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Breaking Up is Easy to Do

Q. I have a problem in maintaining interest in a relationship. Mainly, I like the boy until I have him thoroughly engaged, then I lose all interest and forget about him. Just recently, I really blew it with a good friend. I know that it really hurt him. He even told me that I would never be able to find love because I’m “cold hearted”. Is this something I should worry about? I want a relationship and have had ones in the past. But it just seems to me like I hurt the person I’m trying to be with. Is this something I should seek help about or is it a phase? I’ve been really upset over this. Please help!

A. Interesting dilemma. From what you’ve said, I get that this is a longstanding pattern for you. I could analyze that pattern from at least 3 different psychological perspectives, but I’ll spare you those details. The point is, what appears to be happening is that the pattern is no longer working for you on some level, and you’d like to find a way out of it. That sounds suspiciously like maturity to me, and given your age, very appropriate.

It’s not the kind of thing I can give you a pat answer to. As much as I’d like to pull a simple solution out my magic bag, this is exactly the kind of thing a good therapist can work out with you. If you’re really broke, you can also get help at the Davis House Counseling Clinic. Counseling Grad students closely supervised by licensed therapists staff it, and it is very affordable.

I suspect that your ex-boyfriend will get on with his life. Heartbreak or no heartbreak, I wager he’ll fall in love again. For what it’s worth, I would also wager that you’ll fall in love, and that when you do you might have a greater understanding of your past patterns that will help you negotiate a relationship that works for you.

Hope that helps.