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Dr. Paige
Dr. Paige, Psychologist
Category: Relationship
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Experience:  Ph.D. Licensed Psychologist
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So I met this girl about 3.5 months ago from the match website.

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So I met this girl about 3.5 months ago from the match website. We clicked instantly and started to date each other exclusively mid march. We even exchanged the I love yous. The relationship was going so good, that there was thoughts of possibly moving in together. We did not have an argument for the first 2 months of the relationship. Things were going good with no issues in site. Then this question came up about whether I would go to a strip club for my friends upcoming bachelor party. I said I would likely go. She got mad and said it was disrespectful to her and all women. Needless to say, the conversation got hairy and she ended up ending our relationship the following day. She has been going through a lot of extreme emotions lately.

When we first met, she said she was divorced, but in reality, she was only separated. Her ex is in jail for being an accessory to burglery. She wants nothing to do with a bad boy anymore. Thats why she fell so in love with me since I have shown her the proper respect she deserves and took care of her needs. Well, I sat back a couple of days and really thought about what I wanted out of life. I ended up emailing her back a letter telling her that I was sorry and did not realize how disrespected she was about my openness to sexuality that society portrays. I even even purchased orange roses, pink lillies and purple dragonsbreath flowers from a local shop, had another note on the flowers and had them pick up a stuffed unicorn (She was joking around she wanted one the entire time we were together), and had them hand delivered to her residence by a guy wearing a suit. She then sent me the following text:

"I really don't know what to say but thank you so so much for the beautiful flowers, the letter, and the little pony...that was the nicest thing anyone has ever done for me and I appreciate that so much. Especially having someone hand deliver Very interesting but cool experience. So, I really don't know what to say except for I feel I need to take some time to find myself and get over this divorce. Even though it has been a relatively clean divorce, my heart is still mending from it, and I just need to take some time to find myself and enjoy my family, friends, and Miloh. I feel that within the last 2 years of being stuck in constant hospital visits, and being entrapped by Justin's health condition, I never really got to sit back and appreciate the little things in life, which to me now seem so big. I hope you understand, and I truly am so appreciative of what you have done for me. I am not sure how to end this letter, and I know I am going to hurt you with it, so there is no way around it. But I hope there is a piece of you that understands."

I texted her back saying she can take all the time she needs to gain the perspective she needs and will always keep the door open for her return. She texted me back just saying that she did not want to give me false hope and that she did not want to be in a relationship right now.

Now I figured she ended things because of the crazy emotions she was going through with the divorce and the fact her ex used Adult Friend Finder while they were together. I think she was comparing me to her past relationship and grouped me in with him. I want to give her space, but I am still deeply in love with her. I feel she is the "one", and want to do everything right to get her back and keep her. So I need advice on what to do. I know if I stop talking to her, she will move on, but if I keep on talking to her every couple of days, she will get sick of me. Please help with the best advice you can give as I do deeply want her and view her as the only girl I want to be with.
Hello. I believe she is being 100% honest with you. Being with someone so soon after/during a divorce can be very difficult for both people involved. I think that she should have taken some time before she made a profile and started looking, but sure she did it out of needing to feel like she could move on. I think you don't need to stop talking to her altogether, but every few days is going to be too much. I think you need to 'check in' with her 3-4 weeks from now and not be pushy or say anything to indicate that you are waiting for her. Ask her how she is doing and if there is anything you can do for her and leave it at that. I know that seems like an eternity, but the deep emotions she has about being treated as she was will be with her for a long time. It will take her awhile to trust again and it may be best for you as well to have this time being separated from the roller coaster she is going through. She probably won't treat you very well, not because she wants to be disrespectful, she will most likely attach some of her bad feelings about men to you because that is the natural thing to do.
Give her the time. It really is the best. If she knows she has a friend out there who she can count on, it will mean so much more to her than thinking she has pressure on her to move on before she is able or ready. Offer support and friendship and leave it at that for now. She will have to make the other decisions on her own.
Dr. Paige, Psychologist
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 1427
Experience: Ph.D. Licensed Psychologist
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Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I thank you for the advice. The entire time we were together, I did nothing but good for her. She told me that I have done things for her that no other guy has ever done for her, just like the flowers I sent to her. I took her with me out to the mountains of Colorado and bought her her birthstone ring (May) for her birthday. Everything I did you could see this glow and energy from her that kept her noticeably in love with me. She kept telling me everyday that she is "so in love with me", which obviously made my day. She also said that I kept scaring her because she realized I was special and treated her the way no other guy has done, kept her interest going and said that she would be so stupid to let me walk away and lose me. Yes there was somethings about me that she said she needed to accept since we are different minded.


