There’s literally nothing worse than pining for someone. And yes, we’ve all been there. Otherwise you wouldn’t be here! It’s a desolate, lonely feeling. And believe it or not, men feel it too! We have a letter from a reader who is going through just that, with a woman he met on, of all days, Valentine’s Day. They met, had a push and pull period, and then bounced back to a moment where they fell in love, and *almost* lived happily ever after. Now, David needs relationship advice for men, and is wondering whether or not she even loved him at all! Our heart goes to you, David. We’ve all been there.
Let’s have a look at David’s story.
Three years ago on February 14th I met a lovely woman at a client meeting for my work. I am an architect and she is a mechanical engineer. We exchanged information and discussed the project at hand over a few emails and then upon completion of the project didn’t speak for 18 months…So three years had gone by, her number lived in my phone and was never called or texted. I went to an event and gave a presentation. After I did spot her and walked over to say hello…..So this 46 year old architect found everything he always wanted in this 42 year old Mechanical Engineer. It was the very best of everything. Neither of us had loved nor found love like we shared together. It was truly amazing for us both and we planned a long future together. We agreed to go slow, she would keep her place until the lease was up or until she was ready to move in…. She would finalize her divorce and we would grow and love together. This went on for 4 months into August.
At that point she came to me and said she was having a tuff time. As she explains it, she was having conflicting feelings of wanting and loving me and also wanting to be alone like she was when I met up with her in April. She admitted she didn’t know why she felt this way but it nagged at her. As much as she loved all of us she felt compelled to be alone more and more, this lead to her doubting if she truly loved me. She began to doubt everything and as it unraveled she decided to end it. At the same time she told me I was everything in the world for her. Everything she ever wanted, the very best lover she had ever had. She loved everything about US…. In the end she simply said, “I’m not ready…..I need to be alone. …She says she did fall in love with me but doesn’t love me and doesn’t ever think she will. She says she doesn’t want anyone else and that I’m the very best man she has ever met. If she can’t have me then could she have someone else? She truly took my heart with her and nothing seems to make a difference. I do want her back. I do love her more than anything ever in this life. I’ve tried to date but its completely pointless…. I honestly don’t know what to do. David.
First let’s address the confusion, on her part.
This has been a relationship that is three years in the making. Even though you haven’t talked to each other every day for three years, you still have a three year history. At one point during this three years, she told you that you were everything to her, that your relationship was everything to her, and that you were everything she ever wanted. Then she went cold shoulder.
If you want my opinion, she went more like “cold feet” than anything. This is a woman that sounds confused, and doesn’t truly believe she is ready for a relationship. Clearly, you ARE everything that she wants. And that scares her!
Remember, David, this is a woman that has already been through a divorce. The closer you get to a deep commitment that is heading towards marriage, the more scared she is going to be. This is why I always caution women AND men to take it slow before marriage. Marriage is a legally binding situation, and MUCH more difficult to get out of, than it is to get into. Frankly, if you want my opinion, and I’m guessing since you wrote that you do, marriage should be harder to get INTO, and easier to get out of. For just the reasons you mention.
Divorce baggage is a serious thing, that has impacted over half the population already. MOST rational human beings have trepidations when it comes to deciding whether or not to take that step. And none of those trepidations are irrational, or have anything to do with how they feel about any ONE person. She could love you to the Moon and back, and still have reservations and fears about plunging into the legalities and contracts and commitments and responsibilities of marriage again.
And it sounds like she does love you to the Moon and back. But she’s been stung once, and doesn’t want to go there again. My guess is that her confusion has everything to do with divorce baggage, and nothing to do with you personally. She has as much told you so, by telling you she needs some space and some alone time.
Second, let’s answer your question about “someone else.”
If she’s being honest in the words she has told you, then no. She can’t have someone else. And it doesn’t really sound like or look like she even wants someone else. I think she genuinely wants to be a lone, for a little bit. I don’t know if she’s being dishonest with you. I do think she is very confused, or just needs to take a step back from her fears, and experience what having space looks like.
The first clue that it sounds like real love to me is your statement that you’ve tried to date again, and found it pointless. That’s a good sign. And my guess is that she feels the same. Have a look at my article about the “On Again, Off Again” relationships. I want you to pay special importance to the section on how both people feel during the break up times. She is very likely going through the same things you are.
But she still needs space. I am not sure how much time has passed since you gave her that space, but if it’s been more than 30 days without contact, I would touch base with her again. Just a brief note, like you did when you contacted her on LinkedIn. Something casual and breezy that sends her the message that hey, she’s still on your mind!
Otherwise, there is not much relationship advice for men I could offer to those dealing with someone that just needs space. Give it to her. When she sees you respecting her and giving her what she wants, she feels safer with you, and this will intuitively draw her closer to you. Sounds like you have this one checked off already. So it may be time to touch base with her again. Let us know how it goes! Does she love you or does she love you not? I think she does. But you can’t blame her for being a little fear-based after she’s already been in divorce court. So be the safe space for her, and come back to tell us how that went. Readers, what do you think?