Q from India: i am a 19 yr old girl.I am (was?) in a relationship with a guy for almost a year now.Since our relationship has some serious problems of over- manupulativeness and trust, i decided to break up with him. It was my decision. when i told him after a fight that i really wanted to go away, he reacted like he had been hurt. the guy hardly trusts me and cannot take me talking to my friends now when i want to leave him, he makes a big issue of it. He tells me he cannot handle seperation from me, and tells me he ll get back to his drinking and smoking ways. i am not able to decide if its emotional black-mail or for real. ever since i spoke of break up he seems to have become nicer and calls me often (before i used to pester him to give me a call). these days i am feeling a little attracted towards other guys. i am feeling torn between my feelings. how should i break up and handle.. or should i really break up with him? since i am kindling feelings towards other guys it makes me really guilty. I really think i have no future with this guy but i dont want to play with his emotions either. i am really confused

A: To answer your question, his “threats” that he will go back to smoking and drinking if you don’t stay around and save him is emotional blackmail for real. You have nothing to feel guilty about. At your age, you should be explore a number of relationships to figure out just what kind of guy you want to spend your life with. You are smart enough to know that you have no future with a guy who is controlling and manipulative. Don’t waste any more time (or guilt) on him.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie