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Dear Debra
Dear Debra, Advice Columnist
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 1826
Experience:  I have been an Advice columnist for 14 years. My column is published weekly in local newpapers.
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The man Ive been dating for a year, who states he loves me,

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The man I've been dating for a year, who states he loves me, has a very dynamic career and travels a lot. I recently did a search for him on a popular website and found that there are a bunch of women all over the country around my age searching for him too. I believe these are women he's met in his travels. They have searched for his as recently as last week. Should I ask him about it? I have had difficulty trusting him because I have an instinct that he's got a large network of women 'friends'. I'm just afraid that I'm the head mare in the stable right now.

Sunday night, I called him and didn't hear back from him until Monday morning. It was strange because he said he was just watching the Oscars with this daughters. I really got upset and wouldn't talk to him on Monday. When I told him why, he was very upset.... he called, texted, I wouldn't answer. He persisted saying that he loves me. Then, I saw him last night and he said he fell asleep Sunday night and that I shouldn't go to 'that place'.... it's no way to build a foundation. I'm scared he's playing me and I don't know how to confirm it.

He spends a great deal of his very limited free time with me and has been very adamant about the relationship... I've tried to break it off many times and every time he comes back even stronger than before. I'm confused and don't know how to handle what I've uncovered. Should I just keep quiet? We all have friends and contacts, old flames, encounters.... What should I do?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Relationship
Expert:  Dear Debra replied 3 years ago.

The career he has is dynamic and he travels a lot. Because of this career he would be meeting a lot of people by traveling. Business associates in all the places he travels. He will be talking to women and men on these trips. If he says he fell asleep on Sunday I would trust that he is telling you the truth. He called you Monday and explained what happened. He says he loves you and you have said that if you try to break it off he comes back stronger. He cares and loves you if he is not willing to let you go so easy. I would like to talk about why you do not trust him, has he ever given you reasons not to trust him?

Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Not that I can confirm, other than the fact that he received a call from a another woman while we were out to dinner in January. I broke it off at 3:00am in the morning via text... He was standing at my front door at 5:29am like a puppy. Also, he NEVER leaves the ringer to his cell phone on. He's very cagy with it. I know there are other women pursuing him that probably don't want to let him go... And who can blame them. He's amazing. (so am I, by the way, or he wouldn't be with me I suspect). Anyway, I want this thing to move forward and I'm trying so hard to trust him... Which is what he says he wants too... To put all this unhealthy stuff behind us so we can build a strong foundation. I think I'm still bewildered as to why he wants me ( a single mother of two in the suburbs) when he can have whomever he wants. I know how that sounds... Like I don't think I'm worthy... I am and I know it. It's just that I feel this situation defies the statistics... Hes 43 and newly divorced with 2 kids of his own... I'm a single mother with my two kids and a lot of responsibility... My greatest hope is that even if he has not been faithful in the past, that once he decides to commit to a relationship, he will be faithful. He says he is....
Expert:  Dear Debra replied 3 years ago.

There is something I want you to look at, you said "Why would he want me?" Why wouldn't he want to be with you? That is something within yourself. You need to realize that he is with you. Love is love it is simple. Once you find love, you just can't help who you love. How you see yourself and how he sees you is different. You know he could be thinking the same thing, "Why does she want to be with me?" You need to have this self-confidence that you are this awesome amazing person and of course he wants to be with me because I am one of a kind, I am special. You have your own unique qualities that he loves about you. You doesn't want to lose you, by what you told me about him being at your door. He cares about you, there is no one else for him. Some one calling him when your out to dinner that could be a business call. You have to trust him and trust that this relationship will work. You need to trust him and not let these trust issue become a problem in the relationship. He is with you and wants to be with you because you are you. Ask him what he thinks about you, I bet he could tell you so many reason why you and him are together. Open your heart and trust. Love each other and enjoy each others company. You will begin to see that he loves you and you are what he wants in his life.

