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    Dear simone,

    You’re not crazy. You simply love your boyfriend, flaws and all. And that’s okay. You just love him.

    But no matter how much you love someone, you need to learn to look at them as realistically as possible because you, yourself, need to decide whether the actions of the other person is safe for you, mentally and physically. Yet that also begs the question of whether you yourself understands the foundation for a healthy relationship.

    Have you discussed with your friends what a healthy relationship would look like between people? Or what an unhealthy relationship look like? Have you discussed how to have open communications? What the different type of relationships look like, from dependence to independent to interdependent? What it means to trust and respect your partner as they trust and respect you? That relationships are work in process so all the parties involved must put in the work for a healthy relationship, no matter how long you’ve been together?

    Your relationship with your mother is one thing, but your relationship with your relatives, friends and romantic partner is another. But humans have the tendency to copy what they learnt from their parents and paste that onto to any relationships they create with others.

    So, what are the foundations of a relationship for you? What is healthy and not healthy? List them out if you can.


    Dear X,

    Since it seems that you found my replies to be insulting and offensive enough to delete your account on this site, I hope that whatever is next fares well for you. But one last thing for you, I recommend you look into a book “Men are Just Desserts” by Sonya Friedman.

    Good luck.


    Dear Capricornus,

    First of all, you can’t just use a person’s sun sign as the whole plate of how they identified as a person. To understand the core of a person, you would need to look into their natal chart.

    Second of all, you have every rights to established your boundaries. Boundaries are the lines of which you draw for your own mental health and comfort. If you don’t like being touch or tickle, then you have every right to ask the person who is touching you to stop. It is not their discomfort that matters in this, it is yours because they are the ones who are choosing to take actions on you, which they should actually be asking if you are okay with being tickle or hug or any actions that encroaches your personal space. It is your personal space and because you have respect for your well being, you tell people that you are uncomfortable and that they need to ceased their actions immediately. Honestly, the world would be a much better place if parents would stop forcing children to hug strangers while strangers and friends alike should ask if people are okay with being hug, tickle, etc.

    And if the other person actually respects you, then they will stop, no questions ask. They will not make excuses like ‘but other people are okay with it’ or ‘it’s just a friendly touch’, etc. Nope, no excuses. You are not other people, you are you and this is how you feel about it. You have made it clear that you are uncomfortable and the other person will respect that and will ceased their actions. If they can’t, then that tells you that they hold their comfort on a higher level than yours and that your words doesn’t matter much to them unless they can do whatever they want. If that happens, you will have to decide whether the friendship is worth the sacrifice of your comfort.

    Good luck.


    Hello, hello,

    How was your holidays?

    It’s not about being special, but about making the choice to commit and work on that commitment or don’t commit and let the relationship fall apart. They had a choice and your ex had a choice.

    The key word here is “work on that commitment.” I felt that in my relationship with my ex there was an ingredient of “I’ll show them all what true love looks like.” “Them all” meaning his now ex-wife, his parents (“My parents, he said once kissing me after having talked to them on the phone in my presence, will not accept you at once, but are sure to do so once they get to know you better”), etc. Somehow that desire waned along the way. By the way, last time his now wife posted a lovey-dovey idyllic picture of herself and his parents was three years ago. It is almost as if his desire to prove it all to others starts lacking luster, along with his feelings for the person in question.

    And how does that relate to his choice of not committing in the end? Also, how were you so confidence that he wouldn’t cheat on you? For him to cheat on his wife with you, there was always the possibility of him cheating on you. Sure, you can choose to trust him, but it would have said more of his character if he decided to wait until he was divorced or at least in the process of it to woo and then date you. But he jumped ship and chose to court you before actually even beginning the steps to getting divorce. He did not discuss with his wife the possibility of an open marriage and instead, chose to keep you a secret. He chose to hurt his wife because cheating is a breach of trust between them, it had nothing to do with you. Then he chose to cheat on you, breaching the trust you had in him. What a pattern. And would you really broadcast to your network that you were dating a married man? On that note, what were your thoughts on his wife? What were you thinking when you decided that it was okay for you to helped this woman’s, whom you’ve never met, husband cheat on her?

    And then you keep comparing yourself to other woman. You keep highlighting your great features against thousands of faceless women, crying that you ARE desirable so why aren’t you so lucky in love? You even asked for others assurance that you’re okay, look-wise with a good resume. Even now, you still try to check off the box of desirable traits that make men into you when each and every one of those men are their own person who will have different kind of taste. Makes me feel as if you were a dress up barbie sometimes; dressing yourself as the dream of every heterosexual guy out in the world.

    Actually, it’s about value. A person can only ‘like’ something for so long and not all the time. Your friend valued motherhood while your aunt valued her career. While they have decided that those situation make them happy, it won’t be happy all the time. There will be problems that they will encountered, but the meaning and value behind choosing being a mother or having a good career is something they chose to value so they can work hard towards it, problems and all. So what’s your value?

    I disagree. I can value something, but I can not like it (but maybe still do it, because I value it). Say, I value being able to cook, but no matter how much I would try, my heart is just not in it. I may wake up, feeling empowered and willing to cook something for those I love, and halfway along the way, it gets so much down on me that I cannot stand it any longer. I can hardly finish. But yes, absolutely, being able to cook is a wonderful skill that is both useful (often saves a ton of money!) and attractive in a woman (isn’t the way to a man’s heart through his stomach?)

    I can’t tell if you’re dodging the question of ‘value’ because you don’t know yourself well enough to respond or if it’s something else. So you value the ability to cook, so do I. But I also don’t really care about the ability to become a master chef. I value other things and they take precedent over being able to cook well. If I can make something edible, then it’s enough since if it doesn’t kill me, hey, it’s still edible.

