"Ask Dr. Tracy"

8/10/97 Advice Column


WHY DID HE SAY NO?,
FAITHFUL OR PLAYING AROUND?,
TIME FOR AN ULTIMATUM




Dear Dr. Tracy,

Hi, I'm a 13 year old girl and I'm in love with one of my best friends. I asked him out over the school year and he said No straight up no. But that's not all he said. He also said that he would never go out with me. And he didn't give me a reason for saying never. I'm an optimist so I keep hoping he'll change his mind, but he hasen't. He reallly hurt me when he said never without giving me a reason. All my friends say he should give me a reason. Is there any way I can ask him to give me a reason with out ruining our friendship?

Sincerely,

Wanting a reason

Dear Reasonless,

There are few things worse than having someone reject you without a reason. Of course you want to know why. That's normal. And because you don't know for sure, you're left to wonder about many things.

The problem is that if you keep insisting that this boy give you a reason, he's going to start avoiding you. He may not know the reason why, or he might know and not want to tell you because he doesn't want to hurt your feelings. In any case, if you keep insisting that he tell you why, you're going to ruin your friendship.

Sometimes things happen in life and we just have to survive without ever knowing the reason.

If you can date other guys and just maintain your friendship with him despite what he said, I'd suggest you do exactly that, and never mention going out again. My guess is that sooner or later, he'll volunteer to you, as a buddy, why he told you that -- but only if you let him bring up the subject, and that may take years.

Good luck, Dr. Tracy




Dear Dr. Tracy,

I have been seeing this girl four about four months. She is really good friends with her ex-boyfriend. Yesturday she said she was coming over, instead she went to his house and styaed the night. This isn't the first time. She promised me she was not having an affair with him. But everything seems to lead to that. She doesn't tell me when she goes to his house, she says that he is getting married, but i've never even seen his fiance and she is supposed to live in town. and last night she didn't call me to tell me she wasn't coming over or anything. I felt stood up. I've caught her in a couple of lies, like she said she had a new job when she didn't, etc. I've decided to breakup with her. I think that is the wisest thing, I don't know. She also hasn't even called me today (it is now 6:00 p.m.). WHAT DO I DO Please help I need someone to talk to. Thank you.

Dear concerned Boyfriend,

You have a right to worry. There's an old saying: If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it's probably a duck. And if your girlfriend lies to you, spends the night with another guy, and stands you up, she's probably having an affair.

The important question here is your self-respect and how damaged it'll become if you stay in a relationship where your partner obviously has so little respect for you. A woman who stands you up, doesn't call when she says she will, and spends the night with her ex doesn't deserve a nice guy like you.

Break up with her like you said you would. Of course that's the wisest decision; there's nothing else you can do. If you stay with her, she's sure to treat you even worse in the future. Your self-esteem will be destroyed and she'll continue to walk all over you. Do yourself a favor and read "When To Get Out" in my Library.

Finally, stop sitting by the phone waiting for her to call. You're suffering while she's out having fun. That makes no sense at all. Go out and find a new girlfriend and don't put up with that kind of bad behavior ever again. When you let a woman get away with standing you up, you don't do yourself any good. She just thinks, "Oh well, he's a wuss, I can do whatever I want with him." Women are always turned off by men they don't respect.

Wishing you a better love,

Dr. Tracy




Dear Dr. Tracy,

I have been with my boyfriend since high school, I guess you can say we are high school sweethearts. I am now 33 yrs. old, and he is 34 yrs. old. He is everything that I could ever want and need in a man. We have discussed marriage, he even put an engagement ring on layaway. He took me to the jewelers to get my reaction on the ring, and when he asked me what I thought about it, I replied it was nice. He felt that I didn't like it and lost the ring, they eventually sold it to someone else because it sat in the jewelers. He then suggested I go down to the diamond district in Manhattan to look at a ring, because a friend of his referred him to a guy who owned a jewelery store. When I finally decided on a ring that I liked, he couldn't get it because he had to pay his attorney, who he said was pressuring him. We also had decided on a date, and he told me that his mother at the time was going through financial difficulties and we couldn't get married then.

Basically, he has been postponing our marriage for years. When I ask him does he want to marry me, he says that he does, he just can't give me a date. We had decided to get married before all of our friends, and now our friends have all married, and we still have not. I am tired of waiting around for a man who doesn't seem to know when he can committ to marriage. I truly have invested a lot of years with this man, and we have grown together, and I love him deeply. What should I do?

Dear high school sweetheart,

By my count you've been hanging around for 15 years waiting for this guy to marry you. It's never going to happen if you just keep going along. It's time to set a deadline and give him an absolute ultimatum. "If we don't set a date and get married by (insert a date like the end of this month), then we're through."

You may actually have to leave him and cut him out of your life to make him realize you mean business. This is no longer an issue of whether you have a ring or not, it's about your life and whether you're going to actually have one or spend it waiting for this turkey.

Forget about the ring. It's not important. What is important is that you get married, immediately. You could even forget the big wedding and just elope. You could go to the Justice of the Peace on your lunch hour. Rings and big weddings don't make a marriage, commitment does. You've been settling for excuses for too long. It's time to take your life into your own hands and do something instead of waiting around for him to get his act together.

If you leave him, he'll be shocked, and he'll realize how lonely life is without you. If you don't, he'll continue with excuses until you're old and gray and life has passed you by.

Make a stand!

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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