Do I consider this to be over?
I have been dating a man my same age for 6 months. He came on very strong the first three months, called me 2-3 times a day was totally wonderful and won me over. We have several similar interests; experiences in common, and great chemistry. He has started a new career after not working for 2 years, and it takes a lot of his time. This I understand, however, he had blown me off for weeks when he started this job, which seemed uncharacteristic. We had gotten back on track, and even seemed closer, but he’s doing it again. We last spoke the day BEFORE my birthday, and not since. I sent two messages via phone that were not returned. That was more than 2 weeks ago. After dating for 6 months, with everything seemingly fine, how could someone NOT call on a birthday!? I know that he has been through counseling for 2 years (military trauma issues, as well as childhood issues). I am happy with my own life, and could date other people (even marry if I chose), but I have feelings invested in this! I don’t know if it’s totally a game, or personal issues, or really just his job. Do I consider this to be over? I don’t want games, and don’t want to be taken for granted anymore. Do I wait to see what happens when he calls and try to get through it? I want it to work, but I don’t want to be a doormat. I cant make it work if he wont love me back. What changed, if anything? Thanks for your help! Sincerely, Shellbomb,age 37
Dear Shellbomb: I can understand your concern and frustration over the inconsistent behavior that has been shown by the man you have been dating. He is definitely showing signs that he tends to withdraw which is one of the warning signs in a relationship. Here are some things for you to consider:
1. In my opinion, this behavior will only get worse over time not better. Don’t expect any change for the better in the long term. He is showing you who he is and this is probably the real person instead of what you experienced early on in the relationship. The early courtship time is usually the honeymoon stage and that can wear off quickly especially if it is not the persons real character.
2. It is wonderful that you have feelings and are willing to overlook some character flaws since we all have those. However, what is being shown here is more serious than you may want to believe. I think his behavior is a combination of personal issues and his new job. Past behaviors can be a good predictor of future behavior. He may still be hanging on to some past baggage that will continue to get in the way of creating a good relationship. Please read the following articles Unexpressed Feelings and Emotions , Love and Understanding and the Relationship Information page for more information that you may find helpful.
3. I would not recommend sitting around and waiting to see what happens. Go forward and continue to date others especially since you are happy with your own life. If you wait around and accept any excuse then you will be like a doormat which is what you don’t want overall.
4. Love is never enough to sustain a relationship. You need respect, trust, and someone you can depend on and once those are firmly in place then love grows from there.
You sound like an intelligent and sensitive woman that any man would be lucky to have in his life. Keep looking for the man that will really appreciate what you have to offer over the long haul. Check out our article on Who is Your Ideal Mate? They are out there so don’t settle for anything less. I wish you the best.
Please understand you have free will. This advice is given only in the realm of personal growth and self-help. This is not to be considered a substitute for therapy or professional counseling. We wish you well.