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Keep the past in the past

Updated: September 5, 2013 4:33PM

Dear Cheryl, Several months ago, my girlfriend broke up with me. We were in a long distance relationship and among the reasons she wanted to end it was she couldn’t handle the distance. I took it pretty hard and asked her not to contact me. She agreed, but promised me she would email me on my birthday.

She emailed me on by birthday. It was the first time she had reached out to me since our breakup. At the end of the email she wrote, “I know we’ve been apart as you wanted, but please just this one time, send me news. I miss you!”

I’m torn because it took me a long time to get over her, and I’m afraid that communicating with her again will only reopen deep wounds. I don’t want to be rude, but I also feel it would be self-destructive if I respond. I’d prefer not to have anything to do with her because I don’t want to be hurt again, but I appreciate her gesture.

Should I contact her to say thank you? Should I email her about what’s new in my life? Or should I simply forget about it and not even respond? — Awaiting Reply

DearReply, This is a no-brainer. Don’t reply.

You’ll get sucked in again and you’ll get hurt again. Your wounds have not completely healed and any communication with her will just leave you wanting more.

Delete the email and then delete it again so that it’s gone for good.

Dear Cheryl, The first thing I want to say is I’m not stupid. Here’s the situation. I’ve dated Jeff on and off for eight years! I’m 28, he’s 36.

He was my first real love and I always assumed we’d marry. Well, it hasn’t turned out that way, yet. Six years ago, he met another woman and after a whirlwind courtship, he married her. I was devastated to say the least.

Luckily, they got divorced after a little over a year together and we started dating again. (Actually, we were still dating while he was married.)

For the last five years, we’ve been dating pretty exclusively, although he has had a few affairs. He calls it, “Time off for bad behavior.”

I’m not okay with this and I want him to take our relationship more seriously. How can I get him to do that? — Wondering

Dear Wondering, You might not be stupid, but you are delusional. There’s no such thing as kind of dating exclusively. You either are or you’re not. You’re not.

You can tell Jeff you want a commitment — that is a ring and date- — now or it’s over, but I wouldn’t be too optimistic about his response.

Now, I have a question for you. Why do you want him? He’s shown you over and over and over again that he’s a cheater. Do you really think that’s ever going to change?

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