Q: Am I too nice to get the girl I love to stay with me? In the time we were together and supposedly committed, she kept leaving me for a month at a time without telling me what was wrong. I know she has a bad relationship history and doesn't trust any man not to leave her. I am always willing to try and change what she wants me to change and to prove to her that I'll always be there for her. I love her so much. It took months for her to respond to my messages after the last separation. Then she did, and we got together to talk. She insists she can't be in a relationship until she fixes herself, and just wants to be friends. Is this one of those cases you hear about where she says it's not you but it really is? I hate to give up hope. -- Jeremy, 25
Dr. Susan: Your former girlfriend has told you in great B-I-G letters that she doesn't feel the way you feel. And you're saying, "I'll stick around anyway, and maybe she'll change her mind. After all, she hasn't yet written on a sky banner that I should just go away." Usually it's a major waste of time trying to figure out whether it's you or her. Because it's the two of you together that is the "problem." She has serious issues, doesn't trust men, and she just wants to be friends. What more can she do to convince you you're wasting your time? It would have been kinder of her to stop all contact with you, rather than coming and going and giving you intermittent hope. I suggest you stop playing the lottery with your heart.
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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.