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Parallax - Advice

April 1, 2002

Burning Love

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It's been said that love makes the world go round, but this week's letters leave us spinning. All three writers are so desperate for love that they compromise their situations. Number one is embroiled in a hot and heavy affair with a married man who is throwing cold water in her direction. Letter number two comes from a woman who wants sparks to fly without a fire; and number three is getting cold feet after starting a major blaze. Can our designated duo fight fire with fire?

Fooled by a kiss?
Or playing the fool?
 Date: 04/01/02

An old flame?
Lots of smoke, no fire!
 Date: 04/01/02

Keep the fires burning -
Just call me Uncle.
 Date: 04/01/02

More from last week...

Fooled by a kiss

Dear Conversely,

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I have been 'long-distance dating' this wonderful older man for over a year. We are both academics and have so many interests in common. We met four times, and he took me to Paris the first time we were intimate. Two months ago, I found out that he was 'technically married' and since that time, I've been trying to judge the situation and how I feel about it. I never suspected; there were no clues except he was the one who always called. He calls her 'his roommate' and says she is involved with someone. He says they lead separate lives and are not together; they have a grown daughter who is 22. He says he's 'not available' and avoids talking about love, but I know he fancies me like crazy. Last week, I asked him to commit to a future together and demanded that he be 'truly single' before we date again. He replied that I have made it difficult to continue, and 'maybe some day…' That was the last communication we've had, and I am devastated. Was I too pushy and untrusting? I don't want to contact him for some time (very hard). But when should I write or call? And what should I say?

Her view:

Dear Academic,

Well, I think you may have scared him off a bit - it is a bold request you've made and you should remember he is not available. You are in the 'having an affair' category - no ambiguity about that. It is what it is. What he is saying is that he is no longer interested in having an affair; when he is single, he would be willing to reconnect. It's rather noble, actually, and you should respect that. It's quite hard, but it is the right course.

Now, on the selfish side, I also think this is the right thing for you. He is not likely to leave his wife, regardless of what he says. It is the oldest line in the world and you would do best not to fantasize about such options.

Do not wait for him; he is not coming to get you nor is he pining away wondering how you are. He is spending time with his wife - with whom he lives - plain and simple. You should move on with your life and start thinking about things without him.

Let it go; it will get better.

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His view:

Dear Academic,

Okay, so you've gone out and ruined a perfectly fine long-distance romance. You decided to care about whether he is married or not; about whether he loves you or just desires you; about whether you're as important to him as he is to you. Rather than admit you were embroiled in a sexy little sideshow and enjoy it for what it was, you decided you needed to be center stage.

Very face up to the consequences of it. Yes, you were pushy. Yes, you were off on the timing and degree of your demands. But more than that, you were unrealistic. You were unable to call an affair an affair; you had to try to turn it into something it's not.

If what you want is monogamy and a commitment for a future together, then go after that - with someone else. Don't sit and wait for that 'maybe some day,' because believe me, it's not going to happen.

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You Vote! 84% of Women agree with HER VIEW and 16% with HIS VIEW.

100% of Men agree with HER VIEW and 0% with HIS VIEW.

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