“Ask Dr. Neuman”

Advice Column

Dear Dr. Neuman, I’m a 28 year old woman

by | Nov 6, 2014 | Ask Dr Neuman

Q: Dear Dr. Neuman, I’m a 28 year old woman and I had a breakdown when my boyfriend and I broke up. Most of family is dead and when my other relationships ended I was more focused on my mom dying ( I took care of her when from 21-23 when she died from cancer), or another close family member that died. I’ve had a bit of a sad life, and I don’t say this as a victim but most people pity my sister and I when we say “it’s just us”. My father was horribly abusive in nearly everyway and I am estranged from him. My latest boyfriend was the first person that I was vulnerable with. I feel gratitude about this, I truly do. In the end though, he wouldn’t commit to me and I’m having a really hard time that it took him so damn long to tell me that. I was really happy. And, I really loved him. It’s been 3 months. I quit my job because I couldn’t work. All I did was cry, not sleep, the whole thing. Truly, considering my life- I really didn’t think “falling in love” with some regular guy in his mid 30s would send me off the edge, but it has. I’m looking for a job now because my saving is not going to last for too much longer. I’ve found some support in friends, but most days I want someone to put a spell on me to make me fall out of love with this man that didn’t really love me in same way. I’ve had a therapist on and off for a while but she got me through death and even though this break up is loss, she can’t help me. Please don’t tell me time will make it better because I’ve stopped telling people how much grief I’m still experiencing out of embarrassment. Everyone thinks I’m tougher than this and I should suck it up. I don’t think I’ve ever been in pain quite like this, and I know I’m still young, but I don’t know what to do. I’m trying very hard to love myself better, but it’s all very hard. I’ve been on some dates. I feel devastated. Should I try hypnotherapy, or something else? Anything!! Please.Thank you for your time
– Libby

A: Do not try hypnotherapy. It won’t work, and unless there is more to your story, I would not expect drugs to work either. Grief responds to filling the missing gaps. Take heart in the fact that others have been through this experience and it is not fatal and not forever. It sounds like you are doing the right things. Try to be patient. Some people suffer more from these breakups because those separations resonate with other experiences in their lives. But falling out of love is inevitable–often occurring at the time you fall in love with someone else.
– Dr. Neuman


I am an older guy, divorced for several years, with no kids. Highly educated and very successful in all areas of life except love. Dated several women but never found ‘the one’.

On a chance meeting 2 years ago I met a much younger girl and hit it off instantly. (I look almost half my age and got along better with younger women…tried dating women my age but never connected)

I have always been very intuitive and a strong believer in fate, and I knew early on that she was the one!. However, we kept running into stumbling blocks and I thought she needed more time. When it wasn’t coming together, I broke off the relationship and had a complete meltdown – as if a loved one had died !

For the first time the wheels came off my life, and I started breaking down in public places. Tried every darn thing suggested by family, friends, pastors/priests, and even psychics…..Nothing worked !!

For a year, somehow I kept breathing and living in the hope I would meet someone else and forget about her – No such luck !

Then out of the blue she showed up at my local Starbucks looking for me a week before Valentine’s day! Even though I tried to be cautious everything came rushing back…..was good for a few weeks and then she started avoiding meeting but would then keep texting me off and on….there I was again….at the doorstep of another darn meltdown !

It has been over 4 months since I last had any contact.

The only days I ‘go on’ are the ones I dream she comes back into my life…..the rest of them are just ‘one day closer to death’ and one less day on this stupid planet !

Need a MIRACLE now !!
- Bruce

Hypnotherapy won’t help. When your friends tell you to “suck it up,” they are trying to tell you that your feelings, however awful they may be, are familiar and are likely to go away leaving your unmarked. Usually. Of course, some people in the midst of such desperation actually try to kill themselves; but no one commits suicide 6 months after being discarded by a lover. There are, however, things you can do in the meantime that will make your recovery less painful. Be busy. Quitting work is the worst thing you can do. Working, seeing friends, and dating (however unsatisfactory that feels) is distracting and helpful.
Everyone knows that other people recover from these disappointments; and everyone thinks that they are different. But recovery is built into the human condition.
- Dr. Neuman

Don’t try hypnotherapy. It won’t work. Try to remember that no matter how much pain you are in now, your experience is to a greater or lesser extent universal. It is not just time that will make you better, it is new experiences. I know that you are not in the mood to start up your life again, but working and dating is necessary for you to move on.
Any really strong feeling–grief, hatred, love– seems like it will last forever, but it doesn’t
- Dr. Neuman