Dr. Tracy's Advice Column

Cartoon Kiss


To Tell Or Not To Tell
When Things Get Strange
Mistress at Xmas

To Tell Or Not To Tell

Dear Dr. Tracy,

I have been with my current boyfriend for 8 months now. He is my first proper boyfriend, and we are very close. We practically live together, we get on with each others families and so on. A few months ago, I realised that we were going through a rough patch, as I was having confusing feelings about my best male friend.

He and I always had a sort of 'will they, won't they' relationship, but always remained best friends. I noticed that when I got together with my boyfriend, we drifted apart. This upset me a lot, and I wondered if I had made the right choice.

Then, very suddenly, my best friend had to move to Scotland. I live in the south of England, and this was a big shock. Things came to a head, and on his leaving night, when he walked me home, we kissed each other a couple of times.

We both agreed that maybe we should have got together a long time ago, but it hadn't happened that way, and left on good terms. I realised that I love my boyfriend very much, and had in fact chosen him over my best friend so many times without realising it.

Now I feel like an awful person for kissing someone else, and wonder if it would be better to tell my boyfriend or keep it to myself? I don't want to hurt him - his last girlfriend slept with two other guys behind his back - and if I lost him over this I don't know what I'd do. He's a wonderful man and I was so stupid not to see that the 'rough patch' we were going through was just the getting used to a relationship type of thing.

Please help,

Dear Feeling Awful,

Confession may be good for your soul, but in this case, it's probably going to be terrible for your relationship. Actually, I'm wondering why you're even considering it. Could it be that you're not as committed to your boyfriend as you would like to be, and you're looking for a way out?

If you tell him, to ease your conscience, you will obviously hurt him. No man wants to hear that his girlfriend was kissing someone else, old friend or not. He'll worry that you're just like his last girlfriend who cheated on him by sleeping with other guys behind his back.

Even if your kiss confession doesn't totally destroy your relationship, it's sure to set you back. Your boyfriend will have to learn to trust you all over again and may wonder what else you've done that you didn't tell him about.

In this case, you didn't really do very much. Okay, you kissed, and maybe you had lust in your heart, but you didn't have real sex and nobody would call kissing crossing the line. So for now, take this as a lesson and learn not to kiss unless you mean it.

Whatever you do, don't kiss and tell. If you feel bad about your behavior, you'll just have to suffer. But don't make your boyfriend suffer too. When you're finished feeling like an awful person, forgive yourself and promise never to do that again. Do something nice for your boyfriend today.

Good luck,

Dr. Tracy

When Things Get Strange

Dear Dr. Tracy,

I am a single, 30 year old female who has been dating a male co-worker of the same age, “Jay” for the past 7 months. It took us a few months of us being friends to start dating as we are both extremely shy and introverted. But, finally Jay asked me out.

At first, things were pretty good, even though we live 40 miles apart and I do not have a car. We generally saw each other a few times during the week and spent almost every weekend together. I felt we got along quite well and had many similar interests, although even initially I felt he had difficulty opening up and sharing his feelings. I think he has only dated two other people in his whole life. He is not very close with his family and is very uncomfortable talking about personal matters.

But a few months on, things started to get a bit strange, in more ways than one.

He bought a very expensive new car and became totally unwilling to drive it in to the city (where I live) since he felt it would probably get scratched on the street. Therefore, he would not come to see me anymore on the weekends but we still had lunch outside of work a few times a week. However, a few times after he got his car, he would show up unannounced and surprise me at my apartment (but only with the old car).

He then was involved in a car accident and was seriously injured. He is OK now but still in pain three months later. Which brings me up to the present -- I have not seen him socially or on a “date” in over three months. I see him at work, and we talk on the phone or over email every day, but it is not the same as being alone together.

I have made many offers to take the train out to visit him, but he says no due to the fact that he lives at home with his parents. I have asked him if we could go out to lunch together at work, but he says no due to the fact that he doesn’t want to limp around in public. (But the really weird thing is that he apparently has no qualms about going out to various stores alone on the weekends near where he lives.) I even had a car for one week and asked if he would like to go to dinner and I would drive, and he said that he’d like to, but had to go home to take care of his new kitten.

