1. Kids & Family

Tell Me About It: Woman attracted to cold, unfeeling men

Q: I have been seeing someone very nice and we have a lot of fun together, but when it comes to intimacy, he's not very loving or affectionate. When we are together, once a week maybe, it's more like a service without emotions. He has never been married and takes care of his mother — but she takes care of him, cooking, cleaning etc. It's always about what makes him happy.

I was married many years; I know how to compromise. I lived in an unhappy, uncaring marriage. I am very affectionate and have the attitude we only live once and want to enjoy what two people can share, love and companionship. He has said we are not in a relationship, I'm not a girlfriend, and he hates when I call. I know I should walk away, but he has my heart. Will time make a difference?

Am I an Idiot?

A: You apparently have a soft spot for people who treat you like an idiot. Given that you are a self-described affectionate person, and that the only significant, romantic attachments you describe here are with men who are stingy with their affection, I'm going with: No, time won't make a difference.

Not because this guy will remain the same (he will), but because you will remain the same: guided by some force to choose cold men only to bemoan their lack of warmth.

From your tone, it seems you didn't "know how to compromise" in your cold and unhappy marriage so much as you knew how to deny yourself. Where'd you learn that?

This is why therapy exists: to help us recognize, explain and pre-empt our self-defeating behavior.