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Rev.Dr. August Abbott
Rev.Dr. August Abbott, Clergy
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Ive been dating a 48 yr man for 2.5 months now. I am 46.

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I've been dating a 48 yr man for 2.5 months now. I am 46. Neither of us have been married but both have been in long term relationships and we are both seeking a long term committed relationship leading to marriage.

He is a gentleman and has been consistent in seeing me. He seems to be genuinely interested in me. He does everything right when we are together, taking interest in my life/interests, flirting, touching, sharing his interests and he speaks about doing things in the future. We waited several dates before we became intimate and it is not just about the sex. We are learning about each other and he is affectionate. There are a few things that bother me but am questioning if I should just be patient:

1) He does not call me during the week. He says he'll call but he writes me an email to make plans to see me. I finally joked about it and he did call me for the 1st time this week to catch up. On his on-line profile he stated that he thinks daily contact is good in a relationship but he will only reach out to me every 2-3 days.

2) He does make plans to see me during the week and sometimes on the weekends. The issue is that he is often away on the weekends at his beach house which is only 45 min away. He has mentioned that I should come to his beach house several times but has not officially invited me yet. He says because he is busy on the water kayaking with his kayak group. I thought this weekend would be a good weekend to go and he didn't seem interested in inviting me. So there are many weekends that I may see hi on a Friday but not on a Saturday & Sunday or not no Friday & Saturday but on a Sunday. I would think he could kayak during the day and I could do my own thing while he is on the water and we'd be able to spend time together in the afternoon/evening.

I have no issue with #1 now but if I add it to #2, I am wondering where I stand with this guy? Shouldn't he be eager to see me more often or is he simply a guy who is taking it slow and needs his space?

I don't think he is seeing anyone else and he recently voluntarily closed his on-line dating account without my asking. We never discussed it.

I have heard that I need to be patient while he's making up his mind about me and not bring up the "where do we stand" conversation. I've never had to have that conversation with a guy ever.

When I'm with him, all is well and I feel very confident. But when he calls me on a Thursday to plan for Friday, after I have not heard form him since Monday, and then he tells me he is going to be at his beach house 45 min away on Sat & Sun and I won't see him, it makes me feel like he's not as interested in me.

It is early in the relationship as I mentioned. As far as I can tell, he is very attracted to me and interested (at least when we are together) and does send some positive emails that are fun and thoughtful.

Do I have that "talk" with him? Is it a sign that he does not want to see more more than 1 day per weekend (either a Friday, Saturday or Sunday) and that is it? Should he want to see me more often or invite me to his beach house which is only 45 min away?
-- I'm glad you are wise enough to realize you might be too close to this and not see the most obvious solution.

With both of you having histories you don't want to repeat, take the lessons you've learned and apply them early and long. The first and most important rule? Communication.

Maybe he's wondering the same things about you. Like why he's 'hinted' about you going to the beach house, but nothing has ever been firmed up.

You don't need to have 'the talk' about where it's all going, just have "a talk" about increasing the time you spend together.

The next time he brings up the beach house, come right out and ask him if he'd like you to come along this time - and you'll be happy to hold the fort down while he's out with the kayak group. Plan on making dinner for him to come home to - or if you're really brave, plan something for the whole group. Nothing terribly complicated, just some light snacks and drinks (non alcoholic but creative is a good introductory plan).

His response will at least open the door to more discussion about increasing your time together.

You're very wise to not push it at this early a stage, but yes, it's very reasonable to expect a bit more in the way of time and learning about his other interests.

I think you're doing fine -- keep trusting your instincts

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Do you buy into the thinking that it’s normal for guys to pull away just when a relationship is about to move forward? Because he is afraid to commit? And that if a man withdraws from you for this reason, most likely he really likes you? He’s afraid. He feels the need to get away before you change his world and you should give him that space?


I read that somewhere. Is that true. Here's why I ask ...


A friend of mine who has an on-line site just told me that he is back on-line but then he took it down again so he was only back for a few days. She got matched to him. She only saw it because I pointed him out when I first met him as we girls do. I took down my profile and cannot see if he's on. I guess it is good he took it back down on his own


He was very good about planning to see me and making the time but recently, he has been wishy washy about meeting. He eventually calls but instead of planning days in advance, now he called me the day before. He was also good about telling me what his schedule was for the week and recently did not do that. Perhaps it was just an off week? Perhaps he no longer feels the need to do this? Perhaps he is pulling away?


I know guys want to keep "looking" but after a couple of months, what is reasonable for me to expect? I see this as taking a step back rather than moving closer towards developing the relationship.


Do I mirror what he does and then pull away too? I read that somewhere. The goal is not to play games but to keep him chasing me .... or at least that is what the article said.


I guess I've been lucky in past romantic relationships where there was a comfortable progression and I am by no means needy and I take my time. Guys have complimented me that I make it easy for them to be with me.


I just would think this guy, if he's really into me would continue to build on the relationship to move it along. I sense a little hesitation now that we are intimate. I'm not use to that. I'm use to feeling him want to be closer to me.

--One of my favorite studies even today is biological basis of human behavior. I'm great company when out for coffee or sitting anywhere on the sidelines watching any group of humans together and breaking all behavior down the barest of our survival instincts.

The claptrap we all read about is often the result of humans way over-thinking everything.

In truth, our evolution has never eliminated the basic drive: Self preservation.

This applies to all of us as a species and individuals as intricate and important members of that species.

So to put it simply: Guys do not keep looking after being committed for a couple of months. Instinct fueled by testosterone and primitive brain keeps them looking as long as they are alive. Monogamy is a recent 'invention' - a set of rules that we all struggle to adhere to; or, in some researchers' opinion, a new status of our evolution and therefore not as strong in some as in others.


It's very early in this relationship. Pushing it further along than he might want could push him out of the picture, because again, basic survival instinct would avoid any feeling of being 'trapped' or caught or held against our will.

By the way, all of this applies to you too. You most certainly have had experiences in your life where someone wanted more out of a relationship than you wanted to give right? Or perhaps someone was on the fast track when you wanted a slow, sightseeing ride.

The article you read sort of had it right that keeping a man in "pursuit" mode will keep his interests focused and his actions 'big'. That pursuit mode, aka: the hunt (for a mate) involves their best behavior, even gifts, romance and everything else associated with trying to show the female that they are the best male out of all the males.

Imagine the courtship of birds. The big, showy, elaborate displays put on by males - or the search for the perfect rock for a male penguin to give the female of his choice.

After they get the girl, those displays stop. He doesn't have to work for her anymore. BUT in many cases where males put on such labor intense shows, that's also the male that stays to help rear the young. To the female, that's the most important part. Having them there for the long run. And that's human biological instinct too

--- Although when you meet a new fellow over the years who seems bigger, better, richer, has more stuff, more power, etc you will wonder 'what if'. That's your primitive brain. Fortunately females have more control over it. Males have to fight harder to be monogamous -- some might find it easy (further evolved?) others can't fight it at all (serial cheaters)

So, botXXXXX XXXXXne? Don't over think this. It's normal for a male to back off the effort once 'mating' occurs -- but since doesn't exactly have you as his partner (yet) that drive to keep earning you is there. We'd all love to have the excitement of the pursuit last forever, but he can't keep that up anymore than you can keep feeling that thrill you felt when all of this first started. Remember when he first called you? When you wondered if he was interested? How elated you felt? The fire burns hottest and brightest when first lit and then, when it's a successful one, the fire burns steady 'forever'.

Over time, both of you are responsible for tossing another log on (doing something out of the ordinary, romantic, nice)


Take a few deep breaths, don't analyze this (because we're humans and we aren't known to make a lot of sense) but enjoy it. Keeping in mind that sometimes the things you aren't being asked (such as going to the beach house) might be things HE'S waiting for YOU to ask him!

Sometimes all those things you want, are things he wants too and by doing for others we teach what they can do for us.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thank you for putting it so eloquently. Just to clarify ... you wrote "Guys do not keep looking after being committed for a couple of months. Instinct fueled by testosterone and primitive brain keeps them looking as long as they are alive."


1) Perhaps I misread but the 2nd sentence seems to contradict the 1st. Can you clarify?


2) While everyone has their own timeline, would it be reasonable to expect the guy to have a desire to spend xmas with someone he's dating who he met in September? Would it be a "sign" if he does not desire that and perhaps I should move on?


3) What is the best way to approach xmas? I was thinking of letting him take the lead and if he says nothing and/or makes no plans or makes no plans with me for NYE I simply tell him goodbye?


-- I see where I messed up in that statement. It should have read, more completely: "Guys do not keep looking after being committed for a couple of months.... etc" - meaning that instinctively they will be looking as long as they are breathing. Sure, some are more controlled, some are less driven, each human being is an individual and as any species we don't all evolve at the same speed.

2. The holiday issue is difficult around the world. In some families the holidays are so important and sacred, whether in religious beliefs or in social structure or both - that bringing a non family member into the fold at that time of year is a HUGE deal.

I've heard of families who, after meeting their son/brother's newest girlfriend on Christmas or Hanukkah or whichever holiday is most important to them, begin planning the wedding whether the new couple like it or not.

That sort of pressure can be just the thing to break them up forever. So trust that he knows what he's doing when it comes to the holiday. Even if he doesn't have family he'll be seeing, it could still be ingrained in him that sharing a holiday means he "must" get serious and head down that marriage path.

When it comes to "signs", there are only two kinds: Signs from God, which apparently stopped arriving or at least stopped being paid attention to some 2,000 years ago; and road signs that should be paid more attention to.

It's only been a few months with this man. I'm not sure you've even given yourself enough time to develop feelings beyond the usual first blush that new relationships have. Already you're talking about moving on and you haven't even hung around for the whole thing to settle into a groove and enter that 'we finish each others' sentences' sort of comfort zone.

BUT yes, New Year's Eve is certainly a holiday meant for couples. I can see him skirting Thanksgiving and dodging Christmas which are steeped in family and traditions, but NYE ? That's for lovers and most definitely I would understand if you were to be upset over his not at least asking you if you'd like to do something.

In our 40's it's not so much a go out and party 'til dawn sort of night as it is to go somewhere special for an elegant dinner and perhaps celebration at midnight with the all important kiss and promises.

And appropriately he should give you two weeks to prepare for such an evening so his asking you should occur rather soon.

Allowing for his simply not knowing the etiquette associated with such an event you ARE allowed to casually bring it up with something to the effect of "... you know, ladies need time to prepare and fuss over most New Year's Eve events, so if you have anything in mind, blurt it out soon"... and then smoothly move onto another subject, but allow him to address NYE if he goes back to it.

Let me leave you with this: Over the 3 decades I've been counseling there is a repeated regret. Actually, there are a few, but one that applies to many relationships is that one never came right out and said what they wanted.

Whether Jane thought she was being smart by sending Fred away to 'find himself', or Mary refused to come out and tell John she was looking for a husband after they'd been together for 2 years -- one repeated regret is that they didn't just ask for what they wanted

Maybe they would have heard "no" and the relationship would have been over (which it was anyway), but to live always wondering if they missed out on the 'right one' just because they didn't open up and tell them how they felt? That's a burden that can get heavier as the years go by.

