"Ask Dr. Tracy"

4/16/2000 Advice Column

Not Gay to Stay
Reading The Signs
Parents Don't Approve

Dear Dr. Tracy,

I am a lesbian and have accepted myself as such. I am sure about my sexuality. But recently I met a woman who has had sexual fantasies about being with other women. I was her first. It was great for a few months until this other woman felt that it just wasn't right what we were doing. Meaning having a gay relationship.

When I forst met her she had brole up with her boyfriend whom she was seeing for approximately a year. She told me loved me and wanted to share her life with me. I knew this wasn't possible as I knew she was still not clear on her sexuality and probably in denial.

About 3 weeks ago she told me she came to the conclusion that she definitely was not gay and wanted to go back to her boyfriend, who forwardly told her he would never love her. I respected her decision as I only want her to be happy.

She claimed she still wants to have a friendship but tells me she can't right at this time as she feels there has been alot of strain put on our friendship. I call her once a week to see how she is doing. Yesterday she told me she is selling her house and is going to move in with her boyfriend. My feelings about this are not good as I don't think it is a wise decision on her part.

Dr. Tracy how can I tell her to think about this without her becoming defensive? I truly care for her well being and I don't want to see her make a bad move and risk losing everything. I feel she is doing what she thinks is the right thing to do but not what her heart really wants.

I feel she is moving in with her boyfriend because he is very wealthy not because she loves him. She is really insecure and I want to help her somehow but have run out ways. Can you give me some advice? Should I just let her be or should I say something?

Dear First Love,

You were this woman's experiment in gayness, and now that she's tried the gay life, she's decided to be straight. Many women fantasize about sex and a relationship with another woman. They yearn for the warmth, the gentleness, and the lack of testosterone that a gay relationship offers. However, few decide to make it a lifelong commitment.

The woman you were with had just broken up with her boyfriend and was probably one of the gay experimenters who thought women had to be better than men. You got her on the rebound. She found comfort with you, but after trying the gay life, decided it wasn't for her.

You've lost her and yet a part of you still wants to control what she does. Unfortunately, if she's making a mistake, there's not much you can do about it. If you try to talk her out of being with this man, she'll just think it's because you want her for yourself.

I'm afraid you're in a no-win situation. If it works out with her boyfriend, she'll always remember you said it wasn't a good move and will resent you for it. If it doesn't work out, she'll still resent you for being right. Accept that you can't keep her from moving in with her boyfriend, whether her reasons are right or wrong.

Find a woman who's sure of her sexuality and get on with your life.

Good luck,

Dr. Tracy

Dear Dr. Tracy,

I'm a Anton, 21-year-old boy, and I want to have some advices for this problemo. I've got a girlfriend. We've known each other for about 3 months. As her boyfriend, I helped her a lot, because I DO really love her, so does she. Although it's only 3 months, but I think we are really a perfect match.

Both of us come from the same ethnic, Tionghoa. This ethnic has a lot of cultural rules and ceremonies. One of those rules is Chinese horoscope. The horoscope contains 12 symbols of animals, which are, Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Sheep, Monkey, Rooster, Dog, and Pig. Each sign has its own couple for good. For instance, the Horse will be good for the Sheep, etc.

My sign is Horse. Hers is Horse too. This Horse-and-Horse couple is the worst pair. According to the rules (I think it's more likely to be called tradition) from the ancestors, the Horse can't be with the other Horse, regarding that horses are not kept together. If these man and woman keep being together until marriage, their future life will be rough, tough, and even unlucky in every effort we make (for instance, business and trading - because my family really means this to earn money for life).

It seems VERY superstitious. But actually, I can't deny it. I have seen the fact in my daily life. Most of them have a sorrowful life in their after-marriage life. At least, the "curse" (for being together) makes them live in poverty. The worst news I've heard, this couple cannot and will not have a boy (even a daughter for worse) as a descendant of the family, regarding that our culture is paternalism so we should have a boy as our descendant.

