Dr. Tracy's Advice Column

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Rich Guys are Different
Mistress to Wife
Meeting the Family

Rich Guys are Different

Dear Dr. Tracy,

I have had this strange little dance with Mr. Forbes 400 as I'll call him, for around 10 years now. Mr. 400 is from an extremely wealthy family who's last name is known world wide, heir to a blue chip company that bears his family name, the most desired bachelor in the city I live in and has women swarming at him everywhere he goes.

We have mutual friends, he knows me by name and he has had normal calm conversations with me during social events. When I say normal calm I mean that most people are so hyped and juiced up to talk to him and we don't talk with each other that way, we talk to each other just calm and normal. He's sees a lot of fakes around him because of his situation. I know that this has affected him some.

He has never asked me out although when I am out in a crowd he will perch himself in a place where he can stare at me continuously. If he is talking with a crowd of people and his back is faced to me, he will turn his head over his shoulder repeatedly to stare and watch me.

One time he requested a table between me and an ongoing sporting event where I was having dinner so I could not avoid looking at him.

Once he starred at me so intensely that I had to leave the place because it started to scare me. He has walked across a crowded rooms to stand five feet from me just so he could glance over at me while showing attention to or kissing an admirer or to dance three feet in front of me all by his self.

A good friend of mine has worked for his company for several years and I have been invited to some of their company events. I once asked her if he was going to attend an event that we were going to. She blurted back at me, "Don't even go there, he likes tall leggy blonde model types, your a short brunette, your not his type forget him!" I told her "Okay, when we get there you just watch and see what happens" Hours later, after the event was over and my girlfriend and I were leaving I said merely "Okaaaay,........." and she interrupted and said "Oh my God! I saw him, I couldn't believe it, does he do that all the time? he was so obvious!"

I have had people who don't know about this whole dance between us, tell me that I remind them of his fiancee from several years ago. People from the company had told me this and once an old high school sweetheart of hers that I met while I was out one night. She was a brunette like me but that's all I know about her.

I think this guy is absolutely gorgeous, intelligent, interesting, multi faceted, has a body to drool over.....If he would only ask, I would love to go out with him. I don't care about his money, a lot of the guys I have dated have had money. That part is all the same to me.

I don't know why he does this yet doesn't ask me out. Some people say he's too shy or scared to but we've had idle chat with each other on several occasions and he seems comfortable to talk with me most of the time although once I did see him act scared and timid around me, looking down to the ground and smiling when he speaks to me.

Some say I should make the first step. I have called him before for matters other than personal so he has had every chance to call but usually his secretary handles everything. I'm afraid if I just ask him out like some people say I should, it might blow it forever. Since this has gone on forever, I would like to see if something is there. Although I don't see him often this has been going on for years.

I have looked all through your library, I mean aaaaaaaall of it, dating back to the beginning. I feel that this situation is a little different from anything Ive seen considering this mans status/lifestyle being figured into the equation. This is something I have been wanting a solid sensible answer to for a long long time, years!

Dear Dancing in the Dark,

You'll continue to do this dance for the next ten years if you're not careful. Mr. 400 has all the women in the world. He's the most desired bachelor in your city. What on earth makes you think that he wouldn't ask you out if he really wanted to?

Rich guys are always worried that women are after their money. That's why they often wind up with very rich women who they don't have to worry about being a gold digger.

The other thing the very rich know how to do is get what they want when they want it. If Mr. 400 really wanted to take you out, he would have arranged to do so long ago. He may stare simply because you look like his ex-wife. In any case, I think you are reading too much into this strange, low-level flirtation. If he wanted to do more than stare, he's had plenty of opportunities, including telling his secretary to put you through to him when you call.

The solid, sensible answer is that you don't have a chance with this guy. He's got all the leggy blondes (and/or short brunettes) he can deal with and more.

But you want closure on this, and I understand that. So how long are you going to wait before you confront him on the staring? At this rate, you'll be old and gray and still wondering when or if he's going to make a move. You say you have "normal calm conversations with him." The next time you do, get right to the point. Say, "Look, other people have noticed you staring at me, so I know I'm not imagining it. If you're interested, let's go out. If not, please stop the staring, because it makes me uncomfortable."

Be smart. Don't let yourself stay suspended in an obsession with some staring man, no matter how gorgeous or rich he is. Either date him or get it behind you and find some nice guy who shows real interest in you, who calls you and asks you out, who really shows that he wants to be with you.

