DEAR NATALIE: I think I made a big mistake. I was dating this amazing man, and I have a tendency to push people away. I don't know why I do this (working on it with my therapist who chalks it up to my incredibly tough parents that wanted perfection at all times), but I really screwed up. I basically told him I hated him, and I dumped him on his birthday. He was so good to my daughter (she's 7) and he was an excellent provider, but I was bored and having a bad day and just dumped him. Now, he's refusing to return my calls or texts, and I think he blocked me on Instagram. How do I get him back? I want him back! It's been a week since I did this, and I'm afraid I lost him for good. Any thoughts? -- SHIPWRECKED ROMANCE
DEAR SHIPWRECKED ROMANCE: You were bored? You dumped a guy because you were bored? And now you are bored so you want him back? Sounds like you need to break up with drama instead of men. I have met a lot of people who do not like it when the boat isn't crashing into the shore. They need the adrenaline rush. They need the fear, the excitement, the constant stress of possibly drowning. When there are calm waters at sea, they jump ship for no reason. Sound familiar? Instead of trying to get back with him, why not take a look in the mirror and figure out what it is you really want from a relationship. Do you want stability? Security? A father for your daughter? None of those things is exciting. They are important, necessary in fact, but exciting? Not so much. Until you are ready to make peace with the fact that love is many things, including quiet, pensive, thoughtful and not always dramatic, I have a feeling you will be capsizing your love boat over and over again.
Natalie's Networking Tip of the Week: The best way to connect with people? Listen more, talk less. Let them tell you what their interests are, their goals, their dreams. The more comfortable they feel with you, the more likely they will offer you opportunities if they can.
Please send your relationship and lifestyle questions to firstname.lastname@example.org or tweet them to @NBSeen. You can also send postal letters to Natalie Bencivenga, 358 North Shore Drive, Pittsburgh, PA 15212
(This column was originally published by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.)