December 30, 2014

Ask Me Anything: True Love or Security Blanket? {Weekly Advice Column}

couple discussing

*Editor’s Note: Elephant Journal articles represent the personal opinion, view or experience of the authors, and can not reflect Elephant Journal as a whole. Disagree with an Op-Ed or opinion? We’re happy to share your experience here. 


Dear Elephants,

Welcome to this week’s Ask Me Anything, where no question is out of bounds! To submit questions for next week, please email me at [email protected] or private message me on Facebook.

I look forward to hearing from you!


Dear Erica,

I was with a guy from the age of 14 till 19. It was five years of a lot of love and light but also a lot of fighting and being immature. 

During those years we broke up got back together several times, and I questioned whether he loved me and I loved him.

About November of last year I had had enough of his inablity to see a future for himself, or any future for us. Since his graduation in 2011 from high school his only serious job has been working construction with my stepdad and becoming a bitter man in the process. He never went to back to school, so I left him—as I am a very ambitious and determined woman.

Through the last year I have done a lot of growing and exploring and learned a lot. My ex started different odd jobs and finally got signed up for school. I was happy for him and we renewed our friendship—he needed me because he has a lot of issues with his family and felt I was the only one he could confide in and trust.

During this time he saw how happy I was but he couldn’t be happy for me. And even though my life was great I kept feeling like something was missing and I just longed for my ex. I really love this guy. I’d give almost anything to be with him and we’ve been trying to work things out for about two months now, but this is where the almost comes into play.

In the last month he dropped out of school and has barely had a job. He is driving me insane with excuses and just seems to have no priorities. I feel we are in the same spot all over again. I just started a new job, am about to start a new semester and am also going to start my yoga teacher training program. I just wish he were more on my level and I talk to him about it and explain to him where I’m coming from and what I need in order to be in this relationship, but I get all words and no actions.

What do I do?


Dear Longing,

You are trying to force a square peg into a round hole. You can’t make someone to be the way you want them to be no matter how hard you try—nor should you.

With a few brief exceptions, this guy has not shown much ambition in the last three years. Even worse, has not been happy for you when you’ve been doing well in your own life.

He has consistently proven exactly who he is and how he plans on behaving.

The longing for him that you feel is likely a longing for the comfort of a familiar relationship. You are pursuing many new and exciting things, and when our lives are in flux it is easy to feel overwhelmed and wish for something comfortable.

Be the ambitious and determined woman you say you are and have the courage to leave this relationship in the past where it belongs. As you continue to grow and evolve, you’re more likely to find someone who naturally shares your vision and who will add real positivity and dimension to your life rather than draining the life right out of you.


Dear Erica,

I was raised in a very dysfunctional family and continued in that dysfunction by being with my daughter’s father and drinking and partying a lot when I was a teenager.

By the time I was 21 I quit drinking because I had a daughter and I couldn’t imagine leaving her so I could continue my addiction to alcohol and try to care for her in the morning while still under the influence.

My ex didn’t agree with me not wanting to drink and not wanting any drinking around my daughter. It seems that no one I date wants to be around a non-drinker, non-drug user. People think I’m weird for being sober. It’s been eight years in March and I’m starting to wonder if there’s a sober guy out there.

Basically, I would like to know if there are people who share similar thoughts and don’t see people like me as a freak or weird because I don’t drink and don’t want to be around anyone who does.


Dear Sober,

I’m genuinely surprised to hear this is a problem. It seems to me that addiction and sobriety are well known problems and pursuits respectively, and that you would find more sober suitors than you’d know what to do with.

Nevertheless, this is your reality.

First, let me commend you on your strong stance on this issue, and for steadfastly allowing your daughter to be the priority in your life.

Second, I think you simply need to find a group of like minded people. The internet will be your best resource, easily connecting you with sober singles or sober social groups where you might meet someone who shares your outlook.

Don’t give up on your dream of sharing a sober life with someone for yourself and for your daughter—if you stick to your guns a healthy future will unfold.


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Author: Erica Leibrandt

Editor: Renée Picard

Photo: uditha wickramanayaka at Flickr 

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