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    Hello X,

    Pardon me, but life got busier than anticipated.

    Happy endings are nice, but it feels incomplete. Also, if the protagonist(s) was happy, then the villain(s) was probably unhappy. After all, they both wanted different things, but only one side would get their desire result while the other side would fail. And as much as the villains are unlikable, it is also unfair to them that they, as the villain, are likely to fail to achieved their goal simply for the fact that they are the ‘villain’. Reverse the point of view and the ‘hero’ is probably the villain from the view of the ‘villain’ since it was the ‘hero’ that became an obstacle to the ‘villain’s’ plans. But more than the endings, it was more interesting to read about the character’s motives that led to their actions and its consequences.

    Of course, the child goes with whatever s/he is “fed” – I learnt about all these “real” versions only much later in life.

    I will have to disagree with this. The child may not have been taught that they have the freedom to explore beyond what they can see, but that didn’t mean that they couldn’t. Though it largely depend on the nature of the child and nature of their exploration.

    The same a few years later when I was looking at his picture. Somehow at that point the features that are now so pronounced (for me and I don’t like them) became also very apparent, he had started to lose hair, by that time he had already grown a belly (why do men do it once they hit 50 – the “guy who led me on” also put on weight), but I was lovingly thinking and recalling him the way he had been when we first met and for the first year of our romance, what pulled me to him “…But I still love you, notwithstanding.” Isn’t this what they call the conscious choice to love somebody?

    Don’t quite understand this point. People age, the cells dictate so (unless by some miracle scientists have found a way to reinvigorate the human body) there’s no turning back the cells’ death. So for you to focus on the fact that irregardless of how your partner may look in the present as compared to the past, are you focusing on the fact that you still wish to feel sexual attraction to him?

    What is interesting is that psychology-wise there is no “norm”. If you are “functioning”, you are “normal.”

    You can be functioning (surviving), but that doesn’t mean you can’t be/aren’t riddled with depression/melancholia.

    I am afraid I stop following you at this point – why is one partner always dissatisfied? Why can’t the two find a way that would satisfy both?

    You have things you wish to do, yes? Then can you give up all or at least a half of that for your partner to do what they want? If you can and will not resent your partner for putting you in that kind of situation, then go for it. But not many people can give up a life that has a certain meaning to them. For as much as both partners may compromise, it does not always lead to a life that is great, or even okay. They have compromised and made changes, but there is always the feeling that something is missing. And that missing is maybe where they want to live, the kind of career they want, the people they want to surround themselves with, what they wish to learn, etc. No two people will always wish for the same thing, and sometimes that ‘want’ is especially important to one person, but focusing on it (i. e. geographical location) may barred the other person from doing what they want: no career opportunity, geographical location, future (or no) children, etc. People can give it up (similar to an unfulfilled dream), but there’s a high possibility of regret leading to resentment if what they gave up was more important to them than they had allowed themselves to believed. When that happens, both partners have a choice to make. They can have a long distance relationship/partnership or separate. Keep in mind that not many people are suited to long distance relationship and even after all the changes, both isn’t really happy with their life. So they separate because they wish to find someone who they can share a life that is 70-80% similar to what they want, which is not what their current partner desires. So to repeat, you can love someone, but that doesn’t mean that you love a life with them. (And a reason why people should know if they desire children or not.) To put it in a simple equation, the start of love is chemistry and life is compatibility.

    Besides, when has life ever gone the way anyone wish it would?

    But generosity and willingness to put oneself in another’s shoes (even if it is as little as noticing whether I am cold or tired) goes a much longer way.

    Now, wanting your partner to be generous is fine, but determining it by a person’s generosity with money is one part too small of the whole. Just because a person is generous with money does not mean that they are generous with their heart or affection. A person can pay for you on a date, but that will not change the fact that they are a jerk; they are merely a jerk that paid during the first date. And many of those with money will donate a lot to charities to get out of tax duties; don’t be so sure that money generosity is a good thing. But in that end, the generosity is still dedicated to you in that the other person should do his best to woo you, in which most of them are doing since they are asking for your opinion for the first date. Yet you’ve expressed that you wished that they would simply make a decision, ask for your free time slot and then fill you in the plans. Isn’t that a bit controversial? You believe that the other person asking you where you’d like the date to be is them not doing the leg work, but you still wish for them to take you into consideration?

    You wish the other person to pay attention to your needs, yet how much attention are you paying to their needs?

    Also, I do like to underscore that I am independent and that the mere fact that you asked me out (or want to pay for me) doesn’t mean that I will sleep with you.

    There is a subvert entitlement to paying on the date. When a person pays, usually the male, they are unconsciously putting the other party in debt to them so they feel that they are owed something from the other party. And that something is usually something sexual. So splitting the bill is usually the safer bet for many first dates since no one owes anyone anything.

    By the way, is there is need to state your independence every few posts? Many of the posts have one or two sentences about how you’re financially able and able to do your own things without worrying about other people, but what is the necessity to include those points? Are you worry about others judging you for being desperate or ‘less than’?

    I have been brought up on the premise of “do unto others as you would have them do unto you do upon others”

    It is fortunate that your parents had the sound of mind to teach you such things, but not everyone had the fortune of having balance parents, or a family, for that matter.

    Anita likes to stress that compromising (meaning conceding) doesn’t work. What works is win-win. What would you say?

    A relationship shouldn’t be about winning or losing. If you continuously keep scores and grudges against your partner, then you’re only trying to fix them or appear superior to them. Making the relationship a competition will only wear out all the involved parties. But no human likes being wrong, much less being told that they are wrong. So there is compromise, in that the parties give up a little of something to reach the middle ground. Compromise is about balance, not tipping the scale toward one side.

    Now this is a only a thought, but you might be too comfortable in your thinking/feeling. You have a certain view on things and you tend to hold onto that point. It’s fine to be steadfast when it comes to having a different perspective from others, but when a person tend to ignore ‘different’ and focus on similar, then the viewpoint become too narrow that there’s only one perspective that might be correct (or incorrect) which hem in possibilities. One example for you is your insistent on categorizing your ex as an narcissist. Though you understand that you have no relative knowledge of Narcissistic Personality Disorder, you still compared your ex to to a checklist (from a relationship help website) of some traits that NPD can showcase therefore labeling him as a narcissist.

    Looking at what you’ve written, the checklist seems to go: ego-centric fuel by affection and admiration, serial cheater (inability to stay too long in any relationship), manipulating your hope and intentions, obviously has issues with intimacy and the ability to speak somewhat eloquently yet has done little to back up his words (dishonesty and poor communications, MIA for few months). Did he enabled you as a person, but also tried to control you in turn, has he ever shown you his absolute vulnerable side (no?), does he resent his exes, former friends, colleagues or family for any of his ‘misfortune/depression’, did he like being depended on (took responsibility for you in some way), did he show sign of needing approval from those around him (work and friends), was he able to take criticism from you (no?), did he have a quick temper or issues concerning anger?

