DR. WALLACE: My boyfriend and I had been dating for over a year, but I finally broke up with him because I no longer felt the spark that our relationship had at the start. He was very unhappy when I told him this.
I have since been going out with several different guys, but I just have not found "Mr. Right" yet, so I plan to keep on searching.
My ex is now going steady with a girl I know, but she is not a friend of mine. I've seen them together several times. Once, I even stopped to talk to them for a few minutes. They seemed very happy together, and I was surprised that I felt a bit uncomfortable about that.
Now I'm wondering if maybe I shouldn't have broken up with him. Do you think I should try to get him back? I'm pretty sure I could. Or do you think my feelings are normal and that I should just forget about him and go on with my life? — Unsettled, Palo Alto, California
UNSETTLED: I suggest you trust your original instincts and don't interfere with this new relationship. You might indeed succeed in getting him back, but you likely won't get the spark back. It was gone previously, and it's still gone now. The only spark you're actually feeling is jealousy, which can pop up at the most unexpected and inconvenient times. When you saw him and his new girlfriend together, he appeared to be settled comfortably into a new relationship while you remain single and still looking, so it was only human nature for you to have a twinge of self-doubt.
All you can do is to get on with your life. Keep looking for Mr. Right; he's out there somewhere. You'll find him eventually! Keep looking forward, not backward!
USE BIRTH CONTROL IMMEDIATELY
DR. WALLACE: I need your advice! I'm 19, and the guy I am dating is 24. We have been together for seven months and living together for the last two months. I met him at a party, and it was love at first sight for both of us. My problem is his former girlfriend is the mother of his two children. He had been living with this girl for over three years before he met me. When we first started dating, he did tell me about his girlfriend and the children but also said they never had any intention of ever getting married. To me, this meant that he was free as a bird, so I just swooped in. The next thing I knew, we were off and running together.
Now, his ex is doing everything in her power to cause trouble for us. We have had to get our telephone numbers changed and unlisted. She comes by the office where I work and tries to get me fired. She calls me a homewrecker and says that I stole her children's father. When she got pregnant, my boyfriend told me he begged her to get an abortion, but she said no. So it's her fault that she now has two children. I also became pregnant by him within the first few months of our romance, and I did the sensible thing, which was to have an abortion.
My boyfriend doesn't want to cause trouble because he's not paying child support and wants to keep it that way. He says we should try to let a sleeping dog lie, and I don't disagree with this. I'm actually trying to get him to move to California so she can't find us, but he won't do it because his parents and three brothers live close by now. Help! I don't know what to do next. — Anonymous, Flint, Michigan
ANONYMOUS: I don't know who is more out of control, you or your boyfriend. First of all, there are safer, less expensive and far less controversial ways of practicing birth control than having an abortion.
Second, I do not see a happy future for you with this particular guy. He has not shown any moral standards, has avoided true commitment, has evaded his responsibility as a father and now is on the verge of starting this entire cycle all over again with you.
Third, this other woman is far more than his ex-girlfriend. She's the mother of his two children — a fact that will remain true for his and your lifetimes.
My advice? Tell this man to become a respectful human being by financially supporting the two innocent young lives that are his responsibility. It would be wonderful if you could also convince him to return to his ex-girlfriend, marry her and be part of a moral, honorable family. But somehow, I don't believe this is going to happen. However, as you're probably going to continue playing house with him, you could both at least use birth control. I suggest the pill and condoms be used at all times so that this situation will not become even more complicated going forward.
I'm not sure what you can do to get his ex to leave you alone, short of you going to the authorities if she makes any further threats. But if she ever contacted me about this mess, I'd advise her to get an attorney and do everything the law allows to receive financial support from your boyfriend for their children.
Dr. Robert Wallace welcomes questions from readers. Although he is unable to reply to all of them individually, he will answer as many as possible in this column. Email him at [email protected] To find out more about Dr. Robert Wallace and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.