Jaime in Tucson writes:
Travis and I have been dating off and on for almost two years. My birthday is 11/5/77 and his is 3/26/63. Periodically he disappears, telling me he forces himself to back off when he starts to feel too emotional about me. We talk every day and he confides in me like no one else. The problem is he won’t make time for me – he just fits me in when he can. Is this something that we can work through? Is there any hope that in time he will open himself up to me emotionally?
You seem like a very kind and gentle spirit, and your boy -Travis – well, he sees it, too. I really hate to squish hope like it is nothing more than a bug under a shoe, but I’m not seeing anything in this relationship dynamic enough for you to hold on to.
I know you want to believe in the good of this man, the person you believe he can be… but he is not going to live up to your desires or expectations. The tone of this relationship was set long ago, and it’s really not anything you can change now. What you have with this man is a very good, if extremely unbalanced, friendship.
Unfortunately, the relationship is more beneficial to him than it is to you. He gets what he needs, and you are left wanting. I really don’t see this changing. It’s not because he can’t open up to the emotions he has for you, he simply doesn’t want to be that honest with you.
In many ways, you are being used. The sad part is you are permitting it. Travis isn’t consciously trying to hurt you – he doesn’t really think about the impact his actions may have on you. What you really need to understand is that he is not in love with you, nor will he fall in love with you. It just isn’t there for him the way it is for you. So, he kind of keeps you on a string. You’re a good person to have around, when it is convenient for him, and you are also easily manipulated. He definitely knows which buttons of yours to push.
Jaime, there is a lot more going on with this guy than you know, or even need to know. It’s time to move on. You deserve much better than this.