    If you place a check next to many of the questions above, then your ex’s problem probably doesn’t lie in NPD but codependency addiction. Codependency is described as the ‘addiction to the potential of things’ or ‘relationship addiction’. If he is selfish and self-centered in some ways, that’s not surprising because those who tend to be codependent has detached themselves from their own emotions as a defense mechanism from a difficult past. The same thing can be written of NPD, but what differs is that the two are looking for different things. Your ex was seeking for love, but was unable to trust and commit himself to a relationship. Also, he was addicted to the chase of any new potential relationships so it is any wonders he’d have side mistresses?

    He is/was chasing after passion, pretending it to be love. It was easy for you to love that him whom spouted words without actions. Maybe you were hoping that he would eventually commit himself, but I wonder if you didn’t also unconsciously knew that after 4-6 years of ‘spoken love’, he was only a mask of no-risk passion. He was not going to commit yet you were able to delude yourself otherwise. Were you hoping to save him or be ‘the one’ for him? It seems you also knew of his past sordid affairs outside of his marriage? Then you found someone similar to your ex, labeling him as ‘the one who led you on’.

    And the cycle of spark, infatuation, waiting, then fading. You are used to that yet have made little attempt at changing it. Rather, you seek answers to why you should wait, why you want this or that, why your biology compel you to mate or seek affection or seek safety. Then you use that as a generalization for most women because there is safety in numbers.For someone who prefers to have a measure of control over their life, I wonder if the cycle is something safe for you? The cycle of waiting and moving on is predictable, their reaction is predictable and the outcome is predictable. It is a boring cycle to be sure, but it’s predictability is safe. It’s safe in that you can intuit their reaction and actions thus react according to your script of waiting until a year or more has passed before moving on to the next cycle. You first relationship was with someone who spoke of love yet could not commit. Then it happened again and again until now. In between, you acted the script of infatuation then disappointment. That script has not changed, or if it did, very little of the content has. You first chose a man that was unhappy with his relationship and that has not changed even now. Though you may find those that are seemingly ‘healthy’, you also gave up relatively quick, or was it that you weren’t attracted to them?

    There’s also the family portrait comparison. Are you looking for a trophy husband? Because you seem to want someone who would look good with you even if you don’t care about the particulars of their appearance. But does it matter all that much since it can’t predict whether that person will decide to commit to a relationship? Or it is how you determine whether you can kiss someone? What importance that does family portrait hold for you? You also wish for someone who seems smarter than you? Is it that you wish for someone to be responsible for many of the things in your relationship as a whole? Or at least to be in charge of plans and what not? Or are you so used to dating those who took charge before that it is safer to date someone who is similar in that aspect?

    You also have a lot of expectations for any potential partner, writing off those who doesn’t catch your eyes after the first date (though if there’s a red flag, get away as quick as possible) yet the moment that someone does show interest, you lose most of your rationale and wait. (Your expectations is decided by what you can see yet chemistry is what decides for you your infatuation.) You wait, hoping that they’ll give signals or signs that they reciprocate and that they might be interested enough to test out a few dates, if any at all. You wait, even when they are giving you mix signals, hot and cold. You wait, daydreaming of what could be and the potential future. You wait until the feelings fade away, even if it takes months. You wait, not taking much actions. You wait, because the cycle is safe, it’s predictable and you don’t have to change much of its content.

    But what does waiting serve in the long term?

    Do you also have the tendency to take on/pick up/draw in other people’s emotions unconsciously?

    The philosopher David Hume had advocated the view that ‘should you doubt someone’s point/argument/statement/stance, then you should also doubt yourself in turn’. So I will reiterate, take my conjectures with a grain of salt. I do not understand you personally as an acquaintance or friend so all my conjectures are based on the data you’ve presented so far. It’s questionable how complete the puzzle is and even if you feel it is complete, it is only complete in your point of view. There is no other point of view that can be take into consideration so there are only puzzle pieces for yourself and not others.

    I hope you are enjoying fair weather and time with family on your vacation.



    Hi X,

    There is certainly a romantic appeal to a person who was orphaned at a young age working hard and finding happiness later in life. But that’s not the only literature around. Jane Austen would caution against using passion as the basis for a relationship as well as Shakespeare in his satirical work Romeo and Juliet (two teens committing suicide after a few days of meeting? Utter foolishness). Dostoyevsky used passionate morals to commit ‘evil’. Emily Bronte had a different view of orphan in Wuthering Heights. The concept of Jean ValJean being forgiven for his criminal past, on his deathbed, by Cosette is eyebrow raising, the Hunchback had a grimmer ending. In the Italian version of Cinderella, Zezolla was fending off the advances of the King until he had cornered, forcing her to marry him. In the Grimm version, Aschenputtel planted a tree on her mother’s grave. Come time of the ball, she had asked the tree to grant her the dresses and accessories to attend. Her stepsisters had cut off part of their feet to fit into the shoe, the prince carried them off until the birds told him to check the bloody shoe. At the wedding, the bridesmaid stepsisters had their eyes pecked out by the birds. Didn’t finish Harry Potter, was more enamored with the Chronicles of Narnia.

    Fairytale do have a happily ever after, yet that also beg one question. What happens after happily ever after? The reader can only see a certain timeframe of the story to inferred that the characters was happy at a certain point in time, but it might not end that same way at their death. There is also no glimpse of the mundane life after the end. There might be an epilogue, but that doesn’t give much fact of the last ending for the main protagonist(s). Were they truly happy after the ending or is it something the reader must imagined to feel happy after finishing the journey of the characters? The narrator writes “The End” at the ending and it is, as the story has ended. Yet if the characters were living, the end merely implies the ending to one part of their life, the rest is left to the imagination. After all, someone must live to write that tale.

    Concerning any psychological disorders, the APA always has a difficult job of choosing what disorders should or should not be added to the DSM IV, the psychological guidelines. No matter the constant research, there is always outliers to human behavior so there might be theories, but not laws. Even now, psychologists and psychiatrists are still debating the spectrum of narcissism. Does someone embody Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) or are they merely on the spectrum, e. g. egoistic and weary of looking/being vulnerable? Difficult to diagnosed.

    GL, I am really not sure that love, or rather, its beginning is a conscious act. If it was, there would be many more happy marriages based on pure compatibility derived from tests and checklists. Matt and I discussed it in depth as well as Michelle and I.

    Apologies, should have elaborated on that.

    No one person can write that they love anyone upon first meeting, not even mothers/fathers to their new born. Like, possibly, but not love. It is possible to build upon that ‘like’ to achieve love, which many couples do. But after a few years of marriage, when the chemical wears off, people start to look at things objectively. And then they start to examined whether they are happy with their partner and more often than not, they find themselves dissatisfied. Given the context, they might start to change the things around them and their partner will probably support the change. But what if after all the changes, the partner start to feel dissatisfied in turn? So they change things again and again (e. g. career, geographic location), but not matter what, one partner is always dissatisfied. But that dissatisfaction lies not in their partner, but in their life. Yet no matter the change they make, they couldn’t achieve a basic level of comfort for both and the only way to do so would be a long distance relationship. But not a lot people can do long distance and make their relationship work, they’re just not cut out for that. So they separate because compromising didn’t work. The separation was not done because they didn’t love each other, but it was because they love each other that they separated. Each person respected the other’s person need for a life that makes them happy, even if that life wasn’t one together.

