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Parallax - Advice            October 30, 2000



  They met in a chat room and moved in together - now they don't talk

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I met this guy on the Internet about a year ago in a chat room. We met a couple times where I lived, and we both decided that one of us had to move because of the long-distance thing. I decided to take the long leap because I had nothing to lose - I was in a very abusive relationship and wanted out. My relationship with the guy that I met on the Net is good, for the most part. He treats me well and helps me out, but he doesn't express to me how he feels - never. I sometimes feel like I have to beg for any response from him. He says there's nothing wrong, so he has nothing to say. I feel this is a barrier between us because I feel I can't go to him when I need to talk about our relationship. Please help me.

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Her view:

Dear TTYL,

Some guys just don't share their feelings. It's the all-too-familiar 'he doesn't say he loves me.' There are a few things you can do. You can beg for affection, but this gets old after a few weeks. You can tell him plainly this is something you need, and you will leave without it - the old ultimatum. Personally, I hate that. Or you can lead by example. Tell him how you feel; tell him often; and tell him how great he is. Perhaps he will see how fantastic this makes him feel and maybe he'll try to return the feeling. Or you can forget the whole thing - suck it up and just give up any hope of emotional outpour whatsoever. Then decide if you can live with that forever. If not, then 'cheerio,' as they say.

I recommend the 'lead by example' option. Give it a shot, and follow up in a couple of months if there's no reaction. Tell him you would love it if he expressed himself: tell him it would make you so much happier, and that you would like to be with him more. You're eager to give him anything he wants, so perhaps he can deliver a little for you. After all, it's not much to ask for.

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His view:

Dear TTYL,

For the most part, guys will express their feelings to their girlfriends either because they are very touchy-feely, or because they're madly in love. Your man is clearly not the touchy-feely kind, and I assume he also isn't overwhelmed by love for you.

Some of us like to express emotions in different ways. The fact that he treats you well and helps out means he cares about you. These gestures may be his expressions of love. He might not be 'dazed and confused' but he certainly has feelings for you.

Ultimately, though, why stay with a guy who doesn't make you feel great? Don't wait for the next Internet relationship to help you make your move - give Mr. Cold the shove, and see how he likes it out there by himself. Maybe a little wintry air will teach him the value of being warmer.

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