Dear Bunmi,

My ex-girlfriend and I were together for almost six years when it dawned on me I wasn’t really ready to settle down. That was all she wanted and I had to be honest with her early last year, so she could look for a suitable partner. She was really devastated and to show her I really meant what I said, I quickly hooked up with another girl.

I was mildy surprised when I learnt she would be getting married very soon. If she were so heartbroken when we split up, she must have gotten over that pretty quickly. Or was this new man of hers around when we were dating?

I cant seem to get her off my mind lately and really regret not making her mine when I had the chance. I can’t stand the thought of her with another man and I don’t think I’m going to get over my heart ache.
By E-Mail
Dear Alan,

Are you sure you’re really missing the relationship or are just unhappy that your girlfriend has found happiness with another man? You instigated the breakup last year and sometimes this can make it harder to move on. Leaving a partner takes a lot of courage and determination.

Any doubts you must have must be quashed if you’re going to make the break you feel you have to. May be these doubts are now floating to the surface, making you feel guilty The way you forced the split won’t have helped either. And running into the arms of another lover almost immediately is never a good way to end your relationship.

Your ex has moved on with her life and now it’s time for you to do the same. Regret can be a terrible feeling as you torture yourself with thoughts of what could have been. Try to be happy for her. She’s found a man who can give her what she wants and you should wish her well.

Remember there was a reason you didn’t opt for marriage with her. Try to reconnect with those feelings you had a year ago when you split up. It’s easy to idealise a relationship once it’s over but it obviously wasn’t perfect or it would be you walking down the aisle with her. So, let her go.

Are we too strict on our teenage daughter?

Dear Bunmi,
My 16-year-old daughter has been seeing an 18-year old boy for close to a year now. My husband says he has nothing against the boy but he’s not for them seeing each other all the time. Even now that she’s finished her SS III (she’s resitting some papers), he insists that she comes home by 9pm.

Unfortunately, my daughter and her boyfriend have just broken up.

Her best friend told me she’s heart-broken though my daughter pretends she’s fine. Her friend said they broke up because the boy couldn’t cope with the hassle he’s been getting from my husband.

That he found it difficult to carry on the relationship when he knows my husband will never accept him.
Do you think we’ve been too strict with her? She never confides in me but I would love to help her patch things up with this boy if she’s hurting so much.
By E-Mail
Dear Desola,

I would leave them alone if I were you. Your daughter and her young boyfriend see you and your husband as figures of authority (that’s why your girl is being secretive.) Children assert independence from their parents by keeping secrets and often deliberately defying them. At 16 your daughter’s emotional stability is evolving – she’s in an experimental stage.

Your daughter and her boyfriend have now recognized that their seven-nights- a week infatuation is inappropriate and suffocating, that’s why they broke up. At last they have accepted what you and her dad knew all along, they need more freedom to see other young people. Don’t blame yourself for current feelings of loss. Young hearts heal surprisingly fast. By this time next month, your daughter will either be back with her boyfriend or more probably she’ll have her eye on someone new!

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