Friday, October 24, 2014

Sick Hamster

Today's advice was requested by a person from the U.S. who we'll refer to henceforth as S. S asks:

"my hamster is going absolutely nuts and she is bleeding a little from her uh private parts and idk whats wrong; i fed her and everything and she’s got water."

In female hamsters there is a lot that could be wrong here. It may be an infection of the uterus called Pyometra, a tumor located somewhere in the abdomen, Wet Tail (a common bacterial infection in rodents), or something else all together.

How old is she? How long have you had her? Do you keep her with other hamsters? Has she ever been bred? How much is she bleeding? Is she still eating normally? Is she still drinking normally?
I suggest seeking veterinary intervention if at all possible. I know it can be difficult as not all vets are up to snuff on rodent care (in fact a lot of them see only cats and dogs exclusively). You may need to call around in order to find one and there may be travel involved.

There are some antibiotics for Wet Tail available without a visit to the vet in many pet stores. You can try this, but if it is Wet Tail and it has advanced this far, it may not be enough. But it is better than nothing!

If it is Pyometra she will probably need to be spayed.

If it is a tumor, antibiotics may be given to kill off infection and thereby decrease inflammation, but if it is a tumor there is seldom anything more to be done. Some rodents, however, live near full lives even with tumors so long as you keep an eye out for infections.

For at home care you may serve her a bit (1-2 teaspoons) of Kale every-other-day to help boost her platelets to replace what she’s losing. Remember, even though a drop of blood might seem like nothing to us, to such a small creature it is quite a bit.

To help keep her digestive tract healthy (especially if you’ll be giving her antibiotics), you may offer 1/2-1 teaspoons of Greek yogurt daily until her condition improves.

If she is having difficulty eating or showing disinterest, offer her some warm oatmeal (plain or with fruit you have added — not the prepackaged kind with fruit as it has a lot of sugar). Many hamsters love this treat and will partake even if they aren’t feeling well.

If she isn’t drinking, you will need to get a small eye dropper or syringe (sans the needle, obv.) and give her water gradually, several times per day. Dehydration will kill most things before their actual illness does, so it is very important to make sure she continues drinking on her own, and if she doesn’t make the effort for her. When giving it to her you want to insert the tip in the side of her mouth and only a few droplets at a time, never from the front of her mouth.

To keep her more comfortable, offer her some sheets of clean, unscented bath tissue (toilet paper) she can tear up and make a nest out of.

Administer medicines, if you are going to, in the morning so that she will sleep through any side effects they might cause.

S responds:

"She’s gotten this on occasion tbh; it’s come and gone and no matter how much I ask my parents if I can take her to the vet, my dad refuses to pay the money because she’s such a small animal :s I could see if I can pay for it myself, but I’m not really sure.

I’ve had her for about… half a year now, maybe? She was probably a little over a year old when we got her—I got her from my local Petsmart and they can never really tell how old hamsters/rodents are. She’s the only hamster I have now, and she’s never been bred. She isn’t bleeding too much, I don’t think. Not a lot comes out but it still makes a little mess of her bedding. She’s eating (well, more like hoarding—I fill up her food bowl when it’s empty and about 2 days later she’s hoarded it away somewhere) and drinking, and she’s running on her wheel a lot.

When she was awake this morning, she was pretty nippy—more than usual. I dunno if she’s got cage aggression, but whenever I put my hand down to her level, she’d start nibbling on my fingers really hard (not enough to hurt) and kind of… glare at me? I’ve never done anything to hurt her, and she was this way before I got her a bigger cage.

She seemed extra nippy, though. So she could be uncomfortable. :(

Some hamsters are just hoarders, particularly if they come from a breeder or pet store where they had been housed with too many roommates and feel food might forever be precious and scarce to them. It’s not a problem, though do make sure to clean up thoroughly after any fresh treats just in case she’s stashed those (fruit buried in a corner will go bad quickly).

Were she not a solo pet purchased half a year ago, I would think these were possible signs of a pregnancy (hoarding, aggression, excess nesting, and bleeding) but the gestation cycle of a hamster is only about a month total, so that is clearly not the case.

