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Elliott, LPCC, NCC
Elliott, LPCC, NCC, Psychotherapist
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 7664
Experience:  35 years of experience as a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor, National Certified Counselor and a college professor.
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30 yo woman seeing a 38 yo man off and on

Customer Question

I'm a thirty year old woman and I've been seeing a 38 year old man for the last three months, off and on. He was married years ago, in his mid twenties for four years before filing for divorce. Communication was the problem. Our first month was wonderful. He courted me and was first to use the boyfriend/girlfriend terms, while I was more hesitant. He waited longer than I think he was used to waiting with other women before we had sex and was incredibly loving when it finally happened - it was beautiful. He even "jokingly" said "I love you" when we were out laughing together a couple times. The second time I "jokingly" said it back and I saw his eyes light up; eyes or heart, I can't be sure. But as the story goes, when I began to get vulnerable and return the strong feelings he expressed, he began to pull away. He told me he was afraid he couldn't give me what I deserved, that he was afraid he would hurt me, that he is bad at long term relationships and he would rather end things now than two years from now when we've gotten in deep. I told him I didn't know where things were heading but that I wanted to be with him and was willing to work on things with him. We've both given each other space but because of our social scenes, we see each other frequently. We haven't been on proper dates since the formal split, but we've had deep talks about relationships, casual fun conversations, and he's made boyfriend like efforts in making sure I'm okay. We've also had sex a couple times that has been very fun and comfortable, but not as intimate as it has been before. I like this guy and I know he cares for me but I also know we both have issues with relationships. We've both expressed we don't know what we're doing and he has said we need to be patient. A lot of the time when we see each other we've been drinking and I also know he's pretty damn charming and smart and probably knows exactly what to say to meet his agenda; I'm the same way. I guess my question is... how do I keep this moving in the direction of a long term relationship and is it on that path? Or, am I just a girl trying to tame a bad boy who will never be tamed? We have a mutual love and respect for each other and we're comfortable and click in a way I don't think either of us are particularly used to. But, as I mentioned, our deficits in maintaining relationships is a big obstacle. Is this something we can overcome or am I just kidding myself?

Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Relationship
Expert:  Elliott, LPCC, NCC replied 2 years ago.
Seeking expert testimony is a sign of strength. A personal relationship with a caring professional is proven clinically effective.

Dear friend, there seems to be a real basis for a relationship that will endure, but not enough skill to manage it on your own.

You may not want to work with a marriage and family therapist but you need some professional help in improving your communications with each other.

I highly recommend the following book that must be followed by the BOTH OF YOU. It is written by the best relationship expert in the country and will be your guidebook.

The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work: A Practical Guide from the Country's Foremost Relationship Expert... by John M. Gottman and Nan Silver


I wish you success and believe if you BOTH work on this you can have the relationship that you both seem to want.


I shall keep you in my prayers.


Warm regards,



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