Q: I seem to always find myself in a relationship, even when I'm not looking to be in one. Around the third year, I start to get antsy and seem to sabotage the relationship somehow. We get very close to an engagement and a marriage and I take off running. I've thrown away many wonderful men and relationships and make myself feel like I don't deserve a happily ever after. What's wrong with me? —Runaway Bride
There are three simple steps to loving: hook ‘em, hug ‘em, and hold ‘em. Apparently, you do the first two quite well. And girl, I know tons of women who’d like to learn your secret of always being in a relationship!
But you’re correct: you feel you don’t deserve love. To pump up your ego—and theirs—you play guys’ heart strings like harp strings. Men stick with you because hunters love the challenge of winning their prey. But three long years of superficial love games? Are you kidding? Either you should win an Oscar, or your paramours are awfully dense!
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Reality check, please! You and your men need depth perception. Loving requires mutual caring beyond the shallow wining and dining! How many three-year letdowns do you think your dating life will withstand? —Dr. Gilda
Q: In the last four years, I have lost 70 pounds. Since then, my husband of 34 years has become increasingly clingy and insecure. I have never cheated on him, and have no such intentions. People comment on my weight loss and tell me how great I look. I tell my husband how much I love him, but it’s never enough. He is CONSTANTLY kissing me, touching me, and staring at me. He kisses me 30 to 40 times a day—I’ve counted! I don't want to hurt his feelings, but he's driving me crazy—and I need my space. Please help! —Cling No More
Dear Cling No More,
Congrats on your weight loss! Extra pounds often serve as protection. One of my clients admittedly gained 100 pounds to keep her husband off her body. When she dropped the weight, she dropped him.
During your past 34 years, there was comfort for hubby with you being tubby. He misconstrued your weight as HIS protection from potential raiders of your heart. He was insecure then, and he’s insecure now. He fears you’ll run off with one of your new admirers.
Telling your husband how much you love him, or even to stop his antics, is useless. Men are visual, so take your fingers and point to the place your former body used to end. Show him you still need to breathe from this same space. Perhaps when he “sees” your boundaries, he’ll become cling-free! —Dr. Gilda
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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!”
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