Dear Dr. Frankie,
In November, 2010 I met a woman who I began dating and spending a lot of time with. We talked about moving in together after dating about a year. Suddenly in February she stopped calling me and wouldn’t answer or return my calls. After a week of this she finally told me she should never have started a relationship because she wasn’t ready. Her partner of 8 years had died about a year ago. So we decided to stay in touch and be friends, but I was so in love with her it was impossible for me. We didn’t talk for two months, then out of the blue she texted me because she was moving. From that day forward we talked everyday, I told her how I felt about her but all she would say is that she cares about me and that we should take things slow and just see how it goes. The first time we dated I pretty much lost touch with my friends and family. This time I decided not to do that, and things are going well so I am proud of that.
It seems that although you haven’t directly addressed the sex topic, your feelings and desire for a more intimate relationship have been made clear. The woman you are dating has also made it clear that she isn’t open for anything more than what you currently have. Trust your instinct that by pushing the topic you might push her away.
I noticed several red flags that might have contributed to where you currently find yourself. You mentioned that after only several months you discussed moving in together after you dated for one year. Regardless of whose idea this was, I think you were both moving way too fast. It may have actually done the opposite of what you were hoping for by contributing to her February disappearance. I am glad to hear that this time around you focused on maintaining healthy relationships with your friends and family. Balance is one of the most important ingredients of a maintaining a healthy, happy relationship. Avoid “enmeshment,” this is when two people become so entwined that they no longer act as individuals. Examples of these are having all the same friends, same interests, same hobbies, and no identity independent of each other.
At this point you need to ask yourself if settling for crumbs will sustain you for the long haul. If you have the stomach for it and are willing to face possible rejection, I suggest making one last effort. Communicate your feelings and needs clearly. If you feel resistance and/or she disappears again, that is a clear sign that it’s time to move on. You deserve to be with someone who is capable of accepting all you have to offer and will reciprocate the effort.