Ask Dr Louise
I’m in my late twenties and met my boyfriend two years ago. He’s handsome, has a great job and is the kind of guy girls dream about. I knew women would go for him because besides being attractive he’s also charming and is a gentleman who knows how to treat a woman. He’s not like other good-looking men who know they’re attractive and think they deserve everything in life because of it. He’s humble and respectful.
But last night he told me that although he’s tried to fight against his feelings, he’s fallen in love with someone else and wants to be with her – regardless of the fact that he still loves me and will miss me if I’m not in his life.
He says he’s realised his love for me is more like what you’d have for a favourite sister, not the kind of love you have for the woman of your dreams. That really hurt. I feel as if he’s not only wasted two years of my life but also destroyed all my dreams as we’d already started talking about getting married next year. Leanne, email Love is an incredibly complex emotion and can throw a curveball when you least expect it. It’s also one of those emotions we can’t really control and have no mastery over.
Although it’s painful, it’s better he was honest with you about his feelings. If he doesn’t love you the way you want to be loved, you’re not meant for each other. Try to see it as having had the privilege of having him in your life for a short time. You might not believe it now, but you’ll love again and it will be just as rewarding as the love you had for him.
Try to accept and respect his decision without feeling that you’re less attractive, less worthy or less anything (the way most of us tend to feel when we’re jilted by someone). Also, don’t get caught up in thinking “if only things were different” – this will only make you hurt more.
Start rebuilding your life. Turn to friends for support. Cry when you feel like it, but don’t wallow in self-pity. You’re not the first person to be hurt emotionally and won’t be the last. Emotional pain is part of life and how we get through it is often a testament to our resilience and character.
I FEEL ALL ALONE IN THE WORLD
I’ve lost both my parents, and lost all my siblings even before my dad died about eight years ago.
I’m in my fifties now and don’t have any remaining close family members in the world. I feel dejected and lost and envy people who have family as they often don’t realise how privileged they are.
I divorced 10 years ago after catching my husband in the act with his mistress.
We didn’t have children so I don’t have kids to carry on my legacy. I often wonder what will happen to me when I grow older as I’ve seen many of my older friends becoming dependent on their kids for support. What will I do, as I have no one? Anne-May, email Having parents and siblings doesn’t guarantee you’ll be surrounded by supportive family members in your old age. There are many people who have families and children yet they’re ignored by them and so in effect end up alone.
It’s for this reason that friends are precious. Friends don’t spend time with you because they feel they should or are bound by blood or duty. They’re in your life because they like or love you and enjoy your company. These bonds can be much stronger than those based on duty. So cultivate and nurture your friendships. Go out of your way to keep in touch with your friends and be part of their lives. Friends can be younger than you, the same age or older, and different friends bring a variety of dimensions to your life.
MY LIFE IS SUDDENLY GOING IN ANOTHER DIRECTION
I thought I was gay because for as long as I can remember I’ve had feelings for people of the same gender. But now I’ve met a woman I initially thought would be a good friend, yet I’m starting to feel much more for her than friendship.
She’s given me signs that she wouldn’t be averse to having a more intimate relationship with me. Fortunately I’m not in a relationship at the moment and neither is she.
What shall I do? I don’t want to start something I can’t finish and I also don’t want to hurt her.
I have no doubt that I have sexual feelings for her – this definitely isn’t just affection stemming from friendship. Gary, email You’re both adults. Just be honest with her and tell her you’ve always thought you were gay, but have now developed feelings for her that are definitely more than just friendship. Then it’s up to her to decide if she wants to take the risk of having a relationship with you.
Human sexuality can be much more complicated than people simply being heterosexual, gay or bisexual.
In fact, research indicates that most people tend to be bisexual in their sexual orientation rather than gravitating to opposite ends of the continuum. But it’s still a taboo subject, so few people identify themselves as being bisexual.
A meaningful relationship between two people is about so much more than just the sexual side of things.
It’s really about two souls who connect with each other on all sorts of levels. As long as you’re open and honest with each other, go for it.
Don’t be afraid. The important thing is that you lay all your cards on the table so she can make a decision with all the facts at her disposal.