This week’s question comes from Mara:
“My high school sweetheart & I recently started dating again. I never fell out of love with him and it’s really wonderful to have him back in my life. He was my “one that got away” & “the love of my life” so that he’s back in my life after 10+ years apart & we’re going on dates again is pretty amazing.
The reason we broke up the first time, about a month before we left for college, was he didn’t have enough time for me. Now we’ve had three amazing dates & in theory, we’re supposed to go on a lunch date sometime this week & meet up in the evening sometime next week, but he hasn’t called to lock down which day(s) we’re actually having the dates. On one hand, I feel like I should let him take the initiative & call me since I want to be the more feminine energy in our relationship. On the other hand, I really want to see him & keeping my schedule wide open for him until some undetermined time that he might contact me to make specific plans is really stressful.
Also, it seems like I want a lot more contact than he does. He’s perfectly fine going 5 days or more with no contact & I start wishing on day 2 or 3 that there was at least a phone call or even email or something. It’s something I brought up briefly during our last date & he did say he’s not a big phone person anymore (in high school we talked on the phone pretty much every night) and he talks to me more than pretty much everyone else. Our solution after that was for me to call him more, but when I did, he didn’t pick up the phone or call me back.
So I guess I have two questions:
1) Should I call/email him about our plans & try to get a date locked down or should I wait for him to contact me?
2) How should I deal with the issue of time together in a way that both doesn’t push him away and would result in my getting my needs met? (i.e. the need for a certain minimum amount of contact with someone I’m romantically involved with.)
Thank you so much!”
Thank you for reaching out to us. We’ll address your specific questions first and then get to the larger question of what is going on in this relationship.
First, you gave us an “Either/Or” for your first question. Call him vs. wait for him. Neither of those options sounds good to us and we recommend you do neither. Instead, enjoy your life. Schedule activities, see friends, go to yoga, and maybe even go on a date with someone else. You are making him way too important right now. We understand that he is “the one that got away” and you don’t want to mess this up. Putting aside your needs and waiting for him to do what you want is a recipe for resentment and anger.
If he calls and you are not available then GREAT! It will show him that you are not some doormat who is sitting by the phone waiting for him to call. It will show him that you are desirable by other people and if he wants to spend time with you he better get it together. Make it inconvenient for him to get a hold of you and if he truly is the one then he will step up his game.
Second, simply state your needs and see if he takes new action, or if he explains more reasons why he doesn’t want to do what you’ve asked. You made a request already about this and he explained that he doesn’t like to talk on the phone that much. Instead you seem to be willing to change your expectations to accommodate him. Does this pattern sound familiar to you? We’re clear that this pattern is in place from when you were much younger.
This guy is entirely too comfortable and you’re making it entirely too easy for him. You’re operating under the assumption that you’re going to lose something (because you already lost him once) and that you need to give up everything else in your life to make it work this time.
That strategy is not going to work and it will leave you exhausted from jumping through hoops in order to not lose the “love of your life.” No relationship can survive when we are sacrificing our needs and wants for someone else. You’ve had a few great dates. It is a good start but it is not a relationship yet.
What we don’t know is: Did he believe that you were the “love of his life,” and that you were “The one that got away?” From what you have shared, he is not behaving as if this were true.
It is time for you to get crystal clear about what you really desire in a relationship. This is not about him; it is about what you want your life and your relationship to look like. Write down all of the qualities you are looking for and say “No” to anyone that doesn’t fit that description. By qualities, we mean the values, actions, and feelings that are important to you in relationship, not the external qualities of appearance, money, etc.
Does he fit those qualities? You expressed how important it is to you that your man make you a priority in his life. So far he hasn’t shown a willingness or a desire to do that. Are you capable of saying “No” to a relationship with him if he is incapable of meeting that need?
We want you to know that you are worthy of having everything you desire in relationship – Don’t settle for anything less. Please keep us posted on your progress.
Love and Abundance,