There must be something in the air. Almost every letter I’ve received over the last couple of weeks has dealt in some way with the same theme: ambiguous feelings. Take this letter, for example:
“I met this guy back in March and almost instantly there was an attraction and undeniable chemistry between us. He lives in Baltimore and I live in Houston, which to me meant the relationship wouldn’t work and we would just enjoy the time while he is here on vacation. To my surprise, we continued the communication and we have even traveled to see each other. Things seemed to be going fine and falling in place, right? WRONG!?!?! The best way I can describe the problem is… he is so hot and cold with me. One week he is on it—calling, texting, sending pictures, keeping the lines of communication open and flowing. But then the very next week I won’t hear from him for days, he won’t respond to my calls, texts, or anything. But then a week or two weeks later he is back on again. At first I suspected there was someone else, but I know there isn’t. He claims he is just so busy because he is trying to run his own business, he is active in the Navy, and he is trying to be a good father to his girls. So yeah, I get that he’s busy, but is it too much ask for a simple text back or a simple call just saying ‘hello’? I love this man and even though I haven’t verbalized it I know it is shown through my actions. I haven’t been reassured of his feelings but I am afraid if I ask then he will be scared away. He is consuming my thoughts and I am just so confused on what my next move should be. Because if it is up to me, on his next trip out here I would propose and lock him in for life. Please help!” —Hopeless
Read my reply after the jump.
There are so many red flags in this letter, I feel like someone dropped me into the middle of a Target logo. First of all, how do you know he doesn’t have another woman on the side? He lives halfway across the country and routinely goes a week or two without so much as texting you? Even he doesn’t have another woman (or two or three) on the side, at the very least, he’s showing a real lack of investment in your relationship. Secondly, how well have you really gotten to know a guy who lives long-distance, runs his own business, is active in the Navy, and has kids? When you say you’ve “traveled to see each other,” do you mean that you’ve visited one another multiple times and have supplemented those trips with long and frequent phone calls and emails? Because, frankly, that’s the only way I see it possible for two people who met long-distance to attempt a relationship and fall in love.
And that brings me to red flag #3. You think you’re in love with this guy?! If it were up to you, you’d “propose and lock him in for life”? You’d actually consider spending your future with someone who, at the very least shuts down all forms of communication when he’s busy, and at the worst, lies and cheats and hopes you don’t catch on? You’ve known this man for five months — almost all of which have been long-distance and with regular periods of no communication — a man you’re leery of verbalizing your feelings for fear of scaring him away, and yet, if it were up to you, you’d set a wedding date with this guy and “lock him in for life”? I’m not so sure his “hot and cold” feelings here are the real problem.
Look, I don’t have a thing against long-distance relationships; I married my former long-distance boyfriend, after all! I know they can be successful, but as I’ve said before, in order for them to work, there HAS to be great communication, mutual respect, frequent visits with one another, and an end date. From the sounds of it, Hopeless, I’m not sure you’re even 1 for 4. If this truly is someone you’re crazy about and you want this relationship to work, you’re going to have to be honest with yourself and with him. Tell him how you’re feeling and ask if he’s on the same page. If he isn’t, then you’ve got your answer and you can quit barking up the wrong tree. If he is on the same page, it’s time to set some guidelines for this long-distance relationship so you aren’t left out in the cold any longer. Bottom line: the only thing to really fear in this situation is hiding from the truth. Good luck.
Original by Wendy Atterberry