Aug 01, 2015


Ask a Professional: Should I End My On Again, Off Again Relationship?

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Mentoring Hermanas is a Q & A platform on Facebook where your burning questions are answered by a group of professional Latina women.  To submit your question, click here.

QUESTION: I had a relationship with a man years ago and still love him, but need your help to understand. He goes on the regular channels, dating, corting, meet family, etc., but then all of a sudden backs out like a crazy bandit. I was 16 when he broke off relationship because I was too young.  I ran into him this year and tried again but a “similar” thing happen.. I think it is fear of losing someone he loved.  He lost his brother in car accident when he was 12, his brother was 17, they slept in same room and all.  Out of 4 kids, he has a handicapped oldest sister and another sister stable with 4 children and happily married. He keeps on saying he wants to be father someday. He lost his father in 2000, he found him dead of heart attack.. Since then, he has the responsibility of head of household provider…in a wealthy family, but he is in charge of the business and works very hard!  Please let me know if I am thinking in the right way.  I want to close this chapter in my life with some sort of answer as to what I think. This person has and still means alot to me.   Thank you.  Anonymous

PROFESSIONAL:  Angélica Pérez-Litwin, PhD, Personal & Family Wellbeing

Querida Anonymous,

Upon reading your story, the first thing that came to mind is how hard you are trying to understand and rationalize this man’s behaviors.  The writing on the wall is clear, yet, you continue to believe that he has reasons for his (not so short) short-comings.  At the end of the day, the WHY does not really matter.  We can always find good reasons for why people act the way they do.  What matters, however, is HOW they treat you. Don’t get stuck on a man that has shown very little commitment to you.  He either loves you and makes you a priority in his life, or not.

Should you close this chapter in your life? Sounds like you already know the answer to that question. My question to you is the following:  “What’s taking you so long.”  Often times, we get stuck in painful places because we are afraid of the unknown.  The fear of taking a risk in a new relationship can be quite paralyzing.  But you do have a choice.  The choice is to take that risk and face the fear.  

I urge you to focus on YOURSELF, and stop wasting precious time (and emotional energy) in something and someone that gives very little return on your investment. Instead, ask yourself the following questions:  

  • What do I want out of life? 
  • What can I do to grow personally and professionally.  
  • What makes me laugh and makes me feel good?  
  • How can I change the world?  
  • What am I here for?  

Those are the real questions you should be working hard to answer for yourself.  

Waste no more precious time.  Let go of the past, and move on to new possibilities.

I hope this is helpful to you amiga.


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Angélica Pérez-Litwin

Angélica Pérez-Litwin

Dr. Perez-Litwin is the Founder & CEO of ELLA Leadership Institute, a multi-platform professional development organization designed to advance the careers and leadership of women. She's the creative force behind the LATINAS THINK BIG™ national tour, sponsored and live-streamed by Google.

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  1. Beth Ortuño says:

    I agree with Angelica. Even if he “committed”, if you were married or had kids, that will just make it harder for you to break away, later. Rings or pieces of paper don’t change a person. If he actually COULD be what you need, he’s already had a lot of time to do it.
    I know it’s hard. After 18 years and the end of 2 marriages that I should have seen actually were doomed from the beginning, a guy who really is good for me appeared from nowhere. All kinds of stuff can happen in his family or job but I’m always the one he turns to. De igual manera, el siempre esta en mi esquina. Life brings problems and los enfrentamos juntos. That’s what you deserve so don’t waste your time. Solo tienes una vida.

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