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Ed Johnson
Ed Johnson, Consultant
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 10760
Experience:  USC, BS Psych & Soc.; Transactional Analaysis; U.S. A. D&A Counseling, Family Advocacy, Anger Mngmnt
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I really like this guy but he is sending me mixed messages, ...

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I really like this guy but he is sending me mixed messages, and I don't know what to do. We first met in high school, and things didn't work out. We are now in our mid-twenties and started talking again a few years ago. The biggest issue is that we live about 12 hours apart. He says he likes me, he calls me, we do stuff together, and have talked about moving closer together. When I talk to him on the phone he will talk about us having a future, getting married, etc. without any prompts from me. He has told his parents about me and introduced me to his friends. But sometimes he will do stuff like say he'll call and not call. Does this mean he really isn't into me, or is he just busy? I really like him and I want to give him the benefit of the doubt, but if I need to move on, then I want to move on. What should I do?

Dear leslie,

Thank you for your question. I need just a bit more information. A person not calling may not idicate that he is not into you, but it depends on how that is occuring.

When he does not call, how long is the interval?

What kind of job does he have? What position does he hold in the company?

Is he also still in college?


Customer: replied 9 years ago.

Usually when he does not call, it will be a few days in between when he says he is going to call and when he calls. He'll usually say sorry and offer a reason he didn't call, but sometimes I feel like he is just offering an excuse so I'm not angry.

He runs his own business and he does have limited time when he can call. He is not in college. Things were actually going really well until recently when he got rid of his cell phone. It was then that communicating with him became really difficult.

I want to be understanding of his space and his schedule, but a lot of my friends have told me that I'm making excuses for him and I need to move on if he doesn't call when he says he will. I'm not sure what to think or do.

Thanks so much for your help!



Thank you for the additional information, and thanks for your patience.

Here are some general observations and comments, followed by a recommended course of action.

Generally in relationships, communication should not be broken for longer than three days. There aught to be some form of communications at minimum, every three days. Emails, phone calls, a card, something.

It could be that he is simply ignorant of how to maintain a relationship. Being 12 hours apart is difficult. Proximity makes communications easier, but not impossible.

People in relationships generally have different levels of need and maturity. So it could be your need for contact and communications is stronger than his. Using myself as an example. My girlfriend is an attorney, and her need for constant communication and contact is intermittent. Sometimes I get called every day and she wants to know where I am; but at other times, she is content with nearly a week of silence. I am liking a daily contact or at least every other day, or I start feeling insecure about the relationship and start questioning her investment in me and us as a couple. I am always reminded along the way, that my worst fears are for naught...that she is very busy with running a business, and networking for the business, that she sometimes feels so exhausted, that she does not want to talk on the phone.


I do not believe, like your friends; I do not believe you should move on at this time unless you do not have feelings for this guy.

I sounds like you are at as stage in the relationship where you and he need to talk about expectations and where you are each at in relation to each other individually or as a couple.

It sounds like you need some sort of clarification and validation for his intentions going forward, as well as a set of expected behaviors and rules.

For example:

  1. How often can you expect him to call; and then hold him to it.
  2. How often will you meet? will he come to you or will you come to him or both. You have a long distance relationship if you are 12 hours apart. So some compromise is needed.

So you need to have those kinds of conversations with him to find out where you are at before deciding to move on.

If he says he wants to just remain friends, then you have a decision to make if you want to continue in that vain or not.

By all means, do not make excuses for him; hold on to your principles, and do not explain away his behavior. Ask him to explain it to you. Let him excuse it for himself.

I know you have said that on the phone he talks like he wants you to be together without prompts from you. but sitting together over dinner, face to face is a different matter.

It sounds to me like, in the end, that he is having trouble sustaining the relationship long distance and still maintaining his business. it is hard to juggle both. It may be that he just does not know how.

In this situation it helps to clear the air and get affirmation for where you are at and where you are going in the relationship; and to set up expectations and rules that will help guide you.

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