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Dear Dr. Romance: I Don't Know If This Is Retaliation

You can't build a relationship on dreams of yesterday. It's got to be based on something real.

Dear Dr. Romance:

 

I recently read "Does First-Love ever die? How to deal with a flame that still flickers" While my situation doesn't parallel the situations you described in the article, it's very similar.

About 8-9 mos ago, I ran into a highschool crush on a social media site – I took the first leap, and shot her a "hey how you doing – it's me so and so from highschool" type email. We exchanged emails pretty regularly (at least once a day, but usually multiple times), and eventually exchanged numbers. From then on, emails graduated to phone calls & text messages.

This was an everyday thing – we'd literally "blow up" our cell phones with text messages, and she'd always call at least once a day. Unfortunately at the time, I couldn't call her because I didn't have long distance on my plan. Things were going pretty regularly, and eventually I told her that I felt strongly about her – in highschool, and talking to her now is bringing all those feelings back. We talked about why we never dated (I was too shy, and she never knew), and stuff along those lines. We'd have long conversations about anything and everything: personal stuff, funny anecdotes, you name it. Here's the problem: Over the last 1-2 weeks or so, communication has dropped significantly. What used to be long conversations, are now one /two word replies.

We're not dating (we live in different states) but I've hinted at possibly moving down there – I do miss my old friends, but I would definitely like to be closer to her, especially because things can get misunderstood through text messaging. Yesterday, she said she was disappointed by something. She wouldn't reveal what, but when I jokingly said "is someone vying to date you" she replied back with "ehh. Not exactly". She's told me that she's not ready for a relationship (specifically, she doesn't have the energy for one – she just finalized everything with her ex, they were due to be married, but things didn't work out), but I guess I was so used to being able to talk with her everyday (either by phone or text), and this sudden change is doing my head in.

This has happened once or twice before, but things bounced back, and we would start talking pretty regularly again. There are other small things that I notice, but I think I might be reading too much into them – for example, we no longer comment on each other statuses on Facebook, however, she'll banter back and forth with a male friend of hers (admittedly, this has me thinking some not so nice thoughts – that she's concentrating on deepening things with him, hence the emotional distance between me and her) This has made me a little jealous..in fact, she was talking about something that made her jealous a few days prior, and I don't know if this is "retaliation" or if its something that's happening but she's not aware of it. Any advice?

Dear Reader:

It's hard to know what's bothering her, since she won't tell you, but I have a guess. I think she might feel that you're very cheap not to spring for the cost of a long-distance call to talk to her. Especially with VOIP (Internet phone) available for next to nothing, I think she'd get the idea that she's not worth the effort to you. Perhaps I'm wrong, perhaps you have actually paid for some calls, but if all the charges are hers, that's a problem.

Also, you're moving very quickly if you're telling her that you have deep feelings before even talking face-to-face. It's also very possible that she is putting more energy toward a guy who's geographically closer. There's no way to really know. She may be worried about getting into another relationship that doesn't work out.

What is the possibility that you can make a visit to her? It's really not so far from where you are. Make a plan to visit old friends there, and after the plan is set, let her know you'll be in town and ask her on a real date. Give her some advance notice, but don't let the trip depend on her. If you have friends there, you have a reason to visit.

You don't have to be extravagant, but do spend some money on her -- take her to a restaurant, a movie or some other typical dating venue. You've unfortunately allowed her to get the impression that you want a relationship without any groundwork, and I'm guessing she's feeling used. Another great thing to do is to get together with old friends and invite her to join you. If you do that, and she says no, then you'll know she's moved on to someone else. If she says yes, you have a chance (if you go slowly) to build something real.

You can't build a relationship on dreams of yesterday. At some point, it's got to be based on something real in today's world. "The One Who Got Away" "The Tennis Match: Balancing the Power in Your Relationship" and "Couples Can Cooperate for Success" will help you understande the dynamics of your relationship and learn the skills to make it work. The Unofficial Guide to Dating Again can help you get out of your fantasy world and into successful dating.

This article was originally published at . Reprinted with permission from the author.

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