I counsel one lady in her 80's who can't forgive herself for not fighting for a fellow she loved in her 20's. She thought she was being a better person by sending him back to his ex girlfriend so he could figure out if he still had feelings for that ex. Worse? The guy didn't want to go; never did end up with the ex, but never went back to this lady either because he thought SHE didn't want him.

60 years of regret later (and 5 children by someone else) she pines for the one that might have been.

So don't look for anything except answers to questions you ask. Never assume anyone should know what you're thinking and always remember that what's important to you might be no big deal to someone else.

Most of all, keep in mind that the male of our species is wired differently when it comes to emotion and feelings. Often they need a woman with a GPS to show them where they are in the relationship and almost take them by the hand, giving them instructions. You: " I can understand that this might be too new for sharing family and friends on Christmas, but New Year's Eve is not for solitude and not a snuggly family gathering - it's a couple's thing and if we're a couple, we need to figure out what our 'thing' is and then do it"

Can't get much clearer than that, right?

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thanks you replied as I was editing my question ...


So one the 1 hand you are telling me it is too soon to ask for what I want but on the other hand you are saying I should ask ... let me ask you how I would handle this situation ....


What I am sensing is mixed level of enthusiasm or diminished level of putting the right amount of effort into developing the relationship. Whereas he started off asking me what my schedule was and then giving me a specific time for us to meet, he is wishy washy saying "he's not sure when he'll be back" Here's what I've experienced so far ... can you let me know what you think and what I should do?


- As mentioned dating for about 2 months; he is a gentleman and seems very engaged when we are together; very attracted to each other; we talk about a lot of different topics; we laugh; we are playful; he seems to enjoy my company; makes plans to see me


- Last weekend, I had mentioned my company xmas party and whether he'd be around this weekend. He said he'd be around but he does not acknowledge the xmas party. On Friday I see him and learn he is headed to his beach house. I thought I'd be invited and said that I could come down on Saturday in lieu of my xmas party. He says that he has a bday party with the kayak guys and he needed to recruit the guys to go on his kayaking trip next week. (Long story but he has to recruit some people to join next weeks trip last minute). He didn't want to invite me to this shin dig. I did not make a fuss. I simply asked if I'll see him before he leaves for his vacation. He tells me we can get together Sunday and he'll call me when he gets off the water on Sunday I don't hear from him until 6 pm on Sunday and he says I can come to his beach house which is over an 1 hour away. He typically comes back home to town on Sunday night and I was expecting to see him locally. But he does invite me to the beach house at 6 pm on Sunday. I have to work on Monday. If he really wanted me to come down to the beach house on Sunday, why wouldn't he discuss that with me in advance? He must have known he'd still be down there on Sunday night.


- Do I bring this up with him? Wouldn't he made an effort to contact me earlier if he was really interested in seeing me and it feels like he intentionally stayed at his beach house and was not really interested in having me go there ... I mean it's a Sunday night! But I'm confused b/c he said he can catch up on Monday.


- I'm wondering if he is just taking me for granted so early on in the relationship? Is he trying to push me away? Is he trying to be distant? Do I "discuss" this with him? Or do I let it go. I did politely text him and say "perhaps we can mutually agree to communicate our schedules better with each other in the future ..." and he wrote back "fair enough" and didn't seem apologetic ... more like making an excuse.


Here's another article I read ...

"A man who can’t keep a plan in advance is quite often a man who is purposely keeping his options open. Men know where they are, and what they are doing. They do. And if they wanted a plan for a Friday or Saturday night they’d solidify it early in the week. They solidify golf night with their drinking buddies don’t they? They solidify a date with the new hot girl they just met, don’t they? They know exactly what to do, no excuses.


If he continues to put you on ice you may want to consider that you are a casual dating option for him and not his girlfriend. This type of man will never be able to solidify plans until the last minute because he doesn’t know what his best option is yet. There is one last thing to consider which is that he may be doing flaky act on purpose. Men know that when they date you expectations set in. It’s entirely possible that he does not want you to be a girlfriend. He doesn’t want to be responsible for you or have you relying on him to be there like clockwork.


To keep your relationship from progressing he may purposely keep you on ice and act elusive and unreliable. It is a tactic that keeps you from being his girlfriend and leaves you in the hey let’s hang out when convenient zone instead. He’s managing your relationship expectations down by such behavior. It’s up to you whether you’re willing to put up with that or not. Dating books advise that you should radically reject such disrespectful behavior from him at the get-go in a relationship. Boundaries are easier set and stuck to early on, before you’ve fallen head over heels for him."


In my past relationships which progressed ... I didn't have this uncertainty as I do with this guy ... but I am confused because when we are together, he is doing everything right and he is making an effort to see me.


What are you thoughts on this? Do you think I should still "play it cool" and just let this go for now?

-- I'm saying it's too soon to be asking for 'forever', but not at all too soon for asking for a little more time such as the beach house or New Year's Eve.

And with regard to the rest of it, I fully understand your feeling and how confusing his actions or lack of them are.

I still think it's not so much a matter of his 'not wanting', as it's a matter of his being clueless.

I also don't blame you for not wanting to waste time if it's just going to be you in one area of his life and his friends and activities in another area - never the two to meet

As mentioned before, communication is something rarely regretted.

You don't want to push or rush, but I agree with you that expecting to be included in weekend plans/the beach house - and foretold of plans for New Year's (or asked to participate in making them) is reasonable, polite and applicable to this stage of any relationship.


Come right out and tell him how you feel when he does certain things or doesn't do other things (the contact time line for the beach house this weekend, etc). Just don't be accusatory or judgmental. Be nice - and remember to listen to his reasons

If it's time to cut him lose you'll know. There won't be any question about it, you'll know.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Yes, I am not asking for "forever" by any means. I am NOT that girl and very different in comparison to most of my female friends when it comes to this so I just want to be clear about that.


So he offered to meet me tomorrow and he did a good job of saying we can grab a quick bite but he needed to be up very early to travel for his vacation (meaning, he won't be able to stay over my house).


Do I go ahead and compromise and meet him or do I tell him that we can get together when he gets back next week?


If I meet with him, what if I said the following:


"About this weekend, I just wanted you to know that when I asked you if I'd see you before you left from vacation and you said Sunday, you can understand that I thought you'd be back here locally and not still at the beach house. Perhaps you made a last minute decision to stay at the beach house? However I got the impression that you were planning to stay there Sunday night all along which confused me? Perhaps you forgot that you told me you'd be around this weekend? Even so, I understand that things come up and you needed to "recruit" more people for this trip, which is important to you. When you reached out to me, I did not get the impression that it mattered to you whether or not we got together. You did not express it.


As we continue to get to know each other, I believe it helps to have enthusiasm from both parties in this process. You can demonstrate this enthusiasm by scheduling time together which you did a wonderful job of very early on. I particularly appreciated how you made an effort to take my schedule into consideration in the past. For me there needs to e a mutual enthusiasm and interest to help me feel comfortable in allowing you to know me on a deeper level and my desire to know you on a deeper level.


I respect your passion for kayaking and believe me, no one appreciates more such passions as I have dedicated a lot of time to train for an Ironman. I am looking for a partner who can support me in that and my need for independent time to pursue this. I was also able to successful date someone long distance for 7 years. What made that relationship successful is an enthusiasm to schedule time to see each other and when we scheduled it, we made the most of that time. We'd spent long weekends and sometimes a week or more together and we spoke to each other every day.


I am willing to accommodate my busy schedule from time to time, particularly on the weekend. I could always go to the beach house with you on the weekend and plan time to bike with my triathlon friends near your beach house while you kayak. I could read, do work or work on my cookbook at your beach house while you are out or even travel to see you later that evening. For me, there needs to be some momentum and enthusiasm for me to want to share who I am on a deeper level. What do you think?"


What do you think about saying something like that to him?

-- I think it's perfectly clear and reasonable. It's well put, it indicates you expect to be respected and valued and there's nothing wrong with that.

It will certainly show you his intentions in how he reacts.

Nicely done

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Ok 1 more question ... do i just send this in an email first and let him digest then let him share his thoughts when i see him later?


Also, do I bring up that it feels like he is avoiding spending time with me on a Saturday or by not inviting me to his beach house even though he talks about it? do i be that direct or put it more softly? is this too much this early in the relationship?


I guess i thought we were in the "honeymoon" stage and in the past i had guys who were truly interested in me have no hesitation within 2-3 months introducing me to friends ... i am nervous that he is not that in to me (yes i've been reading too much of that crap on the internet) or is this just his way and process to get comfortable with me?


so far i've been patient as i believe its early and as you mention, men are different. i am allowing him to be different but i don't want to get hurt (self preservation) when it is obvious (or is it) that he's not that into me ... he certainly seems very much into me when we are together!


do i just need to give it more time or are these bad signs already



Email keeps it together, whereas in person you might leave some things out. However, in person he gets to 'interact' - and stop you here or there for clarification or to add his own feelings or just overall hear your tone and thus intentions by saying what you're saying.

-- This choice is totally up to you. I guess if it were me and my situation, I'd bring it up in person so I could gauge the other person's reaction and know how lightly to tread or how hard to bring a point home by their facial expressions, body language, etc..

As for more time being allowed or not, the real botXXXXX XXXXXne is 'do you want him ?' If yes, then it's easy - allow more time and teach him how to treat you by laying out your expectations clearly and doing for HIM what you'd expect for yourself.

If you're going somewhere over the holidays, invite him, introduce him, stand by him - do all the things you would hope he'll do for you.

Perhaps you are actually seeing signs of a man who doesn't want more than what this is. Perhaps you're just seeing a man who is totally clueless in relationships.

You are the only one who can make that judgement based on your one on one interactions.

After this upcoming 'talk' whether it's via email or in person or ultimately both -- you'll know if it's time to move on or hang in there and invest your efforts in educating him as to how to treat his lady


I fully believe in you. You are very sharp!
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Ok LAST question, promise! I just texted him the following:


"It if helps I can leave mtg early and be home at 7:30 - we can walk to get sushi near my house?"


This was in response to his text to me yesterday


"Could get together for a quick bite when you are done ..."


He replied just now


"Ok lemme know when you are home"


1) I found that to be odd ... now my imagination is running wild. Wouldn't just say "ok, c u then"? Is he planning on not leaving his house until 7:30 pm? Why is he asking me when I'm home when I tell him I'd be home at 7:30 pm? Is he not going to show up and just call me to tell me it's not working out? That would be a shock honestly because our interactions have been A+ when we are together ... truly. He is affectionate, playful and seems really happy in my presence ... we are sharing and talking about things on an intellectual level (he enjoys poetry, jazz music, and guitar, we've gone mountain biking, he has taken his on-line dating profile down on his own w/o discussing with me). Despite feeling this, a part of me still feels insecure based on his most recent behavior and now the text.


2) Do I just leave it alone? Am I over thinking again?


3) Do I text him back and say "if you are not interested in getting together or feeling stressed, just let me now ... I'd naturally be interested in seeing you before your trip but only if the feeling is mutual" ... should I do this or just let it go?

