How Do I Get My Ex To Leave Me Alone?

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Past flame reaches out. AGAIN. How do I get her to stop?

–Sykogin19; Denham Springs, LA

I don’t ask for much. The Google form through which you submit questions has just three fields, two of which are for your name and hometown.

In the third, I only request you include your question and any relevant context, so I can provide as thorough and applicable an answer as possible.

Sykogin19 did not provide context. But that doesn’t mean he leaves empty-handed.


The post-breakup world is a wasteland of emotions. While I believe communication between the two parties should cease as soon as possible, I concede a certain amount is necessary, so each person can process his or her feelings and gain closure.

But there’s an etiquette to these exchanges — what you can say, how often you can say it and how long you can say it for — and whether you got dumped or did the dumping dictates how you are to conduct yourself.

We don’t know on which side of the equation Sykogin19 falls, so let’s examine both…


When people get rejected, they don’t know what to do with themselves. And it takes a while before they figure it out.

Even when they sense a breakup is imminent, it still catches them off-guard, leaving them to navigate a minefield of rejection, resentment and “Where do I go from here?”

Which is why if you broke up with your ex, and your ex keeps contacting you, I’d recommend cutting her some slack. At least for a little bit.

Getting over a relationship is similar to getting over a death. Both are a loss, and both require the person to endure the five stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance.

As a survivor of some brutal breakups, I always had the most trouble with bargaining. It was the stage that took the longest to get through, because it presented my last bastion of hope.

I was convinced that if I could just keep the lines of communication open, and profess my love just a little more eloquently, it’d only be a matter of time until my ex saw the light and took me back.

That never happened for me, and it seldom happens in real life. But thanks to Hollywood’s rom-com propaganda, we’re reluctant to relinquish our final shot at a fairytale ending.

Which has led to too many people doing too many things to try to win back the person who dumped them. Cards on anniversaries. Texts about inside jokes. Emails regaling the good times together.

Yes, this gets annoying, and yes, it likely illustrates why you broke up with this girl in the first place.

But unless your ex is crossing the line, showing up at your house or sabotaging your current relationship, why not give her time to say what she wants/needs to say?

You don’t have to read or respond to it; just don’t call her out for it. She’ll exhaust herself eventually, and your biggest inconvenience will be hitting the Delete button.

Consider your compassion a parting gift for breaking her heart.


The pain people feel when dumping someone should not be undersold. After all, only a sociopath feels no fallout from hurting somebody else.

Still, because the breakup was their idea, they must adhere to a different set of rules when it comes to post-relationship communication. Their bar is higher, and unfortunately few are able to clear it.

This failure is on display every season on ABC’s The Bachelor. Each week, the bachelor dismisses unworthy admirers. The later in the game it gets, the harder it gets for him to say goodbye.

The contestants who get rejected are always in disbelief. Sometimes they cry. Sometimes they get angry. Sometimes they fake it, so they can secure a slot on Bachelor In Paradise.

Considering these people just got humiliated, in front of a national TV audience and Chris Harrison, they have the right to react however they want.

The bachelor, on the other hand, does not. Yet he almost always commits the same breakup crimes, saying things like, “I didn’t want to hurt you,” and “You’re an amazing person who deserves an amazing love story.”

While it comes off as compassion — and to an extent it is — it’s also coming from a selfish place. He’s trying to make himself feel better for making someone else feel bad.

If your old flame is reaching out to you to do this, you have every right to stop her.

When a girl breaks up with you, she forsakes her right to talk to you. It’s not her job to see if you’re OK or convince you you’re worthy of happiness. Communication is no longer a two-way street.

She created this situation, and she has to deal with it on her own — without using you as a chew toy.

You owe her nothing. Block her, ignore her, (respectfully) tell her to lose your number, whatever. Do what you need to do to move on.

What do you think? What advice would you give this reader? Share your thoughts in the comments below!


Need more advice? Check out the most recent installments:

How Do I Save My Marriage?

Beauty And The Eye Of The Beholder

How To Get Over A Broken Heart

How To Achieve Work-Life Balance

My Girlfriend Cheated On Me

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5 Factors That Make a Man Attractive –

In our world, pop media icons and supermodels look at you from billboards on every corner, and physical beauty is seen as an ideal to strive for. However, one other important thing that our society of science and progress has taught us is that sex appeal isn’t all about physical appearance.

So what is it that makes a man attractive if not his look?

It turns out that ‘attraction’ is a highly complicated biochemical process, and there are dozens of factors that influence it. Some of these things are completely beyond our control, for example, the symmetry of your features or length of your ring fingers (did you know that men with fingers of similar length are believed to be more faithful?)

However, there are some things that you can actually influence, and that can bump up your attractiveness level in the eyes of women.

1. Having a purpose and achieving your goals

Studies indicate that goal-oriented people are seen as more attractive by default. We can’t keep from being drawn to individuals who have a sort of inner power and drive that pushes them forward.

