Afraid to Love
Dear Dr. Tracy,
Well, the problem is this I haven't
been in a serious relationship in about 4 years and that ended in chaos
just like all the other serious relationships I have had. All the other
ones didn't affect me like the one that ended 4 years ago. We were
together on and off for about 6 years.
To make a long story short, we
had a lot of up and downs. I was really in love with this woman and
even wanted to married her. We broke up because I ended up moving to a
new city because of a job and she didn't think that I cared enough
about her or us to invite her along but that wasn't the case. Since
then she has married another guy and it kinda hurt because
this is the only woman I have ever truly loved and I let her get away.
Which brings me to the woman I am with now. I do care a lot about her.
Because all of my past experiences have not been the best, I am kinda
scared here with this situation because I don't want to mess up or let
her get away like I did with the other woman. What do I do?
Everybody who has ever been hurt by a relationship is afraid of being hurt again. Even people who've never been hurt by love are afraid of getting hurt. It's a normal feeling and everyone has it.
That said, you can't let the fear rule your life. If you're afraid, that's okay. Feel the fear and do it anyway. What have you got to lose? You've already experienced the hurt of losing at love and you survived. If you do get hurt again, you'll survive that too.
Many people get hurt over and over again before they find "the one" that works. It only takes one good one, so don't let the past ruin your future. Go for this woman and enjoy the relationship. When you feel the fear, assure yourself that it's normal and you will survive.
Whatever you do, don't let the fear be in charge. Instead, go with your heart and act as if you're not going to get hurt. Who knows, you might not. So don't ruin this relationship before it even gets started because of what happened before. Four years is plenty of time to put the chaos of your old relationship behind you. It will never go away, but it will fade.
Remember, the man you are today is because of your past experiences, good and bad. You've learned not to let a good one get away. Be brave and remember, you will survive no matter what.
Is Sex Important?
Dear Dr. Tracy,
I am a 31 year old woman. I have not been in many relationships despite my age (3 maybe if you can even call the third one a relationship). I lived an extremely sheltered life. I got married briefly for a few years to my first boyfriend at the age of 20. He was a sweet and loving man, but we were definitely at different levels intellectually and I became dissatisfied with him (he only finished high school whereas I was going for a PhD), so at 23, we divorced and I met my second love interest 2 yrs later (at 25).
The relationship was initially sexual and we became best friends over time -- intellectually and emotionally this guy was what I'd been looking for all my life. I really felt that this was the guy I would marry. He met my parents, and my mom (being cruel, insensitive and superficial) had the audacity to tell me after meeting him that I should drop him because he wasn't attractive and our children would all look like monkeys -- that hurt my feelings very much, I told her to shut up and pointed out her cruelty. She never criticized his looks again, but I feel that her words affected me subconsciously. I felt myself slowly finding faults with his looks. I know that sounds terrible and I still hate my mother for what she did.
Then I left to study abroad for few months and there I met this guy whom I fell completely head over heels for. We had a mutual attraction, and although he had a girlfriend and I had a boyfriend, we decided to be together for the few weeks we had remaining. I fell completely in love with this third guy. He was great looking, sex was great and I wanted a relationship with him.
I came home and things just weren't the same anymore with my boyfriend. I found sex with him difficult, and emotionally I just wasn't there, so I broke up with him. We still remained great friends and he became my best friend (known each other over 6 years now).
I tried to develop a long distance relationship with the foreign guy but I soon found out that my feelings for him were stronger than his had been for me. I was really really heartbroken over this, despite the short relationship we had. I became self-destructive and developed an eating disorder. It was really tough, and I didn't tell anyone. My ex-boyfriend was there as my friend, my distraction through it all (he didn't know why I was like that though).
It took about a year before my eating disorder went away and I was able to be happy again. My ex-boyfriend and I became friends-girlfriend-boyfriend, who-knows-what during this time, being there for each other for everything. He was the man in my life and I was the woman in his life, without the sex part. I feel I owe him for all the kindness and love and attention -- and yet I don't have the urge to be with him sexually. I'm just not into him that way anymore and it's killing me because I SHOULD BE.
He loves me and wants to marry me....and I don't know what I'm holding out for. I know I'm getting old, and time is running out. Now I just lost him because he doesn't want to only be my friend and is cutting all ties with me. I haven't dated anyone since (3 months now). I am now single, keeping myself extremely busy with my career. Am I being unrealistic in my expectations on love? Please help assess why my love life is so empty.
Dear Empty Feeling,
You need to fill your emptiness with love. The problem is that you only find love by accident and you don't know what you want.
Start by making a list of what you want and need in a man. Sex should be on the list. If you don't start out with a hot sexual desire for the man, forget him. You really don't want to get into a sexless marriage no matter what you might think about your age. In fact, you're not that old. You have time to find someone, but you have to start looking.