-- 1. Yes, I see where this can be making you nuts. Why oh why not just say 'ok, will be at your house at 7:30'

BUT since you do sort of imply you'll be getting out of work at 7:30 he might be waiting for you to actually get home first and that's why the 'let me know when you're home'.

No big deal, just let him know when you leave work and give him an estimated time for you to arrive home

---2. No, I can see how his response can be confusing. But he's a guy. They aren't known for their sensitivity chips.

3. NO NO NO. Do not text that. He won't understand where it's coming from or what he did to deserve that.

Leave it alone, just let him know when you're about to be home or call him from home when you get there. Keep it simple

And good luck!


Rev.Dr. August Abbott and other Relationship Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thank you!

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Followup question. I did not have the "talk" with him when I saw him. I wanted for him to see that I was happy to see him as usual and to see his reaction which was also happy to see me as usual.


I wanted to see how he would respond to me and he was his usual playful self. He did grab my hand and he wanted to on my Facebook pictures of my triathlon friends. (He has access to my Facebook). I had the page up and I openly shared the screen and we shared a moment where he asked to see a video of me playing the guitar and other photos. He did ask who was filming the guitar playing video and I told him it was my ex (that video is a year old).


He tickled me and wrestled me but did not initiate sex which is fine. I knew he had to leave to drive 1 hour to carpool for his vacation early next morning. It was fun for us to have playful physical contact w/o the sex. I really appreciated that.


And then we said good bye with big smiles and I wished him a good vacation. He turned around and smiled as he walked out the door.


He returned on Sunday. It is now Wed and I have not heard from him and it is now late. No email, no text no phone call. While he was away, I sent him a funny jib jab holiday card via email.


Now I can imagine he was really busy on Monday returning from being away for a week. He is a doctor so Tuesday are very hectic at the clinic. He does not work late on either nights. I would have expected an email by Wed (he typically does not call and prefers to email). Still no word. Yeh, it is possible that tonight he had something come up. Before he went away on his vacation, I didn't hear from him all week until I got a text from him on Wed that his email account got hacked and he could not get into it and that he would ping me the next day Thurs. So he is on schedule from the week before but the diff is, he just got back from a week long vacation.


He is 48, a gentleman and from what I know about him, has some good values. I guess I'm panicking that he is unsure of wanting to be in a committed relationship with me. I saw he had time to post to his Facebook last night. He could have contact me?



1) he's clueless

2) fading out - which seems immature and lame for him

3) doing that Men are from Mars rubber band pulling back thing


My plan was to WAIT until he reached out to me. I was asked to do something Thurs, Frid and Saturday. I am booked now. So no chance of seeing him until Sunday at best.


What is going on? Someone said I guy will make the effort if he's really into you.

I'm glad you're still trusting your instincts and there must have been a reason you didn't have 'the talk' as planned. You must have picked up a message in his body language or other communication, be it spoken or not. We humans are truly complicated. Trusting that '6th sense' not only takes courage, but practice. So good for you!

Now, with this recent behavior. Even though it's new behavior and a little different, overall aren't we really seeing relatively the same message conveyed? I think it's simply a lack of knowing how to be considerate and open (on his part) and without stressing him out with a whole big conversation about 'everything', why not try taking it one thing at a time - right as it happens.

I'd have to go with #'s 1 & 3. And what are women here for? To be the map readers, the truth finders, the comfort givers and the givers of CLUES. Gently, nicely tell him what you not only want, but deserve and expect.

For #3 - well, we've been winning that Venus & Mars tug of war for centuries just by virtue of being the most powerful. "The hand that rocks the cradle, rules the world"

Now, as for being fully booked? Good! The best way to learn a lesson is to live it. Once he has to suffer the consequences of his actions or lack of them, he'll learn.

And if he doesn't, well, there's no reason to put up with an inconsiderate lug nut in your life right? When a relationship is more work than joy, and only one person is doing that work? Move on.


Have a very happy and peace filled holiday by the way. You deserve it
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

So do I just wait for him to contact me this week? I shouldn't even text or email him, "how was your trip" right? i read on line that I should not do that ... and he needs to reach out to me

-- OK, first and last: Trust YOURSELF and not what you read online. Not even ME. I'm not there.

All of those sites, books, suggestions, guidelines, rules, whatever diminish the fact that you are unique. You are not everyone else.

-- A little innuendo here, a hint there and this relationship isn't even 'average' or 'typical'.

That said: Yes, wait for him to call. And then, when he asks for your time on a certain day or expects it, just tell him "Oh, I'm booked up 'til after xxxxxx".

Don't add anything else, except maybe "... I wish you asked earlier since I'd have certainly given you priority"

Even though it'll be hard on you, these are lessons he needs to learn.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

The hardest thing is waiting for him to call. It is nearly 8pm. No email no phone call. It is so weird and rude. I know I have heard of this happening with other women and I read all of the articles on line but this is the 1st time its ever happened to me. Either the guy I'm dating and I know right away and we talk about it immediately, but I've never had silence.

Do you think it is possible still that the 2 options you mentioned is that he is #1 and #3 above? So funny how I doubt myself since yesterday and only 24 hours have gone by. I know I must not contact him at all. Is he testing me? Did something happen at work? Did something happen to his mother who had a stroke last year? He posted something on FB on Tues so he had time to go on-line but no time to contact me so I know he made that choice.


I am just really, really surprised. I felt really confident that things were promising between us. Usually I'm pretty certain of when this happens and he seemed smitten by me. There was so much for us to look forward to. He offered for me to borrow his guitar. He just seemed very attracted to me.


I met him on line and we exchanged many emails and he told me that he's not in it just for sex and just to date ... he will go months without dating because he doesn't see the point if there is no real potential. I thought we both had real potential on the one hand we were exactly where we should be in our relationship and not too committal ... i played it cool and we still were eager to learn about each other.


Not to mention when he saw me last, he initiated just playful touching (not sex) but wrestling, tickling in a very affectionate manner. Now that is not the behavior of a man who wants out. That much I know is certain.


If he wanted out he would not have the desire to do that. Perhaps I'm wrong.


Have you seen this before and have you seen it turn out that the guy eventually comes around and decides to become closer?

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Hi I added a bonus (or tried to) and wanted to ask another followup question ... not sure if the note below went through?

-- I have been locked out of this site ALL DAY! Some sort of glitch somewhere and just this minute got back in. I'm going to hit 'send' on this just in case it throws me out again. I wanted you to know I am not ignoring you, I'm so so frustrated in knowing you've replied (I get those notices) but when I try to actually view it (let alone reply myself) I can't.

So again, I'm hitting 'send' and then will complete a more lengthy (as usual) answer for you. Thanks for hanging in there
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thanks so much. I was thinking of writing him a letter if I don't hear from him by xmas and sending him the gift I got ... it is a book on Buddhism that he was looking for. Below is what I was going to send to him. Should I do this I just remain silent and wait as you originally suggest to hear from him and maybe he will come around after the New Year professing his love for me???? One can only hope, right?




I hope you enjoyed your trip and this letter finds you well. I have not heard from you and will refrain from speculating as to the reasons. This much I know … if you had the desire, you would have reached out to me much sooner.


I had never experienced the “disappearance” of the man I had been dating. I have been fortunate to have the opportunity to discuss such partings in person. While I am disappointed I was not extended the same courtesy by you, I would rather chose to treat you with the respect I would have expected in return from you. So here goes.


I am a believer in loving kindness and offer you forgiveness for whatever prohibited you from contacting me. Mostly I hope it is the result of poor judgment rather than something more serious. This does not mean that I accept the behavior.


I do accept that you made a choice not to know me better. I had enjoyed our time together and looked forward to getting to know you on a deeper level. For me, it takes time for me to feel safe in sharing. I was under the impression that you were the type who preferred taking the time to learn about me too. Perhaps you felt like you’ve learned enough to make a decision. Perhaps you learned of something that persuaded you to stop. To be honest I wish I understood what that was and wish you had the courage to share with me. I do feel that with your weekends away it made it difficult for us to invest enough time to get there. Trust me, I fully understand and respect your time on the water. It is very appealing to me that you live a very passionate and full life. At the same time, there needs to be a balance, and a relationship with another person requires the same investment of time and effort to succeed. We weren’t quite there yet. Perhaps you felt it was enough. From my perspective there wasn’t enough time invested to know each other beyond first blush. But you may have a different perspective.


In any case, I was looking forward to hearing about our trip. I wanted to share with you some news of my own, about my career and other things that were important about me. I was simply looking forward to us getting to know each other on a deeper level. I would only allow this if you wanted to pursue this with the same level of enthusiasm. I am looking for someone who desired to invest the time and work towards a committed and exclusive relationship with me. That requires planning for time together just as you would plan time to hone your kayaking skill or learn to play the guitar.


I wish you all the best Allen. I wanted you to have the present that I had intended to give you.

Yes, the letter is excellent!!!

Very well put and it gives you time to decide for yourself what you want for yourself.

Do you really want to give him another shot at trying to do this right or have you had enough of being the 'teacher' for men in your life?

At some point we have to decide that it's ok for us to want a man who is 'finished' and not 'in the process of becoming a good guy'. We want one and deserve one who is 'done' cooking and maybe needs a little in the way of a finishing touch to make him 'ours', you know?

Again though, I'm having a devil of a time staying logged in to this site tonight and don't want to chance losing this reply so I'm keeping it short and hitting 'send' now.

But yes, you are very eloquent and did a great job on the communication.

I really want to know how it turns out. You can't forget me ok?

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thanks ... do you think I should wait for him to contact me first?


From your experience ... is it possible he really likes me and trying to decide on whether he wants to get more serious?

-- Give it a 'deadline'. For example, if he doesn't contact you by the evening of the 22nd - then you send it. I mean, that's just wrong to not give you the respect of reasonable notice for event planning - especially this time of year.

Obviously, make the deadline what is right for you. I just threw that date out there.

Also, if he does contact you before you send it, you still need a serious sit down with him and tell him this stuff. Be kind, be gentle, but make it clear that he's old enough to know better. He has to have learned something from his past relationships. He has to have taken to heart the lessons that came from loving and losing, time and again.

You're not his sister or his mother and you deserve to be treated like the girlfriend you are; or thought you were. And his silence for days and not treating you as such will do only one thing: Lose you. At some point he needs to see the pattern in his life.

And good for you that YOU see the pattern in yours and have decided that 'not this time'. You're worth more than that, you're not deserving of bad mannered, ill behaved gentlemen and you just won't tolerate it.

Sure, it'll hurt for a while, but don't second guess it. Those instincts have rarely, if ever failed you. Trust yourself. That's the lesson YOU'VE learned

Rev.Dr. August Abbott and other Relationship Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Good news! (sort of) I got a thoughtful response from him!

The note is below and after you read it I have some more followup questions for you:

"All went fairly well, considering weather. I apologize for not getting back to you, have had a lot on my mind of late. Am getting slammed at work due to being out and my partner being away through the holidays.

Had my broker in town from Chicago, who I finally got to meet and hang out with.

