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Should I Relight This Old Flame?

“I am very confused about a man who loves me very much. We had a relationship for three years and I ended it. He was facing homelessness and so I took him in. A part of me wants the relationship and another part says don’t go there. Help!” ~ Debra, Philadelphia, PA

Dear Debra,

You say the man loves you very much but nowhere do you say that you love him. You also say, “A part of me wants ‘the’ relationship” but we suspect it is more likely the case that you want ‘a’ relationship.

Many times people settle. They are not truly happy in their relationship but the idea of starting over or dating is daunting. They also settle because they mistakenly tell themselves, “This is the best I can do,” rather than honestly look at whether or not the relationship feels right and if they feel good, expanded and expansive out of being in the other person’s presence.

It is easy to become addicted to having someone around without really liking him or her or without liking yourself in the process. You can talk yourself into being with someone and give yourself good reasons why you should stay in the relationship but the litmus test is not only whether or not you love him but more importantly, the answers to these questions: How do I feel when I am with this person? Do I like myself? Am I more self-expressive or am I contracted when I am with him?

You have your own answers. You are your own best guide. You can trust how you feel when you are around this person (and when you are not) and that will give you the answers you need. Taking care of someone and “rescuing” him from homelessness is very charitable but it is not the basis for a healthy relationship.

If you love him and love who you are in his presence, then his facing homelessness is not relevant – it is just the starting point for your love affair. But if you are staying with him because you feel sorry for him or if you are secretly afraid that you can’t do better and being with him is better than being alone, then you will never be truly happy. If the latter is the case, then you would be well served in helping him find a new living situation.

We wish you the best,

Ariel and Shya

Ariel and Shya Kane

PE_BrightHiResCoverSince 1987, Ariel and Shya Kane have touched the lives of millions through their transformational seminars and top-rated Internet radio show Being Here. Their approach allows people to be productive, effective and satisfied in all areas of their lives without working on their “problems.” 

From their ground-breaking books Working on Yourself Doesn't WorkHow to Have A Match Made in Heaven, A Transformational Approach to Dating, Relating and Marriage, winner of the Mom's Choice Book Award (and now available in Spanish and in German), How to Create a Magical Relationship, gold medal winner of the Nautilus Book Award, and Being Here: Modern Day Tales of Enlightenment, to their speaking engagements at the United Nations Society for Enlightenment and Transformation and Alternatives - the UK's premier venue for some of the biggest names in the mind, body, spirit world - Ariel & Shya continue to reach audiences hungry for the possibility of a life filled with ease, well being and satisfaction.

Their acclaimed seminars in New York City, The United Kingdom, Europe and Costa Rica open up previously unseen possibilities in people's lives, allowing them to live the life of their dreams. The next weekend seminars they are offering are Transformation in the Workplace, September 19-20 in NYC and The Freedom to Breathe on October 1 and Money, Success and Happiness: Wealth as a Lifestyle, October 2-4 in Hamburg, Germany. You can learn more about their seminars, Internet radio show Being Here, and their latest book Practical Enlightenment, available now on, as well as their Excellence Club online community at

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This Post Has 15 Comments
  1. Awesome! Ariel and Shya are the best. I love the suggestion to take a look at “how do i feel when i am with this person? do i like myself? am I more self-expressive or am I contracted when I am with them?” Cool post:)

  2. Wow! Ariel & Shya’s answer is awesome! Those three questions to ask yourself in relation to being with another person are such a great guide. Takes so much of the thinking and judgments out of the situation.

  3. This is a brilliant response to a very relate-able question. I loved the part about being your own best guide. So true!

  4. Yes, Brilliant response. I love the litmus test option. How do I feel when I am with this person? Do I like myself? Am I more self-expressive or am I contracted when I am with him? I have been in relationships where I start not liking how I feel in myself/feel irritable and hadn’t wanted to admit the relationship was over. With the wisdom of Ariel & Shya… When I am truthful about the reality of the status of a relationship I feel alive again.

  5. Amazing! I love how the Kanes are well listeners even through reading. When they pointed out, that Debra wants to have “a” relationship and nowhere says that she loves him. I was so surprised. I didn’t see this at all, when I read the question. I relate to the part of want to have “a” relationship and I stayed often in a relationship lake of alternatives. Since I know the Kanes I watched myself how I am while I’m with a person and it is amazing what I see 🙂
    Thank you so much for your true listening and that I’m now in a magical relationship, where I feel great and home and loved and …!

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