Dear Neil: My relationship with my lover of almost four years abruptly ended three weeks ago when we returned from a trip to Las Vegas. After a year of seeing each other I became pregnant but had a miscarriage. For the two years after that, we seemed to be getting closer. On the recent trip to Las Vegas, he seemed disinterested and bored, and he used my cell phone to call a female friend of his on the East coast. On the plane returning home, he demanded I delete her phone number from my cell because he wanted to make sure I didn’t call her; he said if I did, the call would cause problems for him. Last year he spent six weeks with her at her condo to remodel her kitchen. I concluded he was playing a twisted head game to see if I would act jealous, and I demanded an apology. He refused. We didn’t speak for the remainder of the flight, nor on the drive back to my house. When we returned to the house, he gathered up some things and walked out the door. We haven’t spoken since. I was convinced I could just have sex with him and keep my feelings in tact. By the way, I’m 38 and he’s 47.
Alone in Colorado
Dear Alone: It appears that the two of you were in a standoff. No one was willing to declare that they were strongly attached—or wanted to be. Neither of you were apparently saying that you wanted more of a commitment, or a deeper, closer relationship. And I should say that I’m not entirely sure about whether he was in an intimate relationship with the other woman as well.
Don’t let a relationship go on with someone—and get pregnant, no less—without developing a deep, intimate connection. Not that many people can have a sexual relationship lasting for years without developing deeper feelings and attachments, and even fewer think it’s wise. Learn this lesson.
Dear Neil: I have a boyfriend who had severe childhood abuse (verbal, physical, sexual), as I did. We found each other on-line and wrote for eight months. Two very distant and detached people were hanging in there and talking about meeting. But we’ve never met—even once. How can you stay with someone who keeps telling you it won’t last or it may not work? I find it odd, personally, that I can know so much “deep” stuff about him but not even his cell number. Do I wait for him? If so, what do I do when he pushes me away? Is it right not to meet yet? What do I do?
Hurt in Minneapolis
Dear Hurt: The sad truth is that if after eight months of intimate corresponding, your gentleman friend does not want to meet you—and doesn’t even want you to know his phone number—he simply isn’t ready to be in an intimate relationship with you.
Some people are too afraid of the exposure and vulnerability an intimate relationship requires. As soon as you become demanding of their time or of their heart, they’ll feel threatened and push away. This is no way to have a relationship. Find yourself someone who wants to be with you, who wants to know you and be known by you. Relationships are hard enough as they are. Don’t choose someone who’s skittish about being in a relationship. It’s too much work and not enough reward.