    Mr. Katz puts it perfectly. There’s little chance of getting 10 and 10 in both chemistry and compatibility. You might love someone, but that doesn’t mean they won’t annoy you at any time of the day. But no matter how piss off you are with them, you still choose them because there’s a level of comfortability you feel with them. And they decided that they feel comfortable with you too. Thing is, it’s not that you need them, but that you want them. So once you’ve made the decision to commit after deciding if you want to be with them, how do you choose to love that person?

    Do you believe that I should have continued to see those men if I had felt at least neutral towards them and not the aversion / repulsion that I did? They say that if you don’t feel chemistry, it means that the person is biologically, on the physical and animal level not good for you gene-wise, not good for procreation, like a distant cousin may be.

    The concept of seeking a partner that can provide for you depends entirely on you. If you’re looking to start a family in the future and would be the one to stay at home, then it would be wise to look for someone who can bring in the money, though it’s not always necessary. If you like being pampered by your partner with gifts and treats, then look for someone who knows his finance and works in that boundary. Marrying for convenience and economic status was a societal rule in the eras before due to high mortality rate and little working opportunities for women. So the women had to be careful in who they married since they will mostly be depending on that men to provide for them and their children. There are exceptions, but still, it was uncommon. Now that women can work, there is few need to find a partner that can provide for you. Even single moms can find methods to work with the system. So if you want someone who can pamper you, then put that on your list of criteria for partners.

    In terms of chemistry, physical chemistry is important if you are anything, but asexual. Though aesthetics can also be important too. Wanting and being able to kiss someone makes it easier to want to date, and chemistry can be developed if you are open to that. But chemistry is important to you so seriously judge if you are comfortable with that person. You have good intuition, but what kind of information is your intuition drawing from? Is it drawing from your romantic idealism, your bias or your criteria? But judging someone as a series of data can skew your perspective since it doesn’t allow you to see that person as human, but a checklist of sort. Though if you don’t like something about that person, then you don’t like it so best to move on.

    Take these advices with a grain of salt. Marrying for love is a new concept so it can be inferred that the relationship industry is new too. So while scientists are still trying to determined what is ‘chemistry’ between two people, relationship coaches are mostly going off of their knowledge of what makes a relationship. But that knowledge might not work for everyone. What works for one might not work for another so you’ll have to understand the context of your relationship and the people involved. Even then, if one person is half-hearted about it, then it might not work since they probably won’t choose to wholeheartedly commit to the relationship. And people are rarely taught how to be responsible for their actions in a relationship. People are rarely taught how to be vulnerable with others.

    But you shouldn’t compromise in terms of commitment. It’s either they will choose to be with you or they don’t. Take the maybes as ‘no, they won’t commit’ because that maybe is a method of ensuring that they can leave as soon as they feel trapped or vulnerable or unsure. Take their actions are either ‘yes’ or ‘no’ because actions does speak louder than words given that speaking is easy, but doing is difficult. Of course, you can also choose to wait, but you should also understand that you can also walk away. What you choose to compromise on is entirely up to you, but you also don’t have to compromise on everything. You have your needs, and your potential partner have theirs. Between what you can compromise on and what you can’t, you work on the middle ground of that ‘can’ with them.

    You are complete/whole as is, but that doesn’t mean you can’t be lonely. Human are social creatures, science has proven that. To wish for the warmth of another is a human thing, so it’s fine to let yourself be human.



    You’re panicking, RJG.

    You understand that it’s unhealthy to place heavy expectations on other people hoping for them to validate the fact that you are not unlovable, but that doesn’t mean that you accepted that for yourself. Right now, you’ve placed heavy expectations on this guy that you’ve been to bed with due to the single fact that you went to bed with him. He slept with you so that must mean that he wants to date, right? Nope. All he’s been telling you is that he only wanted physical pleasure. Even now, he’s moved on with his life. But you are using him to torment yourself.

    You stalk his Facebook. You think about his non-replies. You think about how he might be a ‘good person’ who didn’t want you. You are making this a personal agenda in that he’s not thinking about you. So that wounded your ego and your pride and now you feel despondent because he is making it clear that he only wanted your body. That hurts. But you’re the one choosing not let go. You are choosing to highlight the fact that he is not thinking of you into a bad thing.

    You are over-thinking this, which led to you panicking over the fact that he does not care.

    Find a way to calm down. Take deep breaths, take a walk or take your car somewhere. Bake a cake, watch a movie, hike a trail, play loud music and dance to it wildly, stargaze, eat something nice, take a bath, paint, go to a batting cage, do something. But don’t do anything related to that person, not until you have calm down over this situation.

    • This reply was modified 4 weeks ago by  GL.


    Dear RJG,

    You understand that you have an anxious attachment style so relationships are important to you. Having someone as a romantic partner is important to you. But that also makes you desperate for affection that you say ‘yes’ to almost any guy that shows a glimpse of interest in your direction.

    From the example of the current guy, as much as you’ve given your stance on relationships while asking him what he wants, you still allow a wide berth of ‘maybes’ for him. Maybe if you kept contacting him, maybe if you kept seeing him, maybe if you kept talking to him, he might eventually developed true interest in you. And that interest might turn into a loud ‘yes’ to becoming a romantic couple. Even when all you’ve done together was food and sex. Even when all he has shone interest in was bedding you. Though you were vocal about what you wanted, you also let your actions overrode those expectations into ‘maybes’. And he saw that and kept pushing because he understood that you wanted his affection and affirmation and approval. You wanted a relationship, only you didn’t firmly push back when he gave signals that he only wanted the physical.

    Now, for every immature person that have ghosted you, those numbers had picked at your insecurity. And insecurity has a funny way of making you feel inferior and a lesser-than-person. Insecurity also has a way of making you believe that your worth is decided by what someone tells you are worth. So when those people ghosted you without even a text telling you it wasn’t meant to be, it’s left you befuddled and feeling that maybe you weren’t valuable enough for that person to like you. Then you start to question your worth which lead you to start liking yourself a little less than you did before. That person did ghost you so that must mean that you did something wrong, right? And that’s where the need for closure comes in. You want to know what you did wrong, you want to know what’s wrong with you?

    Yet, even knowing the answer won’t do much other than say that the relationship just won’t happen.

    Those people who ghosted you made a decision that they didn’t see the relationship going anywhere, but not wanting to take responsibility to end things, they went radio silent. Their decisions had nothing to do with you. The chemistry just wasn’t there and you really can’t fake chemistry so they left. But you took that personally to mean that there was something wrong with you so you want to know ‘why’. If you knew, maybe you could fix it. But that doesn’t get you far.

    Rather, don’t ask yourself what you did wrong, ask what didn’t the two of you have together? Ask if that person is someone you can really shout ‘yes’ to. Is that person even happy talking to you? Ask if that person even likes you. Do you even like him? Ask if that person is someone who does respect your boundaries, your nos and your want/needs. Ask if that person has chemistry and compatibility with you. Be more picky about who you choose to be intimate with.

