Question: Dear Luise: I can’t seem to convince my boyfriend that I am serious and want marriage. We were so close for a long time. We even lived together for a while but he recently moved out and wants “more space”. He is pulling away in other ways, too. He’s no longer as interested in me, sexually, and doesn’t want to talk about any of this. I’m frantic, and I feel that is just making things worse. What can I do? Thank you, Rita V.
Answer: Dear Rita: It’s a very tough situation when one person is feeling one way and the other is feeling differently. You are watching changes occur in him that you don’t feel yourself. How can you honor that? Can you see that the fact that you are serious and want marriage may have tipped the scale?
In the long run, your boyfriend is going to do what he wants to do. You must know that. He isn’t going to say what he doesn’t mean or do what he isn’t interested in doing. He’s taken a stand. Moving out is pretty definitive. It’s a bitter pill to swallow, but it is something you have little or no control over.
The only thing you have any power over is your own behavior. Complaining to him or clinging isn’t going to help your case…to the contrary. The only thing you can do is to seek out friends and family who love you and spend as much time as possible basking in how it feels when you are around them.
Don’t alienate them by wallowing in self-pity. I know that’s not easy advice to follow but it could bring your further rejection right when you need support. You need genuine love and understanding right now and that’s where your family and friends come in.
If your sadness is too acute, you may also need to talk with a professional person who can help you work your way through this. Intense feelings need to be felt and worked through and most of us can’t do that alone.
Look and see how you feel about being treated this way. You may not want to leave the door open for more of the same in case your ex-boyfriend changes his tune. Start calling him that. And keep you eyes open, he’s not the only fish in the pond. Blessings, Luise