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Parallax - Advice

August 11, 2003

Cling Free

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What is with people who are control addicts? Don't they know that the only life they can control is their own? With that in mind, here are a few words of wisdom for those who wrote in this week: You can't hurry love; nine dates does not a marriage make; twenty is young; mothers are usually right; and practical jokers are juvenile—grow up or find new friends. Our gurus of guidance are in harmony.


Basement boudoir?
Rock-bottom embarrassed.
 Date: 08/11/03

She's clinging.
He's winging.
 Date: 08/11/03

Stupid friend tricks.
Incredibly stupid friends!
 Date: 08/11/03

More from last week...
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Basement boudoir?

Dear Conversely,

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I just don't get it. I am in a long distance relationship of nine months with a divorced man, who I see about once a month. He is a good man, but has some issues that I don't feel are normal. He is temporarily living below his parents' home in a converted basement. I have only been in the home once and, although I have asked him several times to show me his living area, he won't. I asked him what he was hiding and he says there is nothing to hide. If so, why the secrecy? Blow-up dolls? Dead bodies? What? We have discussed marriage and he says he wants to share his life with me. Does he think after the wedding would be a good time to start sharing? This seems odd to me. Any ideas?


Her view:

Dear Snoopy,

He's embarrassed, plain and simple. Wouldn't you be? He is divorced and living with his parents in their basement. Could he be any more George Castanza?

There is no reason to assume criminal activity or unsightly paraphernalia. More likely, he is just a slob living in his parents' basement. So let it go.

The whole thing is humiliating enough. If the two of you get serious, you will certainly find out about any unattractive living habits—bodies included. You may prefer to have a living-together arrangement precede a marriage, just to be sure there is nothing too unseemly.

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His view:

Dear Snoopy,

I am often startled, or flabbergasted if I allow myself the full range of response, by the spectacular contradictions that form in the midst of otherwise 'normal' relationships.

I am dumbfounded by the aloofness with which a person like you can speak of marriage as if she were seriously considering it when just two sentences above she has stated that:
a) she has seen the presumed target of her marital intentions a total of nine times in nine months; and
b) she has never been privileged with an invitation into said man's bedroom.

Here's an idea: Take it easy. You've only started to get to know him. Yes, it is rather strange that after nine visits in nine months he has yet to show you where he lives. It is possible that he is ashamed of his current living situation and doesn't trust you enough to deal with it. It is also possible that he has his second girlfriend sitting in bed watching television.

Whatever the case, he hasn't developed enough trust in you. So forget about marriage and sharing lives together. You're in a long-distance relationship and seeing him nine times is the equivalent of four weeks of dating in a normal relationship.

Who starts discussing marriage after four weeks?

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