Category: breakups

  • The Mailbag: On unavailable men, heartache as creative inspiration, cheating, neediness and timing

    I get a lot of letters from you guys (and by ‘guys’, I mean ladies). And if you’ve ever written to me, you know that I almost always write back — unless your letter is 5 feet long, riddled with grammar and spelling mistakes or internet-speak (bcuz it makes U look like a doofus, that’s Y, and I got no time for doofi), or if you don’t put a space after commas and periods, making your letter look like money transfer spam (“My name is Hamilton Adeyemi,from great city of Abuja.I give you 5 trillion$.Please give bank account.”). See? No space after a comma is just Sketchville.

    But usually, I write back. If I don’t answer your question directly, I’ll ask for clarification, such as “Um, there actually wasn’t a question in there – what did you want to ask about?” Some of the really good ones I turn into blog articles. Anonymized, of course.

    But you know what? That can take forever, especially when the perfectionist streak in me wins out and says Oh, it has to be really good, otherwise I can’t put it up.

    As an antidote to this perfectionism, I’m going to put in this post a bunch of mostly unedited, unfiltered exchanges with you, my dear readers. (more…)

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  • How to get over a breakup

    This month, no fewer than three of my friends have pressed me into service as a breakup counselor. And if three of them are actually telling me about it, that means there are another 300 out there who are not.

    So in the interest of helping out all of those suffering in silence now or in the future, I’m compiling a list of interventions that many have found useful in handling such matters of the heart. Let’s start with the non-negotiable one first:

    1) Break contact completely.

    We’ve all heard of drugged-out celebrities going to rehab, but ever wonder what actually happens there? The first thing rehab does is to keep the patient away from his drug of choice. His brain’s been so lit up by his habit that neuronal receptors for the drug are now screaming for another fix like a million hungry chicks.

    Well, your ex-lover operates on your brain just like that drug, so now you need to detox, too. You need to give your (more…)

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  • “Should I get back with my ex — after five breakups?”

    Hi Dr. Ali,
    I have a quick question for you. My ex and I have dated on and off since my divorce, and each time he seems to find a way to break off the relationship, only to come back a couple of months later (sometimes sooner) and tell me how much he misses me. We have tried at least 5 times to make it work and it never does. Although, I have been with many other men who completely fall in love with me, I can’t seem to stop thinking about the first and every time he emails me I go back, and break the heart of who ever I am with. Anyway cut to the chase right! He has come back once again (the last time I broke it off saying I didn’t feel he was into the relationship, but he seemed perfectly fine with it), saying that he is completely in love with me and wants nothing more than to have a life with me. He is throwing in marriage, living together etc. So my question is – Is it possible that he has changed and this can truly work? Or is it just another ploy to see if he can get me back? Thank you for your advice. — Amanda

    Amanda  —

    Hoo boy.  I love questions like these.  My quick answer to you, in the form of a story:
    Imagine that you live in a big city with thousands of restaurants.  There’s this one restaurant that used to be your absolute favorite.  But you got sick once, and you stopped going.  But then they sent you coupons and wanted you back, so you relented and went back.  And got sick again. FIVE TIMES.

    What would you call someone who kept on going back to that one restaurant to the exclusion of the thousands of others?  And kept on getting sick?

    There are millions of men out there whom you have never divorced nor broken up with.  I say you give them a shot! I don’t know your ex, but from here it sounds like that experiment has run its course, and he’s a narcissist bent on making sure you don’t get together with a guy who actually makes you happy.

    Your ex may not necessarily be a horrible person, mind you.  It’s just that he is 100% full of (more…)

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