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awkward relationship
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intensive
Guest
Oct 28, 2006
2:14 PM
Dear Cynthia,

I have been seeing this lovely gut for the past 4 months. During this time i moved abroad for work reasons. When I informed him of this he became distant so I confronted him about whether he wanted to keep the contact up or end things. He agreed to make an effort while i was away, that we would ring each other randomly, text each other and see each other approx 4-6 weeks. He does not want a serious relationship and hence i feel that he has somewhat emotionally removed himself from what's going on. Because of this things are awkward between us, I'm nervous and part of me sometimes wnat to end things but i don't because i feel I have met a really genuine guy who has been honest with me and treats me with respect. i also have rushed things with guys and this has never worked out so I'm just thinking should i give things a chance and see how they work out or am i wasting my time. I have been away a month now and the contact is quite regular. This sounds silly but I sometimes dread and look forward to hearing from him on the phone because of this awkwardness. I suppose to be honest we have never clicked. I have been with guys eho i clicked with but treated me with little or no respect whereas this guy has not let me down and is consioderate of my feelings. he is a really good guy and i really like him. he has informed me that he likes me too. I am confused and don't know what to do?

kind regards,
Intensive
Cynthia
113 posts
Oct 31, 2006
6:46 AM
Intensive,

Wow, that's a hard one! I have a few questions. Have you moved permanently? How long do you have together every 4-6 months? What do you mean when you say you "never clicked?" Do you/could you communicate with a camera on your computers? What does he mean when he says he doesn't want a serious relationship? What do you want from a relationship?

Having a long distance relationship without having ever had a couple of years together to get to know each other, and without any hope for that in the near future sounds almost impossible to me. I think it would feel awkward for anyone. Tell me the answers to my questions, and I'll look for ways you could get what you want.

Warmly,

Cynthia

Last Edited by Cynthia on Oct 31, 2006 6:48 AM
Akward relationship
Guest
Nov 05, 2006
4:00 AM
Hi Cynthia,

Many thanks for your reply. The answers to your questions is:

No I have not moved permanently, it is for 11 months work experience.

We shall be meeting every 4-6 weeks as the country I have moved to is a short flight away. I would be visiting for a weekend and would stay the night with him.

I believe we have never clicked regarding times when there can be silenec between us and we have nothing to say. Somtimes this silence can be comfortable and other times it can be uncomfortable (oh my god what do i say next sort of thing)

We communicate by phone twice a week and via text messages.

Serious relationship part I'm not so sure about?? From what I understand I think he doesn't want the emotional baggage or the committment that comes with a relationship.

I want to be with him but I want him to be there a little emotionally for me and tell me he misses me and looks forward to seeing me. I want him to plan liilte things when i do visi and for him tonmake more of an effort because at the minute I truly believe his heart is half in this.

Your advice would be appreciated.

Regards,
intensive
Cynthia
117 posts
Nov 05, 2006
11:46 PM
Well, it doesn't sound like he's offering what you want. He doesn't want to get too emotionally involved and you want his heart to be really in it. You want him to think about what you want and need, and tell you he misses you, and he apparently doesn't. You want conversation to be easy and fun and natural, but it's not. None of this is too much to ask from a relationship, but he probably just doesn't have it to offer you.

It's possible all of this could develop, but I think the most common mistake people make in choosing relationships is choosing someone based on what they will be like after they change. Usually people don't change the way their partners want them to, and inevitably this ends in disappointment, hurt, anger, and break-up.

You deserve to have all the things you named, and there are guys who will be able to give them to you easily. Why not keep looking until you find one?

Warmly,

Cynthia
awkward relationship
Guest
Nov 08, 2006
1:51 PM
Hi Cynthia,

During this time since I e-mailed you myself and this guy have talked a little over the phone and i may be beginning to understand a little about him.

