4/9/2000 Advice Column
After this, the calls started again and things went really really well. We planned to meet for lunch on Tuesday and go out to dinner the following Thursday. On this past Thursday, we had our dinner date and she started to cry about her father and said she felt she was entering into a depression. She was away for the weekend so I didn't talk to her all weekend. Then I call her last night and she says she doesn't want to talk to anyone - she is really depressed. I spoke to her for about 2 minutes. I asked her if there is anything I could do and that she could call me anytime to talk. She said it was nothing I did, she just needs time.
Now, my question. I care deeply for this woman, I want to show her I care. I sent her a card expressing this. How long should I wait to call her again to check that she is alright or do I wait for her to call me?
I would appreciate your response. I could easily fall in love with this woman and do not want to kill the feelings we have.
Thank you for your time!
In love as in life, timing is everything. If it's not the right time, it doesn't matter how much you have in common or how perfect everything was between you.
As someone who lost both parents a little more than a year ago, I can sympathize with the depression your wonderful woman is going through. She was already working through the upset of a divorce, but there's nothing more depressing than losing a beloved parent. You are suddenly facing so many things -- feeling like an orphan, feeling guilty for all the times you could have spent with the parent and didn't, and feeling sad for all the things you wanted to say and never did.
I personally felt depressed about the death of my parents for at least six months to a year. If I had been single, I doubt if any man would have interested me at that point in my life no matter how great he was or how much I had enjoyed him previously.
So if you are expecting a love relationship with this woman at any time in the near future, say the next six months to a year, you are deluding yourself. It could take even longer before she is prepared to face life fully and move on with her life. It's possible that having another man in her life right now would seem like being "unfaithful" in some way to her deceased father. Being happy with another man right after his death might seem like a betrayal.
It was nice of you to send a condolence card to show you care, but there is very little else you can do. You could send flowers, you could make a donation to a charity in her father's honor, but none of that will get her over her depression and ready to have a relationship with you.
It's okay to call once in a while, say every three months or so, but don't expect her to be over it. She has obviously been deeply affected by this loss, and whatever feelings she and you had are mostly gone. If you do get together in the future, you'd have to start over from square one.
In the beginning of a relationship, you set the stage for how it will be for the rest of your time together. If you start out letting this guy mooch off of you, he will mooch off of you forever. You think he will love you for taking care of him, but that's not the way it works. He just thinks you're a sucker and wonders what kind of fool you are to be so easily taken advantage of.
It's almost impossible to take back what you've already given, but it can be done. Stop paying for his food, necessities, food, gas and rent. Of course you are buying his affection. Is it because you feel that you won't get a man without paying for him? If so, you need to work on raising your self-esteem and feeling better about your own self-worth.
If you don't stop this now, it will get worse. He will demand more and more as long as you give and give. It's a sad fact of human nature that people will take as much advantage of you as you will let them. It's time to sit this guy down and have a heart to heart talk with him. Paying his way in the world is not doing either one of you any good. You're demeaning yourself and you're demeaning him too.
This is not a question of his buying beer instead of taking you out, it's a question of his freeloading on your back. You say he has a job. That's outrageous. He's working and not paying for his own basic necessities! No wonder everyone tells you to get rid of him.
If he's really nice to you, that's great. But you're not really appreciating his being nice because in your heart you know you're buying his niceness. And how nice is he really when he lets you support him?
Put a stop to this right away, even if you have to throw him out. Sit down with him and write out a budget. Let him know how much he has to contribute and if he refuses, then tell him he will have to find somewhere else to live. You'll be lonely, but you'll have your self-respect. And who knows, he could change, but only if you demand your rights.
He tells me that it doesn't matter if I did or didn't he would still love me just the same, but I feel that if thats the case he wouldn't keep harassing me about it. He says by me not answering the question that I'm hiding something from him and maybe now he might not want to get married if I'm not able to be honest about everything. I think he is just using this as an excuse to not get married because he knows I'm a person that if I feel that I am right I will stand my ground. So my question to you is, should I answer the question (to which the answer is about 2 years ago give or take a few months) or should I stand firm on not answering?
Confessing might make you feel better, but it won't do your relationship any good and could destroy it. If you confess to having sex while your Fiancé was in jail, you'll be reinforcing his worst fears. And if you tell him you had sex once or twice two years ago, he'll think there was more to it and want more details.
I am reminded of the great scene in "The Godfather" where Al Pacino is asked by Diane Keaton, who plays his non-Mafia wife, whether he had anything to do with killing someone. Pacino is furious at her for asking and finally says, "Okay, I will answer this one time, but never ask me anything like this again." Then he looks at her and he says, "No."
So as much as I hate to tell someone to lie, my advice to you is either stick to your guns and not answer, which will mean he will continue to harass you about it, or tell him you haven't had any sex and to never ask you again.
If he still continues to harass you about it, then you should seriously reconsider whether you want to marry him. He is looking for something to come down on your case about, and if it's not this, it will be something else.
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!"
If you can't find your answer in the Library and you feel you MUST have an answer, you can get a personal answer from Dr. Tracy within 48 hours by availing yourself of her inexpensive private counseling.
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.)