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Ask Susan: Men on our minds
WEB EXCLUSIVE QUESTION:
Dear Susan: About two years ago I meet a man from the U.S. who works in my industry. He and my friend were interested in each other, so this was just a friendship between us. That said, we had a very strong connection — everyone felt it. We became friends and stayed in touch when he left. We have tried to hook up a few times but plans changed. (he is not married) A while ago we booked a trip to meet in another city. I was over the moon! When I called and told him my flight info, he never called back. I have not heard from him again and that was a year ago!!!!! We had a cool friendship, who knows if it could have been more. I am confused and want some kind of closure. Still waiting
Dear Still waiting: You have closure. This relationship was never going to be anything from the word go. He may not have been married but he was not free. He was committed and he didn’t have the guts to tell you. He behaved like a little boy. My advice? Don’t waste a second of your precious time thinking about him anymore. You’re so caught up in this you cannot see tomorrow for yourself. I feel Mexico… Are you planning a trip there? If you are it will be the beginning of a new phase of life for you — especially emotionally. The past is dead, look to tomorrow.
Dear Susan: In 2005, I met a man while I was working overseas. It wasn’t romantic — we were just friends. I will be visiting his country again before the end of the year. We haven’t stayed in touch, which I regret, but I would like to look him up for a drink. Do you think I should bother, or am I just holding on to a good memory? Curious
Dear Curious: Yes, of course you should give him a call. If he is free, I’m sure he will meet you for a drink. But let’s just back up here, shall we? I sense that you’re feeling quite lost and alone right now. It seems that you have developed a notion that this man could be something more than a friend, but I don’t think he will be. The last thing you need is a one-night stand. So go ahead and get in touch with him, but I think it’s time you cast your net in fresh water. You will be surprised at the tempting offers that come your way.
Dear Susan: Last year I met the man of my dreams — or so I thought! We dated for months before I realized that he was seeing other women on the side. Since I was the one who saw him the most, I felt especially hurt. A few months after we broke up, he called to tell me how grateful he was for having met me and that I had changed his life. He said I had helped him understand what his problems really were. He ended up dating one of the other women he was seeing while we were going out. He said he felt that we had so much love potential, but because he had hurt me so badly he didn’t think it could work between us. My brain says that this is baloney, but my heart wants to believe him. In spite of his faults, I feel that he is a decent guy. I know he is going to try to come back into my life in the future. Should I let go of him for good, or should I listen to my intuition about him being decent and be open to some kind of reconciliation? Does intuition lie, or is it just that love is blind? Blinded
Dear Blinded: Intuition does not lie; it’s our own built-in radar system. But it seems that you only feel needed and wanted when you help the underdogs in this world. I’m afraid that this man is a weak-willed dog who plays on the sympathy of others. His problems began in childhood, when his parents stopped getting along. He is a real dreamer, and, yes, he will be back, but by then you won’t want him. You know in your heart that he is damaged, but the good in you tries to look beyond his faults. I would encourage you to start socializing a little more. You will be amazed at who comes around the corner. My hunch is that it will be someone who is able to offer you the care and kindness you deserve.
Page 1 of 2Dear Susan: My husband’s brother and sister-in-law are very jealous of my husband and me, and it’s driving a wedge between all of us. If we buy something, they go out and buy the same thing. It started when my husband was 17 and got his first job making good money; they’ve been growing increasingly distant ever since. (We are 29 and 30 now.) It seems like the more money he makes, the more envious they are. My sister-in-law is always telling me that my husband works too much — as if it’s my fault. I don’t know why she thinks it’s any of her business. When she’s not picking on my husband’s work habits, she’s rude to me and makes disparaging comments. What I find most strange, however, is that one day she’ll say hateful things to me, and then a couple of weeks later she’ll email and ask if I’d like to go out with her. Her husband is just as bad. My best friend thinks that they are very tortured people and that they will never be satisfied because there will always be someone who has more than they have. It has gotten so bad that we don’t talk to or see one another any more than we have to. What’s really going on? Confused
Dear confused: It’s really not that confusing. They are envious, unhappy people who deserve your pity more than your anger. Is their life together so dull and boring that they thrive on being bitter about what they don’t have? What a sad, pathetic state to be in. If you think about the situation this way, you won’t be confused by their actions. If you know where their envy comes from, you’ll handle them h in a different way. Invite them over for dinner and find out what is really going on in their lives. They are family, after all, so you can’t shut them out. Just don’t get wrapped up in their bitterness.
Dear Susan: My boyfriend and I have been together for seven months. Four weeks ago, I found out that I am pregnant. It was an accident, and at first I was too afraid to tell him because I know that a child is the last thing he wants in his life right now. He is a 38-year-old, self-employed lawyer. He is worried about a business debt, and he’s still dealing with the legal proceedings of his divorce from his first wife. Eventually, I got up the nerve and told him. Sadly, but not surprisingly, he completely lost it. He told me that if I have this child, our relationship is over. An abortion is out of the question, but I love him and don’t want to lose him. On top of all this, I’m consumed with guilt over not being more careful and I’m questioning whether I have a right to bring a child into this world who won’t have both parents around all the time (although he says he wouldn’t walk away from his financial and moral obligations). Do you think there is any chance that we can resolve this and continue with the relationship? Sad mom-to-be
Dear Sad mom-to-be: This is the 21st century, and accidents do happen. However, I think that if you continue with the pregnancy, you’ll have to consider bringing up the child alone. This man is basically decent and would help financially, but he doesn’t want — and isn’t ready for — a child. He hasn’t worked through his last relationship and he is struggling with his new business, so money is tight. It’s just not the right time for this. Be honest with yourself: you know it isn’t. I realize that your body clock is ticking, but it’s a huge task bringing up a child alone. But if you want to do it, go ahead. It has to be your choice, sweetheart. I feel that your relationship with this man will end and that your life is going to change forever.
Dear Susan: I’ve worked at this one place for over a year, and I’ve always had the same manager. When I heard that he was getting transferred to another store, I couldn’t stop crying for days. Even on his last day, I was bawling. He gave me a big hug, which felt so nice. I still think about him daily; I even have dreams about him. What does this mean? There’s quite a big age difference between us-is this a problem? How can I find out if he’s interested in me without having to tell him I love him? Lovestruck
Dear Lovestruck: Do you realize what you’re saying? You are telling me that you love this man — who is almost old enough to be your father — but I don’t think you love him at all. You just think you do. It has always been safer for you to fantasize about a man than it is to have real relationships and all the disappointments they may bring. In this instance, I think your former manager would be shocked to learn that you have a love interest in him. I also think your fixation on him reflects deeper emotional issues that you might want to explore. For one thing, change makes you feel insecure; it always has. If you accept that life is about constant change, you’ll be more open to the opportunities it can bring. This is a long-term goal for you to work on. In the meantime, I think that in a few weeks you’ll settle into a new routine and feel okay again.
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