DEAR SUSAN: I saw a girl “across a crowded room,” as it were, eight years ago and I still can’t forget her. Back then, I botched an attempt to ask her out. She seemed receptive at first (if a little overwhelmed by my enthusiasm), but so much time has passed that she may not even remember me. I realize that I’m not in love in any true sense, but this is the crush that won’t die! The experience is so surreal that it makes me believe in fate. I have never forgotten her. Will she think I’m a weirdo for approaching her after all this time? CRUSHED

DEAR CRUSHED: It’s possible that your inner psyche came into play when you met this person — your deep intuitive self let you know that this could be someone special for you. We all have a side that speaks to us if we choose to listen — you acknowledged this but then did the opposite. You feel disturbed because you know that there’s something fatalistic about your sense. I think you should find her and see what’s going on in her world — not for anyone else’s sake but yours. I feel that there will be magic between you — even if she’s not able to be with you. There’s a lesson for you in all of this, and that’s to learn to listen to the voice within — it can guide you along life’s path.

DEAR SUSAN: I’m currently sleeping with a man that I started living with a month ago. Originally, I moved in so that I could live close to work. I recently found out that he has an obsessive female friend whom he was sleeping with for several months. Even though it’s over, she stops by occasionally to tell him that she still has feelings for him. Don’t get me wrong — I’m not in love with this man; I just feel like we could have something more than what we already have. I don’t want to push the envelope because I think I might end up feeling like the other girl. I am new to the dating scene and need some advice. Help! PUZZLED

DEAR PUZZLED: You are new to the dating scene! This man is just using you. The other girl who comes around should be a warning sign. He wallows in the attention from both of you, and he pretends to be an adult, which he isn’t. Why do you want to be exploited in this way by such an immature person? It could be because no one has ever really noticed you and you believe that having someone is better than no one. He lives in a make-believe world, and you’re letting yourself get caught up in it. Wake up! Try to form new bonds with your family and friends, and stop sitting at home expecting that he’ll have more time for you because he won’t. Don’t let yourself get in any deeper — there is only pain and confusion here for you.

DEAR SUSAN: I’m in a great relationship, but there are a few things on both of our parts that keep us from really connecting. He’s in the navy, which creates a little tension when he goes away for weeks on end with no communication. But the real issue for me is that, even when he’s around, I find it difficult to communicate my needs in a way that will get him to listen. I know he tries, but he seems to have serious amnesia. Is it me, or am I just assuming that it’s my fault that he’s not listening? CONFLICTED

DEAR CONFLICTED: If he doesn’t listen to you, how can it be a great relationship? He’s very set in his ways. If he were around all the time, you would see this situation in a different light. He doesn’t listen because he doesn’t see any other viewpoint but his own. Have you ever seen a horse with blinkers on? (Pardon the pun, but that’s him.) He doesn’t see your relationship through your eyes — his thoughts, views and ideas are a million miles from yours. The only way this can work is for you to have a complete metamorphosis, but you would lose yourself and your identity in the process. Start to put the issues you set aside into action and see how he reacts. I’m not saying that he doesn’t love you, but it takes more than that to make a couple tango long into the night.

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