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Wanting More 

  • Wanting More (written by Lancie Mazza Martin, LCSW)

  • Seduction (Written by Alex Robboy, LSW)

HTHGS: Wanting More (Written by Lancie Mazza Martin)

Dear Lancie -
        I'm probably going to move soon to the same suburb as a woman whom I love, but who has indicated that she wants only 'friendship'.  We're both in our fifties.  There's nothing much else doing in my life, relationships-wise, so I've little to lose by moving - to within two streets of my friend.  She is happy with this arrangement, and helped me choose a house.  She is committed to staying in the area indefinitely as she has an elderly mother nearby and a mentally retarded brother whom she keeps an eye on.  (He isn't an invalid, just simple-minded.)
        My friend was divorced in 1990.  She got married to have children, and afterwards turned cool towards her husband (who, I'm told by a female friend who knew him, was a sweet and gentle man).  Her two sons have now finished school and are going to university.  She has had affairs on the side, stimulated by the extra spice of 'illicit' liaison.
        She has indicated to me in the strongest terms (on New Years Eve, when it came to a head) that our friendship is to remain of an intellectual and Platonic nature only.  Although I naturally feel 'emasculated' by this, I think that it's better than the 'nothing' I have at present.  Besides, I love her a great deal, and she is perhaps the first woman in my life in whom I have seen 'everything in one'.  What a pity, though, that I'm only to be allowed part of that 'everything'!
        She readily admits that she has some hang-ups (not of a moral kind) with men, and that her very matriarchal mother is a strong influence.  If you know the film called Marnie, she says that she's a bit like the woman in that.
        I'm wondering, then, if you have any advice for me.  I value my friend's intellectual abilities, that are at least up to mine (we were both at university together, and later, briefly, were colleagues teaching at the same college), and hope that we can stimulate each other that way.  She first got back in touch with me a few months ago via a letter saying how bored she was in suburbia.  But do you think that there is any prospect that one-day our hearts, as well as our minds, might meet?  What can I best do to optimize the chances of that?  Will it matter very much if our hearts don't meet?  Will my work, which is largely of a writing kind, suffer if I start to feel sexually frustrated because of my friend's nearness, when presently I'm merely 'repressed' much of the time (and have been so for a long while)?
Thanks - Ken M.
 
 Dear Ken M.,
        You have asked several difficult questions and I am not a fortuneteller.  I am however an observer of  human behavior and you have given me a lot of valuable information.  So, lets look at your concerns one by one:
                        First: Do I Have Any Advice For You?
        Yes.  One of the important points you hit upon is that this woman has emotional and sexual issues of her own which she has not worked through.  Her inability to be truly intimate with a partner without “illicit spice” and the overly influential attachment to her mother are red flags.  How can she be involved in a healthy relationship with you if she has not addressed her own demons?
            Second:  How Can You Optimize Your Chances of Romance?
    This woman has been nothing but clear in her communication with you.  She has stated that  she only wants friendship from your interactions.  Her original intentions towards the relationship have not deviated and if you are intent on being a part of her life, you need to respect her boundaries.  I am not saying there is no chance for romance, however the one sure way to destroy any chance of a future together is to pressure this woman and disrespect her wishes.
                            Third:  Will Your Work Suffer?
        I think the more important question should be, will you suffer?  Being around a person you feel so strongly for, yet does not return your feelings can be a way for you to suffer on a continuous basis.  I know you fear age will inhibit you from finding a stimulating partner, both emotionally and sexually, but fifty is not a death sentence.  I have counseled many women and men in their sixties who are enjoying new and stimulating relationships. 
   
     You say you love this woman a great deal and she has “everything in one.”  Yet she is totally inaccessible to you.  Yes, she is your companion in a “platonic” nature, but what is it in you that is willing to move to a new location, remain celibate and pine over a woman everyday, who does not return you feelings?  If you can answer this question, you may be able to let go of your agonizing attachment to this woman.
        Above all, keep your mind and heart open.  Although you do not see potential love with another as a viable option, you may be surprised by the amount of beautiful, intelligent, sexual, and emotionally healthy women out there over the age of fifty.  Besides, there is nothing more attractive than a man who is independent and knows how to take care of his own needs.

 

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The Founder: "Alex" Caroline Robboy, LCSW, QSW, CAS

Ms. Robboy is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of The Center for Growth Inc and How To Have Good Sex Inc.  Alex practices marriage and family therapy and sex therapy, and also conducts periodic seminars about human sexuality throughout the northeastern United States.

Ms. Robboy graduated from the University of Pennsylvania where she earned a Masters degree in Social Work, a Certificate of Advanced Studies in Human Sexuality Education and a Post-Masters Certificate in Marriage Counseling & Sex Therapy. Through the American Board of Sexology, she is a board certified sexologist and through the American Association of Sex Educators Counselors and Therapists a certified sex therapist.  Additionally, she is a licensed clinical social worker and a member of the American Board of Marriage and Family Therapy.

 

  Our Philosophy sex is like dancing, it changes every time. It depends on culture, atmosphere and mood. Sometimes it is done alone, with a partner or in a group. It can be fast and hard or slow and soft. Sex is a combination of non-verbal negotiation and verbal cues: a scream, a twitch of the toes, or a flush of the face. There is no one 'right' way to move, only what feels good to all those involved. 
     The purpose of this site is to share information. Thus, if you have any ideas, thoughts or information that you believe others might benefit from, please e-mail your tip to alex@howtohavegoodsex.com and I  will be sure to include it on either our weekly newsletter or here on the actual website. 
                                                                                    

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September 19, 2006