Dr. L. Relationship question. 1) Based on the details below, what is the best thing for me to do in order to improve my chances of him realizing that he wants to be with me? Do I let him go with no contact or do I reach out to him? 2) From your experience, have you seen this before and what is typically the outcome and what can I do to improve a positive outcome for me? 3) Also, do you agree with all the stuff the experts say about men & love? Do you agree that a man will fall harder in love if he fights or has to work for something therefore, I should give him space, then connect with him, then pull away myself? 4) Do you think it's a bad idea to tell him exactly how I feel and all the reasons we'd be great together and what I think we both need to work on to make it fantastic?
I'm sorry this is long but I want you to have all the info/the entire story, so you can give me your best perspective.
Here is the background:
EARLIEST EMAIL FROM HIM:
This is a surprising email for me to write. But I need to relay some thoughts to you in an effort to move things along. Bear with me, I will try to keep things focused, but it may end up as a stream of consciousness ramble...
Thank you for relaying the phantom text last night. I'll be honest, I was perplexed and disappointed to not hear from you. Why? Well, I'm realizing that I have a much harder crush on you than I realized. Good or bad? I'm still trying to figure it out. And I suppose it really just depends on you. Good if you feel the same - Bad if not.
As I said, this email is a bit surprising for me to write. Almost always I'm the cool cucumber. This time I think I've been out-chilled by a chick! My past few SOs (sig others) complaint about me was that I didn't express my feelings enough. Well shit, here I am spilling my guts to a (very cute, fun) girl I just recently met, who already asked me to "take it slow" just a few days ago.
So, as I gazed wistfully at my phone for a text that never came last night, I was trying to decide what I should do? Hmm thinking to myself - is she still involved with someone else or still dating? Trying to remember if she responded in kind when I relayed my status (don't think she answered!?) Ah well, she hasn't made any promises and of course she doesn't have to. Then I start thinking that I probably need to pull back - either its too fast for her (which is completely fine) or she is still working things out with someone else (which is also fine!).
But neither one of those really works for me at the moment. I don't know you well enough to get a feeling for your intentions - what say you? How come I can't peek in there to that space that you proudly display to the online dating world?
At the end of it, I do find myself smitten with you. I am happy to run along with you at your pace - for awhile. But I really just want to spend more time with you, and not sure you feel the same.
*** I've been crafting this email in bits & pieces all morning after my dash to the city and back. And now after your email, its sounds like we have even less time. Bummer.
If you *want* me to come over tonite, just to catch up, and maybe talk a bit, that would be great!
I have no idea if I'm off base here, this email was completely whacky, too much, too whatever. I hope that by relaying my feelings and putting it all out there - wearing my heart on my sleeve - helps bring you closer :) And if not, that is important too because I don't want to push something that isn't right for either of us."
"Suddenly you are demonstrating a deepness and awareness and foresight that I just never saw from you - or only saw in small flashes that at the time didn't overcome my down feelings about how we interacted.
Possibly or probably I reacted to quickly or dramatically, but that is just where I was at, where I had ended up in my mind. I think I am better at some things and not so much a good partner in other ways.
I had fully mentally decided that I was done with the relationship. I did not want to feel scared or under-appreciated or trapped in a relationship that was only ordinary, or that was composed of two very busy people that were together just because it was good enough, ("despite this, despite that"...)
I had gone up and down mentally a number of times and my spinning in my head and the emotional toll (probably mostly self-inflicted, but inflicted nonetheless) was a price I was tired of paying. I suddenly bonked emotionally and had to drop the load and that happened unfortunately at 5:00 AM that morning and I waited until 6:15 or whatever and showed up.
I did very quickly make myself available on the online dating scene. Not because I had any expectation of finding the person of my dreams overnight, but I wanted to allow myself to have an entire change of mindset. Over those several weeks, I went on a half dozen (crappy) dates. Uggh. Only a few second dates. Nobody really interesting - a lot of wasted time, but it did allow me to change my frame of mind.
Then you emailed again and let me have it. In a good way and a bad way. You had a right to get everything off your chest and I wanted to give you the time and space to do so. I absorbed a lot of your frustrations and I tried to relay that I just wanted to remember and foster the good things between us. And then you made it very clear that you weren't interested in being friends and unfriending on FB, etc. All OK but disheartening - and you started relaying a lot of your insight and awareness as I described above. And then you really let me have it on that last phone call when I was scrambling in SF and I thought for sure that was it. Like 100% adios...
