Dear Bitter Single Guy: I have been seeing a wonderful man for about 6 months. He has never failed to express his affection for me: “I want you in my life” “Do you know how much I like you?!” “I love being with you.” And it is not just verbal but physical and more. HE even brought up the idea of living together down the road and we have talked about getting a dog together and have even looked at breeders.
We have (had?) such a great connection. Four days ago I felt like something ripped and he became distant. He says over and over that I am over analyzing everything (because I am a girl) and the fact that I keep pestering him with relationship questions and drama is aggravating him and the more I do the more he feels pigeon holed. I have asked for him to be honest with me but what I get is “I honestly do not want to be on the phone, with you or with anyone (did I mention we are on opposite coasts?).” “I don’t want to keep drilling into this right now, it is not the time or the place… I just got off of work… you are pushing me into a corner and unless you stop there really will be nothing…”
BSG – is our relationship doomed? Can someone change their minds about feelings in a matter of days (I had just been to visit and all of those lovely things were just said to me and reciprocated)? I am giving him his space but don’t know what to do. ~ Hot And Cold
Dear HAC: The Bitter Single Guy sees that you’re in quite a pickle! The BSG isn’t ready to call your delightful relationship dead, but he’s quite close. To begin with HAC, you have one of the biggest strikes against you…you’re on opposite coasts. (The BSG assumes you mean opposite coasts of the United States and not opposite coasts of a tiny island or a peninsula…surrounded by water on three sides…that’s a peninsula…in homage to my pal Tara) A bi-coastal relationship is difficult under the best of circumstances given the limitations of telephone and email communication. But you already know that, and there’s so much more to work with here.
Time is against you, HAC. 6 months isn’t enough time to build the kind of foundation that can withstand the slings and arrows of regular life. Your letter indicates that this change came on quiet suddenly, but the BSG suspects that it’s been bubbling for some time for your Charming Chap. Maybe the long distance, maybe the phone bill, maybe (yes, the BSG will say it) someone within his ZIP code has captured his eye and he’s feeling trapped. All of that and more may have been percolating just below the surface, then triggered by your recent rendezvous…specifically, not by the rendezvous, but by your separation. The BSG’s own experience with a long distance relationship was that the hardest times were those immediately after spending time together.
Finally HAC, the BSG is of course, only ever limited to one side of relationship stories (SOME day, the other half will write in…then we’ll have a fine time, won’t we?). For that reason, the BSG tends to assume that the writer is just and righteous and that the object of their ire, is…well…less so. But this time, the BSG isn’t so sure. HAC, the BSG suspects that your need to de-construct and analyze your relationship dynamic is tiring your Charming Chap. Reading his responses to your questions and then imagining the barrage of questions that probably lead to his responses, the BSG doesn’t have a lot of hope.
In short, HAC (probably too late for that), the BSG recommends cooling off and limiting the questions. It sounds like your quest for information is stressing Charming Chap to his breaking point, so dial down the intensity by about 10 clicks. You’re thinking “but if I don’t keep “communicating” at him, he’ll slip away!” and you’re right, but whether he slips or you push him, he’ll be just as gone.
Oh and HAC? Don’t do that thing that is going to occur to you late some night while you can’t sleep worrying about this. Don’t decide to move across the country (or island, or peninsula) to be with your Charming Chap. You’ll end up starting the local chapter of Moved Here For Love and It Didn’t Work Out (there are t-shirts). Good luck.