I have lots going on this holiday season besides work, including catching up with friends I have not seen in quite a while, my best buddy coming back from over seas, and two sets of family in town to meet with, as well as the normal slew of holiday get-togethers.

We have progressed very fast in our relationship, significantly faster than I typically do (not blaming you), and the reality is physically we are ahead of where I am emotionally. I have been single for the past year, and I suppose given to having time to myself. Not just single actually, happily single. I thought that being with someone would make me happier, hence my going on that dating site, but I'm not sure.

With being down from the injury I know realize how much I loved being able to get out on the water and do my selfish things; (storm tomorrow will pull us out onto the water for a while).

I appreciate all you have put into this, but need more time to 'be there.' I also would like an exclusive and close relationship, but simply cannot 'will' myself into that place at this time. I have considered being single as a lifestyle, and have not been willing to resign myself to that just yet, and I still think that there is someone for everyone, but I am one of the people that is very slow getting into things and I do admit that I would much rather be single than force myself into anything. That only leads to resentments all around.

I'm afraid that I do not have time to devote to repairing all this over these holidays (assuming things are reparable). I am willing to talk about this with you, but after these crazy holidays are over. Perhaps that is a good litmus test in any case; if that is unacceptable, then I as a whole am likely unacceptable to you, and I accept that. I would not blame you as we all have our own way of looking at things, goals, and pace for getting there. If this is not something that you can tolerate, then we should let it go, and I too will wish you all the best. You are a wonderful person, and there is absolutely nothing about you, or anything you have done that I have issue with. I am just not convinced that I can pursue right now with the same degree of enthusiasm as you relate that you have. I wish that were otherwise.

I appreciate you giving me something, but please do not. Can you hold that? I can get it back to you. You do not owe me anything, and I can't believe I deserve something.

That is a wonderful poem (yours?)

I am leaving Sunnyvale right now, so will have to cut this short. I apologize again for my not being what you wish I would be, and perhaps even what all I wish I were, but I have learned to rest easy, if still alone."

1) Should I let him sweat it out a bit and wait until next week to respond?

2) I understand what he is saying and accept it fully. I think I will agree to giving him more time, after we speak. I believe he is sincere but I have some concerns. I would need to set some boundaries and trying to figure out what those should be. Have you seen this before with other couples you may have counseled and what was the outcome?

3) It seems he is struggling with what men fear ... losing their freedom and the fun single life and yet he does yearn for a close, intimate relationship. I was going to write that he needs to decide this and maybe decide it in order for me to be in his life and maybe I can assure him, over time, that he can have his cake and eat it too but he will need to make some alterations to successfully fit me (or anyone woman) into his life.

I would like your initial thoughts and I will then compose some "guidelines" that I will present to him. Again, I understand he needs to work this out for himself.

I also feel that he needs to earn me back at this point and seems like he is willing to do that ... he wrote "repair". I realize that I have control too and maybe a slight upper hand. I'm not running to him but rather, he will lose me if he doesn't play his cards right. I will be understanding in return and I think what he is saying/feeling is reasonable. I also feel he is a really good catch and worth the risk. I just am proceeding with caution too, as I think he is saying he still wants to date around? I guess that means I should too but we just stop having sex, which would be a requirement for me.
Wow, that really is a thoughtful and well put email he sent. You have to give him credit for being honest and intelligent.

Given all of his reasons, which really don't sound like 'excuses', I'd give him the space he's clearly in need of so he doesn't feel rushed or trapped.

No 'guidelines'. Not yet anyway. In fact, since you asked what I've seen in other couples I've counseled -- nearly always it's the man who feels pressured and the women who don't understand why the man isn't on the same page.

This is 'nature'. Females measure relationships by emotion and deep thought. I'll often have ladies ask something to the effect of, "He held my hand in front of his friends. If he wasn't really in to me, why would he do that?"

And men ask, "Why does she think hand holding means a walk down the aisle is next?"

The most successful outcomes result when the woman adjusts her speed to what the man's is and when the man looks at his actions/inactions from the woman's point of view.

Standing in each others shoes might mean forgoing the guideline right now, but in the long run I believe you'll find yourselves walking at the same pace and no guideline needed.

Don't let him go unanswered either. Respond politely and simply with something like: I appreciate your thoughtful, kind words and want to assure you that I value you and the potential of this relationship enough to give you the space you feel you need. Of course this won't last forever and at some point we will have to revisit the definition of a relationship, but for now, you're worth compromising with.

I know it might appear that you're caving in and waiting for nothing, but going back to the well worded email he sent, my impression is a sincere man, uniquely forthright and frankly, this quality of a fellow is not easy to find.

I believe that by keeping yourself light hearted and easy going you'll make a deep and lasting impression that will make this not just last, but become more solid.

In the meantime, find something new and different for YOU to do while he's out with the boys. When he sees that your life is equally rich and fulfilled - he won't think you're going to be dependent on him for company and entertainment all of the time.

Volunteer someplace . Check out for openings and needs in your own zip code and pick something as far out of your comfort zone as possible. That way you'll have a challenge, you'll learn something brand new and you'll meet a bunch of people you would never have met before.

I truly believe that this relationship will work out if you commit to being patient - and I also believe that someone of your intelligence and energy has lots to offer in areas you don't even know exist right now.

And oh do I ever want to hear all the good news to come!

Customer: replied 4 years ago.



He is Facebook friends with me (his suggestion) and my updates from my friends have been filled each day with lots of activity. I am an Ironman triathlete so he sees me biking with my friends; I am writing a cookbook and he sees photos my friends posted of me cooking and entertaining my friends at my house, et cetera. I am being very strategic but REAL. He and i talked about learning to play a song on the guitar together. Well, I will just have to post a video of my friends and I playing without him.


I do know what he is attracted to in me ... he and I are very similar, intellectually, spiritually and with all of our interests, athletics, music, books.


More questions to prepare for my meeting with him:


1) I will incorporate your words but should I be a little ... stern? I know I should wait to set the guidelines but should I be so welcoming? I heard I should get him to feel like he could lose me (which I think i accomplished) and he should want to chase me.


2) I suppose I should let him do most of the talking when we do meet. Do I suggest we do not have sex anymore until he is ready to commit (it seems he may be agreeable to that).


Maybe I should just listen, take mental notes and tell him I'll get back to him so I have a chance to run it by you and then respond? LOL!


Yes, he is a quality man. He is a doctor, athletic and I think he is very honest and sincere. That is why I was so disappointed and confused when I did not hear from him. I knew he had better values in himself. He is a catch but so am I and he knows it ... he has joked that he knew lots of guys ask me out and I just smiled and just joked about a recent incident with 2 guys in my tri club ... but when he asked me if I date them, I told him that I never date any of the guys on the team. So I know that I need to show my respect and appreciation for him too.


Finally, you don't have any concern about his statement about how he has considered whether he should remain single? I suppose you will tell me this is quite common thought of men?

1. Stern? Oh heck no. Be YOU. It's your joy, happiness and enthusiasm about life that made you special enough for him to break his own 'plan' about staying single. Don't be what you're not.

In fact, if anything, 'act' like his whole statement just rolled off your back and doesn't effect you one way or another. But that, as I mentioned you might say something to the effect that casual "...isn't going to last forever". For now though, everything is fine.

2. Are YOU willing to put sex off at this point? Can't put toothpaste back in the tube or the Genie back in the bottle. However, you can ask him if he would like to back things up and slow it down, which takes that physical act off the table.

As much as you do and well rounded as you are - trying something new and way outside of your wheelhouse not only keeps the surprises coming for him, but for YOU. I have a feeling you need to surprise yourself a little every now and then. Push yourself to higher aspirations and new goals.

Not that this budding relationship isn't enough of a new challenge.

Oh and what I hear in his statement that he has considered whether or not he should remain single is that YOU have given him pause and caused him to reconsider his original plan. That's pretty powerful. And that's why I'm stressing that you handle this lightly. Not too serious, not stern, not with guidelines. Be 'just out of his reach' in order to keep him interested in having you.

'Out of reach' meaning perfectly ok with his needing more time/space. Let him see you filling the time that he could have had with you, with new endeavors and interests.

Men or women, we all tend to want what we can't have. It's a delicate balancing act though. Too 'out of reach' and he may stop trying. Just like you might stop if he continues to be unavailable.

Again, I can't stress enough, you're smart, you're experienced - trust your instincts!

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Then maybe I should not say that "he's worth compromising with"? Here is a draft of my reply to him ... can you give me your opinion?


Also, you don't think he is just offering to speak to me in person to tell me it's not going to work? I am referring to this sentence ..."I'm afraid that I do not have time to devote to repairing all this over these holidays (assuming things are reparable). I am willing to talk about this with you, but after these crazy holidays are over."


I know I'm dissecting here ... he writes the words "I'm willing to talk about this" ... I guess I would rather he say "I would like to talk about this". Do you know what I mean?


Here's a draft of my REPLY:


I appreciate your thoughtful and kind words.


I only wish you to be YOU Allen. My expectation is that you are your best self with me most of the time. I did not feel you showed me your best self recently and that is why I was disappointed. I felt disrespected and not valued.


I value you and the potential of this relationship enough to give you the space you feel you need. Of course this won't last forever and at some point we will have to revisit the definition of a relationship, but for now, you're worth compromising with.


I cannot convince you on the pros and cons of being happily single versus happily married. You have a bit of quandary that you and only you can find the answer to.


Lastly, I don’t view gifts as being “deserved” and there was absolutely no expectation of anything from you in return. I meant for you to have it and enjoy it, guilt free.


The poem belongs to you; I wrote it for you.

I would take these parts out as unnecessary to say at this point:

" I did not feel you showed me your best self recently and that is why I was disappointed. I felt disrespected and not valued."
"I cannot convince you on the pros and cons of being happily single versus happily married. You have a bit of quandary that you and only you can find the answer to." (He didn't ask for you to help or for your opinion)

I'm in full and utter agreement with your statement about the gift. And overall I applaud you for keeping it light and simple. You've got this

Customer: replied 4 years ago.



I edited my note as you suggest and ran it by a guy friend of mine who is also dating and the same age as Allen. To my surprise he was against me pursuing this guy.


He wrote:


Allen says a couple of key things that I will paraphrase. He says that he didn't contact you because he was really busy with work and seeing his friends. I find it hard to believe that a whole week passed by without him remembering to call or even text you; especially since his close friends would probably be asking him about his romantic life. It's not for me to try to guess why he didn't contact you but in any event you need to ask yourself this one key question "Do you want to be in a relationship with a guy who goes AWOL"? We need to depend on and trust those who we hold close.
Second: He says that your physical relationship is ahead of your emotional relationship. To me, this means that he isn't feeling the emotional connection yet. I suggest telling Allen that you would like to continue as very close friends but remove the pressure of a physical and emotional relationship so that it may develop at it's own natural pace. That you will both then be free to pursue either a single life, a relationship with each other, or a relationship with someone else.
Now I'm second guessing again. You are the expert and I want to keep an open mind but I also agree with what my guy friend says. If I wasn't in such a quandary, I would not have reached out to you to begin with.
What are your thoughts on what my guy friend thinks?
And maybe in my reply email I should also add,
"what do you hope for us to accomplish when we speak after the holidays". Do you think he is asking me for an opportunity to share with me more or to take a step back in our relationship and move slower?
-- I think it's great that you have such devoted and honest friends. The only thing I feel your friend isn't considering is the 'newness' of this whole thing and the fact that your gentleman friend had no intention of becoming involved at this point in time in his life and that his plans were to pretty much 'find himself' after a lifetime of living for someone else.

