Denial Ain't Just a River in Egypt

Denial Ain't Just a River in Egypt

Denial Ain't Just a River in Egypt

Advice on manners and morals.
Jan. 4 2001 11:30 PM

Denial Ain't Just a River in Egypt

Get "Dear Prudence" delivered to your inbox each week; click hereto sign up.Please send your questions for publication to prudence@slate.com.

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Prudie,
My best girlfriend is in "in love with" a gay man. At first she didn't know—he's European, and they have a very close friendship, making it easy to misinterpret his hugs and "love you's" as much more. The situation has been clear for months from his words as well as his actions with our other gay friends. She said she was over him—until she recently told me of a plan to visit him and confess her affections. This has been going on for over a year now. Her life has been on hold for him. Sadly, this is not the first time. She was in the exact same situation for several years with another man. As her friend, I was honest with her about thinking that history was repeating itself. She became angry and told me I didn't understand. The object of her affection has said that she knows he's gay. Why does this girl fall for the ones she
really can't have, and what can I do to shake her out of it?

—G.G.

Dear G.,
In response to your last two questions, the answers are 1) lots of reasons and 2) nothing. You have done your good deed by telling your friend that her crush is a no-hoper; beyond that, there is nothing you can or should do. It is certainly understandable when women are attracted to gay men. Often they are sensitive, not swishy, have great personalities and drop-dead good looks. Once it's made clear, however, that a man bats for the other team, a well-integrated woman says to herself, "Rats, too bad," and moves on. The women who pine and cling to hope have either a subconscious wish to remain in a chaste and swooning state, or they're masochists. Your friend is right about one thing, though. You don't understand. And what you don't understand is that her behavior is half a beat off in a way that friends can't fix.

—Prudie, normally

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Dear Prudence,
My boyfriend and I have been dating exclusively for almost two years. I'm 29, he's 32, and neither of us has ever been married. Two months ago on my birthday, he asked me to marry him and said he hadn't bought a ring yet. I was extremely happy. However, a month later, not only had he not bought a ring, but I found out he has been calling one of his ex-girlfriends for the last three months. At first he lied and said she had been calling him, but I found his phone bills that show he was the one calling her. I got angry, and we fought over it; then we got back together after he convinced me they were just friends and he would never talk to her again. Now another month has gone by, and he has yet to look at rings. He tells me he is angry that I don't trust him. I do love him and hate to lose him, but I am wondering if he is not just buying time. Should I wait patiently and keep dating him and hope he has good intentions, or should I not see him again until I see a ring, or should I just move on with my life without him?

—Forgive or Forget

Dear For,
Your signature is my advice: Do both. Forgive him, then forget him. This guy does not want to be married and is untruthful in the bargain. He may, as you suspect, be trying to buy time. What is certain is that he's not buying a ring. For all you know, he's trying to soften up the ex before he signs on the dotted line with you. As for good intentions, the road to the hot place is paved with them, so consider yourself lucky to have not gotten in deeper. Invite him to have a nice life, and put yourself back in the dating pool. To help ease the pain, remember that people are usually at their best during the engagement period, and what's going on now is not very promising.

—Prudie, resolutely

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Dear Prudie,
The letter from "Wife Who Still Loves Her Husband" could have been about me! I had been having an online relationship with a guy for several months when I got a call from his wife. (I had no clue he was married.) The situations are quite similar. They've been married for 18 years, he's spent thousands on phone calls, flowers ... you name it, he's spent it. And I heard all about the "not
in love" speech he gave his wife. Wanna know how it has turned out so far? I recently also got a call from the OTHER girlfriend this man is in contact with. Yes—married with two girlfriends. Prudie, this woman should get away from her husband. This man is addicted to online relationships. I have, of course, ended the relationship, if you can call it that, with this man, though I hear he and the other girlfriend are going strong.

—Burned Internet Chick

Dear Burn,
Where is it they are going, Prudie wonders? A married Lothario dabbling in e-mail romances sounds like a gold-plated con man—hardly the answer to a maiden's prayers. Pay attention, girls. These guys are wearing the equivalent of electronic masks. This is not to say that the Net can't foster legitimate romances, but the risks are built in for major deceptions. Proceed cautiously, and be mindful of cheaters with screen names. Perhaps, in time, someone will build a lie detector into the browser.

—Prudie, warily

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Prudence,
This past week I had an opportunity to speak with someone in the Salt Lake City Police Department about the law mentioned in the letter from "Loving Mother." To my surprise, this law does really exist. What was more surprising was that approximately 38 other states have a law that is almost the same as the one in Utah.

—AL.F

Dear AL.,
Having heard from several people who said I was either mistaken or anti-Mormon, I am happy to be the beneficiary of your conversation with the SLPD.

—Prudie, thankfully