My family has a strong belief in our ethnical culture, especially for this horoscope to determine our couple of life in the future. I already told this problem to my mom and she rejected my choice to her. "You must decide it carefully. If you make a wrong step, you'll get disappointed for the whole life. Think over it ! I advice you not to meet that girl before it gets worse. You still have lots of chances to choose another girl instead of her."

As a collegian, I, of course, don't believe in such stupid superstitious. But the fact in my real life shows that the "curse" really works. I can't deny it ! I can't ignore my mom's advice too because I think it's for my own good. But, I also can't stop loving her. What should I do ?

Dear Horse,

Frankly, your mother's ideas about Chinese horoscopes and horses and horses may hold no more water than regular horoscopes, palm reading or looking into a crystal ball to tell the future. However, if you believe it will happen, there's a chance you can make a prediction come true.

There's such a thing as a self-fulfilling prophecy. In other words, if you believe you're future with this woman will be doomed because you are both horses, then you could subconsciously make that prediction come true to fit your beliefs. You could be more likely to make bad financial decisions if you believe two horses will go broke, and thus make the prophecy come true.

So it comes down to what your belief system is and how strong you believe it. Some people believe walking under a ladder or breaking a mirror or leaving a hat on a bed will bring them bad luck. Others believe in voodoo or witch doctors. Of course you would say that's foolish, but those who really believe find a way to make the bad luck happen.

Even though you say you are an intelligent, realistic college guy, you seem to believe that the horse-horse combination bodes ill. That's why you shouldn't rush into anything with this girlfriend. After all, you've only known each other three months. That's hardly enough time to find out if you love her enough to overcome these very superstitious beliefs of your families.

The problem is that if you were to marry this girl and have no son, you would blame the horse-horse superstition. If you were to go broke, you'd blame the same horoscope prediction, regardless of the real reason you went broke. So you'd wind up perpetuating this superstitious belief system. That's how these things get carried from generation to generation. If you believe in the curse and so does your mom, you will probably be happier in a relationship you don't feel is cursed.

Just because you love her doesn't mean she's the one you should marry. You'd probably make her miserable because you can't stop believing the curse. You'd always be looking over your shoulder and wondering when the curse would hit. So look for someone you can feel safe with. It's hard enough having a relationship without feeling doomed from the start.

Good luck,

Dr. Tracy

Dear Dr. Tracy,

I am 26 and in a serious relationship with a man and we have decided to move in together. I went through a divorce about two years ago due to my ex-husband having an affair with a good friend of mine over the summer. I am now over that situation and extremely happy in my new relationship. However, my parents, are sometimes disapproving, especially of us moving in together because of their upbringing and values. How can I explain to them how happy I truly am and that, despite, the overwhelming statistics of couples living together and divorce, it will not happen to me? How can I put their opinions aside and mentally decide what I want, rather than constantly thinking about what I think they want for me?

Dear Happy,

Don't worry about your parents or their opinion of living together. Most parents don't want their daughters to live with someone without being married. It somehow grates on the parent's sense of propriety. But your parents grew up in a different time, and their values are not yours.

My own parents hated it when I lived with my husband before we were married. Their disapproval was loud and clear. Now we've been married 17 years, after living together for almost two, and both agree that the living together time gave us an opportunity to be sure.

Living together before marriage means you get a chance to actually see what real life is like with that person, not the fantasy life that dating usually is. You'll get to see if you can really stand the way he leaves the toilet seat up or doesn't take the trash out, or if he can really stand the way you cook or watch soap operas or talk to your girlfriend all the time or whatever it is you do. Living together gives you a chance to work out budgeting and to plan your future realistically because you'll know exactly what to expect from each other.

I don't know what statistics you're referring to; I never heard of any "overwhelming" correlation between living together and divorce. Assure your parents that living together is a good test for marriage and will allow you to be sure you won't make another mistake. Don't make life decisions based on what will make your parents happy. They're not going to be living with him, you are.

There comes a time in everyone's life where they have to make their own decisions based on their own beliefs. Your time has come. If you really are happy with this man, then live together and enjoy each other. Your parents will come around eventually.

Good luck,

Dr. Tracy

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