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Halfhearted

By Mink Stole | Posted 9/14/2005

Im a 30-year-old divorced woman. I was married at 19, which was way too young, and the marriage lasted only four years. Although I wanted very much to have kids, by the time I finally left my husband I was really relieved I hadnt had any with him. Anyway, for the last five years Ive dated some, but I havent met anyone Ive really connected with. Then a few weeks ago I got an e-mail from a guy I dated in ninth grade. He found me on one of those web sites that look up old classmates. He told me hed been thinking about me a lot and asked me to write back. I was really surprised, but I remembered liking him, so I did. Weve been carrying on a terrific correspondence since then, and hes made me feel better about myself than I have in years. In his latest e-mail he told me hes married and has kids. He says hes miserable with his wife and cant stop thinking about me and wants me to meet him. We live about 200 miles away from each other, and hes offered to make arrangements for us to stay (in separate rooms) at a hotel somewhere in the middle. Part of me knows that would be about the stupidest thing I could do, but another part of me doesnt care and really wants to go. What should I do?

Angel or Devil

For the sake of this discussion, AOD, lets call these parts the upper and lower. Heeding the advice of the upper could send the lower into a major sulk of the you-never-let-me-have-any-fun variety, but letting the lower take the lead could send the upper into a much more complicated and longer funk of the how-did-I-let-myself-get-dragged-into-this-mess variety.

Lets review. First, realizing it would probably make a difference in how you responded to his e-advances, he did not tell you he was married until after youd halfway fallen in love with him. We can also pretty safely assume that he has not told his wife hes writing to you. The translation for not told is lied. Second, if you really believe that booking separate rooms is going to keep him from trying to share yours, Ive got a bridge in Brooklyn I can let you have cheap. Third, even supposing that hed be willing to leave his wife and family to marry you, the you he remembers is a ninth-grade girl. Putting these three things together adds up to his being a definite liar and cheat, and possibly a pedophile. Its up to you, of course, but if, after this recap of the facts, your lower half wins the argument and you rush off to meet this guy, be prepared for when your upper half starts chanting I told you so over and over and over again.

 

My boyfriend and I have been together a little over two years. Hes 26; Im 25. After wed been going out a couple of months and we had both pretty much figured out we were ready to be exclusive, I told him I loved him. Instead of saying it back to me like I expected, he said he wanted to say it, but he just wasnt positive it was true. He said that we hadnt been together long enough for either of us to really know, so we ended up having a long discussion about the meaning of love and agreed that we would hold off from making the big declaration. He said hed thought he was in love before, and said so, only to regret it later, and he didnt want that to happen with me. Well, that was nearly two years ago, and he still hasnt told me he loves me. Now he says he shows me how much he cares by the way he treats me, and he is wonderful to me, but I still want to hear the words. Am I being too needy?

Wanna Hear It

Some people go their whole lives without once being told they are loved. Some of them are even married, have families, and dont necessarily think of themselves as unhappy. There are also plenty of cold-blooded cynics who treat I love you as a sort of magic key to get what they want from their trusting and besotted victims. But for most of us, the most wonderful sound in the world is those three little words spoken from the heart of someone we love. This is not being too needy; this is just being human.

Try introducing the word into your conversation, lightly, without demanding reciprocity. Say I love those jeans on you or I loved that movie, or, in your more intimate moments, I love the way you do that. Taking some of the weight off the words and showing him that youre not afraid to say them might help him overcome his resistance. However, there are some people who are just plain L-word phobic, and if your boyfriend, for whatever reason, is one of them, you may have to decide whether his actions speak as softly and tenderly as the words youre not hearing. H

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Pick and Choose (4/12/2006)
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Territorial Rites (4/5/2006)

Family Guy (3/15/2006)

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