Dear Harlan,

My girlfriend is completely in love with me, but I don’t love her at all. The thing is, I like having sex with her, and I’m completely faithful. Even though I’m completely faithful, I feel like I’m being a terrible person for just liking the sex and not loving her the way she loves me. Is this wrong?

Enjoying the Ride

Dear Enjoying the Ride,

Wrong? More like lazy and selfish. It’s lazy because you don’t make the effort to find someone better. It’s selfish because she could be having sex with someone who loves her. You’re not the one. Once you grow a pair, explain that you need to figure things out and take some time to yourself. Time to yourself will help you realize if you love her or if it’s just the sex.

Dear Harlan,

I think guys are horrible people, and that’s after one broke my heart. I’m 22, and I liked this guy (who liked me back, or so he said!), until I came to the United States to complete my post-graduate degree, and he just started ignoring me. We were good friends, and even though we were never officially dating, a lot went on between us. I stopped seeing him because he wasn’t committed and flirted around. He went back to his ex, broke up with her and came back to me, after which we just took it slow and weren’t in a committed relationship. We had feelings for each other, and that was that. We used to fight because I had an issue with him smoking. I hated it and wanted him to stop, and the fights did not matter to me because I loved him and I felt I was telling him stuff for his own good. The things I said affected him, and I still don’t understand why — all I did was care about and love him. Once I came to the U.S., he started ignoring me and flirting with other girls, and stuffing all the vices possible down his system. Now, I know we were not in a relationship, but him saying we would take it slow was something I trusted. I had nowhere to go, and retaliated really badly. I yelled and cried and fought to have him back, but he just did not seem to care. My methods may not have been the best, but my heart was in the right place! I want to be friends, but he said I never understood him and that we are fundamentally different people. I’m lost, and still in love. Was I wrong to care so much?

Betrayed

Dear Betrayed,

I also cared too much. I thought women were horrible. My first love hurt me so badly. Her father compared our relationship to a dying puppy, and encouraged her to shoot the puppy. It wasn’t until years after she left that I realized she gave me a gift. She forced me to work on loving myself first. Men aren’t horrible. You just feel horrible about yourself.

Forget him. Work on you. Once you focus on being your best, you will see that you can do better. You’ll see men aren’t so bad. You just felt horrible because you let one man define you and he hurt you. Redefine yourself, create a world with lots of love and you’ll stop spending so much time on him.

Write Harlan at [email protected] or visit online: www.helpmeharlan.com. All letters submitted become property of the author. Send paper to Help Me, Harlan!, 3501 N. Southport Ave., suite 226, Chicago, IL 60657.