Dr. Lisa: Sandy can take a toll on your relationship, too


You are welcome to send Dr. Lisa, S.P. (Self-Proclaimed) your questions and dilemmas about your art, life, job, sex, you name it—and she will post responses to your questions and issues weekly, right here. Please send email to: [email protected]

Here in Bushwick we were very blessed to have been very lucky in regards to the relative hardships from the storm. One stressful area that might not be as obvious: the tension this type of disaster can bring to relationships, especially for couples that aren’t living together. Having to decide who goes to who’s home and when can be difficult to navigate during the mass transit shutdowns (read L train). We all know it’s nothing compared to what some people are trying to manage, but it can be legitimately upsetting to say the least.

Q.  Displaced lingerie. My girlfriend and I both live separately. My girlfriend told me last week that she has a friend on the Lower East Side that didn’t want to stay by herself in her dark apartment and she was going to keep her company. She also mentioned it would be “fun” for the two of them to stay there, anyway. My girlfriend walked there on Tuesday and she came back on Saturday. When I went to her house to see her Saturday night, I asked her to put on my favorite lingerie that I had bought her which was made of leather and had straps. She told me she took it to her girlfriend’s apartment during the storm and forgot it there. When I asked her why she would have taken something like that to a friend’s house in an emergency situation. All she could say was that she just “grabbed a bunch of clothes” and it wound up in the pile she took with her. Should I believe her or is this just horseshit?

A. Well, to say the least, if it is true, your girlfriend is pretty disorganized. Do you feel like she hasn’t been completely honest about other things—does she tell her friends the truth or do you notice her ease with a flexible truth?

Either way, a girl who runs from disaster and brings leather lingerie sounds like a lot of fun. But someone who cannot keep track of her own underwear may not be ready for a serious relationship. Are you sure a relationship is what you want, too? Or are you just drawn to something that you can’t quite have? People subconsciously choose people they can’t really have because they don’t want a commitment themselves.

It doesn’t sound to me like you totally trust this lady. The more important part of this equation is you—make sure you’re not distracting yourself by getting tied up with someone who is out of reach, unless you know you’re choosing to do so.

Q. Is it Sandy or me? I was at my boyfriend’s on Sunday and we got into a big fight. He lives in the East Village and I live in Bushwick and I didn’t want to be separated during the storm. He seemed hesitant about having me stay over—he’s a programmer who works from home and told me he had a lot of work to do. I got mad and stormed out, (no pun intended). When I got home, he called me and we made up, but at that point the subways were down and you know the rest. I’ve hardly heard from him since—he says between finding places to continue to work with his laptop and the other ramifications of having no electricity it’s been very difficult to keep in touch. Now that he has electricity, I feel like our relationship has taken a big step back since before the  storm. I can’t tell if he’s trying to blow me off (another no pun intended!). or if I’m taking all this distancing stuff personally. What do you think?

A. It’s hard to say for sure, but in this case I would take the high road and give him the benefit of the doubt and stay out of his way. If his work and career are dependent upon using his laptop from home, this could be tougher for him than you realize. He may be trying to keep up with his business, not wanting to let his clients think he can’t deliver. Neediness is never attractive. Stay busy. If you need something to do, volunteer: that will surely impress him and make you feel better. In the meantime, try to discipline your brain not to think about him—and staying away until he’s back on track is the best thing you can do for the relationship. When he does get in touch next time, be sure to focus on his needs, not your neediness. Be fun and upbeat. And if after all this, he does want some space, at least the L train will be running by then; There are more dudes all along the way.



See you next week!

XOXO Dr. Lisa

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