Although this guy has everything, looks, career and wealth he actually informed me that he hasn't ever been in a serious relationship which I could not believe. He is a very private but extremely shy guy which has made it so difficult for him to form relationships with women. I did think at this stage might he be gay but no that's defineltly not the case. He has said that he's not the guy who will say something to me about feelings unless he genuinely means it which I do believe shows his sincerity. I was at a very low ebb recently (my tenants were not paying their rent ontime
and I thought I might lose my house) he rang and listened and gave me his support and advice. He even offered to make the 3 hour journey every month to watch over my house and collect the rent from my tenants who have been unreliable up to this and I know that he would do it as he has never let me down (this made me wonder would a guy put himself out like this if he didn't have some regard for me). He even asked when I would be home next. He's even ringing me more. To me these are little positive signs which tells me that this guy has a good heart and I want to give things a try with him. I have always been impatient and never given things a chance. I have taken your advice on board and will decide that if things after few months have not progressed any further I will end it but for the moment I want to give things a chance.

Thanks again for your advice.

regards,
Intensive
Cynthia
118 posts
Nov 10, 2006
8:52 AM
Intensive,

Well, that's wonderful! He does sound like a gem, and it sounds like it was and continues to be the right thing for you to get to know him better, and give him a chance. I hope it turns out to be well worth your patience. Let us know, if you want to, how it's going now and then.

Warmly,

Cynthia
awkward relationship
Guest
Nov 20, 2006
4:10 AM
Hi Cynthia,

Just informing you how things are the moment with myself and this guy i have been seeing for the past four months. I met with him this weeweknd just gone and we ddid have a lovely time. He was attentive and loving and we got on so well that we both realy enjoyed our time together however some things have come to light which is worrying me a little. He informed me that he feels very awkward in social surroundings and sometimes he has to take a drink or two to help him relax. When he was talking to me like this he had, had 2 glasses of wine over dinner. He told me of his difficuties with his dad and that their relationship is quiet strained. He also informed me that he is a very private person who does not let people in very easily refarding how he feels etc. I asked him if he would ever let me in and he said that he would only allow me in very little. Later on during the night he informed me that he loved me. I got annoyed with him for saying this and he said it was a slip of the tongue but that he did care for me. I was very weiry of this as he was a little merry at this stage but appeared very lucid in what he was saying. I told him that I cared for him also which I sincerely do. The following day when we were both very clear on what we were saying he told me that he liked me but didn't expand anymore on this. He told me that he considered himself to be involved with someone but that didn't have a girlfriend because it was unfair as we didn't have enough of a solid base to be look at things like this and espeially since we only see each other every 5-6 weeks. I was disappointed with his response but to be honest I do believe he is been truthful as we don't have that history to build on something, maybe we are going through a period very slowly I have to add of just getting to know one another. I informed him that I would be home in a few weeks if he wanted to see me and he stated that he was helping his dad out and that he ould be too tired to meet up. Again I thought "hey you are clearly saying how much priority I am to you". I nagged him about it and he said he would see what he could do. I mentioned to him that I would like to spend a day or so with him and if a weekend away was possible. He said yes and that he would plan some time for us at Christmas. I am so mixed up regarding what he has said that i don't know if he actually mean't going away at Christmas. All I know is that sometimes when a person is a little drunk the truth comes out becuase it is too hard to say how they actually feel when they are sober but then it could be the opposite. he has a habit of putting down when i talk to him about my feelings for him by saying I'm emotional which i find hurtful. What do you think?
awkward relationship
Guest
Nov 21, 2006
1:24 PM
Hi Cynthia,

