Dear Lucia,

I met my boyfriend a little over two years ago. When we met I was overcoming a pretty serious addiction that I had.

During this time he supported me, and we became very close. Three months later I was pregnant.

We decided to try to stay together and get to know each other while going through the pregnancy. We quickly moved in together and got through it.

During this time, however, I noticed red flags and chose to ignore them. I am usually much like you, and I am quick to drop a guy who I feel is gonna be a pain in the future. I think that having his baby, however, made me bend some of the rules I set for her sake.
I am confused because he has some excellent qualities that most men don’t have. He cooks almost everyday and washes the dishes afterwards. He cleans around the house and is a great father. His daughter loves him, not to mention that any family event I ask him to go to he will be there.
The only problem is he has a hard time getting a job, and he constantly calls me names during our arguments (Sometimes I retaliate by calling him names also.). He calls me a whore or a bitch, and I’ll call him a fat ass or a loser. When we met he was in excellent shape and gained a lot of weight while I was pregnant.

He brings up some very hurtful things that a former family member did to me as a child and has even said it like this, “Oh yeah? And what about what you did with your *****, you probably want to go be with him so you can f**k him.” I’m no angel, but it seems like everything I do is wrong.
Another thing that is a very big problem is that he knows I am bi-polar, and he uses it as an excuse in every one of our arguments, making it out to be my fault ... I hope you know what to do because I want to do what’s best for my daughter but I also want what’s best for me as well.

—Toxic Relationship

Dear Toxic,

You may be like me in that you leave when you see the red flags, but that’s where the similarity ends. I would never allow myself to become pregnant with a man whom I barely knew and had not made a commitment to.
All the name-calling tells me you are both very immature. Unfortunately, I can’t just wave a magic wand and make you both grow up, but you’re going to have to, because you’ve now brought an innocent child into your situation.

The first thing you can do is stop with the name-calling. Guys don’t respond well to criticism. It usually just makes them angry or want to withdraw. If you do this, he will probably also stop.
Then you need to appreciate the good things he does. You mentioned some of them in your e-mail.

Thank him for cooking, cleaning, being a great father, etc. Men are always looking for a “win,” so he will respond very well to positive reinforcement.
If, however, none of the above suggestions work, then your last resort would be to see a counselor. You need to try to make this work for the sake of your daughter, or she may be yet another female to end up on the stripper pole.

Hi Lucia,

I’m 19 and still a virgin. I can be shy at first, but I get over it after a while.
I would love to find myself a Cougar and be her boy-toy. How can I get the attention of older women?

Hi Boy-toy, I would suggest joining some online dating sites. Two of the most popular ones are and

Don’t be afraid to put in your profile that you are “inexperienced” and looking for someone to “show you the ropes.” Some women actually prefer that!

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