If the bleeding has been a chronic thing, on and off but never of any substantial amount, it’s probably a small tumor somewhere that every now and then puts pressure on things it isn’t supposed to. Tumors commonly get minor infections and swell up. If you have a reliable pet shop nearby, you may want to go in and ask a knowledgeable staff member about any antibiotics they might have stocked for rodents (such as Wet Tail medicine) and, when symptoms arrive, give her a course just to stave off infection.

On average hamsters live 2-4 years, with dwarf breeds tending to fall on the shorter end of that spectrum (no pun intended). Just as with dogs, where a large breed might live 20 years, it’s smaller cousin will be lucky to live half of that. Bleeding in this way, sometimes, is also just a sign that your little friend is getting on in years (they make adult diapers for a reason).

In either of these two cases, I would attribute her behaviors therefor to being uncomfortable. When she is feeling this way try not to disturb or handle her too much. The pressure of being picked up may make her discomfort worse and she may react more roughly with you in an attempt to prevent you from doing that. Stronger nibbling of the fingers equates to, “hey, not today, okay?”

Instead, when she’s symptomatic try to make her as comfortable as you can. Make sure her environment is clean, offer her softer bedding to nest in, and a bit of kale to snack on, because even a drop of blood is a lot to lose for a hamster. The best thing you can do for her is just keep her happy.

If she has always been somewhat aggressive then it could just be her temperament. Rodents, like people, often have unique personalities. You may have one hamster that loves to cuddle like a kitten and another of the same litter that hates being touched at all. You can work with them with treats and gentle encouragement to be friendlier but ultimately you may find you just need to respect her boundaries.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Cosmetics and Skin Care Products That Work as Advertised

Today's advice was requested by a woman from the U.K. who we'll refer to henceforth as C. C asks:

"I'm often in a boat where I need a cosmetic to live up to its advertising but find they rarely do. In example I have sensitive skin and find lotions and cleansers meant to combat redness don't necessarily do that. Lip balms meant to moisturize my lips usually make them drier. Am I just doing something wrong or are adverts misleading? Do any brands actually do what they are said to?"

This is actually a fabulous question, C. I too have sensitive skin and have searched far and wide over the years trying to find products that actually perform as advertised. Not just for sensative skin but a number of various things. Foundation that won't clog pores, setting powder that actually improves skin quality, moisturizers that don't feel oily on the skin, lip balms that actually function as a balm, eyeliner that won't smudge everywhere, and so on and so forth.

The only brand I always go back to is Neutrogena. Every Neutrogena product I have tried, from their skin care lines to their make-up has done exactly what it was supposed to do. I didn't need to do anything special to make it work. I use their skin care products as well as their cosmetics almost exclusively these days. I've found they not only out perform all other drug store brands, but all high end brands that cost upwards of $40 per bottle/tube/etc.

The quest for the perfect lip balm is ever ongoing but the closest I've come so far is Neutrogena's Norwegian Formula Lip Moisturizer. The runner up is Neutrogena's Revitalizing Lip Balm, which is tinted and considerably pigmented for a balm but does what it's meant to.

A side note about lips and lip balms though is that they can only do so much correction. When you are dehydrated (even just a little bit) the first thing to show that is your lips because they do not possess the protective layer the rest of your skin has; they begin to dry out and flake very quickly. So remember to drink enough water before judging a balm too harshly.

Neutrogena gets some ill press due to its parent company Johnson & Johnson testing on animals. J&J's personal care products are not ever tested on animals though. This means no lotions, cleansers, shampoos, conditioners, or make-up is ever tested on animals. The thing people forget is that J&J is also the parent company of things such as Tucks and Tylenol which are classified as drugs and are required by law to be tested on animals before human use. So yes, Johnson & Johnson tests on animals, but only on their medicinal products which they have no choice about.

When emailed about their cruelty-free status they respond:
"In 2009 we updated our Policy on the Humane Care & Use of Laboratory Research Animals to include additional requirements and guidance regarding animal welfare. It is the policy of the Johnson & Johnson Family of Companies to minimize use of animals in laboratory research that assesses the safety and efficacy of our products. Animal use has decreased by 65 percent relative to R&D investment since 2000, and we remain committed to the three “R” principles—replacement, reduction and refinement—as they apply to animal testing.
We do not conduct animal testing for our personal care products. We don’t ask others to test on our behalf, except when required by law or government authorities, and we comply globally with the requirements of the EU ban on animal testing for cosmetics. We also engage internal and external experts to review the ethical aspects of all animal tests.

