The Yomiuri ShimbunDear Troubleshooter:
I’m a woman in my 20s working as a part-timer. I’ve been worried about my love triangle.
I’m the kind of person who gets bored easily, so I can’t date the same man for a long time. I felt quite disturbed after I was stalked by my eighth date, so now I’m seeing a psychosomatic specialist for treatment.
My doctor is single and he’s in his 30s. He feels reliable, and I’ve come to like him. He started driving me home, and he once tried to forcibly kiss me in the car.
I’m not sure how serious he is about us, so I started dating a student in his 20s. I met him by chance when I was waiting somewhere for a date with a man I met online. I mistakenly talked to the student, who I found to be cheerful and sincere.
He said to me, “Let’s get married after I graduate.” When I told the doctor about this new boyfriend of mine, he formally asked me to go out with him by saying, “Live with me with marriage in mind.”
Upset about the doctor’s proposal, the student told me: “He’s using his position as a doctor to take advantage of his patient’s feelings. I can’t forgive him.”
From a financial perspective, I want to marry the doctor, but I’m wondering if I can trust him. Should I continue dating the student?
Y, Kyoto Prefecture
Dear Ms. Y:
I think you came here seeking advice because you have a vague sense that the problem lies with you — not your love triangle. There’s a telling clue, right at the start of your letter: You can’t stay in long-term relationships with men because you easily get bored. You might start dating a man, but you can’t trust him so you become insecure — winding up with you on a dating site to try to satisfy your desires.
It seems you’re aware that your mind is in an unstable, dangerous state.
What if your date turns out to be another stalker type? What will you do then?
You need to take some time and be alone for a while so you can calmly reassess your situation. To always be seeking a man is proof that you’re harboring emptiness inside. You’re misconstruing that fleeting moment of kindness from men as love to fill that empty hole in your heart. The cycle won’t end unless you recognize why you end up like that.
Facing your true self when you don’t want to do so is anything but easy — it’s tough for anyone to face that part of themselves. In some cases, you might even need to consult a specialist for help.
Now that the doctor has made advances, it’s clear that you can no longer build an appropriate relationship with him for treatment. As your first step, switch to a different hospital.
Hazuki Saisho, writer