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Ask Dr. Keane Your Own Question

Dr. Keane
Dr. Keane, Counselor
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 1700
Experience:  PHD LPC
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I reconnected with a guy I went out with in highschool one

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I reconnected with a guy I went out with in highschool one year ago this month on Facebook. We emailed back and forth and then finally met up after about a month. We live 5 hours from each other. Every thing was great, we were seeing each other every other weekend for about 6 months. He was so loving, caring and thoughtful. We seemed to be really connected and enjoyed each others company. Then suddenly, right before Thanksgiving, he started pulling away. I have not seen him in person since November. We talk on the phone twice a day and he usually texts or emails me during the day, although the latter has slowed down recently. I have asked him several times over the last few months if I could see him on my weekends off. He would always say, "we'll see", and then it would be one thing or another as to why it wasn't a good time. He admitted to me that he suffers from depression and feels like he is unable to carry on a relationship. I feel like he is just scared, because everyone was asking if we were getting married before he put the brakes on. Even his daughter introduced me as her future stepmom once. I spoke with him again on the phone this morning and again asked if I could see him this coming weekend. He said he didn't think so and that he was sending me an email, because he could write about it better than speaking about it. In the email he says that he does not want or can not be in a relationship. But that if he were to be, he would want it to be with me. He even says how compatable we are together in the email. He say that he will always be my friend, but that he can not be anything more than that. I, of course, am heartbroken. I had offered before to go with him to speak to a counselor, he thanked me and said that I was sweet for offering. But did not offer to make an appointment. I am just at a loss as to what to do, if there is anything that I can do. I don't want to lose him. We both have been divorced and alone for about 10 years. I just think he is scared....Am I just hopelessly hanging on to a scrap of a relationship? Please give me your opinion.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Relationship
Expert:  Dr. Keane replied 3 years ago.

Dr. Keane :

Hi, I can help you today.

Customer:

ok

Dr. Keane :

If he has been pushing you away (physically not seeing you) since September I would think that he is either scared or just doesn't want to be involved. He doesn't have the ability to speak to you honestly and truthfully, he had to collect his thoughts and email you, not a good sign of a good communicator. He is giving you conflicting signs and that is what has you so confused. If he could he would be with you. Not sure I'd buy that, he is an adult and should either work on the relationship or cut it off without giving you false hope (which is what he does when he makes those type comments). You can't lose him, he has been gone since November but he just didn't tell you. I would try and move on, stop contacting him. You deserve to be treated better and who knows he may realize that his life without your contact isn't what he wants. If he's lucky you may still be around but if not it's his loss. Treat yourself better.

Dr. Keane :

november, sorry

Dr. Keane :

I know you feel heartbroken, it's disappointing. Facebook is great at connecting old friends/lovers etc. The problem is that that is fantasy, the past cannot be recreated and a lot of people believe they can capture what they had and all will be well, doesn't usually work (for a few lucky ones it may).

Dr. Keane :

If he is scared that is his problem, you can't wait around and be there while he frets. Not healthy for you either.

Customer:

I have been trying to tell myself that, but like you said, I get confusing comments from him...In his email, he even said that we could talk about it more this evening. He grew up in a broken home and from what he says his parents fought alot. They divorced and then later remarried only to divorce a second time. He said his mother and several relatives on her side of the family had emotional issues with depression and self medicated alot. His father had a relationship with a lady, that lived far away, he had talked about marrying this lady, but never did. Evidently, he keeps in contact with her, but I don't know how often. I think he is just repeating what he has learned from his parents. His brother and his wife divorced, then got back together when he had a heart attack, although they never re-married.

Dr. Keane :

sounds like you can spend a lot of time waiting for him to decide what to do and you have to decide if you want to participate in this drama. Doesn't sound like a very stable family historically and history does tend to repeat itself. I'm sorry that I might be dashing your hope however, it sounds as though he could have a lot of issues to resolve.

Dr. Keane :

You can't "fix" him but you can make the decision to accept what he basically has said, he can't be/won't be in a relationship. Tough, yes but in the long run it may be the best thing you can do.

Dr. Keane :

are you still here?

Customer:

I know what you are saying is right....just hard to accept....I have trouble expressing my feelings too. So this in itself is huge for me also. I just needed to hear a neutral party reinforce what I already knew. I tried talking to some of my friends about it, when they asked if I was going to see him. I told them that I had not seen him since before Thanksgiving, but that I got two phone calls a day and sometimes an email or a text.. All I got from them....was.....I don't know.

Dr. Keane :

just lost an entire post...

Customer:

my screen blinks but then nothing new is there

Dr. Keane :

It's really difficult to go through this and I'm sorry you have to experience it. You have a right to say what you need and what you want, what people do with that is up to them. He chose to try and convince you if he could he would. You chose to have hope. I would stay away, limit contact and see what happens. That is about all you can do now. Don't settle and know you deserve more.

Dr. Keane :

it's gone, had to re write but other post was better lol

Dr. Keane :

your friends only told you what they could, it's difficult to dash a friends hope, the only two people who know what is transpiring are you two and in your gut you may have felt something when he wouldn't see you in person. He kept you engaged by his comments. Pretty selfish of him really.

Customer:

I know this....but at the same time....I am afraid to even lose the two phone calls a day....I didn't date before I reconnected with him and I am extremely shy. So the thought of putting myself out there to meet someone else is pretty terrifying......

Dr. Keane :

He is responsible for getting help for his depression instead of using it as an excuse. He needs to face his own issues and resolve them, he will never be capable of having a relationship. As far as losing the two phone calls a day, you have to choose the phone as your "lover" since he isn't going to visit and ask yourself is that enough? If it is then you'll go on this way. Yes, getting out there is scary but there are things you can do down the road when you are more confident in yourself.

Dr. Keane :

You have to give yourself time before you think about "getting out there" again, but if you managed to meet up with him then you are capable of interacting and meeting someone else, maybe not on facebook but elsewhere, probably when you least expect it.

Dr. Keane :

Again, sorry you have to go through this but you'll get through it. I have to go so if you have more comments please leave them and I'll get back to it later today. Please accept my response so I get credit for my answers. Thanks and good luck

Customer:

Thanks.

Dr. Keane, Counselor
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 1700
Experience: PHD LPC
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