Your gentleman was forthright in saying he was busy and noting exactly how he was busy. He's enjoying his freedom from the tethers of a relationship that requires him to account for his time and whereabouts

---- However, through all of his explanations, he continuously tells you that he's still open minded as to where this might go. It was pretty much an "ooops" to have met you and become so enamored by you.

I appreciate your friends input and truly, being a male of the era as your gentleman it's very valuable to have that point of view, but I think the detail overlooked and yet so very important is that this whole thing is still in it's earliest stages. It's infancy.

I feel it's far too soon to decide that your gentleman would act this way down the line, after the two of you decide that yes, you are a couple and you're committed and you plan on a future spanning years in front of you.

Yes, if the gentleman continues to put so much significance on his friends and activities at that point I would be the first to tell you to respect yourself and cut him loose, never bothering to look back.

But not even 3 months old and the gentleman has never been dishonest with you about his position, it's hard to fault him enough to punish him by quitting.

Perhaps it will help get a better handle on everything if you circle a date. Give this a 'deadline' without mentioning it to your gentleman so he doesn't feel pressured and will be less likely to 'fake it'. If after this date he isn't making you a priority in his life, then by all means move on. Since the relationship has been sort of scant in the way of actual dates thus far, a good target might be at 4 months. That's about 6 weeks from now right?

It's a reasonable goal, it's a reasonable expectation and who knows, you might just decide upon getting to know him even better that he's just not what you're looking for.

---- Sound good to you?

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

It does ... I just sent Allen the note and will wait for his reply. I have nothing to lose as you say. I was never his and he was never mine to begin with.


You say thought that it was "pretty much an oops to have met me and become so enamored". But he met me through a dating site so he was actively looking. He met me, and closed his profile after we became intimate on his own (which is good).


Sorry, now I'm dissecting your words! Haha. I just want to make sure I understand you.

-- I know that's how and where you met, but he was open even then and admitted he wasn't looking for 'forever' when he went there. He was unsure about what he wanted other than maybe to meet someone new, to explore, be curious.

You were an 'oops'. That speaks volumes for you.

I have a feeling you're a rather analytic lady to begin with so I'm very understanding of being dissected. You're a problem solver; you are efficient and for you life is simple: You start here, you travel this route and you end up there. Simple. That life has other plans and all sorts of road work is more annoying than fun for you.

But you have to admit that it's been the side trips you've taken thus far that have been most enlightening


Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I sent him a reply as you suggested about 48 hours after I rec'd his original note to me. I have not contacted him since. I have been having fun w/o him (as I always have) and only had some passing thoughts of him but none where filled with negative feelings. I was hoping he'd reach out to me today to schedule time for us to talk as he suggested. I have not heard from him still.


Now it bothers me. I guess I was confident he would eventually reach out to me. After all, it was his suggestion to talk and it was him who used the words he would like "repair" things when he had more time after the crazy holidays. Is this a bad sign? In your experience, is it possible for something positive to come out of this?


Why don't you believe he is simply a non-commital man and I should steer clear? Sorry, feeling less confident today. Before I believed I was the "oops". There is a part of me who wants to believe he got "scared" because he does really like me. I am more intelligent than average, very fit, attractive and have been complemented about my personality ... that I'm upbeat and "cool" to be with. Yes, I know I don't have an issues captivating a man and I really thought I captivated this guy. Frankly, I've never had a guy go awol after connecting with me so well. Am I fantasizing and being arrogant?

-- I admired his openness and honesty. He showed real sensitivity and intellect in the email you showed me and frankly, the fact that you liked him spoke volumes too. Like attracts like (birds of a feather and all that). Not the physics 'opposites attract' which is true for physics, but in the socio-anthropological scheme of things, 'like attracts like' applies more realistically.

This weakness you're spotting in his inability to follow through with a face to face does lead me to feel your most basic instincts are correct and at least for now, cutting him loose would be a good idea.

If you're supposed to be together, you'll find your ways back to each other. My humanity and my sex compels me to believe there can be a successful (happily ever after) outcome. That's what we human females do, whether we want to admit it or not. I have heard of quite a few couples who found their way back to each other after separations due to any number of reasons and lasting for varying amounts of time. A couple married at 18, divorced at 22 and remarried at 60, still going strong at 75. A lot of life happened in between and they became the people they needed to be in order for the union to work and last.

This fellow seems to need to finish 'baking'. He's not who he needs to be in order to be with you the way you deserve. Obviously I can't tell you to walk away, but I can understand and support you if you do.

And let life happen for you too. You may find the right one to see you into your old age; you may find the right one for right now and re-meet the right one for the golden years. You might also decide that you are not just fine on your own, but enjoy being unfettered and free of having to live in concert with another person all the time.

But what I can't let you do is believe that any of this gentleman's faults or failings were your doing. You did what you needed to do; you compromised even when it was more one sided (his side) and you do not deserve to have this (or him) on your mind and shaking your confidence.

When in a relationship it should be like holding a balloon. Uplifting. Not like an anchor dragging us under.

Before you even ask about what you should tell him or how, let me just say that if you want that door open, keep it simple, tell him you feel the timing isn't right and you wish him well, to be sure to keep in touch now and then (but no more 'dating'). If you want to shut that door, then say the same things, but leave out the 'keep in touch' - always walk away with grace and style.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

So should I say something to him tomorrow then? Do I wait another week? Or do I just say nothing and let it go if he never contacts me again?

-- This part is up to you. If you want to tie it up with a neat bow and shut that door, politely, then certainly the sooner the better. Then shake it off and go forward.

If this were ME, I'd just move on and when he appears again I'd mention it. If he were to ask why I didn't say something, I'd very nicely say that given his actions/lack of them throughout, it didn't seem important. I mean, how important did he treat you?

You have to do what you feel, not what I say. YOU have the power

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

So you think because I have not heard from him by now it is a sign despite everything he wrote to me? I'm trying to see it from his perspective and I know he is swamped at work and probably THINKING about what to do. He is a very mature man and intelligent. I wonder if I should give him more time or is he being completely immature and avoidant? Is it reasonable for him to reach out to me next week then? Is he that overwhelmed right now and my expectations for him to contact me this week unreasonable?

- I think that YOU are ready to move forward. Whether his actions or lack of them is a sign or not should have nothing to do with you.

I don't want you to be taken advantage of and call it a 'compromise', you see? No lady should be disrespected - left hanging, waiting for a phone call or date or meeting at the whim of the gentleman who says he's interested.

You are the one who pointed out to me that your feelings were that he "could be" a cad (succinctly put) and if you even think that, chances are there's a reason. That 'instinct' thing again, you know?

Yes, his communications (when there are some) is intelligent, well spoken, seemingly understanding, etc., BUT actions do speak louder than words and where are they? The lack of action, the lack of compassion and respect of not leaving you out to dry - ready and waiting for him to appear at his convenience, just isn't there.

Immature? Maybe. Avoidant? Who cares? The fact is he's over 40 and DOES know better. So what he's doing is with full knowledge of it being wrong and disrespectful, yet he continues to do it.

We must be responsible for our actions - that's that.

You are not being unreasonable; you have every right to be treated with care and respect - and to walk away if you aren't.

Stop spending so much time thinking about what's going on his head and respect yourself - follow what's going on in your head. What's right for YOU

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Unfortunately here is the reply I rec'd from him on Friday:


"hope you had a wonderful holidays. Hope all is peaceful and well.
I had a nice one as well, catching up with family and friends and just taking time to slow down and think.
And in thinking, I have come to the conclusion that I would rather be alone now and that I will drop out of the dating world altogether at this time. I believe on balance, I can't really conjure enough of whatever that is one needs to keep a relationship going. I know you are looking for a companion and someone with which you can have a close and enduring relationship, but I think that I am not the one for you, and that your time would be better spent with someone else.
I do not have any particular 'issue' with you, as I have mentioned before, and really don't have any other explanation other than I am just not really drawn in to this enough to pursue it further.
I appreciate your company and efforts and wish you all the best."
I had not contacted him since I sent him the note you suggested. I was hoping that he would follow through on his suggestion on meeting to talk about taking our relationship slow. I am surprised he decided to just end it. I understand and I did go on to enjoy my weekend away snowboarding with my friends and there are a dozen fun photos of me enjoying my time that I'm sure he saw on Facebook.
I have not replied to him and while I am moving on I do want to keep the door open and leave a good lasting impression on him ... to send him a message that I am completely different than his past GF's and that he could be happier in a relationship with me. I suspect his past GF's did not share his interests and weren't as passionate sexually with him .... he had shared/complained about his ex-fiance and paid me a compliment that their relationship "wasn't like this". I can also tell the most recent GF was very diff from me and that I am more compatible.
I take what he wrote at face value and believe he is struggling with wanting to have a long-term committed relationship and I wonder if he had 1 too many disappointments that left him working hard to be in the relationship and left unsatisfied. I still want to send him the book on Buddhism that I got him and include a letter in it.
1) I was either going to just send the book and inscribe it "To Allen, Rest easy" ... those were taken from the last sentence of his previous note to me and I want to show that I listened to him, that I accept him. How does that sound to you?
2) In my letter to him, I want it to demonstrate 2 things A) that I "get him" and "accept" him and B) to convey my appreciation for our time together ... I want him to have a warm fuzzy feeling when he reads it ... as I think he'll hold on to the letter and read it over again in the future. I want it to encourage him to reconnect with me when he is "ready to re-enter the dating world" IF I'm still available.
Here's part A:
Allen, I genuinely understand how you feel. I too have felt the same thing for myself in the past. In my mid 20's - early 30's, I lived with with a wonderful loving man. Everyone thought we had the perfect relationship. However, I found myself feeling stifled and lonely in this relationship. I was inexperienced then, and learned that it was because we were not compatible. We did not share enough passion and energy for the same things in life. I felt ashamed feeling so free and alive when I left him. He was hurting so much but I was much happier. Fortunately, I was able to learn and grow from that experience and would meet men who would become great playmates, friends and eventually boyfriends. One would last 7 years and the one after 3 years. As you know, the former ended because neither one of us wanted to move and in the latter is severely depressed and anxious. Regardless, for me I have come to the conclusion that I had so many positive experiences and feelings from both of those relationships that I remain a hopeFUL romantic.
This past year I too have been single and not dating at all. During that time, I have completed an Ironman, decided to write a cookbook, and made some big career decisions that I am very excited about. While I have no idea of how you came to the decision that you would be happier alone, I understand it. You are correct. I am looking for a companion and something enduring. After all, if I find the "right" companion, who can share in my happy world, why wouldn't I want it to endure?
Here's part B:
I have enjoyed every moment with you. It was wonderful to be able to share time with you doing things that we both really enjoy, listening to music, learning about a variety of topics that interest us. One of my sweetest memories is when you read your favorite poetry to me. It inspired me to dig into boxes I have not unpacked since I moved to find all of my old poetry books, that I have kept out of sight and denied myself the pleasure of enjoying. I am having great fun reading them now. I also learned how to play "Back on the Chain Gang". It was one of the songs in your book that I thought would work with you playing the slide guitar and me on the acoustic. I'm on to the song "Collide" and am trying to find the music to Sugarman. That would be fun to play!
You see, I cherish my time with you Allen and would not trade it for the world and I too am in my happy place.
3) I want to leave the door open but in a way that he needs to chase me so I don't want it to be obvious so what if I ended it as follows
I will remember you fondly XXXXX XXXXX think of you this summer when I compete in a fun triathlon where I will be kayaking instead of swimming, followed by biking and running. My friends gently reminded me that I promised to do it in 2013 after I completed my first Ironman.
If you like, let me know when you are docent-ing next. If you think it is appropriate, perhaps I can bring my friends' 2 children (you met them briefly). Otherwise, I'd love to see the tide pools solo too.
Rest easy Allen,
4) What do you think of this? Am I being totally naive? I believe what he wrote. 75% of me believes him. The other 25% thinks he is saying that he's just not into me and that he never will be ... BUT why did he bother to write what he did? I just don't know if he would go through the trouble to think about this and to say he is dropping out of the dating world?
Your thoughts? Keep in mind, I am NOT waiting for him but I too take my time and don't date for the sake of dating. It is possible I may be still single if, and a BIG IF, he comes around. Also, I am a hopeFUL romantic and think I could still be that "oops" you mentioned.
Have you seen this scenario work out?
--Oh for heaven's sake! This guy has some issues and despite being well spoken, clearly intelligent and honest to a fault, I think that he's one of the fish you need to throw back; or the cake that isn't quite done.