    So cooking isn’t part of the core of your personal value, then what is? What are you willing to suffer for (that doesn’t have to do with other people)?

    Where does your belief in ‘forever’ relationships come from?

    From where everybody’s belief in “forever” comes from, no matter whether they acknowledge it or not. Fairy-tales read in one’s childhood reinforced by romantic novels (also classic ones!) and films not to mention human dislike of uncertainty.

    It is not only my own belief. Not so long ago I was a silent participant in a discussion between my peers, a single girl in her mid-20s and a young man my age (who has been married for a decade and is awaiting his third child). The girl was advocating for marriage contracts, “because people change.” The guy was saying that if you marry, you marry because you want to be with that person “forever.” Exactly like they say – who marries thinking about divorce? (We are not talking about marrying for money here.)

    So I am far from being the only one believing (or who used to believe) – wanting to believe would be more appropriate now – in “forever.”

    So in the end, it’s a selfish demand that the other person exist to keep them company? A “marriage contract” because people change? Then is she not willing to change alongside them? And then every decade, every cells that is a part of her body would have been replaced by a new cell. Wanting to be with someone ‘forever’ is not the same as wishing them happiness. An abusive spouse or lover can want to be with you ‘forever’, but is that necessarily good for either party, or even one of them? Though it is true that human has too much of a demand to control everything that happens in their life,you and I among those numbers. But you haven’t tried to let go of that control, nor does it seem that you want to. Have you ever tried living in that uncertainty?



    Hey X,

    It’s so nice to see people so excited for the holidays.

    See about so-called “covert narcissists”:

    For your ex to be a covert narcissist, he would either have to be an introverted kind of person or someone who keeps victimizing himself, blaming others for his failure. He doesn’t sound like either from what I can remember of what you’ve written so far. And if he felt hurt by his new love interest, then he would have turned aggressive and defensive. Since he felt wronged by her, he would have raged against her. Seemed he turned businesslike instead by asking if you would want to start over again if the new relationship didn’t work. If he lacked empathy, he wouldn’t have thought of anyone, especially in his actions. He could tell you one thing, yet actions speak louder than words. Everyone has a sense of entitlement, but it didn’t seem that he took it too far, not like those who have stalked other people. Doesn’t seem that he has too much of a grandiose sense of ego yet.

    You predicted that he would divorced and married you. But he didn’t. So you can’t compare your situation to the situation of others because they all made a choice that either worked toward their relationship or broke it apart. Your ex made a choice that tore apart the relationship; those who had successful relationships made choices and acted upon them in a way that kept those relationship going. It’s not about being special, but about making the choice to commit and work on that commitment or don’t commit and let the relationship fall apart. They had a choice and your ex had a choice. But they all chose differently.

    So let’s move on from that.

    If you ask somebody why they are nomads and not settled, they will probably tell you that they are used to it and like it that way. The key word is “like.” It is hardly a conscious choice. If it was, American Indians would have easily adapted to settlements as Europeans wanted them to. One either likes something or don’t, and then the brain finds reasons for that so that the choice is validated. Say, my girlfriend stays at home after childbirth as long as the law and finances allow her; my aunt went to work as soon as she could after childbirth because she wanted to. They chose different things because they had different desires. I doubt my aunt would have been happy as a housewife (even if she had made a choice to stay at home), just as I doubt that my girlfriend will go to work any time soon and be really happy working.

    Actually, it’s about value. A person can only ‘like’ something for so long and not all the time. Your friend valued motherhood while your aunt valued her career. While they have decided that those situation make them happy, it won’t be happy all the time. There will be problems that they will encountered, but the meaning and value behind choosing being a mother or having a good career is something they chose to value so they can work hard towards it, problems and all. So what’s your value?

    Why this?

    “But this vague idea of “finding the one, marrying and living happily ever after until dying on the same day” is very, very ingrained in my psyche. You know, when you are asked about something, you normally get an image of it in your mind? Like, when I say “sweet,” what come to mind? Well, this is the image I get when you say, “Imagine your ideal life.” All other rational considerations come after it, but this image is there before everything else.”

    Or this:

    Hm-m-m, I don’t know. One day I feel exactly like you are writing about my hobbies and all, another day I feel like I am so happy on my own and don’t need and don’t want (WANT!) anybody in my life.

    I have no answer for you as to why it is so. Feminine moodiness, hormones at play, inherited genes – who can tell?

    Where does your belief in ‘forever’ relationships come from?


    Dear XYZ,

    Describe how you are constantly distracted. How or why are you distracted? And how are you ‘plainly lazy’?

    How were you the best student in school? What happened to that? What kind of career were you hoping to obtain? What were your ideals?

    Where are you right now in your life?


    Dear XYZ,

    There’s good new and there’s bad new.

    The good new is that you are wired differently than your peers therefore you prefer to strive for different things than them, i e, money, status, etc. The bad new is that you’re wired different. Because you are wired different, your peers will probably not understand most of your actions or thoughts so it was safer to isolate you. Humans don’t like different because it can pose danger, as learnt from the human ancestors, and that unconscious lesson has persisted to the modern world, which can and has cause division among different society. It is causing a division in your thinking and that of your peers as you try to adapt to what your peers are telling you versus what your heart of heart really wants you to be doing.

    You write that you’ve wasted your talent and any opportunities given to you, but if you really think about it, if you really wanted to utilized those ‘talent’ and those ‘opportunities’, then wouldn’t you’ve done something with them already? Because they were something you really wanted, right? Yet here you are, lamenting about missed opportunities. So why didn’t you jump on those opportunities when you had the chance? What held you back? Your lack of confidence in achieving something? Or because you really didn’t care about those opportunities because you simply want to head to the woods instead?

