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I am extremely reluctant to let people get close to me emotionally. I've been divorced for 3 years and have dated a handful of men. My last boyfriend and I dated for a year and then he abruptly dumped me. I was devastated, and it just reinforced my feelings to not expose my heart. I did expose my heart with him and it got broken. I'm concerned I'll never have love again in my life. How can I learn to safely open myself up in relationships?

Answered by: Brett Williams

I'm female, 46 yrs old, been divorced for 5 years, have dated but not found a candidate to create a healthy relationship with to even contemplate remarriage. How do you find people to date who want a quality relationship?

Answered by: Dr. Kevin Skinner

Is speed dating really an effective way to meet a dateable person? Or is it dating roulette?

Answered by: Brett Williams

I am in a serious relationship with the guy of my dreams. The problem is everytime I feel like things are going really well my boyfriend seems to pull away. I don't know if he has a commitment problem or if it is something I am doing. I have tried to talk with him about this, but when I do he says nothing is wrong. I don't believe him because he is distant for a few days. Even my friends comment on his up and down behavior. I don't want to be too overly sensative, but I don't want to ignore a potential problem down the road. I really like this guy, but I am concerned about his hot and cold behavior. Do you think I am worrying too much about this or should I be concerned?

Answered by: Ilene Dillon

I went out one time with a guy who is in my math class. I had an okay time but say no thank you when he asks me out again. He's been showing up in lots of places I've never seen him before including my dorm common room, outside my other classes, the cafeteria. I've told him I don't want to talk to him anymore. He isn't rude just persistent. I don't want to be rude but I feel more and more uncomfortable. What can I do since he doesn't seem to hear what I say?

Answered by: Dr. Kevin Skinner

My husband passed away several years ago, when I was younger and had several young children to raise. Now that my children are grown, I think I'd like to start dating again. It's been awhile since I've been in the dating scene, and I'm not sure how to go about puting myself back out there. Can you offer me any advice in this area?

Answered by: Diane Brandon

My boyfriend is a drama queen. If I make even the smallest request, he becomes extremely defensive. If I stand my ground or try to make my point, he runs and shuts himself into the bedroom and pouts for hours. If I try to talk to him, things get even worse. And if I ignore him, he gives me the silent treatment for hours, sometimes even days. And if I complain about it, he blames me for his isolation and bad mood. What do I do?

Answered by: Ms. Betsy Sansby

I have been in an unhealthy relationship for 6 years and now coming out of it. I still question myself everyday "why was I in it?" My family has this history of never being satisfied with their spouses. My parents split and both my sisters ended up being unfaithful to their husbands. The boy I dated fit my criteria of what I thought to be perfect but he belittled me and we fought everyday. I don't know if I ever really loved him or I loved the fight to win his affection or adoration, which never came. We fought over crazy things, movies or exes that never mattered. What blew me away is how much everything he said affected me, so I must have loved some part of him or why was it so important for me to seek his love. I found myself so caught up with this game, that nothing much mattered. I'm in a career which I love, but is so family oriented and I want that. I want to find a partner and have my own family, but is that another idea I'm in love with or what is it that I want and how will I ever know?? I feel more lost than I was before my six-year relationship and regret the time I've lost and the thought of not learning a thing besides being lost in my own selfishness of wanting his acceptance, which I never received.

Answered by: Dr. Kevin Skinner

I just found out that my boyfriend of 1 yr may be a porn addict. We dated about 7 months before being boy/girlfriend and about 4 or 5 months into our relationship we reviewed each other's email accounts. That is how I learned that he would visit porn sites/chat rooms/galleries. We talked about it; he said we should just focus on each other (and he's kept saying this until now). I said I thought porn is harmful and he said he didn't know how he started getting these emails but that he'd unsubscribe to these places. He didn't visit these websites for a while. But for about a month and a 1/2 now, I see he's back to visiting these sites, and this weekend, he even went to porn chat rooms to chat for 10 minutes.

He does not know that I know this. I've asked him recently (about 2-3 times) if he's visiting these sites and all he says is "you're not gonna stop?!" Going into 3 weeks now, he's been very distant, we hardly see each other, and he's always in a short and grumpy mood over the phone. I tell him that his happiness is important to me and when I question his distant attitude towards me, or when I ask him if he wants to break up, all he says is that it's not me, that it's him. I tell him his distance hurts me, but things don't seem to change. Is this his way of breaking up slowly? Does he want ME to break up?

Sometimes I feel like just telling him that I know he's visiting these sites, that I have proof (I still have access to his email, and I've been deleting his requests to join groups--but I've been forwarding those emails to my account). I think if I do this he will get mad, not trust me, deny it, be defensive and ultimately not seek help either. I think all of this stems from his father's death 7 years ago, leading to depression to finding a way to cope with that pain.

My point is I love him dearly. I want our relationship to work out. I don't know if it's healthy to continue or if I should just move on. It hurts me to think about breaking up. But I'm important too. I wish he would come out of this porn activity and REALLY focus on me, like he says we should do. I wouldn't want him to fall deeper into this addiction (if that's what it is)/depression, me gone and his tight-knit brothers not even being aware that he needs help. I feel like I sound like a broken record asking him what's wrong -- why he's distant with me. His reply: "I'm very stressed at work, I'll explain later." He doesn't. Yet he's not the same as before. This is going on 3 weeks now. It hurts. What should I do? Should I confront him? Break up? Tell his brothers? How should I approach him, especially when he won't open up/admit it? I don't want him to feel like I'm accusing him when I talk. I want him porn-free. Can/should I help? Maybe he thinks his porn activity is normal. Please advise.

Answered by: Dr. Kevin Skinner

I have a boyfriend who drinks too much and can be verbally abusive. I have broken up with him, finally, and now I have his attention. I am not good at speaking up for myself but I did tell him during our 6-year relationship that he hurt my feelings. He says I wasn't clear and now that I am leaving he says he gets it. So do I have to threaten to leave to get his or anyone's attention?

Answered by: Susan Adams