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Desperate in Rockland

Posted by Meredith Goldstein  January 22, 2009 11:42 AM

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Q: I am seeing a man who has lived by himself for 16 years. He has said he loves me and when he is with me he is an angel. He is from Maryland and when he leaves me he becomes distant and sometimes rude. He has even stopped speaking to me for 6 months because I made him angry.

He says he wants what I want which is a solid relationship, maybe ending up in marriage. My problem is he does not like talking on the phone and right now that is our only option. He calls when he feels like it and that may amout to maybe once a week.

I want to know if this man has commitment issues and if so should I run. I have tried to break it off 3 times, but he calls and we start talking again and he does the same thing all over again. I like him, but I find it hard to get to know him. He won't even show me his feet. He was a serviceman for 23 years, so maybe that has something to do with his feet, but I am looking for a drama free life and he is not helping. - desperate, rockland

A: Dear Desperate,

Remember that guy who wrote that book “He’s Just Not That Into You”? I despise self-help books, but I think that guy may have been on to something.

  • You’ve told us you feel like you don’t know him.

  • You’ve told us he dropped you for half a year because he was in a bad mood.

  • You’ve told us you want marriage and he won’t show you his feet.
We all deserve someone who will expose their feet. I can tell this guy has a tough time with emotional intimacy, but his inability to include you in his life is mean and it has become a waste of your time. Perhaps it’s time to use your feet to walk away, and when he calls, shut off the phone.
Readers? What do you think? Desperate from Rockland welcomes your opinions. Click here to share.
- Meredith

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14 comments so far...
  1. RUN! Desperate RUN!
    You are too good for this man! Look at your selection of words - you "like him". After all this time don't you think you should "love" him by now?

    Its hard going back out on the singles circuit (I've been there plenty of times myself and am now 34 and not married), but I do know a good relationship when I see one and this one doesn't sound like it has the makings of a solid relationship. Bottom line, when its right, its right and you'll now.
    Good luck! Be strong!

    Posted by katie January 22, 09 10:07 PM
  1. Dear Desperate
    Sounds like you want to be in a permanent relationship relatively soon. Sounds like you want that relationship to be relatively "normal". Unfortunately, It doesn't sound to me like this is the man for you! It wasn't clear exactly what was special and endearing to you about this man. You mention many of the problems you are having with him - but none of his positive attributes. Does he have any positive attributes? Good luck. Sounds to me like you would be happier alone, or with someone else, than someone like this....

    Posted by Being alone is much better than being with Mr Wrong January 22, 09 10:55 PM
  1. Are you are wondering if you should stay with this guy??? WAKE UP!!! Run for the hills woman!

    Posted by J Gilly January 23, 09 12:48 AM
  1. There are too many good men out there for you to waste one more minute on this guy. And frankly, even if there aren't any good men out there, don't waste one more minute on this guy. It's better to be alone than to be with someone who drains your energy and self-confidence. You clearly know what the right answer is already - dump him - FOR GOOD!!!

    Posted by sunflowergirl January 23, 09 06:31 AM
  1. You don't have to break it off completely. Just be sure you are still open to dating close to home.
    I had a similar relationship. In two years, we saw each other 4 times. He called occassionally and was always too busy to talk for long. Our relationship was all mail. Once I started dating, it became less and less important that he be 'the one.' So I was strong enough to tell him enough it enough.

    And believe me - from what you told us, enough is enough - find someone who enriches your life and makes you feel GOOD.

    Posted by AuntBeth January 23, 09 08:33 AM
  1. You are wasting your time. Move on. I wouldn't put up with that behavior from a friend, much less someone I'd consider marrying. Would things get any better then? I think not.

    Posted by J January 23, 09 08:39 AM
  1. I totally agree with Meredith here. Your beau is downright cruel. If he is not willing to seek therapy (and I mean actually GO to a therapist, not just say he's going to do it), I would run the other way. Until he gets his act together, he is not dating material, much less marriage material. You deserve better than this!

    Posted by ramona January 23, 09 09:10 AM
  1. I have experienced the same thing (althogh the guy was not in the service 23 years) in a long-distance relationship. Even if your man is "into you," he has great difficulty expressing it unless it's completely on his terms and or turf, which should be a HUGE red flag. I allowed myself to hang on to my so-called relationship for about a year until my two best friends sat me down fone night and told me that I was living for the scraps of his attention and deserved better. How do you think he reacted when I decided to move on? Nothing - he just dropped off the radar. Which proves that I wasted time and energy. This guy is NOT worth your time, energy, or tears!

    Posted by Stef January 23, 09 09:46 AM
  1. Do you ever catch him looking under his socks just befor he says your name? He has the name of all of his girl friends written on his toes. Dump this loser.

    Posted by Sara January 23, 09 09:47 AM
  1. Dear desperate: As a court advocate and now as a divorce paralegal, I have worked with tons of victims of emotionally abusive relations. That's what this guy is--abusive. Shutting you out for 6 months and not wanting to talk on the phone illustrate the extent he wants to be in control. Whenyou have tried to break it off, back he comes playing Mr. Nice Guy. It's called the cycle of abuse for a good reason, and the emotional kind is often more insidious than the physical kind.

    Dump him for good. The whole foot thing is equally weird.

    Posted by Leslie January 23, 09 09:51 AM
  1. he treats you like this because your "desperate"...if you have confidence and other optiions, he may act differnet....just stop being desperate...that's the key :-)

    Posted by mc January 23, 09 09:58 AM
  1. how do you know that he is married? perhaps he is guilty or in the closet. been there, done that. i was hopelessly in love with a man for 5yrs, which i will never get back. see other people becaus life is too short.

    Posted by been there, done that...but in 5yrs January 23, 09 10:00 AM
  1. My best friend went through a similar relationship recently. All I can say, is MOVE ON! He is not giving you what you want and need. We all deserve to get what we want out of a relationship. YOU DESERVE BETTER. Your wanting more doesn't make you a needy person. His being distant doesn't necessarily make him a bad person, but it does make him NOT the person for you. I wish you the best!

    Oh and the best friend's ex? He just called to tell her some other chick had his baby and ask if she wanted to come see it. MOVE ON! All I can say is I'm glad it's the other chick who's stuck with the commitment-phobe.

    Posted by RT January 23, 09 03:09 PM
  1. I think hes in another relationship in Maryland...I say MOVE ON. Probably has a wife and kids......RUN.........

    Posted by Cynical in Mass January 28, 09 11:33 AM
 
ABOUT LOVE LETTERS: Welcome to Love Letters, the place for love advice (giving and getting). Globe relationship columnist Meredith Goldstein and Boston.com readers are ready to take your letters and tell you what's what. Have a question? Click here to submit or email us at loveletters@boston.com.
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Meredith Goldstein is a Boston Globe columnist who follows relationship trends and entertainment. She offers daily advice on Love Letters — and welcomes your comments. Meredith is also the author of "The Singles," a novel about complicated relationships. Follow Meredith at www.meredithgoldstein.netand on Twitter. Love Letters can be found in the print edition of The Boston Globe every Saturday in the G section.

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