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Dear John,

     I dated a guy for five years and he recently broke up with me. When we were together we fought a lot. A bunch of times during our arguments I threatened to leave him but never did. The last time I threatened, he walked out on me.

There were all sorts of things I didnít like about him. He didnít listen to me, he went out a lot with friends, he liked things I had no interest in, he was over-sensitive and super-critical. But as I think back on the relationship, Iím sure I love him, and am sad without him. What is a good strategy to get him back?

Signed,
Willing to Overlook

Dear Willing to Overlook
     First off, I hope youíve learned that threatening to abandon a relationship as an arguing tactic is an unfair and immature way to deal with conflict. It shows an inability to compromise, or even to communicate. It also demonstrates a need for control while discounting your partnerís opinions. Not to mention it has a tendency to backfire.

You must show your ex that you are able to embrace the person he is, and demonstrate that you can be a more open and accepting partner. We all love to be loved for who we are, but being loved for who our partner wants us to be can be pretty depressing.

Instead of making lists about his shortcomings, think of ways you might have come up short yourself. You say he didnít listen to you. Has it occurred to you that maybe you babble too much?

Overlooking his perceived faults is a good start, but until you are willing to look over your own, my guess is youíll have little chance at reconciliation.

Thanks for playing,
John



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