I have reflected hard on what I wrote to you recently and what you have written to me about the impossiblity of a long distance relationship working without having any foundation to begin with and you are so right. It can happen but the changes are that it might not either. I have been so impatient with this guy and wanting anwers like I want a commitment, does he care for me and the fact is he doen't even know me so how on earth can I expect something like that from him. I'm sure it is even difficult when a couple are together for a while for someone to say that. I get so worked up, angry with the guy and over analyse everything, that no wonder relationships with men do not work out for me. I got annoyed with this guy and he's still sticking around, he's still ringing. The weekend that I am at home and he not been around to see me is regarding a job he is doing for his dad witch to be fair to him he told me about approx 1 month ago. This is not something that has not been made up. My confidence in relationships has been destroyed and I bring it with me every time. Two members of my family who i genuinely trust has told me to take a chill pill, look at the good things with this guy,(he told me the weekend that he has never been in love with anyone because he finds it difficult to trust) which I did and they outweigh by a longshot the negatives that this guy has. They told me that why do you have to meet him every time you are at home, meet with your friends and let this progress naturally, if it is mean't to be it will happen. I hope I'm not coming across and making excuses for this guy because I'm not. I don't believe this guy is a saint or anything because he's far from it. When asked about spending sometime at Christmas he said he would. I will give things a chance because today I was so angry with myself and him that I felt like ringing him and telling him it was all over. i think that a huge part of this difficlty with relatlionships is my total insecurity, anxiousness and lack of trust. I know that if I don't get these feelings under control I will never meet anyone and I do believe I deserve happiness this like everyone does.

Regards
Cynthia
120 posts
Nov 29, 2006
2:09 PM
Intensive,

I'm sorry I haven't gotten back to you; I've been away for the holiday. You certainly have put a great deal of thought into this yourself, though, and that's very valuable.

To me, there are serious red flags here, but these are concerns to watch for, not necessarily anything that will doom your relationship--it's hard to tell at this point. But if he has never been in love with anyone because he has "trust" issues, you have to assume that "trust" and getting close and feeling and expressing and tolerating love are going to be challenges for him. Challenges can inspire change, but more often people go back to their comfort zone.

It's true that if you have no fears or timeline around how this relationship works out (like aren't in a hurry to marry so you can have babies before it's too late, for example), you can just take this step by step and see how it goes. You could enjoy what there is to enjoy and get out later if it doesn't work out.

On the other hand, that would be a challenge for you. You seem to need security, committment, reassurance about the future, and it looks like you won't get this at this point. If you don't want to be involved with someone who can't get emotionally intimate, then the odds appear to be against you with him.

At the same time, it sounds like some distance or pulling away attracts you, and if that's true, your challenge is to resolve your need for someone to be hard to reach, but at the same time able to be close and committed.

I think it would help if you thought/talked/wrote about what exactly you want in a relationship--in as much detail as you can. That will help in determining if this guy is worth pursuing or not.

Is that something that sounds useful and do-able to you?

Warmly,

Cynthia

Last Edited by on Nov 29, 2006 2:11 PM
York
3 posts
Dec 08, 2006
11:34 AM
Hi Cynthia,

I have to be very honest and say that I am miserable at the minute because I do not know where I stand with M. I realise it is very hard for him because we only see each other every few weeks but he is so cold and distant and privately I am so worried. I could never tell him this because it would be seen as been needy and desperate which I do not want. Since I returned from home 2 weeks ago and saw him I have initiated all the contact. I have left it now for 7 days and no word from not even a text message and that may well be telling me something. I just wish he would care and tell me or finish it then I might be a little clearer and could move on. If I don't hear from him within the next few days then I know my answer, I won't be contacting him again. I would like to buy him a present but I just think I will be seeing him this Christmas to give it because he won't want to see me. You are right I would like the security of a relationship which I do beleive I deserve but it just may not be with him and I think I am resolved to this but why do i feel so sad about this and he has been the best person (he has such good qualities) that i have met insuch a longtime and that is why I wanted to give us a try. I wanted to continue and pretend but I can't do this any longer and will no my answer in a few days if I do not hear from him. Thank you again.
Cynthia
125 posts
Dec 09, 2006
1:17 PM
Intensive,

That does sound very painful. You are right; you do deserve a secure relationship, and there are plenty of men who can provide consistent love and devotion. It might be worth asking yourself if there is something attractive to you about a man who is distancing. Many of us associate "hard-to-get" with attractiveness. With enough work on it, we can modify that to find something more sustaining attractive. If not being truly present attracts you and also tortures you because you also need consistent signs of connection, this is a very painful combination of needs. It can also prevent you from finding the guys who can be consistently loving and availble, because they would not seem attractive or exciting. Does any of this sound like what you are experiencing?

