Dr. Tracy's Advice Column

Cartoon Kiss

4/25/2004

Is He Playing Me?
What Can a Shy Guy Do?
Inexplicable Connection



Is He Playing Me?

Dear Dr. Tracy,

I am a 27 year old woman who has been separated for 6 years and officially divorced 2 years. I have 2 children. I have had relationships but I haven't felt that they were the "ONE." So I decided that men (serious relationships) are over for me for a while. So, I started seeing a married man. He has had problems with his marriage even before we started seeing eachother. Through mutual friends I found out it was true. At the beginning it was good because we would meet early morning or late at night. It was like a "wam bam thank you mam." I didn't mind because it made me feel good in the sense that I didn't have to deal with a serious relationship on top of my other worries.

Three months into our relationship he starts calling me every chance he got. He would call me to work, on my cell while at school, even at home just to see how my day went and to let me know he missed me. Feelings started growing in me that I thought would never happen. We had alot of the same likings, feelings, even the same goals. We clicked so good I actually felt I found my SOUL MATE. Cupid finally did something good for me. We would go out of town together and have a good time visiting malls, going out to eat, even going to the clubs. We had plans to take a cruise and take a road trip to California. I felt so good with him, I didn't want it to end.

About a week after New Years he decides to call me to let me know that he was going to try to mend his relationship with his wife for the kids. I completely understood because I didn't want to be the cause of his separation from his wife. I was very heart broken because I felt used. I would have preferred for him not have made me think we had a future. I liked it better when we were at stage one with no feelings involved. When it was "wam bam thank you mam."

He decides to call me in March to tell me things are the same and he missed me. We were on the phone for about two hours talking about his problems and how he wants to file for divorce because their is no use saving his marriage if he is the only one to try. I felt that he needed someone to talk to. I heard him and tried to help him feel better. Toward the end of the conversation he decided to ask me if I can wait for him until he gets a divorce to move in with me (just what I wanted to hear) . WOW! what a shock. I was excited to know that he wasn't able to forget about me and wants us together.

The problem is he didn't call for a whole month, again making me feel used because all he wanted was to talk to. The catch was he wanted me to "WAIT" for him. How confusing. I am not the kind of person to pressure anyone to do something they might not want to do so I don't call him. And when he calls I don't want to seem upset with him. Again I gave up on him until he called again two weeks ago. He asked if he can come over which of course I could not say no. He was at my house for about 4 hours talking about his problems and making sure I am going to wait for him. This is the catch because he hasn't called since I am not sure what to do. I love him, and wish it is not a game he is playing. Everytime the phone rings I pick it up as fast as possible wishing it was him but it isn't.

QUESTION!!! I want to wait for him because in spite of all the time that has gone by with out talking to him way inside I feel he will solve his problems and come to me. I have had alot of sleepless nights just think about him and thinking that he is laughing his head off just thinking about how dumb I look by falling into his trap every time he calls. Everythime I think about him I get this weird feeling in my chest like I want to cry because I feel used and kind of think that is what is going on. Then I think he needs me when he calls and wants to make sure I know that. Is he worth the wait......or is this just another soap opera waiting to happen?

Dear Waiting,

I think you’re half right – this is a soap opera. But it's not waiting to happen; it's been happening. You’re letting your life get sapped up by this man’s drama.

The question is not so much whether he’s playing you, but rather are you asking to be played? You are in a relationship with a married man, and chances are good that he’ll go back to his wife. Even if he does eventually divorce, that could be years down the road.

In the meantime you’re essentially on your own, with no one to call if your car breaks down or be with you if you get sick. He can’t be there for you. If you "wait for him," you’d be getting dribs and drabs with no guarantee that you’re the one he’d stay with if he does get a divorce. Often, a married man will use a woman to help him through the divorce and then find someone else when he’s free. You could wind up playing the classic, sad role of "the interim woman."

He’s married and you’re not. You’d be a total fool to spend the best years of your life waiting for him when he doesn’t even call. And if you encourage his cheating on his wife, or even leaving his marriage, you're just piling up bad karma. Nobody will thank you for this sacrifice of your life and happiness – especially not him.

No, he’s not worth waiting for. You had a fling with a married man. You've had the experience, and now you know not to do it again. It's time to move on. You deserve a whole man of your own.

Good luck,

Dr. Tracy



What Can a Shy Guy Do?

Dear Dr. Tracy,

I am a 23 year old unmarried man.Unlike many other young men of my age group I'm a shy and a quiet person and have never been in a relationship with a woman.Often I felt if I had someone in my life but that desire always remained a mere desire. I'm a decent looking guy and dress up nicely.I somehow observed uneasily that thrououghout my school and university life that girls weren't attracted to me.Even when I go to club sometimes I see girls going to the other guys instead of coming towards me.I must concede that I am not good at talking to women.I can't talk in what women perceive to be a 'cool' or a 'smooth manner and often I get quite stiff and formal when I talk to girls.I have a feeling that maybe that puts women off.If I try to act cool I end up making a fool of myself.

