Dr. Tracy's Advice Column

Cartoon Kiss

7/6/2003

Men Who Don’t Make Moves
Living Together -- All Together
Not Worth Keeping



Men Who Don’t Make Moves

Dear Dr. Tracy,

Me- late 20's, single, never married
Him- the same.

One night I met this guy who was a friend of a friend. And we really seemed to hit it off brilliantly. It was amazing how much we had in common and when we talked, it was hard to stop once we got started. I don't think I ever hit it off with someone so well. We've hung out together in group social situations as well as one-on-one and it's always a blast. The chemistry is undeniable. He has no problems dropping compliments about almost everything about me, about how good I look, how well I decorate, how I have great taste, how he loves my haircut (and that's just for starters). We flirt mercilessly, with lots of playful physical contact.

So the thing I don't understand...we've spent a lot of time together but he hasn't made any sort of move beyond these intense flirtations. We've even crashed at each other's apartments after late nights out socialzing and even slept next to each other in bed and...nothing. Is he just being a gentleman? Or does he think of me only as a friend?

I can't imagine someone who isn't interested would compliment me so much and tell me that I'm a foxy chick, but maybe I'm wrong? He has said that he prefers to get to know someone to see if there's chemistry before moving forward, but I think the connection between us is pretty obvious by now.

Thanks in advance for any advice, Confused

Dear Confused,

No wonder you’re confused. He says you have he loves the way you look, you and he have chemistry together, you flirt and have lots of playful physical contact. You’ve even slept together next to each other in the same bed. It’s time for more.

I’m always suspicious of men who don’t make moves. They often turn out to be gay, asexual or unable to get it up. Their excuse is often that they want to get to know someone first, but their "getting to know you" phase can go on for a long, long time. Then when you finally do get to know him, you discover he has some sort of hang-up about sex.

I don’t think he’s just being a gentleman. Young, healthy, normal men want sex with women they flirt with and sleep with.

The big problem is that if he doesn’t do something eventually, or you find out he’s got a sex problem, you’ll wonder if it’s you. That’s what women always do. Instead of thinking, “Poor guy, has a problem,” women think, “If only I were thinner, blonder, taller, sexier or smarter, we’d be having great sex.”

Don’t let this go on and on until you’re totally “in love” with this guy and have an even bigger problem. The next time you’re in bed with him, you make a move. Kiss him, touch him, show him what you like. See if he has any passion, or if playfulness is all you're going to get.

Give yourself an “either we have sex or it’s over” deadline.

Good luck,

Dr. Tracy



Living Together -- All Together

Dear Dr. Tracy,

I am a 47 year old divorced mother of two. My youngest son is 21 years old and currently living at home until he moves on campus in the Fall to continue his college education. My dilemma is the man I'm living with. He's 48. We've been living together for 4 months and have known each other for 5 years. We began dating seriously one year ago and decided to live together with the intention of marriage in the future, if everything works out.

A couple of months ago by boyfriend admitted to me he resents having my son in the home with us (it's his house). When we decided to live together, he knew my son was home with me. My son had been away to college but due to financial issues had to stop for a year. During this time he has kept busy by working part time, even though he did quit in the Spring. He is now working as an Asst basketball coach at summer basketball camps. Shortly before we moved in together, my boyfriend admitted to having some concerns about my son staying with us, but then he changed his mind and said he felt everything would be okay. He says he likes and respects my son, however, he does not like the idea of sharing his home with another grown man. He says it is hard enough when two adults are trying to establish a relationship under the same roof but when you add another adult to the mix it can make it more difficult.

My son is very respectful and does not cause any problems. Admittedly he can be a little more helpful around the house--sometimes he forgets to take out the garbage and every once in a while I have to remind him to tidy up his room. However, he does whatever is asked of him with no problem. My boyfriend says I should not have to ask him, my son should take the initiative. I agree with him, and I've discussed with my son about being a little more proactive and taking the initiative to do certain things around the house. He's promised he will do better. My boyfriend recently admitted to me, he'll be glad when my son leaves for college in the Fall. He said he does not mean any harm by it, but feels my son needs to be out on his own. I told him I respect his feelings, but he has to realize that even when he goes away to school he will still be back and forth, i.e., some weekends and holidays. The school is only a 1 hour drive from the house. I asked him will be upset whenever my son comes home and he said "No."

My boyfriend's comments hurt my feelings and needless to say has caused some tension between us. I have to add that my boyfriend has never raised any children. He has a 7 yr old daughter whom lives with her Mother. He spends as much time with her as possible and she has spent a few weekends with us.

Also, my boyfriend has said to me that there are times when he's felt uncomfortable because he has walked into a room where my son and I were just ending a conversation and he feels that we stopped talking because he walked into the room. I've tried to assure him that this coincidence. I've even tried to make him feel comfortable by letting him know what we were discussing but he still brings it up.

