8/15/99 Advice Column
People who dwell on what happened in the past are doomed to make themselves and everyone around them miserable. Being happy in the present requires forgetting about the past. Sure you can learn from what happened, and probably your girlfriend has learned from her past.
Whatever she did has contributed to making her the wonderful person she is today, the one you love. Also, the fact that she's had lots of sexual experience can only be in your favor. She's probably a much better lover than she would be if she hadn't had those experiences, and you're enjoying that. Also, the fact that she's already done so much means she won't be worrying about what she missed.
So since she did it before you were committed to each other, you have nothing to forgive her for. She didn't do anything wrong.
What I wonder is why you're trying to destroy a perfectly good relationship by worrying about the past instead of enjoying what you have. Stay in the present and you'll be fine. Worry about the past and you'll never be happy.
We saw each other a few times after the break up and then didn't for about a month. I then called and we talked and things started progressing normally again, though slow. It got to a bad point however where he hurt my feelings because he wouldn't commit to a date on a Friday night in case something better came up, in the end however he ended up staying home all alone to rest even though his friends went out and I did too. I then left for a business trip for 2 1/2 weeks and called him during that time stating that I wouldn't put up with that kind of behavior. He apologized profusely stating that he didn't know that it hurt me so much, etc... he had no idea.
There have been times when it seems like I won't continue to see him or talk to him and he freaks out. Saying things like, "How ironic that I would be the one getting hurt in the end?" or " I thought I would never ever hear from you again, thank you for calling, thank you!!" I remind him however that he is the one that broke up with me. It was his decision and he must live with that. He can change it however I am willing to listen and understand where he is coming from.
When I came back from my business trip however things couldn't have been better. He is loving and attentive and he is giving of himself way more than I am because I'm a little bit afraid of what might happen if I get 'attached' again. But he has been wonderful. I know that I love this individual, because I've dated a ton of men after we broke up and not one interested me and all I could think of was him. I tried hating him by thinking of all his bad qualities even if they were silly. None of this worked. I thought maybe it was just physical until I went away for those 2 1/2 weeks and just talking to him on the phone made me feel better. It hurts not to see or talk to him sometimes. I have no interest what-so-ever in anyone else or dating.
I'm afraid that I will never get over this man if that was what was meant to be, and I'm also afraid of this new found togetherness that we are sharing. He wants to spend time with me. He calls me and sets up things with me. I'm so confused and afraid. What are my next steps here to progress our relationship without him freaking out over the commitment? I know that I can't 'make' anyone do anything and I'm not into changing him or changing for him. I feel like I have a healthy attitude about it but now that things have suddenly changed, I'm frightened and confused.
I think you get the drift, so I'll leave it at this. Thank you for your time. I really appreciate it.
On the other hand, you've done the right thing by putting your foot down and letting him know there are things you absolutely won't put up with. Since men are like puppy dogs and run away when you run after them, the solution here is obvious - keep running away from him and he'll keep running after you.
Be sure to give a little less than he's giving and always make certain he's the one doing the pursuing, not you - or that at least he thinks he's the one. Men are competitive. They like to think they're getting something that's hard to get, not something that's easy. So stay a little hard to get (which can be hard to do when you're so much in love). Say no once in a while. Be unavailable sometimes.
I always recommend going on a business trip or vacation - just so that you can be missed. Always keep him wanting a little more of you than he's getting. And always set limits; he'll respect you for it.
Hopelessly In Love
Give it a year or two, and if you're still together, there's no reason why you can't think about adoption or surrogacy or any of the other ways of having children through modern medical science. You can see that having a child together is a long way down the road. That is assuming he'd be satisfied with one of those options, and if he really loves you, why not?
If, on the other hand, you really don't want to have and raise another child or children, that's a different situation. If that's the case, you should own up to that right away and give him a chance to find someone who is willing to raise more children.
Continuing the relationship isn't much of a risk for him, since men can have children at almost any age. Of course, if he is unwilling to have a surrogate or adopted child, there is the definite danger that he'd begin to resent not having a child of his own in time.
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