When you have a list of what you want, join a dating site like match.com and find some men who fit your needs. Date a lot of men until you find one who is emotionally and sexually on your wave length. Make sure he doesn't have a girlfriend and is available and ready to commit.
At 31 you're actually the perfect age. Not too young and not too old. There are lots of men out there who would be happy to be with you -- men who are attractive and affectionate and who you would find sexually interesting.
Whatever you do, don't let someone else's opinion (like your mother's) dictate whether a man is right for you or not. Only you can make that call.
You don't have a lot of experience, but you can make up for that by concentrating on finding Mr. Right. Make it a project and take a crash course in men by going out with lots of different ones. That way you'll have choices instead of just one man to either like or not.
Having more than one man to choose from will be good for your self-esteem and it will also make you realize you don't have to settle just because he's the only one around.
Forget about your ex-boyfriend. Just because a man loves you and wants to marry you doesn't mean he's right for you. You have to be sexually attracted to him, and if you're not, it will always be a drag on your happiness. Never marry a man just because he's there and because he loves you. It just doesn't work, and you will always regret not finding someone sexually compatible.
He's Hot For Stockings, She's Not
Dear Dr. Tracy,
First of all I would like to say "Hi" to you Dr. Tracy. I am 28 years old and single (not divorced). I came across your website hoping that you could help me with my love problem.
I have a problem with my now ex-boyfriend - we broke up last week and did not have any communication since then, although I sent him an e-card and two short text message but that's it. Our relationship lasted for one year and during those times we were in an up and down situation and sometimes ended up in arguments. Although we got into arguments sometimes I tried to hold on to the relationship because I love him very much until now and I miss him too.
To make the story short, the main problem in the relationship to begin with when we were first dating was, he has a stocking fetish and he has a high sex drive. He told me about the stocking fetish and how important to him the sex is from the very start. Even though I don't like wearing stockings because it is not my thing and I do not have a high sex drive, I did not think these things would become such a problem ( I guess it was because I have never dated a guy before who has these such demands).
As time goes by, I realized that I am not happy whenever I wear stockings for him even if it is once or twice a week, I only wear them just to make him happy and so that he will not get disappointed at me. When it comes to sex, my bf has a high sex drive and I have a low sex drive. He gets horny all the time and we have to have sex once everyday, or in a week we can skip a day as my "day-off".
When he does not get sex from me he gets frustrated and disappointed and it leads him to have an argument with me. I do not feel like having sex everyday and in my part that makes me unhappy deep inside. I only give in to his demands just to make him happy.
My bf is a very good person when he is in a good mood, he takes good care of me, loving and sweet person and generous too. But when he is in a bad mood (when he doesn't get what he wants which is mainly sex) he gets stressed out and disappointed (he doesn't physically abuse me). It came to a point that he could not sleep well and even though he don't tell me the reason I can feel it from his aura. Even I could not sleep well. He sometimes holds his grudge for a day just because of not having sex with me.
I am a type of a person that if I get disappointed after a few minutes or an hour I feel ok, but he is the opposite of me. Take note: We are both Leos.
I wish that he did not have the stocking fetish and the high sex drive. Other than that everything was perfectly fine. We were supposed to get engaged until last week we had an argument about sex and he got fed up and told me to make a promise to not to talk to each other and call it quits.
Before this big break up we used to have an on and off break ups, but it only lasted for less than a week. I still have feelings for him in spite of what happened last week.
I know that we broke up but any advice about my problem with him would be appreciated. Please help.
Dear Not So Sexy,
The worst problem a couple can have is if one of them has a high sex drive and the other one has a low one, or is just indifferent. People with high sex drives need a mate who is interested and excited by sex.
Your situation was complicated even further by your boyfriend's fetish for stockings. If you could have gotten into the stockings and been sexually as active as he was, things might have worked out. But since you weren't at all keen for the stockings (and who can blame you in the heat of Florida for not wanting to wear the darn things), he was constantly disappointed.
Your mismatch regarding sex and the stockings that were so important to him make him feel unloved all the time, and so he was angry and hostile. His anger came out in various ways, and although he wouldn't tell you, he held a grudge and wanted to make you suffer the same way he was -- perhaps by bad vibes or just not sleeping.
There are all kinds of fetishes out there, and if you can't go along with the program, it's best to drop out of the relationship. Chances are slim that he would be willing to give up his stockings and that his need for sex would diminish. The differences in your sex drives would always be an issue between the two of you and would eventually make the relationship disintegrate anyway.
The best thing you can do is write this one off as an interesting experience and remember next time, you have to have the same amount of sex drive or it just won't work.
Of course you miss him and still have feelings for him, but that doesn't mean you belong together. Let him find a fellow stocking lover and toss your nylons in the trash.
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