Love Letters: How Did I Become a Relationship Therapist?

Need a shoulder to cry on? And ear to bend? A voice of reason?

If so, go ask Dr. Frankenstein for some spare parts.

 If you want the straight truth, no chaser, I’m your man. Hit me with your love questions.

Send your inquiries to, or find me on twitter @etbowser. Just provide your initials, or a fun nickname.   

Here’s today’s question:

I know the rules of dating; however, I’m not quite sure about post-dating rules–especially if the guy is a psychotic coworker. We went to dinner, and before we finished the salad course, I heard about his cheating and “wretched” ex-wife, dark career preference, his terrible mother, his agnostic beliefs, and too much other drama to name.  Respectfully, I mentioned during the date that that was a little too heavy for dinner, hoping things would lighten up.  The crazy part of this story is that unbeknownst to him, I knew most of this stuff already, but I didn’t let on that I knew. At work, the guy seems very cheerful and personable, when he wasn’t being a typical fumbling guy trying to indicate that he liked me…. After dinner, we exchanged a hug and I thanked him for the flowers, dinner.

He didn’t call the next day. But at work the following week, he didn’t speak when I passed by. I called him about 3 days later to check to see if he were “okay”. His entire demeanor was different, his tone very eerie. I explained again that I thought he was a nice guy, but a lot of what he shared was just a little too much for me to deal with on a first date. He got extremely upset and replied, “Well, you asked!”(I did not ask. Had no reason to ask.) I thanked him again for dinner and bid him a good night.

He’s crazy… at some point, I did not understand that we went together!?!? Am I wrong for being cordial, having morals, sticking to my standards, and refusing to settle?

Not his therapist

Everyone stand up and applaud the writer for presenting easily the most bizarre story in the history of Love Letters.

Whoa, not that kind of applause. My bad.

Since you won’t be his therapist, allow me to peek into his brain. And yours too.

You handled the situation as well as you could have. Although he was airing his dirty laundry on a gigantic clothesline you can see from space, you didn’t judge him and you didn’t pry. Doing so would have stirred things up, or worse, led him on. Telling all his business is basically a cry for attention – you were wise not to feed his hunger.

Here’s the only problem – you said you knew about most of these issues before you went out with him. If you knew all of this baggage, why even go out with him at all? I’m all for giving people a chance but not when they’re clearly shrouded in drama. This guy is still struggling with some serious stuff. You say he’s cool at work but I bet if you looked deeply (especially if you used hindsight now) you’ll realize he was a bit weirder than he let on.

Kudos for giving him a chance. Now run for your life. As you so succinctly put it, you ain’t his therapist.

Bonus question time!

Why are people so insecure in their relationships these days? Is it because there’s so much infidelity?


Don’t you read about all the relationship drama my valued readers go through? They have every right be insecure. Yes, fears of infidelity play a factor. Other people are just afraid of rejection and/or commitment, scarred by previous heartache or, as we discussed above, are just turned off by weirdos.

I think it’s important to treat every relationship on a case-by-case basis. Yeah, your ex-girl used your child support money for $400 handbags, that doesn’t mean EVERY woman will. All the drama we experienced in those previous pitiful relationships should be a lesson and keep us on our toes.

Use caution, but don’t be insecure. I know that’s easier said than done, but remember, negativity dooms daters right out of the gate. Don’t sabotage your next relationship before it even begins.


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