    On the issues of your envy, you envy people around you because to you, they seem to have found the magic answer to life because they look so happy, right? Yet, have you ever asked them whether they are happy or merely telling themselves that they are happy? Or maybe you envy them because they can follow society’s rule and be happy and be a part of that society while no matter what you do, you can’t seem to make yourself agree to what society is telling you so you can’t do your part and be a part of that society. It’s a very lonely feeling, right? After all, you don’t fit in. But you want to fit in. But you can’t seem to make yourself follow the rules of society. So it’s a dilemma of ‘damn if you do, damn if you don’t’.

    So what do you want to do?


    Dear XYZ,

    There’s no mention of the culture that surrounds you and its messages that was instilled into you since you were born so not much to go on, but why do you believe that you are failing and that you must succeed at something? What’s driving this fear of not doing anything special with your life? And why the need to compare your success to other people? Do you see that they are happy and you envy that? Or is it something else?

    Also, why are other people’s happiness something that makes you unhappy when it has nothing to do with you? Your happiness has nothing to do with them unless you choose to make it so, so what’s the story?


    Dear Janine,

    You lack self discipline and self control. But the excess of it is worrying in that you cannot shut it off to do things like attend class or clean your apartment. Those things tend to point to psychological complications.

    Too easily distracted with lack of impulse control tend to point to ADD (attention deficit disorder).

    Lack of impulse control regarding shopping tend to point to a shopping addiction.

    Excessive lack of control without the ability to discipline yourself might be impulse control disorder.

    If your main psychologist is only trained in psychotherapy, then it’s best to seek the counseling of someone who is trained in behavioral psychology. Those specialists are trained in understanding the driving force behind certain behavior and you’ll find that more helpful when seeking advice on why you can’t clean your apartment or why you can’t concentrate on class work. A neurologist might also be helpful in looking at the chemical aspect/wiring of your brain.

    But regarding the issues of your mother, you have self esteem issues since your mother made it your responsibility to feel indebted to her through most of your childhood. And if you don’t feel grateful to her, then you should feel ashamed of yourself, was the conclusion drawn or maybe outright expressed by your mother? Because for any child exposed to that constant ‘lessons on gratitude’, it’s what the child have learnt to feel regarding their parent(s). And that’s a heavy responsibility for a child still trying to understand themselves as a human being and navigating their way around the society they are a part of. But that’s what probably dominated most of your interactions with your mother and that is the feeling you associate with your mother; shame, disgrace, ungratefulness, guilt, trepidation and on. Hence, your fantasy of ‘the perfect mother’.

    You didn’t have a mother that supported nor encouraged you. You didn’t have someone who created a safe space of validation for you to validate yourself. You didn’t have a mother to have deep conversations about life. You didn’t have a mother on whom you could rely on emotionally. You didn’t have a mother who believed in you. So you’ve learnt to hate the person whom you desperately want ‘love’ from while wondering if you can’t have that sort of love for yourself. You want that love because you want support. But your mother will not be that person for you right now.

    Have you talked about your mother with your counselor? Have you been able to talk about your mother with anyone? Because it’s one aspect that you’ll probably need to process over and over again in your adult life.


    Dear Lily,

    You seem to be going through two things right now. First, is that you don’t feel that you have closure when you broke up with your ex. Second, you are lonely in a new city with no friends to have a good emotional and supportive relationship.

    First, the break up. So you broke up with your ex for your own reasons and that’s fine. Not all relationships are meant to last. People come and go in your life and hopefully you can learn something from that experience, wish them well and move on. But you seem to be reeling from your decision, questioning the validating of it. Why is that? You didn’t feel safe with him emotionally if you didn’t feel you couldn’t put down your guard with him. And it seems that you didn’t feel it was easy to tell him your wants and needs, if you even expressed your needs at all. And then there’s your feelings of unease regarding his conduct towards you, which didn’t sound all that pleasant. You’ve already decided that his regards toward you was unpleasant so it was better to call it off.

    Certainly, you could contact him again and ask him your questions. But whether he give you any answers or an answer that makes sense to YOU and not him, you can’t predict. Rather, you are fixated on this limbo of uncertainty and you seems to see the only way out of it is to contact your ex again. Of course, his actions toward you were rude and you feel it’s an injustice on his part for choosing to treat you this way. So maybe you want justice in some way of him explaining his rude behavior toward you. Yet what if he doesn’t? What if he merely brush it aside his attitude as something that he is and since you couldn’t take it, isn’t it a good thing that you broke up? Or he might even call you weak, not being able to take such comments. So in the end, would you even be satisfied by contacting him? So is the problem really about why he acted the way he acted or the way you are reacting to his actions, by questioning what YOU did to warrant such actions? Because it seems you are looking for an answer for why someone would treat you like that to see if you have flaws to correct before someone else can judge you for it. So it is about your ex or about you?

    But you can’t use the behavior of your ex and project that onto other men. There are men who are respectful and kind. But remember, you yourself have to demand that respect when people are acting disrespectful. You can’t expect everyone to act decent just because you know some decent people. There will be jerks and there will be decent people. So if you meet a jerk, walk away. Meet a decent people, get to know them. But you have to learn to stand your ground and say enough.

    The second issue of your loneliness should not be a reason to contact an ex to understand why he treated you that way. The loneliness should be a reason to get out and connect with others in an superficial level to decide whether you can be good friends or not. Yet you are hesitant to do so due to the fear of being judged. But you are judging others for judging you so it becomes a conundrum. You want a relationship where both people who are respectful of each other, but you fear that you will meet someone of the opposite so is hesitant to try. Then what will you do? You can’t find any emotional connection unless you get out there, but you are letting your fear hold you back. So what’s the third option?



