Q: My boyfriend and I have been together for four years. The past year I noticed that my attraction toward him has decreased drastically. It’s not that I don't love him anymore, but I don't think I am in love with him anymore. It seems like our relationship has no spark anymore and I'm just bored. I’ve also been extremely moody towards him lately because I think everything I feel is building up and I can't take it. I am the only one out of us both who has a job, and paying for two people drains your pocket. He is good to me, but other times he’s not. If something doesn’t go his way he freaks out. I am so confused and I just do not know what to do anymore. I feel like if I break up with him he might hurt himself because of how close we are. I've tried talking to him about it and he seems to take it the wrong way and blow everything out of proportion.
A: Let’s see, he has no job, he’s not always good to you, and he throws temper tantrums like he’s 12. Sounds like a keeper! Four years is an awfully long time to put up with this type of behavior. You’re moody? Actually, I’m surprised you don’t have daily visits from Miss Unbalanced! This isn’t a relationship and you are certainly not his mother. If he wants to be taken care of like an infant send him back home to her. If you have tried to talk to him and he refuses to admit there are issues that need to be worked on or makes it seem as if you are overreacting, you need to cut that proverbial cord today. It’s terrible to think a break up will make him do something stupid and hurt himself but frankly, he is not your responsibility. If he were, you may as well play surrogate mommy and allow him to continue mooching off of you and put up with his childish antics. If he has alluded to hurting himself if you leave, I wouldn’t put too much stock in it. It’s nothing more than a manipulative ploy to keep you in his back pocket or should I say keep him in your purse?
Q: My girlfriend and I broke up about 3 months ago. Actually, she broke up with me, mainly for not being a man. Not in bed, I was not a man in other areas of our relationship. I am a 61-year-old retired guidance counselor turned business owner whose wife died in 2011 and I cared for an ailing mother until she died in March of 2012. I regretted that I had not been as caring and affectionate with my wife as I should have been. As a mentally ill alcoholic, I realized that I had withheld affection from her as a punishment for her behavior. I vowed to myself to be more affectionate and caring in future relationships. In April, I meet an amazing woman. Felt like I had love back that I had lost. We hit it off wonderfully and spent every weekend together until she went on the first of her three long, summer, girlfriend trips at the end of June. I was jealous of her friends taking time away and displayed it. That, combined with the conscious effort to be more affectionate and caring, caused me to come across as a needy and clingy whimp. After returning from the third summer trip she initiated breaking up. She stated about how busy she would be during the fall and that I would not like it. I responded with the whimpy statement a little of her was better than none. She planned weekend activities that could have included me, but purposefully did not. I tried in non-needy fashion to act like it was OK, and it actually was starting to feel alright. I think I was starting to get over the grieving at that time. We continued to meet on week-day evenings that excluded any intimate contact. Finally, I got a text that stated she was just not there romantically and this is not fair to either one of us. We both have given this enough time and I just feel like we both should move on. Amazingly, by that time I was going to likewise call it off. I felt unloved and blamed her for being unloving. The break-up was kind of mutual, even though she initiated it. From then on, the only contact we have had was me texting her and she responding a Merry Christmas wish. After the anniversary of my wife’s death, I started feeling and acting more confident, self assured and manly. Have been dating three different women regularly. They are all highly attractive professional women and I enjoy being in their company. I like different traits of all of them. That is a problem, as I hate stringing them along, but can't decide on just one. The one decision that I have come to is that I like none as much as her. I feel like I am “settling” for them, but what I really want is second chance at “us”. I wanted her to see the real me, the non-grieving, but confident man. This week, I decided to send her a text in an attempt to open the door to a reconciliation. Her response was immediate and lengthy. She never got back that quickly to me since our first couple months of dating. She closed by saying she definitely would like to meet. I got extremely good vibes from her, but I don’t want to seem needy.
A: I am so sorry to hear about your wife and your mother. After having gone through so much in so little time, it was inevitable for you to latch onto the first women who gave you positive attention. You needed to feel like a man again. You needed to have someone take care of you for a change and that is completely understandable. Unfortunately, you weren’t ready to be in a “normal” relationship and she certainly wasn’t ready to play with the hand you were dealing. Can you blame her? The two of you met at completely different junctures in your life. She was living it up and having the time of her life and you were in need of someone to console you in what could be assumed to be one of your darkest hours. Breaking things off was the best idea for everyone given the situation. You hadn’t yet taken the time to grieve and pull yourself together. I am sure you are well aware this is something you must do and not expect another to do it for you. So, now you have put yourself out there, dated a few other women, and moved on from your past. Good for you! If this other woman is still in the back of your mind, and she appears to be interested in trying again, what’s the issue? The only way you will appear needy is if you are.