SINGLE PROFESSIONALS: You write, I answer!

Sunday, October 18, 2009


Q: Hi, Chris:

My ex-boyfriend of 9-months and I broke up in May at my choice. He was ready to get married and I was scared. He started dating again in June and is now planning a wedding!!!

I sent him a couple of cards in July and August, telling him I was sorry and had made a huge mistake (and if the chance came up, I would LOVE a 2nd chance with him.)

He was married for approximately 15-years and divorced 14-years when we started dating. We’re both in our late forties and went to school and grew up together.

What's the chance of him really being IN LOVE with this 'rebound' (and IS IT a rebound?)? How can he date someone for 4-months and decide to marry her?

Thanks for any advice!

--- Killing me softly in Kansas

A: Dear Bachelorette:

Ouch and double ouch.

Something similar happened to me many moon years ago (not once, but twice; not because I was scared that I know of, but rather other circumstances, which shall remain private.)

It wasn’t a nine-month relationship as you had, but five-years and six-years respectively. While I didn’t officially break up with them, I may as well have—I pushed my time limit with these two men wishing to marry me.

One got married 6-months after our break-up, and the other got married barely 3-months afterward. The latter got divorced several months later (and then remarried AGAIN), and the first gentleman is still presumably and hopefully happily married for almost 20-years now.

I may have dodged a bullet with the second guy, but it still didn’t take away the sting and devastation when it happened—but enough about me!

Regardless of who broke up with whom, the man YOU loved has fallen in love with another woman, and so soon after YOUR break-up.

Now you find out he’s planning marriage only months later with somebody else, and you want to know is it a rebound?

Well, yes of course it’s a rebound. You rejected him big time. He asked for your hand in marriage!

You begging him to come back didn’t help, did it? No surprise there. I’ve learned long ago, if something is meant to be, it will happen organically (or not.) The phone also works both ways. If he wanted you back, he'd be in your arms already (but he's moved onward and forward, and you must, too!)

Crediting author Greg Behrendt as I’ve done before (from the book, “He’s Just Not That Into You”), they call it a “break-up” for a reason—it’s broken!

Not everything broken can (or even should) be fixed.

I also agree with another author, John Gray…Men ARE from Mars and Women ARE from Venus. We truly are wired differently.

So does it surprise me your boyfriend who wanted to marry you (but you weren’t ready and broke up with him) got back in the saddle so soon again? NO.

IT HAPPENS (and not just twice for me as earlier mentioned, but three times if you count back when I was just out of college—so consider me the poster child!)

As an expert, though, in this crazy world of dating and matchmaking (I say with LOVE in my heart and much experience), I see and hear everything—and I must say, once a man is seriously rejected, HE MOVES ON. Especially men in their 30’s, 40’s and older. There isn’t time for any doubt—they want a woman who wants what they want—WHEN they want it.

Basically, when a man wants to marry you and is ready to set a date—don’t mess around IF you love him unequivocally.

You weren't sure marriage was right for you at the time with this man. Accept things as they are and don't beat yourself up anymore—regardless how horrible it feels to be replaced in a millisecond.

Marriage itself isn’t right for everyone (says the deer caught in her own headlights.) You CAN have a loving relationship without marriage—particularly if children are not involved. That is a whole different topic I’d love to address one day, so readers, bring it on! (And NO, I am NOT anti-marriage. I am for whatever works as an individual.)

Meanwhile, treat yourself to something wonderful (maybe a trip to Madrid, or a luxury hotel spa weekend in your own city, or even a new hairstyle!) If you’re still suffering emotionally, please consider professional help. Whatever it costs, it’s worth talking things out in person.

Finally, I am truly sorry this happened to you. Through my own mistakes and some wisdom, I can tell you with conviction cut off ALL contact with your ex-boyfriend, DO NOT send him any more letters wishing for a second chance (never again, no matter how tempting!), and just LET HIM BE.

You WILL survive this “indignation” and be a better person for it.

You will also find love again or it will find you…on both your terms next time and when you’re truly ready for a long-term-relationship. Remember, not everything has to end in marriage either (true love can and does prosper in other choices of lifestyle, too.)