And yet... you emailed again and really pushed for *another* talk. I REALLY thought hard and felt like I shouldn't - I should just really break because you were so mad and I thought unreasonable - and yet ... you were trying very hard and more insight would come out in those emails, along with more anger (but passion!) - and so I agreed to bail out of work and I came down and then I really felt something from you again and I saw you and it got much harder for me all over again.
So I am conflicted. And I am still going on a date with someone. And I am spinning. I don't want to hurt you at all. I really do have a soft spot for you in my heart "despite this and despite that"... In the last week you have shown me a lot - quite a bit about you and some about me (well, forced me to look at myself) and I appreciate that gift very very much.
I don't expect you to wait around and keep the door open for me. The open door is very inviting, especially since you have so bravely opened up your heart to me, after I pulled away so much. I have a lot more respect and trust in you now, but I still need my space and time and freedom. And I want you to have someone who can love you unconditionally and passionately and think about 20 years down the road. But I can't do that right now."
MOST RECENT EMAIL FROM HIM:
"I have always admired your ability to be able to capture in writing the feelings and intuitive thoughts about relationships. I do have good feelings for you and I acknowledge and appreciate the immersion into your life. I'm the one running the miles and the hill repeats, but you definitely reconnected me to a great running and triathlon crowd and culture. That connection reignited my drive for endurance sports, and without the running and biking, I would be in very dire straights right now.
Since 2010, I restarted my life. Back then I finally was able to start working to heal myself from the damage of 11 years of non-functional marriage. Simultaneously I had to start processing the new dramatic injury to my soul of moving away from my kids. Luckily the stars lined up and gave me a chance to start my own tech company again - something I dreamed of for years while languishing in NC. I only cry about my kids maybe once or twice a month now - it used to be every couple of days in the beginning.
Being single and alone, with an emotional fire constantly burning inside, I had to learn how to contain my sadness and grief. I have definitely built walls to hold it in - and try to redirect the heat to drive me to build and create. The running keeps me from losing it all together. And now, for better or for worse, I am a victim of my own success at work. I've pretty much f**ked myself as I built this express train barreling down the tracks. I wanted to build something very successful so I could have one more shot of having my kids with me. I started the avalanche and now I'm racing trying to stay ahead of it and gain some control.
That leaves me with.... not much. The passion is walled off, the energy and desire is blown between racing ahead of the avalanche and the physical exhaustion that keeps me mentally functional. Our interactions are brief and fleeting and most of the time enjoyable. I am in a state of the here and now - 1 day or 1 week or maybe at most 1 month of looking ahead. I don't feel much more than that. I can't process more than that. I don't want more than that and I can't promise anything more than that.
I am very sorry I can't be more than that for you. I don't have any bad intentions and have been honest (if walled off) but I don't feel more than that. I think you deserve more than that, we all do. But I am not able to provide that for you (and hence myself) right now."
ANOTHER EMAIL FROM HIM AFTER I ASKED HIM FOR MORE SPECIFICS/EXPLANATION:
I feel hollow and not sure about everything else as well - if I'm steering work the right way, if I'm totally blowing it with my kids.
I have struggled with the difference in values and beliefs that are inherent in the diet we choose. I struggle with choices for txting and FBing when we have time together. I struggle with some interactions we have in the kitchen and other places - you have a condescending edge sometimes when we are cooking or talking about preparing for races - that really bothers me.
So I've been struggling to feel and stay open, to give it the best chance, but I can't. I tried to do everything to be open, but it is not there for me. With my work anxiety and kid anxiety, I lose feeling and appreciation. I don't want you to have to deal with that any more.
I also tried to talk to him about what he didn't like about our relationship. He mentioned the vegetarian thing and that I have an edge that I was condescending to him when talking about work or training that was off-putting. I asked him for examples and he couldn't give me one. I asked my friends for feedback and they don't think I could be condescending. I think he's exaggerating and looking for an excuse but I am 100% willing to improve and accept that maybe I was off-putting and I cook vegetarian for him all the time ... not just a simple meal ... really fancy. (I write a food blog) and so I write recipes for him!
I think he feels when we fight it's too much (even though from my perspective its not a big deal) but I also think he thinks it will lead to another mistake like with his brother's GF (they just broke up) and similar to his exwife. He says it's his instincts but his instincts about he and I were wrong from the start ... his instincts are based on fear.
How do I get through to him so we can be happy together???