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Ask Eleanor, Therapist
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 1517
Experience:  Marriage & Family Therapist with 20 Years Experience
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I am involved with a lady who has had a troubling past. She

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I am involved with a lady who has had a troubling past. She recently got out of a bad relationship. She says that she wants to be friends and is not interested in any dating at all. We work together and and talk every night by phone/text until the wee hours of the morning. I am very serious and would like to remove the roadblock that she has set up. What should I do - give it some time and just be friends and hope that it develops into a more meaningful relations and a long term partnership?

There is an age difference of 24 to me being 57.

Ask Eleanor :

Hello, I am here for you and am happy to respond. Give me a moment to carefully read over and consider your question.

Ask Eleanor :

It certainly sounds like you care a great deal for this young woman. How long have you known her?


About 2 months and have been attracted to her from the the minute we met ( about 3 months ago) - a co-worker

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As we seemed to be having problems with chat, I have switched to Q&A mode. Tell me what it is that attracts you to her.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

What advise can you give me to encourage her - I do not want to pressure her or force her away - she needs to feel comfortable.


Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I want our relationship to flourish.


Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Can you answer ?

You are handling the situation correctly. Right now she needs to be treated with patience and respect for her wishes. I know this is difficult as you are very attracted to her, but if you try to take your relationship to another level before she is ready, she will likely withdraw. She is wounded and will need time to heal before getting into another serious relationship. This does not mean that you cannot tell her how you feel. There is a very simple model of communication that should work well for you in this situation. It is called the Assertiveness Model and has 3 Steps. 1) Tell her you understand how she is feeling. 2) Tell her how you are feeling. 3) Tell her what you want or hope will happen . Want to give it a try here?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Wonderful, this is exactly what I have done - I do have her attention and am very appreciative of this.


When will I know that is is the correct time to elevate to the next step?

Good for you! Well, as the 3rd Step in the Model, you could tell her that you would like to check in with her in a couple of weeks, a month, whatever feels right to you about how she is feeling regarding getting more deeply involved. This will give her a sense of security and power as she will know what to expect and have plenty of time to think about her response. If after the decided upon time frame, she still needs to keep her distance, then do it again. Make sense?
As you have not responded and I am leaving the site for lunch, I will check back when I return for your reply. If you are satisfied with my answer and have no further questions, please submit a positive rating. To request my services in the future, simply place "Ask Eleanor" at the beginning of your question. Thank you and if we do not chat again, take care and good luck, Eleanor

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