Dear Miss Emily:

My ex-girlfriend and I met at a farmers' market. We were friends, and I didn’t try to pursue anything with her for about a year because I'm ready to start a family and she has a little girl already.  My own preference is to marry a woman without kids, and she completely understood and we had a wonderful friendship. The problem was that she was perfect. She was everything I could ever ask for in a woman. She’s a kind spirit, the yoga-loving, tree-hugger type. I fell in love despite my attempts to resist. We got together and her baby daddy started with the drama. He would take their daughter from school and not give her back until my girl had to call the police on him. Literally, every bit of drama he could cause, he did. It strained our relationship and I broke up with her, breaking both my heart and hers. We stayed friends, but it was different. The calls came less often, and we saw less of each other.  It was more of us just calling to check in every once in a while.  I started going to church and met this other girl, and she’s a great woman. She’s not my ex, but she’s everything I THOUGHT I wanted (like not having any kids).  I proposed to her and she said yes. Then, don’t you know, my ex's baby daddy dies in a car accident about four months ago.  I helped her out, being the good friend, but I hated myself.  If I had been patient, she would be all mine right now. No baby daddy.  I tried to tell her that I still love her and want to be with her, again, but she told me "no." She told me that I have what I want in this other woman, and that I should just be happy. Now I’m engaged to this incredible woman whom I admire but that’s it. The love of my life (soul mate) is free, and I can’t imagine her being with any other man but me.  No other man would be worthy of her. What should I do? I'm desperate here.  She’s telling me to just get married and be happy, but I can’t be happy without her. I want her back!  Should I end my engagement and just go after her full force or realize my mistake in leaving her, and live with it for the rest of my life? HELP!!

--------------------------Miss Emily’s advice--------------------

Two things popped out at me after I read your letter.  Now I’m going to be brutally frank, so here goes.  You are immature and a tad selfish.  Okay, I said it.  There was never anything wrong with going after what you thought you truly wanted in life, but you did it in a way that was unbecoming and, I think, your ex realizes it is you who does not have the right stuff.  When it got too hot in the kitchen, so to speak, you bailed, and this wonderful ex of yours had the smarts to let you go without a fight.  So the pesky daddy bought the farm, and now you want her back because it’s not messy anymore?  What if something untidy were to happen, again?  Stuff happens. A solid relationship weathers the bad storms, but what did you do?  You jumped ship. One thing I do know, is that you should not marry this other woman while pining for your ex.  She’s an innocent in this “drama” of yours, and it would be cruel to follow through because you are not in love with her.  If you ever want to show your ex that you have truly learned the error of your ways, you will tell her you ended your engagement; not because you have a belief that she will come back to you, but because she ignited the desire in you to become a better man.  And you are right, she does deserve someone who is worthy of her.  Sadly, right now, that ain't you!