"Ask Dr. Tracy"

4/27/97 Advice Column

Lost Virginity, Lost Love,
Wedding Day Blues,
Interracial Relationship Problem

Dear Dr. Tracy,

I'm a 30 year old female and my neighbor is 38 years old. He moved in next door not to long ago. We started getting friendly last summer and one thing lead to another and we became more than friends. We became intimate. I hadn't had sex before and he knew that. I held off sleeping with him for a couple of months and then I decided I trusted him and his background that he told me and I slept with him. He was so sweet and treated me very well during it all. We had our first fight back at Xmas when he wasn't going to spend New Years Eve with me. He didn't know what he was going to do just that it wasn't going to be with me. Then he didn't spend Valentines Day with me because he had Real Estate appointments. Then it was my Birthday. Lately everytime I call he always says he's busy or he'll call me back and doesn't call back for days or I have to call him again. He doesn't seem to want to spend any time with me. It's been over a month since he spent a Friday or Saturday with me. I feel so hurt and used and very down on myself it almost seems like as soon as I slept with him he didn't want me anymore. I feel so rejected and that something must be wrong with my performance or just my personality. Then the fact that he is right next door and I know when he's home and he still doesn't call me hurts. If I talk to him or bring anything up he just clams up and says nothing. I don't know how to get over him.

I'm trying to read your book Letting Go which has helped in the past. This is so much harder because I gave myself to him and never had with other guys. I don't know how to feel good about myself again. I feel so stupid for waiting 30 years and then giving myself to a guy who doesn't want me anymore so soon afterwards. I spend a lot of time crying because I feel so stupid after I call him and he puts me off. I just can't understand why he's being this way towards me and why he doesn't want me anymore. I don't see why he can't just be honest and let me go if he really doesn't want me instead he still will see me and suggest making love. We spent an intimate Saturday afternoon together the other week and made plans for the evening then he stayed out all night and never called to cancel or apologize to me and when I did ask him he said he had no explanation. He later told me that he was mean because he felt like I attacked him when I asked where he was. I felt pretty rejected that I was good enough for afternoon sex, but not a phonecall to cancel the evening. What can I do to get past all this pain?

Feeling Hurt and Rejected

Dear Hurt,

Giving one's virginity is an act of love and trust, and your trust has been mishandled. Unfortunately, the guy you've fallen in love with sounds like a guy who's got another woman. Who do you think he spent New Year's with? Or Valentine's Day? Or your birthday?

This has got to be very hard for you, but you'll have to give up hope on this guy. Even though you lost your virginity to him and he'll always live in your memories, try to remember the good part when he was nice, and be happy that you had a good first experience. There will be others and you'll find happiness, so don't despair. Most women don't wind up spending their life with the man who is their first lover.

Another part of your problem is that you held onto your virginity for too long. When you finally got around to sex you instantly developed an advanced case of "nice girl syndrome." That means, if I have sex with you, I have to love you forever, -- a reaction which is bound to cause you a lot of pain.

My friend, The Old Seducer, has less delicate advice for you. "Guess you don't have brothers, or male buddies. If you do, and you'd listened, you'd know that no guy can resist a convenient virgin. It's a kind of conquest thing, and maybe curiosity. Nothing personal, you understand, so don't take it so bad. Actually, now you can get on with your life."

Wishing you a better love,

Dr. Tracy

Dear Dr. Tracy,

I have this friend...no, really. Let's call her "Danni". She is engaged to be married to my brother-in-law. Let's call him "Thomas". They live together. She is 3 months pregnant with his child, her third. Her pregnancy is common knowledge among the family. (The first two children were fathered by her previous boyfriend.) She has custody of one child, but not the other. But that's another issue entirely. My problem is this: Danni and Thomas got engaged last Thursday night. By Friday afternoon, she had practically planned the entire wedding. She called her father and her brother, who live in another state, to check when their schedules would permit a trip to the wedding. Three dates were suggested. Danni has chosen a date at the end of May. However, another family wedding, which is eight hours away round-trip, has been planned for the same date. This wedding is the wedding of my husband's (and therefore, Thomas') cousin. This would mean that the entire family will have to choose between these two weddings. Needless to say, my in-laws and the family are very upset. Danni refuses to consider another date. (Of the other "suggested" dates which are convenient for her father and brother, one is Thomas' graduation and the other is in June, at which time Danni claims she will be "too fat" to get married.) In essence, she is placing her father (who she has been estranged from in the past) and her brother above her future in-laws.

Everyone, including her own mother, feels she is being completely ridiculous and irrational. Her mother says that Danni's father will probably not even attend the wedding. Danni's answer to this is "It's my f-cking wedding. Everyone should just butt out." She is willing to have her wedding at 9:00 in the evening (not a normal time for a wedding) in order to avoid changing the date. (The other wedding is at 2:30.) This would mean that anyone who chooses to attend both weddings will have to leave the first early, not to mention drive all over the state. I feel that she is manipulating everyone, especially her future husband and the family. Can you help??? What advice, if any, do you have regarding how this should be handled??? Thanks a lot.

Dear Friend,

Danni's being stubborn and difficult, but it is her wedding. Family members who are upset should just not show up.

Go to the wedding of your choice, go to both weddings, or stay home. You'll make your point by your attendance or non-attendance. Fighting with Danni or anyone else is pointless. It's one day. Big deal! Let her do her own thing. There's no reason to start a family battle that could go on for years. You're all taking this whole thing too seriously.

It's traditional, you know, that the bride get her way about her wedding day. If she decides to go against the wishes of the family and have her wedding on that date, there's nothing anyone can do about it. For the sake of family peace, stop showing your disapproval and wish her happiness. Weddings are very stressful without adding family uproar.

Let them eat cake. After all, it's their wedding.

Wishing you happiness,

Dr. Tracy

Dear Dr. Tracy,

I am 20 years old and I was in an inter-racial relation ship for two and a half years. Her parents allowed the two of us to date in High school but after we graduated, they wanted us to break up because they did not like the fact that I was black. Well we continued to date for about a year and a half until about a week and a half ago.

She came home from school for the weekend and we had a great time together. But the night before she was to leave she told me that she didn't want to see me anymore. Her reason was that our relationship was getting to stressful. Since then I have talked to her off and on. She has e-mailed me and told me that she misses me and that she still loves me, but when I talk to her on the phone she sounds as if she has gotten on with her life and that she doesn't have time for me anymore. I really love her and I want to get back with her but I don't know if I'm just "crying over spilled milk." She means the world to me and I just don't know what to do.

Dear In-love,

Two and a half years is a long time to have a relationship and it's no wonder you are upset about having the rug pulled out from under you so abruptly.

On the other hand, there are lots of stresses in any relationship and even more in an interracial one. If your girlfriend can't stand the heat from her parents and friends over her interracial relationship, she won't be able to take a lifetime of handling the problems and pressures other people can create.

Right now there's nothing you can do except go on with your life and let her go onh with hers. Perhaps you both need experience in the world, in college, and with others before you make a lifetime commitment. It's obvious she doesn't want to be with you right now. Don't waste your energy calling her if you get a bad response. Only e-mail if she's nice, but if that gets uncomfortable, stop immediately. The key here is do nothing that causes you pain, and that includes contacting her at all. Basically, it sounds like it's time to move on. To help, I suggest you read "When He/She's Left You -- Coping" in my Library.

Wishing you lasting love,

Dr. Tracy

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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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