"Ask Dr. Tracy"

11/26/2000 Advice Column


Is He Interested?
Torn Between Two Lovers
Coming Out




Is He Interested?

Dear Dr. Tracy,

I'm in a relationship with a guy right now. I thought it was serious , but now he ignores me...Everytime i call and leave a message he never calls me back. He doesn't kiss me anymore... Do you think he is trying to say it's over?????? Or is he seeing another girl??? HELP!

In need of advise

Dear In Need of Advice,

What kind of message does a guy have to send you to tell you it's not serious? The fact that he doesn't want to kiss you anymore is the least of it. He doesn't even want to talk to you!

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.

Good luck,

Dr. Tracy




Torn Between Two Lovers

Dear Dr. Tracy,

I know my problem is not a unique one. However, I am seriously stressing over the "right" thing to do.

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?

Dear Torn,

There are lots of reasons that you shouldn't choose Chad. Most important is that he makes you feel bad about yourself. When you're in a healthy relationship, you should feel good about yourself. Then there are all those other reasons - he is emotionally unavailable, and not likely to change. He won't communicate. You and he have vast differences.

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 luck,

Dr. Tracy




Coming Out

Dear Dr. Tracy,

My partner and I have been in a lesbian relationship for about 2 years and now she is scared that her children will find out and disown her. She says she loves me but now has mixed emotions and needs some time. It's been 3 months now and I told her last night that if she doesn't know by now she never will. She doesn't agree and says she needs more time. We have always kept our relationship in the closet but I feel like I need to try and put this behind me because I don't feel like we have any future together. Thank you

Dear Hiding Out,

When you live a life that's a lie, you eventually feel bad about yourself. You are not authentic with anyone, most of all yourself. When you feel so terrible about your life that you can't let anyone know who you really are, then it's natural to resent the life you've chosen and the person you're living it with.

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.

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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