"Ask Dr. Tracy"

7/25/99 Advice Column

Too Nice to Get What She Wants
Moving In Together Makes Parents Fume
The Woman of His Dreams?

Dear Dr. Tracy,

I've been dating a guy for alittle over a month, and things between us are going great. We became very close in a short amount of time. i know he cares for me and looks out for me. There is just something that he does that makes me feel like he doesn't care for me. AT night when he drops me off, he doesn't walk me to the door, like all the guys in my past did, instead he drives off before i even get to the door. I don't understand why he does this, if he says he cares about me so much. I was wondering what i should do or say to make him change. I don't want to be rude, or hurt his feelings.

Thanks for you time.

Dear Too Nice,

Your problem is typical of many women - they're too nice to get what they want. You don't want to rock the boat right now because the relationship is so new and because it's going so well. So you don't say anything when he does something that really bothers you.

Well, that's not good for you or for the relationship. Because you don't want to hurt his feelings, you allow him to continue to drop you off and leave. He thinks it's perfectly okay to drop you off and leave because you never say it 's not. And he thinks you're the kind of woman who doesn't care if she gets dropped off. And perhaps he begins to think you don't care how he treats you.

The worst thing you can do in the beginning of a relationship is act as if you don't care about something when you really do. It's so much harder later to say that it really matters if you didn't say so the first time. Now, if you tell him it bothers you, he's going to think you're suddenly getting crabby with him. So you've gotten yourself into a no-win situation.

If you tell him, he's going to wonder what else is bothering you that you haven't mentioned yet. If you don't, you're going to continue to feel as if he doesn't care about you as much as you'd like him to.

The next time he drops you off, be sure to say three nice things to him first, and then tell him that you'd really like him to walk you to the door, or at least wait until you're safely inside before he drives away. Explain that you know you should have told him sooner.

Maybe he's been waiting to be invited in, and at this point, he may interpret your request as a further invitation. See the problems you get into when you don't speak up the first time something happens you don't like?

In any case, you must tell him, even if it means being uncomfortable and taking a risk with the relationship. And remember this lesson for the future.

Good luck,

Dr. Tracy

Dear Dr. Tracy,

My fiance and I got engaged when we were in school, approximately two years ago. We are both 25 and have been together a total of three years. I recently graduated and will be starting my first job in September. He has been out of school a year longer than me and will also be starting a new job in September. Our wedding is set for April. We have decided to move in together both because we love one another and don't see the point in maintaining two separate households until April. He also makes more than twice my starting salary and is assuming full responsibility for the rent at our new place. Throughout school, he has constantly helped me with my rent and other bills because I really struggled financially through school. This was a burden on him - having to maintain his responsibilities on his salary at his old job as well as assume mine. He's a very sweet, generous and genuinely good person who wants to help me.

We think moving in together is a good idea because:
1) We love one another dearly and it just makes sense.
2) My parents are not paying for the wedding so this helps us to combine our income and pay for it ourselves instead of maintaining two separate households.
3) I have several overdue bills (including fixing my car ) and would like to pay them off as soon as possible and this financial arrangement allows me to do so.

My problem is that we are very enthusiastic about the idea however my parents are completely opposed. They have helped me through school but do not have any other solutions to my present problems. They liked my fiance before but now they are starting to put him down since they discovered that we will be moving in with one another. They have told me that if he loved me he would pay rent at TWO apartments and buy a second automobile so that I could travel to work. At our new apartment I have agreed to pay cable and electricity because I do want to feel as though I am contributing somehow. My mother has told me that if he loved me I wouldn't have to pay anything. In addition, they have told me that if I move in with him he'll either put off the wedding or never marry me. He has been wonderful to my parents - sending cards and gifts etc. on all of the appropriate ocassions and has been very respectful All of this negativity is really upsetting me. What should I do to keep the peace?

Please sign me... Suffering from Parental Drama

Dear Suffering,

When I read questions like yours I remember that old Ricky Nelson song, "Garden Party," where the lyrics say, "Can't please everyone, so you might as well please yourself." This is certainly a "can't please everyone" situation.