Good luck,

Dr. Tracy

Mistress to Wife

Dear Dr. Tracy,

Do mistresses ever get to be successful wives? My "boyfriend" left his wife of 28 years and stayed with me for a week (she drove over and found him here twice), and she scheduled like an "intervention," his family, friends, etc. all came to his job and emotionally blackmailed him to go back home. As soon as he went home she took to bed vomitting - from prior cancer? from who knows what? and hasn't got out for the last 6 months. She also told him he didn't know what he wanted, that I was a midlife crises, etc. and basically refused to consider that his feelings might be real.

Now, he feels he can't leave a dying wife. He is the most intelligent, compatable man I've ever met. I'm 43 and wasn't looking to get married when I met him, but I would marry him. What is a reasonable length of time to invest in this? Where is a mistress support column?! All I pull up is porn! Thanks for any reply!

Dear Mistress,

It's a long hard road to travel from being a mistress to a wife. Yes, it happens, but rarely and usually painfully. Breaking up a 28-year marriage is not easy and highly unlikely. His wife's history with him, even if it wasn't always happy, means that she has 28 years in the relationship bank to call on. She can appeal to him emotionally, financially, and in ways you haven't even thought of. She knows his weaknesses and strengths as only a wife can know her husband.

You are still young enough to find someone else and have a real relationship. I've known of die-hard mistresses who've waited twenty and thirty years in vain for the man to leave his wife. You certainly don't want to spend your life waiting for him to leave, or for her to die. And there's no guarantee that he'll marry you even if he does leave or she dies. You could be his "transitional woman" only to see him eventually move on to someone who's more acceptable to his friends and family.

There is very little support in our society for mistresses -- in fact, they're hated and feared by all married women. Being the mistress means always spending holidays alone, never being first in his life, getting financial but no emotional support, and sharing all his problems but not the best parts of his life. Once the reality of this sinks in, most women find that the glamorous Hollywood image they've had of being a mistress is totally false, and so mistresses usually don't last very long.

I'd say a reasonable time to invest in this relationship would be 6 months to a year, and I suspect you've already spent that much time. Your guy is too easily swayed and emotionally blackmailed. Does his wife have cancer or not? The doctors should know. If she does, he's probably stuck with her. If not, he's shown that when push comes to shove, he'll go back to his wife with his tail between his legs. So why should you wait any longer?

You could very well be using this relationship to avoid a real commitment with a man who is really available for marriage and the future. Ask yourself what you are getting out of this situation.

There's nothing sadder or lonelier than an old mistress. Get out while you can.

Good luck,

Dr. Tracy

Meeting the Family

Dear Dr. Tracy,

I am a 27 year old Italian/American girl. I am dating a 31 year old Egyptian male. We have dated for 7 months. We both have said I love you, but we waited about four months to say those words. We both had just gotten out of relationships where we were engaged.

Problem: He hasn't introduced me to anyone in his family except for his brother, mom, and dad. I have only seen his parents twice in seven months. I don't know why he doesn't feel comfortable inviting me over to his family get togethers. He tells me that it has to do with his Koptic Orthodox relgion and that when you bring a girl to family's house it means you are going to be married. I think he thinks too much about what other people think.

Help: What would you do and how would you bring this concern up to him? It is driving me crazy and it hurts my feelings.

Help: Why do I feel like I am always putting more into our relationship and all my past relationships too. I wish for once a man would stop worrying about how he will have to change and want to change things so we can do things together.

Sorry if i am not making too much sense. I just thought i would ask, it couldn't hurt to ask...that's what i tell my students.

Dear Hurt,

You really don't have much to complain about. You haven't been dating that long, actually, and your boyfriend has told you he loves you. He has introduced you to his brother, mother and dad. How much family do you need to meet? You've seen his parents twice in seven months - that's more often than most girlfriends see their boyfriends' parents or even than most wives see their in-laws.

Perhaps you are expecting his Egyptian family to act like your Italian one. If so, that's not realistic. His family get-togethers are probably quite different than yours.

What would I do? Nothing. I'd absolutely ignore his family and be happy with the times he had introduced me. Instead of whining and causing problems in my relationship and accusing my boyfriend of not doing the right thing, I'd spend my time with him solidifying the relationship between the two of us.

Stop finding problems and looking for the differences between the two of you and begin to emphasize what's good and what's similar. If you would concentrate on making your relationship wonderful instead of looking for problems, you might wind up as the woman he takes home and presents as his future wife. Stop trying to change him, and accept him. Men love women who accept them and appreciate them the way they are.

If you always feel like you are putting more into relationships than you are getting back, the solution, for this one, is to stop putting so much effort into changing him and just enjoy him.

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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