What should I be doing instead of this?
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The Dating

By Erma P. Sanders · June 22nd, 2000 · Diva
Dear Dating Diva:

A couple of months ago my boyfriend dumped me. I didn't see it coming, and I was devastated. After a couple of weeks of crying and a few pints of ice cream, I got over it. I started seeing someone new, actually rekindling a romance from years ago.

Things are going well with my new guy. Now the guy who dumped me is back in the picture. He says he made a mistake and wants to get back together. I've talked to him, and he's even come over a couple of times, but I am so over it. I'm happy with my new guy and want to give it a chance. Plus, I can't forget how viciously he dumped me. Even if I wasn't seeing somebody new, I don't think I'd want him back.

The problem is he won't leave me alone. He's calling constantly, begging me to take him back. I'm almost at the point where I don't want to answer the phone, and I'm screening calls. When I get home from work and the answering machine is blinking I just want to erase the messages without even listening to them.

The old boyfriend wanted me out of his life. Now how do I get him out of mine? He's becoming a stalker, and I'm at my wit's end.

-- Living In Fear

Dear Living:

Calling someone a stalker is a pretty big accusation. I actually had a stalker who called me upwards of 20 times a day for over two years and eventually threatened me with bodily harm. What you have is an annoying ex-boyfriend who wants to remove the "ex." But you still have to deal with him the way you would a stalker.

The first thing to do is cut all communication. And I mean zero. If he calls, as soon as you realize it's him, hang up. Don't say, "Stop calling me" or "Leave me alone" or anything. Crazy people take any communication, even if it is negative, as a sign that there is a chance. After all if you are getting worked up enough to yell, then you must care, right? That is their mindset.

Don't let him come over for any reason. Not that I think anything bad is going to happen, but if you truly want him out of your life, then it means completely severing the ties. He may catch you in a weak moment where you want to be friendly. After all, you did love him at one time. However you've made it clear that you've moved on.

Not all relationships can end on a civilized note. If the calls persist, then you can contact the harassment department of the phone company. Or you can take advantage of Call Block and Caller ID to avoid his calls. As long as he isn't coming to your home or your place of employment to bother you, you are probably safe, at least in the physical sense.

As for regaining your peace of mind, that will just take time. Enjoy your relationship with your new boyfriend and hope that soon the old beau will get a clue, get a life and get a new girlfriend.



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