    Don’t fear that there is no one out there for you, fear that you can’t choose from the ones that are attractive and is whole-heartedly into you.



    Dear SallyDaisy,

    As of right now, you are living in a bubble. A bubble that you have created out of the need to rationalized what is happening in your life. And in that bubble, you keep telling yourself the stories ‘I am worthless, I have no value, I am a failure’. Your confirmation bias is also looking for other stories, i e your abusive ex, to support and uphold your critical view of yourself.

    Right now, you believe those stories. You believe yourself to be worthless because your environment, the people around you, have never encouraged you to have faith in yourself. Your environment was/is hostile so what you see around is a lot of hostile elements with little safety spaces. Your defense mechanism is on alert mode, ready to leap out at the moment you perceive danger, no matter how imaginary. Because anyone can be an enemy, it is simply easier to shut out everyone, than hope for a single ally. And that’s why you are still in contact with your mother. As much as she is not your ally, at least you know her brand of ammunition. You’ve stood before her line of fire, it is something you can predict and that’s easier to response to. What’s predictable is less scary than what is not predictable. Hence, your ex was an abuser, similar to your mother. You’ve lived in that hostile environment for so long that it’s easier to surround yourself in a similar environment than change to something you don’t know.

    What’s worse is that humans tend to be their own cruelest enemy because your mind is the best tool for self-torment. Especially when you were only taught by your mother that you have no worth as a person. It seems you were your mother’s verbal punching bag. She also didn’t approve much of what you did, did she? Especially if it makes you happy because you weren’t allow to be happy? At least in her eyes. And because you couldn’t be happy unless your mother was happy, you’ve learned to put yourself at second best. You’ve learned that your value lies in pleasing other people. Hence, once of the reason why you constantly seek love and affection and approval and validation from other people. You kept chasing after love the only way you knew how.

    That void is what is left after the chase. It is a bit of hopelessness along with self-derision. It’s an emptiness that has hollowed out your heart. And because there is nothing in that emptiness, you don’t have anything to fall back onto when your mind constantly questions your value, your worth, your significance. Because it’s empty, you can only filled it with other people’s opinion, taking it as the truth.

    You did not live an empty existence, you simply don’t know how to live a full existence for yourself.



    Dear Lia,

    You are not obligated to love your mother. She might have familial ties to you, but love is a choice and you can make the choice to not love her. The child you was dependent on her, thus seeking for her love. Parents are the first contact to the world and with evolutionary genetic wiring humans to be social animal, you were simply following your instinct of seeking out warmth and affection from your parental figures.

    You have done nothing wrong. You had only seek to please your mother in the way you knew how, but she is the one who chose to reject your efforts. Your mother is the one who chose to reject you simply because she could. It was not your fault. None of it is your fault.

    But if there is one thing many abusers have in common, it is that they are skilled manipulator. Like a predator to their prey, they have observed your strengths and weaknesses to know which buttons to push. And when the abuser is your mother whom you have spent many years with, it is little wonder if she doesn’t understand how to destroy your self-esteem while she has never encouraged you to have faith in yourself.

    Your mother is skilled at painting/coloring your reality with her colors, your mother is skilled at making the world center around her. At a young age, that taught you to ignore your will, your want, your desires, your needs in favor of your mother’s needs. That taught you that you had no value as a person; that you don’t matter, only your mother matter. Your mother had also instilled the fear of her into you because it’s simply easier to break someone when they fear you. Fear makes it easier to control you.

    Now that you are breathing the same space as your living nightmare, your anxiety is making itself known because you still fear your mother. Your body has already ingrained that fear into your heart so now your defense mechanism is going haywire in the presence of your childhood bogeyman. You do not feel safe with your parents thus your anxiety is screaming at you ‘no, No, NO!’. You are not safe. You need to get out.

    Moving on from your nightmarish childhood does not have to happen in the presence of your family. You can heal while still living far, far away from your would-be oppressor. Being strong means being okay with not meeting or seeing those who had abused you. It’s not that you are weak not meeting them, but rather, you respect yourself so you look after your well-being. And if being okay means not meeting your family, then that is what you should encourage yourself to do.

    You need a safe space to heal, not a space with your oppressor. Especially when staying with your family means constant vigilance against your mother to see if she is going to do something to you again. You don’t need that. Constantly ‘fighting’ does not make you strong, rather it just tires out your spirit. Find the courage to leave, do it for yourself. Do it because leaving is showing the strength to say no to what hurts you.

    Good luck.



    Hello X,

    Your conversation with Matt about relationship was quite lovely. It’s always nice to learn about another person’s perspective on dating and relationship.

    Now, going over your posts, there were some ideas that popped up and it might you with working out your current structure. Though do ignore it if you don’t find it helpful.

    Regarding your childhood, it seems that you’ve spent the majority of it with your grandparents, which is not bad, but it seems that what you yourself needed was an authoritative figure, i e your father, rather than a gentle mother-type figure. Which is why you idolized your father, but you didn’t spent much time with him so you couldn’t develop too much emotional connection between the two of you. That was detrimental to you.

    Then there was your mother, whom the best way to spend time with you was to read books together, but she found the activity boring so instead taught you to read so you could do it yourself. Again, not a bad thing, but for you, reading together was a means of building an emotional connection with your mother. That she would unknowingly reject it probably hurt the child you. So during childhood, you were only able to developed a partial relationship with your parents, whom you viewed as the first authoritative figures in your life. Hence, probably why you identified with the orphans in the novels. You felt abandoned by your parents, whom you wanted to spend as much time as possible together, but the circumstances didn’t allow that. It wasn’t that your parents didn’t try, it’s just that circumstances and the method of raising you wasn’t attuned to you so much as what they think was the best for you. It was a mismatch of expectations.

    Then when you were older, you began to pull away. But that’s typical teenage behavior as teenagers are at an age of trying to explore their own individuality. Your parents didn’t know how to response to that since it seems that they were too used to you being obedient to their expectations. And it seemed that they stopped trying to guide you or at least communicate with you at a level that made you felt heard, which was even more detrimental to your psyche because though you might have quietly rebelled, you still needed the proper guidance. Or at least an authoritative figure you can depend on as a safety net while you try to understand a little more about yourself. That would explain a little of your romantic affiliation towards older men who are in position of authority. You idolized the thought of having someone guide you and that mixed in with the quality of potential romantic partner.

    You have really good intuition so when you met your previous partners, something about them had appeal to you. One of the theme that connect them was that they were unavailable due to being married or unable to forget someone. But intuition doesn’t pick up status, it pick up emotions and motives. And if there’s a running theme between your exes, it was that they were unhappy in their relationship. And you being emphatic, you probably wanted to help these people who were able to catch your interest. Now, combined that with your need for a true mentor/teacher/guide, idolization of your father and romantic idealism of ‘love conquers all’ (with your previous exes likely looking for a distraction from their current relationship), it’s not difficult to imagine why you entered into a pseudo-relationship with men who can only make empty promises. After all, those men were older, charismatic, likely knowledgeable given their position and unhappy.

