My daughter’s father and I have been very close for the past twelve years. We’ve had our ups and downs; however, we’ve maintained a very strong connection. I considered him one of my best friends and he considered me the same. He recently retired from the military, and has decided to pursue a relationship with another young lady. During his last tour in Iraq, he told me he loved me, and he said he wanted to talk about what we’re going to do when he got home. So, when he told me about his relationship, it sent me into a frenzy. I had fallen back in love with him. He said he didn’t know; however, there were emails that confirmed just the opposite. He wants to continue to be the kind of friends we were, but I don’t know if I can do that. He doesn’t want to know about relationships with other men. I think he’s playing games. How do I handle this? Did he or does he have any feelings for me that he’s not telling me? He’s the only man that I’ve completely trusted outside the family.
Greetings, LaQuandra. Sadly, love doesn’t just happen. You have to be prepared to take risks. Love is a pure expression of nature and in nature somebody is always out to take what you’ve got. Mating is a primary arena of ferocious competition throughout the animal kingdom, and we humans stand at the pinnacle, the most destructive and diabolical, of all animals. I can give you what you need to make a conquest out of this loss. In order to achieve your ends, you have to understand your target.
This man is a traditionalist at heart. Unfortunately, he’s not much on consistency. He bounces here, he bounces there, goes from this woman to that and with little sense of emotional responsibility. Why shouldn’t he? It seems the women in his life have always allowed him to do what he wants. In your case, the chemistry he felt was instantaneous. More importantly, you became his friend. Add animal heat to pure emotion and we extract from the mix that most potent of miracles – a child. He’s a fine man, and I see why you admire him, but emotionally he has a lot to learn. In his career, the military was his wife. He loved you in his own way, but you weren’t really needed. Relationships are always a matter of need and desire. What’s being offered sexually, emotionally and materially are decisive factors. On his last tour, it became apparent he was about to come face-to-face with realities he wasn’t ready for. The idea of a lover waiting for his return kept him going in a hostile situation. You were the prime candidate to be this idealized mate, and he was serious about making a go of it with you. However, a man in his position is bound to be confused and curious about his options. Like magic, another woman appeared to claim him for her own.
You’re always there for him, always accessible, and honest about how deeply you feel for him. These are all mistakes. Big ones. Never show all your cards to a man until he gives you the security you’re looking for. Never be the first to offer your heart. A man needs to stalk and capture. If you offer your throat without making him give a good chase, you lose the game. This other woman knows how to play. She never gives first. Never gives until she gets something. She’s moody and bratty, and he finds her absolutely adorable. However, she’s not very wise. She doesn’t know how to be his friend, so she remains nothing more than a tasty morsel before he heads for the main course.
Only a grown woman will make a lasting match for this solider. She’ll have to be strong. If you want to be that woman, never let him see you vulnerable again until he’s earned the privilege. No more free rides. No more crying on your shoulder. Be cordial for your child’s sake, but shut him out of the rest of your life. Be inaccessible on every level. Make sure he knows you’re dating and will only return calls on matters that pertain to your daughter unless he sincerely wants to discuss the two of you being together. No retreat, no surrender. You and your child have a life to live. Let him get a good sour taste of this and ponder the experience for a while. This man is used to restraint and duty, so provide an environment for him to rise to the occasion. In about six months, he’ll start pitching you some change-ups.
If it seems like a lot of work, it is – and a big fat risk as well. However, big rewards demand big gambles. And you’ll make a fine family.
Do you have a question for Liam? Ask Liam your question now.