Relationship

Have Relationship Questions? Ask a Counselor for Answers ASAP

Ask an Expert,
Get an Answer ASAP!

Been chating with this girl while now, about 3 months with a…

Customer Question
Been chating with this girl...
Been chating with this girl for a while now, about 3 months with a few skype dates, and one real date... things starting really working out for us setting up a couple dates... but a couple days before our date... her uncle died. Her family being really close she took it hard when she called me tuesday crying her eyes out and saying she had to cancel our date on the weekend, she would be going to michigan and did not know when she would get back. I told her a few days after tuesday, that not to worry about replying back real quick, just been thinking about her and I hope shes okay... Well its been a few days, and no response. Im worried, the starting of a nice relationship has come to an end.
Submitted: 2 years ago.Category: Relationship
Show More
Show Less
Ask Your Own Relationship Question
Answered in 34 minutes by:
1/17/2016
Counselor: Dr. Norman Brown, Marriage Therapist replied 2 years ago
Dr. Norman Brown
Dr. Norman Brown, Marriage Therapist
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 1,207
Experience: Family Therapist & teacher 35+ yrs; PhD research in couples
Verified

You just need to realize that such an important grief in her life takes precedence over your excitement about the budding of new love. It certainly DOES hurt to have your blossoming affections interrupted! But that is YOUR emotional experience, and you can't expect to pull her away from a time when her family-centered emotions are all-powerful in her life. That natural family crisis and milestone is NO reflection on how she feels about you; she just doesn't have emotional room for directing her feelings outside of the circle of her family for a while. As a young man, you're probably not nearly as much centered in your emotions and family-oriented feelings as she is. So give heer a chance to tell you about it when she wants to, but don't insist that she share her grief with you, when you've never met her uncle. And don't indulge in your hurt feelings because of the ACCIDENT that her family tragedy has interrupted the growth of her feelings toward you. It's particularly important that she needs to NOT feel obligated to keep you happy until she is ready to share some of what's happening in her life with you.

You might be able to help her continue with her grieving process if you asked her to tell you about her cherished memories of her uncle. But it's important for grieving relatives to be able to proceed with their reckoning with the deceased at their own pace, and NOT to be pressured into "getting on with their lives" for other people's convenience. Your own reassurances that she's a shining light in your eyes are all she needs. You're doing fine, and if you can remember what losing a valued friend or relative was like for you, you can draw from that.

Ask Your Own Relationship Question
Counselor: Dr. Norman Brown, Marriage Therapist replied 2 years ago

You might enter a deeper level of emotional communication with her, If you CAN gently engage her in sharing some memories about her uncle with you, or telling about key family experiences during this time (grief is a time for family renewal, and family relationship ruptures may be eased or get worse at these times). But you'll need to let HER take the lead and not push her towards intimacies that she's uncomfortable with. Sometimes a Hallmark sympathy card is a good gesture, because it doesn't demand any intimacy in return.

Ask Your Own Relationship Question
Customer reply replied 2 years ago
I just wanted to tell you that you make a good point, my wish to be there for her isn't my choice. My only wish is for her to be happy... I think this is all great advice if she ever does talk with me again, reliving memories of her uncle might be sweet. Defiantly will consider the card if I see her again, hopefully she will find her way back when she's ready. Thank you sir, I don't mean to come off as selfish, I just wish to make her happy.
Counselor: Dr. Norman Brown, Marriage Therapist replied 2 years ago

It's not selfish to be more acutely aware of the painfulness of your budding feelings being interrupted--because that's a very strong recipe for HURT FEELINGS: Not because you want to be hurt, but because the interruption of excitement and the intense joy in anticipating more together time with her is a natural emotional dynamic for generating the inborn core emotion of SHAME, in this case experienced as Hurt, Embarrassment, Awkwardness and Alienation (from her)--even though neither she nor you intended for this to happen. And Guilt is also a close relative of Shame, so you are feeling guilty (which you're calling "selfish"). She's ALSO likely to feel Guilt, which she could attribute to disappointing you (even tho that's NOT why she's feeling it: She'll feel guilt, awkwardness and other shame-related feelings because Shame-emotions are naturally triggered by the unexpected&unwanted interruption of the network of love&joyexpectations in her family due to the sudden loss of one valued member. And of course she's NOT happy; she's bouncing back and forth between many emotions and reacting to the tumult in her family. (So you can't expect to make her happy, except to show her respect and comfort.)