Warmly,

Cynthia

Last Edited by on Dec 09, 2006 1:24 PM
apyrexil
Guest
Jan 01, 2007
12:19 PM
Hi Cynthia,

My questions were answered over the holidays. In truth he has lost interest. He does not think of me much anymore. He cares but does not care enough to give things ago because I am not fun, we can't communicate and he basically cannot be bothered to get to know me and he never saw me in a relationship in the short trem never mind the long term. I found all this out after a very hurtful text message because I did not have my phone with me and discussing this face to face. Now I can move on to a brighter 2007! Happy new year.
intensive
Guest
Jan 01, 2007
12:21 PM
Sorry Cynthia I logged on with the wrong name.

Intensive
Cynthia
130 posts
Jan 02, 2007
9:21 AM
Intensive,

I wish you a good new year too, and hope that it brings love that is fully present and satisfying to you!

Cynthia
rebecca
Guest
Jan 11, 2007
1:28 PM
i don't know if we can post responses. was reading and scanning through intensives posts and I feel terrible for her. Just want to say that I'm sure you're fun! And he must just not know you well enough. Forget that guy and spend some time with your girlfriends to remember how wonderful you are and how we all have hard times in a life where we can't control every outcome.
intensive
Guest
Jan 13, 2007
2:19 PM
Hi Cynthia,

I am back again as myself and himself are in touch after all that. He rang me practically everyday since my last e-mail to you. He even was making an effort to find out little things about me which was nice but I thought why now? Anyway his pet died and he rang me to let me know. He was gutted about the dog and I really felt for him. Anyway 2 weeks have passed and we are still in touch. We talked last night like we had never talked before and it was lovely. He even agreed himself, however it was because he was very down. It turns out he has been down for the past while which I didn't know about because he never said. I asked him if he wanted to say in touch (probably really stupid after what he said)and he never answered because we got talking about other things. He asked me if I was returning home this wkd and I told him I was so that he could meet me (not sure if it was to break up with me or what)but I had alternative plans mad eand could not chnge them. I was going for the wkd and he stated that he would give me a lift to my destination as he was heading in the same direction, however I said no because I already had transport arranged. He said that he will ring me over the wkd and i said fine (agian probably very stupid idea. Some of my friends have said give the guy time and let him get to know the real funny you which he does not know about and others have said to be careful with this guy because he is using you as an emotional pillow to dump his own worries on. I have been told that I am a very good listener and am always someone who puts others first and not myself hence i can be a walkover! Could you please advise Cynthia and my apologies to be so annoyong about this again.
Cynthia
134 posts
Jan 17, 2007
10:00 AM
Intensive,

Getting close during a time when one person is depressed and the other is caretaking (listening, focusing on his needs, etc) probably doesn't give you any information about how the relationship will be when he isn't depressed. It seems as if you have very little experience with each of you giving and taking equally. It is still possible that there could be a relationship here that is satisfying to both of you, but you won't know until he isn't depressed and you aren't caretaking him. Is it possible that you think you can only be valued by a man if he needs you to take care of him? If so, then you are entering relationships with the belief that you have no value other than as a caretaker, and that causes all kinds of problems for the person who believes and for relationships. Many women do this; it is not uncommon, but it does cause resentments and hurts people and relationships over time. In any case, it keeps being in question whether or not this guy values you. Why not find a man who clearly shows he values you?