I was always goofy around her, but when she needed me to be serious, I was. She was really impressed that the first time I met her parents, that I just walked up to them, shook their hands in confidence and created conversations out of the blue. I was also always honest with her, even from the get go. I hid nothing. She commented on my Maxim and Playboy magazines, strip clubs, the restaurant Hooters, the Victoria Secret Fashion Show and a comedy movie I own that we watched together called "The Housebunny", and said she felt that I did not need to involve myself in any of those things because they degrade women and disrespects her.


I always was honest in my opinion be stating that most of these things don't really degrade women, some are in those settings, but that these women who work in these industries choose to work in them and are more empowered because they know how to make good money. I told her that I don't view all these industries as negative, and at appropriate times, it is acceptable to be involved with what our society shows, but that the only woman that I am with was her, only her. I told her I wouldn't care if she went out with her gilrfirends, which she claims she has very few, and did these things as well. She told me that none of this is acceptable, that our values and beliefs are very different on this subject and she was just trying to find how what she would have to deal with for the rest of her life.


She then brought up the fact she was looking to have kids within the next three or four years. I am 31 and she is 28. I told her that I absolutely did not want to have kids until marriage because children need both parents in their lives and its stupid to pay child support when you should be together with your partner raising a child. I felt kind of awkward she was bring this subject up when she still had to get through ther divorce and we had a while before we would reach the stage of engagement. She said she felt that we could never have children together with our difference in opinion on this issue. This was when she ended it with us, and was crying hysterically.


I admited that I was thinking more with a bachelor's head than with a partnership head. I took some time and thought about things while I was out playing softball over the weekend. I then wrote her a nice letter, kind of a tear jerker, stating I was sorry and that beliefs and opinions change constantly when new perspectives come to face. I told her that I would not go to a strip club for my friend's bachelor party and would stop purchasing Playboys, which I never did when we were dating. I complimented her on everything she has inspired and motivated me on with life and said nothing but kind, good words. I even emailed my sister this letter and she said it was a "Wow" letter and made her even cry. I did not hear anything from her for 6 days, but still felt this urge to make her feel good and want her back. Thats when I sent the flower package to her and she responded back.


Of all the past relationships I have been in, none lasted more than 6 months, she was the first girl I could truly feel comfortable being myself around. I always did feel fear that I would say something or do something that would upset her and drive her away. Sometimes that got in the way with nerves with some of the conversations and activities we did together, but I was loosening up though. She is completely different than any other girl I have dated and had true, never had before feelings for her. She always seemed so angelic to me.


I feel your advice is likely the best course of action. It sucks, because it is hard for me to sleep and not think about her all the time. I don't want to lose her out of my life at all. So you think its better to wait 3 to 4 weeks to contact her again instead of in 2 to 3 weeks? I figured I would text and ask her how her soul searching journey is going and wait for her response. I was also going to state that I would like to attend church with her the upcoming sunday from when we talk and take her out to brunch afterwards. I don't want to push anything too fast though. My goal is to have her back in my arms by June 27th, when there is a concert she kept telling me about and told her parents that we were going before we broke up. Is this a realistic goal? I guess I am also looking for the best way to read her and talk to her so I don't freak her out and she never wants to come back. I know I have laid a lot of ground work already with the trip, gifts, letter and flowers, but I was trying to leave an impression with her so that she sees me as the guy she wants to be with. I am not very good at reading signals and sometimes speak before I think. I do want her back for good, so any additional advice would be taken in for me. Again, I thank you very much for your advice. I trust psycologist's and relationship consulor' advice.

