Burger King Beau DEAR SUSAN: I have sexual feelings for my boyfriend, but it's usually when we're apart. I get that rush of lovey feelings when I'm at work or driving to the store; I think of him and how he makes me feel good about myself. More than that, I love …Read more. The End of Love The last scene of a once-wondrous romance isn't pretty. The pain is something I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy. Yes, I was dumped by the man who helped jump-start my work life but did me dirty in the realm of love. Looking back, I can realize the …Read more. No-Fun Games DEAR SUSAN: I agree that the timing of a phone call is just the beginning of game playing that women use with men. I'd like to expose some of the more serious games they play — games that they may think are cute but that in reality are stupid …Read more. Entanglements DEAR SUSAN: It's hard to believe I'm actually writing this letter! I live in a tight community, and it seems as if there's no one to honestly communicate with regarding my predicament — so here I am, asking for your advice. I'm 17, but through …Read more.more articles
Back in the Dating World
DEAR SUSAN: I've been sucked back into the dating world after being celibate for a long time and feeling so confident in myself and my unmarried status. I recently fell for a man I thought was perfect. Yesterday I realized he isn't. In fact, he's a real jerk, and I feel foolish for sleeping with him and not thinking about the emotional consequences. I'm sad and heartbroken, and I haven't felt like this in years; it's a horrible feeling. I wish I had the emotional strength to feel happy again. I wrote you originally about possibly regretting staying out of the dating world. So when I met this man — a brother of a friend of mine — by chance and he showed interest in me, I gave in to my feelings. He was quite charming and, I thought, intelligent and attentive. It now seems that after sleeping with me a few times, he's no longer interested. And me? I feel I'm in love. He didn't lie to me or make any promises; he just strongly enjoys life as a bachelor and wants the freedom to meet and date other women. That's the way I used to feel, but now I miss him and feel used and angry because he doesn't seem to care about me the way I care for him. I desperately need your advice and words of wisdom. How can I get over this and move on with my life? — From the "Single File" blog
DEAR BLOGGER: Weep. Cry into your pillow; pound the mattress with your fists; call this man every name in the book. (How could you have fallen in love with such a nothing?) When you've had enough of that, put on your loveliest nightgown and make yourself a lovely pot of tea. At the kitchen table, sit down with a pad and pen. Your assignment — should you choose to accept it — is to get yourself out of the doldrums by looking at this fellow as he is. Ready? First, list the reasons you stayed away from the dating game. (Kind of fun to read them again, no?) Then describe the confident feeling you had during that period and the creativity it inspired. Then write a (short) paragraph about the reasons you believed this man was worth dating. Do you remember things he said? And things you said? Write them down. (No tears, please, but maybe a chuckle or two.) What did he say the last time you were together? How did he turn off the spigot? What was your reaction to his parting words? Why are you angry with him? He never led you on, did he?
You seem to have built your castle in the air all by yourself.
DEAR SUSAN: I'm 56, out of a 34-year marriage, exclusively dating a 52-year-old woman who has been single for 20 years, after a brief marriage, and has two college-age children. I know you have zero tolerance for sex at home when the children are on the premises. But she's allowed her daughter to bring home two different boyfriends for overnight visits, in the bedroom next to hers. She says that she feels ashamed about this but that if she knew she would be spending the rest of her life with me, it might be different. She also says her kids wouldn't have a problem with our sleeping together when they're at home.
But the real problem, in my view, is her relationship with her children. She's said she feels she must be a buffer between them and me, just as she was with her dysfunctional (and eventually divorced) parents, and that creates a lot of pressure on her. Really, the kids and I are just fine with each other; we need no buffer. Her almost obsessive need to nurture and protect her daughter while hiding the truth about sexual intimacy with me is driving me crazy. Is this a zero-tolerance zone and I just don't get it? Can you make sense of this or suggest the kind of help needed so that we are happier than we are now? — From the "Single File" blog
DEAR BLOGGER: From afar — and going by the facts as you see them, I get impressions. Your lady seems to be overprotective of her daughter because she herself got the full brunt of her parents' craziness. Her issue about sex with you is laced with guilt and conflict, and it certainly needs resolution before you advance this relationship one step more. The family seems so interlaced with problems; no wonder the situation is making everyone concerned anxious. If you and your girlfriend truly want to create a calm emotional climate for everyone involved, I strongly suggest interviewing a few therapists (together). Talk it over with your lady. It's an important decision, the first of several you will confer about. But I'm certain that even the preliminary decision of choosing the therapist you most trust and respect will bring the two of you closer. This can be an exciting, hopeful time for the two of you. Starting the journey of self-discovery is the most exhilarating adventure at whatever age or stage, a far better investment than a trip around the world. Bon voyage.
Have a question for Susan? You can reach her directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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