Dear Debra, Advice Columnist
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 1826
Experience: I have been an Advice columnist for 14 years. My column is published weekly in local newpapers.
Dear Debra and other Relationship Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
That's great and sound advice... It's true, you love who you love. But, let me give you a little history... He told me he was in love with me after 6 weeks of knowing me. He was truly head over heels and said so often. He often told me how he just 'knows' about these things and "you'll see, Catherine... It's gonna be great, I promise". He said this for three straight months, along with telling me how happy he was and how he told all the other women it was over. He didn't want to see anyone else or be with anyone else. After 3 months, things screetched to a halt and he put on the breaks. This happened one night as he was going to take me into a restaurant in his hometown, essentially 'outting' himself an the fact that we were an item. Before we walked in, he asked if we could go elsewhere. He was embarrassed an worried about my reaction, but I let him off the hook. It was a turning point because I think he had an aha moment and then things cooled off. We didn't see eachother less, but the dynamic changed and I couldn't process it and have mourned that time in our relationship ever since. In the interim, he has been with other women and I know this for a fact. Mainly during times when we were briefly apart, granted. Then, in November, I broke it off and went to Florida. I cut off all communication because it wS clear he had begun another relationship. Maybe it was easier because there was less of an emotional investment for him, but whatever. I was crushed and felt let down and disappointed in him. He called, left messages. He texted. I didn't reply to any of them. He left me voicemails telling me how much he missed me and 'us' and 'I dont know what to do or where to go'. Still I was quiet. Then, Thanksgiving morning, he sent a text wishing me a happy holiday, to which I still did not reply. I got on the road to go to my brother's in CT. There was no one on the road. I was driving on the hwy in the left lane deep in thought about him and our relationship. I quickly glanced to my right and who was driving along side me yelling at me to pull over? You guessed it. He later described the look on my face like. 'oh, no...'. But, I pulled over. He was beside himself and blurted out so many promises of what He wants for us.... Meeting his family&friends, the kids, the whole 9. I wasn't buying it... And then he kissed me roadside and it was all over. We've been working it out since then and I do believe there is a lot of lov between us. But, this may explain why I feel mistrusting of him and the relationship. He doesn't seem to want to address this or understand why I feel shaky about things. He just wants to press forward. I want to totally open mt heart and trust him even though I feel that if I do, I wont be able to breathe. I do love him and seeing him walk thru my door still takes my breath away... What do I do?
Expert:  Dear Debra replied 3 years ago.
Wow, this is such a romantic love story. This is so meant to be. I see what is going on with both of you if I could explain. You both seem scared because you love each other so much and your both afraid of being hurt. You have gone through some things, tough times, but you both realized you could work in out because there was nothing in this world worth losing each other. He fell in love with you fast, you sound like you both had an instant connection. You describe your love for him as he still takes your breath away. That can be kinda scary at times can't it, to love someone so much? But it's a good kind of fear. You need to open your heart up and start again. Move on from things that happened in the past. You need to reconnect your relationship by starting new. You need to trust that everything is going to work out. This is a very strong, committed relationship. Through ups and downs you get through them together and he never gave up and either did you. Look at today, you are both together and it is all because of just one day of seeing each other driving. That is such an amazing story. Work together like you both have always done and you will get through all these tough times coming out a stronger couple.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
That's very positive and uplifting. But, what about all of these women who are searching for him? They are just a fraction of the female 'friends' who are in his network. I had a pretty good intuition that he had women 'friends' locally and across the country, and it appears that I'm correct. Wouldn't this seem to indicate that he's a player? How can I ever trust going forward that he'd be able to stay faithful?

By th way, I think you're much better than the other advisors on this site.
Expert:  Dear Debra replied 3 years ago.

I don't think he is a player. I believe that he meets a lot of people not just women. How about we ask this question. How many men are in his network? He is someone that travels so he is going to have a lot of colleagues. After he comes home from traveling, he comes home to the woman he loves and that is you. Lets look at it this way, there is only one woman in his life and that is you. Some times people meet through work and maybe these women searching for him just wanted to know him because they liked him. But it doesn't mean there is anything going on. I believe this relationship has a strong connection. I want you to trust him and open your heart up to fully loving him. I don't want you to love with half of your heart I want you to love with all your heart.

