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Parallax - Advice            January 8, 2001

Troubled Waters

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Being in love is akin to smooth sailing on a calm ocean. But if a relationship hits stormy seas, watch out! This week finds all three letter-writers treading water. The first is afraid of commitment; the second feels sorry for her two-timing boyfriend; and the third is poised to jump ship. Sink or swim? Our loveguards come to the rescue!

Commit or noncommittal?
Is this about sex?
 Date: 01/08/01

She's missing him.
He's messing around.
 Date: 01/08/01

Out with the old...
In with the new.
 Date: 01/08/01

More from last week...

Commit or noncommittal?

Dear Conversely,

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I began seeing this woman a few weeks ago. I've continued to date others, but I really like her and I think I could be in a long-term relationship with her. The problem is that on some days I feel like I'm ready to settle down, while on others I just want to be uncommitted. We had been fooling around on the last few dates, but we hadn't had sex - partly because she's restrained and partly because I didn't want to, for fear of it leading to greater commitment. Then last weekend we couldn't hold back and we did it. The next day I felt terrible about it because I knew I didn't want to commit yet. What should I do? I don't want her to hate me.

Her view:

Dear Remorseful,

That's a tough thing to hold back from, but remember, it takes two - so don't be so hard on yourself. The only thing she could hate you for is not being forthright and honest. As long as you are clear and open with her on how you feel and what you're thinking, then you're doing fine. That's all anyone can do. Let her know sooner (rather than later) where you stand with her, as that is only fair.

You might want to find out what her intentions are. I'm sure you're pretty studly and all, but she may not even want a commitment. She may be dating around and still choosing her favorite. So be careful when making assumptions - you may simply be one-of-many in a well-crafted menagerie.

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His view:

Dear Remorseful,

As long as you don't avoid her, neglect to call, or purposely mislead her, I don't see why she would hate you. I don't think there's been enough time or evidence for her to mistake your intentions.

Your feelings are nobly expressed, but it still boils down to this: you want to have the 'friendship with privileges' relationship. That shouldn't be a problem, as long as she's also happy with that modus operandi.

Find an opportunity to confirm how you feel. You don't have to make a big deal of it. Telling her you want to take it easy - or you don't want to rush things - is a respectable approach.

Keep in mind that you may be drowning in a glass of water. Has she ever said that she's looking for a serious relationship? Has she indicated that she equates sex with commitment? For all you know, she may be worried that you're starting to get too intense...

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