Let's give him credit for not leading you on and then walk away. You can't analyze any of this or anything he's said prior to this because chances are that while it was probably true when he said it, an hour from now it could be different.

He's yet to find himself after his previous relationship(s) and this can make his emotions and thoughts sort of like a pinball machine ball - up, down, sideways, here, there and who knows, maybe there's another game when it comes right down to it; maybe it's 'tilt! Game over'

Rather than give anymore thought or weight to his statement, come to the acceptance of it for what it is. A man in motion - a man who has yet to figure out who he is and what he wants.

Nothing to do with you or anything you've done, said or didn't do/say.

Like I said earlier, sometimes people get on with living and life makes them who they are when they re-meet. IF they re-meet. Sometimes this is what makes them work the second time around (a couple married at 20, divorced shortly thereafter and re introduced to each other at 50, remarried and going strong to the very end.

So get on with living, just like he intends to - and if it's supposed to happen, it will. When he's done cooking and becomes who he doesn't even know he is.

I feel really bad for you though. You don't deserve this sort of confused mess at this point in your life. A 40-something man should be as complete and self assured as you are (and most other 40 year olds).

Give him the space and time he needs. Let absence make that heart grow fonder and then, when (if?) he comes around again the decision will be all yours. Who knows, you might be spoken for by then.

You deserve what you give. He's not it (at this point).

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

so I shouldn't send a letter to him at all? do you think that will do more harm than good?


i have no expectation but i just don't want to regret not doing anything that might be impactful. This was the letter I was going to send:


Allen, I genuinely understand how you feel. I too have felt the same thing for myself in the past. In my mid 20's - early 30's, I lived with a wonderful loving man. Everyone thought we had the perfect relationship. However, I found myself feeling stifled and lonely while in this relationship. I was inexperienced then; while we shared many values, we were not compatible. There wasn’t enough passion and energy for the same things in life. I felt ashamed feeling so free and alive when I left him. I was happier and he was hurt. There was a lot of resentment all around. Fortunately, I was able to learn and grow from that experience and would meet men who became great playmates, friends and eventually boyfriends. One would last 7 years and the one after 3 years. As you know, the former ended because neither one of us wanted to leave our country and in the latter, he was severely depressed and anxious. Still, I had so many positive experiences and feelings from both of those relationships; I remain a hopeFUL romantic.


This past year I too have enjoyed being single and not dating at all. During that time, I have completed an Ironman, decided to write a cookbook, and made some big career decisions that I am very nervous and excited about.


While I have no understanding how you came to your decision to remain alone for now, I truly understand it. You are correct. I am looking for a companion and something enduring. After all, if I find the "right" companion, who can share in my happy world, yet allow me the space to enjoy my selfish pursuits; be as fun as, but not replace all of my closest friends; share in my laughter, yet challenge me; see the world through the same childlike eyes, eager for the next experience; and cheer me on as I do my crazy things, why wouldn't I want it to endure? Not to mention how cool it would be if he could make my toes curl when he kisses me?


I cherish my time with you Allen and would not trade it for the world and I too am in my happy place. It was wonderful to be able to share time with you doing things that we both really enjoy, listening to music, and exploring a variety of topics that interest us. One of my sweetest memories is when you read your favorite poetry to me. It inspired me to dig into boxes I have not unpacked since I moved to find all of my old poetry books, that I have kept out of sight and denied myself the pleasure of enjoying. I am having great fun reading them now. Had I not seen the movie with you, I would not have tormented myself over the holidays trying to learn how play Sugarman.


I will remember you fondly XXXXX XXXXX think of you this summer when I compete in a fun triathlon where I will be kayaking instead of swimming, followed by biking and running. My friends gently reminded me that I promised to do it in 2013 after I completed my first Ironman.


If you like, let me know when you are docent-ing next. If you think it is appropriate, perhaps I can bring my friends' 2 children (you met them briefly).


Rest easy Allen,




Actually I wish I had a chance to hear him and I guess I would ask him how he came to feel this way and what fears, disappointments he's had in the past that lead to this decision?


I just don't know if he would be willing to share with me via email

--- I understand why you want to send this, I really do! You're hurt, confused and even a bit angry. As unique as this seems to you, you really aren't the only one who has entered a relationship from a mature, seasoned point in your life only to find the fellow of the same age bracket somehow barely beyond 16 on the maturity scale.

So if you step back and look at it that way, how much of anything you say is going to be received in the right spirit by a teenager?

You're going to come off more like a mom or guidance counselor and I don't think that's the impression you want to leave him with.

What's the point of asking 'why' when he's already tried to explain it and may feel pressured to keep rehashing things.

My strong suggestion is that you do not respond at all. Leave this with an air of mystery and dignity.

I know it's not going to be easy because you want things to make sense; however, again, how many teenagers make sense? Even when they're over 40.

No visits while he's working (docent) either or you may come off as a stalker.

Just let go. The silence and the absence will be louder and more overwhelming than anything you can say or do.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thanks for your reply. I am not hurt, angry or confused at all. I actually accept what he is saying. Must be the Buddhist in me, but I am more accepting of Allen than all of my friends. I am quite calm and while I was disappointed, I didn't feel in twinge of any hurt at all. I know you may find this hard to believe. It took many years of my father trying to teach me mediation, calmness, acceptance ... particularly after the breakup with my previous boyfriend who suffered from clinical depression. I dated that guy for 3 years and we are now friends. If you knew what he did to me you would be very surprised we are friends. We went to see a therapist but the best therapist was my father trying to teach me the "Buddhist" way and I have learned, and am still learning, that I can choose to be angry and hurt.


I choose not to feel any anger or hurt with Allen. Allen is also studying Buddhism and the book I wanted to give him was one of the books he was looking for. Perhaps if Allen continues to study, he may be able to figure out what he wants and find peace for himself wrt to committed relationships.


That is why I interpret his email to me a little differently than my friends. I understand the words he chose. Of course, I am grounded enough to ask for your advice and my friends as a sanity check and to ensure that I am not being too naive or blindly optimistic.


Generally, I believe in the good of people and if there is one thing I learned from being in a 3 year relationship with a clinically depressed man, is that you can learn to forgive and good things can come from loving kindness. In fact, I asked my ex about Allen and he thought I should give Allen a chance and sit and listen to him.


I am not trying to rehash things with him, but to give him food for thought.


But it sounds like you don't believe Allen is as sincere as we had initially thought. I don't know. Allen is a good man and thoughtful. I think in genuinely trying to find happiness and peace in his life. I think he has the capacity to commit to family and friends and I wonder if there had been enough disappointments in his romantic life that causes him to feel scared of a relationship? I think he is a strong and honest enough man that he would say to me, that doesn't think we will work out. Instead he is saying he may remain single for the rest of his life. That is a pretty big statement, don't you think?


Also, I was not planning to visit him when he volunteers to docent. I asked for his invitation if he is comfortable down the road ... perhaps several months from now. He is actually a physician and we had talked about me coming to see the tide pools when he docented and that I would bring my friend's 5 and 7 year old children. I am geniunely interested in that and he and I would watch educational videos on the ocean and biology and Buddhism together. We actually had a lot in common. Again, I am not going to buy into "he got scared because he really liked me" theory that I read about on the web and in books. I am merely asking your opinion if that is possible.


So a part of me thinks it is possible, he is being a total coward and he simply isn't into me ... and his explanation is his way of softening the blow, however I think this is unlikely because his profile is down from the site and I gotta tell you, I believe what he wrote. It is believable based on my interaction with him and the way he has talked about his past relationships and how he has told me that is positive ways ... that he and I were more passionate and that he and I had lots of common interests and that he once told me, he could not resist me. In addition, he made a point to tell me that "we don't have to have sex" and we can just enjoy spending time together but I know he really enjoyed having sex with me and could not resist me. So I behaved and he would behave too.


He was really trying.


I agree with leaving an air or mystery and dignity. I appreciate your encouragement in that.


He's an interesting cad ... he's not a player (he's been in a few long term relationships lasting a year or more) and is not interested in 1 night stands. He was a gentleman and did not rush things. I think he is really afraid of losing his freedom and worried that he would not be happy in a relationship or worried about getting hurt.


In case my theory is right, I want to plant a seed in his head that I am different than the previous girlfriend and fiancee. I am not as needy and he could still have the freedom to kayak all weekend while I trained for my Ironman.


Am I crazy to actually believe the man? What if you knew my theory of him being afraid of having a relationship were true? Would you still tell me not to write that letter? I suppose you would still tell me that if my theory is true, then it will still be up to him to have that epiphany and return to me down the road, if I'm available?


What if I shorted the note a bit. If he is not going to return at all, why not leave him with a sweet not he will remember me by ... or is complete silence and mystery still the best way to go?


My apologies ... I wish we could have a dialogue so there aren't all the emails going back and forth. I just want to make sure you have all the information. I am a bit of a perfectionist too and I want to make sure that I am 100% right ... but I know that unless I can read his mind, I can never be 100% right ... or even if I could read his mind ... because he doesn't even know what he wants!


I am trying to be smart about this and really compassionate.


I accept what he says and I am not mad and I don't find anything bad about it. I want to let him know that. Sincerely XXXXX XXXXX won't allow myself to feel one bit sad.


