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Parallax - Advice            October 23, 2000


  The Art of Letting Go

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Alfred Lord Tennyson wrote, 'Tis better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.' Would someone please tell that to this week's advice-seekers who all ask, 'Why can't I let go?' Here are three classic tales of love gone wrong. There's the story of possessive love - he checks up on her, she tells him nothing, and they're both going crazy...regressive love - they were good friends who wanted more, but a few kisses left them with nothing but regrets...and obsessive love - he can't leave her alone, even though he knows he's in the wrong. Can our gurus of guidance help?


He thinks possessiveness equals love. But is it really love?
She wants to know, and our advisors are at odds...
 Date: 10/23/00

Question: How do you destroy a friendship?
Answer: Just one kiss - that's all it takes, yeah, just one kiss...
 Date: 10/23/00

Obsessive love is an oxymoron, and this guy is acting the part!
What part of the word NO does he not understand?
 Date: 10/23/00

More from last week...
Bar

He thinks possessiveness equals love. But is it really love?

Dear Conversely,

Email to a Friend I was living with a man who was madly in love with me and wanted to marry me. We've both been married twice and are older - I'm thirty-eight, he's forty-six. We thought perhaps we should slow down a bit and just date, so after eight months I moved out. Now, things are worse. We aren't boyfriend/girlfriend, but he's still very possessive - he calls all the time, and checks on my whereabouts. I don't tell him anything, and it drives him crazy. I love him, but I am so confused. I don't know where to begin to fix this relationship. He doesn't date - he either hangs out by himself or with his best friend. Then he starts to miss me after a couple of days, and calls me up - very pathetic - and tells me that he loves me. All of this is driving me crazy. Do you have any advice?


Her view:

Dear Crazy-and-Confused,

Well the big question is, 'Do you love him?' It sounds like the answer is yes, so why all the malarkey? What are you doing with all of this moving around, status assessments, boyfriend and girlfriend, living together, friends and lovers...whatever. How about just having a normal relationship? Why don't you just date like a boyfriend and girlfriend? You don't have to move in or anything, but have a real relationship. Of course he'll be jealous of you seeing other guys - he loves you, and he doesn't want to see you sleeping with other people. Everybody is at least a little possessive - you need to be the judge of what is beyond an acceptable threshold.

Here's what you can do. Call a time-out and say, 'Lets start over.' When did things get so crazy? How about just having dinner - a normal date - and let things take their course. Stop trying to assess everything, and get back on a normal relationship path. It sounds like you want to be together, but for some reason you've both decided to act like idiots. Stop the madness and hit the reset button. I think you two would be great together, so it's not clear to me why you slowed things down in the first place.

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His view:

Dear Crazy-and-Confused,

Mr. Possessive is out-of-control: he is playing by instinct alone. My guess is he's always acted like this, and voilá - two failed marriages. Now he's raring to get into another one. His method appears to be to 'learn by experimentation.' Since he's only forty-six, he can get married at least another six or seven times. Maybe he'll eventually get it right.

It's also possible that his behavior is erratic because no one has ever treated him the way you have - by slamming on the breaks and slowing down the relationship. For him, relationships don't slow down. They just keep going faster until they crash and burn.

This all sounds bad, but to his credit, he at least seems to know what he wants. The reason he's driving you crazy is because you can't decide what you want, so you don't have a clear way of reacting to him.

Make up your mind. Do you want to be his next guinea pig? Are you also the kind that likes to experiment?

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You Vote!

You Vote! 29% of Women agree with HER VIEW and 71% with HIS VIEW.

80% of Men agree with HER VIEW and 20% with HIS VIEW.

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