that he does see us together in his future and he would love to be with me but he has to sort his current relationship first. He claims we will definitely be together in the future providing that I don't hassle him or cause problems for him whilst he is sorting things.

He says he cares for me massively. He left a voicemail last night and said "look forward to future. All my love..." Then blew a kiss. This confused me.

Is he making me false promises in a bid to ensure I don't spill the beans about us at work? Its not that I don't trust him - I'm just so hurt and empty right now. I don't know whether to cling onto hopes for the future and wait for him as we decided, or should I walk away.

I am so deeply in love with him. I don't want to re-marry and I would give up the opportunity of having children, just to be with him. My life is a mess at the moment. I haven't been sleeping. I drink and cry myself to sleep and I'm afraid my work will suffer. I really can't cope any more.

I need help. I don't know who to turn to. My 2 closest friends know of all this. Nobody else. I have never felt so hurt and hollow. I just need to be advised on what to do.


Dear on the Hook,

This guy is just keeping you on standby. Meanwhile, you have no chance to make a life with anyone else. Clinging to hope that this relationship will work out will only make you miserable. Give it up, let it go, mourn it and move on with your life.

You're willing to give up way too much to be with this man who is living with someone else and tells you he'll be there for you "someday." Sacrificing your chances of being married and having children for this control freak would be a terrible life mistake. Becoming a depressed drunk and getting fired from your job will only make it worse.

Besides, do you think that any man will want to be around you if you cry all the time, drink too much and can't keep it together at all? If you can't help yourself out of this morass of a non-relationship with a very selfish man, I recommend my book, "Letting Go, a Twelve-week Personal Action Plan to Overcome a Broken Heart."

In the meantime, put away everything that reminds you of him, stop listening to music with words (They're almost all about lost love), and write him a last love letter, saying everything you have to say. Don't mail it. Just put it away with everything else.

This man is playing with you bigtime and will wind up either dropping you or using you just like he's using the other woman. He really won't treat you any better than he is treating her. You need to get him out of your mind and move on.

Yes, walk away from this one. It's way more trouble than it's worth.

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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