Except when required by law or government agencies would apply to products that contain drug class ingredients (i.e. Tucks) or products that are classified as drugs themselves (i.e. Tylenol). So you can feel free to wash your face guilt free.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Unsightly Armpits

Today's advice was requested by a woman from the U.S. who we'll refer to henceforth as L. L asks:

"So I see all these models and actresses posing with their arms up and they all have these flawless armpits. When I lift my arms mine are anything but! The skin under my arms is dark, sometimes yellowish, and whether I've shaved or not looks stubbly. Silly as it sounds how do I get model armpits?"

First of all most editorials are heavily Photoshopped these days, with the exception of make-up ads because they've recently passed a law forbidding the use of photoshop for cosmetics (it now falls under false advertising). No one has follicle-free porcelain white perfectly smooth pits. You can however considerably improve the look of your under arms. Now that we have realistic expectations, the solution is actually pretty simple!

There are two reasons for the appearance of your pits and they are actually extremely common. I'd say easily 3 of 5 women suffer from the same problem. The first is bacteria. The second is a build up of dead skin.

What's the ideal environment for bacteria? Dark, warm, moist places. What's life like under your arm? Dark, warm, and moist. To get things under control in there you need to reduce the bacteria population. When you shower (ideally at least once a day), use antibacterial soap under your arms, such as Dial. It's pretty unnecessary to use it anywhere else so one bar should last you quite a while. You don't need to go out and buy it in bulk or anything. Once you've tamed the bacteria you shouldn't need to use antibacterial soap anymore, but you may continue using it once or twice a week just to be sure if you want. Bacteria can not only discolor the skin, it can also cause bad odor and nobody wants that!

How long do you spend on your armpits in the shower? I'm betting you lather up head to toe and rinse off in under two minutes. Most people do. We've all got better things to do. I'm betting however aside from shaving, barely any of that attention is paid to your armpits. Next time you are in the shower, and every time thereafter, use a loofah or shower poof lathered with soap to scrub under your arms. Spend at least thirty seconds on each armpit. This exfoliates wonderfully, getting rid of the excess dead skin that is clogging your pores and making your pits unsightly. Dead skin builds up over time and can cause discoloration, dark follicles, and encourages bacterial overgrowth.

Overtime the combination of these two things will solve your less-than-ideal pits. How long? Depends on the severity of the issue. I'd say anywhere between 2-4 weeks. If the problem persists despite your efforts you may want to consult a dermatologist. I am almost certain these two simple additions to your shower routine will have you spaghetti strap ready in no time though.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Adult Acne

Today's advice was requested by a woman from Europe who we'll refer to henceforth as R. R asks:

"I never really had acne as a teenager, thank the heavens being a teenager was crappy enough without it. But when I turned 20 I started getting spots here and there. I wouldn't say severe acne but definitely moderate at times. Enough to make me self conscious about it. I tried various acne washes and lotions from the super market but those seemed to mostly just dry out my skin rather than really help the acne. Then when the skin got dry I had to use lotion to prevent flaking, which aggravated my spots and made them bigger. My dermatologist gave me some pills but they seemed more hardcore than for what I had and upset my stomach. Is there anything I can do? Washing my face more seemed to also make it worse and cutting out greasy/fatty foods like chips and chocolate helped not at all. Do you have any advice?

Thank you.

First things first: acne is a medical condition and should be approached as one. Often it is not, viewed instead as some arbitrary issue that'll go away in time on its own. This is seldom the case. If you comprehend the causes of acne you will be better prepared to deal with them. So let's start there.

Acne is caused by clogged pores and/or bacteria. This is why simply washing your face helps some people, but not others. You may not have the same type of acne. If your pores are clogged, washing them out will solve the problem. If you have bacterial acne, washing your face with basic cleanser isn't going to do anything. You need a special sort of cleanser for this. Sometimes you may suffer from both types of acne, in which case you'll need to go with the ol' 1-2 punch.

The idea that acne is caused by poor hygiene is a myth. Over-washing your face can actually be the cause of your problems as many soaps are abrasive or caustic, causing invisible cracks in the surface of your skin which let bacteria in. Even mild soaps, over-used, kill off the good bacteria on your skin, letting the bad bacteria take over.Unless you get something on your face and need to wash it off, you should only be washing your face twice a day: first thing when you get up and just before you go to sleep at night.

