He Loves Someone Else
Q: I'm dating a guy three years younger than me, and he told me before we started dating that he was in love with someone else. We have become close friends and lovers, but when she calls he'll go right back to her. She doesn't have feelings for him, but he says he's in love with her. What should I do? -- Amy, 42
Dr. Susan: It always amazes me that people don't take would-be love interests at their word. If someone tells you he's a jerk, you should believe it. If someone tells you he loves someone else, believe it. He started dating you without giving you his full attention. You let yourself be used as a stop-gap for him. This other woman may really not have any interest in him, but he's looking for something or someone other than you. He may fall for someone else, or this other woman make return to the picture. Meanwhile, you're doing all the compromising and getting yourself stuck in a bad situation. Tell him to go get his head straightened out before coming back to you. Maybe a counselor would help him see he's chasing a fantasy with this other "unavailable" woman. Maybe if you're not so available yourself for a while, he'll realize you're "the one." True friends don't sleep with you while talking about the other woman they love.
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Advice for Her
Advice for Him
Susan K. Perry, Ph.D.
Susan K. Perry, Ph.D., is a social psychologist, relationship expert, and bestselling and award-winning author. Her books include Loving in Flow: How the Happiest Couples Get and Stay That Way, and Kylie's Heel, a novel for adults.
Pamela G. Chollet, Ph.D.
Dr. Pamela Chollet has a Ph.D. in clinical psychology and Master degrees in educational psychology and fine arts. Her passion has been helping people face and get through those times when they feel trapped and unable to move forward.
Anna Charbonneau, Ph.D.
Anna Charbonneau, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist, stress management expert, and author. If you're feeling overwhelmed, stressed out, or struggling to make changes in your life, Anna can help.