We’re Still Strangers

Question: Dear Luise: I really need help. I have been with a man for 3 years and it’s going so wrong. I have asked him to move out so I can have some space. We met on a blind date and from our first date he never went home. First we lived with my parents. Then we rented property. Then we bought a house. Now everything settled down. I realized we know nothing about each other. We have no passion and I feel we missed out on the best part of getting to know each other. I really want us to try again but only dating first to see if there is anything between us but I’m also scared of being alone. After finding the courage to talk to him, I found out he feels the same. What is the best way forward? J.

Answer: Dear J. Well, good for you that you did find the courage to talk about it. And good for him that he responded in a thoughtful and honest way. That’s a great start!

I don’t know what to say about being afraid to be alone. Many of us are and yet if we let that dictate how and where we live our lives, isn’t that scarier yet? I know of people who are living a lifestyle that looks like a permanent jail sentence because they are afraid to move out and move on. How sad is that?

You both know that you moved too fast. And probably no one could have stopped you. Even under the best of circumstance, passion often evolves into something deeper and more comfortable…and your circumstances were definitely not the best. For many, the transition is a positive experience but passion may have been all you had. Losing it could have left you with nothing. You have no foundation, no history…nothing but “Hi, let’s jump into bed and live together.”

Your greatest asset, it seems to me, is that you both care enough to talk about it and beyond that, you agree. You probably have no idea how rare that is and it speaks well for you as a couple. Mutual respect is priceless.

I think what I would try would be to become roommates. Share the house and share the expenses but not the bedroom and/or bed. Back off. Create outside interests and private space to move around in. You will have to decide what the rules will be…based on how you still feel about each other and your mutual desire not to hurt each other further.

From there, yes, it’s just a hop and a skip to dating…and having long, “get-acquainted” talks over coffee and desert someplace. What are your hobbies? What are your outside interests? Who are your friends? Where can you go together to begin to share such things?

Nurture and nourish you respect for each other and the caring that has kept you connected through thick and thin. Make an adventure of it and see where it takes you. Blessings, Luise

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