The men say something similar: “I don’t want to have to answer to someone all the time.I don’t want to ask for permission to buy the car I want or to stay out late with my friends.Other people seem to have no trouble finding someone to marry. Over the years I have been a practicing psychiatrist, I have known a number of people who married the same person twice, and, recently, someone who married the same person three times!I have never understood these repeat marriages to be a response to a dearth of other potential partners.These are usually discouraged by employers, but take place anyway.
Of course, I could not tell her my opinion because she would have dismissed it out of hand, as she would that of a parent or a close friend.Finally, she told me that there was an interne that she was attracted to. I told her that was great—the next time she ran into him in the corridors of the hospital she should thank him and offer—as thanks—to buy him a cup of coffee. “I can’t be forward that way.” The only time Sally relaxed a little was when she was drinking. She was depressed, but not with the vegetative signs of a major depression and therefore not likely to respond to drugs.She reported that she had not dated anyone for over a year. Yet she told me that she wanted to date and to marry. The reason I remember her was that she was extraordinarily beautiful.She thought she was being neither welcoming nor rejecting, but rather sort of neutral.I tried to explain to her that being “neutral” would be perceived as being cold; but she seemed unable to change. Mary Ellen worked at IBM in a relatively senior post for a woman of thirty-four. She came to see me when she realized that she had not left her apartment during the entire two weeks of her vacation.