'Imperfect past' undoes this 'OK catch' - Newsday

'Imperfect past' undoes this 'OK catch'

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Ask Amy Amy Dickinson, Ask Amy

Amy Dickinson is a general advice columnist.

DEAR AMY: What's wrong with women these days? I'm an OK catch in today's world. I have little debt, a steady job I love; I cook, I clean, enjoy life, have hobbies and am not too bad looking. But I find that after a few dates with a woman, she begins to ask about my "baggage." I admit to not having a perfect past, and I reply to the question with honesty and openness. It's at about that point the women I attract seem to get weird. If they are OK with my imperfect past, they latch onto me for dear life and are no longer the women I got to know casually just a week or two before. When I tell them this "change" is not working for me, I suddenly become the evil villain. When I end the relationship because they don't reciprocate my values or because I have seen a change I do not like, they will attack me. They revert to high school name-calling, anger and manipulation to keep the relationship. Amy, this is after only three weeks and four or five dates! How can I end a relationship that is barely a relationship? Is it too much to expect to be treated like an adult?--Frustrated Good Guy

DEAR FRUSTRATED: If you find yourself the X factor in a repeating pattern and you want the pattern to change, then you will have to change.

If you are meeting women on E-harpy.com, for instance, you might want to rethink.

Otherwise, slow down. I get the feeling you are perhaps leaping into physical relationships (with attendant pillow talk/sharing) before you have adequately checked for crazy. Don't become intimate -- emotionally or physically -- too fast.

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You also need to learn how to break up. Blaming the other person for "changing" (or blaming her for anything) is not necessary.

The best way to break off a new relationship is to use the old standby: "It's not you, it's me." There is a reason it's a classic -- because it works.

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