The idea that certain sorts of food cause acne is also a myth. So long as you eat a balanced diet, getting all your daily vitamins and minerals, you can really eat whatever you want. Including greasy and fatty foods. The reason this myth exists is because often those with acne eat these sorts of foods and little else. The little else part is the problem, not the junk food! Not eating right causes all sorts of problems internally, which inevitably make you more prone to infection. Acne is usually an infection.

If you eat poorly, I recommend starting a daily multivitamin immediately. Do not expect results over night though. You need to restore depleted reserves before you start feeling and seeing the effort pay off. This could take about four weeks.

The biggest thing you can do to help your skin, no matter what the problem is, is to drink water. Not soda or juice, just plain water. Dehydration opens you up to infection as well, and water helps purify your body. If you aren't getting enough, you're going to be prone to blemishes. Amongst other things. As with vitamins, if you've been terribly without, it might take a few weeks for you to see the benefits.

As for cleansers, for hormonal acne and clogged pores you'll want a wash with Salicylic acid like Neutrogena's oil free acne wash. For infectious bacteria something with Benzoyl peroxide, such as Proactive. If you've both, a combination of Neutrogena's wash and Proactive's lotion will likely cure what ails you. Or better yet, just as effective for less money Neutrogena's own acne fighting system which contains both a cleanser with Salicylic acid and a lotion with Benzoyl peroxide as well as an oil-free moisturizer.

All acne washes and lotions will dry out your skin. To combat this use a lightweight moisturizer such as Aveeno's facial lotion with feverfew for sensitive skin. It's lightweight so less likely to clog pores and contains feverfew which naturally reduces redness. People often overlook the importance of not letting their skin dry out when they have a problem such as acne. Dry skin produces far more oils in an effort to correct itself than it would were it healthy. Which, obviously, will clog your pores. If you find light lotions like the Aveeno for sensitive skin aren't moisturizing certain areas enough (around the eyes or lips where skin is more delicate), you may need something a little heavier such as Neutrogena's oil-free daily lotion also, for these areas exclusively.

While correcting the problem I advise laying a clean towel over your pillow at night and changing it out every 3-4 days. Pillow cases are thin and not very absorbent so all the oil from your face and hair just sit there, accumulating. Then when you go to bed, you mash your face into these stale oils all night. Once you've got control of the problem, you don't need to worry about your pillow case, but in the mean time not taking that extra step may sabotage progress towards getting better.

Also important is exercise. Now, don't misunderstand. You do not need to jog miles or lift weights. Simply taking a walk around the block once or twice a day will more than suffice. People today lead exceptionally sedimentary lifestyles. Think of your body like a pool of water: without movement it will stagnate.

Applying a combination of these tactics should see you on the road to recovery within a month. If not, in rare cases the underlying cause will require medical intervention. Such as a hormone imbalance or an unusually resistant strain of bacteria.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Excessive Eating

Today's advice was requested by a man from Canada who we'll refer to henceforth as Q. Q asks:

"I just realized how much food I eat... usually it's pread out on a plate, but I put it in a bowl and god damn. I just ate what should be 6 portions of rice (enough for 6 grown people) with turkey and cream of chicken soup.
I don't want to be hungry, but I don't really want to gain wright. Do you know of something that doesn't taste gross that I can get a lot of for cheap? I gained 60 lbs over the coarse of 7 years by doing absolutely nothing at all, and I mean nothing. I sit at a computer all day, I lay down and watch tv, and I sleep. Sometimes I walk around the basement. I'd lose a crap ton of weight if I just ate less, but I refuse to be hungry, ever."

This is actually a really easy piece of advice to give. Following it should be just as simple.

Often times your body mistakes thirst for hunger. Many people in the world are chronically dehydrated and oblivious to the fact. A shame considering how many third world countries would do anything to have fresh water at their fingertips, and here we are taking it for granted. Try drinking a full glass of water prior to snacking and you may find you aren't even actually hungry to begin with.

On top of that, start lowering your portion size. You'll feel unsatisfied for about two or three weeks during this, but your stomach will begin shrinking back down to normal size. Meaning you will feel fuller, sooner, and not require so much food to reach that point. Excessive eating stretches out your stomach, meaning you need to eat more to fill the added space. Fix that and you'll be easier to satiate.