Dear Debra, Advice Columnist
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 1826
Experience: I have been an Advice columnist for 14 years. My column is published weekly in local newpapers.
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Customer: replied 3 years ago.
What an exellent and beautiful answer. If I'm truly honest, I have not been loving him with my whole heart. Too scary. But he is guilty of the same. Where did all the love go from those first magical months? He's been so hot and cold, sometimes to the point that I call him Jekyll/Hyde. Ive asked him for more consistency... He's confounded by this... Says he doesn't understand. Then I tell him, "I want things to be the way they were". He doesn't have an answer for that. He just repeats, "Let's build a foundation and then built out the relationship and open it up". I guess after all the 'send offs' he's reluctant to move forward, but I'm looking for what we had in the beginning.
Expert:  Dear Debra replied 3 years ago.
Thank you for your positive comments. You had said you have not be loving him with your whole heart, you are too scared. When the relationship first started it was new exciting you both had all these feelings just over flowing. As the relationship moved forward, you both pulled back cause you both got scared of all the feelings you were both feeling. Some times feelings are so strong that they become overwhelming and confusing. You can either embrace them or be afraid and back away from them because of fear of getting your heart broken. But it is now time for both of you to stop holding back your feelings without fear. You need to not be afraid to express how you feel about one another. The hot and cold is opening up, getting scared, pulling back. A relationship can go from an overflowing love to, oh this is so real and I love this woman, I don't want to lose her, so you get afraid to express yourself afraid you will say the wrong thing. It's almost like being overly cautious about your feelings. But this is not what you want to do you. You want him to see you and how much you love him and he wants to show you how much he loves you, but is afraid that you will leave so he holds his feelings back. You need to reassure each other of how much you love each other and tell him you are ready to love him with all your heart.
Dear Debra, Advice Columnist
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 1826
Experience: I have been an Advice columnist for 14 years. My column is published weekly in local newpapers.
Dear Debra and other Relationship Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Reassurance... That's a good concept. He's been doing his best to reassure me for months... He's pretty tenacious too... He does not give up or relent. I guess I can admit that I haven't been as giving in that area. Some things I expect to come one way, and that's wrong. I will have to work on that. But I think it's a reaction to something that he told me in the very beginning. He said that he's been running from women for the last 2 1/2 years and now that he found me he doesn't want to run anymore. Well, I was thrilled to hear that he felt that way, but realistic about the fact that if he was a runner, at one point he would surely run from me too... And he did. However, I found out about 3 weeks ago that I have to have surgery. My GYN found a mass in what's left of my uterus. 10 years ago, I had a hysterectomy during an emergency c-section. My son was born 2 1/2 months premature at 3 lbs and I hemorrhaged and basically bled out. They did what they could to try to save my life and almost wound up losing me in the operating table. I was on life support for 3 days and it was touch and go. We were both very lucky and it was a miracle we survived. I having surgery tomorrow and he has been SO supportive. Even Monday, when I was not talking to him, he called and called leaving messages that he wanted to go through this with me. He came over last night, we spent a great night together. He's called me all day and will most likely come to see me tomorrow night. It's not typical of what I know of him, but he's been very attentive and super supportive. I know he's fiercely loyal to his inner circle. I hope to be among them soon.

