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Parallax - Advice

December 10, 2001

Puppy love?

Dear Conversely,

Ask us a Question!Two weeks ago a friend of mine told my boyfriend of five months that I was going to tell him that I loved him and that I wanted to know if he loved me. This was out of line because, although I do love him and wondered if he felt the same, I wasn't going to say it first. After this, he got distant and decided that he wanted to end it. We talked about it and he thinks it's only going to hurt more later because everything always ends. (He mentioned his parents' divorce, other family members' divorces, blah, blah...) He told me he loved me, and when I didn't say anything, he said it again and I said it back. Then he said he needed time to work out issues with himself. Two days ago, he came over and we spent the night together. When I went to work that night I found a rose and a note on my car, saying he was glad we spent time together. Now he's acting distant again. What's happening to him? Does he want to be with me? Is he afraid of falling in love? Everything was fine till my friend mentioned all that stuff. Is there anything I can do to make him come around or is it something he has to do on his own? What should I not do? I'm so confused about this. Email to a Friend

Her view:

Dear Confused,

I think your boy is very confused and you have to let him go through this all on his own. One thing is clear - he does not believe he will die without you and he is quite willing to let you go…for whatever reason. He may have problems or just think that you are not quite the one.

The one thing not to do is to smother him and place added pressure on him in his decision process. You should be patient and removed. I think you need to turn your attention elsewhere for a while. He will work his way back to you if he wants to.

In the meantime, your life should not stop to wait on him; that will only frustrate you further and make you desperate. He may decide you aren't right for him, and that he doesn't want a real relationship, etc.

I'm afraid you need to move along and let him run his course. There are plenty of nice folks to meet, so stop obsessing.

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His view:

Dear Confused,

I've heard that, 'I don't want to live because we all die in the end,' excuse many times and it always strikes me as a cop-out. It's cowardly and immature...not to mention stupid.

The issue is very clear: He wants to be with you, but he wants no serious commitment at this time. That means he doesn't want to say he is in love with you because saying it is the first step up to the platform where they put a ring on his finger and a rope around his neck.

He likes you, yes. He may even love you. He may even be genuinely disturbed about past divorces in his family, and hunger and peace the world over, too. None of that changes the fact that he's being very careful about not going where he doesn't want to go.

You can be patient and wait him out. It may be another five months or it could be years. He might meet someone else and dump you. Or you can put on the pressure and see him fly away.

So what's your choice? Accept low-commitment status with him or find another man who's ready for a serious relationship.

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