    Dear Flo,

    Your 23, and from the research on childhood development, it seems that you were somewhat sheltered as you were growing up. That means that you weren’t taught how to explicit deal with certain emotional aspect of life. And seeing as you are still in your 20s, you’re still trying to understand the role you have as an individual in society and in life. You’re still trying to understand yourself as a person. That’s a lot of things to learn and with having a life to keep up with, it’s a challenge.

    The situation with this girl and you has to do with the fear of rejection and your insecurities. You don’t write much on your situation other than that you feel insecure so you’ve revolved your life and thoughts, basically, around this new attraction of yours. That’s not uncommon on the first stage of attraction since the emotions of ‘like’ tend to be a lot of adrenaline, dopamine and serotonin flooding your brain, which makes you giddy and full of energy. The thoughts of this girl makes you energized and it feels good. But once the adrenaline wears off, you are left with an emptiness that might feel foreign after the rush of ‘happiness’ and some people tend to seek for that adrenaline in different form.

    Combine that emptiness with a fear of being rejected, which stems from insecurities, you get an outcome that could be like yours. Insecurities makes people do either of two things; change themselves or change their situation. Why? Because insecurities is seen as bad therefore you must do something to control the situation since being in control makes people feel safe. Your way of doing things is the latter. You feel the need to control the situation because you find it easier to do so. After all, you fear being rejected so you feed that fear by your negative thoughts and the constant need to cement the relationship with the girl. As much as you like the girl, the fear you are experiencing from your lack of confidence is growing more urgent to you therefore you don’t feel that you can’t relax. Therefore, your thoughts revolve around her and her actions affect you on a personal level. That’s not good for anyone.

    There is no mention of how you were taught to deal with emotional instabilities and insecurities, but if the situation is any indication, then it’s about time that you learn how. There are many classes and books to read on learning to engage and manage your own emotions. There are psychologists out there, maybe your school offer free counseling, who can help you start the process of understanding your insecurities. There are many resources out there that can help you understand how fear and insecurities work and what you can do about it. You have work to do, but you have the maturity to realize that you need help to understand yourself and that being a human/person is a work in process. You’ll be fine.

    Also, congratulations on understanding that how you were dealing with your insecurities was not helping your situation or your mental health. You are one step closer to understanding how to help yourself.

    Good luck.


    Dear Jaz2,

    You don’t mention any of his characteristics or personality other than how he reacted to you dumping him. But lets go in order of what happened.

    First, you got together with your friend for whatever reason, but felt that you couldn’t commit so decided to end it.

    Now, congratulations to you on being decisive about ending the relationship. Many people are too scare of hurting others or being seen as rude to end a relationship when they should have. But no matter when you entered into a relationship, know that you have the option to end it anytime, even a few hours after. You do not have to do anything you don’t feel comfortable doing and one of that thing is being in a relationship. People might call you indecisive for ‘ending things too early’, but they are not the ones who has to work at the relationship so their points are moot at anytime they venture to tell you what to do in your relationship. And it’s actually respectful of you to end things early as there’s isn’t as much investment in the relationship if you had let it go on. Also, by letting it go on, you are giving the other party false hope that the relationship is working and to keep at it. So it’s better to end things when you feel that you can’t invest much of your emotions into a relationship than to stay in one just because you feel guilty. Good for you.

    Now, you don’t mention if you felt guilty before or after your friend went on to be a jerk. But what you shouldn’t have done was apologized for your actions. Even if you weren’t apologizing for ending things, any apologies at that point made it worse because you let yourself claim the title of ‘criminal/perpetrator’ in making him feel bad about the ending of a relationship. Any breakups will suck and people will feel dissapointed and sad, but he does not have the authority to place all the blame on you. That he would, might be because he thought it over, and possibly from side commentary from his friends, and came to the conclusion that you were a jerk for breaking up with him just after a few weeks of dating. And men are generally taught to feel entitled to certain things, so he might possibly have felt entitled anger over you ending the relationship without his consent so is being a jerk about it. Then when he contacted you, you responded in the affirmative of his hypothesis that you breaking up with him was because you were a jerk yourself because you apologized. Your apologies cemented his thought about why you broke up with him.

    It’s understandable that you didn’t want to hurt him, but any break up will hurt. So the best way to go about it is to break up with no room for reconsideration, and then make space between you two. When you lose something, you need the space and time to grieve and mourn so that you can let go and move forward. But your friend didn’t abide to that and contacted you. You felt guilty, apologized, only to get angry messages back. That kind of reactions is very common because your ex believed that you are at fault for something and you kept supporting that by contacting him and apologizing in some way. You two created a drama of a person owing a life-debt from one decisive action.

    Also, you don’t apologize for breaking up. Apologizing will only signal to the other person that there might be something wrong with them that you had to apologize because you couldn’t stand that one thing so decided to break up. Even if you say that it’s about you, it will still sound like an excuse. So you apologized and now he might possibly felt like there is something wrong with him and so that makes him angry. Then you kept contacting him, which only added fuel to the fire because it makes you even guiltier in his mind. It’s a never ending loop because now he is trying to find some way to fuel that anger, or at least find a way to justified that anger, which explain the Netflix thing. And then complaining to your friend? Same thing. He is trying to degrade your image with other people because you did what he wanted so now he doesn’t have many ammunition left other than your friends. Also, he is suffering so you should suffer with him.

    Now that this happened, ask yourself if you’ve actually looked at your ex for the person he is or that you might have worn rose tinted glasses because you were friends. There are always signs to watch out for so after all this, carefully comb through your past interactions with your ex and look for the pieces that tells you whether he is capable of such childish entitlement and let it be a warning for the next person who sign up to be your potential partner.

