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Parallax - Advice            August 21, 2000


   Carrots and sticks

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Whatever you are cooking, here at Conversely we want to make sure you add all the right ingredients. And spice it right. That's why this week our non-partisan advice duo provides insight into the right remedy for a neglected lady, and the precise design for a perfect phone conversation. Plus: the pros and cons of the carrot vs. stick approach.


Boyfriend is neglecting her.
Is denying sex a good remedy - or will it send all the wrong signals?
 Date: 08/21/00

He wants to improve his phone rapport with the ladies.
Can the phone be his friend?
 Date: 08/21/00

Boyfriend lives with parents and has no job.
Should she leave the 'loser,' or help him get his butt in gear?
 Date: 08/21/00

More from last week...
Bar

Boyfriend is neglecting her

Dear Conversely,

Email to a Friend Yesterday, I just called this guy I have been seeing for a few months and spilled my guts about how I was feeling lonely lately and thinking maybe we should stop having sex. He has been neglecting me a little lately and I felt crappy about it. As soon as I voiced my concerns, I felt better - he felt horrible. Should I call him back or should we give it some time?


Her view:

Dear Neglected,

Give it some time. Let it settle. He probably did not realize he was neglecting you. And if that's how you feel then it's right to say it - or you'll end up leaving without even a discussion. You did the right thing by telling him but indubitably it was a difficult message to hear. It's probably a sign that he cares if he feels so badly about your reaction.

What you do after a brief 'let it settle' period depends on how much you like the guy. If you like him quite a bit and he feels the same, you should try to work this out and follow up with a call or an invite right away, to ease the tension and sort through the little mess. It may just be a case of mixed messages and innocent confusion.

If in fact he is neglecting you and it's because his feelings are not quite there for you, then you should move on swiftly. The sex alone is not worth you feeling badly - you can always have sex with someone who makes you feel great. It sounds like you're in between a real relationship and just sex. You need to clarify this for yourself and decide what you want - and then you need to synch up with him. If you're not in synch, bail out, and do so quickly.

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His view:

Dear Neglected,

What this guy probably heard you say was: 'If you want to keep having sex, you need to pay more attention to me.' In other words, you're pushing him to look at the problem as a set of trade-offs, when the real problem is not about sex at all.

You don't want this guy to think, 'Oh, I should take her out to a few dinners if I want to keep having a warm bed to land in every night.' He might comply, and spend more time with you, but not for the right reasons.

You do want this guy to realize that the relationship is off-kilter, and that it will not survive in the current state. I suggest you wait for him to call and then find out why he's neglecting you. Maybe he's been busy or under some awful pressure you're not aware of. Or maybe he's disenchanted with you and ready to move on - but is holding onto the sex for as long as possible.

If it's a temporary problem, or something you can fix, great. Work on it together, but let the incentive be a better relationship, not a passport into your bedroom.

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You Vote!

You Vote! 46% of Women agree with HER VIEW and 54% with HIS VIEW.

12% of Men agree with HER VIEW and 88% with HIS VIEW.

You Vote! Do you agree more with HER VIEW or HIS?

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