I'm sending you lots of warm wishes and healing karma (please revel in it!)

Friday, October 09, 2009


Q: Hi, Chris:

I am 56-years-old, divorced and have been dating my boyfriend (a bachelor age 51 and living in Maryland) for 2.5 years. As time goes on, I'm finding out he's more selfish and stubborn than ever. We see each other on weekends, taking turns with locations. We do have some wonderful times together, but then he has this totally different side which comes out of nowhere.

Since dating him, I've gained some weight (not obese) and I'm trying to get it off. He always says he loves me and my body as I am. I don't let my weight keep us from having a good sex life. His actions with Playboy publications, however, speak louder than words.

Here's the scenario:

We went into a bookstore, so I could find the Mediterranean diet. While I was looking, he picked out a few books AND a 2010 Playboy calendar. When I noticed the calendar I asked him, "Are you going to buy that?" and he said YES. His response to "why?” was, "because I can.”

I was visibly upset because he told me he would stop buying these at the end of 2008, and now I'm wondering why must he have this visual stimulation?

What an in-your-face contradiction this was to me and came across as disrespectful. He said he continues his Playboy subscription because he likes to read the articles, but it all seems like a lie now. I became silent and told him he hurt my feelings as it makes me more insecure about my body. When I tried to talk with him about it, he stopped me, said he didn't want to hear it.

He lashed back with a rude comment "you need to get over your insecurity", and we went our separate ways since Labor Day morning and still neither one has called the other.

He actually became angry with me because I was upset with him for hurting my feelings. (This always happens and I'm the one who typically breaks the silence.) I vowed this time to not do so and haven't contacted him. There have been a few other situations lately where he's been cocky.

My question is, am I wrong to feel so upset about his behavior with Playboy magazine/calendars? I'm thinking about dumping him, am I right?

-- Fuming in Fairfax, VA

A: Dear Bachelorette:

Playboy magazine is a pretty harmless magazine in my opinion, but I'm more liberal than most in those areas. Heck, I'd probably read it with him—as long as he doesn't mind my copy of Playgirl!

Where I'm not so liberal is someone who comes across as disrespectful, arrogant and not very compassionate. Your boyfriend, pardon me, sounds like he's been displaying those signs much too often.

It was rude for him to throw the Playboy calendar in your face, when he knows you want to lose weight and get back in shape. It was thoughtless and aggressive; he knew you went to the bookstore to buy a DIET book.

I wouldn't be so hard on him, though, for reading Playboy itself or buying a silly calendar (and I agree with him about one thing--stop being insecure about your body!) He tells you he loves you and your body when you're naked, right? I would take that at face value.

As far as dumping him, unless he's consistently making you feel inadequate, I'd do exactly as you are now--DO NOT CONTACT HIM. It's his turn to come around TO YOU. As you stated, you're the one who usually breaks the silence. I wonder why that is? It sounds like you are insecure about your partnership.

Good relationships take a lot of work, and it's not easy for anyone at any age--but when you are 50's and older, it's even harder to find someone compatible.

SO, if you have more wonderful times with him than not, I'd say hang in there and make sure you develop more of a spine. Demand he treat you respectfully with his words AND actions (meaning it's okay for him to read Playboy, but if he knows it bothers you, he shouldn't throw it in your face.)

Otherwise, do not bug him anymore about Playboy--or you will come across as an insecure niggling nag, and no man wants that in his life. Also, your sex life is good, so his reading habits aren't affecting that area at all (and may even be improving it :)

On the flip side, if you experience more bad times with this man than good, maybe it is time you give him the heave-ho. Sounds like your boyfriend needs to decide how much he wants you in his life, too.

P.S. While this may sound silly or "tit for tat,” next time you're in the bookstore with him, why don't you pick up a Playgirl magazine??? I would love to see or hear his reaction. I mean what's good for the goose, is good for the gander, right?

Thank you for writing. I really hope you two can work it out, and if not, bye-bye Mr. Playboy.