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Boyfriend Won't Commit

Annie Lane on

Dear Annie: I have been with my "boyfriend" on and off for three years. I put "boyfriend" in quotes because he says he doesn't like labels. I'm at his place 90%of the time, yet I still pay rent on my own apartment because he would never agree to move in together. I have met his family and he also has met mine. When I ask for commitment, he says I'm being pushy. He doesn't communicate well at all. I feel shut out. I'm so hurt from the years of not knowing where I stand with him. Everyone deserves to know where they are in someone's life and what they mean to that person! Please help. I can't take this anymore. -- Confused in Love

Dear Confused: You can't and you shouldn't take this anymore. You absolutely deserve better, and you need to end things with this man -- abruptly and completely -- so that you can find it.

I know it won't be easy. When someone jerks you around as badly as this jerk has, it whittles away at your self-esteem -- and perversely, it causes you to keep turning to that same person to build you back up. It's a recipe for despair, and it can make leaving seem impossible. But it is possible, and necessary. I encourage you to seek a therapist's help in navigating through the turmoil and finding the other side. Your whole life is waiting for you there.

Dear Annie: My husband died back in 2010. Before he died, he gave my brother some money to hold onto. Now I would like to get it back. My sister told me that our brother had spent it already. He moved somewhere else. Is it too late for me to get the funds back? -- Cashed Out

Dear Cashed: Try reaching out to your brother in any way that you can -- letters, more phone calls, even an in-person meeting. He might not be able to pay you back in full, but perhaps you could set up a monthly payment plan. If he still refuses to talk, it's worth reaching out to a lawyer for a consultation. If your husband effectively gave your brother this money outright (i.e., there's no documentation that it was a loan or otherwise meant to be returned to you eventually), then you may not have many options. But an attorney can offer expertise and evaluate the specifics of your situation.

Dear Annie: You asked readers what they love most about their partners a little while back. I love my husband's everyday affections, from sweet smiles to little notes tucked under coffee cups and inside gloves, and even in sandwiches! But I think the thing I love most about him is that he makes me feel safe. He is nonjudgmental. By doing that, he frees me to love him deeply and without fear. -- Sheila G., Eastham MA

 

Dear Sheila: Thank you for reminding us what true caring looks like. Though Valentine's Day has come and gone, love goes on and on. I received another letter on love that I just had to print.

Dear Annie: My partner and I are both in our mid-70s. My late husband and I were couples friends with him and his late wife. After both of our beloved spouses passed away we shared our grief and became friends. Eventually, our friendship blossomed into love. I love about a hundred things about him, but what I love most is the very fact that after I thought I would never know romantic love again, here it is! We feel like young lovers and every day is a gift because we both know what it is like to lose the love of your life. -- Linda B.

Dear Linda: What a touching story. I'm so glad you two have each other. Thanks for writing.

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"Ask Me Anything: A Year of Advice From Dear Annie" is out now! Annie Lane's debut book -- featuring favorite columns on love, friendship, family and etiquette -- is available as a paperback and e-book. Visit http://www.creatorspublishing.com for more information. Send your questions for Annie Lane to dearannie@creators.com.

 

 

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