    So now you can see that your ex is capable of doing this just from you breaking up with him. And you unknowingly put on a play of ‘war’ with him; you apologizing constantly and him being aggressive via message. As you can see, that got you nowhere. The best course of action when your ex contacted you was to ignore it. Save it should anything else happen, but you should have ignore it. I don’t know why you felt guilty for breaking up with him since it means that there was little investment at that point into the relationship, but you felt guilty and answered him. That gave him the first opening to continued sulking about the breakup and it seem to be escalating somewhat.

    Do not be blinded by the ‘but he was such a good person’. Well, he’s doing what he can to harassed you right now so leave the past to the past and focus on the present to deal with your situation. So he might be harassing you because he doesn’t want to let go just yet and by making you feel angry, you’ll respond to him. Even if it’s only a little bit of communications, it still some communication which is better then none. Or his ego is so hurt that he can only do this and he feels entitle to it because it’s only fair since he is hurt. And on and on. But that doesn’t matter. What matters now is what you’re going to do from now on.

    My advice: stop contacting him. No matter how he might be contacting you, through message or your friend, you must find ways to ignore it. Because from your interactions after the break up, you have taught him that by making you angry or guilty, you’ll respond to him. You kept contacting him because of guilt and now it’s out of anger. So whatever he does, you need to learn to ignore it. As you continued to ignore him, he’ll eventually come to the conclusion that you are over this relationship and that it’s time to move on. But do not try to predict when he will stop harassing you. You cannot read his mind so there’s little hope of understanding his logic. So make a no contact rule with him. Enlist the help of friends and family if you have to. Change to a different messenger for the time being so that any messages from him will go unread or have a friend regulate that. Tell friends that you don’t want to hear about him. Avoid him if you can since it seems that you both study at the same institution. Make this thing absolute. But do not believe him if he suddenly turns around and ask to be friend again. If he can act this way towards a supposed friend turned girlfriend turned ex, then do you really trust he won’t do anything once he convinces you that he’s over the relationship?

    Any question, comment away.

    Good luck.


    Hello X,

    The weather keep changing from cool to hot to cool, how’s it on your end?

    You said so yourself – “organic” and “chose to put in effort.” I interpret “organic” as “having chemistry” and “chose to put in effort” as “taking real steps.”

    But what is the difference between a partner and friend for you? Sex? Then where do friends with benefits fit in? Since you seem immune to the feelings of jealousy, is a friend with benefits the same as a partner to you?

    ‘Organic’ for me is more dependent on the kind of conversations I can have with a potential friend/partner. If I can’t have more than a few interesting conversations, then my interest starts to wane which means that there is no chemistry between me and that person. So I don’t understand how you determine chemistry upon a ‘spark’ or physical features. Also, how do you know if that person won’t hurt you based on your imaginations alone? Because in your imaginations, you feel comfortable next to him? It seems a bit too abstract for me no matter how I try to think about it.

    I am not immune to envy, but I am also reminded that everybody has their fortunes and misfortunes then the feelings go away.

    Whether a person is your friend or partner depends on the terms that all the parties involved have established. Label makes it easy to identify things, but it’s not always helpful.

    Sure. Then why do you suggest that I make do without a partner on my own, but seek friendships instead? If one can safely replace the other, why can’t I go with a partner who is a friend in addition, rather than just with a friend? Frankly, I’d rather have both, if you ask me.

    I’m actually wondering how much energy you’re investing into your friendships while you pursued your romantic relationship.

    I do travel with a rucksack and a small carry-on suitcase. But have you ever tried to fit into a toilet stall at an airport, even the one for the disabled, when doors open inwards right onto a toilet paper roll blocking your entrance, and you have a rucksack on your back and a suitcase to manage? That is why I mentioned that it is SO convenient to have somebody look after the luggage when you go to the loo.

    I am not even talking about the need to put the suitcase onto the shelf when onboard the aircraft or haul it up the stairs if the hotel doesn’t have a lift and has at least one floor.

    Besides, hauling heavy things by women is a precursor to serious medical problems at a later age, and furthermore, my surgeon recommended me to limit loads to just 11 pounds because of a health condition.

    I usually travel with a singular backpack so I can’t say I share that issue.

    How interesting. Looked it up and it seems that what’s affected is the reproductive system. Wonder how it affects men?

    Let me clarify again: are you saying that one’s friends, true friends, can be a substitute for one’s partner?

    Friends are a good source of emotional support, though it can be a different source of support from that of your partner. Whether you need a partner and friends is up to you though.

    But I don’t view my friends as partners.

    Do you?

    Partners in crime, certainly. Partners aren’t so good for some activities.

    Let’s approach this from another angle. It is often said that humans are social animals. As such, they need other humans to be fulfilled. Which, in turn, means that their fulfilment lies in the hands of the others.

    Isn’t it not the same with love since they say that one is supposed to be able to love and to be loved?

    Humans evolved needing each other for protection and to continue the population. And somehow, along the way, the need of connection seemed to have wormed their way into the equation. But the terms of connection and social involvement depend heavily on the choices of the individual. Anyone can choose to be a nomad while others will choose to be part of a herd. It is a choice to think that being with someone is happiness while it is a choice to leave a person. It is your choice in feeling happy with someone, but that does not mean that happiness lies in their hands. After all, you are choosing to be happy with them.

    If it was possible for a psychopath to love, the world would not have such a term. Though it could mean something entirely different in a different context in a different world.

    There are people who wanted a relationship, but didn’t get it yet managed to create a life for themselves.

    But how happy were they with that life in their heart of hearts?

    How many people have no regrets at the end of their lifetime?

    Sometimes the other party says “no” several times so that s/he is convinced of the opposite. People also sometimes say “no” meaning “yes.”