She will probably make some contact within a week. American culture is pretty bad at handling the social aspects of grief. (Where's GRIEF belong in the "Pursuit of Happiness?") Because the cultural imperative to "Be Happy" is INTERRUPTED by grief; so most people are unsure about what to say and when to say it. So they act awkward and avoid mentioning the subject of grief and loss--which makes the grieving person feel like she's not supposed to be feeling what she does feel, so her personality gets split in two. (Ultimately your goal could be to give her respect and attention for BOTH pieces of her personality--the "normal life" part, and the part that's sometimes focused on her loss, and her past connection with her uncle, as well as other family members who are perhaps more disturbed than she is. For deciding how to communicate with her, much depends on how close she was to her uncle personally--so you might respond to her first contact with you by asking how close she was to him--and if she indicates that she knew him well, invite her to tell you about him whenever she feels like it. If she doesn't life with anyone else in her family with whom she might share reminiscing and hence processing her own grief, then your asking her to introduce him to you--as a way of knowing her family, might also further your acquaintanceship with her.

Women in American culture form their most valued friendships with other women by exposing their vulnerabilities; and she MIGHT be vulnerable now if she's feeling sadness and/or overwhelmed. Many young women don't want to show much vulnerability to men, and men don't naturally show their worries or suffering to other men. But if you can sense her feelings and approach her with gentleness and some trust in your own vulnerable feelings, your relationship could develop a different level of emotional connection way sooner than normal for early dating.

Ask Your Own Relationship Question
Counselor: Dr. Norman Brown, Marriage Therapist replied 2 years ago

As a matter of fact, I've been developing a novel theoretical explanation of love through the mechanisms of its "Emotional dynamics" since 1996. I started teaching that to my Psych of Relationships classes in 2005, and in the first semester, one male student told me in class that "all of my relationships that began with good sex and excitement and enjoyment blew away with the wind in a few months. But those that had lots of different emotions in them, including troubled events, THOSE are the few that lasted much longer." So expressing, coping with and containing Shame emotions (as listed above), Distress & sorrow, and also Fear and Anger, as well as the positives of Excitement, Joy, Surprise and Lust,--communicating and living with that full-color palette of emotions is what builds relationships that really last. Most younger men are too incompetent with many of those emotions to get into them until they're a few years into a relationship or have had 5 to 15 years of half-human intimacies to gradually get initiated--or they need some major turmoil in their lives (like I had with my father once I left for college @ 16, and esp after my mother died when I was just 23) to push them into emotion-tutoring via counseling or study.

Ask Your Own Relationship Question
Was this answer helpful?
Ask TherapistMaryAnn Your Own Question
TherapistMaryAnn
TherapistMaryAnn
TherapistMaryAnn, Counselor
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 1,739
1,739 Satisfied Customers
Experience: Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues

TherapistMaryAnn is online now

A new question is answered every 9 seconds

How JustAnswer works:

  • Ask an ExpertExperts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional AnswerVia email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction GuaranteeRate the answer you receive.

JustAnswer in the News:

Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.

What Customers are Saying:

Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help.

Mary C.Freshfield, Liverpool, UK

This expert is wonderful. They truly know what they are talking about, and they actually care about you. They really helped put my nerves at ease. Thank you so much!!!!

AlexLos Angeles, CA

Thank you for all your help. It is nice to know that this service is here for people like myself, who need answers fast and are not sure who to consult.

GPHesperia, CA

I couldn't be more satisfied! This is the site I will always come to when I need a second opinion.

JustinKernersville, NC

Just let me say that this encounter has been entirely professional and most helpful. I liked that I could ask additional questions and get answered in a very short turn around.

EstherWoodstock, NY

Thank you so much for taking your time and knowledge to support my concerns. Not only did you answer my questions, you even took it a step further with replying with more pertinent information I needed to know.

RobinElkton, Maryland

He answered my question promptly and gave me accurate, detailed information. If all of your experts are half as good, you have a great thing going here.

