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Parallax - Advice

February 18, 2002

Crazy Love

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An old Spanish proverb observes, 'Cuando el amor no es locura, no es amor.' Simply stated: 'When love is not madness, it is not love.' If the proverb speaks the truth, then this week's letters hold a whole lotta love. A middle-aged mom wants to rekindle a high-school romance; a woman frets over her boyfriend's cyber secrets; and a guy wants his girl to talk sex, sex...and more sex. Can our maestros find harmony in this crazy discord of love?


He's over 40.
She's not over him.
 Date: 02/18/02

Email flirtin'.
Girlfriend's hurtin'.
 Date: 02/18/02

One-track mouth.
Can you say sex?
 Date: 02/18/02

More from last week...
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He's over 40

Dear Conversely,

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In a nutshell, I tracked down and reunited with my teenage sweetheart after twenty-five years. We live in separate states, but I managed to visit him twice. He has done annoying things, like not showing up for a planned date (our fourth), and he won't visit me. He has also done nice things, like sending me prepaid phone cards and cash so I can call him - anytime - at home or work. I've been adamant that I will not have sex with him unless we are married or in a close monogamous relationship. Other relevant facts: We both have great jobs; we maintain good relationships with our estranged spouses; and we are great parents (I'm raising three children). I care for him dearly, but I do not know if I am in love with him. After seven months of listening to him talk about rebuilding his life, he decided to accept his ex-wife's invitation to move out of the 'Y' and into the home with her and her son, supposedly for the purpose of helping both of them save money. At first I was supportive, but I have now reversed and informed him that when he moves, I will cut myself out of his life forever. Do you agree with my stand? My fear is that I might grow to truly love him and he'll become involved with her again. He fears I may meet someone else or I may not respect him because he is living at the 'Y.'


Her view:

Dear Nutshell,

Frankly, I think once he moves back in with his wife, odds are high they will reunite. They'll work it out one way or another - too much history, children… So I think it's right that you move on. You need to think about your life and what you want and I'm sure you don't want to be a side woman, waiting for a man to leave his wife - that just can't be good.

If in six months or a year he moves out and gets himself together, then maybe you'll have a shot of some sort (if you're still available).

In the meantime, getting more attached while tensions ease with his wife will most likely end in your heart being broken.

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His view:

Dear Nutshell,

Cutting you out of his life forever? Come on, who are we kidding here? You're not even in his life. Do you seriously think he feels like his heart just got ripped out by a woman who:

a) he hasn't seen in twenty-five years;

b) lives in another state;

c) hasn't had sex with him; and

d) is not in love with him?

And let me get this straight: He sends you prepaid phone cards and you think that's nice of him? It sure is harder to send prepaid cards than to get in his car and drive out for a visit, isn't it? And he's moving back in with his ex-wife? Clearly, this man's first priority is you - I'm surprised he hasn't tattooed your name on his chest yet.

Here's a relevant fact: You're a bit too old to be thinking and acting like a sixteen-year-old, even if he was your teenage sweetie.

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