The first 6-7 weeks of the relationship we had no problems. On week 6 of the relationship, Jane had brunch with her ex-boyfriend from two relationships back. This made me nervous despite the fact that nothing intimate happened at the brunch. Then, a couple weeks later, she met a guy for drinks. There are two ways of looking at this: 1) this guy legitimately could become a professional contact and they have a lot of shared interests; or 2) she was interested in him and wanted to test the waters to see if he was an option. The next night she and ten other people went to the same guy’s apartment to plan a political fundraiser. For the next 2-3 months the two of them were in regular contact to plan the political fundraiser over e-mail, text, gchat, facebook, etc. I don’t know the content of their conversations because I never looked. Five months into our relationship, the fundraiser occurred, I was there, I met the guy, the fundraiser went well, etc. Then, a month later (six months into our relationship), this same guy invited Jane to a happy hour with his friends which my ex-girlfriend attended and at which she had fun.
During the seventh month of our relationship, Jane had drinks with another guy. Again, two ways of looking at it: 1) this guy legitimately could become a professional contact and they have a lot of shared interests; or 2) she was interested in him and wanted to test the waters to see if he was an option. When they met, according to Jane, she heard that this second guy lived close to her office and he had a sofa, so she asked if she could sleep on his sofa if she had to work late. Finally, after this all happened, I started to express to her that I felt like she was at the very least conflicted about me, like she liked me, but, at the time, she also wanted to see if there were other options. She said she wasn’t attracted to the first guy, and she said she had hooked up with the second guy in high school and did not want to do that again.
In addition, during the final four months of the relationship we had sex one time. I am 24 and she is 23. During the last 2-3 weeks of the relationship, we had a lot of conversation about the lack of sex and she could not explain it. One excuse was that her birth-control medication was preventing her from having sexual desire, but, generally, she just said she was not interested in having sex.
In addition, when Jane was stressed, she just shut down. She would isolate herself from everybody — me, her parents (she lived with her parents), and her friends and would just spend time with her cat. She would not talk to me sometimes for three or four days. In addition, she did not make the effort during the relationship to come and see me; I, most of the time, had to go to her and she would never do anything unexpected for me, there was no spontaneity. She also admitted that, at times during the relationship, she still had feelings for the ex she had brunch with in week 6 or 7 of the relationship.
At this point, you might be thinking well why would you want to be with this person? There are some intangible things that we do really well together. My faith is really important to me and I want to date someone of the same faith. Plus, we have a common interest (politics) AND there are not many people where I am that are of the same faith and civic-minded, too. She is also an ambitious, smart, type-A personality, which I like.
Since the break-up, I have tried to reach out to her to apologize and to take responsibility for my part in the breakdown of the relationship. (I was too intense, too quickly, I put a lot of pressure on her to advance the relationship quickly, I initiated a lot of the conversation and still do, and I did not give her the space to own her part of the relationship). But she is mostly stonewalling me. She told me once she was not interested but to revisit the issue in a couple of weeks; a couple of weeks went by and now she is just blowing me off. (She says, “I really can’t talk today” and then does not propose an alternative time).
With all of this in mind, how do I either detach myself from the relationship quickly or encourage a change in perspective from her where she is romantically interested in me? — Missing Her
The ship has sailed. It started leaving the port way back in week 6 or whatever when Jane had brunch with her ex-boyfriend whom she still had feelings for. And if you spent the last half of your 8-month relationship not having sex, the relationship was essentially over many months ago. It’s telling that you waited until the final 2-3 weeks of your relationship, after not having sex for like 3 1/2 months, to start discussing WHY you weren’t banging. I can tell you why: she wasn’t into you anymore. Maybe she never was. Maybe YOU were the option she was testing out and she only became exclusive with you because she felt pressured. She liked you well enough to keep testing you out and she felt like, if she didn’t say yes to being exclusive, she’d miss out on you and would wonder where things might have gone between you. And now you both know where things went. The ship sailed and you aren’t on it.
So, what do you do now? You MOA. I’m sure Jane is a lovely young woman and you like that you share the same faith and common interests, but I think it’s time for you to re-prioritize the traits you are looking for in a partner. You found someone who is the same faith and into politics and is ambitious, smart, and has a type-A personality, but she seemed conflicted about you, she shut down when she was stressed, you two didn’t have good communication, she still had feelings for an ex, she never made an effort to come see you or do anything spontaneous with/for you, and your sex life was pretty non-existent. If that’s what you consider a good match, YOU are the one who needs a change of perspective. If you absolutely cannot fathom dating someone of a different faith, you should at least widen your net a little to include women whose surface interests differ from yours. What’s really so much more important than common interests is the way someone treats you and how well you get along.
Open your mind a little and look at the world — and at potential girlfriends — through a wider scope. Your best match might not be someone who’s super ambitious and type-A. She might be quiet and sweet and might value spending time with family and friends over chasing down goals and organizing fundraisers with exes.
If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, you can send me your letters at firstname.lastname@example.org.