    Is that regret then? Because the outcome was the opposite of what they expected? Some cultures always asked up to three times so people can be polite and say no the first time to say yes the second time. It’s only polite to give them time to be polite.

    Whether a person is round because of their choosing or because circumstances led to it, you would have to ask that person.

    Sorry to be so cruel, but there is not a single photo of an overweight person liberated from a Nazi concentration camp blaming his or her roundness on metabolism. At the end of the day, it is the person’s choosing, lack of willpower.

    If you were a person working a job making minimum wage, then you would have to work long hours just to make ends meet since the price of living has increased but wages have stagnated. Then add in a food desert in which you might not have the time to drive more than ten miles to a grocery store to get fresh produce to make your own lunch, then you’re stuck in having to purchase cheap fast food that would satisfied your hunger, but bad for your overall health. Then there’s other things to worry about, like rent or transportation so you have to ration what you can until your next paycheck. A gym membership is out of the question when you have to worry about putting food on the table. Gardening require land, something that apartments might not have, and time, something the person might not have. Of course, the other person could try to obtain a degree, but what if their level of education isn’t sufficient or they’re not proficient in the dominant language? Then there’s the issue of diseases that makes it easy to gain weight, but that inhibit certain functions of your organ that your body can’t process such and such so losing that weight is difficult and might take years, if it can happen. But with the rise of healthcare and insurance, can a person even think about their appearance when they might not be able to afford to visit the doctor?

    It seems that you have all the functions of your body since you commented on ‘laziness’. Certainly, there are lazy people and then there are people with invisible disabilities that, should you know, you wouldn’t think to comment on them as being ‘lazy’. Of course, it is fortunate that you do not have to worry much about it, but what’s normal on the surface may not look so simple when carefully analyzed. I also don’t recommend talking about weight with those who are experiencing menopause since it’s a touchy topic.

    Can it be one of the reasons for my being so picky when choosing men? Meaning that the vast majority of men can’t support women emotionally, so I don’t even approach such men.

    Were any of your exes emotionally supportive for you?

    Excuse me again, GL, but what makes you think that he calculated his opportunity cost, debating pros and cons??? I told you already how often he left work early to go to that other city (500 miles away) for the weekend just to be with her. This was very much to the detriment of how his colleagues who had a say in his subsequent work there and his promotion viewed him. And he did divorce his wife marrying this other woman just five months after meeting her.

    But he was definitely calculating the opportunity cost of divorcing his wife to marry you. And in the end, he chose his marriage for the sake of his career since it seems that it would cost him too much to divorce his wife right away. So when was it that you manage to get him on the phone? And for someone supposedly with NPD to admit that he made a blunder is amazing because a Narcissist has such an inflated ego that it’s not that he was wrong, but that everyone was wrong. Then he offered to return to you since it seems that his new partner might leave him? Where’s the confidence that he would succeed? How is that doing everything he can to obtain what he wants, irregardless of what the other party wants? He was actually taking into consideration the other party? But came running back to you with his tail between his leg when it seems that his new partner might dump him after all? Again, what happen to his supposedly self inflated ego?

    As for “not stopping at anything to achieve their goals,” my mother still shudders at the memory of how much and how often he would phone me in her presence (and my mother and I lived together just for a handful of time frames during our romance). She often compares his behaviour to that of a male cat in the spring.

    So he liked to call to make sure you were still thinking of him. That’s a more dependent attitude since he can’t bare for you to drop him. A Narcissist would leave you for some time (months) with no communications to come back with the confidence that you would welcome him with open arms. Again, they are ‘God’ so whatever they do is correct.

    If you ask me, when I read your description above about operating on instinct, I found it to be right to the point.

    I spoke to Matt about the mating rituals of birds of paradise. If you have seen the video (there are a bunch of them on the web), you’ll get the idea of how it looked and felt to me when he was courting me. And later on, I had the pleasure of observing EXACTLY THE SAME dance around my successor.

    Humans have the instinct to reproduce and have recognized that there need to be two people with different anatomy to obtain the results of reproduction. But for that to happen, one party must make a move and the party may accept or not. Mating rituals is a learned techniques that male animals perform because they have learned that that is how they will be able to reproduce with a female. Same goes for human, but it’s called the act of courting.

    As for ghosting, well, why bother explaining somebody whom you don’t need that you don’t need them any longer? Especially when ghosting is becoming so common in today’s world?

    Ghosting happens mostly because many people do not like the act of confronting others. A Narcissist would drop you the moment they deem you worthless and would like you to disappear from their life so would have no problem dumping you to make the process go that much more quicker. Again, doing whatever they need to to obtain what they want.

    Besides, he may not be a textbook case of a NPD. Hardly anyone is a textbook case of whatever. It is all in degrees and shades and mixes.

    A Narcissist has the need to be worshiped, but they also do well in treating everyone around them as idiots and imbeciles so wouldn’t deign to associate with them if they can help it. So for your ex to have a lot of exes is normal, but not really normal for a Narcissist since they really can’t stand the presence of most people.

    Have you heard about William Hearst, a U.S. mogul of the 1920s, and his long-term mistress? Well, that guy had a pistol duel because of her, but wouldn’t divorce his wife for her because that meant losing a significant portion of his already immense fortune. In other words, he was risking his life, but didn’t want to risk his money. People make strange choices sometimes.

    But if the both of them decided that it was okay that he stayed married since he would obtain a lot of money which can sustain the both of them, then how are they losing in that situation? It’s not that she wasn’t important, but simply that the term ‘marriage’ wasn’t important to them.

    I guess I am trying to say that I don’t meet a lot of people who would be more interesting for me than my own company.

