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I have been extremely busy as of late so it has been awhile since I was able to post some of the requests for advice I have gotten and my replies. I apologize for that and hope these letters and my replies help some of you know you are not alone in your feelings of being lost or drowning in the great sea of love.
Is this a normal thing to go through and is it healthy? I went through a period of “longing” I guess you could say where I had her up on a pedestal and I wanted nothing but to get her back, then I felt like I accepted it and was fine, and now I’ve started to hate her intensely. Last time we hung out with mutual friends I completely ignored her, which was immature in hindsight, but I just want to feel like she never existed. I hated her for stringing me along and just so many things about how she dumped me. I know she’s cried a few times when we saw each other, but I haven’t seen it. I was told by one of our mutual friends. I’m just so angry it’s hard to express right now.
Yes this is totally normal. Often there is the euphoric remembrance for the person, putting them on a pedestal like you said and not thinking about all the bad that happened. Then you are often mad at the person, mad at them over the fact that they fooled you into thinking they were perfect, or for thinking that you weren’t good enough. Even wishing that you had never met them, or they had never been born. These are all stages of breakups and they should pass in time. The time it takes is different for everyone, but keep in mind one thing…Good or bad, all of our experiences make us who we are. The bad she may have done will make you that much better of a partner for a future someone.
Justin Nutt, LMSW
I’ve been with my guy for almost three years. We started as FWB and it has grown into a real relationship. We are together every weekend and spend quite a bit of time on the phone, etc. Our relationship is pretty solid and he is a good person. I love him. The problem is that he has a very hard time talking about his emotions. He has only told me that he loves me a couple of times in three years and usually only because he is responding to my “i love you”. His actions towards me show me that he loves me, which I know is the most important thing, but I would like to hear it once in awhile. He told me that he is more emotionally open with me than he has been with any woman in the past. If this is his idea of “emotionally open”, I shudder to think what “emotionally closed” would be like to him! He also told me that he has not had good relationship role models when growing up so handling the emotional stuff is hard for him.
I usually let him slide on this because I know it is hard for him but it bothers me because I am a very open and emotional person. The longer we are together, the more I want him to own it and say it. Should I let go of wanting him to say the words and just enjoy our relationship or should I make more of a big deal about it? I don’t want him to feel criticized and I know when I bring it up, it makes him feel bad. On the other hand, not hearing it makes me start to doubt the depth of his feelings. Why wouldn’t he want to say it? Am I just being a woman and he is just being a man?
I think that not having a good role model can have a huge effect on his ability to express love. That can be hard when you love someone, but a part of love is acceptance of the other as they are. You aren’t going to change him, you can support him while he does change and grow if he is able to, but you fell in love with who he is and it would be unfair to reject him now for being that same person. Try talking to him about it. Not telling him that you need him to tell you he loves you, or being mad that he doesn’t, simply explain to him that it is something you would enjoy hearing. Have an open and honest talk about the subject. Remember though that while it comes so easy to you saying those 3 words is hard (and most likely scary) to him. You say you know from his actions, but in this talk ask him if he feels that way for you even if he can’t say the words themselves.
Justin Nutt, LMSW
If you have a question you would like me to answer related to love, life, or anything else you can contact me by email