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Parallax - Advice

April 16, 2001

The Right Stuff

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Everyone needs somebody to love, but not just anybody - you must choose the right body! It's a well-known fact that loving the wrong person is much worse than loving no one at all, but how do you recognize right from wrong? That's what everyone wants to know this week. One woman may have Mr. Right under her nose but she doesn't trust her instincts; a man who has spent over four years with Miss Wrong wonders why his monthly lectures aren't effective; and an Amazon wants to know if all men are small-minded. Our resident advisors rise to the occasion.

He's Mr. Lovey.
She's Ms. Doubtful.
 Date: 04/16/01

Love leech.
Who's the sucker?
 Date: 04/16/01

Big girls don't cry...
They ask, 'Why?'
 Date: 04/16/01

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He's Mr. Lovey

Dear Conversely,

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I fell in love with a man on the Internet. After we met in person I felt the same. A year later I'm still in love - the physical attraction between us has always been electric. At first he was very cautious and just wanted us to be friends, although he treated me like a girl friend. He ended the relationship a couple of times, but now everything is perfect and he says he loves me (although only in writing, not face-to-face). He's changed from being aloof to being very every way. Is it possible for someone's feelings to change? At the beginning, he was so adamant that he only cared for me as a friend and didn't want a relationship. I'm a bit worried that he wants to make me happy, and might be kidding himself about being in love with me now, even though I think he's been honest about his feelings from the start. Your opinion would be appreciated.

Her view:

Dear Cautious,

It sounds like he's honest...but then again, who knows? There is nothing gained by second-guessing him just because he's had a change of heart. That's not fair. Perhaps while you were falling in love with him over the Internet, he was still in a relationship. Maybe he told you he just wanted a friendship so he could check you out, decide what he wanted and progress accordingly.

It really doesn't matter what has brought him around. Have fun in your relationship. Assume he is honest unless he has given you reason to believe that is not the case. If he presents behavior that indicates insincerity, give him the Inquisition. However, what you describe doesn't warrant that sort of treatment.

Instead, it sounds like you have a guy who is falling in love with his girlfriend. I'd give him the benefit of the doubt and move on. Time will tell if you were wrong. If so, there is always room for a little rescindment on your part.

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His view:

Dear Cautious,

The man who kids himself into loving someone - that's an interesting one. A man who wants so much to love you - to have a future with you - that he's willing to suppress his prior doubts and focus on the positive aspects. A man who can only say he loves you in writing because it would be too blatant a lie in person. A man who will one day leave you, after admitting to himself that he doesn't really love you.

I'm not sure whether you are inherently suspicious, or if other signs have led you to believe your man might be this kind of man. After reading your letter, I have a difficult time convincing myself that your boyfriend is in denial.

However, I can't rule out the possibility. At this point, the best thing to do is to give the relationship more time and keep him under observation. At the same time, consider whether your own insecurities (combined with the somewhat strange circumstances) are keeping you from enjoying what might otherwise be a perfect relationship.

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