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Parallax - Advice            April 17, 2000


   Wayward men sing the blues...

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This week our never-shy SHE-HE duo confronts love on the rocks. And it seems wayward men are singing all the blue notes - again. Is it just us, or do men always find a way to ignore precedent, history, movies and TV, and bungle their way into these ageless dilemmas? Plus, a bonus track: man and woman share their views on the predicament of facing the youthful dating scene when you have the Big D dragging behind you.


He cheated, lost her, and wants her back.
Can he 'buy' her love, or does he have to earn it?
 Date: 04/17/00

'I just want a fling, that's all...'
The words every woman wants to hear, or - too much brutal honesty?
 Date: 04/17/00

She's only 26, dating and... divorced.
Should she tell, or will it scare them away?
 Date: 04/17/00

Stuck in girlfriend confusion.
Is he really in love with two different women, or suffering from self-delusion?
 Date: 04/17/00

An innocent work-date blows up in his face...
But is there more to his wife's outraged reaction?
 Date: 04/17/00

From prior weeks...

Woman vs. Girl.
Proper respect vs. crass sexism, or Mature and wily vs. innocent and exciting?
 Date: 04/10/00

Happiness struck when she least expected it.
Does this call for self-flagellation, or is the situation not so dire?
 Date: 04/10/00

Personal ads in cyberspace:
The cure for superficial bar talk! A miracle waiting to happen! Yee-haw!
 Date: 04/10/00

He's very elusive of late, she never sees him.
She thinks he might be cheating. Innocent or guilty?
 Date: 04/10/00

She's close to being borderline obsessed.
Only a crush, or a prime excuse for exquisite drama?
 Date: 04/10/00

Boyfriend is a born-again liar.
Should she take the highroad or hunker down and help him out?
 Date: 04/03/00

Dream-lady's cat throws him into asthma fits.
Simple case of allergy medication, or woman-cat-man love triangle?
 Date: 04/03/00

Is there a simple rule about which color rose for what occasion?
Or is a rose is a rose is a rose?
 Date: 04/03/00

He keeps calling and calling, he just doesn't get it...
Should she let him down easy or yank out the plug?
 Date: 04/03/00

Correspondent questions the social value of "significant other."
Anarchist, revisionist, or clueless?
 Date: 04/03/00
Bar

He cheated, lost her, and wants her back

Dear Conversely,

Email to a Friend I made a horrible mistake and cheated on my girlfriend. It was a stupid accident. I was out with a bunch of guys and we were drinking and a couple of my buddies went home with women and I did the same. I don't even remember her name. But my girlfriend found out, I still don't know how. She asked me about it and I couldn't deny it. She broke up with me a day later. We've been dating for three years and I was planning to propose this summer. I had a trip to Paris planned for my proposal. She's not speaking to me now. She won't return my calls. I've sent flowers, gifts, I've begged. Everything I can think of. How can I get her back? She's the woman for me, and I did the stupidest thing.


Her view:

Dear Wayward,

Beg, beg, beg, and then give her some time. It's really all you can do at this point. You were quite a jerk to have cheated - but you know that so let's not dwell. Tell her in ridiculous amounts how much you love her, send her every love letter and poem you can concoct, buy her any item to remind her of the two of you and then give her a little space to process it all. Tell her you're going to back off for a couple of weeks so she can do some thinking. And then do just that - give her space so she can miss you and sit in her house full of your poems and gifts. If you know any of her friends, tell them your story and how sorry you are - it will get back to her. Make her understand that it will never happen again, it was the dumbest thing you ever did, and if only you could take it back, etc.

If she doesn't take you back outright, there is another strategy. Work your way back into her life as a friend. Don't even make a move for a couple of months. Just be around and be the best friend she ever had. This will do two things: it will take up her time so she has less of a chance of meeting some new guy, and it will remind her of why she fell for you in the first place. When you feel the timing is right, confess your undying love again and that you can't live without her. Persevere and you will get her back. She already loves you, remember - she's just really hurt.

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His view:

Dear Wayward,

What the hell were you thinking? Really, I don't mean that as a rhetorical question. Or, perhaps the more accurate question is: what weren't you thinking? Do you not get enough sex at home? Was this nameless mermaid in the last Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue? Do you get so impossibly drunk that you lose all self control? Or did this lady rape you?

You hoped your girlfriend would forgive you simply because you decided you wish you hadn't done it. You thought chocolates and trite supplications would melt her up. Now you are starting to realize your woman has more guts and self-respect than you originally assumed. Now you might start to analyze why you did it because she won't take you back until you do.

I think she might forgive you if you can show that you truly repent, and that you really understand why you traded three honest years for a little flesh. She might return your calls only if she's convinced that you've crawled around in your grubby subconscious long enough to figure out what shrewd motivation - what untapped gold mine of egotism - was responsible for your stupid accident. She might end up giving in when you can prove to her that whatever it is that guided your brilliant feat has been isolated, amputated and safely disposed of.

Or, if I've overestimated her, maybe you should just give her a couple more weeks, a couple nice earrings...

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