One solution to help keep the peace is to stop telling your parents every single detail of your life, like who pays for what and who does what and when. After all, you're an adult who is engaged to be married to someone you've dated for three years. You're thinking about your finances and paying your bills. You have a job starting soon. I'd say you're on solid ground.

Of course your parents have their own fantasy of how everything should be done. However, they are operating from values that made sense in their youth, when one income was enough for a couple. But today's world requires two incomes in order for most young couples to make it, so there's nothing wrong with moving in and sharing expenses.

Stop listening to your mother about who should pay for what. She's coming from a different era - when the man paid for everything. And it's totally unrealistic of her to suggest that your fiance pay for two apartments and two cars. It's also not true that if you move in he'll put off the wedding or never marry you. Living together before you're married doesn't doom your future plans. Many women (including me) have lived with their future husbands before they married. My parents didn't like it either, but they got over it, as will yours.

Don't let other people's negativity infiltrate your thoughts. Stay positive and loving. Tell your parents you love them and appreciate their feelings, however, you are going to be living with your fiance. There comes a time in everyone's life when they have to make their own life decisions -- which may not agree with what their parents would have them do.

Good luck,

Dr. Tracy

Dear Dr. Tracy,

I had met THE woman of my dreams this past week... cute, into romance, interested in me for who I am, etc. But.... she is Jewish, I am a Christian, she is allergic to cats, I have 2 of them, and she is a self proclamed "nympho" and I am not. On our first and second date, she metioned her ex-husband's penis length of six inches soft at least 7 times.... and things got out of hand on the second date and we ended up having sex. After sex.... she asked, "Is it always that soft or were you just nervous?" ??????????? I answered, "I think I am just nervous." Then, the next night, she asked AGAIN and pointed out that the sex thing is very important to her. Honestly, I haven't had sex in YEARS. You use muscles you never use any other time during sex, I really feel I was seduced that night as I did NOT want to have sex... though I failed to mention that.... She even admitted after sex that she was the one who initiated it and that I would never have taken action without her having done that. And yes, I was quite nervous when we did have it. I told her I was just not ready for a relationship and broke up with her without really giving a good reason two days later. She DID mention amid rising tears (we were truly perfect except for the above mentioned issues... all of which are easily resolved) that she should, "Never have asked those kinds of questions and will NEVER ask them of ANYONE again."

Honestly, I feel really bad about breaking up with her. This is the first time I have ever broken someone's heart (I'm 26, she is 32). But I couldn't get the nerve to admit that she has effectively castrated me with that question and with the comments about her old husband's size, I was not impressed. It hasn't been but a few hours since I broke up with her and I feel incredibly depressed (not normal). I doubt that I could ever have sex with her again because of all the pressure she has put on me about it. Women often fail to realize that men have a LOT of anxiety about sex. We are the star of the show and can't just do it when we don't feel like it.

I assume that my potency will return, but I really fear that I am going to end up being one of those guys that is all hard and ready for action until the final moment and then goes limp. I have NEVER had this problem before... This is definitely scaring me. I am already dreading the next sexual encounter that I will have.

Was I right for breaking up with her? I just really got paranoid that she would end up mentally castrating me because I am not really interested in having sex every day of the week. On top of that, she has children (4 and 7 years old). The kids weren't that big of a deal, but considering I grew up w/o a father (he was brain dead from when I was 10 to 21 b/c of a car accident), I question my abilities to act as a father. Seeing her cry about it REALLY messed me up. And I am fighting the urge to give it another shot with all of my might.

Dear Dreamer,

If you think this is the woman of your dreams, dream on. She's not. You have nothing in common, including sex drive. A 32-year-old woman is at the peak of her sexuality, and you obviously are not up to keeping up with her.

You say you haven't had sex in years. And she wants to have sex every night. I assure you she will never be happy with no sex, and you won't be happy with her demands. This was no dream relationship. So let this one go. After all, you've only known her for a week. Hardly time to cause so much heartache. You were right when you broke up with her. Don't have breakup remorse. Or guilt.

Find a woman whose sex drive matches yours, not one who wants to gobble you up. Then you won't feel so intimidated or castrated. And don't worry, when the pressure's off, your potency will return.

If a woman makes you feel this bad after just one week, then you should break up, no matter who she is. Don't stay around and see what she can do to you in a month or a year.

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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