Dr. Tracy's Advice Column

Cartoon Kiss


Poison Fix-up
Wants More Romance
Whoops, Heís Married

Poison Fix-up

Dear Dr. Tracy,

I am a 22 year old female. I was overweight at one time and have lost nearly 40 pounds. I have a best friend who has a friend she wants to set me up with. I couldn't resist, I wanted someone so bad. I have had dinner a couple of times with them.

Here is the problem he is 38 and still lives at home with his parents. I am in no way attracted to him. He just got my phone number and email yesterday. He has sent me 5 emails and called me twice. I really don't have any feelings for him.

I really want a relationship, but I have a difficult time saying no to someone and I am afraid to hurt his feelings, and my friends. I really wouldn't mind hanging out with him but I don't want to have a sexual relationship with him.

Please help me I don't know what to do.

Alone in Illinois

Dear Alone,

Youíre too young to be so desperate. There will be other men. This guy has serious problems, and I would wonder about a friend who would push someone so wrong on you. Maybe he glommed on to her and sheís trying to palm him off on you.

In any case, heís too old for you. But that's just the first problem. The second big problem is that he lives with his parents. A normal guy canít wait to get away from his parents and to be independent and live on his own. Thereís something seriously wrong with a man of 38 who still lives at home.

Since you want someone so badly, you might be tempted to take him on just because you donít want to be alone, but donít do that. Believe me, itís better to be alone than to be with someone youíre not attracted to and who has so many problems.

Donít waste your time with him. Heís not going to make you happy. Realize that when you get involved with someone, their problems can become yours. You certainly donít want to take on his problems.

His calling you and emailing you that much is another big red flag, especially since you're not responding at all. It sounds like he's more desperate than you. Your instincts are right. Run in the other direction. Tell your friend that youíre not interested in or attracted to this man and then tell him that you're sorry, but you just donít want to see him. And no "well, let's just be friends." Donít hang out with him just because youíre lonely. Heíll be taking up time that you could be spending looking for someone who really attracts you, and youíll be leading him on unfairly.

To get what you want in life, you have to learn to assert yourself. People who are always afraid to say no get taken advantage of by everyone. Read ďPulling Your Own Strings,Ē by Wayne Dwyer. It will teach you how to stand up for yourself and how to avoid being victimized. Another good book for people who have trouble saying no is ďWhen I Say No, I Feel Guilty,Ē by Manuel J. Smith.

Good luck,

Dr. Tracy

Wants More Romance

Dear Dr. Tracy,

I am 29 years old, divorced with an 11 yr old boy. I have been dating a 41 yr old man for the past year, (he is also divorced with 2 boys of similar age). We live about and hour and a half away from each other, (we met at an online dating service) and we manage to get together at least every weekend. We love each other very much, and have a great sex life.

My biggest problem is that I have been waiting for him to be "Romantic". To look into my eyes, light some candles at night, surprise me with little things, etc. He is always telling me how much he loves me, but I feel like something is missing. We never go away together, hardly ever go out, this was fine in the beginning because it was new, but now I would like to start doing things together. It doesn't seem like it is really a priority with him. I drink and he doesn't, so he doesn't like t he bar scenes.

I have finally told him my problem with him, and that it is something I feel strongly about, he tells me that he knows that he should be doing more, but he has never done anything like that with anyone before (longest relationship he has had besides marriage was 4 months) and he says he will try. Thing is I can't tell him what to do, then if he does it it will feel like it is staged. I feel like this should come naturally for any man who truly loves someone. Therefore, should I be questionong his love for me, or have I let it go too long that he has just become complacent? Can a man learn how to be romantic? Do you have any suggestions as to where he should start. I think now he feels under the "microscope" so he is afraid he will look silly. Should I romance him? I feel like he should be still "wooing" me.

Please give me some advice, as I have read through your columns and have not really found what I am looking for.

Dear Romantic,

Everyone experiences romance and love differently. Your guy says ďI love youĒ a lot, and that may be what he considers being romantic. But if thatís not making it for you, then you have to take responsibility for getting what you want.

You say you were happy not going out in the beginning. Well, you made him think that was okay. Now if you tell him you want to do something different, he may think you were just pretending that you liked your life together. So you'll have to be patient and gentle in changing the rules.

But donít expect romance to come naturally. Very few men are naturally romantic. Most need a nudge in that direction now and them -- some more than others. So if you want something, tell him exactly what you want. Men donít like to be told to ďbe more romantic.Ē They really want to be told exactly what you want them to do. Then theyíll usually do it. I know you think it will feel staged if you have to ask for it. Many women have that misconception. But I promise, youíll enjoy the flowers even if you had to put them on his "to do" list.

