IS THE PAST REALLY THE PAST?
THE SYSTEM says that there are no clean deals but should he be worried about her, er, "experience" when it comes to dating? Read on...
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HELP! I’ve messed up a great relationship and I don’t know if I want to or should try to repair it. Here’s the story.
I started dating Sharon six months ago. She’s 50, I’m 43. She has always shown a high level (90%) of interest in me and treated me well. In fact, she asked me out first. After five great months I discovered her romantic past was much more on the slutty side than I first assumed. When I asked about her past she’d always say “I don’t like to share my history,” but at the same time she said she hadn’t dated much. Well, Doc, I hate to admit this, but three weeks ago I developed a socially communicable disease, to put it as discreetly as I can. I asked Sharon to get tested for it, and the test came back positive. At that point I asked her to be less elusive about her romantic history and came to find out she’s had 25 partners. (My own history is only three partners, since I was married for a long time, until 1998.)
It came out that most of Sharon’s liaisons were one-night stands while she was on various vacations. Her last serious relationship started in 1989 and ended in 1995. She cheated on that guy with a one-nighter in Tahiti two months into their relationship. She claims it wasn’t cheating because they didn’t have an exclusivity agreement. (To me, being intimate with someone means you are exclusive.) For the rest of the time, she says, she was faithful. She also cheated three months into her only marriage back in 1974. This revelation of her promiscuity has had a devastating effect on my interest in her. She claims everyone was playing around “since it was the 80s” and doesn’t understand why this knowledge makes me feel like crap inside. I know this sounds like how a woman would think, but I just don’t feel special anymore.
We had a big talk about how this new information makes me feel, as well as my changed perception of her. (After peeking at her vacation diary, I realized Sharon was hitting on every French guy she had any interest in during a jaunt she took before meeting me.) But I don’t know what to do.
My question is, am I being too hard on Sharon’s history? Any ideas on why this knowledge is making me feel like crapola? Is there some way of changing my perception of her back to where it was? I haven’t dated since my divorce in ’98, not that I wasn’t looking, but I just didn’t seem to elicit any interest from anyone. My looks are on the weak side (I resemble David Letterman or Tom Hanks on his bad days), but I keep myself fit and have heard more than once that I look like the guys on the Calvin Klein underwear box. The problem is that most women are interested in a cute face!
Woodsie - who hates being one of 25
DOC LOVE'S ANSWER
Of course you messed up this relationship. And the reason you did is because you haven’t memorized my rules. Otherwise you wouldn’t be in the predicament you’re in. And I haven’t even read your story yet!
So, Sharon asked you out first? I just got a nasty letter from a female saying how horrible it was that a guy waited to call her. But that girl is structured – your girl has high Interest Level. Sharon saw what she wanted and went after it. Isn’t it great, guys?
But let’s move on to your problem. You don’t really want to know about Sharon’s past, Woodsie. Because if she tells you she’s had any partners aside from you, she’s going to be a tramp, right? On the other hand, I’ve got to wonder what section of the Australian outback you’ve been living in all your life. You’re looking for a virgin who’s a half-century old? Good luck with that! But here’s the most important point: I always tell you guys that it doesn’t raise Interest Level to talk about her past.
Now you’ve gone and contracted a socially communicable disease. You messed around and you paid. Then you went back and tried to talk about Sharon’s past again. Talk about beating a dead horse. I mean, what’s the point? You already got the disease, pal. If Sharon had only one partner or she went to bed with the entire Southern Cal football team, what’s the difference? So she’s had 25 partners -- that’s not so bad. That means...
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25?? I’d say it’s more like 250…
Love your articles as always Doc.
There is one thing that I still haven’t understood. Why do I want Ms. Right ? As you said, its an uphill battle on Mt. Everest to find and keep a beautiful Butterfly.
I am 30 years young, and after asking 2000 ladies for their number since memorizing the dating dictionary 3 years ago, I don’t find girls worth it.
I would rather work hard to become respected and loved in my community. Work with children and build strong friendships, so when I am old, I won’t be alone or need children of my own.
It seems like a better plan than spending my life to find and keep one special lady, who one day, I might not love anymore or who could fall out of love with me, wasting years of my life.
Is it not better to play the field, not look for long term relationships, and invest the time and energy instead in easier non romantic relationships that will stay with me for life ?
Or am I simply naive ?
Thanks for your kind words and it is great that you have internalized https://www.doclove.com/system. As to how you should live your life I can’t really say as every guy has to forge his own path. I have never said that meeting and keeping Ms. Right is a needed component in life and if you have a feeling to devote your time and energy to something else then who is to say that isn’t what you should do. However, many guys want a great girl and unfortunately they go out and “wing it” and often end up in bad situations so https://www.doclove.com/system is needed because while I run into guys that *say* they don’t want Ms. Right they really do so my book helps them recognize when they have a keeper and how to treat her.
I suspect that meeting and keeping Ms. Right is something you would like to do and in your letter I read frustration that the search has not yielded the results you are looking for – IE, meeting and keeping Ms. Right.
Many millions are in that same boat but of course it’s happening to you so whether one other person is experiencing the same thing or millions are facing it, it still doesn’t change your frustration.
The only thing I can say is yes, you should focus on things that are outside of the pursuit of Ms. Right – you want to live a healthy and balanced life and it sounds like you’ve got great goals and aspirations.
However, don’t give up on the idea that she is out there for you – remember it only takes ONE GOOD WOMAN to turn things around for you when it comes to dating. What I’m trying to tell you is that you don’t have to make this an all or nothing choice. You can still pursue all the higher purposes you were talking about in your letter and also stay open to meeting a great lady – and I suspect that when you stop focusing so much on finding her that is when she’ll show up.
Keep the faith – and don’t give up on anything – you are armed with https://www.doclove.com/system so not only will you recognize her when she shows up but you’ll be ready.
Thanks for writing as always.