When a woman looks at a man, she assesses him as a prospective life-partner. A devoted person with strong priorities and objective goals will win every time when compared with guys who lack a direction in life.

2. Dressing the part

Note that it’s not so much the price of your clothes that matters as their style and quality. An attractive man has to dress in fitting garments that will complement his figure. Your outfit must be stylish and fit both the occasion and your social status.

Don’t forget accessories as combining luxury timepieces with plain but high-quality clothes can help you create the veneer of style you need to make a great first impression. It’s what will get you the initial contact you need to show off your other attributes and charm the girl.

3. Having the right amount of facial hair

While there is no arguing the fact that facial hair is a matter of personal preference, social surveys clearly indicate that the majority of women see stubble as a rather sexy detail. It’s a symbol associated with masculinity from the dawn of time, and it can give you the hint of brutish appearance that is so popular today.

However, the trick is not to overdo it as a full beard is often associated with aggressiveness, and fewer women find it attractive. The so-called ‘five o’clock shadow’, on the other hand, is usually considered very sexy.

4. Being chivalrous and gentle

It’s true that a man has to be strong and capable of protecting and providing for his family. However, strength doesn’t equal rudeness. Women today appreciate chivalry and class even more than they did during the Victorian times. Perhaps it’s because so few real gentlemen are left.

Simple gestures, like opening doors and helping her to put on the coat will boost your attractiveness level and help build up your reputation as a ‘good man’. Combine this with being gentle and caring with your chosen girl, especially during and after sex, and you’ll definitely be a keeper.

5. Being open and able to express your feelings

The ‘strong, dark, and silent’ type works for heroines of teenage love stories who believe their ‘prince’ has to be otherworldly. Real women know that fantasies are nice, but building relationships with this kind of guy is just too complicated.

To amp your attractiveness, you need to show that you are able of understanding the girl’s needs and wants and communicating your own. Forget about the outdated ‘men don’t do feelings’ shtick and be real. Show your girl that you care about her and don’t keep quiet about the things you want for yourself. Sometimes you just have to talk it out and your relationship will soar to new heights after this.


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10 Ways to Love Your Life (First Installment) –

Happiness is always a choice. Jackson Bliss breaks down the first 10 ways to personal happiness


1. Eat Well: eat lots of local organic veggies, nuts, fruits and whole grains. It’ll make your body feel amazing, help you operate at peak efficiency and also support local farmers, businesses and artisans. When in doubt, make homemade brownies.

2. Big Sleep: set aside eight to nine hours every day. Sleep in on the weekends. Turn your phone off and let go of everything. Remember your dreams.

3. Meditate in your own way: find silence inside your mind. Meditate. Do yoga. Take a long bath. Sit down in the shower. Dance by yourself. Close your eyes in the elevator. Go for a walk with an empty mind.

4. Move your ass: exercise every day. Go for a run. Ride your bike to a park and have a picnic with your boo. Show the world what your momma gave you at the nightclub. Go hiking in the hills. Make love in the afternoon.  Walk everywhere instead of driving. Remember, your body craves movement.

5. Act in Goodness: helping someone is a spiritual act. When you relieve suffering in the world, you activate your goodness and make the world a better place. Volunteer. Make an anonymous donation to a public school. Talk to a homeless mom and buy her lunch. Open the door for a stranger. Buy your sick neighbor some cough drops. Work with kids and show them you believe in them.

6. Practice Gratitude: acknowledge your blessings. Tell someone you appreciate her/him every week. Gratitude is part of the importance of sharing. Say thank you every day. Through your gratitude, you remind yourself of how blessed you are. Through your gratitude, you make the world better.

7. Love (generously, often and deeply):  crush hard on strangers. Fall in love with moments. Smile at people you’ll never see again. Fall deeply in love all over again. Even when you get your heart broken, celebrate your pain and vulnerability and openness and courage. Watch movies and cry. Spend the day holding her/his hand. Say I love you every day of your life. Cuddle like a motherfucker.

8. Laugh insanely: this world can be heartbreaking, so find time every day to celebrate the small moments in your fractional life. Humor helps you take life less seriously. Humor helps you take life more seriously. Laughter is the way we heal when we see the world in a new way.

9. Travel: make time for the great unknown. The world can be vibrant and strange and insanely beautiful. Read novels and travel often. Try ordering a cappuccino in Florence. Eat an authentic empanada in Buenos Aires or Santiago. Sit at a café in Paris, Seoul or Istanbul. Bike through the streets of Amsterdam. Climb the Bell and Drum Tower in Beijing. Hike the Incan Trail. Ride a rickshaw in Bangkok. Read a book in translation. Visit an elephant sanctuary in Kenya. Repeat.

10. Let go: for everything you aren’t in control of (and for everything you should relinquish control of), learn to let go. Forgive yourself for the mistakes you’ve made. Forgive others for the pain they’ve caused you. There’s virtue and strength in forgiveness. There’s freedom and beauty in fluidity.  There’s joy and lightness in a world without time.


