I'm Just Say'n

| January 07, 2009

Carolyn Magner
Columnist
cmagner@rrpub.com


Check in with Carolyn at I’m Just Say’n for your daily dish of relationship advice. Visit http://askcarolyntn09.blogspot.com

Dear Carolyn,

I hate this time of year. It always reminds me that I don’t have anyone to share the holidays with. None of my relationships have worked out recently, and I’m on bad terms with most of my family – none of which is my fault. My mother isn’t even speaking to me. Usually I don’t care, but when you start seeing all the decorations and everyone starts yapping about their plans, it can make a guy feel left out. I don’t know what to do to make things better. Do you?

Scrooge

Dear Scrooge,

Well, let’s start with how none of your failed relationships are your fault. Really? None of them? Because usually there’s a two-way failed-relationship street. Poke your own self in the chest. Yeah, I’m talking to you. Man up and take some responsibility for things that go wrong. That’s the first step. There are lots more steps afterward, but that will get you started. And get your mom a present. Something you pick out, wrap, put at her back door. Even if she’s mad at you, she’ll appreciate that gesture.

I’m just say’n.


Dear Carolyn,

I’m married to a great guy, and we have three healthy, smart, happy kids. My problem is that my husband’s parents expect us to load up the car and drive eight hours to celebrate the holidays with them. We’ve done it their way for the last 10 years. My parents are more laid back and don’t want to get in the middle of this. But I’m tired of being told what to do and can’t believe they’ve run over me all these years. My husband seems baffled that I’m bucking the trend but is willing to do what I want. Do you think I’m selfish? How did I get myself into this?

Janice

Dear Janice,

Oh goodness, let me tackle the how did I get myself into this question first. You clearly do not know about Carolyn’s Rules of Relationships. Rule No. 1: Start out like you can hold out.

See, you started out thinking this would be an every-other-year trek. Then when the babies came along, you thought you’d break it to them gently, and then, somehow, 10 years went by and now you feel trapped.

The second question: Do I think you are selfish? No. The way these things work is that people who run over other people do it because they are allowed to do it. So without making a big deal about it let them know you’ve got other plans for the holidays. Be warm, be loving, but be firm. It’s time.

I’m just say’n.


Dear Carolyn,

I am heartbroken. My boyfriend just told me he’s leaving me for another woman. On one hand, he’s a great guy, good-looking, good at his job, smart and funny. On the other hand, we’ve been together for three years, and he’s cheated on me twice during that time. Both times he begged me to take him back. I did because I believed he was sorry and wouldn’t do it again. But this time he says she’s the one for him.

I don’t have any choice; he’s already started moving his stuff out. I can’t help but think he’s attracted to the excitement of the new relationship and that when he comes to his senses, he’ll want me back.

Do you think that could happen?

Patty

Dear Patty,

Of course it could happen. The addictive buzz of new love always burns off, and he might come back to you when it runs its course. But you won’t be there. You will be happily involved with your life, friends and lots of new boyfriends of your own. Because you must never ever go back to him no matter what he says. He’s a relationship junkie, and you now know this. Lucky you. Unlucky are all the women he’s going to leave behind. It will eventually be less amusing and less attractive as he ages. But this, my dear, is no longer your problem.

Let’s keep it that way.

I’m just say’n.


Dear Carolyn,

I’ve had a very close friendship with a woman who works for the same trucking company I do. I am 15 years older than she is and am self-conscious about our age difference. I don’t want to be “That Guy” who hits on younger girls. But I really like her and would like to step things up. I think she would, too, but we both get tired of hearing all the jokes about how I’m robbing the cradle and am a dirty old man.

What do you think? She’s 25, I’m 40 and we are both single.
Jess

Dear Jess,

I think you are confusing “That Guy” with the one who hits on younger women while he’s already married. Which is not to be confused with actually “dating.” You want to date this young thang, and she wants to date you. Come back when you have a real problem. Like when she’s getting hit on by guys her own age and you feel insecure and anxious about it. I’ll be waiting.

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