Dear Harlan: I keep going back to my ex. We have broken up two times in the past year. Every time we break up, we spend a month apart and then get back together. The first time we broke up because he kissed another girl. The last time he said we were getting too close too quickly and he needed space. Now he wants to get back together. He swears it will be different. I feel like I want to go back to him because I’m lonely. I can’t cut off communication with him. I know he’s the wrong guy for me. How can I avoid going back to him again?
Dear Broken: Your break-up/make-up hobby needs to stop. It’s just a big distraction that is keeping you from focusing on what’s really going on in your life. You hate being alone. You hate it so much it’s easier to be with this creep than to be by yourself. Get rid of this distraction. Find three new hobbies that excite you. Make one of the hobbies active (sweat). Make one of them spiritual (work on loving you). Make one artistic (focus on loving the outside world). If you have time, get a part-time job in a place that will help you be more social. Work on you. Create a life that you love without this dude — or any dude. Get busy doing other things. Surround yourself with interesting people while having new experiences. If being busy can’t get you to start focusing on other things, get some help. Figure out why you think being loved means being treated poorly. A therapist or counselor will help you out. But do not go back to him. He’s not right. Work on loving yourself.