DianeDallas, TX

< Previous | Next >

Meet the Experts:

TherapistMaryAnn

TherapistMaryAnn

Counselor

1,739 satisfied customers

Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues

Ms Chase

Ms Chase

Life Coach

853 satisfied customers

Over 20 yrs experience with Relationships, Sexuality, Friendship, and Family Issues

Alicia_MSW

Alicia_MSW

Psychotherapist

468 satisfied customers

Specializing in relationship/family counseling

Dr. Norman Brown

Dr. Norman Brown

Marriage Therapist

1,207 satisfied customers

Family Therapist & teacher 35+ yrs; PhD research in couples

Dr. L

Dr. L

Psychologist

366 satisfied customers

Licensed as a Psychologist and Marriage & Family Therapist.

Suzanne

Suzanne

Therapist, LCSW

338 satisfied customers

Experienced in treating trauma, relationship issues, co-dependency

DrJackiePhD

DrJackiePhD

Doctor

338 satisfied customers

I have been doing research in relational/interpersonal communication since 1998. My Ph.D. is in interpersonal communication.

< Previous | Next >

Related Relationship Questions
Am I giving you my detailed problem I'm dealing with? Or
Am I giving you my detailed problem I'm dealing with? Or just what its about? … read more
Ashleigh
Ashleigh
Neurodevelopmental Psychologist
Master of Education in Educational Psychology
17 satisfied customers
My boyfriend who I've known for 20 yrs and I decided to try
My boyfriend who I've known for 20 yrs and I decided to try again with a romantic relationship again while he was incarcerated recently, he was in jail for 7 months, it was awesome, he was a dream, co… read more
Rafael-E-Therapist
Rafael-E-Therapist
Director / Psychotherapist
Master\u0027s Degree
424 satisfied customers
Thanks for your support. I am grieving for. He is the
Hi Jen, Thanks for your support. I am grieving for Gary. He is the highschool sweetheart who has briefly broken up with the home coming queen (Yes from our school) to reconnect with me and we were mom… read more
TherapistJen
TherapistJen
Licensed Clinical Social Worker
Master\u0027s Degree
960 satisfied customers
Hope all is well. I hope you don't mind as I really need to
Hi Jen, Hope all is well . I hope you don't mind as I really need to process a couple of things that have happened most recently. I have put distance between me and the long term relationship guy , me… read more
TherapistJen
TherapistJen
Licensed Clinical Social Worker
Master\u0027s Degree
960 satisfied customers
I have been in a relationship for yr & a half..I'm 36, in
Please help! I have been in a relationship for yr & a half..I'm 36, in nursing school..boyfriend is 33 and an electrician assistant that constantly says he dsnt like his job/can't afford much except t… read more
Ashleigh
Ashleigh
Neurodevelopmental Psychologist
Master of Education in Educational Psychology
17 satisfied customers
Hrown Children vs. New Child Ok so here goes. I have 4
Hrown Children vs. New Child Ok so here goes. I have 4 'children'...three grown with kids of their own & one that is 8, younger than two of their oldest kids; which my 8 year old has always been reall… read more
Carlett F
Carlett F
Therapist
Master\u0027s Degree
55 satisfied customers
For expert: you know since I started getting busy and he
For expert Martin: Hey you know since I started getting busy and he started going out and not taking my calls, he is now developing a habit of going on on Saturdays and not picking up my call, even he… read more
Martin
Martin
Electrical engineer
Bachelor's Degree
486 satisfied customers
Strangers will call me pretty, nice, normal, say I have
Strangers will call me pretty, nice, normal, say I have rich parents but they never call me smart. They say they don't know whether I'm smart or not. Well how do they know I'm nice, normal or have ric… read more
Kelisa Volson
Kelisa Volson
MA
1 satisfied customers
How can we restore our relationship? Seems my significant
How can we restore our relationship? Seems my significant other's constantly correcting me which drives me nuts. I am not going to change. I feel my lover has become my mother.… read more
Kelisa Volson
Kelisa Volson
MA
1 satisfied customers
I need your help, I and my boyfriend has been dating for 8
I and my boyfriend has been dating for 8 months and we did have sex. He is a pilot so we are like long distance relationship. We often text and call everyday and sometime we talk about sex or our personal thing. I haven't seen him for two month. We usually joke like when Iam working he said I'm masturbating. I think it's find, just a joke. The thing is today he called me when he was in Uber on the way to the airport whereas I was driving to work. And he ask “are you going to masturbate all day” that made me embarrassed coz the Uber driver could hear. He said it's ok and he even asked the Uber driver “is it ok if my girlfriend masturbating all day” and I hear the drive said “oh yes...”. Then he also talk to me about our private stufff, sex, make love.. while the driver was next by. I feel weird and don't like it. … read more
