Feb. 3, 2014 at 11:53 AM ET
This week, one reader says he pines for his ex, even though he's having a baby with his current girlfriend, and another reader says he's dismayed that his ex's family has cut ties with him. Relationship expert Dr. Gilda Carle cuts through the fluff with her love advice in TODAY.com's "30-second therapist" series.
Q: I have been in a relationship for almost one year and we are having a baby soon. As excited as I am about that, I am also scared of the true feelings I have for someone else. About three years back, I met someone I believe to be my soul mate. We didn't work out because we just were both coming off very traumatic break-ups. I held on too long to a dying flame and lost her in the process, but we continued to try to work things out until I met my current partner. I moved on with my current girlfriend out of pain and frustration. Now, I am moving in with my current partner who I know loves me as much as a person could. I care about her too and I want things to work out, especially with a baby on the way. But I also know how scared I am of losing my ex. I need advice on what to do. I don't want to raise my baby in a broken family, but at the same time, I don't want to miss out on the love of my life. What can I do? —Confused
Dude, you carelessly “move on” and “move in” as you: 1) jump from woman to woman without taking stock, 2) pine for your “soul mate,” while lying about loving your “second choice,” 3) believe a baby will fix your confusion.
Consider the effect of an unhappy entanglement on your child! Your self-serving mantra cries, “I don’t want to miss out.” Buddy, what about the four lives you’ve tainted, including your own? Kenny Chesney’s song, “Don’t Blink,” and its heart-wrenching video, will slap you with how quickly time passes: “When your hourglass runs out of sand, you can't flip over and start again.”
Get professional help! Discover what’s driving your neediness, how to be truthful, and how to live solo—until you’re worthy of sharing an honest life. —Dr. Gilda
Q: I ran into my ex's twin sister and mother. I acted like a star-struck fan to the twin and even confessed I was still in love with her brother, despite our two year estrangement. The twin liked me and promised to fix things, but by the weekend, the mom and twin had blocked me on Facebook. I tried to apologize, but that resulted in silence from both parties. What should I do next? —Heartbroken
Since you’re the one still carrying a torch for your ex, you must mend it or end it. This is not work to be done by your ex’s family. As my Gilda-Gram™ directs, “For whatever you want, pose your request to the landlord, not the tenant.”
Obviously, when your ex’s family relayed the message, the wall came down. The aftermath should have been clear to you. But you ignored the signs, and pushed harder—resulting in silence. Now you’re asking, “What should I do next?” Duh! The answer is speak to your ex directly, without asking others to do your bidding.
If confrontation is a challenge for you, take a course in conflict management. This way, your relationship faux pas will lead to insight. —Dr. Gilda
Want Dr. Gilda to answer your relationship questions? Send them in!
Dr. Gilda Carle is the relationship expert to the stars. She is a professor emerita, has written 15 books, and her latest is “Don’t Bet on the Prince!”—Second Edition. She provides advice and coaching via Skype, email and phone.