Dear Dr. Lovemonkey,
Iím not sure what to think about my boyfriend. We have a great relationship, but a couple of phone calls Iíve received in the last month lead me to suspect that he is having an affair. The first time I answered the phone, the woman caller said she was calling for a bank about credit cards, and I told her I wasnít interested. Then, about a week later, I got another call ó it sounded like the same voice ó and she said she had called the wrong number. Both times I was home to answer the phone when Iím generally at work.
When I mentioned the suspicious calls to my boyfriend, he laughed and said maybe I was being paranoid and, of course, that he isnít seeing anyone else. Things have been great between us, and I donít have any real evidence ó just my intuition. Am I being paranoid, or do you think something is amiss?
If the credit card caller didnít sound like someone from Calcutta, itís probably phony.
Really, though, Dr. Lovemonkey canít tell you if anything is going on. It seems you have to look into your own fears and suspicions, and at the same time, discuss with your boyfriend why your intuition is telling you not to believe him. Because they need to be in control or since they just canít help themselves from imagining the worst, people sometimes look at the glass as half-empty. You have to think about whether this is the sort of perspective you take on things.
On the other hand, there is some reason for you to feel suspicious. How does your boyfriend deal with being challenged? How insistent is he that this is some sort of paranoia on your part? What has been his way of dealing with disagreements or arguments in the past? At present, Iíd say your suspicions are not fully justified, but that you should talk it over some more with your boyfriend. If he tries to totally laugh it off, belittle you, or gets really angry, something might be going on. He should at least be concerned that you feel this way.
Dear Dr. Lovemonkey,
Iíve been carrying on an e-mail relationship with a woman in Eastern Europe for the past three months. We have exchanged eight e-mail messages, and I have become more and more interested in this relationship. In her last couple of e-mails, she has told me she loves me and that she wants to come here to meet and move forward with our relationship. While I am quite interested, I donít yet feel that I am in love. This woman would need financial help to get here. I am inclined to help, but I still think itís too soon. I donít want to blow this, because I see some possibilities. Any suggestions?
You are right to be hesitant. Eight e-mails with someone you have never met is not a lot upon which to make a commitment. Perhaps this will grow into something that is worthwhile, but itís still more about fantasy than reality for now.
Iím sure you are aware that many people in Eastern Europe are keenly interested in getting to the United States, and it is not beyond reason that she is using you to make her big move. I would say that you should continue your correspondence, explaining that you are not now inclined to take such a big step. If there is really something there, your pen pal should be willing to slow down and let it develop at a more reasonable pace.
Perhaps you could talk over the telephone and get a better sense of her feelings (as well as your own). Internet relationships, particularly those between people who are communicating from a great distance, are fraught with pitfalls. Let things happen at a pace with which you are comfortable.
Send questions and romantic quandaries to RUDYCHEEKS@prodigy.net
Issue Date: June 10 - 16, 2005
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