I am just trying to understand him as best I can and not turn away a man who could potentially be the right man for me down the road.


Does that make sense?

"food for thought" or have the last word? I have to be firm on this and reiterate that he'll have more to think about if you say nothing, do nothing, just let it go. You know, "If you love something, set it free; if it is meant to be it will return to you"

--- You admit ".. he doesn't even know what he wants" and since he hasn't asked for your counseling or advice or sermon or anything else, by giving him what he's not asking for is likely to be perceived as a negative. Whether you come off looking and sounding like his mom, his psychiatrist, his spiritual leader or just some 'knows everything' lady, why take the chance of getting that last word in being a sour note.


Let me say this again and again, I know your intentions are right; I know you're very intelligent, insightful and one of those few 'have it altogether women' of this day and age so please don't think I'm missing any of that. I'm speaking to the emotional and mental workings of a full grown man who is replaying his teen years. Justified or not -- even when HE seeks out counsel to move on and mature, it would be a hard wall to scale. This I know from decades upon decades of experience. Coming from a ladyfriend that he has just cut loose? He'll perceive it with that teen mentality and emotional viewpoint, no matter how wise you are and no matter how much he knows it


Absence makes the heart grow fonder. Let him be surprised by your grace and control in letting it all go without so much as a backward glance. Let his imagination take over and build the 'perfect woman' out of you based on your not doing what others would (responding)


Of course this is all up to you - and even if you do your thing I'm here to support you without nary an "I told you so".

Even if sometimes it doesn't seem like it, I'm on your side and I want only the best for you

(talk about sounding like a mom !)

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thanks mom :-)

Well, I do have a child your age. I can't help myself :-/

You are a very smart, strong and cultured lady. I would be very proud if you were my daughter. So hang in there and know that this is HIS loss and YOUR opportunity to find someone needing much less 'work'

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hello Dr. Abbott,


I have a new question for you. I appreciated your help earlier.


I recently dated guy who we met as friends. I kept it as friends for 2.5 months b/c he's 12 yrs younger (he's 34). He knew my age & continued to show interest.


I felt like we got to know each other well as friends before dating: carpooled for 8 hrs 2x; spent weekends away w/group of friends,; exchanged emails, texts & met for dinners & ice cream (as friends). Then when he finally kissed me there was great chemistry and we became intimate & sex was great. We then dated; he seemed very eager to see me; he texted mostly every day and he asked to call/talk to me on phone; he kept in touch while I was out of town training; we talked about everything. He goes out of town with me for a big event and stays with me the whole weekend.


Then he tells me after 4-5 weeks of dating that he is too stressed and may want to move to another state to get away from his family and for a change, therefore he cannot be in a relationship now. He told me this after he took me out for a belated birthday dinner. We had a nice dinner, went out for a walk in town to get ice cream and he took time. It was like any other date. He dropped to bomb when we got home and sat down. I was stunned.

His father was diagnosed with skin cancer (which is treatable) & his work is very stressful (he wants to change careers/maybe go back to school) and he says he knows 'how he can get' when he was depressed following the death of his mother 5 years ago due to cancer. He says he likes to be alone sometimes (particularly in times of stress0 and he recently drove off for 4 hours to no where. He says he just goes to his room & listens to music. I asked him about our age diff and he told me the thought never entered into his mind and that his decision has nothing to do with me.

I was calm but surprised and just told him it was ok & that I understand. He said he was going back & forth, and he is sorry. He made a point to say that he didn't seek to have a short term fling with me; that he was in search of something longer term. I asked if he was telling me the truth, he said yes but wish I asked more. I was too caught off guard to think.


Does the rubber-band apply after 4-5 weeks of dating if we were friends for 2 months before? He's good about communicating & I am the first one he reaches out to when he needs to vent/talk. He texted/called almost every day (mostly text but initiated calls - I never called him, I let him take the lead and chase me). I felt good that he is comfortable talking to me about anything and early on he showed his vulnerable side, sharing about his regrets when he lost his mom; his difficult relationship w/his dad; hopes & dreams in life; a little about his last long-term relationship. It was a good relationship from my perspective and I didn't push. The ONLY thing I noticed was that he might have been hesitant to be public as a 'couple' in front of mutual friends but not too bad. I kinda felt the same way as I wanted to avoid gossip & drama during the early fragile stages of our relationship. (We both belong to a triathlon club where we met and have the same circle of friends.) I did not feel insecure about it and was going to wait until 2-3 months went by before we were an official 'couple'. I did not have the 'are we BF/GF conversation as it seemed he and I were on the same page, enjoying getting to know each other and having fun.


Do I believe him? Or do I wait and see if he reaches out to me in a couple of weeks? I'm confused b/c we were friends and it ended so suddenly. Good friends that get along w/common interests/compatible + chemistry should last longer than 4-5 weeks? What should I do? Thought about either:

1) Writing a letter (very gentle & understanding) expressing my thoughts 2) or asking him to meet me to chat briefly where I would ask him "what is the primary thing about ME that you made your decision on" and to say "why not break up with me or whomever when you do decide to move"?

3) Send him the following email?

"Hey, I was caught off guard last week and I didn't get a chance to respond by saying you were a good friend to me and I appreciated all of your help at Tahoe. I was grateful you were there, exactly at the right moment to comfort me.

I admire that you are consistently there for your family and friends and I want you to know that if you need support, I would try to comfort you in return.

I'd like to talk more on the phone if you are willing."

I've been told by 1 guy this sounds desperate & too emotional; I've been told by another guy I need to put MORE emotion and to say "You mean a lot to mean and not just when things are going well. I'd like to talk. Let me know when is a good time?


I'm very confused. Girlfriend says he needs space & telling the truth. Guy pals think he is not telling me something, lost interest, etc. I really feel we have potential (assuming he feels the same way). What do I do? Talk to him (for purposes of closure) because there is no hope? Do nothing and see if he comes back? Send him a letter for both closure and maybe he'll think about it over time and then come back?


Again, many 'schools of thought' in this. One camp (mostly guys) say he made his decision and he is telling me what I want to hear as to not hurt my feelings and something changed or he made a decision I am not long-term potential; that he just came up with an 'excuse' to soften the blow but taking me out to dinner before is 'eccentric' as 1 friend put it.

Girlfriends thinks he is telling the truth.


It was hot and heavy when we started dating and we took it slow before. He just was in contact and eager to be with me.

Then he was stressed when he father came home so that makes his story plausible. But you would think you'd want someone you are 'hot' for and can talk to, to be around to lean on as your friend/lover through tough times? I'm the first one he called whenever something happened (as soon as his father came home; when something happened at work; when he fell and got a concussion and is sitting in ER).


I want to talk to him but afraid to; and not sure of the timing.


And just to share, this is what he told me after we came back to my house:

"I want to talk about you and me. I want you to know that it was not my intent to have a short term relationship; my intent was to have a longer term relationship. I wasn't just trying to get into your pants. I been thinking about this and was thinking of moving to Portland, I might need to take care of my father from now on, my brother has financial problems and can't even afford to have a car ... I cannot be responsible for another person. I cannot be in a relationship. My decision has nothing to do with you."

Is this a line "it's not you, it's me"??? I'm so conflicted by it. I want him to come around and tell him he is overwhelmed and that he does have feelings for me. My friends tell me that it is over but a couple of friends tell me that could see themselves doing what he's doing and that I should reach out. One says my draft note is too emotional and sounds desperate. Another says I didn't write enough about how I feel. So confused. It's been almost 2 weeks and I have not heard from him.


I had been wondering how you made out and how you're doing. I'm glad to hear from you although I had hoped with better news, like an impending wedding.

I've read over your question a few times and my opinion is to cut this one loose and be grateful he was honest rather than allow it to go on without feeling the same way you do.

Remember, 'it is what it is', right? You cannot change someone who doesn't want to be changed.

I completely get your point and your perception that he might be faltering for other reasons (it really ISN'T you; it's him).

If you're going to pursue this anyway, no note or letter please. See him in person. Tell him what you need to say, ask him what you need to know, eye to eye.

He owes you this much. As they call it, "closure". Or not. If this guy just needs reassurance that you'll always be there, the talk itself will prove your motive and your sincerity.

Remember how many times you've thought you had a love match? Aren't you glad you let them go? Happy that you met someone else, even if that one didn't work out either?

The truth of the matter is that we have to 'try on' lots of jeans before we find the perfect fit -- and by that I mean we have to date lots of people before we find that elusive 'soul mate'.

You can't rush it; you can't make someone into it if they aren't. But you can take the lessons you've learned along with you. For example, perhaps you like the devil may care attitude of one guy and the vulnerability of another, stuck together with the glue of a romancer who makes one on one time extraordinary.

For as many guys who have glitches in their heads or hearts or both, there are those who are your perfect fit --- and for the guys you send on their way because something about them just doesn't work for you, the lessons add up to a fantastic blueprint of your perfect mate.

So the botXXXXX XXXXXne? If it's important for you to have clarity and closure, arrange to have a talk with your fellow.

No note/letter. Then be honest with yourself. If you continue on with him would you be 'settling' ? You are worth so much more than that

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thanks so much for your thoughtful reply.


I do plan to 'cut him loose'. While I wish he would come to the conclusion he made a mistake and purse me further, it should be his choice and not for me to try to change his mind. I do seek clarity.


My question is ... do you think from your experience counseling other men if you've seen this before where the man had regrets and come back?


1) Do you think he is telling the truth?

2) Do you think he might have felt he could not be responsible for another person?

3) Do you think he lost interest or was not that interested to begin with? I guess the answer to this is 'no' if you believe it has nothing to do with me?


A part of me wonders if he wanted to discuss it further with me. Yes in my experience, I looked forward to the next guy. But after 47 years, this one is different. I can honestly say ... he was the best of the best I have met. I had not fallen i love with him as we had not been together long but I will tell you that our chemistry was like my 1st boyfriend 20 & first love years ago (and he told me he felt the same way too) and we spoke easily, and could have fun together. It was the most perfect I have ever experienced. Perhaps that is only from my perspective, but I really felt it from him, in the things he did to get my attention, to care for me BEFORE we ever dated. I think he was the real deal. I am not 100% certain of it and do wonder if he told me partial truth. But I do believe we had something really special (I know that sounds so cliche) and he could not or would not have behaved or reacted to me in the way he had if there were not real feelings there. He opened up to me about things. I was the first person he called about whenever. it seemed to change over night when his father came home. At age 47, I've date a lot and feel I have a healthy approach. I don't fall in love easily and do not become attached/infatuated as easily as most women. I am able to keep my emotions in check and kept my distance with him as friends for 2.5 months.


I guess I feel there is a chance that he got scared and might be worried he would disappoint me; maybe because his last girlfriend was too demanding or could not deal with him when his mother had passed away?


Am I being too naive?


do you think from your experience counseling other men if you've seen this before where the man had regrets and come back?

*** Yes, I've seen men return with tail between their legs and in deep regret. BUT I've also seen this being nothing more than a 'game'. They want you when they can't have you and when they get you it's not the magic they expected (these men are usually emotionally stunted) and regular break ups become a pattern just so they can have that exciting "make up" honeymoon period once again.