How many calories should you be getting? I've included a handy dandy calorie calculator to help you find out.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

A Refugee Love Story

Today's advice was requested by a man from Lebanon who we'll refer to henceforth as D. D asks:

"Hello Inari!

I've seen enough of your posts to know you are very down to earth about a lot of things. I'm not trying to sugar coat it, I really think you are a voice of reason.
I'd like your opinion on something that happened to me a while ago. A feminine opinion at that!

OK so here goes:

In July 2006, the Israelis where bombarding Lebanon, and a lot of countries where evacuating their citizens from the country. Since I happened to have both the Lebanese and French passports, I was allowed to evacuate with the French. The plan was to meet up at the capital, board a ship to Cyprus, and from there take a plane to Paris (because the Lebanese airport was badly damaged). I was 18 at the time, and it was my first time leaving my parents for good, and when my mother dropped me off at the High School (which was the meeting point), she was crying.
As it happens, a French mother saw the whole thing, and promised my mom that she would take care of me during the travel. So here I was, staying with that very nice woman and her family. I met her husband, her son, and most importantly, her daughter!
She was a pretty little thing, and after one look, she never left my side during the whole day waiting for the the boat to arrive. Always smiling, always laughing at everything I said, always staying close to me wherever I went (she was 17, and her name was M). Her parents saw she was interested, and curiously, did everything they could to leave us alone together! Always sending us to do errands, just the two of us. So anyway, I had a great time with her, and I was starting to like her as much as she liked me.
Night came, and so did the boat. We boarded, left our stuff in a cabin, and climbed on the deck! It was amazing, it was a bright starry sky, Lebanon was all in lights and slowly fading away as the boat advanced. We went to the back of the boat where we could see everything. And that's where she started crying. I asked her what was wrong, and she said she was sad because of all the people dying, because of the country getting bombed, and because everything was unfair. I wanted to kiss her, but seeing her crying stopped me. If I kissed her now, that would be taking advantage of her, and that would be a horrible thing to do. So instead, I hugged her, comforted her, told her everything was going to be all right.
So everything's fine, she's better, we go down to have a bite to eat. I find some of my friends and I hang out with them for about half an hour (I was REALLY happy to see them on that boat alive).
I come back to see M, and I see her talking to someone. I go to meet the guy, and it turns out she just met him too. At first, I didn't get what was going on, but as time went by, I understood that she was FLIRTING with this random other dude.
I tried to do something about it, because I couldn't accept it, but then I could feel I wasn't wanted, and I left then alone and went back to my friends, broken, confused and angry. They spend the whole night trying to cheer me up. At 5 AM, I went to bed, slept about 2 hours, and when I woke up, I went back on the deck, and saw M kissing that guy in the sun... (what I originally had planned).
Then when we docked, boarded the plane, arrived at Paris, and I left the nice family to meet my uncle. She didn't say a word to me during the whole trip...

To this day, I'm still wondering what happened. What I did wrong, why she changed her mind all of a sudden.
I'm hoping you could have an idea about it.

The reason I'm bringing this up, is because I'm meeting her tomorrow, after 5 years without seeing her, and completely forgetting her. I'm a bit stressed, a lot of emotions are coming back. What should I do?

Thank you if you ever answer.

Love, D

Wow, talk about database error. The sent date on this message claims it was sent to my inbox exactly one month ago, on November 15th. I check my inbox regularly however, and this morning is the first I've seen of it. So please accept my apologies if you indeed sent this a whole month ago. It does not normally take me that long to respond to people, especially not to people in need of advice.

First of all, I'm glad you managed to get out of there. That was a sticky situation. Leaving home for the first time is always a stressful experience, I can only imagine how much more tense it was with the bombardment going on. It sounds to me like you had amazing luck that day, having not only both passports available to you but also that kind French family to look after you during the journey. It must've been a huge relief to your mother especially, knowing there would be someone on the boat to keep an eye you.

Her parents more-than-likely saw your relationship as a good thing -- a well needed distraction from the current events. Which is probably why they not only didn't mind your hanging out but also encouraged it.

She opened up to you on deck that night and was probably hoping you'd do the same. She felt a deep connection to you at the time, and wanted or needed that connection to extend beyond its current level. You offered her comfort in her time of need, but she was probably hoping that you would cry with her. I know many men are raised to think crying in public will make them look bad... but in situations like this, where you're being ousted from your home and forced to flee into another country, a few tears are to be expected even of the manliest men. When instead you played the strong role and comforted her, she likely felt that the connection she felt to you wasn't reciprocated. At least not to the same degree.