I understand. I do think that she is honest with you in saying that your behavior towards her was genuine and she was afraid to hurt you. Women are very in touch with their emotions and know what would be to come if she didn't have her space. In a lot of cases, space is good. It is difficult to go from one relationship straight into another one without resetting yourself and I think that is exactly what she needs to do. She was hurt very badly and no matter how good you treat her, that hurt won't just go away. She is the one who has to work on erasing that pain, as much as you feel you want to or need to, you can't do that for her.
I think giving it 3 weeks is good and like I said, just check in, don't ask much or make her feel anything other than she has a friend who is concerned about her and there if she needs you.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

But isn't being put in the friendzone a bad thing? Everytime I have heard that or heard it said to someone else, there is no rekindling a partner relationship. They usually move on and only view you as a friend/brother, or sometimes lose contact with you. I definitely don't want that to happen. I know the foundation to a great relationship is being best friends, but that word is so taboo from what I know.

Well, that is different. If you look at it like all successful marriages or serious relationships are based on friendships, then of course it is not a bad thing. Don't you want the one that you marry to be your best friend? Someone who is there for you in difficult times, someone to listen to you and offer support? What you are thinking of is a broken relationship that didn't work and can only be friends. What you are doing is backing up the relationship to step one in order to remain in contact, but not be pushing something more. I understand how you are thinking that, but this is a different situation. You can even tell her that you aren't certain how to act with her because you don't want to let her go, but you want to give her the space she wants. There is nothing wrong with being honest, just tread lightly and try not to cause pressure on her. It is a tough thing to do and not one way to do it. You have to know the person and how they are feeling at that particular moment, so using your intuition is going to be key as well.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thank you very much for your words of wisdom!! I look forward to the results with her!!

Ok, please keep me posted and let me know if I can be of further help.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Will do!!

Good luck !

Dr. Paige's advice has been very good from beginning to end. But one aspect of love relationship histories that might help you to adjust your perspective is this: It is very normal, very human, and very uncomfortable for the person (you) who is the first new relationship after a long, fully committed one (such as hers) to be a "Healing Relationship." That is embraced UNCONSCIOUSLY by her because who you are and what you do for her is SO healing of the many wounds she has from past relationships, and especially her marriage.That wonderful healing energy that you have given her IS the #1 reason why she felt so many times that she was SO in love with you. But it was the love of an emotionally broken heart-patient for her kind and caring doctor-healer. But she (the one in need of healing) unconsciously chooses someone who loves her MORE than she is able to love you. She does this because unconsciously she needs to make sure SHE won't get hurt again by YOU. But in so doing, she guarantees that it will be she that hurts you, because as soon as she realizes that you aren't JUST the wonderful heart-doctor that she loves you for, but also a flawed human man like the rest of us, then she'll realize that she doesn't really love YOU for being YOU, but just for being her heart-doctor. And at the same time she realizes that she's not able to love anybody else the way he deserves to be loved; and it embarrasses and shames her that she's gotten so much more loving from you than she can give back. SO SHE HAS TO GO AWAY AND STAY AWAY, because she knows that to let you hang around and keep helping her out will just hurt you more in the long run UNLESS she's suddenly ready to love you the way YOU DESERVE TO BE LOVED. And she can't start loving you that way because she knows she SHOULD, because that's not how romantic love is born.


SO if she's ever going to learn to love you as an equal, her love, and this relationship must DIE and be REBORN. And I think that's possible, but over a period of Years. Not Months. I've read around 2,000 love relationship histories during the 21 years I taught Psych of Relationships to college kids up through 50 year olds, and I read lots of kind, loving Healing Relationships, in all of which cases the Healer had no clear understanding of why it ended painfully, even though he or she had given everything they had to it. In contrast, the Healing Relationships that the Broken-Hearted ex-married (or ex-great-love) partner wrote about got much less attention and emphasis in their history writing, because the writer hadn't been that committed to the Heart-Doctor and the relationship hadn't lasted that long--and perhaps they didn't want to dwell on the fact that they had in effect "led the other (Heart-Doc) on" and not "loved him/her back" as much as they were loved themselves.


These are one of those perennial imbalances in our lives that we can all learn from. One BIG gain you have from what you did, is that now you know how much and how well you can love, and how much you can be willing to change for it (from bachelorhood towards husband-hood). You'll remember too that your parents probably loved you more and longer than you've loved them back, and you'll end up doing that with your own kids. Another gain you can get is this: After this loving experience that has wounded your heart, you may discover you've found a new girl that's way into you, and makes you feel SOO much better that you really want to go all the way with her. But you may very likely notice after a few months (6 months max) that she's not what she felt like to you at first. Then you'll know YOU've found your own Heart-Doc, and she's loving you more than you're able to love her. Then YOU can confess to her what's happening inside of you, just as your girlfriend has done now. And you can make sure that you give her the honor and admiration that is due to her for the healing quality of her love for you.