He has admitted that his injuries have made him emotionally unstable, but am I also being taken for a ride? I feel like he has time for everything but me. I have asked him if he is still interested in me and he has said yes but his actions speak otherwise, as far as I am concerned. Am I being blind?

Signed, Taken for a ride

Dear Taken For A Ride,

You need to learn about the "tummy test." That means that when something makes you feel strange in the pit of your stomach, it's time to put your mind in gear and review the situation.

You hooked up with an extremely shy and introverted guy and admit you're shy and introverted too. Now, if he had some dating experience, things might be different. But he's inexperienced, uncomfortable talking about personal matters, doesn't like to share his feelings, and has only dated two other people. He has no idea how to act in a relationship. It's possible that he's not particularly interested in the opposite sex.

One thing is sure, he has decided that caring for his expensive new car is more important than his desire to see you. He's also decided that taking care of his new kitten comes ahead of you too.

You're a fool to wait around for him. He's made everything in his life more important than you. Stop talking to him on the phone. Stop emailing him. You're being taken for a ride by a guy who can buy an expensive car but still lives at home with his parents. That alone should put you on red alert. Whatever makes you think this guy is eligible?

He has an excuse for not seeing you that is hardly believable, and you wonder what's going on. You should be listening to the feeling in your tummy that tells you something is seriously wrong with this guy, and it's not because he had an automobile accident.

When a man is really interested in you, he wants to be with you. He doesn't make up feeble excuses about why he can't see you.

If you're smart, your next email to him will be about the new guy in your life. Drop this one without another thought. He sounds to me like one of those guys who just wants someone to write emails to and to talk to on the phone, but can never have a real relationship.

Good luck,

Dr. Tracy

Mistress at Xmas

Dear Dr. Tracy,

I'm really not sure if I've come to right place but have a question (many actually but only 1 today) that pertains to this dificult time of the year.

I am the Mistress of a very wealthy and generous business man. We've been seeing eachother for approx 12 month's and in this time he has spent an absolute fortune to secure our ongoing "agreement". We have gotten to know each other quite well and I believe we have a general regard for one another. I believe we have become friends.

My problem is that it is coming up to Christmas and his birthday shortly afterward and I feel it's approprite to acknowledge this in some way. How or what do I give somebody who isn't able to take anything home or keep anything I give him? Not to mention, he certainly does not want for anything given his finacial situation. This man has a wife of 24 years and grown children. What can I do to at least not let Christmas and his birthday go unoticed.

I know it may sound trivial, but it's not to me. I've spent so long trying to come up with an answer, I've turned to you in the hope that you can help.

Kindest Regards, Mistress S.

Dear Mistress,

Being the recipient of all the gifts and dollars that your wealthy and generous businessman showered on you all year long means that you do indeed have to reciprocate on his birthday or on a special holiday like Christmas. Given that he has everything he wants, can't take anything home and doesn't want to keep anything you give him for fear of being caught, you have to think of something experiential rather than material.

Now I'm sure that his generosity has already procured all the wonderful sexual toys and activities you can think of, but if there is something he hasn't had, Christmas or his birthday would be the time to confer it on him. You have to be creative here and give him something wonderful that shows you appreciate him, have given it lots of thought, and have spent lots of time, not money on it.

I have a close friend who became the mistress of a very wealthy man. Actually, he was so wealthy that he had several mistresses, all of whom were friendly and worked out "the schedule" with each other. The women couldn't give him normal presents since he already had everything and more, so they brainstormed and worked together to entertain him. On one of his birthdays, for instance, they put on a belly dancing party, complete with Mediterranean food, Arabian nights décor, and a couple of hired belly dancers.

When their wealthy benefactor arrived at the party, they dressed him in a long Arabian gown and seated him at a place of honor. His mistresses were all dressed in belly dancing outfits for the occasion, as were a few of their attractive female friends who came out of sheer curiosity. They all fussed over him and gave him a great afternoon. He felt like the pasha in a harem.

I'm sure if you put your mind to it, you can come up with something entertaining for your friend.

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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