"Ask Dr. Tracy"

3/29/98 Advice Column


Dear Dr. Tracy,

Alright, this is the thing. Me and my girl friend had sex today, and it was her first time. So then I went in to the other room after that, and she was talking with a friend. I heard her say for surely "I had sex with him, but I shouldn't have." Now she has said that she wouldn't if she didn't love me. But the story that I get from her all the time is that she is totally in love with me. She has also been doing a lot of lying about BIG things to test me and see if I care about her. Like just a week ago she said she slit her wrists because I was getting her mad. But when she came down here I checked her wrists, and this was three days after she said this. There wasn't a single mark there! I'm getting really sick of her crap that she has been giving me, and it isn't that hard for me to get another girl friend. So should I just break up with her?

Dear Sick,

Let me understand this, plain and simple. She's been acting crazy. But not too crazy to fuck. Now that you've taken her virginity, though, you're thinking she's too crazy. Do I have it right?

If so, you sound like the walking personification of what women are afraid of, and why they they worry so much about first-time sex. For a woman, the first time is a very scary and emotional experience and she's always afraid that she made a mistake, that the guy just wanted sex, and that once he gets what he wanted he'll be gone.

So act mature and take some responsibility here. You took her virginity. If you turn on the electricity, you've got to pay the bill. If you walk away and get another girlfriend, she'll be sure she made a mistake losing her virginity with you and she'll regret it for the rest of her life. Why don't you try to work it out, for the sake of your karma if nothing else. Do you really want someone out there hating you?

If there was anything about her that attracted you other than her virginity, how about giving her some reassurance that you didn't just want her for sex, that you still care for her. Maybe some of her craziness is due to you failing to say the right reassuring things. Maybe she's been trying other tests to see if your love is true. Of course she shouldn't have lied to you about slitting her wrists. Did you say something to her about that when you saw her after that? Or did you just pretend the whole thing didn't happen and get angry inside?

In good relationships, people confront and deal with issues as they come up. Some people are doomed to bad relationships because they fail to confront and deal with problems as they come up; instead, they save up the little incidents like stamps in a book and when the book is full they trade the book in for a break-up.

Maybe you didn't realize what a big deal the first time is for a woman, but it is. So if you can be man enough to have sex with her, then be man enough to deal with the responsibilities that follow. If you liked her enough to take her virginity, then try to like her enough to be a considerate boyfriend for awhile. Don't just walk away.

Good luck,

Dr. Tracy

Dear Dr. Tracy,

I am a college student at a very small college in IA. A cuople of months ago (4 to be exact), I met a great guy named "Scott". When we first met I didn't think that anything was going to become of our relationship so I told him several white lies to make myself sound more appealing. These lies range from telling him that I was a straight A student all through high school to telling him that I was born in Italy.

The worst is that the lies have escalated. I come from a broken home of which I am an only child. He comes from a tight-knit family with 2 brothers and a sister. I am extremely jealous of this and I told him that I have two older brothers that I am very close with.

Having dated him for 4 months, he's decided that he's ready for us to meet each others families. I really don't want to lose him, but he can't possibly come home with me for the weekend and find out all of the lies i've told him. Do you think he'll ever trust me again, or should I just end the relationship before he does and everyone on our small campus finds out i'm a liar? PLEASE HELP... I'm at my wit's end!!

Dear Liar,

"O, what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive." Walter Scott said that about lies a long time ago. And it's always been true. Even the littlest lie can mean you have to tell another one to cover the first one, you always have to remember to tell the same story the next time, so you're forced to keep lying, and you lose integrity with yourself. You begin to think of yourself as a liar and so you lose self-respect and self-esteem.

You can't build a life on lies. Tell him the truth right away. Then face the consequences. The longer you let this go on, the worse it'll get. He may break up with you, or he may forgive you. Either way, you're out of this web of lies. If he tells people, you'll have to face them too. Admit you made a mistake and explain what made you do it. Ask them to forgive you, and assure them that you've learned your lesson.

Then in the future, tell the truth about your family right away. Say it simply and don't elaborate. "My parents are divorced and I'm an only child." If you envy them their siblings and parents, tell them, "You're so lucky. I wish I had brothers and sisters," and let it go at that. Admitting your feelings will make them easier to accept and less threatening. People will respect you for your candor. You don't have to compete with people for the best family. Even families that look ideal on the outside have lots and lots of problems. So find a man you love, and don't love him for his outwardly ideal family.

Good luck,

Dr. Tracy

Dear Dr. Tracy,

I am 34 years old and work in a very small town (Cumberland, Md.) as a Federal Law Enforcement Officer. I have been here over 3 years. I have lived in isolated areas like this for the last five years. The area I live in now is populated mostly by welfare recipients, drug users and mainly just unmotivated people. There are not very many jobs here that pay over minimal wage here. Many can make more then that by not working and being on welfare and that is just what happens. Almost all the men that I meet that are my age are jobless, and live with their mother and not trying to better them selves. I make almost $40,000 a year. I do not want a grown man dependent on me. I have no family to help me should I ever fail, I have a ten year old son totally dependent on me. During my time here I have had a very lonely life, very few dates. No social life.

I took on body building and now have a really beautiful body. I have a lot to offer to right person. I now must decide to stay with this well paying job that I can not get a transfer to another location or move to Wisconsin where my son's godfather and my best friend lives with his new wife and make a life there working in a factory as a supervisor. He assures me that the pay is very good and that the jobs are plentiful. I believe him. I will lose much with this job if I quit. The retirement benefits and the military time I just bought back. I was in the Army for 9 years. I have a total time of over 12 years with the Federal government which I will lose if I quit. I just do not know what to do. Help!!!

Dear Waiting,

Even in the boonies, there are nice men. The problem is that you keep finding the bad ones. Perhaps you have to rethink the definition of bad. Or perhaps you have to broaden your scope. There are big towns like Washington and Baltimore not too far from you, so why not start looking there for more interesting men.

You could find men on the computer, too. There are all kinds of websites for finding guys and there are lots of neat guys out there. You might even meet someone who lives close to you who you don't know. Read "Are You Looking or Waiting?" in my Library; it's full of tips for someone in your quandary.

The problem with moving, especially to Wisconsin, is that you'll also be in the boonies there, and you'll probably act the same there as you do where you are and you'll find the same kind of men. The problem is that when you move you take your same old self with you. So you do the same old things and make the same old mistakes.

Also, I wonder if you'd like going from law enforcement and government where everything is strictly regulated and where you have real security to a totally insecure private sector job, not to mention the loss of your government pensions. Would it be worth it? I doubt it.

My advice is to change yourself and the way you act. Get active in competitive body building if you're into that, but that's very self-centered. Why not spend a little of your good salary on weekends in D.C. -- it can't be more than a 3-hour drive. Begin to look outside of yourself and focus on finding a great guy first, then move when you're happy and have something really positive to go toward, instead of just trying to get away from something.

Good luck,

Dr. Tracy

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