    Isn’t that what you were advocating for before, when you asked me why I needed somebody to be happy?

    So you want someone to entertain you? But indeed, if your company was so interesting, then why the need to seek the company of others?

    But how to know whether this is an objective fact or whether we see it simply because we want some explanation of “why it happened”? One finds what one is looking for. One wants an explanation? One can explain ANYTHING away provided one has a desire to do so.

    You convinced yourself that he was ‘the one’. What objective/subjective facts did you use?

    For instance, you could say that I met and attracted somebody because I was miserable and he was miserable. Along the same lines, you could say that I met and attracted somebody because I was miserable and he was happy-go-lucky and I wanted to be happy-go-lucky, too.

    Has such a situation played out for anyone whom you know or met?

    As for the “vague promise to divorce,” I can’t say that “I want you to be my wife. The divorce will happen a year or two from now after that big promotion” is that vague.

    It’s vague in that the promise was set for two years. What can you even predict about a person in two years and have it be true?

    Now questions for you. If “People attract others of similar mind and heart,” why am I only attracting those whom I can’t stand now?

    Because you won’t just attract people that are similar?

    Or why am I not attracting anybody whom I like or tentatively like myself?

    Am I so singular now that there is no one, be it here, in this big city, or where I travel, who is of similar mind and heart?

    How much emphasis are you placing on having a spark? Or on that list of yours? How much emphasis are you placing on whether the person you meet is the one? How much are you assuming about the person before even knowing much about them?

    More than that. As you probably know, there are married men and married men. I must have mentioned one of my cousins whom it took five years to overcome his wife kicking him out and four more years to divorce and to marry his girlfriend of four years. Meaning that he was married for four years while having a girlfriend who is now his wife.

    His relationship was over when his wife kicked him out. It just took four years to finalized it.

    Furthermore, I can tell you that at work, a few ladies with the same position as I are married to guys in my ex’s position. So it would have definitely not been a step-down for him. More than that, one colleague of mine actually had a romance with a married boss of my “big boss.” He divorced his wife, and they have been happily married for ten years now.

    So naturally, seeing women just like me (and even not as intelligent, young or pretty), in the very same position, getting men in the very same position as my ex (or even higher), married or not, made me think that it was so very possible. And my ex, naturally, said the same.

    You can’t compare the situation of those people to yours. You are not them and they are not you. So the choices that you and your ex would make will be different compare to those you know of because it’s your choice and not theirs and vice versa. You don’t really know what someone would do until they have done it. Of course, that you would choose to believe your ex after two years surprise me.

    Why the need to compare yourself physically? Even if you don’t find them attractive, someone else might. And just like you? Why would anyone ever wish to be like you?

    How can one advise people on how to create a foundation for a building if one has never built a building?

    I visited his website and it seems that he is married. I also found a lot of his articles to be great food for thought, especially his “Love is Not Enough”.

    This is one more thing that I cannot grasp. For the life of me, I cannot understand how two people who are in love, who want to make it work, who are attuned to the needs and wants of each other can change in ways that will make the incompatible for each other.

    I have read a lot of stories on Tiny Buddha where people would write something like “Nothing happened, we just outgrew each other” or “Nothing happened, but each of us grew in a different direction,” but I cannot understand how on earth this can happen given that all the ingredients for the “happily ever after” were there at the beginning.

    People change or chooses not to change. But each action is a link in a chain of past actions and that combine to form the person as they are. So with actions taken and choices made, people are choosing for themselves the kind of life they are living. But the end result might not be compatible with their current partner so there might be big issues that they will have to discuss. So then it becomes a case of loving the person, but not loving the life with the person. The ingredients might have been there for the foundation, but whose to say the building can’t change? A relationship isn’t like a dessert that doesn’t change it’s shape; rather, it’s like soup. Whatever you put in, you get out. Also, irregardless of what happened in the past, it is the present that a person makes a decision about their relationship. It is the present that everything is occurring, not the past where everything was great. You can’t make a case of a happy past, therefore a happy present or happy future. Nothing is ever guaranteed. People wake up everyday and have the choice of continuing or ending their relationship. That’s a decision people make everyday.

    Feels right so far. And while waiting for the other person to show his true colours, I only get deeper and deeper attached to the point that when the true colours are half-revealed (because normally there is always room for saying “innocent UNTIL proved guilty”), I no longer have the strength to break away because by then I have already invested so much emotionwise and timewise. The former and the latter including my daydreaming.

    Then maybe it’s time that you learn how to end things and let them go.

    I was choosing being in a relationship with my ex to answer your question.

    And yet you didn’t run for the hills when you found out that he was divorced before nor did you question why you seem to be attracted to married men the most, irregardless of their promises to you.

    So what do you suggest I do with all this given how much is determined by chemistry, uncontrollable on my part, in a man’s appeal to me?

    So you want happiness, that much is apparent. So does that mean that you are unhappy right now? If not, then why place all your cards and bet on happiness in the form of marriage? If you were to look at many of your interests, many of them were married. So marriage, or the idea of it, seems to be the ‘be all, end all’ thing for you. You want someone to be with you until death, but just because you are married, doesn’t  mean that your husband would be there for you. Your exes are prime examples of that. Yet, you still hope to obtain that goal of marriage, as if it would beget happiness for you. You don’t want to be alone, that’s fine. But you are making this responsibility of keeping that loneliness at bay someone’s else job. That’s heavy and it will take someone like you, heavily dependent on another for their own happiness, to even attempt such a daring task.

    So you tell me, why can’t you make yourself happy? How is it the job of another person to make you happy? Especially when they weren’t born to make anyone else, but themselves, happy. You have your hobbies, but even that doesn’t give you much happiness. So can’t count that as self-independence, but more of a way to stave off boredom. That, and it’s a way to meet new people who might be a potential partner. Then there’s your friendship, but even that doesn’t give you much satisfaction. Rather, you still need a romantic partner and you are constantly searching for one, or at least, always having your radar on and about.