    Even now, you are still searching for answers from those whom you think is a leader in certain fields. You wish for a guide. You wish for answers to what confound you; from your preference in men to why your exes just could not choose you. Because those answers might help you move on. Because knowledge might help you stay in control in a situation with brittle foundations. A pity you can’t really predict human behavior.

    I caution you against labeling your ex as a narcissist. He had his vices, but you also decided to accept those vices, along with his promises of settling down with you. You yourself chose to accept those promises as valid, you chose to believe him regardless of what his actions might have indicated. You chose to wait for him, but he didn’t choose you in the end. For whatever reason, it wasn’t you. And it hurts because he was someone special to you for the six years you were together. You might have even thought he would be the one. It’s not something that is easy to let go of. But labeling him as someone narcissistic is merely trying to place the blame of the ruined relationship on him. It’s merely trying to say that you were in the right and he was wrong, that he is the one at fault. It might make you feel better, but the you that chose him can’t be all that perfect either, can you?

    The analogy of a choosing to commit to a relationship in the form of watering a flower is lovely, but you’re still missing a piece. If the flower represent the relationship and all its emotions (from the spark to affection) and the watering the choice/decision to commit, then you only chemistry. You forget about compatibility, which is the earth that houses the flower. For whomever you meet in life, you can have chemistry, but not compatibility. Or you might meet someone who is compatible with you, but no chemistry. It is difficult to meet someone who has both chemistry and compatibility with you. Thus, there is compromise and separation.

    You can love a person, but you might not love the life with that person. Because each person respect the other as individual with their own needs and desires. Because each person respect the other’s need for a life that they want. Because they want the other person to be happy, even if it’s life without them. So they separate, because while they did love each other, they couldn’t live the life the other person wanted. So it was better to let go. Love is letting go.

    It’s not always the ‘why’, but rather the ‘how’. How do you choose to love someone?



    Dear Curiousgeorge,

    Wanting to grow as a person is a great thing, but before working on your habits, you need to have a basic understanding of yourself.

    You yourself have express the thought that you are uncomfortable with acknowledging your emotions; your thoughts originate from your base desire. Unfortunately, emotions is one of the fundamental basis that makes up a human being. So ignoring your emotions is more detrimental than beneficial.

    Your negative thoughts are not unusual, but because you fear the roots of it, you instead let them push you towards impulsive actions. Actions are spurred on by either desire or thoughts, though desire tend to take precedent more than thoughts. And most of your actions seem to stem from the fear of losing your relationship, or something along those lines. But you simply acknowledge your impulsive actions as something you do because that’s the sort of person you are. That sort of thinking can be dangerous because once you’ve labeled an identity to yourself, then you’ll likely cling to that identity regardless of how detrimental it is to you. It’s safer after all, to have an identity to describe yourself; because without it, how empty would you be?

    You call yourself stubborn, impulsive and irrational, but human beings were irrational to begin with, you are not alone in that aspect. Now, what separate each person’s irrationality is motive and desire. People tend to emphasize on different things for survival or what they instinctively believe is crucial to their survival. Then they seek for those object/subject by way of their environment because it’s simply easier to seek subjects like affection or approval from other people as you might be able to actually see it lived out from them to you. But always depending on others for their affection send certain messages to them, one of which is that their value in the relationship is based on whether that person can continuously provide you a show of affection. If they can and do, then you feel that it is enough so give yourself to them in exchange. In doing so, you effectively bury yourself into being their something, an identity that you apparently take pride in. Yet, in the end, you cannot avoid the fact that you are an individual with your own needs. No matter how much you might tolerate other people’s demands, there is still a certain limit you won’t be able to pass. And when it gets to be too much, the question becomes ‘how will you act out’.

    You are an irrational human being like anyone else, but that doesn’t stop you from ignoring your irrationality and rationalizing your emotions, which is what is spurring on the choices/decisions you make. There’s a difference between knowing you are irrational to accepting that irrationality. You might even use that irrationality as an excuse to not change. After all, you’ve already acknowledged that you are irrational, what more can you do? But that’s just one perspective that you may cling to. Though whether you can acknowledge that there are different ways to look at it is entirely dependent on you.

    What people find the hardest to do is probably what they need to do.

    Get to know yourself; acknowledge your emotions, the good and the bad. Try to not rationalize them as you being irrational, stubborn or impulsive. Emotions are simply emotions; it is your being that act on them, it is you that give them meaning. Your negative thoughts are scary, but they are your thoughts, get to know them as a friend giving another friend their shoulder and listening ear. Your thoughts do push at your insecurity and fear so you decide on how to response to them.

    You can’t just change your habit, you must first change your perspective.



    Dear Ashley,

    If you’re going to use the MBTI, it would be best to understand it’s origins (Carl Jung) than use a website that gives you a summarized version of the ENTP. Typology is both simple and complex so it’s easy to misunderstand it.

    Also, you believe that there are some things you can’t change because it would mean changing your fundamental genetic, but wouldn’t the better question be whether you can change your perspective on the subject matter? After reading through the many replies in the thread that you’ve started on the simple question of ‘are you condescending or are people insecure’, your many replies have the distinct mark of a perspective in black and white; either they are right or you are wrong. Since the person who made the remark that you were condescending did not have any good example to fall back on, you then went outside of your club to look for clues on whether that person is merely judging you, along with the other people in your club. You then list your credentials and a vague attempt at differentiating how you were perceived in two different situation. Then you listed how other might have perceived you based on first impression, but that eventually went away. Then it was how judgment is made to your background and struggles. The main theme, of course, was YOU. You, you, you. How you struggled and succeeded. How you tried so hard to get where you are now regardless of how much others tried to set you back. And finally, how you are that much better than those whom you deigned to give your time to. There isn’t much in your post on how you could be condescending, not when you’ve achieved so much, other than the fact that others find you condescending. So do YOU think that you’re condescending? Evidently not.

    Now, looking at it in another way, either the people who are a part of your club is being ridiculous or they are simply observing something about you that you don’t want to acknowledge. But lets go back to when you talk about the club member that told you that you were condescending. You’ve listed the fact that she had no good examples of your actions, but there are some things to note down. Is she the kind of person to be direct and say what she thinks outright, especially in the instances that denotes you as patronizing? Does she have a good memory or is life a series of impression to her? Memories aren’t that reliable. How close is your relationship seeing as you might be acquaintances than friends so she probably hasn’t seen the good and bad sides of you? Did you follow up with her on her impression of your patronizing first impression? She might have mull on it and remember some examples, but felt it too awkward to bring it up again. But why does she have to help you figure out whether you are patronizing or not? That is not her job and she was telling you her impression of you, just as you are writing about how others judge you based on your appearance and credentials.

