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

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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.

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.
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Dr. Tina Tessina

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Tina B. Tessina, Ph.D.
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Location: Long Beach, CA
Credentials: LMFT, MFT, PhD
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