Do you think my surgery will have a positive/bonding effect on us? I really think we should be further along with things at this point. It's been almost a year.
Expert:  Dear Debra replied 3 years ago.
The minute you told me about what he said about he has been running from women from the last 2 1/2 years and now he has found you and he doesn't want to run anymore. I can tell you right now, that he is so in love with you. That is a strong statement. It means that no one has ever made him feel this way, no one has ever made him feel like staying, no one has every made him want to plant his feet. You have gone through a tough time with child birth. I am so sorry that you had to experience that and now they have found a mass on what is left of your uterus. You are having surgery tomorrow. Stay positive about the surgery and I do believe that this will have a positive bonding effect on you both. Love is about going through not just the good times but also that times when you need each otherto lean on in your time of need. Love is not about leaving when the slightest problems arise. It's about sticking together to over come to create a strong bond, a strong love with one another. You said he has been very supportive and I feel that this will show you that he is loving you with all that he is. You described him as very attentive and super supportive that is someone who truly is thinking of you when you need him the most. He seems like he is just naturally caring and supportive to you, loves you so much. He is not holding his feelings back about how much he cares for you when you need him. Going through surgery and being there for you making sure your going to be ok and he will be there helping you tomorrow. This is someone I can see that loves you so much. This is such a support person you have in your life just from what you describe. You mentioned he has been trying to reassure you for months, he is making the effort to make sure that you are secure in this relationship, not you have to reassure him of your love for him. You are going through a lot right now and I want you to see the person who is standing beside you through it all. The man you love.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Wow... I don't want him to run and I've been on eggshells to some degree because I'm afraid of pushing him away. It's to such an extent at this point that I feel thwarted from freely showing my love for him and letting it flow naturally. I feel like I have to censor myself and it feels unnatural and frustrating. I tried to express this to him last weekend. He listened, seemed to respond, then he went to Chicago and went cold on me again. Incidentally, a woman from Chicago searched for him over this past weekend... Can you see why I'm concerned? He obviously gave her his contact info. She does not appear to be a colleague either...
Expert:  Dear Debra replied 3 years ago.
You need to express how you feel but what you are feeling, if you see him and you instantly think, "Oh, I love him." Tell him. If you are scared of opening up, tell him. Let him always know how you are feeling don't hold it in side. If you have an open communication with each other, your bond will become stronger because no one will be guessing how the other one feels. You don't want to feel like you are walking on egg shells and you don't want to push him away. You have said you feel like you censor yourself. Your holding back how you really feel and what is holding you back is trust. Your afraid to let yourself fall fully in love because you have this lingering question of other women. This issue needs to be addressed so that you can feel a sense of trust in this relationship. You tried to open to express yourself you said last weekend and he listened. But you mentioned he went to Chicago and went cold on you again. He probably got scared and pulled back a little bit. Ask him about Chicago, ask him if he met new people, how was work? Very basic question see how he answers. This will show you his honesty and trust.
Dear Debra, Advice Columnist
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 1826
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Customer: replied 3 years ago.
That's good advice. Easier said than done. I'm very confused and I don't know how to sort out my feelings. He clearly doesn't want to lose the relationship. I Had my surgery yesterday and he called before and after, then, after working all day, brought dinner up to me and stayed over. He seemed so happy to take care of me. While he's very caring and affectionate, there seems to be an element of what we had that is missing/gone. He very rarely kisses me anymore... Even during love-making. It's almost as if not kissing keeps a certain distance between us. I have not asked him about this because it will only put him on guard and make him uncomfortable. It seems as if our relationship is morphing from a very passionate romantic relationship into a supportive friendship, which is important too, but I'm afraid that his feelings may be changing and I may not be the object of his desire as I once was. I know relationships go thru phases and the friendship is the most important thing, but he still needs to lust after me if this is going to sustain. After how he's stuck by me this week, my feelings for him have obviously grown and I want to see him move forward and open this thing up already. Any thoughts?
Expert:  Dear Debra replied 3 years ago.
I hope that you are feeling well after your surgery and will recover quickly. He was very supportive of you going through this surgery and you even said he seemed happy to take care of you. That is because he felt needed. He was happy because he could help and take care of the one he loves. People go through many changes in a relationship. There are times where it feels like you are just friends to burst of love. This is stages of the relationship. You just had surgery so his main concern would be taking care of you making sure you are ok and that you are comfortable, that you are well taken care of. He would be thinking of getting you better. He is the type of man that will be there for you always even through tough times. Love rekindles fast, specially in times when someone feels needed. Let me try to explain it this way. You both are there for each other, loving each other and then you have surgery, so it gives him a chance to help you and for you to need him. He can be affectionate, caring, and he will feel good about being there for you. You mentioned about kissing, passion and romance can change in a day. There are some times things people say and do that you love that change things. Like think back to the first time he said he loved you. Things felt different they changed. This can happen again. You can't look at him rarely kissing you as the passion is gone from the relationship. You both have established different types of bonds. Like right now, he is helping you recover from surgery. Don't you feel like what a wonderful man for talking care of me like this. He is showing you a new love a caring love. This is a very caring an loving relationship.