When you returned below deck to eat and went to hang out with your friends, glad to see they were alive, it only reassured her that your connection wasn't as she thought it was. Which isn't fair of her to assume, but she can't really be blamed for being unreasonable at a time like this. She was probably an emotional wreck on the inside. A lot of the time when a girl feels spurned by her love interest she'll act out, try to capture his attention by making him jealous. This is accomplished primarily by, you guessed it, openly flirting with other guys.

What you perceived as her pushing you away may have actually been her final attempt to draw you closer. When you gave up and went away, she gave up too. Likely thinking you never liked her in the first place and were only hanging out with her until someone better came along (in this case your friends). When you went to bed, she sought comfort in the new stranger, culminating in a kiss that you happened to stumble upon when you woke up.

She may have realized that you actually did like her when she saw you as she was kissing the other guy. This may have made her feel too guilty to bring herself to speak to you on the plane. Another possibility is that she had wanted you to be that guy kissing her but since you didn't she was felt resentful and thus didn't speak to you because she was angry. It may even be as simple as her perceiving you as too young or too old for the long term relationship she wanted, whereas the other guy was just a fling. Regardless of which reason, it seems to me that the entire thing was a misunderstanding and it is unfortunate that you've only gotten in contact with her now. It's clear to me that the two of you shared a connection and whether it was romantic or platonic, it seems to me like it would've been good. Hopefully you can pick up where you left off that handful of years ago.

So what should you do? Keep an open mind. I doubt very seriously that she ever intended to hurt you on purpose. It seems to me that you both inadvertently hurt each other that night. The mistakes of youth. Test the waters with casual conversation, "How've you been?" and things such as that and if you feel any hint of that old connection -- confess to her your feelings of that night. How you had hoped to pursue a relationship but were afraid you'd be taking advantage of her. In return she'll probably confess why she did what she did. Even if this doesn't result in picking up where you left off, at least you'll both have closure. Closure is very important.

I hope it all works out.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Should I Cheat?

Today's advice was requested by a man from the U.S. who we'll refer to henceforth as V. V asks:

"I have one girlfriend of 4 months who I've been drawing away from lately because of a new girl who I met in class. I'm going to let her know I'm single even though I'm not and ask her out in a few days. If she says yes, I'm going to stay with her. I thought about having 2 girlfriends in different social circles but I know something would go wrong.

I don't want to outright dump the 1st because I don't think she could handle it. She was devastated when I even brought up the possibility a month back and it took the whole night to get her to stop crying. I figured just saying I need a break and not bringing up the other girl would be easier for her, then maybe I could flip flop between the two. Turn it into a more casual but still closed, short term dating.

I'm going to study abroad next year with new girl and my current girlfriend still lives at home. So at that point breaking up with her is a given. I gotta loosen up the bond between us sooner than later either way. I don't want to hurt her because I do still care about her but saying I love you back when I don't mean it feels terrible.


Break up with your current girlfriend properly before asking out a second. You don't have to mention your lessening feelings for her or even the other girl, if you don't think she can handle it. Simply, "Our lives aren't headed in the same direction," would suffice. As that seems, more or less, to be the truth of it. Especially considering you've brought up breaking up in the past. Before this other girl was even in the picture.

She lives at home still, so now is a good time to do it as she'll have the support she inevitably needs to get her over it. You may also want to be a man and send one of her friends over to her house after you leave to stay with her. Just in case she doesn't have a stellar relationship with her parents/siblings.

Seeing both simultaneously is a recipe for disaster, and, makes you look like an asshole. Something you'll want to avoid if you plan on having a serious relationship with either of them, ever. Your current girlfriend can forgive you for breaking up with her. She will not however be likely to forgive you for cheating on her.

If the new girl finds out that she's essentially the other woman, that won't go over well either. You may think that'd she'd find your choosing her over the other girl to be flattering, but what it really does is show what caliber of person you are. In short, if you cheated on your ex she'll think you're just as likely to cheat on her someday too. And she's probably right.

You need to be confident enough to make a decision and follow it through like a man. Flip-flopping between both girls is flaky and can only ever end badly for all three involved.