1) Do you think he is telling the truth?
*** As he knows it, yes. This doesn't mean it IS the truth, it's just what he beieves is the truth from his perspective.

2) Do you think he might have felt he could not be responsible for another person?
**** That he 'could not be responsible for another person' ? No. That he's too busy being his own biggest fan and over-indulging himself? Yes.


3) Do you think he lost interest or was not that interested to begin with? I guess the answer to this is 'no' if you believe it has nothing to do with me?

***** I think when it comes to sharing and compromising his interest just isn't there. He and making himself happy are full time obligations

Couples counseling might provide a 'safe forum' for hi to come clean and I strongly recommend it; however, a big 'tell' as to his sincerity would be whether he agrees to attend or not. If he's willing to learn, admit mistakes and keep going, there's always hope

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thanks. I don't want to lose this one. I accept it but I think I'd be happy with him.

I don't think he's he type to chase then lose interest so easily like that. I could be wrong but I don't think he's THAT guy but I could be just very naive? I don't see him over-indulging himself ... rather I see him trying to meet his own expectations of himself and doing things for those he cares for ... he is a nurturer and enjoys that ... he had a conversation with me when we were dating about what we look for in relationships and he is nurturer and he gravitates towards those qualities too.

i just think he's a good guy ... and of course I want him. I am just so stunned that he was so respectful as a friend, the way he proved what a good guy he was to me; the gentle way in which he showed interest in me ... and how it was electric when he was brave enough to kiss me.

I want so bad for it to be true that he got scared and is overwhelmed .... that he didn't want to disappoint me (he said that he knows how he was when his mother passed away) and he and I could have a dialogue, his mind would be at ease about that and we would at least try to work through it.

having dated others who I agree would need counseling ... I'm not sure he is one of them.


I guess I want to know what i should do to find out if what I hope for about him is true and what are the best next steps to get him there .... it bothers me that I virtually said nothing to him when he dropped the bomb on me ... I didn't get a chance.... I was speechless ... I just cannot believe that a man, who got to know me .... really liked me as a friend and hanging out with me; caring for me the way he did when we were friends, and interested for a while ... who finally gets me, and it is just electric when we do get together and it is good and seems to start building ... would simply lose interest. I am really having a hard time getting my head around this and replaying our interactions and reading all old texts/emails and there are no signs really ...nothing out of the ordinary ... the usual stuff and lots of interest on his part

I'm sorry for the delay, but I'm not getting notified of your responses. Apparently the system is viewing this thread as a follow up to the initial question from some time ago - and it closes it after my replies.

They (the site) tell me it should have been a 'new' question and blah blah blah.

Anyway - counseling need not be complicated or ongoing, just a few visits to learn how to identify his feelings and fears and then express them rather than just vaguely walking away and leaving you wondering what just happened.

You see, I don't think he 'lost interest', I think he more than likely lost how to put words to his feelings and fears, so like he's probably done in his past, he just quits and walks away with some unclear excuses.

Once again, it's NOT YOU... it's him. For real

He needs to learn how to stick it out and communicate like a grown up. It would be great if you could teach him, but he'd always wonder if there were ulterior motives. Thus the need to have an unbiased 3rd party intervene.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you Dr. Abbott. I just sent him a text thanking him for his friend/support when i neeed it and offering my friendship &comfort/support in return; and asking him to meet me to talk. Wish me luck and thanks again.

Here's an update We met and spoke back in November. He ended up taking me out to dinner which was nice. I was lighthearted and behaved like the cheerful friend, like I had always been. We had to wait for a table so we ended up walking up and down the sidewalk which I used as an opportunity to start the conversation. I was trying to keep him relaxed and I heard talking, walking and speaking side by side is what men are most comfortable with (Helen Fisher). I joked around with him. He seemed at ease. I started by telling him that I was confused and felt hurt. I told him it was ok though. He is not the first guy to hurt me and I've been in his shoes too. I told him the purpose of meeting was to understand if there was something I could have done to avoid being hurt ... if I missed any 'signs' or 'clues' because I was worried I can be naive. He said there was nothing. So I tried giving him almost a multiple choice, and asked him 1) did you at first thought my age did not matter but then you thought about it more and it did matter 2) did your feelings not grow for me 3) was it simply you are not into me anymore ... he said it was none of those things. I told him it is ok, if it was any of those things, I would not be upset with him ... he stopped walking, turned his body to me, and said "look, I don't know what you want me to say ... this has nothing to do with you". He said it firmly. So I paused and backed off a little. i asked him, "you mean to tell me, that if your father did not come home from Greece that we would still be together". he said "yes". I then asked "Walk me through what you think it would be like with me and your father being home" I can't remember his reply exactly but I remember his got frustrated and made that audible noise .. like almost a sigh, and said "I just don't want to deal with it. I don't want the responsibility." I said that I would think he would want someone in his life to 'talk to' or confide in ... (after all those are the perks of being in a relationship) and he replied I have my friends to talk to I told him I understand. Then I said, a man told me once that "nothing keeps a man away from a woman he really wants to be with" ... Ted quickly said "NO, that is not true" I asked about his past relationship and his last long term relationship which lasted 3 years and which was maybe 4 years ago, they never fought and the relationship ran it's course and it was mutual decision to end it. I asked him if he loved her. He said 'of course, we dated for 3 years'. He did say it was bad that they didn't fight ... only 1 argument and that he has been accused of not wanting to fight. I cannot recall exactly where in the conversation he said it but he said "you are going to tell me I need therapy?" and I looked at him and said "no, I was not going to tell you that"We continued chatting. Then I tried a different approach. We sat on the bench, and I began to tell him "I just want you to know, how much I appreciated having you there at Ironman Lake Tahoe for me. It meant a lot especially when I DNF'd ... I was grateful that you happen to be there, exactly when I got stopped on the bike. I almost cried when you hugged me. My only expectation from you, since we were friends all along, and before we dated, was for you to be authentic with me." He turned his head, and I thought I saw a glimmer in his eyes, looked me right in the eye and said "I've been nothing but authentic with you." The way he said it, and the way he looked at me, right in my eyes, I really believed him. When we sat for dinner, I pretended to roll up my sleeves and said, "ok this is where I will shine the swinging light in front of you so you will tell me the truth" and I joked ... he took the joke well and said "bring on the sodium penthanol" (or whatever it's called). I kept it light, cheerful, non-confrontation and felt I did everthing I could to allow him to be honest with me. I told him it was ok ... I'm hurt but I'm ok if you tell me the truth. He would not tell me any more. We had a good time and then I let it go and we talked about other stuff. he shared things with me like he did in the past. He asked to use my bathroom at my house (he could have gone at the restaurant i suppose) then he said goodbye. I gave him a hug and gave him a kiss on the cheek ... he quickly kissed neck and gave me a warm hug and kiss. He smiled and that was it. I texted him to invite him for Thanksgiving with my friends ... no pressure because he told me, he was not of his plans that he might just grab fast food and that's it. So I felt bad and invited him and his father. He politely declined. We chatted via email over the past several weeks but mostly me initiating. I would ask questions about mountain biking. I have been wanting to buy one for a long time and we had been talking about it for months he is a good mountain biker and knows a lot about bikes. So he would give me advice. I saw him at our big race in Dec. He was running the 50K and I was running the marathon. It was a trail race. I could see him looking around. His race started 2 hours early and I went up to him to say "hi". He looked happy to see me. He finished much earlier than me but he said he waited to see me finish for a bit. I was ok that he didn't wait. It was super cold and he was tired from his race. He sent me a text congratulating me on my 1st trail race.I just don't know what to make of our meeting. I want to believe him. I do believe him with some things he says... like the way he said "it has nothing to do with me" and "that he's been authentic". I went back and re-read all of the text messages since April when I first met him and you can see how real it was. Are men so different from women that they can do a 180 just like that? He was definitely interested in me and it bothers me we were friends before. He flirted and he many opportunities to get to know me before dating me. You typically don't get that benefit when dating. It is the non-commitment get to know you ... really get to know you by seeing you train, in social settings, under pressure during a race, without make-up etc. We had ice cream, dinners, went to a movie and drove 4 hours each day together ... what the heck? I wished him merry xmas and he texts right back ... and I sent him a birthday card ... he thanked me for it ... but when I wrote back 48 hours later "you're welcome and asked him if he got the new Garmin watch for working out" he has not responded yet. He forwarded an email about a mountain bike demo which I replied thanking him and asked him a question and he had not replied. He typically replies quickly. I know he's working a lot this month. And today I saw a picture of him and a really attractive girl, his age, running a trail with another guy and girl. Of course, it is probably like the photos he had with me and my friends, but this one bothered me because he held her iPhone (I know I'm talking like a high school girl) and it hit me in my gut. I made up a story that he is flirting with her. I am attractive and I know he is very attractive to me but he's 35, I'm 47 (I look 35) and she is 32. I don't blame him. I just rather he tell me the truth ... that he thought he'd be ok with my age but the more he thought about it, the more he could not do it and he really likes me and doesn't want to hurt me ... but it hurts me to hear him "lie" if he is lying. Does that make sense? I didn't allow him to get close to me at first because of our age diff. He admitted after he kissed me that he took his time too and waited so long to kiss me. Every time we met, he was genuinely excited to see me and enjoyed my company. I had not felt like this in 20 years ... no joke. and even he said, that he felt like he was in high school again. It just felt so good just to hang with each other. then he grew cold. I friend told me to tell him I miss him and I have nothing to lose but tell him how i feel. another says walk away with my pride and dignity. the other says that being honest is being dignified. I have drafted a letter, that is kind, that tells him how I feel, my concerns about our conversation, how I believe it is my age and that I truly don't blame him ... he is a young, good looking guy, a gentleman, fun to be with and he can attract a young, attractive woman, like the girl in the photo I saw ... i am sad but I can see him with her ... makes me sad ... very sad but I can see them together. Again ... I can hold my own ... I am attractive, athletic, fun and youthful so I don't sell myself short but I am realistic too ... and if he wanted a family and a younger woman, that is what I would expect ... of course I wish he would pick me over her ... and find me much more wonderful ... :-) I want to know what he feels ... I wish I had a chance to ask him when we met, what he was 'thinking" ... what the "conversation" he had with himself ... he told me he was going back and forth with this when we broke up ... I wanted to know what the pros and cons were ... I just want to know the truth ...and I am afraid that I will regret not telling him how I feel; I'm afraid I will scare him further away; I'm afraid of what he will think of me ... but then again, why should that matter? What do you make of his conversation with me and what do you think about writing a letter and expect no reply? Do you think he's telling the truth? Do you think he misses me? At the race, they recorded the start. I was surprised to see him turn around at the start after I wished him luck, I walked away. He watched me for a bit and when I started to turn around, he looked down. I watched it 10x. Is he just looking at my ass ... or is he really missing me ... looking for me, watching me? Is he being distant now to protect his feelings and avoid missing me? He sometimes asks me about things ... he sometimes takes the time to write me a long response with good information about mountain biking ... but other times he does not reply. Life would be easier if we could read each other's minds I think :-)