(Just) Friends Forever?

Q: I dated a woman for almost two years and fell madly in love with her and her three kids. New Year's Eve last year she broke it off with me. Said that she wasn't in love, and knew she wasn't three months after we started dating, but stayed with me because of "convenience." She started seeing another guy, but he recently broke it off with her. While she was seeing him, she would still go to movies with me, to concerts, dinner, but always "as friends" even though I paid for everything. I can't get her out of my mind, and she's always there. I would love to get back with her, but this is killing me. It is also crippling me socially, because I'm afraid to talk to anyone new. She has destroyed my self-confidence. What should I do? -- Dean, 42

Dr. Susan: Stop going out with her. Your "friendship" is getting in the way of you getting on with your life. It seems to me that she took advantage of your adoration by continuing to go out with you (and letting you pay) while she was seeing a new guy. She apparently is one of those people who think they have to feel fireworks at all times to be "in love." I suspect she was looking around for that "in love" feeling every day past the first three months with you. She should have discussed all this with you, but she didn't, and you got more deeply involved with her and her kids. Please don't let her selfish behavior ruin your self-confidence. The only thing you did wrong was to be a kind and loving man beyond when those feelings were being reciprocated. She will eventually get out of your mind if you cut off all relations. She's using you. Believe it.

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