    Just as she has certain impressions of people, so do you. You judge others on their credentials (education, career and luxury) and see yourself as above them. Then you turn around and judge them for judging you based on that same credentials. You excused your judgment as an observation, but when others judge you, they are being insecure. You even use the analogy of being a Debater, the ENTP is not just a typology that debates; rather if you debated any person on every point about a subject, that just makes you argumentative, not inquisitive. Because being an ENTP might mean being a debater so even if you were to talk down to others about a certain subject, question their view and points, be insensitive about their perspective on the topic, that would be alright since you have the credentials to lend you backup. After all, you don’t want to considered their point of view so much as how you can win the argument. You might be insensitive, but you certainly aren’t insensitive to your need to be right.

    Of course, no person ever wants to think or believe themselves to be less than a good human being, but hindsight bias is 20/20 for a reason. And whether you can accept the perspective of another person as a subjective truth is another question. So you can keep asking then keep defending yourself, but all you’re achieving is a loop of ‘they’re probably wrong and I’m the one with the good credentials so they’re just jealous’ etc. You judge them, they judge you, you judge them and it goes round and round.

    Also, no one is entitled to anyone’s time. When you were upset at one of the members for turning down your handout of a welcome, your choice of words created the image that you expected the other person to accept your invitation because ‘your’ time is precious, you are knowledgeable about many things and thus would able to provide advice on things he might be struggling with so he should be happy to even be able to meet you. Yet he had the gall to decline your invitation which lead you to question another member on why that was so. Well, you might not have thought those things, but you definitely felt that it was unreasonable for him to ‘politely’ decline to meet you even when it is perfectly reasonable to accept or decline any meeting with any person, regardless of how well educated and possible well lived that person may be.

    Humans are irrational, emotional mammals. Humans feel first, then think/act. A person is only logical in that they prefer to make decisions on noted fact than emotional ties.



    Dear limbikanimaria,

    Your mother, like yourself, have a certain perception of herself as a human being. And when the identity that she has created through her own perception of the world is threatened in any way, or in your case, a memory of her doing or saying that isn’t aligned with how she thinks of herself, she would then proceed to deny it. So it’s not that she is denying your memory of her so much as she is denying the image that memory is painting of her, which is a person who is caustic toward someone is bulimic. And if your mother is fixated in thinking herself as a good person, and a good person is never cruel to their own children, then you won’t get anywhere regardless of what you do.

    You can keep telling her your reality of being bulimic and how her words and actions have triggered some of it, but that doesn’t mean that she has to listen or understand any of it. They have to choose to openly listen to you, even if they can’t understand. But while your mother might be listening, that doesn’t mean that she hears everything, especially when it relate to her. No one wants to be a bad person so if your stories give your mother a bad image, then she won’t accept that as true because she does not think herself as a bad person. And since she is not a bad person, then that means she wouldn’t be cruel toward you. And that is how she see herself in her reality. Just, your reality does not match/align with her reality.

    Though you want her to validate your claim because to you, the event did happen. Thus, you want justice equal to the cruel remarks inflicted onto you. You want her to be aware of your pain, you hope for her understanding of how her actions affected you. You want closure on what happened. Because to you, your mother is someone whom you hope will change to this awesome mom whom you can have a close relationship with, if only she would sincerely apologize for her cutting remarks. Because that apology would mark a change in your relationship with each other. Or maybe that’s not what you want at all, but you certainly wish for closure as you still linger on the fact that your mother would not validate a memory of yours.

    But closure is a myth if you expect to find it from someone apologizing to you. Closure is not someone doing something, but you letting go of the expectations and hope for closure. Because the more you wish for closure, the more reality will disappoint you as you can’t control other people’s actions. You can hope for an apology, but whether the person in question understand what or why they should apologize is dubious at best and improbable at worse. Why? Because no one wants to be wrong, no one likes setting aside their pride to apologize, no one wants to be a bad person and no one has lived your life; does not see the world through your perception. They cannot see how certain remarks hurt you or why. They cannot understand your pain just as you cannot understand theirs. While your hurt and pain might be a reason for them to apologize, it is still something that is your reason, not theirs. So you might or might not get an apology regarding how much you explain their actions have hurt you.

    The best thing for you is to just accept that that your mother will not change. Your mother has chosen to be who she is as she is seen through the reality that you perceive. People rarely take the initiative to change unless they perceived the need to change. And people are generally narcissistic in their perception of being a good person so it’s an exercise in futility in trying to change them somehow. So no matter how much you tell her what you went through, if your stories paint her as a bad person, she might or might not listen. She has the choice to listen, that is her freedom. She can choose to understand and maybe apologize for her actions, but she doesn’t have to. It’d be nice, but it’s her choice to do so.

    It does not matter whether she is your mother; she is, first and foremost, an individual, a human being. It’s just that, for whatever reason, she, the human, is your mother in this reality/life. So you decide: accept the reality of your mother as she is or continue hoping that one day in the future, she will somehow change into a better person and finally apologize.



    Dear leanna,

    You have a lot of expectations that you’ve developed through developing strong emotions for this person who have GHOSTED you for five months, then came waltzing back into your life, asking for a second chance to which you willingly gave it to him just because you still have not let go of your feelings for him. Those expectations did not (is not) helping you.

    Just because you have feelings for that person, you’d let those emotions cloud your judgment of a person that had the audacity to ghost you in the first. A person who, after several meetings, decided that you were a waste of his time and so did not contact you because he didn’t want to take responsibility for rejecting you, even through text. He is a an *ss for ghosting you, but you also take part of the blame because you willingly let him into your life the second time.

    The person in question only texted you for whatever reasons, but you did not have to accept his invitations. You could have unfollow his instagram, ignore his text and any messages that he sent you. But you did not. You continue pining for this person who have shown himself to be immature then accepted his invite a YEAR after little contact. For some reason, you did not give up the hope and expectations that if he’d only take the time to get to know you, then he would see what an awesome person you are and would want to start dating. But reality is harsh in that it rarely follow the stories written and directed by you. And those stories tend to contain certain expectations that does not help you when it comes to the action of other people because you cannot control their actions to begin with. You can only control your own behavior.

    You allow his questionable behavior so it’s not all his fault. He only did what he wanted and you did what you wanted, which was to accept his invite and go on dates with him, even after the ghosting and a year of no contact. So rather than question his behavior, ask yourself why you would allow that sort of behavior in the first place.



    Dear Z,

    Compassion is a good thing, but the thing is, you are not obligated to show compassion for every person on earth. In certain situations, like a stranger being rude, or doing what you might perceived as a rude action, you might be able to write it off as them having a bad day and it’s not you’ll see that person again to care about what they did. Or with someone you know, if you know what kind of situation they might be going through, then you might be able to show compassion for them even when they are being rude. But, no matter what, if someone is rude or act hostile to you in any way, then you have an obligation to yourself to defend your well-being.

    In those kind of situation, it is not about being compassionate, it is about whether your safety is in a questionable state. Before thinking of others, keep your well-being in mind first and foremost. If you are in danger of any kind, big or small, then it’s not compassion but safety that you should be thinking about. Once you have distance, then you can possibly have compassion, but not before.