    You didn’t ask to be born, but no one really ask to be born. Yet you decided that happiness was in the hands of someone else. To be happy means something like ‘finding someone to marry’. Okay, that’s fine, but why is that the main one? Why is most of your focus on finding a partner when you have many possibilities in front of you? Do you not have other dreams? Isn’t there anything else you want to do?

    Ultimately, what is not satisfying about your current situation and why can’t you resolve that for yourself without having to rely on someone else?

    Have a good one.


    Dear Charly,

    It is very easy to confuse guilt with affection, especially when you feel immense guilt for your actions. But you can’t let guilt be the reason why you let certain things happen.

    Right now, you are stuck in a weird limbo with your ex partner because he found out that you had cheated on him a few years ago. From there, he decided that it was best to end the relationship, but he refused to move out yet he refuses to talk to you about what happened. It seems that he isn’t even talking to you much either? That sort of action scream ‘immaturity’. Even though he told you that he wants to end the relationship, he fears what will happen next if he takes the step to actually end it because he is too used to being in a relationship with you. Should he end it, then there will be a great upheaval of change regarding his daily life that he probably isn’t ready to face. So he decided that he will still sleep on the same bed, eat at the same table, use the same bathroom, etc. But that’s not fair to you.

    You have openly admitted your wrongdoing and he chose to shut down. That’s fine. That’s a choice he made. But for it to continued to affect you like this is unfair to you because he is not giving you the space to grieve and move on from this relationship that he told you he wished to end. HE TOLD YOU HE COULD NOT CONTINUED THE RELATIONSHIP. Yet you are giving in to his demands of sleeping in the same bed because…you feel guilty? Guilty that you cheated on him. And you are paying the price for it by him ending the relationship, but beyond that is extraneous. You told him and he ended the relationship. You can’t be called partners anymore so what rights does he have to demand that you sleep on the same bed? That he could still live with you? That you have to see him everyday after your breakup?

    You still love him, that’s fine. But that doesn’t justified him acting as if you are close enough to share the same bed when he chose to broke off relations between the two of you. For whatever reason he might have done so, he is still choosing not to communicate with you if he is rethinking his decisions, but seeing your ex everyday is bound to make you rethink, yet he is still acting as if he has the rights to live with you. So why exactly are you allowing him to torture you like this? You love him, but that doesn’t mean torturing yourself with this limbo of ‘maybe he will reconsider’. He hasn’t, even after all this time. Rather, the longer you let this continued, the longer you’ll stay in this weird limbo of not partners but not really friends either. You’ll sleep on the same bed, wake up to him, all the while knowing that you are not partners anymore. Doesn’t that break your heart? And if he suddenly wants to get back together when you tell him to pack and leave, what does that tell you about how he really viewed you?

    Remember, you are also the other person in this relationship so you have to a make a decision about this weird limbo. Do you let it continued or do you end it by kicking him out? Continued and you’ll always wondered what’s happening. End it and you might have to fight a drawn out battle of getting him to leave, but then you’ll have the space to grieve then move on. You’ll have the space to assess the situation and what happened and maybe breathe. But you have to decide for yourself. You have to decide what’s really important, his feelings or your well-being.

    Good luck.


    Dear Jennifer,

    You were able to let go of your boyfriend before so why were you willing to reunite with him again? To be able to end a relationship means that you, in all your unconscious mind and heart, knew that the relationship was not going anywhere. So for you to contact an ex, something to never do again until you can just be friends, and then agree to try again when it’s only been a few weeks isn’t the best scenario for you. Why? Because you haven’t calmly went through your reasons for breaking up in the first place nor have you let yourself have the time to accept all the feelings that came with the end of the relationship. You haven’t sorted out anything, but already trying to enter another relationship is a recipe for disaster.

    You need to think this through again. You need to think about why you broke up with your boyfriend in the first place and why you even contacted him again. You need to look at this relationship objectively, not with sentiments that will cloud your judgement. I understand you were lonely from ending a relationship, but contacting him was not the best action. Why did you not contact your friend(s) instead? You weren’t even fully on board when he asked to try again, so why did you say yes? Guilt? Remorse? What happened?

    And your boyfriend did lie to you about the Tinder thing, but instead of apologizing, he turned the situation around to make it your fault that he did such a thing. That’s not okay. It’s not okay to blame you for his actions when he is the one who chose to do such things. He is the one in control of himself yet he is blaming you. Who would not be angry if someone did that to them?

    Of course, you can’t control him nor can you really predict his actions just based on your assumptions of who he is so it’s best not to try. Humans are capable of anything so you need to let his actions speak for him because if he did something, then it meant that he had the intention to do it. After all, the brain needs to give command before the body can move so even if he tells you that his actions weren’t intentional, don’t believe him. He only need an impulse for his brain to command his body to move.

    By the way, why are you putting up with that? Why are you putting up with someone who can only see his pain and not the pain of his partner? He might excused his behavior with ‘I would never hurt you like that’ yet his actions are the opposite of that. You don’t feel comfortable sharing things with him. You don’t even feel comfortable being vulnerable with him. Then what are you comfortable doing that he can support you in? Is he even supportive of you? And how physical is this relationship since it’s not all that emotionally safe, for you at least. So why him?

    You have a lot of things to ask yourself, Jennifer, and I hope you’ll find the right answer for yourself. You might love him, but love does not justified that you suffer just because you love someone. You can love someone, but it doesn’t mean that you have to wish to have them in your life.

    Good luck.

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