Cynthia
intensive
Guest
Jan 18, 2007
10:10 AM
Hi Cynthia,

I have thought about what you wrote and hsi actions towards me. He has been consistently ringing me and wanting to discuss things and we spoke. He said that he was no longer interested and that he wuld ring again tonight to discuss further, however the thought of him ringing me just made my stomach sink when I'd wake up in the morning. What an awful thing to feel and say but it was the truth so i sent him a text ending things for good. He replied and said that he was dealing emotional issues at the minute and was very down about things in general. He told me that he was genuinely very sorry for hurting me but that things could no longer continue the way they were. He told me that maybe in time when the hurt has somewhat passed if we could meet again as a friends only and that although he could not be there emotionally, he would always be my friend and would never let me down which I know to be true of him. I'm reading what i am writing now and I just think it's sad but at the same time so relieved that it is finally over.
Just to say a sincere thank you Cynthia for your help and advice over this issue.


Regards,
intensive
EileenT
1 post
Sep 08, 2009
4:06 PM
Dear Cynthia,
I've had this wonderful man in my life for over a year now. A. is the first person I've ever really loved on a deep spiritual level. We are both accomplished musicians, composers, bibliophiles, dreamers, travelers. I love being with him, he cares about me, asked if he could help me move, we talk on the phone for hours- he surprises and delights me, treats me with respect and honor. Feel uplifted, inspired and grateful every time I see him. He is also about forty years older than I...
I have a very negative relationship with my extremely critical mother who was verbally abusive. My father and I are close, but he never cared enough (or believed he had the power) to do anything about the abuse, though I asked him to help me many times- which created a sort of pall. I lived at home for three years with the purpose of improving relations with them, but to little avail.
Although A. is far and away the best influence and the most supportive person in my life right now, I'm considering breaking off all contact with him because I have so many fears about it- for one, all my friends and family were initially so knee-jerk critical, I've kept the relationship secret- which is very isolating. Two, he does not love me yet, but seems genuinely open to a real relationship... (but he's really scared to open up on some things, I'm worried I might have to wait forever.) Three, could this be a transference issue? We seem like intellectual, spiritual equals... but I don't know about this sort of thing.
I'm sorry if this is too much information- I'm so confused... any advice would be very much appreciated! Thanks so much, Eileen
Cynthia
233 posts
Sep 09, 2009
9:04 PM
Hi Eileen,

It sounds like your relationship with A is way too good to discard. So the problems you see, I think, are:

1. The age difference, which by itself is not a problem, though there could be problems that come of it, like if you want to have children, for example.

2. Your critical family and feeling isolated. Your family is going to be critical whether or not you're with A. Their critical behavior shouldn't influence who you choose to share your heart with.

3. Feeling isolated. You need that to change, but it can be changed without leaving A. You just have to find people who are not critical, and want to be loving friends with you.

4. Transference. If you mean are you with A because he reminds you of your father, that would be a good thing. We all pick people that remind us of people we grew up with and first loved. Of your two parents, it sounds like finding someone like your father would be much better for you than finding someone like your mother. The age difference doesn't necessarily mean there's any more transference than there is with any relationship. This is a good thing. This is how we try to work out anything we haven't resolved with our parents and siblings. Sometimes it doesn't work well, and people need therapy to help them get to the point of being able to have relationships that are healing and not just a repetition of hurtful family relationships. Other times we can heal a great deal in romantic relationships.

So let me know if I covered the issues you raised. Now one thing you said does concern me. If A doesn't love you after over a year, I would say that is a huge red flag. Would you say you are in love with him? I don't know what demons he's dealing with, but usually people are in love by this time, if they're going to be. Everybody is different, though, so what is true for others, may not be for him.

In any case, it sounds like you need to develop at least a close friend or two, so that A isn't your only close human connection in the world. I know that's easier said than done, but it would help you have perspective on your relationship with A, and support you through whatever happens.

Warmly,
Cynthia

Last Edited by on Sep 09, 2009 9:08 PM


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 Cynthia W. Lubow, MFT

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