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updated 4/13/2012 1:39:23 PM ET 2012-04-13T17:39:23

Dr. Gilda Carle

Need a quick answer to a relationship dilemma? Relationship expert Dr. Gilda Carle cuts through the fluff with her relationship advice in TODAY.com’s “30-second therapist” series.

Q. I met a man on a dating site and we began a deep romance. I assumed he was single, as I am, but I later discovered he is married. I tried to end it with him. He claims he wants to leave his wife, and we argued about it. I’m very hurt, and I hope he will leave her, but I’m leery. I know it's not right to want him, but I'm in love with him. Should I wait it out and see if he will leave her? There are no children involved, as our kids are grown and on their own. —Wanting Him Single

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Dear Wanting Him Single,
Exactly which traits do you think you love about this player? The fact that he masquerades as unattached on a singles dating site? His spotty availability? His lying character?

We attract not whom we want, but who we ARE! So are YOU commitment phobic? Do YOU need an attached man to leave his partner to prove you’re worthy? Trying to end this relationship is a lame cop-out. Besides, if loverboy did exit his marriage, would you ever trust him? Allow your “leery” gut to spell it out.

Of course, there’s nothing as exciting as forbidden fruit. But a mate you can trust is far more heart healthy! I suggest you seek therapy to discover how lovable you are. When you open yourself to full love, you’ll attract someone who will love you fully. —Dr. Gilda

Q: I have been in a relationship for two years. Whenever I visit her place, I keep having to look at photos on display of her ex-husband. There are pictures of them together and ones with him alone. We argue about this, and she feels it’s no big deal. That's not how I feel.  She told me, “If you can’t be with someone, the next best thing is to have a photo of him.”  She also carries his photo in her purse and she Skypes him every week.  I asked, “How would you feel about pictures of my ex everywhere?”  She admitted, “I’d throw them out the window.” Why am I still hanging around?  —Fed Up

Dear Fed Up,
Kenny Rogers sang a great life lesson: “Know when to hold ‘em, know when to fold ‘em, know when to walk away, know when to run.” Sadly, romance can befuddle rationality when such decisions must be made.  

Your girlfriend admits she wouldn’t tolerate in you the kind of behavior she herself exudes. What kind of equity is that? Since we teach what we accept, you’ve unwittingly taught this dame that when she disses your wishes, you’ll nonetheless stand by.  

Do you need a neon sign? Your woman wants her ex back—and you are just the spoils.  You continue this charade because the arguing has become as familiar and predictable as an old shoe.  Friend, pump up your calf muscles; it’s time to walk.  Sometimes, even comfy footwear must finally be replaced. —Dr. Gilda

Do you agree with Dr. Gilda’s advice? Do you have your own? Share it in the comments below.

Want Dr. Gilda to answer your relationship questions? Click here to send them in!

Dr. Gilda Carle  is the relationship expert to the stars. She is a professor at New York’s Mercy College and has written 15 books; her latest is “Don’t Bet on the Prince!”

© 2012 MSNBC Interactive.  Reprints

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