"Ask Dr. Tracy"

3/17/96 Advice Column

Afraid of being alone, A 27-year age difference, Rushing things

Dear Dr. Tracy,

I have a problem. I think that I am a very nice looking young lady with many wonderful qualities, such as my sense of humor and zest for life, but why is it that no one else sees these same qualities? Am I doing something wrong? Everyone tells me that I will meet someone soon or to be more outgoing, but neither of these so called 'solutions' have given me any comfort or results. Is it my glasses? Is it the way I dress? (Very casual) Or am I looking in the wrong places? If you can answer any of these questions, I will greatly appreciate it. Being alone for 3 years is not easy, and to be alone for the rest of your life hurts even more.

Dear Alone,

Everything hurts when you add the terrifying words, "For the rest of my life." Ease up. Three years is a long time, but it's not forever.

My friend The Old Seducer says, "Zest for life is good. I always liked zesty. She must not be meeting the right guys." He's right. You must take action. Put ads in newspapers and in the online services. Let people know you're looking. Ask friends for introductions. Join a dating service like Great Expectations or find a matchmaker. Join a group of people who dress like you do.

And be more flexible about what you wear. People like and trust other people who are like them. So if you go to a country-western bar, wear cowboy clothes. If you're going to a dressy party, get gussied up.

Take charge of your life. If your glasses are bothering you, get contacts. Men don't drop from the sky and the good fairy doesn't leave them under your pillow, but they're out there. Read "Are You Looking or Waiting" in my Library and follow the links. When it comes to finding men, you can make your own luck, and I wish you lots of it.

Dear Dr. Tracy,

I'm a SWM, 26 who just got out of a relationship with an older woman (27 years my senior). What kind of insight can you give on these relationships? We're still very good friends and both still care about each other, yet we both were not at the right time in our lives. I never felt societal pressure when we were together, but I'd like to know how you view these types of relationships...BTW, never been married, don't expect to in the next 5 years. THANKS!

Dear SWM,

I'm not against any relationship that's fulfilling and satisfying to those involved, regardless of what people might say.

Your question seems to be of the hindsight kind. However, just in case you're thinking of getting back together with this woman or are about to get involved with another older woman, you should be aware of some potential problems if the relationship gets really serious.

Would you be willing to take care of her if she becomes ill? What about children? You couldn't have them with her. Is that important to you? Are you thinking of her as an interim relationship that would fill the 5 years until you're ready? If so, you must be honest about this with an older woman, since she has fewer chances to start over.

Dear Dr. Tracy,

I hope that you will be able to help me with my dilemma. I have been dating a guy for only a few weeks. From the first date I realized that I really like this guy. I date quite frequently, but never seem to find anyone that I actually like, or desire a second date with. This guy seems to have some really great qualities, and I would like to continue to see him.

The first problem is that he is in Arizona and I am in California. The next problem is that I am really afraid that if he knows how much I like him I am just going to scare him away. I want to know how I can go about keeping this guy. It seems as though I always manage to mess everything up. We have so far been able to talk to each other extremly well. I have voiced the fact that I like him. He seems to be interested also. Is it just best to let it be. Or is there something that I can do?? He says to let us just wait and see where it all goes. Thanks in advance!

Dear Uncertain,

The biggest mistake women (and many men, too) make in relationships is giving too much too soon, which includes acting anxious, declaring true love, telling too much about yourself and being too available.

In order to have the "in love" feeling, someone has to have their love returned somewhat, but not all together. Yet they must have hope of having it all totally returned at some time in the future. That means that if you "give your all" right away, you ruin your chances for him to fall in love with you. Read "Why People Love" in my Library, and you'll understand this important principle better.

For the moment, just be cool. Don't act anxious. Don't say too much about your feelings. It doesn't sound like you've already "given too much," but you've done enough. Let it be and give him a chance to come after you.

Questions may be submitted to Dr. Tracy's column by e-mail.

Dr. Tracy selects 3 questions of the most general interest per week to answer in this column, since it is not possible for her to answer all questions submitted.

(Featured art from cover of Letting Go, by Zev Wanderer and Tracy Cabot, published by "Bitan" Publishers, Tel-Aviv, Israel)
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