Dear Debra, Advice Columnist
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 1826
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Customer: replied 3 years ago.
You're right. I think I get very anxious sometimes when I dont see things going in the direction of my own goals. I ultimately want to be settled and married again. Obviously, most adults don't think about achieving this the way I do. I think most people engage Ina relationship for what it brings to their life in the moment and if it is meant to grow into marriage, it will, but the goal is to find happiness and fulfillment in the relationship. My goal is always more for the security of the relationship. Funny, I did this in my last marriage and even tho I had the security, I was not necessarily happier. I want to be a couple at the very least and he seems to be holding this back. My thought is that I should do two things... 1. Make the moments we share together the happiest they can be without putting any pressure on us with expectations, and 2. Focus on myself, my career, my kids and my own independent future. I know this approach is most likely the most healthy and productive, but it scares me because it doesn't focus on what I want the most... The absolute love of my life. I so desire having that special love in my life and want to give it too. I felt that in the beginning, he and I truly had that and that connection seems to have gone and I really miss it. The good news is that he doesn't seem to be going anywhere and that he wants to be invested. How should I proceed? It's been a challenge, because I sometimes don't feel like I'm getting what I need from the relationship. I don't feel fulfilled at times because I need that loving connection, like I'm that special someone. Am I being too critical? Do I expect too much? Are these unreasonable needs?
Expert:  Dear Debra replied 3 years ago.
You said, it scares me because it doesn't focus on what I want most." Now why wouldn't you focus on the thing you want most? It's ok to be scared and your scared because it is something you want with all your heart, your afraid. Your hoping that if you distract yourself by what you want, you will not have all these overwhelming feelings of what you truly want. You have to be happy and go after what you truly want in life. You said you ultimately want to be settled and married again. But your goal is to find happiness and fulfillment in a relationship. I know what you mean. It's almost like you want someone to challenge you in life. Almost like some one that drives you to want to be the best in this life. I like you goals that you have mentioned. Making the moments the happiest without pressure. This is a very positive thing to do. Enjoy each other, enjoy everyday that you spend together. Taking things day by day and enjoying what you have right at this moment. You said you want to focus on your life. This is very important. You have to be happy and have goals for yourself. This is what fulfills our life. Loving your life that you created. That connection you talk about with in, it doesn't mean it's gone. Relationships go through changes. You could look into each others eyes tomorrow and every memory and moment could come rushing back. Don't look at what once was, look at hoe far you have both come and how much your love has taken you to where you are today. You said you don't feel fulfilled at times in the relationship. You are that special someone, because you are special within yourself. You have to look at the person you are, you said you love your life. You are looking for something in this relationship you feel is missing, but it doesn't mean it won't be found.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
I guess I look for too much immediate gratification. Are you saying to have patience? I feel like I've been in limbo for so long because I'm not where I want to be in life in terms of marriage. The years after divorce are so confusing and uncertain and I feel that God is forcing me to approach my life differently because I did it wrong the first time. Almost as if I go after what would make me happy in the 'now' instead if working toward what will make me happy and fulfilled for the long-term. It feels like a very scary sacrifice because just because you make the immediate sacrifice of having love in your life does not guarantee you will ever have it. It's not like other goals. If you work hard at your career, it usually pays off and you will succeed. Love is not that way. Should I just be grateful for what I have? I want more and want to be part of a bigger picture. I want to have a true partnership. Am I already working toward that with this man or am I totally reading this wrong and assigning more meaning to it than there is? I worry that he is with me for now because I am stabilizing for him at a tumultuous time in his life. I find it hard to accept that a man as successful as him would engage and invest in any relationship the way he has with me if he wasn't thinking in terms of forever. Do men think this way? I'm frustrated because I don't feel he is trying to make us a 'couple' and it's been almost a year.
Expert:  Dear Debra replied 3 years ago.
