"Ask Dr. Tracy"

10/10/99 Advice Column


Love With a Younger Man
Online Lies
More Interracial Problems




Dear Dr. Tracy,

I'am 54 and just broke up a 10-year relationship with a younger man. And he now has a girl friend (28) he's 45. We have been broke up for 1 year or so. But now he has this girl friend and it bothers me and I don't know why. I know I have to get over him and I was ok until I found out he had someone else. Do most women do this or is something wrong with me. I should of got out a long time ago. I know I need to get on with my life and seem to be having a rough time doing it now..Please help me with a anwser to this.

Dear Bothered,

You're not alone. Most people are upset when their ex's find someone new. Even if you had broken up with a man your own age, you'd be upset when he found someone new.

So why does it bother you, now that you've been separated that long? Because you imagine the new woman has found the man you always wanted him to be.

You don't think that she'll have the same problems with him that you had. You think that now he'll be the sweet, considerate, wonderful, perfect guy you always knew was in there somewhere - and that the new woman in his life will get it all.

Well, believe me, he'll be the same as he always was. He won't turn into Mr. Perfect. She'll find he has the same things wrong with him that you found were wrong. If he was critical with you, he'll be critical with her. If he was unkind to you, he'll be unkind to her. If he drank, he'll still drink. If he couldn't hold a job, he still won't hold a job.

Stop imagining him always at his best with her -- being wonderful to her -- and begin picturing him at his typical worst with her (surely you saw something of his bad side during 10 years). Instead of imagining her in ecstasy over him, imagine her trying to deal with his most annoying behaviors. Because that's what's really going on.

Now that you've had the pleasures of a younger man for ten years, why not try a nice guy your own age, or even older. As my grandmother always said, "It's better to be an old man's darling than a young man's fool."

Good luck,

Dr. Tracy




Dear Dr. Tracy,

Dr. Tracy, I've read some of your archived Q&As and have a problem of my own.

Almost five years ago, I met a guy online and we talked online for a while and after a few months, I called him and we had a great time on the phone, but I never seriously thought that anything would come of it because I'm in America and he's in Britain.

When he asked for a picture, I was afraid that he would stop talking to me if he saw how heavy I am, so I at first told him I'd sent one and that it must have gotten lost in the mail or something. Then, he kept pressing and I ended up sending him a picture of a friend of mine who I kind of resemble, but who's not quite as heavy as I am. She's overweight, too, but not as much as I am, and because I didn't think we'd talk long or ever consider meeting, I didn't think it mattered.

Well, the joke's on me and I'm not sure how I should go about letting him know the truth. I went over there this year, but didn't see him for whatever reason (I sent him a letter letting him know that I was coming because we'd gotten into an argument and stopped speaking, but I still wanted him to know I was going to be over there). Now that we've started speaking again, he tells me that he really regrets not coming down while I was over there.

I feel terribly because I've been completely honest about every other facet of myself and feel that he's been completely honest as well because I know how important honesty is to him. We get along really great on the phone and are very supportive of one another and our goals and I honestly think that we could have a great relationship, but I also know that the original lie may be enough to destroy everything and that's what I'm terrified of.

I plan to go back over this winter and am thinking that it may be easier to just go and talk to him about the lie face to face because once I tell him over the phone that it's a lie, he may not believe that any other picture I send of myself is real.

Do you have any advice for what I can do to tell him the truth nd not have him thinking that everyone else from online is a liar? Do you think there's a chance that he could forgive me or that maybe he's hiding something, too, and that's why he didn't come down after i'd flown 4K miles, even though the trip was not specifically to see him?

Dear Online Liar,

I'd say there's very little to lose in this online "friendship." From your end, it's based on a major deceit. You didn't just tell him you're thirty pounds lighter than you are, or send him an old photo -- you sent him a photo of a whole different woman! That's enough of a mess, but the situation is even worse.

If your online British cutie really was interested in you after 5 years of e-mails, he'd have shown up to see you in England, argument or not. Apparently he's hiding something on his end, too. If he gave you his "home" phone number and is actually there when you call, maybe he's not married or incarcerated, but who knows what his secret is? All you can know for sure is that he's willing to spend a little time stringing you along with e-mails and phone calls.

Some guys just give great phone and great email, but they're never able to relate in person. That could be his story.

The very last thing that you should do is go back to England. You'd be chasing a guy you don't know, who's halfway around the world, under false pretenses. (Winter's not a fun time to be in England, anyway.) This "friendship" is pretty much a write-off, but if you want to give it one last chance, 'fess up, send him an accurate photo, and let the chips fall where they may.

Meanwhile, wake up to the fact that your life is going by while you hide your overweight condition behind a computer. If you want a real life and a real relationship, either lose weight or start honestly looking for guys who like fat chicks (yes, they're out there).

Good luck,

Dr. Tracy




Dear Dr. Tracy,

I will try to get to the point, I am dating a Korean girl. She has been in the country for a year now. She is here to learn english and doing very well. I met her through a friend. She is very sweet and courteous, pleasant, understanding, pretty and fun to be with. But I have a mental block. I wonder how far the relationship can go because I am always contemplating the idea that I want american children, not asian tainted children. I am 30 now and the idea of marriage is very real to me. If it wasnt for the children thing I would consider taking that extra step. She really likes me alot, and I could tell she wants to take that extra step. I dont want to hurt her feeling, and I feel like I am abandoning her if I steer away.

By the way I am afraid of commitment so I might be making excuses. Also since she is not an american citzen, I'm afraid she is just looking for a husband - I had to say it because I know your thinking it.

Well thats it in a nut shell, dont want to ramble on. Can you offer any advice? Can you refer me to a libarary of inter-ratial offspring so I could see what some might look like?

Eager for you help

Dear Bigot in Disguise,

I can't believe you are really so callous as to date a woman against whom you have deep-rooted racial antagonism. If you are so bothered by the idea that you could have children that look Korean, you have no business at all dating a Korean woman.

From your viewpoint, one way to keep away from commitment is to date someone you wouldn't consider marrying, but that's terribly unfair and hurtful to your lady friend. Of course she wants to get married. Almost all women, Korean or otherwise, start to think of marriage as dating goes on. That's how things work. People date, they fall in love, they marry, they have children.

It's time to be honest with yourself and with the woman you're dating. If you think your "American" racial makeup would be "tainted" by Korean blood, you should look around. America is a rainbow of colors. All Americans came from somewhere else. That's the heritage of our great country.

I don't know of any "library of interracial offspring," but I do know that some of the most beautiful babies I've ever seen are Korean babies. You should know that some couples in the United States go to great lengths to adopt Korean babies because they consider them both smart and beautiful.

I suggest that if you are serious about this woman, you get some counseling to get over your bigoted attitude. Also find some other American Korean couples. Meet their children. If you still don't feel good about having a part Korean baby, give the woman you're dating a break. Leave her so that she can find someone who will appreciate her special qualities and the children she might have.

Good luck,

Dr. Tracy





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