What time is it?

QUESTION: Dear, Chuck and Garland:
I am 24-year old graduate student from Chicago. Recently my boyfriend of 10 and a half months broke up with [me] without giving me much reason. We met exactly one week before he moved across the country to Seattle to begin his first year of residency. We made an amazing connection from the first date and instantly I knew he was someone I'd be interested in pursuing something long-term with. He felt the same way (or so I thought). Approximately 3 weeks after he moved he flew me to Seattle and we made our relationship official. He asked me if I was prepared for a relationship and we talked about the hardships we faced with him being so busy his first year of residency, and the distance combined with not having much of a rapport. Things started off great, I would visit him about every month or so and when he could he came to Chicago. He's a very laid back guy and he never had a problem with anything I did or ever got upset if we didn't talk. Me on the other hand, the distance really started to take a toll. I had also just started grad school and working full time at a high stress job and I think I got a little needy with wanting his attention. It started with his days off, I looked forward to talking to him because I knew it was his day off but then his days off didn't really seem to differ from his working days in terms of us talking. I didn't want him to feel like his days off should consist of only talking to me, however, I did want to have more communication. I think he was always willing to make time, it's just that I didn't want to be the one to initiate it, I wanted him to want to make the time. At the same time, I knew he worked so hard that I wanted him to enoy his days off. Anyway, after 6 months he broke up with me right after spending Thanksgiving together and by this point I had already met his parents and close friends. He said his feelings had changed and that he didn't love me. A week later we got back together. Things were good for a while but then what I guess was neediness on my end began to show again and I would tell him what I wanted from him. He would say he would work on it and that things would get better after the first year of residency. We ended up planning a vacation to Mexico, I met him in Seattle for a couple days before going to Mexico and while in Seattle I had a dream that he was going to break up with me. We went to Mexico, at times he did seem a bit distant, when we were leaving Mexico things really felt awkward. I admit that I had an uneasy feeling when I left. Then sure enough 2 days after getting back from vacation I asked if he wanted to be in the relationship and eventually he said no.

I tried to ask why and I got several different answers: he doesn't love me, he's not mature enough for a relationship, maybe he can't handle something long term, that he wanted to feel more...

Keep in mind he has not been in a relationship for more than a year since his highschool sweetheart who broke his heart. He also mentioned to me at the beginning of our relationship that he didn't like girls who cried, that he's very picky, and he gets bored with woman.

I truly feel like we are meant to be together. I love him and at some point I believe love was growing for him aswell. I believe the circumstances caused a wedge. We haven't really spoken since the break up a month and a half ago. I have hope that he and I will work things out again, I feel like he just needs to see me again.

Is this a loss cause? I need advice!


GARLAND: Thank you for sharing a question that's so personal and close to your heart.

From what you've offered, I'm afraid this might be a lost cause. Let me tell you why. You have the distance factor, and while distance isn't always a relationship killer, I think in your case, the two of you didn't have any real time to build a foundation that the distance could stand on. One week, for two strangers, is little more than a blink of an eye. The two of you were possibly drawn into each other by the physical attraction and excitement of something new. That 's NOT a bad thing but I think it just wasn't a strong enough start to stand up to the thousands of miles between you and the busy schedules you both shared.

He probably wanted things to work as much as you did, but when two people meet and then get separated and all they can do is talk or write letters and E-Mails, human nature tends to start embellishing. Your mind and your heart tend to conspire to make this new person more than they really are. You subconsciously make them more attractive, more witty, more intelligent, more sexy, more enamored with you, more of the things we look for in the one we love and want to be loved by. This MAY be part of the problem.

I think him telling you at the six month mark that he doesn't love you was his first real shot at trying to be honest with himself and with you. His position couldn't hold up to the scrutiny you gave him so I guess he tried to play along. Eventually, he couldn't play the game anymore.

As a man, I'm glad he was decent enough to end the relationship. He not only set himself free, but he SET YOU FREE TOO! I know that may not sound good, but a lot of worse guys would have strung you along while doing whatever they wanted with whomever they wanted! They would have toyed with your mind, your time and your heart, but this guy knew that your relationship wasn't going to work and he called it quits.

On top of that, it sounds a little like this guy has some 'issues' that he needs to get over. If he's still pining away over a high-school ex, and he says he doesn't like crying women, he has some issues. Well - honestly, no guy LIKES "crying" women, but that is typically NOT a characteristic a guy uses when describing what he does and doesn't like in a woman. You started you question by saying that he didn't give you much of a reason - it sounds to me like he did. Trust me!

This guy has given you a new opportunity to find happiness elsewhere. Please don't blow this opportunity by going back to him, chasing him down and trying to make things work. Don't wait until next month and figure that he's changed his mind and give him a call! Don't peek in on his Facebook and tell him "you just want to be friends, like we used to be! Please don't do any of those detrimental things! You have been set free! Sure it hurts a bit, but the sun will rise tomorrow and I promise that it will hurt a bit less with each passing day. You sound like a young woman with a ton of potential and a million opportunities ahead of you take advantage of all of them, but don't look back! Best of luck to you!!!

CHUCK: A distance like the one you have between you is no way to start start a relationship. Because, as much we like to believe that absence can make the heart grow fonder, it can make a pretty big wedge between people, too.

He was in a new place, working on a difficult job. You have admitted to being needy, and sometimes asking for time that he didn't always have. He has baggage he still has effectively dealt with. You were obviously going through things, too. But he eventually found the distance untenable and wanted out.

Now, there are excuses that can be used to let someone down easy when a relationship is over. But he isn't really using them on you. "I don't love you," is really one of the most final things that can be said in a relationship. And there is a possibility to come back from virtually anything besides that. As Garland says, he could try to keep you around even though he's done with you, and he knows you have no future. But either for you, or (most likely) himself, he is trying to be as straight with you as he can. Be thankful for that.

You want to believe that you two are meant to be together. He, apparently, begs to differ. Please don't let what you wish, and want out of this relationship to lead you to waste any more time on this man. Long distance romances are never easy. But the least you need is the other person to be in the romance with. I'm sorry it didn't work out. But you need to move on. Take care.

No comments: