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Philippa Courtney



Can't Get Over Him


Dear Philippa,

I left my abusive, alcoholic husband nearly three years ago. I then met Dan and we fell in love with each other. Dan suffers with depression, so a year ago when he tried to end things, I wouldn't budge. But he moved and refused to return my emails or calls. I just found out that Dan and I belong to the same dating service and he's using a picture of himself that I took when we said that we loved each other. When Dan describes his perfect partner he describes me. And I realize that I still have feelings for Dan and that we were so compatible. I just started reading your "4 Steps book" and was wondering what I should do about all this?

�Gwen, Manchester, UK


Dear Gwen,

The red flags are flying and they're not the Union Jack. An alcoholic and abusive husband followed by a boyfriend who suffers with depression; are these simply coincidences or a pattern of you being attracted to guys that need help?

I am the last person to judge someone else's bad choices. I had the words "kick here," printed on my bum for many years when I was dating. I seemed to have a knack for attracting men with serious emotional problems. And like you I held on to fantasies and pursued guys who were not only wrong for me, they rejected me and I still kept coming back for more. Sound familiar? It wasn't until I realized that I deserved better that my love life turned around. Yours can too. You can decide to clear the slate, to let go of Dan, and any other men who are clearly wrong for you. Then start to focus on what you do deserve and you will attract it.

So why has Dan reappeared in your life (at this dating service)? This isn't fate giving you another chance. That's your fantasies talking. This has happened so you can learn that just because you had a lot in common and some loving feelings, you are not truly compatible, nor is he necessarily capable of sustaining a healthy relationship with you or anyone else. Remember that he wasn't emotionally available then and he clearly wanted nothing to do with you.

The fact that he describes you within the parameters of his ideal woman is good. It means he recognized your positive traits. That doesn't mean you are right for each other now. I describe a process in my book for identifying the kind of people with whom you are most compatible. I recommend identifying characteristics that you like in different people and forming them together like pieces of clay to get an idea of the kind of person with whom you would be happiest. You should take the characteristics in Dan that you really liked along with the positive aspects of other people you've known to get a sense of the kind of men you want to bring into your life.

We are all responsible for who we invite into our life. Start becoming discriminating about whom you share yourself with because you are a fabulous woman and you deserve the best. Work on believing that and men will too.



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