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Parallax - Advice

September 3, 2001

Relationship Roulette

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Take a spin and see if you can spot the winners in these relationships: A woman who found her high-school sweetheart wants to start over again - twenty-one years later; a husband who doesn't trust his wife wants her to end a friendship with another guy; and a young woman wants her things back, but her ex won't let her have them. Do our gurus of guidance have the winning answers?

Back to the past.
Can she rekindle this old flame?
 Date: 09/03/01

She's got a male friend.
He's got problems.
 Date: 09/03/01

The missing stuff...
Leave it or retrieve it?
 Date: 09/03/01

More from last week...

Back to the past

Dear Conversely,

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After twenty-one years, I finally located and contacted my teenage sweetheart. He was very happy to hear from me, and we began to email each other almost every day. He made plans to visit me during his July vacation, but I really wanted to see him sooner. So on Father's Day I contacted him via email, and we set up a date to meet in a busy restaurant later that day in the city where he lives - a two and a half hour drive away for myself and my children. He was late, having spent Father's Day with his estranged wife and his young son. (We're both are going through divorces; his situation is more complicated, or so he says.) Anyway we met and had a great time. No, we had the most beautiful, relaxing time, even though he admitted he was very nervous, and said that twice he almost decided not to meet with me. He expressed a great deal of pride/awe at my professional successes and my three kids. I told him that I have always loved him and cherished our friendship. He said he loved me too and he wished we had married. I don't want to get married again, nor do I believe in living together or having sex outside of marriage. But I do want this man in my life and I believe he wants me too. He is in the stage of 'rebuilding his life' and wants to 'take everything with me one day at a time.' What does it really mean when men say that? How do I keep him interested without going overboard, due to my intense feelings for him? I don't want to risk turning him off or lose my levelheaded approach to this situation.

Her view:

Another Chance,

One day at a time means very slowly - no commitment and no pressure. Just fun, just a toe in the water, and 'then we'll see.' I think that's fair - I bet you'd like to take it one day at a time as well. You are both going through divorces and I'm quite sure neither of you needs that level of mistake again. So calm down, treat him as any other new suitor, and see what you think. Remember, he is on trial too. Don't give him all this special credit for greatness achieved in the 11th grade.

You are different now, and so is he.

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His view:

Dear Another Chance,

'Take everything one day at a time' almost always means a man wants to keep his options open. In your case, it probably also means that your sweetie thinks there's potential, but sees no reason to rush it - especially understandable given both your circumstances. It's been twenty-one years, what's another one or two?

As to your 'levelheaded' approach, I believe it's less levelheaded than you suspect. You sound rather confused to me. You're clearly stating you will never consummate this relationship (or any other), won't marry again, and won't have sex outside marriage. Is this really what you mean? I get the sense that's not quite the truth, and this poor guy is going to get very confused, very quickly. You need to work it out in your head. As soon as you do, give it to him without condiments.

Lastly, keep in mind that levelheaded may sound good in theory but in practice, small risks result in small rewards.

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You Vote!

You Vote! 0% of Women agree with HER VIEW and 100% with HIS VIEW.

25% of Men agree with HER VIEW and 75% with HIS VIEW.

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