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Ryan LCSW, Relationships
Category: Relationship
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Experience:  Professional therapist
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I am a 42 yr old male, divorced with 3 children. I have joint

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I am a 42 yr old male, divorced with 3 children. I have joint custody of them. I have been in a relationship for 9 1/2 months with a 42 yr old woman. She has never been married and does not have any children. Our first 7 months were, of course, amazing because of the in-love phase. We could not spend time apart from each other.

During the past 2 1/2 months things have not gone so well. I started to see her getting distant and changing the way she interacted with me. Less physical contact, less communication. I confronted her about 1 1/2 months ago and she told me that she did not feel the same way as before. That she had doubts about the relationship and that she needed time to sort things out. I agreed to give her some time because she said she wanted to make things work but after a couple of weeks I told her that I could not endure the pain of not being with her and told her it was over. The next day she emailed me saying that she did not want to break up. After about a week with no contact she called me and said she wanted to go out. It's been about month since the "break up" and we have seen each other 1-2 times per week.

I am still having a hard time knowing what she is feeling so I am stating the facts: She doesn't initiate phone or text contact with me. She never initiates physical interaction other than a kiss when we meet and a kiss when we say goodbye.

I don't know if I should distance myself to give her a chance to miss me or if I should continue to show her how I feel by communicating with her.
Thanks for your question. My name is XXXXX XXXXX I'd like to help you out.

I'm sorry to hear about what you've been going through with your relationship. It sounds like you are more than willing to do whatever it takes to make this work, but it has got to be frustrating if you don't feel like she is putting forth the same effort.

It does seem like you have been more than fair in your attempts to give her space to sort this out. There is only so long that she can expect to keep you in limbo before it becomes unfair to you. After about a month now of limited contact, it does seem appropriate to reevaluating how you want to approach this.

At this point, I would assume that she knows how you feel about her. However considering that she doesn't seem to be as concerned about communicating with you, I do think it's only understandable for you to consider distancing yourself a bit, and you may even be able to tell her that and explain why. Otherwise, if this waiting period that you are in now is starting to feel like it is going to go on indefinitely, then after a month it does seem at least worth having a conversation with her about it, just to see where things stand. That way you may be able to make the most informed decision for yourself.

I definitely wish you the best with all of this and hope that you're able to work things out. If there's anything else I can do to help just let me know.

Hi again, I haven't heard back from you so I hope that I was able to help you out. Feel free to send me a follow-up if you need any more help, otherwise I'd appreciate it if you'd leave me a positive rating so that I'm compensated for my time. Thanks a lot and take care.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

She said that she wanted to start things over after the break up. It's been a month since we decided to do this but still I don't see an effort in her part to initiate communication unless replying to my communication. She does not initiate physical contact either unless I initiate (she does not reject mine). She acknowledges my efforts to give her space and to make the relationship better but she states that still she does not feel like she did before, that she is not there yet and that she is OK being alone.


How much time do you think I need to give her? I am considering going on a non-communication mode to see if that will jump start something in her.

It seems like the month you have given her is pretty reasonable, but every relationship is different, and if you decide to go into non-communication mode it's important that you feel like you've given her a fair shot.

From what you described though, it does seem like you may need to consider changing your approach soon. If she does not feel the same as before and is ok with being alone, then I do think that is a sign that you have to start putting yourself first. Since you're already giving her space, that may mean pulling back on the communication entirely.

Ideally it would be good to start things over, but if you're still not seeing the effort, it does seem reasonable to change things up. Sometimes that can cause her to change her perspective and think about things differently, which can be a good thing in the long run. I hope it all goes well for you.

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