Life Advice



Boyfriend's Past Has Me Questioning Him

Annie Lane on

Dear Annie: After paying my dues with bad relationships, including a toxic marriage that took me way too long to leave, I have finally found real love with a man whom I've known since we were teenagers.

After my divorce, we got back in touch and started dating. I had always had a crush on him, and he tells me that he felt the same way when we were younger, but nothing ever happened. We're not naive and know we each have our own histories with previous relationships; however, having just recently found out just how much history he has has triggered some insecurities that maybe I'm not quite as special as I previously thought I was.

There was a pretty sizable window of opportunity before we lost touch, when we were spending enough time together for something to happen, but to me, he didn't seem to have the same feelings. However, now that I know just how many other girls there were that he chose over me at that time, I'm starting to question if he actually did have the feelings for me he claims he did.

He tells me it was because he was too intimidated, but he clearly didn't have any problem with those other girls, so why was it just me? I know the past is the past, and I'm grateful that, after all this time, he finally chose me, but I just can't help but feel that I'm just the next girl on the list. How do I move on and get past this? -- Insecure

Dear Insecure: Sounds like you're not sure if you are living in a fairy tale and he is the prince who chose you over all the other fair maidens. You also have a choice of whether you want to choose him. Trust your instincts. Are any of his current actions making you feel like you are just the next girl on his list? And you have to ask yourself if you really want to be with a guy who has lists of girls. It might be more insecure to stay with a guy like that.

On the other hand, he could have glorified you as "wife material," and that is why he waited while sowing his oats, so to speak. If that is his thinking, then he is pretty sexist and I'm not sure you want to be with a guy like that either.

If you found out about his other women from him -- by his being open and honest with you -- then he might be OK. But if you heard about it through the grapevine, be careful.

Dear Annie: I was in a relationship where I lived with this man for six years. We have lived apart for two years now, and I'm not in love with him anymore. I do love him, but not romantically.


He is a narcissist, and I don't know how to approach him in letting him know that I no longer want to be with him. There is nobody else in my life right now, so that is not why I want out.

The problem is that he has to move out of his cousin's house, and he wants to move back in with me.

I don't want to live with him and go through hell again, which is what happened when we lived together. Please help. -- Need to Break It Off

Dear Break It Off: The word NO is sometimes the kindest word you can tell someone. The next time you speak with him, tell him it's over -- and don't back down -- no matter what he says. Set him free so you can set yourself free. Don't focus on being afraid to break up with him. Focus on the fact that you will be giving yourself, and your ex, the opportunity to find a more healthy and loving relationship.


"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 for more information. Send your questions for Annie Lane to




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