Being in love has many rewards. It the person you look to share your life with, build a future with, but you also have to look at the start of love and what you can have in the future. I think when you love someone the rest natural falls into place. Yes, there will be ups and downs, but love stay there in place growing. Relationships can happen over night, while others take time, but neither one is the wrong way. You are afraid to make that sacrifice for love. You had mentioned that you feel that God is forcing you to approach life differently. God is teaching you how to see life differently. You said you go after what will make you happy now. You should be happy now. Going after happiness time can have a long-term fulfillment and make you happy for the rest of your life. You seem to be afraid of the unknown. You feel that working towards goal that are guarantee is more stable then taking the risk of something your afraid will fail. This is still that fear that your questioning what if this doesn't work out and I wasted all this time? Don't think like that enjoy the moment with someone you love right now. Life changes quickly that's why you need to love each moment in life with the person and people you love. You asked about men thinking a certain way on that topic. Yes, men think long-term as well. They think of getting married settling down. You asked should you be grateful for what you have, absolutely. You are happy with your life, you are working towards goals. Enjoy all the success. It's been a year you feel he is not trying to make you a couple. He might be someone that takes his time. Be patient and let your love continue to grow.
Dear Debra, Advice Columnist
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 1826
Experience: I have been an Advice columnist for 14 years. My column is published weekly in local newpapers.
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Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Hi! I'd like your insight on something. There are sure signs that a man is serious about a relationship. The most important are that he introduces you to friends and family and makes you a part of other areas of his life,such as work. It's been a year almost and he hasn't done this really. Could it be because of his divorce, or is he stringing me along? I feel hidden.
Expert:  Dear Debra replied 3 years ago.
You had said there are sure signs that a man is serious about a relationship and you feel the most important is introducing you to friends and family, makes you apart of his life. I want you to look at this a whole new way. Men are all different. If you look at people, they are raised different, they go through different things in life. He might be a person that wants a one on one relationship and doesn't want to take any time away from each other. He might just like to spend his time with just you, so he can have that special time together. How are you feeling after your surgery are you recovering fast? Did the surgery create a better bond between you both?
Dear Debra, Advice Columnist
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 1826
Experience: I have been an Advice columnist for 14 years. My column is published weekly in local newpapers.
Dear Debra and other Relationship Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
I'm feeling great! My results were all negative and all is back to normal. Thanks so much for asking. He was in his office in the city until 7pm that night but still stopped off at a great restaurant to pick up dinner for me. He brought it up to my house and actually served it to me in my own kitchen. It really made me feel special. He was great. We spent the whole weekend together also because he had to fly to London Tues for business. We had a lot of fun, but also had some serious talks about our respective experiences with divorce and the pain it caused us both. I think it brought us closer, so that was good. He was in London Wednesday and flew off to Switzerland last night to visit a dear friend and do some skiing. He's been calling and texting alot and expressing that he misses me and that he wishes I were there... DUH! When he called tonight it was clear he had had a few pints of beer and he gave the phone to his friend, David. David then told me that all he's been talking about since he got there was me. It's clear he is really missing me. That's good! And, he's mumbling about taking me to the Cayman islands when he gets back... WINNING!!! Anyway, all of that is great, but not what matters to me most. My hope is that we find a way to build a life together, with our kids. However, its been a year and I haven't met one of his family members... And he's got 3 brothers and a sister who are all relatively local... His mom too... Just trying to get a good read on this because he should be wanting to bond/couple with me more than he is by now. It sometimes makes me feel like he hasn't done this because he's not sure about me and that's not a good feeling. After a year, you should know if a person is the 'one'. Its confusing to see how he feels for me at times, then watch him keep me at arms length. ??? What's he doing???
Expert:  Dear Debra replied 3 years ago.
Your relationship is exactly where it is suppose to be right now. Your connection with each other has got much stronger. I am so glad to here you are ok after surgery and everything came back normal. That was very romantic bringing you dinner and now he is calling and texting how much he misses you. His true feelings are coming out for you. You both had serious conversations about divorce which you feel has brought you closer together, this is good opening up to each other. Your concern is that you haven't met his family. There could be many reason for this. I'm going to throw something out there for you to think about. He could be embarrassed for you to meet his family thinking they might say the wrong thing or he might be nervous after you meet his family that you won't want to be with him. He also might not want to share you with his family because he likes you all to himself. I think he loves you so much that he doesn't want anything to interfere with your relationship. He could have a major fear of losing you. He is planning a life with you he is talking about plans about taking you to the Cayman island. That would be such a great trip for you both to really connect, it would be such a great setting. You never really know how families get along. He could be really concerned about you meeting his family. That can make someone really nervous to meet the parents. I really think he is worried. You are both at the right stage and are doing amazing. Your opening up to each other creating a stronger bond things are going perfectly.
Dear Debra, Advice Columnist
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 1826
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Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hey, Debra,

