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Ask Kathy B: Should I move on?

Question: I had a boyfriend whom I fell deeply in love with the past 4 years with the product of a son in 2004. We used to break up so many times and get back together just as much. When we were together, we used to get into almighty arguments from the smallest things to the biggest things. Although we still see each other for the sake of our son when we are sharing him each week, its been pretty hard for me to move on with my life. I still love the guy but I’m afraid that when he does decide that he still wants to be with me it will be a repetition of what went on before. However, he still says that he does still love me but that I need to give him the space to get his life back on track, financially and emotionally. We have now been separated 2 months and he hasn’t said that he still wants or still loves me. So I am pretty confused with what he wants to do. Although I have started to get my life back on track slowly and he doesn’t seem to know what he wants, my question is do I give him the flick and move on or what anyway should I really do?

Kathy B: Aaaaah! You poor thing. You are stuck in the terminal does he really love me or doesn’t he sequence which will proceed to drive you, your friends and family crazy. From what you’ve said it is time for you to face facts. You say you don’t know what he really wants but he’s told you (or rather what he hasn’t said should be telling you what’s really going on). If he really does love you or wants to be with you then you’ll know about it. I’m sorry to say it but sometimes men say, ‘I do love you, I just can’t be with you right now’, and what they really mean is, ‘you are a nice person and I don’t want to hurt you but I’m not feeling it anymore’.

Meanwhile it is time for you to cut ties with this man romantically. Of course, it is admirable that you are seeing and being friendly for your ex for the sake of your son, which is exactly how it should be. But you need to wake up and smell the coffee. Don’t waste another day being ‘confused’. Face the situation head on. I know you don’t want to admit it but for the moment at least there is nothing romantic going on between the two of you so it is time for you to dust yourself off, watch a few good tear-jerker movies, make some margaritas with friends and eat a box of chocolates to yourself. Then once you’ve recovered from your indulgent night and your hang over start taking practical steps to really move on. If you feel like you aren’t going to be able to do that on your own then consider speaking to a counsellor about your situation. You can find a good local counsellor by contacting the Australian Psychological Society via their website www.psychology.org.au or on Toll free: 1800 333 497. Lifeline also offer a free, 24-hour phone counselling service visit www.lifeline.org.au or call 131144.

It will no doubt be difficult for you to change the way you feel about your ex-boyfriend as he is the father of your child and you will always be connected through your son. But whenever you are feeling down, remember how bad it made you feel to break up and make up time and time again. There was obviously something missing from the beginning, even though you may have felt amazing chemistry. Of course there is a chance that you will end up together but that will only happen if you give your ex the freedom to do what he’s asked, to be able to get his life back on track. Meanwhile you do the same. Get healthier and happier than you’ve ever been before. Take up a new hobby you’ve always wanted to try, begin a new fitness routine to get you in shape for summer and get out there to start meeting new people. Even consider going on a date with a new guy (or trying cyber-flirting through and internet dating site to get your confidence back). If your ex sees you truly are moving on with your life then he may realise you are who be ready to move forward in a healthy relationship with a man who knows he wants to be with you. And that’s exactly how things should be.

If you want Kathy B to answer your relationship dilemmas, email feedback@shesaid.com with your question.

Kathy Buchanan is the author of Charm School: The Modern Girl’s Complete Handbook of Etiquette, Happy Endings: The Ultimate Movie and Book Guide for Women and Quit for Chicks. Charm School offers fun but helpful advice on why manners are sexy and how to use them to create the life you?ve always dreamed of. It deals with difficult love, social and work situations like how to ace an interview, help a friend through a difficult break-up, keep your hairdresser faithful and how to not fall in love with gorgeous gay men.
Happy Endings is the ultimate book and movie guide for every possible situation you could face ? it will become your well-thumbed companion through life?s ups and downs.
Quit for Chicks is a how to quit smoking support guide for women, with a foreword from supermodel Sarah O?Hare.