Now I have known this girl for a almost a year.She is originally from my city although recently she moved to another city to pursue university studies.I have et her in person on a few occasions and talked to her on phone and also chatted to her on the computer.Often I ended up becoming stiff and formal and I could tell from her reaction that it put her off.Again when I tried to be a bit relaxed , I ended up making a clown of myself.She says I'm funny, and I think she really can't be bothered to waste her time on me.In my mind I know that she is the one I want.I really really want her.I don't know how I am going to accomplish this.I am also mindful of the fact that if I tried to be direct with her she would not take me seriously at all.Dr. Tracy, I am sensitive man and have been a loner all my life, hence I can't afford to let her go.I know I want to be with her..but my lack of ability is holding me back.

You are like a ray of hope in this gloom of hopelessnes ,Dr, Tracy.Please help me.I would highly appreciate and remember your kind gesture forever. Thank You.

Sincerely Yours A Lonely Man

Dear Lonely Guy,

You want to go from lonely shy guy who never had a relationship to charming the woman of your dreams. And you want me to snap my fingers and make it happen.

Sorry, but you can’t just hopscotch over the part where you learn how to relate to women by dating different women. You can’t skip the part where you find out what makes a woman melt and what makes her want to scratch your eyes out. You need to date. No one should skip dating, because without dating, you have no idea what kind of woman you really get along with and which ones are just not for you.

Okay, I know that for some, dating comes easy, and for some, like you, it's hard. So take small steps. Start by reading "How to Attract a Woman" in my Love Library.

A shy, sensitive, quiet guy with little or no social skills is not going to be the man women choose. But, with practice, you can learn to be a more outgoing and charming. Join a local Toastmasters organization and learn how to speak to people and show your good points to others. Millions of shy people have done this.

Join a dating organization and start out by dating women who aren’t so threatening to you. Practice asking them about themselves -- their work, their family, their interests. They'll think you're a great conversationalist. The idea is to date a lot of women. You need to become comfortable with women in general before you can develop an intimate relationship with a special woman. Start small and work your way up to the woman of your dreams. You need to build your self-confidence before you approach her.

Right now, you’d be crawling to her, and there’s nothing less sexy than a man who’s on the crawl. And of course, you can’t tell her she’s the woman you really really want. Actually, you don’t know her well enough to know if she’s the woman you really want.

Good luck,

Dr. Tracy



Inexplicable Connection

Dear Dr. Tracy,

I am a 24 year old law student in Nebraska. My issue: I'm wondering if I should meet my 'online' friend, 'J', who lives in Ohio. I know you're thinking to yourself, oh, Lord, another nut-case. This is different, there is no infatuation...to explain further, here's the background on our friendship and him:

We 'met' in a chatroom when I was just 15, he was 17. We were simply just playing around on the internet and were instantly drawn to each other. We started emailing everyday, even talking online and on the phone all the time. We told each other everything, sent pictures of each other and each other's families to one another. We continued to date people in our home states and twice a year or so would decide that (for our own happiness and sanity) if we weren't going to be together, we needed to try to distance ourselves from one another but after few months, we would just be drawn to one another.

I will admit, sometimes we did/do talk about sexual things, etc. He currently lives with his girlfriend and I am married. I love my husband, have never really felt 'in love' with him. 'J' knows for a fact he doesn't want to marry or be with his current girl. He's owns and runs several businesses in Ohio--yes, I know this for a fact. At least every other week, we ask each other why we haven't met before because we really feel that we have the 'potential' to make each other happy...to make it work. We have similar goals in life, so many similar tastes its sick... we want the same things out of life, both of us are highly ambitious...I could go on for hours. He's intelligent, caring, funny, open, sexy...

Yes, I do know his faults too...he knows mine as well. We know each other's quirks, etc. Our connection is so deep, he knows what I'm thinking or feeling from states away. I know it sounds insane...I'm an attractive, self-confident, intelligent woman and usually know what I want out of life. 'J' and I have spoken of meeting, have talked of what will happen to us if we met and things went well...or even if they didn't turn out as we are hoping for.

Basically, I want to know if I'm insane for wanting to see what's there. I'm willing to risk my marriage to find out. We've spoken of the fact that neither of us has strayed from our significant others before so this is a big step, but we figure after 9 years of this inexplicable connection, something has to be done. We both know its not the 'unknown' or the 'forbidden' that we're seeking. We just...need to know.

Am I crazy? Have advice for me?

Dear Not Another Nut Case,

You may not be crazy for fantasizing about "J," but meeting him is another matter. Timing is everything in life, and the time to have satisfied your "need to know" about "J" was before you got married.

You weren't interested enough in "J" to take a trip to Ohio, but now you say you're willing to risk your marriage over him. What about your marriage vows? And have you really thought this through? You will absolutely be risking your marriage if you meet your online friend. No matter what the outcome is, you lose. If you and "J" fall into each other arms and decide you can’t live without each other, you lose your marriage -- before you've really given it every chance it deserves, and without being sure that you and “J” can make it on a long-term basis.

If you and "J" don’t like each other that much in person, and your husband finds out about your rendezvous (harder to cover up than you think), you will have risked your marriage over nothing.

So meeting "J" is not a great bet. Really, what are the odds that you and he will be a lifelong partnership or even progress past email?

Intelligent married women like yourself don’t take life-disrupting risks unless they’re sure the odds for success are in their favor. Be smart. Finish law school. Pass the bar exam and get a good job. Give your marriage a fair chance, and if it doesn't work out, then think about meeting "J." Don’t mess up your life right now to run after an online romance.

Good luck,

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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