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Parallax - Advice            October 2, 2000

  When Things Don't Feel Right...

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How do you know when relationships are right or wrong? This week our insightful duo offers some 'get serious' advice to three people in pain. There's the guy who's having second thoughts about a cooling-off pact...a young woman with a firm proposal, but weak excuses...and a doormat in love with the sorority 'Queen of Nastiness.'

They're taking a break from each other, but his heart is aching...
Should he phone her...or honor their agreement?
 Date: 10/02/00

He wants to marry her, but she has cold feet.
Should she, or shouldn't she?
 Date: 10/02/00

He adores his girlfriend, but she treats him like dirt.
So what's a doormat supposed to do?
 Date: 10/02/00

More from last week...

They're taking a break from each other, but his heart is aching...

Dear Conversely,

Email to a Friend About a week ago I broke up with my girlfriend. We decided to take a break because things were kind of iffy - some days were good, many days weren't so good. Overall we felt things were not the way they should be, but every day that passes I really feel terrible without her. I don't know if I only miss the sex, or whether I really miss everything. I know I still love her. I want to call, but we agreed to not call for at least a few weeks, and not to see each other. Do I break the pact?

Her view:

Dear Achy-Breaky,

Break the pact - go for it. It was a silly pact anyway, designed simply to prevent this little détente. But you know what? That's fine. You love her - work it out if you can. 'Some days not so good?' Figure out why, and what's going on. Get under the real problems and solve them. Couples make major sacrifices just to be together. They cross oceans, and take jobs they disdain - surely you can give it a whirl.

If you whirl and whirl, and can't get anything to work - if the problems are insurmountable - then bail, and keep your pact. But you're unsure...so risk it. A few more bad days? Perhaps, but then maybe it works. Maybe you sort it out and get to keep her. If you love her it's worth at least that, and probably a lot more.

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His view:

Dear Achy-Breaky,

The problem with your tidy break-up arrangement is that you rationalized it more than you felt it. In fact, judging from your reactions, you were definitely not ready for a separation.

Sometimes it's nice to think you can logically sum up all the reasons why a relationship isn't working. A few levelheaded people can actually do it. Maybe your girlfriend is one of them, and you're not. In any case, you made an intellectual decision without considering the emotional kickback.

Your 'break' won't solve any of the problems that were crippling the relationship. Usually you need to work at relationship problems, not run away from them. Calling her won't help much either, unless you both want to get back together and come up with some answers. But even if that's what you want, she may not.

Stick with the pact. Don't call now, and definitely don't call until you sort out the root cause of your pain. The last thing you want to do is call her out of sexual desire. She'll know it, you'll lose credibility, and you'll be entirely at her mercy.

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You Vote!

You Vote! 57% of Women agree with HER VIEW and 43% with HIS VIEW.

59% of Men agree with HER VIEW and 41% with HIS VIEW.

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

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