Problem Page Edition 35 2017

This week – boyfriends who can’t ‘forget’ their last date, leaving the father of your two kids and whether a handsome 21 year old can love an ‘ugly’ 19 year old. Yes – it’s this week’s problem page.

Woman looking through glasses

If you would like any advice, feel free to treat me as your agony aunt. Just message me or pop a comment in the comment box at the end of this post. I promise to be gentle.

Here are this week’s questions.

QMy boyfriend is still friends with his last date. Should I believe that nothing will happen between them?

After we started our relationship, he found he still couldn’t stop thinking about her. We argued. Now he says he only loves me, but I find it hard to trust him. Our relationship will soon become a long distance one whilst they will meet again. What should I do? Tell him to stop being friends with her?

A: The difficulty here is that you entered a relationship with a man knowing he wasn’t over his last one.

It sounds as if he is not completely over her, despite his protestations of love for you.

You could tell him to stop being friends with her but I suspect it won’t make any difference.

Your best bet is remain calm, dignified and to not put up with any nonsense from him.

I may have got the man entirely wrong but someone who loves you would be doing all they could to remove your fears.

You don’t say how long you will be away for but when you are away I would feel perfectly entitled to date other people.

And this time make sure they are really free to love again and not still hung up on their ex.

Q: My female friend never contacts me first. We are close friends but it makes me really sad when I think of this. Why do you think she does that?

We are close friends. Sometimes we talk for long hours on the phone till late night. But I’m always the one who starts the conversations.  I feel if I stop contacting her, she will never contact me again). Don’t you think she’s being selfish here or am I thinking wrong?

A: Some people are leaders and some are followers, happy to be led and for everyone else to take the initiative.

This may be one explanation for her behaviour.

But have you considered that she might be finding long conversations into the night intrusive or a bit annoying when she might just want to go to sleep?

And are these conversations always all about you?

Friendship has to be a two way thing and if she is not taking the initiative to call you it might just be that she doesn’t want to be stuck on the phone for hours when she has other stuff to do.

I think you might need to take the hint here.

Q: How can I get her to understand that I don’t love her?

I met this girl online and we just started chatting.  Now she says she loves me madly but I don’t feel the same way. She has become quite desperate and says if I don’t love her she’ll commit suicide. What do I do?

A: If you have never met this girl it is highly unlikely that she truly ‘loves you madly’.

It sounds as if she is using emotional blackmail to keep you online.

It also sounds as if she isn’t very well.

As long as you are sure that she has other friends and family around her to take care of her then the best thing to do here is to explain clearly that you don’t feel the same way and that it’s best if you stop chatting because this is NOT what you want.

You are not helping by continuing to chat and giving her false hope.

If you do have any mutual friends it would be worth mentioning to them that you are concerned about her threats to kill herself so that they can keep an eye on her.

At the end of the day though, however, harsh this may seem, she is not your responsibility.

I would also be a little more cautious and rein in the flirting and flattery next time you talk to a girl online before you have met them in the REAL world.

The internet is not real life.

Q: I started talking to this guy and he told me that he has been cheated on twice. Should I be worried if he shows signs of insecurity?

He took a screenshot of one of my Facebook posts where another guy corrected my grammar. I responded “oops, thanks for catching that :)” and he WENT NUTS. He said I was too friendly with guys, and started getting pretty upset. Mind you, we barely have 2 weeks of constant texting. Should I drop him?

A: How many warning bells, klaxons and sirens do you need to tell you that this man has serious issues and is not a good bet for a relationship?

Have you actually met him?

Can’t you see that trying to control your behaviour after ‘barely 2 weeks of texting’ is not only completely unreasonable but deeply unhealthy?

Already you are trying to placate him. If he had screen-shotted my Facebook post, my response would have been, frankly, “it’s Facebook and I will talk to whoever I like. I really don’t feel you should be dictating to me at this stage in our friendship”.

Drop him? I would run for the hills.

Q: Can a 21 year old handsome guy date a 19 year old ugly girl?

A: I don’t think there’s such a thing as ugly. Sure, some people are more attractive than others but the true gauge of beauty is how they treat other people.

If you are seeking relationships based on something as shallow as appearance, somewhere along the line you will come unstuck.

Looks fade you know and there has to be a friendship supporting the relationship or it will, like the youthful bloom of your skin, just vanish.

Sadly, those who are more attractive tend to know it and seek out those who match their own estimation of themselves.

Not all, of course, but if you are chasing the local beauty (whether male or female) you are going to have a lot of competition.

And teens / twentysomethings don’t always have the maturity to recognise that it’s someone’s heart that matters, not their face.

The question you need to ask (and I can’t tell if you are the guy or the girl here) is whether they are a nice, decent person who will make you happy.

If their primary occupation is seeking validation from others through flirting or admiring their own reflection, I’d suggest you leave them to enjoy their moment in the sun and find someone more worthy of your affections.

Q: How do I leave my partner with whom I have two kids?

Until now I stayed mostly for the kids but also because it’s always seemed easier than leaving. We have ZERO in common and until now we were good for the kids. It now seems that we can’t even  agree on what was said in a conversation 10 minutes ago, I think the kids would be better with us separate.

A: Not without causing a great deal of pain and heartache to all involved – including yourself I suspect.

You don’t say why you want to leave but if they are unfaithful, or cruel or abusive then it’s understandable.

It’s trickier if you have just grown apart and have nothing in common any more because many people will tell you to grown up and put up with it for the sake of the kids.

Once we have children, really, our own happiness should take second place to theirs – in my view at least.

Have you really done all you can? Talked, had counselling, thought about the repercussions on your children’s lives?

It’s an incredibly hard, life-changing decision and there are no easy answers.

Q: Our relationship is moving too fast.  How do I tell my boyfriend I need to slow things down?

A: I think you need to be clear about what ‘slowing down’ means.

Do you mean you are spending too much time together? Do you mean you are not ready for a sexual relationship? Do you mean you don’t see him as a life partner? Do you mean you don’t want children with him?

Or are you really saying you’ve had enough but don’t have the courage to leave him?

The man deserves the truth and some honest communication, not game playing with his feelings.

And you need to own your feelings and tell him exactly what you need.

How would you have responded to these questions? I’d love to know.

Disclaimer: All materials included in this post are intended for informational purposes only. This post/information is not intended to and should not be used to replace medical or psychiatric advice offered by physicians or other health care providers. The author will not be liable for any direct, indirect, consequential, special, exemplary or other damages arising therefrom. 

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