If heís not a drinker, donít expect him to go with you to a bar. Find other activities that suit the two of you, not one that only you enjoy. Talk about romance. Ask him what he thinks is romantic. Make lists of romantic activities and take turns doing them for each other. Even if you have to make most of the plans, just do it. Donít sit around waiting for him to come up with something creative.

It wouldnít hurt if you romanced him a little. Plan a candlelight dinner. Let him light the candles, but donít expect him to think of bringing them.

Good luck,

Dr. Tracy

Whoops, Heís Married

Dear Dr. Tracy,

I'm a single 27 year old female with two children. Three years ago, I met a man off the internet and fell in love with him. We would talk every night for hours, had everything in common that u could possiblity have with someone. Things progressed from a friendship to a new found love. We both confessed each others feelings to another. But never confessed those three little words.

After eight months of talking and spending time with each other I knew I was in love with him. Just to scared to confess my love to him, out of fear of rejection. Time had passed and we ended up playing games with one another to find out how the other felt. Well this backfired on ous. We ended up losing touch of each other for two years.

In May of this year, I received a call from him to see how things were. He told me that he was newly married and expecting his first child. I was really happy for him. He asked how my life was and I said good. I myself had another child and became recently single. He had asked what happen between the two of us? Given the fact that he told me he met someone tryin to find out how I felt about him, I told him that I had stepped back due to the fact that all I wanted was for him to be happy. Maybe I wasn't the one for him. He then cofessed all his love for me. Telling me that he is still in love with me and that the only reason why he married her was because he thought that I moved on, and that it should have been me he married and having his child. He continues to tell me his love and when he's with her all he thinks about is me. This has brought all my love for him back to the surface. My feelings are stronger for him now than ever before. I can't help but confess my love back to him. I'm even considering waiting for him to see if his marriage works out. I've never met anyone like him before in my life. It just feels so right with him and I feel he is the one for me, my soulmate.

The only problem is he has told me he cannot leave her because of the child. Now am I waiting like a fool for him? Why is he causing me so much heartache? I don't want to move on with life without him. Can you please help me ? I'm desperate to find out what I should do and what his intentions are.

Dear Desperate,

I get so many letters from women in exactly this same situation Ė they love a man who is married to someone else. The man always says he loves them, but canít leave his wife because of the child or children and often promises to leave when the children are eighteen.

Itís so seductive when a man says he loves you, even if heís married to someone else, that itís hard to not love him back. After all, heís smart enough to love you, so he must be special, right?

Just because you love someone doesnít mean you will be with him. Just because someone says they love you, doesnít mean you will be together.

Married men are dangerous to love. They can screw up your life for years and years.

Heís looking back at his relationship with you and thinking he was really in love with you. Heís remembering your romance and thinking how much nicer it was than his time with a wife and baby and all the responsibility and problems he has at home. But it's all really a fantasy. You probably never were able to spend a lot of time together, probably never saw each other under stress. You both have rose-colored glasses on.

He may think he's sincere, but he's tap dancing on your brain by telling you he loves you, even though heís married to someone else. Don't let him do it. Tell him to leave you alone. Donít talk to him. Donít email him.

Do you really want to break up his marriage and leave his wife alone with their child? Do you really want to be married to him and worried about some other woman he's met and fallen in love with and thinking of when heís with you? Of course not.

Find a man who isnít married. Life is too short to waste it on someone who belongs to someone else.

Good luck,

Dr. Tracy

Submitting a Question to this column

Dr. Tracy regrets that it is simply impossible for her to answer all of the hundreds of questions submitted to this column each week. However, she does read every question, and tries to select the three which are of the most general interest to the visitors here.

Dr. Tracy says, "Is your question urgent? Many of the most beseeching, desperate messages I get are not answered in this column because the answer is just a couple of clicks away in my Love Library. Have you tried my Love Library? I know that nobody goes to libraries anymore, but check this one out -- it's so easily searchable that it's fun and easy to use!"

If you can't find your answer in the Library and you feel you MUST have an answer, you can get a personal answer from Dr. Tracy within two business days by availing yourself of her inexpensive private counseling.

You may submit your question to Dr.Tracy's column by e-mail here. (Tips: to increase your chances of having your question chosen, state your age and your marital history, and remember to use paragraph breaks so that your question isn't just one big, hard-to-read clump of words. Also, questions in all caps won't be answered.)

(Featured art from cover of Letting Go, by Zev Wanderer and Tracy Cabot, published by "Bitan" Publishers, Tel-Aviv, Israel)
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