Of course you'll follow Dr. Paige's advice first. But if she does what I've predicted, then hopefully my knowledge here will be of some consolation to you, as will my promise that you'll be a better man from what you've done now, and from what you'll be able to do again AFTER making sure that you're not going to be playing the role of Heart-Doc for a woman who's newly cast adrift from a really BIG love that has gone down in flames.


If you've loved and lost, then each new relationship can be a HR for one or more that went before it. These are some of the things we need to learn if we're going to be serial monogamists over quite a few years. I've been on both ends of that story. And now I've been married for 28 years.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

So you are saying that there is little to a slim chance that she will likely not regain her emotional composure towards me and try once again with me? I understand what you stated and it makes sense because she basically adored me. When I tried getting into a discussion with her about the issue stated, thats when she closed up and would not obtain my persective on the viewpoint. I never did anything, we just talked about the subject. There was a little accusation back and forth, but I felt like this was a subject that we could work out. Afterall, we are all individuals and have different viewpoints and opinions.


I have always been around successful relationships, times do become rocky, but they always work it out. Communication and trust is what I was taught that builds the best relationships. She just closed up when this subject came up, but I figured because of her intense emotions about her upcoming divorce at the time, she lost all her composure. Yes, when we started the relationship, she was not completly honest to me about being divorced. I always assumed she was since she said she was, but in the state where we live, all court records are available. I looked her up and found out May 20th was the closing date of the divorce. I did have a conversation with her where she told me everything, but I was not pushy, I just brought up questions and she slowly answered them truthfully.


I still view her as the idealistic girl that I want to spend my life with as we got along on just about everything. She has inspired and motivated me to live a better life, take charge of my responsibilities and try to make her the happiest woman to ever walk this planet. So I figured that I would listen to Dr. Paige's advice and try talking to her around June 11, which is three weeks from when I sent the flowers. Based on Dr. Paige's advice, she seemed to think if I sent her a text to see how she was doing and maybe get together for coffee and a conversation with no relationship strings attached, that if I did it any earlier, she may view that as a negative. Again, I have talked to other females since the initial breakup (May 8), but I just can't seem to gain that same connection I had with her. Of all the girls I have dated in the past, she was the only one that gave me the feelings I have towards her. I know I know how to love, I just am looking for the right girl, and she is the one that I viewed as her.


Being a relationship councelor, if there are any techniques I could use to help her see she had the total package with me, as she kept telling me over and over again, I would love hear them. I just don't want to get slapped in the face once again with her rejection like she spoke to me via emal last week with the flowers I sent her.

There are some aspects of this situation that neither you nor your beloved, nor probably also Dr. Paige, can understand: Specifically that this these Healing Relationship phenomena, including the most honest thoughts and feelings you can be aware of, at not fully accessible to your consciousness. I have had the basic concepts in relationship history developments since 1975 when I learned them in Marriage & Family grad school (where they were not generally taught either) and the topics in "psychodynamic" or "depth" psychology of the Unconscious of Freud, Jung & their followers since first reading Freud & Psychoanalysis in 1962-71; and psychoanalysis has been neglected in all of my grad school courses (in Clinical Psych MA and 2 PhDs) except when I went after it myself; and I've further benefitted from the companion-studies and conversations with my wife, who had 10 yrs of Jungian analysis and better neo-Freudian therapy supervision that I ever got. Therapists can't get paid enough to justify studying the now-neglected deep-psychic knowledge as much as the perhaps 5% of living&practicing psychotherapists & grad school psychology & psychiatry professors have done; but those of us who've drunk deeply from those wellsprings are often as devoted to them as is any spiritual seeker to her or his guru-tradition.


(Sorry for the grandiose description of this tradition, but it is as beautiful, terrifying and intricate as the world's great art, literature and spirituality, and I don't get much occasion to honor it.)


That means that we can't be "honest" about these developments inside, except at those rare occasions when something significant changes for us, and we need to express what's confusing and often awkward and embarrassing because it's not the same "true feelings" that we were living up to this very moment.