    Now, your obsession with your friend likely stem from your bruised ego and your monkey brain. After all, your friend is someone you want to trust to not hurt you. So if your ego didn’t take a punch from your friend, that’d be amazing. Once your ego is bruised, your monkey brain will try to analyzed the whole situation down to the nano second of ‘why would they do that’, ‘did you do something wrong’, ‘what could have lead to it’ and on and on and on. But no matter what kind of excuse they might give you, what you want most is an apology. Because the apology would signify that they did you wrong, that they was the one who hurt you and so should make that known. And that apology might sooth your bruised ego. But the expectations that the other person will somehow mature overnight and take responsibility for their action will always be a dream because if people were always aware of the hurt they have caused others, the world might be a kinder place. But it’s not and it’s incredibly difficult for people to think about others because people observe the world through their own eyes, not other people’s world view. However aware your friend is, expecting them to be apologize is an groundless projection.

    It’s best to let go of that expectation. Others’ actions are their actions, you don’t have control over it. So if they choose to be a d*ck-head, a**hole, and so on, it was a choice they made, consciously or unconsciously. And you have a choice to called it what it is, then you choose whether to make what happened so personal that you can’t let go, depending on whether you can admit that it did hurt you and that you should be angry about it. Of course, they did betrayed you so that wound will take a lengthy period to scab over.

    The expectation of a friend never betraying you tend to be a habitual thing for humans so when it does happen, it seems like the world you knew had changed overnight. Once that has happened, you will have to reorder how you viewed the world to fit in the new information of the situation. That includes all the hurt and anger that comes with that. And you can’t just get over it. You’ll do many things to rationalized what happened to forcing yourself to try to let go but emotion is not logic, you can’t rationalize it away. So the best thing is is to just let yourself sit with this pain of a friendship that is never going to be the same again, a friendship that is likely heading towards the final stages of a relationship before quietly fading away.

    The more you wish to end it quickly, the more you’ll think of it because you wish to find a solution but that just brings you back to the pain, over and over again. It’s a never ending loop. Let your pain and anger be what it is, hurt and betrayal from your so called friend, but don’t try to rationalize it. Logic is not meant to be used when it comes to emotions. Emotions are merely emotions, something that you feel, not think.



    Dear Kat,

    None of this is your fault. Your parents were born in a different generation with strict rules placed on them which, in turn, have placed strict rules on you because that is what they have learned from their parents. Also, it sounds that they, like many before them, were pressured into having children, aka you, because many Asian culture place heavy emphasis on marriage and children, even when some people should never have children (don’t want to), but do it anyway because it’s their duty/responsibility. But what’s done is done and you’re here.

    Now, your parents are very honest about their view of you, which can either be a good or bad thing, depending on how you interpret it. And from how eager your parents are at the prospect of you moving out, it seems that they really like their space. Which can be understandable, if they are the sort of people who believe in autonomy and probably not the sort to have patience with taking care of other people. So the prospect of you moving out is appealing is because with you out of the house, they then don’t have to share that space and could do whatever it is they want.

    Also, remember that part of “some people should not have kids”? Well, regardless of what you might want, many Asian culture put heavy emphasis on getting married and having kids so those who wish to live child-free while raised in a such a culture? Unless there were some extra ordinary circumstances, they’re out of luck. So people will likely tried to conceive because it’s almost a duty that’s been breathed down at them by the time they have reached a certain age. It’s never the question of whether you want kids, but when are you going to have kids. Then it just suck for both the parents and the children because the parents don’t really want to be responsible for someone else other than themselves, but since they have a duty or be judged as a horrible, horrible person, then they might as well have a child, raised them like their parents did and then release them once they’re old enough to take care of themselves. But that’s not fun for the kid because then they bare a sort of resentment from their parents for being a responsibility for them from a young age even though they never did ask for it. But you don’t understand that and your parents are only doing the bare minimum require of them to raise you into an adult.

    So it’s not you so much as your parents did what they believed to be their duty, i e. having you, raising you then kicking you out once they believe they have done enough. So yeah, they may love you, but they don’t want to be responsible for you. And raising you in such a restrictive environment was probably due to little interest in having and raising children on their part, but duty calls, so they went by the book of what their parents, aka your grandparents, did raising them since they don’t know better and had little interest in knowing. After all, if they put down rules and you follow them until you’ve grown to be an adult, then they have done what they had to do, which was have a kid and make sure that they survive until adulthood. So now that you’re old enough to be able to survive on your own, it’s time for you to leave the nest.

    It’s not going to be a walk in the park, but the only thing you can do in such a situation is to accept that your parents are who they are and that they are NOT going to change. They may love you, but they probably don’t want to responsible for anyone other than themselves. That you are still living with them means that they feel that you are still dependent on them in some way and they do not like that so they hope for you to leave sooner than later. And they are very vocal about it, which is hurtful, but it’s what they are feeling.

    Of course, the method of which they have raised you is/was clearly not what you need as a person, but not all people were meant to be parents so those who do become parents…well, lets just say that the child might have some issues growing up. As any child, you grew up looking for validation from your parents and you might have received that when you achieved something that they deem important. And that’s what you grew up learning, that to please your parents, you have to do as they wish or else you were a bad daughter. But you can only do so much to please your parents before you just want to give up and do nothing. Also, the more you try, the more your parents will expect that you’ll bend to their law and their rules and their expectations, because you’ve never did so much bad things that they wouldn’t expect otherwise. So you try to please them, they will only expect the same thing from you again and again. You are still living with your parents too, which means you are still under their rules so that’s not helping your case right now. Because you are still the daughter living with them, they feel they have the right to tell you what to do because it’s their house, thus you have no right to complain, even if they want to kick you out.

    So you’re burnt out while desperate for your parent’s love and approval. But that’s not going to happen even though you are a ‘good person’. And it’ll probably stay that way because people do not change unless they decided that they need to change themselves. You can tell your parents everything, about your fear, your insecurities, your resentment, your anger and your sorrow, but whether they will understand, or try to understand, will depend on if they want to take the time to listen and reflect on what you are telling them. Or they can just reverse what you tell you them and make everything about them so that turns you into an ungrateful daughter. They don’t have to listen to you. They don’t have to do anything they don’t want to. In the end, love is a choice, just as having a child is a choice. Just because you have a child doesn’t mean that you have to love the child though you do bear responsibilities for giving them form. Doesn’t matter if you’re a good person or a bad person, people decide on who to love. So your parents decided to maybe love you, but they don’t want to be responsible for you.

    It sucks. Of course, it sucks. The parents that you’ve grew up with has made a rule that if you want their affections or at least approval, then you have to be willing to bend to their rules and their laws. Only when you have shown that you can act in the way that they deem as good enough will they be good to you, though the ‘good’ is very subjective. You can only do so much before you feel so empty that you don’t know who you are anymore. You can only do so much before it all feels completely hopeless; for as much as you reach out, you only grasp air. You only wished for unconditional love from them yet it is a hopeless endeavor in the end.

    That is a lesson that you’ll have to learn eventually. No one can be forced to love anyone, less of all their family. You may give chase, but you don’t have the right to complain that they don’t love you. No one is obligated to love another person. Much as you wish for their love, it is their right to either love or not. You may have a duty to another, but emotions like love is a choice.

