"Ask Dr. Tracy"

4/21/96 Advice Column

Crazy ladies, A Friend -- or A Lover?, Entrepreneurial madness




Dear Dr. Tracy,

I am a middle aged man who has fallen in love with a middle age woman over the coarse of 1.5yrs. Not too long ago she wrote me "Seems from time to time I go looking for reasons not to like you, not to feel so comfortable with you, not to want you...I am somewhat remote, I know that,..I know this is not what you want to hear from me but I have to say it because I am basically mentally ill" She also wrote later on "I have always wondered what it is that makes total strangers bond. I often suspect that it is a fear of being alone with ones self. A fear I have not known. What makes a women hunt for men and men for women...what is it that they are looking for and how is it that they seemingly fit themselves together with such certainty, such need, such absolute requirement?"

She has told me many times she loves me, we have been very intimate with one another and yet now she tells me she wants out of this relationship because she can't stand being with a man who is interested in a long term -marriage relationship. She said that she thought that being in a relationship with a married man would probably be the best thing for her. What is this woman's problem?

Dear crazy lady lover,

When a woman flat out tells you she is "basically mentally ill," you should look for the door, fast. Always listen to what someone tells you about themselves. A sane, normal woman doesn't lay claim to mental illness.

This woman's fear of a longterm relationship may be a fear of her own unstable mental state, but I'm guessing from a distance. The real question here is why would you want to marry a woman who is afraid of intimacy and an admitted crazy lady? What's in it for you? Maybe good sex (when she feels like being physically intimate), but there's more to life than that. To get some perspective on your situation, I suggest you read "Women to Avoid" in my Library.

I'm afraid your lady love needs several years of therapy before she'll be ready for real intimacy. A good therapist will help her explore the possible reasons for her inability or unwillingness to connect. Often, a nasty childhood experience, such as growing up in an abusive or alcoholic family, can make it difficult to love as an adult.

Meanwhile, you should get on with your life. To help guide you toward a sane lady and a rewarding relationship, click on "Finding Someone " in my Library and follow the links.




Dear Dr. Tracy,

I'm 23 and am interested in a girl, 25. We've been friends for several months and enjoy being with her. I don't know whether does she feels the same as I do. However, I've not actually mentioned to her that I'm interested in her in any way. How can I test her? I'm afraid that she'll not be interested in a guy younger than she is. Do you think there's a problem with this? I love to let her know about my feelings for her but don't know how to approach because I'm afraid that I may destroy our friendship even if things don't turn out well. Is there any possible method which I can adopt? How can I tell that she's interested in me too? Please kindly advice me on this. Thank you.

Dear Shy Guy,

First of all, forget the age difference. It's trivial. The real issue here is that you don't know how to ask a friend if she'd like to also be a lover. I seem to be getting this question over and over from guys, so I decided to pose it to my friend, The Old Seducer. Here's his response:

"Son, if you're really friends with a lady, testing the waters is simple. You ought to already know about her love life, but if you don't, just say something like, `So, Sally, my love life's the pits. How's yours?'

"If she's hot for someone, give her encouragement like a friend and bide your time. Otherwise, be sympathetic and tell her, `Well, I think you're smart and sexy and I can't imagine you having any problem with men. If I were your boyfriend, I'd treat you right.' Then suggest her favorite thing (you're her friend -- you know this stuff, right?), like, `Come on, let's go see that Woody Allen movie, and the hell with the rest of the world.' She'll probably say yes, and you'll be on a date with her.




Dear Dr. Tracy,

I am a 25 year-old attorney, dating a 35 year-old man who is in the process of founding his own high tech company. We have been together for a year and four months, almost always far apart. We are very close though and have spent about an hour each day of our relationship talking on the phone. My concern is my boyfriend's quest to be a multi millionare. I want to have a satisfying career and family life. I don't need excessive wealth. I am concerned that this difference will cause a lot of pain in our relationship, should it continue, or should we marry. Is there any way to get him to understand that happiness cannot be acheived by attaining great wealth and that spending some of those hours with a family is more important? He seems to think that he can have his cake and eat it too. I don't think so.

Dear future millionaire lover,

There's nothing you can do about your boyfriend's quest to be a multi-millionaire and his feeling that nothing matters but the "deal." Deal-mania and entrepreneurial madness go together. He's got two lovers -- you and the business, and he probably figures you'll wait, while the business won't.

You're very wise to be concerned. I always try to make relationships work, but I'm afraid you're fighting a losing battle here. Either accept him the way he is, or forget it -- he's liable to get worse, not better. If you're thinking of accepting him, you'd better hear the rest of the bad news about how it gets worse. In "Men to Avoid " in my Library, read the section on "Men Who Want To Be Stars." It applies to stars of business, and it's not a pretty picture for the little woman.




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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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