Now to get more topical: 3.5 months is not usually enough to know who you have your heart&hands on in this relationship. In fact it normally takes 6 to 12 months just for the first major irreconcilable differences to emerge, some of which we can often live with quite adequately if motivated by other attractions that have endured that long. It's quite likely that your passion for her is MORE driven by the emotional intensity of HER desperation for the healing influence your kindness and adoration has had on her after the suffering that has been so central to her life with a strongly split good&evil man who's probably been her first great love, in addition to perhaps her strongly physical beauty, than by any carefully "objective" evaluation on your part of her wonderful qualities as a person: In short she may be MORE lovable to you by virtue of her intense receptivity to your love in her transition crisis than by virtue of any innate qualities, interests and compatibilities the two of you may have. But the differences between the present power of your love and the bigger picture of your suitability for each other can only emerge when your love--and the presently added intensity of being on the brink of losing the chance to continue it--have receded enough for more subtle features of the two of you to regain what would be their normal importance.


So when you're asking me how you can show her that she'll have the total package she needs if she only doesn't cast you aside because of the misbegotten timing of your romance, I'm thinking: What if this same misbegotten timing of your romance keeps you from weighing HER as the total package YOU need because you're so blown away by YOUR emotional response to HER immediate emotional needs?


In the face of all these unconscious psycho-mental-emotional currents that neither you, nor she, nor Dr. Paige nor I can measure, the only tolerable conclusion with some reassuring stability to it is "Time will tell." Dr. Paige says "make sure you're still in the ring--that is that she's still aware of your availability IF and when she's through with her own overwhelming dramatic changes. My concern about that strategy is that even a once-monthly reminder of the gentlest sort could trigger an increasingly repetitive twinge of embarrassment and guilt for her, that she's unthinkingly "led you on" with her ecstatic response to your contrasting treatment compared to her ex. So even your courageous devotion to her welfare may count less (in her mind) toward your "total package" qualifications than toward her self-indictment for "foolhardy toying with an innocent man's affections." And when repeatedly faced like that with her own unworthy behavior, she might just keep reinforcing her own impulse to keep pulling back away from you--until perhaps she finds a way to apologize enough for what she views as her own fault ("leading you on" when it was more NEED than LOVE as she would later define it) that she can feel like her own slate of mistakes has been wiped clear.


Perhaps by then your own Rose-Colored Glasses will have cleared up too. Then, if you're over your madly-in-love perspective on her, you might both be ready to meet again on a "level playing field." But HER recovery process from a long-lasting love and marriage is very unlikely to proceed as quickly as you would hope, which is why I suggested a period of years rather than a few months. Not much less than one year, nor more than 3 or 4 years--given what I know of divorce research.


I totally understand that you're not ready yet to evaluate another prospective love interest compared to the intensity that has been aborted with her. But that doesn't prove anything about what you'll feel 3 to 6 months from now. For only your opening up to loving when there are not yet any compelling emotional forces engaged can be partially chosen on the basis of "objective" criteria such as interests, education & careers, character strengths, life-styles and goals; and for a while those compelling emotional forces will continue to color your judgments about anybody you meet (and those compelling emotional colors will persist longer if you keep working diligently on how to maximize your chances of winning her back--and thus also keeping your hopes alive.


"Time will tell" because emotions are designed to change; but not in the same rational ways that we like to believe that our thoughts will change.


Now if you really want to maximize your chances of making sure you're still on her mind, and in a good way--imagine it this way: Your basic discrete and unpushy monthly message to her boils down to this: "I'm still carrying a torch for you. It lights up my days, and I like it like that."


So write whatever you feel like, briefly, each time. Whimsical little cards, drawings, flowers or gifts might go further than honest proclamations. But in your own private place, light a candle as a symbol of your torch, and let it burn quietly until it's all the way down to a drippy-wax stump. Concretizing what you're doing inside your mind in this way might give you a stronger experience of what you're trying to achieve, at least as of this month. It might have a beneficial effect on both her and you--and beneficial in the sense of what this "Time" needs to bring to pass for each of you, even if what that is turns out to be not the same for her as it is for you, and not predictable in advance by anybody. Not you, not her, and not either of us "experts."


Good luck.