I have been seeing a gentleman for calendar time just over two years. I say that because we live 1 1/2 hours apart. He asked me to marry him early in the relationship just as he was coming through a divorce and had not made his final settlements so I said no because I’d had a bad experience with my former husband turning vindictive when he knew I was seeing someone and before we made our final settlement. I was concerned I would be creating a similar scenario between him and his soon-to-be ex. In addition, not being experienced, I thought he was proposing because he thought he was ‘losing’ me. Now I feel that I am ready, however I feel that he is not. Is this about patience and learning the fine art of communicating in relationship or are we meant to let this go? I am not comfortable with the instability of his “not suredness” about dating me, but neither of us wants to let go.
I appreciate the opportunity to have a question answered by you. I like the quality of your responses.
Thank you so much for your kind words. Whether it is on the line or through this column, I always give my best. There is no other way, for it is the greatest honor to be entrusted with aspects of another person’s life.
When your boyfriend had initially proposed to you, it wasn’t out of fear of losing you, but you were still in the right when you refused. Although his proposal was sincere and based on his love for you, it was perpetuated largely in part from his search for security.
Every relationship does seem to bring with it some lesson or another that the Universe feels the need to inflict on us. It is the natural order of things. With the two of you, there are almost some ironic timing issues going on. It is a challenge, yes, but not anything that needs to define or end this particular relationship.
You hit the nail on the head with the communication issues, though. And you also need to learn to work more as a team, which is directly related to the communication, or accurately, lack of communication issues.
Your boyfriend is presenting as coming into his own sense of self right now which is why the relationship has become more unstable. This will pass. His feelings for you haven’t changed or faded, but he equally does not know where you stand in the relationship. He does remember you turning down the engagement, though. It’s almost got a little bit of a power-play feeling underlying all of this. When he was ready (or thought he was) you weren’t; and now the roles have changed.
I know that you’re a bit frustrated with the situation, but there is a very real love between the two of you. One that can and will sustain you through these difficult times, if you pull on it’s strength to bring you guys back together, and eventually on the same page. But this isn’t a situation where time alone will take care of all the issues. It will help, but you guys have drifted apart somewhat in expressing your feelings, and dreams, with each other.
As you’ve stated, neither one of you wants to let go. So don’t. Make the time to spend with each other and get back to the original plans for this relationship. With a little work and some emotional risk of being completely honest, each of you will find the security in yourselves, each other and the relationship. When this happens, the *timing* will be perfect.
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