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Parallax - Advice

September 09, 2002

Down to Earth

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Let's get this straight. Men are from Earth and women are from Earth. Forget about the books that focus on the differences between the sexes. Concentrate on the similarities, right? After all, in love, there can be only so many problems and so many solutions, right? Apparently, that's wrong. When it comes to the sexes, what seems to be a pat answer to a basic problem isn't always so. This week, our resident advisors are poles apart—so far apart, in fact, that the decision comes back, no easier than before, to our dear advisees.


Mother of three?
Smothered by four.
 Date: 09/09/02

He's insecure.
She's in trouble.
 Date: 09/09/02

She's as pure as snow.
He drifted.
 Date: 09/09/02

More from last week...
Bar

Mother of three?

Dear Conversely,

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I am thirty-three and the single mother of three wonderful children, aged eleven, ten and three. I recently ended a six-year relationship. It wasn't easy, as there was some domestic violence, and I had a restraining order issued. A family friend (twenty-three-year-old guy) was staying with us, helping out with babysitting and chores. During this hard time, I confided a lot in my live-in guy friend and we got close—real close. After my relationship ended, we continued to be with each other. Sex is high on his list, and if I don't give it up, he pouts. He is a wonderful lover, but sex isn't that important to me. He is always pawing at me and this drives me nuts. He doesn't hear a word I say about this or about other things and I feel as if he is simply infatuated with me. How do I tell a person (who won't listen) to slow down, get out of my room and give me my space...without hurting his feelings or having him take it the wrong way? I like him a lot—even though there is an age gap—and I know he means well. However, I need time to think and to be my own person. I don't want another boyfriend right now...or another kid. Help!


Her view:

Dear Rebound,

Well, I think you need to say 'those three words' and then tell him to give you some space (only if it is true, of course.) That's the easiest way around the quagmire. This will give him comfort in your feelings, and allow him to be all excited about the relationship. It will also give him the confidence to let you have your space. The tricky part is figuring out your feelings on a serious level, early on. You may not be willing to move to such a level, as it is a very deep one, indeed.

If 'I love you' is not in your plans or current feelings, you must let him know (very nicely and carefully) that you care deeply for him, but need some time to collect yourself after your past relationship.

By the way, you may want to reconsider your age gap. A twenty-three-year-old healthy guy will not stop 'pawing at you' any time soon. If you don't like such attention, you will need to think about alignment. His interest will not abate (you hope) and the last thing either of you needs is constant tension. You will both need to come up with a compromise that works.

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His view:

Dear Rebound,

You want advice on how to talk to him? How not to hurt his feelings? You are missing the point by so many miles you might as well be in another country.

What kind of example are you setting for your kids? Non-daddy number one (or was the ex their father?) moves out. You replace him (without much interruption, one might add) with a man ten years your junior—who, by the way, is clearly in no frame of mind to be a substantive father figure, and who can't keep his hands off of you. That's perfect. How smooth! What are you planning for the encore?

Kick him out. Get your life in order. Fix yourself up. Get over the other guy.

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You Vote! 6% of Women agree with HER VIEW and 94% with HIS VIEW.

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