Dear Lucia,

I was a last-year medical student and fell head over heals for a fifth-year resident. I knew the relationship would end before it started, given that he was leaving for two years to pursue a fellowship and was not intending on coming back.

Despite this, I continued seeing him thinking that he was worth the inevitable heartache. At the time, he was studying for an upcoming exam and had very little time to spare. I was unsatisfied with the way things were, still I bit my tongue thinking I would receive star treatment for being so understanding and supportive.

I finally expressed my disappointment and asked him to not keep in touch. He apologized, said he cared a great deal about me and wished I would accept to stay friends.

Should I stay friends with him even though he left without saying goodbye?


Dear Dawn,

You told him not to keep in touch, so he left without saying goodbye. You attempted to manipulate him, and it backfired. You were hoping that he would beg for your forgiveness, but instead he behaved maturely, given the circumstances.

The good thing is that he wants to be friends. I would accept his offer. I hope you’ve learned your lesson about attempting to manipulate people who aren’t behaving as you want them to.

Dear Lucia,

I have been suffering so much lately and I am not sure what to do. I haven’t been sleeping or eating, and I feel really overwhelmed by my own fears.

My last relationship lasted seven years, three of those being married. After two kids and the best years of my life gone, my ex-husband decided to hook up with my ex-best friend (who was supposed to be gay, can you imagine that?).

Now with the relationship I am in, I feel very happy and satisfied. I am now dating someone who has his life together, a really good job and treats me well.

I am very happy and satisfied. It’s like a dream come true, or so you would think.

When he is gone, I am plagued with nightmares and anxiety attacks. I just can’t get over the fact that after I fell in love the first time, gave my all and, after all those years, someone left me. Now I am in the situation again where once again someone has become very close to me, and although he has no intentions whatever of leaving me or anything (I mean, we don’t even really argue), I am terrified that each time he goes I’m never going to see him again.

This is really starting to intrude on my happiness. I think this is a trust issue and a letting go of the past issue.

I’m getting worn out from my nerves being so frazzled all the time, and I am mad at myself because I just can’t seem to let my guard down enough to feel secure with this man and also even more mad at my ex that he screwed me up this way. What do you suggest with this mental nightmare I am in?


Dear Amber,

It sounds like you have what I call, “P.T.D.D.” – Post Traumatic Dating Disorder. You went through a very difficult and traumatic experience, and that has now become the filter through which you look at relationships.

As long as you are blaming your ex for how you feel, you cannot move past it and heal. You have to accept responsibility for your reaction. We can’t always help what happens to us, but we can control how we react to it.

It sounds like you’re in a good relationship; however, your walls, fears and anxieties will eventually drive this man away if you don’t deal with them. I suggest you go in for some short term, cognitive therapy.

There are no guarantees in love. You gave it your all, and it didn’t work out.

Instead of staying stuck in the past and not enjoying the present, think about what you would have done differently, given what you now know. Look back, learn and let go.

Remember: Love inspires, empowers, uplifts and enlightens.

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