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Dear John,

     I am 38, and have a six year old daughter. A year and a half ago I ended a very unhappy marriage to a man who is a wonderful father but neglectful spouse. Soon after the divorce (probably too soon) I began seeing the most wonderfully attentive man who cared for me, prioritized our relationship, communicated, and didn't want to be without me. We have a 15 year age difference (he is older) and he became insecure about his job situation and our age difference. He began to have difficulty seeing how our relationship would play out in the future. He backed off twice, saying we should go our separate ways, always having some random excuse; but somehow, by the sheer want from both of us, we would get back together, with him committing to stop worrying about these things.

Now I find myself the victim of his whims once more, as he has broken off our relationship again. There are a lot of changes in his life right now: his kid is going off to college and he has started a new job that is demanding. He has money woes and doesn't know how to support me and my daughter in the lifestyle we need. He says it is not a case of him not wanting to be with me, but he's confused and thinks he is too old and the picture does not look right.

It is so hard to run into him now (we both live in the same small town) and when I do he still wants to touch me and pull me in. He says that when he sees me all he wants to do is be with me, but when he is alone all the doubts fester again. I love him like I've never loved another man. The connection and passion between us is rare, and I am having an impossible time not giving into him. I know in a couple of weeks, maybe a month, he will run into me and want to be with me and I want that so much. But I know his waffling will not change. How can I let go when I know there is hope?


Dear Hope
     I think they call it irony when a woman writes to a website called Wake up to a Break Up while sleeping soundly though her own relationship's demise. Forgive me for rousing you from your slumber, Hope, but Lover Boy wants out. He's said it loud and clear in a hundred different ways. You are right that he's communicative; so why aren't you listening?

You aren't listening because you want to keep your dream alive; but dreams aren't real. What's real is you are on the rebound, and compared to your ex-husband anybody would look good. What's also real is no matter how many excuses you give him, this new guy isn't feeling what you're feeling. It is time to open your eyes and see the situation for what it is.

You ask, "How can I let go when I know there is hope." The simple answer is to realize there is no hope. Lover Boy misguidedly thinks he's doing you a favor by letting you down easily, but that tactic only makes the inevitable harder. And please don't interpret his impromptu, amorous desires as anything but what they are: a play for no-strings sex. He's a guy after all!

I don't mean to be insensitive, but in the long run I think you'll benefit from my blunt approach. The bottom line is, your relationship has no legs and he's running from it. Time to wake up and smell the break up.

Thanks for playing,

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