She's Chickening Out
Q: I am 2000 miles away from the woman I love. After corresponding with her for the last six months (3-4 hours a night on the phone and countless emails throughout the day), I was all set to move back home and live with her. She told me she will find no better partner/companion to go through life with, but the night before I was supposed to buy my ticket home, she sent me an email saying she was having doubts and that she wants to be able to date whoever or come and go as she wants. She's the type who doesn't confront emotional issues, so she is not answering my emails or phone calls. Is there still a chance for us? -- Kirt
Dr. Susan: Long-distance relationships have their own peculiar dynamic, one that doesn't always translate well into the up-close-and-personal. If your so-called honey has told you that she doesn't want to feel tied down by you, then you probably ought to take her at her word. The idea of living together seems to petrify her. She may have been enjoying the risk-free flirtation by phone and email, but now that you were about to make it "real," she chickened out.
If she won't even respond to your messages, there isn't much you can do, though you could at least try writing a letter. Maybe planning to move there and live with her was too much all at once. You might try suggesting that you'd be willing to move to her town without living together immediately, so the two of you can date for a while and give your love a chance to develop. But since she cut you off so suddenly and totally, you may have to chalk up her supposedly loving phone chatter as a role she was playing. It's sad, but not so unusual these days.
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Susan K. Perry, Ph.D.
Susan K. Perry, Ph.D., is a social psychologist, relationship expert, and bestselling and award-winning author. Her books include Loving in Flow: How the Happiest Couples Get and Stay That Way, and Kylie's Heel, a novel for adults.
Pamela G. Chollet, Ph.D.
Dr. Pamela Chollet has a Ph.D. in clinical psychology and Master degrees in educational psychology and fine arts. Her passion has been helping people face and get through those times when they feel trapped and unable to move forward.
Anna Charbonneau, Ph.D.
Anna Charbonneau, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist, stress management expert, and author. If you're feeling overwhelmed, stressed out, or struggling to make changes in your life, Anna can help.