    There are many, many things that your parents did not teach you, least of all how you are not obligated to another person. And right now, you only understand the world the you can see in front of you. That world is filled with ‘why don’t my parents approve of me’, ‘why doesn’t my parents see or understand me’, ‘I’m lost’, ‘I feel hopeless’, ‘am I a bad person’, etc. That is a loop that your monkey brain is pushing to the front of your thoughts because you only see what is in front of you. You haven’t tried to understand what can’t be seen, which is the non-physical you. You only see what you need to do to gain approval from your parents, you only see that your friends are ‘free’, you only see that you are trapped in your environment, you only see how other people might see you as a person. But you don’t question how you see yourself, you don’t look at yourself. You don’t allow your own judgment of yourself.

    As of now, you have a lot on your plate that you need to deal with, but those things are also running you haggard. Especially when you make so much time for other yet you never leave much time for yourself. You have classes, senior projects, work, dates with friends and your SO, volunteering then chores at home. You cannot keep doing them all and expect it not to wear you out; though you can run on steam, but even that won’t last you long. You need to prioritize, but also be okay with dropping certain things, like volunteering or meeting up with friends daily. You also need to make yourself a priority, because you talk about doing things that are mostly centered around other people.

    And I can go on.

    But if you have grasped anything from the above, it is that you need to start thinking about yourself. You have spent your childhood trying to please your parents and that has turned into an attitude/choice of putting others before you, which is not a good thing. When you let other people dictate who you are, you are stranding yourself at sea because you did not try to search or create land for yourself. You have centered many of your choices around the fact of how people see you, so you need to start making decisions centered around the fact of how you see yourself. How you see yourself may not be the kindest, but it’s better than using someone’s image of you because that is not the you that you see, it is the you they think they see. Only you can know what you want and what you need, that is, when you allow absolute honesty with yourself.

    You are not alone in craving approval, love, goodwill, praise, etc from those around you, but they are fleeting promises of love because life does not make promises of forever while you are stuck in your physical body until your last heartbeat. Yet you have the choice to either be your worse critic or your own best friend.



    Dear Christina,

    It sounds like you have a somewhat antagonistic relationship with your boyfriend.

    You two decided to date a half year after the cheating scandal yet it seems that whatever happened between your boyfriend and his ex, you still don’t feel secure in knowing whether your boyfriend has been able to lay down his resentment. It might be that when talking about your two past, he shows such intense emotion that you wonder if he has even moved on. Or that sometimes it seems that he might not be thinking about you, but someone else when you’re together. Or that he still remember some details about his scar.

    So you discussed your pasts, wanting to know yet only coming out of it full of insecurity. What was the point of that exercise? You’ve already heard of what had happened, so hearing it from him once would have been enough, so why did you or him keep bringing it up? What was the point in going over what happened only to be sore from the sordid details? Why did you keep bringing it up to hurt him? Or was it something about his actions or words that poked a hole in your confidence that he does hold affection for you? Yet why does it make you jealous that he has not moved on from his scar? Scars scabbed over when left alone to heal so what was the point in bringing it up again and again? What was it about his past relationship or his ex that terrifies you so much? To not trust his words mean you doubt him, but for what reason? Or do you doubt yourself so much that you question his affection for you, even at the beginning? But then, when will it ever be enough for you to finally let your doubts rest?

    Be careful about putting your boyfriend on a pedestal. “He” might seem to be different from other people you’ve met, but how many people have you met exactly? There are more than 7 billion people in the world, can you say that you know intimate details of even 1/1000000 of one billion? So he might seem like a decent person, but don’t put every hope into this one relationship where it’s make it or break it. There is no telling whether in the future you might meet someone else who makes your heart throb, but the timing was simply late. You simply know this person before any other person who might be compatible with you. So don’t put him on a pedestal. Don’t try to be the perfect girlfriend. Don’t hold accountable every one of your actions just because you want this relationship to work. A relationship is made of two parts, you can’t be the only one holding up the whole thing.

    So the passion has died away. Then start a new one. Passion was never meant to last, it was only meant to be a spark for a fire to be lighted, but fire can’t keep going without oxygen. Now that it has snuff out, build a new fire.



    Dear Christine,

    I don’t want to raise any unnecessary red flags, but the fact that your boyfriend keep badmouthing his ex and calling her a ‘whore’ is concerning. When a person keep talking about someone in their past in a really negative way, that means that whatever happened between them, he has not resolved it. So it’s a possibility that your boyfriend has not moved on from the betrayal from someone he held affection for and that is causing him to be caustic; talking about his ex, calling them a whore, which can’t make you feel any good because you’ve never the person yet here he is talking about someone you don’t know. It’ll also feel like he is implying that since his ex had cheated on him, he should be pity because she was the bad person therefore don’t you dare cheat on him yourself, i. e. don’t be like that ‘whore’. Hence, if you do act similar to like his ex, then you are automatically a ‘whore’, no question ask. But who wants that kind of label on themselves, especially from a beloved?

    Of course, he might not have meant that by discussing his ex, but he also could calmly talk about how his ex cheated on him, without the name calling, and that’s why they are now exes. There is never a need to call someone something like ‘whore’ unless you’re still really angry about what happened and desire to paint the other person to make them the bad person and you the good person. And doing so more than once? That sort of thing should be reserve for the therapist’s room, not your current partner whom is now pressured into taking on the torch of ‘never thinking of cheating in the relationship’. But you are his girlfriend, not a professional counselor who might be able to help him understand and move on from his disappointment and pain from the betrayal.

    The continuous bombardment of hearing ‘whore’ in the voice of your boyfriend will create an invisible pressure on you to not be a ‘whore’ if you wish for the relationship to work out since that is one of his ‘implied’ condition for never ending your relationship. After all, because his ex is a ‘whore’ (do you know the whole story, or just his side?), keyword ‘is’, the relationship then ended. So that implied that if you wish not to end the relationship, you should never be/act a ‘whore’. Hence you feel responsible for any actions that might make you seem a ‘whore’ or in other words, a very bad person. No pressure, right?

    Try not to rationalize this whole thing. You’re obsessing over this because something about it does concern you, you just haven’t figure out the underlying why yet. Take your time, and take time from your boyfriend if you need it. Sometimes, you just need space and breathing room from those close to you to be able to gain an objective perspective on the situation that is making you feel that, for some reason, your action has branded you as a bad person. You might have felt a moment of jealousy on NYE, but that does not mean that you acted on it. Actions are not always prompted by feelings. People do stupid things when drunk.

    But the fact that you feel as if you are a ‘whore’, similar to the ex, is concerning and should be looked at. The ex is not in the picture of your relationship, is she? She’s not in contact with your boyfriend, is she? So why should your actions be compared to hers, why compare yourself to her? She is not you and you are not her. But that you feel the need to compare the two of you as if you were the same person or closely related/similar gives the impression that you see her as a bad model to never imitate. Well, understandable since she supposedly cheated on your boyfriend, but to also think yourself as a ‘whore’? That’s concerning and questionable territory.

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