I’m a banker, 31, who was dating a single mom whom I met at the bank. We fell in love.
We dated for three years until now, but I’m not sure if we broke up or not.
Everything went so well initially and when I helped her to move. She seemed very caring, loving and understanding. I was on the same page.
I’ve always showed the love she needed. But after those first six months she started telling me that she’s not giving enough of her time to her son because of me.
But I used to visit her only once a weekend and the rest of the days she was with her son.
Then, she changed - no loving gestures, hugs, kisses or talks.
I expressed my feelings and she told me that I deserve better, which made me feel like she’s trying to say that she’s not going to change.
She included that she’s not happy as a person, so she can’t keep me happy.
I feel this is an excuse. Now I feel very upset and depressed. It makes me believe that she used me.
She had me around to take her for shopping in my car and a lot of other stuff that I did for her convenience.
I feel cheated and keep thinking about why she did this, but can’t ask her because I know what she’ll respond.
Now we don’t talk to each other from days to weeks to months.
I don’t want to call her and make myself look weak, but I miss her a lot. If I call her she has nothing to offer but saying that she just wanted to give me my space.
She then makes it look like everything is fine and we talk about everything but each other.
How do I deal with this situation? It’s getting hard for me to accept and let her go. I’m unsure if she wants me to let go of her life, too.
I don’t want to call her and look like a fool when she cares about nothing but her son and her life.
Is It Over?
You’re both guilty of not saying the obvious: What started as a love affair has fizzled out in the face of some realities.
She is a single mom and it’s not unusual that her son and her “life” are her priorities, especially now in the stressful time of trying to survive during a pandemic.
You gave of your feelings and time thoughtfully and generously, which is how people respond to the early period of a love affair.
It’s natural that she accepted lifts in your car to take her for shopping, or help from you to move.
But, as commonly happens, the relationship was less intense after a while. She pulled back, you refused to accept it.
Then, the world you both live in has changed.
Now, everyone is required to stay home, and to avoid in-person contact with people who don’t live in the same home. She has to keep herself and her son as safe as possible.
She’s tried to put it kindly, by saying she’s giving you “space.” She blames herself for not being able to keep you happy.
Meanwhile, you brood and build up resentment rather than call her and be straightforward about an obviously changed situation. You’re not weak, she’s not cheating.
You both broke it up - her by pulling away, you by refusing to accept it.
No one owes another person their love.
FEEDBACK Regarding the mother, mid-70s, who resented her adult children insisting on getting groceries and enforcing stay-home rules for their parents (April 11):
Reader – “She doesn't grasp the seriousness of this pandemic. Those of us 70 and older are considered high- risk for the coronavirus.
“My family call regularly and ask if I'm ok. I'm pleased that they call.
“My kids live too far away to grocery shop for me so I must. It’s no joy standing in line-ups before being allowed to enter the store.
“Our governments have repeatedly asked us to stay home and not have family for Easter dinner.”
Ellie - Yes, her adult children and countless more are being appropriately protective of their parents.
From my column’s questions, it’s apparent that many active seniors were initially surprised to learn how vulnerable they are to deadly COVID-19.
The numbers of deaths among older people have made the sad point.
Tip of the day:
When a relationship’s over, it’s obvious. Accept it and move on.