 

 

So the confusion continues.... Since we last spoke, everything seemed on the upswing. While he's been away he's been very warm and demonstrative. Phone calls, text messages, etc. all very positive. Then, yesterday, it seems like it all changed...AGAIN! I'm afraid that since he's traveling home today and knows he'll have to deliver on the sentiments and plans he put forth while he was away, that he's going to do the pull-back again. Yesterday morning, he called and said that he was really looking forward to seeing me when he gets home... good. Then, I texted him that I 'can't wait'. Then, never heard from him again. So, I popped off another text saying, 'counting down... miss you'. Nothing. This is not typical for me as I don't usually reach out to him like this, but I figured that since he seemed to be in a better place I should reciprocate. Then yesterday evening I get this text from him, "Yo Lay Hi Hoooo". ????? I answered, ' are you hammered and having a good time?', Nothing. Then I left him a vm saying I just wanted to say hi and hoped he was having fun. Then, he called before I went to bed and the conversation was very benign... He said he went for Thai food with his friends and had some MaiTai's. I get the feeling he was partying with women. I could be wrong, but he's done it before. Now I'm confused again and bracing myself for disappointment when he gets home. The last few days he was missing me so much, planning trips with me and I was 'Sweetie", now I can feel the total Peter pull-back coming and I know I will be crushed....again. I love this man... He continues to promise a future together. He can't be permitted to play ping-pong with my hopes and feelings. I'm scared now....

Expert:  Dear Debra replied 3 years ago.
You know he seems like he likes to pursue you and the minute you start to like pursue him, he pulls back. It's almost like he likes the challenge of you backing off. He must get nervous that your not interested and pulling away, so he gets worried and is very affectionate. Once you said counting down the days miss you, he feel comfortable that he brought you back into loving him with your whole heart and not getting scared. But him pulling away would make you nervous. But I now see a pattern. He likes the challenge that you give him. Your a confident woman who I bet he feels doesn't need him, so he gets insecure when you back off, so he is extremely sweet affectionate to get you back to loving him and missing him. I have to wonder if he might have not of got your texts messages. That can happen special since he is in Switzerland. You just never know. But he called you. You know he might be nervous about coming back from his trip because it's like a build up anticipation to see you. He really missed you, so he has this image about how things will be. You know how you imagine coming home to the one you love and the build up to it, you hope is not disappointing. But it's not going to be. You both missed each other so much, it will be so nice when he comes back home. It will be a bond between you both. Even though he was not at home, you still both shared a lot of great moments through texts, phone conversations. The time apart on his trip you were able to see how much he loved and cared about you because he was very expressive. Now he will come home, but don't think it's going to be disappointing. You don't want to be worried about that. You want to stay positive like it's going to be the best moment when you see each other. You will both see the love in each others eyes for one another.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
I'm afraid to open my heart to him because every time I do, he pulls this stuff. He told me in the very beginning that he's a 'runner', that he'd been running from women since his split with his ex. I don't show my whole heart to him because I'm sure it will scare him off. However, his need to pursue me is right. You are right about that... it's a pattern. Every time he feels like he's going to lose me, he turns it on BIG TIME. This is a dance/game that is done in the beginning of relationships, I understand that. But when does it end? When can you just open up and be yourself? I just want to love and be loved, and that's it. He seems to be having problems with allowing himself to open up. I see glimpses of it, like this week while he was away, and then it disappears. I have told him many times that I need more consistency and that he is sometimes like Jekyll and Hyde. It's confusing, scary and hurful...
Expert:  Dear Debra replied 3 years ago.
He needs to work through his feels and talk about them. People can change and let their heart open up. But when they do they can become really scared. It's opening their heart to be vulnerable which isn't easy for everyone. But you have to take the risk in love to love and be loved. You want to create a love where you both express yourself to each other without getting scared and pulling away. You want to just love. You need to both talk about how wonderful both your lives would be if you were both not afraid to open up. You both have to trust in your love for each other. You need to reassure each other that you are not going to hurt each other. That you both love each other so much you both want to be together. He said he is a runner, but I see him staying. He loves you so much it scares him. Not a little a lot. Can you image him with all these feelings and thoughts for you that he has never felt before. He is overwhelmed by his feelings, so he gets scared and backs off to sort out his feelings. But I can tell he isn't pulling away cause he doesn't care, he is pulling away because he cares about you a lot and needs to try to control all his feelings.
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Customer: replied 3 years ago.
You're right. What I learned from that conversation with him and his friend, David the other night was A LOT. They were drunk and I got a lot of information that Peter has not allowed himself to show. At that point, I knew that his behavior was because he is scared to open up, but this is very frustrating and scary for me. It is such a mind-f*ck when someone you love expresses deep love for you and then goes cold. I don't know about you, but I'm not a light switch and can't just be flicked on and off. How do I handle this situation when we connect tonight? I'm already feeling insecure about what's coming.
Expert:  Dear Debra replied 3 years ago.
It's all about trust. I would describe it this way. You have to trust that the person you give your heart to will take the best care of it. But you have to trust that they will. You both love each other and I want you to be yourself and what ever you are feeling at that moment with him, tell him, be expressive. Let him know how you feel. Once he is comfortable with you expressing yourself he will open up to you. Just let yourself love him the way you want to. Don't put up your guard and don't think of your emotions as a light switch. Keep the switch on and love him just like you want to. Then he will do that same
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Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Okay, I will... I'll let you know what happens.
Expert:  Dear Debra replied 3 years ago.

