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updated 11/2/2012 2:10:17 PM ET 2012-11-02T18:10:17

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 was dating my ex for a year. Although we’ve broken up, we keep talking, texting, seeing each other and occasionally sleeping together. We broke up because of a very big lie he told me. I have forgiven him, but not forgotten.

We both love each other madly, but religious differences also drive us apart, which means that marriage is still in question. We have tried the "out of sight, out of mind" theory, but we keep getting back together. I also tried dating others. I am sort of involved, although not committed, with a great guy, but I can’t seem to give him anything. At 26, I am lost and confused, and I don’t want to waste any more time. l believe my ex is my true soul mate.

There is the issue of religion on both our ends. He does not want to get married for the next two to three years, which is fine with me. I think I should let this new guy off the hook because I don’t know if I feel anything for him. How can I feel anything if I still think I am in love with my ex? But what if the new guy is the one? I am so lost! Please help me. — Torn between Two Lovers

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Dear Torn,
Huh? You broke up with the “ex” you “think” you love, but you’re not broken up. You’re “sort of involved” with a “great guy,” but you can’t “give him anything.” Girl, you’re unable to commit to one guy, but afraid to leave either one!

You say you “don’t want to waste any more time.” Time doing what? Forgiving, but not forgetting? Flaunting new guy in old guy’s face as punishment? Keeping both guys on hold to stroke your ego?

The religious differences must be resolved. Meanwhile, your ex’s delayed interest in marriage is feeding your own commitment fears, and putting your growth on hold. This male straddling is neither helpful nor healthful. Leave both guys, get counseling and discover why you’re so scared. —Dr. Gilda

Q: My fiancé and I have been together for eight years, we both work full time jobs (in my case, seven days a week) and have two small children (3 and 6). In the beginning of the relationship, we were very sexual and passionate. During the last four years, however, things have slowed down.

I get that lovemaking isn’t going to be the way it was before kids, but I'm sexually frustrated.  I try to initiate several times a week to no avail. At times, I find myself thinking about other men (not that I would cheat), but these thoughts scare me. My fiancé claims to love me and find me sexually attractive, but the lack of sex proves otherwise. I feel it's putting a damper on my relationship, and there's a lot at stake. Please advise! —Sexually Frustrated

Dear Sexually Frustrated,
You’re right: Walk-into-walls passion doesn’t last because it’s no longer new. But if it did last, you’d never be able to parent and work seven days a week! Each partner has a different sexual appetite, but many women erroneously interpret their mate’s lighter craving as a turn-off to them.

You may be initiating, but are you communicating? My Gilda-Gram  advises, “Communication is the best lubrication.” Sex sits more between our ears than between our legs, so bump up your communication! Talk to your guy about his needs, his desires and his priorities. He may be stressed, or even have a medical issue. Show a man you care about more than his sexual performance, and his response may surprise you.  —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 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.

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