Meeting him happened to coincide with him receiving a job offer for his dream job that he had been gunning after for the last few years. He started the job officially a few weeks after we met. The job was a big career change into something he had little experience with, and a job that is generally a higher hour, higher stress job than the job he was at when I met him. He is also taking a full load of graduate courses to finish his graduate degree.
As he got into the new job, I could tell he was stressed and the stress seemed to be increasing. I was a little worried that, between a brand new job and grad school, there wouldn’t be much left for pursuing a relationship. However, he was still making a big effort to see me frequently, he seemed excited about me, and there was absolutely no indication that we wouldn’t continue dating. Until he called me one day after an especially rough week of work (working till 9 or 10 pm) and school (I hadn’t seen him at all that week) and told me that he was really sorry, but he was overwhelmed and felt like he really just needed to focus on work for the next few weeks — that I was great and, if he was at his old job, he would definitely want to date me. I asked if I would ever see him again, and his response was that, at least for the next few weeks, he had to say no. There was no commitment from him that I would ever hear from him again.
I’m having a hard time wrapping my head around the emotional whiplash that I experienced with this seemingly out-of-the-blue end of things. I guess my question is, is being too busy to date ever a valid reason to end a relationship? Or is it always code for someone not being that interested? Seeing as everything was going so well until the one day it wasn’t, I have a hard time believing it was because he wasn’t in to me. But I also feel like, if you are really in to someone, you don’t let them go and you do what you can to try and make it work. Should I believe what he said, or did I totally just get played? I want to believe him, but I am having a hard time not taking this as he just didn’t want to pursue something with me. — Emotional Whiplash
This kind of thing happens all the time, and I think we, especially as women, make it much more difficult than it has to be because we have this sort of fairytale, rom-com idea of love and relationships where our significant other will move heaven and earth to be with us if his feelings are real and sincere. And, yes, it’s true that, if you’re really into someone else, you don’t want to let that person go. But, you know what, life happens and you have to prioritize stuff and maybe it comes down to: “I like this person a lot — like a lot, a lot — but I’ve only known her a few months and I’m just not invested enough to sacrifice things I’ve been working so hard for for much, much longer than I’ve known her, in order to create the kind of relationship I’d want to have with her — the kind of relationship she deserves to have. Something has to give and it can’t be school and it can’t be this brand new job so, unfortunately, it has to be the girl, and man, that sucks.”
Timing is an enormous equation in relationship success. You can meet the right person, but, if you meet at the wrong time, it’s not going to work. This isn’t unique. This isn’t a problem only you have experienced. Almost everyone who has ever fallen for someone else has probably been the victim of shitty timing at least once. The truth is, it sucks. It sucks a lot. Until it doesn’t. It sucks until you finally meet the right person at the right time and things line up and, yeah, it still takes effort and everything, but it works. And when that happens, all the wrong people and all the wrong times it didn’t work will be worth it.
The key here is not to get bitter. Be flattered that this guy, for everything he had going on in his life, made a big effort to try to make it work. It sounds like he wanted it to work really bad. It’s not his fault timing wasn’t on your side this time. And it’s not your fault. It’s just the way it worked (or… didn’t work, as the case may be). Keep your heart open and hope for better luck next time. That’s really all you can do.
You can follow me on Facebook here and Twitter here.
If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, you can send me your letters at [email protected].