Because of this issue, I am seriously considering moving out. I want to give my boyfriend the benefit of the doubt and believe he likes my son and is only thinking the way any man would think -- that after a certain age young men need to be out of the house; however, I find myself thinking that he simply does not like having him around. Am I being too much of a mother and unable to see that by boyfriend means no harm or are my concerns justified? Thank you very much for your time.

Dear Mom,

You’ve got a nice boyfriend, you’ve known each other a long time and you’ve just started living together. Your guy felt he could trust you with his feelings and told you how he felt. Honesty is hard to come by, so you should treasure it. When a man tells you his inner feelings, don’t hold that against him, even if he confesses that he’s not thrilled with living with another adult man in the house.

Having two adult men in a house together is always a problem. You can’t have two alpha males. They’ll eventually fight and one will have to become submissive and/or resentful.

It’s a difficult thing for you to hear, of course, because he’s talking about your son. You feel protective as any mother would. Your maternal hackles went up and you wanted to fight to protect your child.

However, your son is no longer a child. He’s an adult, and he’ll be leaving home soon to be on his own and will want his own family. He’s not going to stay with you forever -- and if he even tries to, you shouldn’t let him, for his own good.

It’s not easy to find a man you like and can trust and to get into a good relationship. For now, just be a buffer zone between them and do your best to keep the peace.

Don’t overreact. All step-families have problems adjusting. You may not be seeing it, but your son could be subconsciously or consciously jealous of the “new man” in your life. There is inevitable competition for your time and attention and you have to be able to handle the subtle conflicts that exist. Your son could be contributing to the problem without your even knowing it.

In any case, you’ve only been together four months. Give it a year or two and see how things shake out. They could become best friends or at least learn to tolerate each other.

Good luck,

Dr. Tracy



Not Worth Keeping

Dear Dr. Tracy,

I think my husband has a problem with liking younger teenager girls. He is 41 years old. Our first sexual encounter was when I was 17 and he was 29. We didn't see each other after that for two years. Then at 19, he was 31, we ended up dating and have been together since. Throughout the 9 years I've been with him, (I am now 28) he has cheated on me with my sister who was only 16 at the time...he was 33 I think, and I forgave him. He continued to do this after we were married two more times with her, once while I was in the house in bed, they were on the couch.

He's tried to get me to sleep with other women, usually younger than we are, and surfs teen porn so much that it makes me sick to my stomach. His fave seems to be a 19 yr old girl from Texas. She dresses like a little girl sometimes. The one that disturbed me the most was a picture of her dressed in a cheer leader outfit with pigtails and I'm sure you can imagine the rest. He has brought pictures home to me recently of a girl who is maybe 19 or 20 who is his friend's sister in law and she is an erotic dancer.

I'm tired of feeling depressed, self concious, and curious about what he is doing. Now, there have been allegations over the last couple of days that he is seeing or has seen this other 19 year old girl who is also related to his friend! Does this seem wrong or am I just jumping to conclusions? Should I be worried about his desire to masturbate to teen porn??? I'm torn between making a decision to stay or get a divorce. He doesn't even desire to have sex with me anymore. I can't live like this and I just made an appointment with a psychologist. My husband says that I'm the one that's psycho! He refuses to go to a counselor and denies that he has a problem. When I bring up the subject of teen porn, he gets VERY defensive. Please, if you can help, let me know. I mean, is this type of thing normal? He's even gone as far as locking my son out of our bedroom for hours at a time while he's on the net. My son is 7 years old and we just moved into a new house, and I'm sure he was just taken aback and scared to death!

Please help me, I'm going insane!

Dear Going Insane,

I'm amazed that you have stayed with this man as long as you have. You've already put up with way too much from him. His having sex with your sister even once, let alone in over and over again is enough reason to leave him. And she was underage. And you were in the house. And they did it on your couch. What were you thinking to forgive him?

He's also tried to get you to sleep with younger women so that he could have sex with them vicariously through you. You've put up with so much of his bad behavior for so long that he thinks that's how things should be and that's how they always will be.

The fact that it's illegal to have sex with young girls is only part of the problem. This man is your husband and he shouldn't be sleeping with anyone or seeing anyone -- of any age. What you're in is not a marriage. You should be worried about more than his desire to masturbate to teen porn. You should be worried about yourself and why you remain in this horrible situation.

What is it in your past that made you feel so undeserving and worth so little that you stay with a man who so abuses you and insults you? The fact that he refuses to go with you for counseling means he doesn't want to work on the relationship, so there's no hope for a change from him. I'm glad to hear that at least you're going for therapy. You need to recover your self-esteem.

You can't change the world -- there will always be dirty old men who get turned on by young girls, but you don't have to be married to one of them. You can change your own situation. Find yourself a good divorce lawyer. Meanwhile, erase his hard disc and pull the plug on his computer. The images he might be downloading could bring the police to your door.

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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