I recently ended a relationship with a girl from Asia who’s been working here successfully for five years. There were warning signs from the beginning that she wasn’t right for me.
She lacked emotional attention and affection and was sometimes insensitive and dismissive. But she said she’d change for me because we both wanted a long-term committed relationship.
However, I discovered that she just did and said what I wanted, and covered up her base personality.
Eventually my gut feeling wouldn't let me be with her anymore, though I wanted to. I became anxious, unable to eat in front of her or get a good night sleep later at home.
After leaving her, I have a better appetite but I feel lonely, wanting to call her, thinking about her, and wondering why I’m still analyzing the relationship.
I want to know exactly why I feel this way and prevent it from happening in the future.
This hasn’t happened with other women.
- Need Advice
You ignored “early warning signs” and got hooked. Maybe the sex and chemistry was great, maybe the timing had you eager for her to be The One.
But a relationship based on her having to change for you, wasn’t healthy for either side. Certainly, your anxiety reactions weren’t acceptable for you. So breaking up was the right choice.
If your concern about it, and about future relationships persists, you’d benefit from talking to a professional counsellor. Going for a few sessions will provide the opportunity to analyze your own expectations of a serious relationship and how to recognize when personality differences are workable, or not.
Is an email thank-you from my niece for her 10th birthday gift, acceptable etiquette?
The relationship is what matters. The thank-you form doesn’t change its sincerity. I’d accept email, phone, or note.
-I'm re-connected with my college boyfriend from college; we have more in common at 63 and 66, than we did 44 years ago, and we’re building a deeply-bonded romantic relationship.
We recently spent two hours together at the airport when I was on my way to Florida to see my grandchildren, and we both want a permanent relationship.
Two problems: First, I live in California, where we grew up, and he’s been living/working in Chicago for 36 years. Second, he’s unwilling to end his three-year relationship with a Chicago woman until he’s positive ours will be permanent.
But I’m unwilling to go to the next level until he tells her about me and stops dating her.
So, do I compromise and let him have us both, or do I put our relationship on hold until he's truly available?
- "Wants All” in California
Go “on hold.” It’d be demeaning to accept being part of a relationship triangle that’s already had two sides connected for several years. Yours would be the weak side, due to distance, and the likely distrust that would ensue.
Right now, you both have a romantic dream of what could be… and it may happen one day. But one of you has to be willing to move, or both of you must commit to a regular schedule of visits as an exclusive couple. Otherwise, you’re just setting yourselves up for mutual jealousy and distrust.
Take some time to think this through. You can debate some of the issues through email, but I advise against getaway trips together unless you’re sure you can handle the emotional yo-yo of short-term passion with long waits in between.
I was recently in a one-year relationship, I felt closer to him than anyone before.
Then, he said he didn't like that my parents didn’t really approve of him, and it’d be best if we’re just friends. I said we could work around it, but we broke up.
He says he misses being together. If he still has feelings for me, why can't he work through this?
Maybe he's just trying to be nice in saying it wasn’t because of me.
- Stressed and Confused
Your parents’ disapproval was already harming your relationship, and working “around it” so far, simply hadn’t worked.
He acted wisely in not wanting you both to have to sneak around or lie to your parents. He’s a true friend who recognizes that you shouldn’t have to choose between them and him.
Accept his decision, and stop trying to second-guess him and end up making yourself feel insecure.
Tip of the day:
When a dating relationship creates persistent anxiety, explore the roots of your reactions.