Confused and Lost

 By Nina Atwood

Dear Singlescoach:

I was his girlfriend, then I was his friend, then he says we’re dating; two days ago he said, “I’ll call you.” In a matter of almost 2.5 years, I’ve got to be fooling myself. He says he does love me whenever I leave; then he calls, texts & takes me to lunches every Monday & we have SEX once or twice a week; unlike when we first met, we couldn’t keep our hands off each other for nearly a year. Why do I allow this sort of intolerable attitude/behavior from him? I love him, but I’m confused and lost. Nowadays, I’m losing interest, trust, & faith in him. He says there’s no problem, we’re just relatively busy with both our careers & my schooling. I feel these are all excuses and perhaps he wants to spare my feelings from being hurt. What he doesn’t realize, however, is this is emotionally draining me. I have so much overflowing love to give but I feel he’s just taking me for granted. I love him, but I feel I should let him go because I know how much of an extra mile I’m willing to give in a relationship. He doesn’t love me although he says he does because his actions differs from his words. Your advice, clarity, and insights are highly appreciated. Thanks! 

Dear Confused and Lost:

No wonder you’re confused and lost. What you have is a relationship of convenience – when it’s convenient, he spends time with you and has sex with you. What you don’t have is a commitment – someone who is devoted to you, who wants a life with you, and who includes you in his plans. Being busy is no excuse for leaving someone dangling, always wondering when or if the phone will ring again. After two and a half years, you should be way past the “we’ll see” stage of dating.

One major red flag that I see is that your time together is during the weekday, not on weekends; that’s a sign of lack of investment in the relationship on his part. He may even be dating someone else or pursuing finding someone new on the weekends.

You hurt yourself when you settle for crumbs instead of holding out for the banquet. You hurt yourself when you allow your heart to be jerked around on someone else’s whims. You hurt yourself as a woman when you allow a guy to see you primarily for the sexual part of a relationship, with little or no investment in your life.

Loving and wanting someone is not enough reason to stay with someone. Commitment and two-way investment are far more important than good sex.

Yearning for more – time, attention, love, commitment – sets you up for neediness. Healthy relationships are balanced – you have equal desire for the relationship, and equal investment in it’s continuation. That means that you can discuss “you and me,” you plan and talk about the future; you have regularly established date nights (which in a committed relationship always include the weekends).

I suggest that the next time he calls, you ask for a dinner date with no set end time. Right away, you’ll make a discovery. Either he carves out that time for you (signifying that he values you), or he doesn’t. If he does, use that time for the “you and me” talk* that is long overdue. Prepare yourself so that you’re not needy going into the conversation. Give him the space to tell you the truth about how he feels about you, even if it hurts. The critical question to ask is this – “Do you want a future with me; see me as someone you would marry? Or am I just the transitional woman until you find the one you really want?” Now, zip your lip, and LISTEN. Be willing to let go and move on if you don’t hear real love and devotion backed by action.

*Read Date Lines for all you need to know about this all-important conversation that you need to have on a regular basis in a dating relationship

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1 Comment

  • 1. dana  |  January 24th, 2008 at 11:29 pm

    Confused and Lost: As the last line states “Be willing to let go and move on if you don’t hear real love and devotion backed by action.” This is so true. I too was in a relationship of convenience. I kept fooling myself that eventually he would change his mind and commit, eventhough he told me he was afraid to get married again but if he did decide to marry, I would be the one. He just needed some time and I decided to wait along with him and I feel like such a fool for compromising my values to please him and always being available at his convenience. I’ve allowed myself to be hurt more than once. We’ve known each other for 9 yrs, but have been off and on between this time.



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