"Ask Dr. Tracy"

8/1/99 Advice Column


Ex's Are Valuable
It Takes Two
Hots for The Boss




Dear Dr. Tracy,

I've been dating this guy I met online for about 2 months now. I'm totally in love with him and I think he's in love with me too. But there are some problems: First I am 18 and he is a 29 year old divorced father of one. Second I've been getting e-mails from one of his ex-girlfriends and she's saying that he calls her every night and that he tells her that he loves her. I'm afraid to ask him about this because I don't want him to think that I don't trust him because I do. I'm planning on moving in with him in a few months and I want to make sure that I am doing the right thing. Can you help me please?

Thank You, Hurting Inside

Dear Hurting Inside,

Stop! Don't move in with this man until three things happen.

One, you must talk to his ex. It's a big mistake to avoid the man's ex girlfriend because you're afraid of what she might say. Make a date with his ex and meet her face to face. There's no telling what you might find out. (Please read the "Nosebiter" story in the love library).

Two, you must be able to ask him about things without being afraid he'll think you don't trust him. If you can't talk to him about your concerns, then you can't have a relationship with him at all. Not being able to confront him and being intimidated by him are some of the problems of an eighteen-year-old getting involved with a twenty-nine year old.

Three, you must wait until you've known him longer than two months. That's long enough to be infatuated, to be in lust, and to think you're in love, but it's not long enough to really know someone. So the person you think you love may not be what he seems.

Wait six months or a year before you decide to move in with him. Moving in is supposed to be like a trial marriage and I'm sure that's what you have in mind. However, it may not be what he's thinking of.

A 29 year old divorced man who's dating an 18-year-old is probably more interested in her body than her mind. He also may have big control issues, which may be why he's not dating someone his own age. If you're hurting now, imagine how much you'd be hurting if you were living with him and you continued getting e-mails like that from his ex.

Good luck,

Dr. Tracy




Dear Dr. Tracy,

I have a very serious question I am having a problem figuring out. I have dated a 34 yr old mother of two for about one year, which was an on off again situation in terms of our dating.

About 6 months ago she asked what I thought of her going off the pill. After we both discussed it, she decided to go off the pill with the understanding if she ever got preganant she would have an abortion. We both agreed an abortion would be the thing to do if she were to get preganat.

We were careful for awhile. I never used a condom, but I never climaxed while engaged in intercourse, whith the exception of one time. At that time she said it was safe to orgasm inside of her. Shortly afterwards she said it had not been a safe time, but also said not to worry if she got pregaant she would have an abortion.

In the morning I reminded her of what happened the night before. Because she had had a few drinks earlir she said she could not remember what happened. Anyway, she is now pregant and blames me for most of it. Also, when she discovered she was preganat she informed me she could not have an abortion because she already loves the baby and has a bond with it.

I am angry at myself for being so trusting, and I am so angry for putting me in this position based on her deception, i don't want anything to do with her being in my life.

Because she already works alot and her kids suffer by spending time between their father and daycare, I feel she is very selfish. And I again think she is being selfish, manipulating, and untruthful.

I try rationalizing it all and convince myself that the important thing here is the child about to come into this world, but I still struggle with my anger as I also feel she has taken away from me the chance to raise a child in an normal setting.

What do you think?

Dear Angry,

You should be angry, but not at yourself for being so trusting. Instead be angry with yourself for being so stupid.

What did you think would happen when you told her you thought it was an okay idea for her to stop taking the pill? What world do you live in? That's how people get pregnant. In fact, women are even more likely to get pregnant when they just come off the pill than if they've never taken the pill. You walked right into the minefield of unmarried pregnancy and abortion with your eyes wide open.

Did it never cross your mind that she would chicken out on getting an abortion? You certainly have a lot to learn about women. It's easy for a man to say, "Have an abortion." He won't have to have a medical procedure that might be dangerous, and he won't have to live with the emotional aftereffects for the rest of his life.

A woman in her early 30's is at the peak of her childbearing years. Her hormones are raging and her baby hunger is all-encompassing. So when there's an actual baby in her womb, a woman often feels differently about having an abortion, no matter what promises she has previously made.

You're not the first man to feel tricked into fatherhood and you won't be the last. But in order to be "tricked" you had to be both dumb and insensitive. Keep in mind too that women have been "tricked" that way by guys caught up in their own lust who swear they're unable to have kids. In those cases, when the woman gets pregnant, she's got to blame herself too.

At least you recognize that the important thing now is the child. You should attempt to have an amicable relationship with the mother and a loving one with your child. And who says you can't have a chance to raise a child in a normal setting? And who says what's normal today?

Many children are raised in unconventional settings and grow up to be successful -- even the President of the U.S. So admit you made some huge errors or judgement and make the best of it.

Good luck,

Dr. Tracy




Dear Dr. Tracy,

I am a 28 year old woman with a HUGE crush on my boss--a single, 34 year old man. I think he may be interested in me, but he has made it abundantly clear that he is concerned with sexual harrassment issues and office protocol/appearances. There is nothing specifically stated in our employee manual against fraternization between employees or managers.

I can't be sure if he is interested in me romantically or not, and I'm not sure if I should press the issue. We often give small tokens/gifts to one another. I bring him his favorite pastry from time to time or bring him home-baked goods. I anonymously sent him a 6-pack of "Orange Crush" for Valentine's Day, but spilled the beans on myself because I thought he'd guessed it. I apologized for the "inappropriateness" of my gift, but he seemed genuinely pleased by the present, even offering me some of the "Crush." I declined it because I was humiliated by my admission.

Since then we seem to talk more and he often shares personal, anecdotal information with me. But that's still as far as it goes. The only intimate physical contact we have is the occasional pat on the back, arm, or hand. We often stare at each other until one of us looks away. We joke a great deal and have many things in common. How can I get this to progress or am I reading more into it than is there? Should I give up since he's my boss? I really think we could have an even closer bond if someone would be brave enough to up the ante. What do you recommend?

Sincerely, Orange Crushed?

Dear Orange Crushed,

It's certainly easy for an employee to develop a crush on her boss, and he certainly sounds eligible. However, you can't rush these things, and you don't yet know about his private life. His being single doesn't rule out the possibility of him being in a serious relationship. Even if he's totally available, you're in a difficult situation.

The problem is, his concerns with sexual harrassment and office appearances are valid. There's a huge difference between what the employee manual says and what top management expects of someone who's on the Fast Track. Boss/employee relationships are at best awkward, and usually messy. He knows his bosses expect him to be cool enough to find his romance elsewhere and not cause those kinds of problems.

Of course, you could "up the ante" and take a chance that his lust will overcome his concerns. It might work, but then you're both headed down a slippery slope. Most likely, you'll try to sneak, so that your relationship will escape notice. More than likely -- almost inevitably -- that won't work. At that point, his bosses will think him uncool, and everyone will start watching to make sure you're not getting favorable treatment. Every raise or promotion will be suspect. Other employees will think you're getting ahead on your back.

The next big problem with having an affair with your boss is that if it breaks up, you're likely to lose your job. So once you get into this relationship, you have to keep it going. Since most relationships don't work out, chances are that it won't and you'll get fired or have to change jobs within the company.

So before you rush into anything, consider the repercussions on your career. Can you really afford this kind of love affair? If not, just flirt and never consummate - at least while he's your boss.

Good luck,

Dr. Tracy





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