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Parallax - Advice            November 27, 2000

  He's hot - she's not

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I met a graduate student in May, about the same time she was getting ready to graduate and move to a different state. We clicked pretty well, and I felt like she had a crush on me. Later, she admitted it, but I found out from acquaintances that she did not want to prolong this because she was moving. However, after a long conversation we decided to give a long-distance relationship a try. As we get to know each other better, I feel like she has grown apart. I love her so much, but I feel like she doesn't love me as much. I feel like she can walk away any time but she is afraid to break my heart. I am a professional and very successful. I don't want to accept the fact that she thinks that we are not meant for each other - but I think she is thinking about that all the time. I want to have peace of mind and do something about it because it's not fair to feel this way. Any advice will be very much appreciated.

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Her view:

Dear Torch-holder,

I think that you need to confront her on what you think she is feeling. Open the tap and have the long painful conversation that will probably end in a break-up. If you suspect she doesn't love you, chances are you're right. Or at a minimum, she is not all that into you. And, if she does not believe the two of you are meant to be - then you have to let this go.

It takes two - if her feelings aren't there for you then let her go. It's really not even your choice. Perhaps you're thinking you can convert her. Maybe you can - over the next ten years - but it's a one-in-a-million shot. So have it out, and get clarity on how she feels. If there's no symmetry, move on to more loving pastures.

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His view:

Dear Torch-holder,

Unless you are ready to forget about her, you'll need to keep trying until she either gives in to your indubitable professional charm, or she hands you your heart in a doggy bag.

Sometimes, if you have a lot of pride or self-esteem, the simple fact that another person doesn't love and care for you the way you deserve is enough to trigger the bells that say, 'You know what? She doesn't deserve me.'

But then, even those of us who are proud can acknowledge that 'said other person' may not be as perceptive to our otherwise clearly evident worth, and so we give them additional opportunities. It's for their benefit that we hang around like irritating vermin…that we put our own lives on hold to allow them more time to realize what they're on the verge of losing.

Much as you may want to let her go and get on with your happy existence, I don't blame you if you insist on insisting until she has no choice but to do what you fear she's going to do. Yes, mistakenly, she'll walk away.

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