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Parallax - Advice            March 26, 2001

Brain Dead

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'When in doubt…think!' Or how about, 'Put your brain in gear before you open your mouth.' If this week's letter writers had considered the above advice, they wouldn't need to write to us. But they didn't, so here they are: a doormat who's playing deaf and dumb with reality; a green-eyed monster trying to disguise himself as a real nice guy; and a bored, married woman who cyber-sexed with a single friend-of-the-family, and can't figure out why he's avoiding her. Our cyber love advisors have lots to offer!

Face it honey, it's over.
Get up and get on with life.
 Date: 03/26/01

Jealousy is never funny...
So cut the jokes!
 Date: 03/26/01

Rule #1: No cybersex with friends.
Rules #2 - #10: See Rule #1.
 Date: 03/26/01

More from last week...

Face it honey, it's over

Dear Conversely,

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My boyfriend and I have been seeing each other for the past year. We both work two jobs and can only get together on Sundays - if I am able to reach him by phone. I sacrifice my spare time to be with him, but he doesn't do the same. I send him love letters, and I cook and clean for him when we're together. Recently he's been very moody, rarely returns phone calls or calls me, and has less time for me than when we started the relationship. I'm usually an impatient Scorpio, but I've invested a lot of patience in him and I believe this relationship can work - I just want to know if what I'm doing is right or wrong. I was able to convince him to leave his apartment so we could spend time together, so it feels like he's finally opening up…but it's taking so much time. At first we only wanted friendship, as we were both ending bad relationships, but now I love him very much. He just told me that he loves me but is not in love with me. I think a lot of his moodiness is due to the deaths of his parents. What can I do to help him get over his hurts and fears so that we can get on with our future? In the beginning, I wasn't even attracted to him, and we didn't want to let our guards down. Now I'm really trying with mine. Why won't he?

Her view:

Dear Hanging-On,

'I love you, but I'm not in love with you,' is the death statement. There is nothing worse. It is the oldest cliché in the book and means only one thing. He is saying, 'I really want out of this relationship. I like you a lot and am very attached so I don't entirely want you to leave (so I'll say I love you to make you hang on a little and maybe you'll be my friend). But you are not the woman of my dreams and you never will be - I wish I could meet someone who is.'

Sounds bad girlie. It seems as though we have some unrequited love here. Do you really think you can make him fall for you? That's not something you can force - no matter how hard you try. Cooking and cleaning for him when you see him will not do it, nor will hanging on his every whim and trying to be supportive.

I hate to say this, but you should leave him. You've said you love him so I know any potential exit will be slow going - those exits always are. But he's given you some real clues, and you ought to think very hard about them. The sooner you leave; the sooner things will be better for you. It never seems this way at the time but there are other guys, and life should be much more fun than this.

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His view:

Dear Hanging-On,

I think what you've been doing is wrong. Maybe it was the right approach at some point, but after a year it's pretty clear that your strategy isn't working.

We all have fears, we all keep our guards up after a tough ending - it takes time to put things back together - and some people take more time than others. Your patience even appears to be yielding some results (e.g., his momentous decision to leave his apartment).

However, at some point one has to write off past investments in patience or love letters or cooking or cleaning and start fresh. Assuming you still want to make this relationship work, there's only one thing to do. Show him your impatient side, give him a break and stop seeing him, calling him or writing to him.

Give him a taste of what it's like to not have you around. Maybe that will pry him open.

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