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How To Break A Man's Heart?

Janie wrote:

This may seem like an odd request, but I'd like to know how to break a man's heart. Please hear me out, my intentions are, I think, positive.

I am 35 and have been through many many break-ups, most of them painful. I am a career woman, quite atractive and fit, strong in who I am, but when it comes to dating, I am usually the one who crumbles at a break-up. I don't fall in love too quickly, but once I do, I fall hard. I like to think I am just a very committed person, but I know that something else is going on there.
I think it would be a sea change in my dating if a man got so hung up on me that he never brought me to that point. So I don't exactly want to break his heart...only to steal it, permanently! :-)

I write with a more specific scenario in mind. My most recent relationship seemed really wonderful but distance, career, and his commitment to remainign where he is for his child brought us to ultimately decide to part ways, with great saddness on both ends. He has seemingly bounced back quickly, already dating someone in his church (we are both Christians). I know he loved me, but clearly just not enough. I however, made my move for my career and am struggling to move on. Just so you're clear - I was the one willing to make the next few years work out...but he never asked me to stay for him, which felt telling in some respect. I think we both believed that this move was something I've worked hard for for 8 years (I'm a recent PhD with a good tenure track job). I was only missing his actual, and not theoretical support.

There was one point when he was totally ga-ga for me...wanted my children, told me he wanted to marry me - I began falling for him in equal stride...but as time grew on, these sentiments changed, especially once my career began to take shape.

In my dream world, he will call me one day and say, "I miss you, I want it to work between us. Let's do what it takes. I love you." I am trying to come to terms with the fact that this may never happen. But I'd love to know what I can do, if anything. I've already called too many times. I sense I need to leave him be. But I wish I could do something besides just struggle to move on.

This whole thing leaves me asking yet again - how do I get a guy to get hung up on me enough to not be able to live without me? How do I break his heart and steal it permanently?

I hope you will answer this one... I am quite at a loss.

Dear Janie

I hope you've changed your mind and moved on since you wrote your letter, it's one of the least Christian missives I've ever had.

You motives are not positive, but entirely slefish;you even admit that his reasons are probably his fatherly feelings, rather than any disrespect for you - and as a Christian, you of all people should respect that. But clearly you don't, as your attempts to take precedence over the child has sent him into another's arms.

You don't own the guy; you really don't. He has free will; he's seen what you have to offer, and he's politey declined. Accept it.

Where do you go from here? I'm not sure - but avoid men with children, for a start. And if you really want a life partner, maybe you need tostart thinking about their needs as well as yours; compromise is a tough word - but as we mature, we all know what we want, and the chances of finding Mr Perfect are slim indeed; the chances of finding Mr Almost Perfect and moulding him to your tatse is a risky game (as you've discovered). So maybe it's time to start forgetting all that, and looking for a man you respect, like, and can be good friends with. Out of that, a mature romance may grow. But stealing hearts is for teenagers, not career women.

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