My First Kiss – Why I Want a Do-Over –

My first kiss is something I would like to redo. Not undo but redo because I think the guy was really nice and I feel things would have been better if the setting was different. It happened in a dark, loud club, I was embarrassingly drunk and incoherent but somehow this guy still thought I was kissable and asked if he could kiss me. Even in my near blackout state I was impressed with his instance on my consent because he didn’t make a move until I said the word ‘yes’.

As I think about kissing guys and specifically that night where the alcohol assisted in my giving consent to be kissed in a club in the pseudo-liberal Cape Town filled with straight people from across the country. It’s something I would never have considered a possibility in a sober state given my absolute fear of being outed.

But then I remembered how free I felt and how every breath felt fresh and new and affirming. That kiss, as sloppy as it was, changed my life.

The freedom was so refreshing, the courage I embraced from the spirits was emboldening. I can say that I may possibly understand why there are some men who first need a few drinks before they allow themselves to be free especially if that freedom includes letting another guy kiss him in the dark moments of the night.

The night because day, I woke up in my bed and I wasn’t drunk anymore. My wits were back but dulled by the hangover but more importantly my fears were back. I kicked myself for daring to do something so brazen and be so care-free about it.

Queue in the guilt.

But then I remembered how free I felt and how every breath felt fresh and new and affirming. That kiss, as sloppy as it was, changed my life.

But I’m not a drinker, nearly all my male relatives and neighbours are committed alcoholics and I have seen the damage it can do, so I’m generally not interested in alcohol. I’m not interested in sustaining myself on alcohol every time I need to breathe free and I certainly am not interested in ever being as drunk as I was on that day at the club.

I did, though, start mourning that feeling of freedom as it was fading into memory. I did everything I could to prolong it, clinging on to how great the release of years of repression felt, but with every passing second it all was falling to a drunken yesterday.

The solution was obvious; I had to come out, I had to state it to everyone. If I wanted any bit of that peace that I felt. I had to get out of bed and say it.

But then I thought “who did I come out to in that club?” All I remember was that the room darkened and the noise quietened when that moment of ‘first kiss’ happened. I knew what dangers and real life effects of being gay and care free could bring about in a conservative society but I didn’t let that stop me (blame it on the alcohol perhaps?). In that moment, I just existed

What I’m saying is that I didn’t need to state anything to anyone, I just needed to exist.

Growing up I depended a lot on the coming-out stories on YouTube. They brought me comfort and relaxed my anxieties of my fate as a gay human person on Earth so I’m not going to downplay the necessity of coming out in this society of ours. Humans interact with symbols and symbolisms and also humans don’t like being alone, so representation does a lot to starve the demons of loneliness and worthlessness that many men feel. What I will downplay though is this new cultural rite of passage that makes the coming out event a sort of duty for LGBT people.

But that ‘conversation’ will happen. It will happen because people expect everyone to be straight and thus heavy words are going to be shared to adjust that misinterpretation of reality.

I feel there is this expectation that expects gay men and women to ‘come out’, to announce their orientation. You hear it with even within the settings of liberal parents, family and friends when they respond to a coming out with ‘why didn’t you tell us before’; well-meaning but kind of silly if they are the type that perpetuate an environment of heterosexism or awkward gay-inclusive-heterosexism where you say and encourage heterosexist behaviour but then add disclaimers like “women…and some men…like a man who is [insert masculine characteristics]”

The pressure I felt to announce myself was instinctual. I felt that people wanted an announcement, wanted to be sat down, wanted a reading of a highly emotional letter, wanted the tears and wanted the ‘gradual phase of acceptance’ that comes after. But I want none of that I just want to live free.

People have come to romanticize coming out to be something that is done for the other instead of something that is done for the self.

But that ‘conversation’ will happen. It will happen because people expect everyone to be straight and thus heavy words are going to be shared to adjust that misinterpretation of reality.

It’s good to know that most coming outs I have seen throughout my youth have gone reasonably well or very well (unless there has been an over representation of good stories). I hope when the moment to address my sexuality as an announcement comes, I would have found enough solace and have resolved enough things within myself regarding my orientation.

What my epiphany did was allow me to refocus my energies to a more effective end without feeling like I was robbing others of what I though they deserve from me; a good coming out announcement. The work now is to be alright with myself because I know that just by saying ‘I’m gay’ doesn’t dissolve the internalised homophobia callouses I have formed over the years. The more important thing I can do for myself is not necessarily working up the courage to come out with bold words but dealing with those callouses that have formed which I can only predict will only serve to diminish whatever happiness I would ever hope to attain. I have already come out to the most important person… myself.

I hope someday I get to redo my first kiss and I hope I won’t need liquid courage to be fully present within that moment because there would be no shame to try drown out but just me and another good man.

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