Dear Dr. Romance:

Last year, my boyfriend he broke up with me 3 days before my birthday. On the actual day, he didn't even so much as text or call to wish me a happy birthday - or even send me a card. I was devastated, esp because I really made a big deal of his birthday last year - bought him a very expensive cake, made him dinner, got him a thoughtful gift and card, etc.

Also, about a week after we broke up last year, I drove one hour (one way) to his office and dropped off a goodie bag with stuffed peppers and a romantic card to apologize because I had said some very mean things to him that I regretted. That gift bag and the food were never even acknowledged. For all I know, he may have even thrown it out.

Strangely, I still love this man. Unconditionally. When things were good, things were VERY good. He DOES have good qualities. I have seen in him that he can be a very good man - kind, gentle, sweet, loving, considerate, respectful, romantic, etc. He did say the L word once to me. I know he has this side in him but it now seems like it's all a distant memory.

Recently I changed my hair color and sent him a photo to ask him how he liked it. He didn't reply. So, I set myself up for that one. It made me feel hurt and angry. But, I'm not dwelling on it. But here's my question. His birthday is coming soon. Before my email, I was thinking of sending flowers to his office for his birthday. Now, I'm not so sure. In fact I don't think I'll do that now. Thoughts?

Dear Reader:

A breakup should be a breakup -- asking for his opinion on your hair color probably sounds crazy to him -- as if you don't understand that you're broken up. You appear so desperate, you're almost stalking him. Don't send flowers. Just leave him alone. It sounds to me like you're grasping at straws in this relationship, and doing all the work. I recognize that you say he can be loving and caring, but there must have been a big down side to this relationship, or you wouldn't be broken up.

It's time to get honest with yourself, let him go, do your grieving. The relationship is over. If there's any possibility for anything with this man, you'd have to start over, and build something new. This didn't work, it was dysfunctional, it's over. Stop hanging on. Get busy making your life work without a man in it. Focus on your friends and yourself. "How to Write a Love Letter" will help you analyse your feelings and actions in the relationship.  "Letting Go Takes Love" will help you let go. "Surviving Loss and Thriving Again"  will help you with the healing process. Love Styles: How to Celebrate Your Differences has what you need to understand the dynamics of a healthy relationship.

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For low-cost phone counseling, email me at tina@tinatessina.com

Author's Bio: 

Tina B. Tessina, Ph.D. is a licensed psychotherapist in S. California since 1978 with over 30 years experience in counseling individuals and couples and author of 13 books in 17 languages, including It Ends With You: Grow Up and Out of Dysfunction; The Unofficial Guide to Dating Again; Money, Sex and Kids: Stop Fighting About the Three Things That Can Ruin Your Marriage, The Commuter Marriage, and her newest, Love Styles: How to Celebrate Your Differences. She writes the “Dr. Romance” blog, and the “Happiness Tips from Tina” email newsletter.