Tuesday, October 14, 2008

'Perplexed' lady left way before "at the alter", what to do?

Dear Dr. Jim

Hi. I have been courted by a nice man for a few months now; he has spoken of marriage and my moving in; I never brought up the subject.

I told him I was hesitant to get involved at this point with my brother dieing and loosing my job all in the same month he wanted to start dating.

He still seemed quite smitten the last time we were together, but then he did not call for 3 days and then quickly got off the phone and said he would call back soon before he left for a week long retreat.

I have never heard from him again; it has been over a week. What is the writing on the wall if any? He seemed like quite a stable sensible loving and honest man;

I am perplexed.

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Dear 'Perplexed'

Well, as much as I hate to say it, I do believe this guy was hurting.

Please do not take this personally, but be prepared to go on. They have taught me that there are other fish in the sea. Now you continue with your business; do some occasional fishing when it seems right.

First of all, he came on pretty strong wanting you to give that much dedication to you (moving in or marriage). Yes, to speak and hint is probably acceptable but if he was sincere in his asking then he should be prepared to accept waiting.

Secondly, it seems that he was overwhelmed by your unexpected answer. It seems to me that if he was starting to care for you in a permanent way he would be concerned for your situation, offer you some condolences, and possibly even offer some assistance when you were needing.

Now he may have been thinking about this for those three days and decided he did not want to make a commitment this great at this time. Or that he thought since you now were unemployed that the sharing living arrangement would be helping.

I suppose we will never know.

Now, what happened to him? His plane could have crashed. He could have gone back to an "ex" that he hadn't told you about. Or just plain got cold feet.

If you haven't seen him by now (I was sort of waiting to see if he had reappeared in your life) then he is avoiding you or you don't go where he is anymore.

What to do?

You could call him. Just to have closure on this matter, see if he is alright physically and tell him you have enjoyed his company while it lasted. AND THEN, ask him where in the H*ll he has been and that it was very inconsiderate for him to not call you.

Or write him off as a loser. Yes, he may be timid and undecided and not know what or how to do anything about your situation from here on out.

If you really care for him and you think after all this that he is genuine but lacking the tact or courage to carry on, you could talk to a specialist in this area.

I would suggest your pastor if you have one and if you want him to know of this situation. If you would rather he not know, then find pastor in a different church that has an active singles ministry.

I hope this helps a little bit, this is a delicate time in your life.

Dr. Jim

One last item, my Mom used to tell me (quite often) that I would not find a nice girl in a bar. I have always remembered that.

All people have quirks, I have a lot, just ask Mrs. Jim. But she didn't find me in a bar, rather at a social gathering where friends and neighbors were gathered for a meal. Dr. Jim

So, keep on keep'n on, and till then,
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Putz said...

i have seen this situation before....you just might see him again...or then again you might never see him again....tie some yellow ribbons on your own front door and see if he takes that as a hint that you care....or don't

Anonymous said...

Ray here.

I agree with Dr. Jim on why the man may have left.

The woman didn't reveal whether her relationship with this man had become sexual. If not, he may have mentioned marriage merely to beguile her into a sexual relationship. A man with less-than-honorable intentions will often use this ploy to convince a woman of his sincerity so that he can elicit sexual favors from her. After he tires of her, this man will leave and move on to his next victim.

If the woman's relationship with the man had already become sexual, he may have still pulled the marriage card just to have her move in with him and play "Wifey". If she does, he wins and she loses. He has many of his needs met--meals, a clean home, a domestic helper (errands, shopping, paying bills, dealing with repairmen, etc.) and extra income should she get another job.

But she loses. She lives in a constant state of insecurity and anxiety. She's trusting him with her heart and body--huge and difficult concessions for a woman--all with no proof of commitment from him, with no a ring or marriage license. She gives him her most tender and precious assets, her heart and her body, all the while doubting that he prizes them enough; all the while wondering if she weren't too "easy", if he's not found someone more novel, mysterious, and challenging. And because now she's become nervous and insecure about their relationship and continuously protects her heart--yes, she checks up on him--their fights often escalate into brawls. She becomes a bit of a "wild woman," losing her dignity and self-control, along with his respect. And she finds these explosive brawls dampen his fondness, just as she has feared.

Even if this woman's beau's intentions of marriage were sincere, and even if he asked her to move in with him only because either she was reluctant to marry him, or because cohabiting is now common, or because he was trying to help her after she had lost her job, it's still a bad idea. By moving in with him, first she lessens her chances of their marrying. According to studies, 80% of couples who cohabit before marriage end their relationship within five years, not having married. And second, if they do marry, their chances of divorce are 46% higher than the national average. Sociologists attribute much of the failure of the ensuing marriage to the husband's behavior: he continues to act single, aloof, and uncommitted just as he had been accustomed to while cohabiting.

And many men soon tire of a woman who shares their living space. She loses her mystery and novelty (powerful holding forces in a relationship)
as they grow too familiar with her.

So several reasons could explain the woman's beau's disappearance:

1. Their relationship had become sexual. He got what he wanted and grew tired of her.
He either then lost interest and left, or he found another woman.

2. Their relationship had not become sexual. He didn't get what he wanted. He lost interest and left.

3. He was sincerely smitten with her, but now he's found someone that interests him more.

4. He got very busy, perhaps with work, family, or other commitments.

5. The retreat he attended refocused him spiritually, so that now he feels differently about life and about her. Maybe now he's sorting out his life and feelings. Some men disappear for awhile--emotionally, if not physically--when they have problems to sort out.

What should she do? Muster all the dignity, grace, and aplomb she can to give him his space and not call him. If he's still interested in her, he will call her. Men do what they want to do.

If he's not interested in her anymore, her apparent disinterest may reprick his interest: he may view her as a renewed challenge and call her back. But if he's only slightly still interested in her, and she calls to check on him, he may be put off by it. He may feel crowded and his independence threatened. And depending on what she says, he may see her as clingy and needy, and he may lose any interest he still has.

To keep a man's interest, a woman must remain a challenge to him. As well as a bit of a mystery. She must appear independent and self-fulfilled so as not to seem clingy and needy. Neediness in a woman frightens a man. He feels his independence threatened, and he runs. But independence and fulfillment in a woman allure him.

And if the woman has become sexually intimate with the man, she should stop being so. It means death to her relationship, whether before it reaches marriage or afterward. However commonly our society engages in premarital sex, men still lose respect for the women they engage in it with. And respect is what builds and holds a man's love.

Three books navigated me through love difficulties:

1. The Rules, by Ellen Fein and Sherrie Schneider

2. The Rules II, by Ellen Fein and Sherrie Schneider http://www.therulesbook.com/

3. Love Must Be Tough, by Dr. James Dobson http://resources.family.org/product/bk746.do

Dr. Jim wrote that his mother told him he wouldn't find a nice girl in a bar. He was suggesting to her delicately that noble and honorable men don't invite women to move in with them, and that maybe she should rethink this guy.

I agree. Unless he undergoes a true spiritual conversion at his retreat, he doesn't sound like marriage material. But maybe now she'll be smarter in her next relationship.

Anonymous said...

Ray here.

Other possible reasons for his disappearance:

1. He's dead.

2. He's in jail.

3. He's on a drug, gambling, or alcohol binge.