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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, November 22 2013 - Volume 41 Issue 47
Kiki with D: Cold feet
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Kiki with D: Cold feet

by D Smith - SGN Contributing Writer

Dear D,

My fiancé and I just called off our wedding, and I don't know if I should stay with him. Let me give you a little background info: I am a mid-20s professional working in Boston. He is in his early 30s and was in the military. We've been together for over five years. We've been through a lot together, including long distance. He's the first person I've dated who I really thought I could marry.

We started having problems a few months ago when we moved in together. Once a loving, affectionate person, he became distant and cold. We didn't talk much (unless we were arguing), and all of a sudden I felt like I didn't know this person I've been with for so long. I have tried many times to talk about what was bothering him, but we never really got anywhere. We both realized there was a problem but didn't know what to do. I suggested counseling, and we started going.

Finally he tells me that he's unsure about getting married. He's afraid that things will continue the way they've been for the last few months and we'll end up getting divorced. (Honestly, I've had the same nagging fear but truly believed that we could work through this tough time together.) He says it's not me but his own fears that are causing him to feel this way. After a lot of talking, we both decided that we should not get married this fall as we had planned. Of course I'm devastated, but I'm also relieved that this has come out now rather than later.

I stayed for a while and we tried to work on things, but I ended up moving out of our house. He had become really resistant in counseling and didn't want to try any of the things the counselor suggested. I felt like he had completely given up on us. I was so frustrated that I had to take myself out of the situation, even though it was the hardest thing I've ever had to do.

I am still in need of help, though, because now he's decided he wants to work it out. He has completely changed his tune, saying that it was a huge mistake to let me go and he'll do anything to fix it. I really do love him, but is it healthy for me to stay with him? Or should I try to move on with my life? It's true that I've been unhappy for the past few months, even miserable at times, but for years we were smitten together. Is it possible for us to ever get back there again?
- Feeling Lost in Love

Dear Feeling Lost,

It's not possible to go back to where you were, but it is possible to evolve into something new and more honest.

My advice is to spend some time with him without rehashing all of the problems. Go out for some dinners and watch some movies. Cuddle up. Take a day trip. See if the romance is still there. If it isn't, and you can't be in the same room without bickering or feeling bad about yourself, then you have your answer.

Sometimes the damage is just too great to get beyond. But if you find that you can enjoy each other and that the space has given your relationship new life, keep dating. Then maybe visit that therapist once or twice to talk about what comes next.

Usually, when it's over, it's over. But your situation is a bit trickier. You were in a long-distance relationship with him once upon a time when he was in the military. Then you were suddenly learning to live together and planning a wedding at the same time. Without all of the pressure and rushing, you just might thrive.

You have to find out whether you're trying to save something that's still there, or if you're just hanging on to history. Explain to him that you just want to enjoy him without all of the pressure. Find out if that's possible.

The past is a dead thing - it's done and over with. Live in the now and look forward to the future.

Hope this helps. Remember, be true to you, love yourself, encourage yourself and others. - D



Dear D,

I'm considered a pretty nice person, which at times is not good. Yes, I have gotten the whole 'You're too nice' malarkey several times. And no, this is not one of those 'I'm too nice, I hate my life' stories. No, I'm not like that. I don't play that card - I find it pathetic. But every once in a while I wish I could be more of a jerk.

I'm a single person in my late 20s. I love my independence. I do things for myself and answer to no one. Would I like to have a significant other? Sure, if it's right, but right now I have other priorities.

So, a couple weeks ago, I hooked up with this girl and she stayed over. Sweet, right? Wrong. I've known this person for a long time and had a sense that she liked me but I wanted no part of her beyond what we were doing that night and made that explicitly clear. Before anything physical began I reviewed the ground rules (this is what it is and not anything more, I don't want you calling me all the time, I will not visit you, I do not feel for you romantically, this is just a hook-up, etc., etc.). And now I am being mercilessly bombarded with numerous daily texts, phone calls, Facebook chat messages and wall posts, she's friended my friends ... I hate when my cellphone buzzes. Seriously, it's NONSTOP. I've reminded her of my pre-bedroom riot act speech but nothing changed. Currently I'm ignoring her and it's not working.

So, this where the whole 'nice' thing comes in. I'm not totally unaccustomed to clingers, but this is for sure a hum-dinger clinger! I usually have good radar for them, but I definitely let my guard down to satisfy an urge, and now this has become my life. My friends think this is hilarious, but she's even annoying them. Any breakup or parting of ways, aside from a couple nasty heartbreaks, has either been mutual, cordial, or ended by passive disinterest. I have never had to resort to being a jerk to get rid of someone and I really do not want start now. I feel like that might be my only resort unless you can figure out an alternative. - Blowing Up My Phone

Dear Blowing Up,

Feel free to cut out this next paragraph and e-mail it to your clinger:

Dear [insert clinger's name here],

This is a difficult e-mail to write. I'm concerned about our friendship. I allowed our relationship to become physical a few weeks ago and it was probably a mistake.

I've been noticing that you're contacting me a lot more often than you used to, and while I think that you're a great person, I just can't be the friend/partner you're looking for. I'm starting to feel guilty when I don't pick up the phone, and when I do pick up the phone, I'm afraid that it means more than it should.

I think that we should take some space to figure out how to make our relationship more like it used to be. I care about you and don't want to hurt you. But I also want to be honest and make it clear that I was happy with what we had before we crossed that line. I hope you understand. For now, let's keep our distance and give each other some space.

Sincerely, [your name here]


This falls somewhere between passive and jerky and makes it possible for you to block her on Facebook and to ignore her calls without feeling as though you're disappearing without explanation. Just be clear about what you need, and do it respectfully. It's called being empathetic and assertive. You're capable.

Sometimes no matter how you handle it, you just can't win. A situation like this one is up to how the other person views it. Hopefully, she can see that you are being genuine and trying to preserve what you had.

Remember that time heals all wounds, so give her some space to readjust to this new information. In the meantime, take note of what you have done by crossing this line, and consider it a lesson learned.

Hope this helps. Remember, be true to you, love yourself, encourage yourself and others. - D

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