I was just thinking there has to be something that would make him open up and drop his walls. We know he reacts to you pulling away and he quickly opens up cause he doesn't want to lose you. But there has to be another way to get him to express himself without feeling like your leaving. He needs to be reassured that you are not leaving and that you want to be able to express yourself without him pulling away.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

True... But I have yet to figure out what this is. When you come up with an idea, let me know. lol.

 

He has to come to this on his own. I think what did it last weekend was that I listened to him talk about his frustrations and hurt relating to his divorce and separation from his children. I then opened up and related some of what I felt about the same issues. He said he really enjoyed taking to me and that he was glad he was with me. The next morning he didn't want to leave... he knew he wasn't going to see me for a week. 10 min later, He texted me an I love you, then called and said he missed me already. I thought, FINALLY.... maybe we're getting somewhere....Then all the texts and sentiments while he was away made me feel like it was legit. My belief is that every time he feels like I'm going to have expectations of the relationship, he bakcs off. He once told me that it was so mice to be in a relationship with me because there were no 'forced expectations'. This is total guy BS. After a year of dating and being in a relationship, who wouldn't have expectations? I think he's stringing me along sometimes because he will keep things this way as long as possible so he doesn't have to make good on all of his words and promises.

 

If he pulls this pull-back tonight it's going to be a huge challenge not to become totally discouraged and try to handle it in a new and different way.

Expert:  Dear Debra replied 3 years ago.
I don't feel that he is stringing you along at all, this is just his emotions that come out that he does not handle correctly. I see something. He feels closer to you when he opens up. He trusted you with his feelings about his divorce and it was successful because it brought you both closer. Because of his divorce he might wonder what if this relationship doesn't work out and my heart gets broken. He has fear of getting attached to someone he loves so much because he has been hurt before. But he needs to know that it is time for him to just let his heart go and learn to love again, because you love. Your not going to hurt each other if you just love one another. You both need to drop those walls you build. If you are constantly loving him the way you want and he still pulld away. Don't stop letting your feelings out. If you think at that moment I love you, say it. If you want to hold his hand. Hold his hand. He will learn to trust and learn that you are going to love him no matter what even if he pushes you away. He needs to face his fears.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

You're right. He landed at 3:41 and called me at 4:19 and said he wants to see my face. Maybe he was just tired yesterday. From the tone of the phone call it didn't seem as if he was backing off.

 

I will try and do what you suggest. It's hard... we've both been burned and betrayed by the people who were supposed to love us the most.... It's terrifying to put yourself out there again.

 

Thank you for listening and all your great advice....

Expert:  Dear Debra replied 3 years ago.
You have a great night. Remember just because you have both been burned and betrayed by other people, it doesn't mean it will happen again. Put yourself out there and just love.
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