11/26/2000 Advice Column
In need of advise
Men usually don't tell you "It's over." They're usually too chicken to say the words. They hate scenes and don't want to make you cry and have to deal with you being upset. So instead of telling you in words, they tell you in actions. Like your guy, they tell you it's over by not returning your calls, by ignoring you, or by simply being unavailable. Or they suddenly get critical and don't like anything about you, or they get downright nasty, hoping you'll leave them and save them from having to tell you it's over.
On the other hand, when a guy likes you, it's easy to tell. He wants to be with you all the time. He can't get enough of you. He calls you, he can't keep his hands off you when he's with you. He wants to be as close to you as possible. He makes dates ahead of time and keeps them. He shows up on time and always returns your calls. He doesn't look at other women when he's out with you and he gives you his full attention when he's with you. He remembers your birthday and sends you romantic cards. He makes plans for your future together.
If a man doesn't show the signs that he's interested, really interested, move on. Don't waste your time calling him or hoping to change his mind. Figure you're just not his type and don't fight it. It's always easier to land a guy who thinks you're wonderful and exactly what he's looking for than one who's lukewarm or even cold.
I have been dating "Chad" for almost nine months. We have a decent relationship despite our very vast differences. He is a good guy, although for the most part he is emotionally closed off and unable to communicate well. I care very much about him, but since I have been with him, my self esteem has dwindled to almost zero.
Enter "Craig," my ex-boyfriend turned best friend. We were together for a year and a half. While our relationship could be characterized as rocky, we had a good time together and shared many things in common, including our future goals. I had thought that part of our relationship over, but in the past few weeks, we both have had a hard time denying that there isn't anything else still there. Obviously there is. In trying to decide what I should do, I wrote out a list depicting what I liked and disliked about each guy. TO my surprise, Craigs list was by far better than Chads. I have been agonizing over this for weeks. I love Chad and think he is agreat guy, but there is no question that I feel better about myself when I am with Craig, not to mention our relationship has better communication. What do I do?
Although Craig seems like a good bet - you can communicate, he's emotionally available, and you and he have the same future dreams - there are also reasons why you shouldn't be with him either. You and Craig had a chance together. But for a year and a half you and he had a rocky relationship, and then you broke up. When you've been with someone and had problems, chances are very good that the same old problems will still be there when you get together again. Things with Craig may seem great in contrast to the more unresponsive Chad, but that doesn't necessarily mean he's the man for you either.
Forget about both of these guys and start fresh with someone new. Find someone who's a good guy like Chad, but who can communicate with you the way Craig does. Hold out for a relationship that's happy, not rocky, and makes you feel good about yourself. Believe me, good relationships are possible. Don't think you have to settle for either of these guys just because they're there. Look around and you'll find someone who will fulfill your dreams.
Good self-esteem and true happiness can only be achieved by owning up to who you are. As long as your partner is afraid that her children will find out about her sexual identity, she will in essence be saying, "Who I am is not good enough, not loveable enough and not acceptable."
I wouldn't be surprised if her children already knew and just pretend they don't to go along with the gag. In any case, it's time to come out of the closet. If your partner's children already know, they'll be relieved. If they don't, it's time they did. If your partner can't see her way clear to set a date to tell, then suggest she see a therapist to help her find the strength to come clean.
Don't agree to enable her deception endlessly. Tell her you'll give her until a certain date, say, January 15 or whenever you think would be reasonable for you to wait. Tell her you and she can tell them together if she'd like. Assure her of your love and support, but let her know that your patience isn't everlasting. Remember, this charade can only continue as long as you agree to go along with it.
Dr. Tracy says, "Is your question urgent? Many of the most beseeching, desperate messages I get are not answered in this column because the answer is just a couple of clicks away in my Love Library. Have you tried my Love Library? I know that nobody goes to libraries anymore, but check this one out -- it's so easily searchable that it's fun and easy to use!"
If you can't find your answer in the Library and you feel you MUST have an answer, you can get a personal answer from Dr. Tracy within two business days by availing yourself of her inexpensive private counseling.
You may submit your question to Dr.Tracy's column by e-mail here. (Tips: to increase your chances of having your question chosen, state your age and your marital history, and remember to use paragraph breaks so that your question isn't just one big, hard-to-read clump of words. Also, questions in all caps won't be answered.)