Question: Dear Luise: I am a 30 year-old woman. I am a mother to an 11 year-old boy. After breaking up with his father it was very difficult for me to move on because I just couldn’t trust any man who came along I was afraid history may repeat itself because my ex cheated on me several times and I kept taking him back until he eventually married the new woman he was cheating on me with (He told me it was over and i took him back before that so I had thought our relationship was fine) without my knowledge or his son’s knowledge that was 4-5yrs ago. i decided to take time off so that i can deal with the hurt and humiliation without complicating it with another relationship since i was painting all the man with my ex brush which was wrong. After two years of time out i felt i can go back and found someone unfortunately he was just cheating on his girlfriend i felt so much pain and wondered what was wrong with me to a point that I believed that probably love its just for other people and i accepted that i may never find someone to love although I didn’t stop looking but I opened myself to that possibility. So i decided to just go out on dates and have fun but no sexual acts or anything I told myself that i should at least give a guy a chance of going out with him since I may never know if he is what am looking for; so in other words I never shut down the door of a possible relationship in the 3yrs. 6 moths ago i met a 43 yrs old guy here at work who had shown interest in me and I think for the first time after my son’s father I really connected with someone, He just knew how to make me laugh, we can just talk about anything and everything; and he told me he wanted to go out with me to which i was very happy to accept unfortunately before we had a chance to go out I fell sick and had a major gynecological operation to which I was open to him about. He was there for me in everyway he could possible could be; taking me to follow up visits, phone calls etc. After 6 weeks I came back to work. I was still very fragile to be going out since it was winter here in Africa at the time. For some reason as the time arrives that we could go out without endangering my health, he started disconnecting. I could feel it and when I ask him he said was just imagining things. However we kept the friendship that I knew I was starting to really developing strong feelings for him and I asked him if he felt the same to which he said he feels he was growing to love me. I asked if this means we can start dating and he told me that we just need to have time to talk about our intentions but he kept saying time will come and I started feeling he was just making excuses because if we say we are going out, it’s either he will not ask or he will just switch off his phone. I became upset because I wanted him to just tell me what he wants. That was 2 months ago. He responded if I was really serious about him I am scaring him. I said to him from the beginning the intention was to have a relationship with each other now I didn’t understand why you say am scaring you when I want you to be straight with me. I told him its best if we stop whatever that was between us if we cant give it a title because I cant allow myself to fall in love with someone who is not prepared to have a relationship with me otherwise I am just going to get hurt for just hoping for nothing. He stopped talking to me; (so since we work together what was left was just the professional relationship until last week he sent me an email on Tuesday telling me he is very sick he had to leave the office for the doctor Believe me I was very shocked that I thought it was a spelling error. I then sent him a text to wish him well and to tell me if the doctor was able to help him. He didn’t respond and like any human being would I got a scare and called him the following day. He told me he was very sick and had to sleep after the consultation so his phone was off the whole day. I checked on him on Friday again and he was ok and assured me he would see me on Monday here at work. Today it’s Monday. He was at work although I was not expecting a thank you gift for checking up on him every now and then I did expect him to just say something even though its just a plain email saying, “Hi, J am back today.” How do I deal with such a character the next time he tries a stunt like this or any other contacts with me? Please help me before I fall for his charms again. J.
Answer: Dear J. It is over because you ended it…(whatever “it” was.) He got sick and panicked. You responded with kindness. If he contacts you again for any reason that isn’t work-related, do not respond again. His games are psychologically abusive…the behavior of an immature and possibly unstable person. Don’t go there. It isn’t charming and you were right to extricate yourself from socializing with him on any level. You have seen through him…keep it that way. You already have one little boy; you don’t need to adopt another one. Blessings, Luise