Dr. Tracy's Advice Column

Cartoon Kiss


Crazy for Cousin
Asking Him
Online Boyfriend

Crazy for Cousin

Dear Dr. Tracy,

I am married for 20 years and have 2 children. When I was dating my husband, we used to hang out with his cousin alot (male). We got along great.

Deep inside I had feelings for my husbands cousin but never let on. As years have gone by we see each other maybe every two years at a family gathering.

He got married about 3 years ago to a woman a liitle older then him who talks like a truck driver. Not his type at all.

I saw him last week at a family reunion. He comes over and gives me a hug a twirls me around like I was the love of his life and he introduces me to his wife saying this is the love of my life.

I was taken back. They left the party pretty fast, I didn't even get a chance to talk to him. I thought of him all week. On Thursday, I called him at work (he is a funeral director) I wanted to feel him out. I said hi, this is Maria, I asked him if he could talk? he said yes. I then proceeded to say I didn't even get to tallk to you at the party. He said it was nice seeing everyone. He then asked me for my work number and said he had to go.

I know it has been only a few days, But, I am making myself crazy over this man. He is all I have been thinking about. Everytime the phone rings at work my heart stops. I feel like a teenager all over again.

Can I give him another call? Should I just sit tight and see if he calls me? Should I just forget him and try to get over him?

Dear Crazy,

Just because you have the hots for someone doesn't mean that it's right or that you deserve to have him.

You're thinking back to the time 20 years ago when you were just dating your husband, and you're longing to be the person you were then -- flirtatious, young, and sexy to all men - even your husband's cousin.

I'm sure that he too remembers those times fondly, but that doesn't mean he's seriously interested in you beyond a friendship. He's married, whether you think his wife talks like a truck driver or not, or is "his type" or not. She has him and you don't.

So he twirled you around. But if you thought he was saying you were the love of his life, I suspect you misunderstood. He was most likely saying his new wife is the love of his life -- or at least if he had a speck of sense, that's what he meant.

If that's not what he meant, then no wonder they left the party fast. His wife was probably furious. If he did mean his wife was the love of his life, he still probably had to go home and explain why he twirled you around and talked about the love of his life in an ambiguous way.

In any case, you called him at work and tried to get cozy and he didn't take the bait. He asked you for your work number, and if you're smart, when and if he calls you'll tell him you liked seeing him too. Period. Don't take it another step further. You really don't want to break up your marriage of 20 years, do you? Fooling around with your husband's cousin would risk losing your marriage. Don't be a fool.

You're not a teenager. You have a lot to lose here and many people could get hurt. You should definitely NOT give him another call. You should absolutely forget him and try to get over him. If you need excitement in your life, take up sky diving. It's safer than fooling with your husband's cousin.

Good luck,

Dr. Tracy

Asking Him

Dear Dr. Tracy,

I am 24 years old and totally in love with my boyfriend. We've been living together and have discussed marriage as a part of our future. I believe that some day, probebly not too long from now he will ask me to marry him, but I've been writing a poem for him and want to ask him to marry me when we go away on a romamtic cruise this fall. Would it be wrong for me to buy him a ring and pop the question?

Dear Wanna-be Bride,

Your relationship sounds just great, and since you're totally in love, why not relax and enjoy it? The part of the relationship you're in now is the most exciting, the most delicious, the sexiest, the very best. You have everything to look forward to. Why rush things?

Sit back and enjoy anticipating the future. Let him have the pleasure of asking you when he's ready. If you ask him, you'll never know if he would have done it on his own. You're already living together and you've discussed marriage as a part of your future, but that doesn't mean that he's ready or that you should pop the question.

There's nothing wrong with writing a romantic poem, there's nothing wrong with letting him know that you feel ready to be with him forever, but there is something wrong with your buying the ring and popping the question.

How do you know he's not planning on buying a ring and popping the question on the cruise? You say that he's going to ask you to marry him in the near future. I say that since he's moving toward marriage, you should let him have the fun of popping the question himself. After all, he may have some great romantic question-popping scene planned, and you wouldn't want to ruin his plans.

Buying rings is usually done together so that the couple begins to make decisions mutually. Sometimes the man buys the ring and surprises the woman, but even then, the ring buying usually follows some ring shopping.

Moving a man toward marriage is done gently and sensitively. Before you think about popping the question and buying him a ring, take him window shopping at some jewelry stores. At least talk about what you mutually would like to have for wedding rings "when the time comes."

Then you'll get an idea of how ready he really is. If he balks and refuses to look at rings, you'll know that the time is not right. If he happily goes shopping with you for rings, then you'll know that he's serious about it and you could get a ring at any time.

Good luck,

Dr. Tracy

Online Boyfriend

Dear Dr. Tracy,

Hello, the situation is as follows: Whether or not you agree with me, I have what one might call an on-line boyfriend. He lives six hours away from me and we talk on the phone once in a while. Recently, though one of my friends, I met her boyfriend and his best friend, who I'm guessing took an instant liking to me.. don't know why.. just did.. but anyway, he gave me a kiss before I left to go home saying he did it because he thought he'd never see me again.

But to the point now.. I don't know what to do. The guy that lives 6 hours away from me and I have been together for over a year.. and he's telling me that I should try to go for the one I just recently met, because it's an in-person type of thing.

I'm very confused right now and just don't know what to do. I love the on-line boyfriend with all my heart (however that's possible when I haven't seen him), but it hurts me a lot because he's so far away and I don't talk to him all that much. I guess you could say I like the guy I recently met, but I don't know how well things would develop between us.

Please help me? Thanks for trying, or at least looking at this letter.

Dear Confused,

You say you're very confused, and you're right. You're confusing an email and telephone relationship with a real one.

You say you've had a boyfriend for a year. But you haven't had a boyfriend. You've had an email and telephone friend. A boyfriend is there for you. He holds your hand. He takes you out. You can depend on him to take you out on Saturday night and New Year's Eve. A boyfriend is someone you can call if your car breaks down, and he'll come and get you. A boyfriend will feed your cat if you're away and give you his shoulder to cry on when things are tough.

And best of all, a boyfriend kisses you and means it.

It's very telling that your email friend told you to go out with the "in person" boyfriend. That means he's thinking of you, and wants you to be happy, but not with him.

You've never even met this email boyfriend. He doesn't even call you as often as you'd like, and you're not really happy and fulfilled in this "online love." You are having an imaginary relationship. You're imagining what he's really like and what it would be like to be with him. You may be using this imaginary relationship to avoid having a real "in person" relationship and all the joys and difficulties that involves.

Real relationships are always iffy. You're taking a chance when you face the reality of an "in person" relationship. But if you get a good one, it's worth the risk. There are no guarantees in life or in love, but one thing is for sure, if you don't try you'll never know. So give the guy who's there a chance.

Good luck,

Dr. Tracy

Submitting a Question to this column

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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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