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Dr. Olsen
Dr. Olsen, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 2336
Experience:  PsyD Psychologist
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I was recently in relationship with a woman (for 5 months)

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I was recently in relationship with a woman (for 5 months) and then she suddenly cut off all communication with me. It has been over a month now and I am still in emotional pain from the experience. What happened?
Thank you for writing in JustAnswer.
Let me ask you a few questions first.
When did you see her last time? What did you talk about?
Did she exhibit a sign of depression or mood swings before?
Is there a specific question I can assist you with?
Please let me know by clicking on “Reply” and I will then craft my response.
I look forward to hearing from you.
Warm Regards,
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
The last time we saw each other was March 26th. We talked about the fact that she was concerned about my hearing (I have an ear problem). She was concerned that I was not socializing (I was in the midst of a lot of work). She complained that my apartment was filled with boxes (I just moved). She had said that she had problems of her own and did not want to have to be worried about me. This was a complete change from the way things were for the past 5 months. She was very caring and supportive until the end of March. She initiated the relationship with me last October, and then asked me to move to Seattle. We knew each other in high school, and we have been in communication for the past 3 years, but on and off. Her approaching me and getting into a serious relationship was rather sudden, but it was exactly what I wanted, which makes me susceptible. We saw each other 3 and a half years ago, and after 3 great days, the 4th day she cut me to ribbons with words. Afterwards she threated to call the police if I stayed in contact with her. Months later she asked me to call her because she was on the verge of suicide. I helped her throught this and she was grateful. This time, our good times lasted 5 months, but the change was sudden and extreme. She cut off communication. I was concerned for her safety (she also lost a lucrative job at the same time - deliberately) so I called a friend of hers to see if he could see that she was OK. Her response was to threaten me with a restraining order, police action and legal action if I tried to contact her again. Her boss said she has acted this way before and he thinks she is bi-polar. This time he had to fire her for the last time.

I would like to reconnect with her, but I have no means to do so. I am in pain because she was a person that I deeply cared about - since we dated 36 years ago.
I am looking for advice as to how to deal with this. I have tried online dating, but it is probably too soon for me. I am also concerned that I might be obsessed with her. I am trying to think about her less every day.

For 3 years, I managed to remain independent of her. I was unprepared for her to start the relationship up again... and then reject me in such a painful way.

So my questions are - what is the likely reason for her behavior? My second question is - am I obsessed with her, and how can I release that obsession? I am looking for what is best for both of us at this point. (At one point it seemed she really needed my love and support). I am completely alone here in Seatle. My mother and my kids and sister all live in the bay area. However, I am not prepared to move.

Hi there,
Thank you for your reply.
It sounds like your friend exhibits mood swings and erratic behavior at times. You've known her for many years since high school. You've dated her before. You really care about her. She's come to you and sought a relationship with you five months ago. Then she's withdrawn and rejected you all of sudden again. She's threatened to take a restraining order against you.
She may have Bipolar disorder and Borderline personality disorder (BPD) features as she exhibited this erratic and emotional behavior towards her boss as well.
Perhaps, she may have problems with intimacy and relationships in general.
If you let her go now, she may come back to you again.
I can see you are worried about her. Your obsession with her may have a lot to do with her volatile behavior.
Yes, she may need help and support from a psychologist/counselor and her close friend like you.
She may be depressed now.
To note, it's very difficult and stressful to have a relationship with someone with Bipolar disorder or BPD as their mood and behavior are unpredictable, explosive and/or erratic.
You may have to ask yourself if you can be patient with her behavior.
The book Loving Someone with Bipolar Disorder by
Fast & Preston may be helpful for you to read if you CHOOSE to pursue a relationship with her OR reconnect with her in the near future.
I hope you get support from a psychologist or counselor.
Please let me know if you have more questions or I have overlooked any. Warm regards,

Do you have a question?

Please let me know if you have more questions or I have overlooked any. Warm regards,
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Thank you for your response. You have given me some things to think about and to work on, such as the book. I also will look up BPD to see if there are similarities there. I am concerned about the fact that her psychiatrist (she is seeing one, and she is on medications - and there is a family history of mental problems with her mother)... her psychiatrist said that I was "obsessed". He did not know much about me, did not meet me. The circumstances were that she came to see me in Oakland (our high school reunion) and wanted to initiate intimacy with me, and I accepted this. Everything seemed very loving and mutual for the first few months. I am still wondering if I was obsessed if, prior to this, I stayed away from her for 3 years, and only communicated with her when she contacted me. I respected her independence and did not believe a relationship was possible, because of her previous outburst. There was a lot of affectionate communication between us since we started having intimacy again. Once she started to pull away, she saw how I was emotionally affected by her indifference (I think it is normal to be hurt when someone you love stops communicating with you).... correct? This really made her angry and she accused me of being "needy". These words I very much dislike because I feel that I am unusually capable of being devoted to one woman. If the way I love is "needy" then everything I understand about love is wrong.
So, I guess my question is, who is correct here? I don't believe you can have a close and intimate relationship without being affectionate and emotionally attached to that person. Yet, it seems the message is "disconnect, be distant, pretend to be disinterested". These seem to me like games. We both told each other we would be straight with each other and not play the games.
I subscribe to M. Scott Peck's definition of love as the willingness to extend oneself for the purpose of nurturing one's own or another's spiritual growth. I want what is best for her, because I love her. I am not communicating with her and I am trying to move on because perhaps that is the best I can do for her.
It is a complex question. How can I show love to a woman and not appear to be needy or obsessed? Am I? Thank your for your thoughtful response.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Relist: Incomplete answer.
I asked a follow up question, but the time had expired, I guess.
Hi there,
Thank you for your reply.
So, she works with her psychiatrist. So, she may be struggling with her mood swings and depression as she is on medications.
It sounds like she came to see you in the high school reunion.
She wanted to be close to you again. Then, she withdrew.
She even got angry at you for being "needy." Well, she may be emotionally troubled. She may be confused about intimacy, love and boundaries. Perhaps, she may have had a difficult childhood.
She wants intimacy and emotional closeness at times; then she gets anxious and threatened by them once she gets close to you and finds you want love from her. Your want and needs are natural - you love her and wanted to maintain closeness with her when you and she were in a relationship.
Again, she may be afraid of love and sustained relationship as she may be afraid of abandonment; that's why she always disconnects first before you leave her or something separates you and her... That may be her internal dynamics if she has BPD.

Please let me know if you have more questions or I have overlooked any. Warm regards,

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