Rafael-E-Therapist
Rafael-E-Therapist
Director / Psychotherapist
Master\u0027s Degree
424 satisfied customers
H. I have tried but it wont let me send the full question.
I have tried but it wont let me send the full question … read more
Ashleigh
Ashleigh
Neurodevelopmental Psychologist
Master of Education in Educational Psychology
17 satisfied customers
My gf might leave me because of possibly impregnating her
My gf might leave me because of possibly impregnating her she feels like I have betrayed her because I didn't pull out before I came.. I don't want to lose her but what would be the best option to get… read more
DrJackiePhD
DrJackiePhD
Doctor
Doctoral Degree
338 satisfied customers
I was in a relationship for nine months with this guy who we
Hi my name is*****: Is there anything else important you think the Psychologist should know?… read more
Ashleigh
Ashleigh
Neurodevelopmental Psychologist
Master of Education in Educational Psychology
17 satisfied customers
I feel like I have been dealing with HOCD for a year now
I feel like I have been dealing with HOCD for a year now sometimes I'm really good and other times I wake up in a panic. I just want to go back to being normal. I'm always checking to seeing if I'm ge… read more
Rafael-E-Therapist
Rafael-E-Therapist
Director / Psychotherapist
Master\u0027s Degree
424 satisfied customers
I've been going to counseling for so and it has helped I
Hi I've been going to counseling for so long and it has helped I have had good times and extremely bad times. Thoughts of suicide have decreased but are still there...I've hid it well but inside I am … read more
Ashleigh
Ashleigh
Neurodevelopmental Psychologist
Master of Education in Educational Psychology
17 satisfied customers
I want to be a team lead at my job but how do I work on my
I want to be a team lead at my job but how do I work on my people skills if I am shy and how do I become well rounded if I am always stuck in one spot… read more
Dr.G.
Dr.G.
Counseling Psychologist
Doctoral Degree
448 satisfied customers
How Can I tell my sister in law I'm sorry for her loss of
How Can I tell my sister in law I'm sorry for her loss of her aunt in a heartfelt way. We don't normally talk and I'm afraid to say it wrong. Help… read more
Dr.G.
Dr.G.
Counseling Psychologist
Doctoral Degree
448 satisfied customers
Well my parents do not like my boyfriend for certain reason
Well my parents do not like my boyfriend for certain reason that I can't disagree with them. I want to make things work with him but my mom just finished chemo and has heart problems pushing her surge… read more
Dr.G.
Dr.G.
Counseling Psychologist
Doctoral Degree
448 satisfied customers
Disclaimer: Information in questions, answers, and other posts on this site ("Posts") comes from individual users, not JustAnswer; JustAnswer is not responsible for Posts. Posts are for general information, are not intended to substitute for informed professional advice (medical, legal, veterinary, financial, etc.), or to establish a professional-client relationship. The site and services are provided "as is" with no warranty or representations by JustAnswer regarding the qualifications of Experts. To see what credentials have been verified by a third-party service, please click on the "Verified" symbol in some Experts' profiles. JustAnswer is not intended or designed for EMERGENCY questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals.

Disclaimer: Information in questions, answers, and other posts on this site ("Posts") comes from individual users, not JustAnswer; JustAnswer is not responsible for Posts. Posts are for general information, are not intended to substitute for informed professional advice (medical, legal, veterinary, financial, etc.), or to establish a professional-client relationship. The site and services are provided "as is" with no warranty or representations by JustAnswer regarding the qualifications of Experts. To see what credentials have been verified by a third-party service, please click on the "Verified" symbol in some Experts' profiles. JustAnswer is not intended or designed for EMERGENCY questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals.

Show MoreShow Less

Ask Your Question

x