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Parallax - Advice            November 13, 2000


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Many people do things for others, without being honest about their own feelings. In every letter this week, the writers have done something for someone else, but now feel they are getting the short end of the stick. Our decisive duo come to the assistance of a woman who motivated her jobless mate, but now complains about their lack of 'quality time' together; a man who keeps giving to a woman who treats him like dirt; and a guy who says 'yes' when he wants to say 'no.'


From deadbeat to dynamo!
Why is she complaining?
 Date: 11/13/00

He's head over heels…
But her heel is on his head!
 Date: 11/13/00

Just say 'No!'
Easy to say...hard to do.
 Date: 11/13/00

More from last week...
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From deadbeat to dynamo!

Dear Conversely,

Email to a Friend I have been seeing this guy for about five months. He has gone from down-and-out to motivated. For example, he wasn't working or going to school, but he now does both. He attributes his motivation to me. We get along great and sex is good. The problem? I rarely see him anymore because our schedules conflict. I rearrange mine so we can meet. He is so happy to be working and busy that he doesn't see the problem. I like him more now, but he is never around. What should I do? Should I give him an ultimatum? The only problem is that I like him so much I'm afraid I won't be able to stick to it.


Her view:

Dear Whiney,

What's wrong with you? You're the one who got him all motivated and excited to be productive. Now he delivers - and does he ever deliver - and you're not happy. 'He doesn't spend enough time with me.' I have news for you - you can't have your cake and eat it too. He cannot meet all your expectations - plus have the same amount of time to spend with you - as when he was jobless. If you wanted a slacker, you shouldn't have encouraged him to be a productive little bee. Now it's too late. The deal is done. He's an interesting person with a busy schedule - interesting people have those.

Suck it up and deal. Be a little supportive. He's gone through a metamorphosis to improve himself - inspired by you, I might reiterate. So try to be a little understanding. Why don't you work hard, too? How about adding some interesting aspects to your life that do not involve him so that you are not bored - hobbies, sports, work (whatever floats your boat). This way you'll be a little more in synch on schedules, and the time you have together will be all the more special. School will eventually end and I'm sure a more reasonable schedule will emerge. By the way, ultimatums do not lead to healthy relationships, in general.

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His view:

Dear Whiney,

Looks like your man has taken the dose of motivation you gave him and really run with it. Now you just have to be patient while he settles and adjusts into his new living pattern.

Going to work and school is a lot, especially after you've been on a first-name basis with all the daytime game-show hosts. While he feels secure that he has a girl he can call whenever the time and the need arises, his new life is probably still too fragile to stir things around. So, you've taken a back seat as he consolidates his other 'wins.'

Give him some time to get comfortable, before you start demanding more flexibility. I'd argue against an ultimatum, especially if you can't back it up. Even if you decided you could be strong, giving him a choice to leave might not be such a fine idea - especially considering the self-esteem booster you gave him.

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You Vote!

You Vote! 56% of Women agree with HER VIEW and 44% with HIS VIEW.

67% of Men agree with HER VIEW and 33% with HIS VIEW.

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