Long distance relationship: push and pull

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Dear Guys,

Ok, So I met this guy who’s 31—I’m 35. We met out in San Francisco in early March 2011. I live in Atlanta. I met him through a friend and from the very moment we met he pursued me heavily. Even when I got back home from SF he was texting me wanting attention, answers, and basically asking me if he had a chance. I basically decided to go for it. We continued this affair through Skype (ALOT), hundreds of texts, pictures, phone calls, etc. for months. I planned a trip for him to see me in Atlanta for three days. The trip went well, but upon his return he slowly started getting cold feet, stating the reality was getting to him. Anyway, this is after 2 months.

We continued the relationship but he stated he wasn’t sure if he was ready, but was still open to the idea. I booked yet another trip to SF and flew out there 3 weeks later after his visit. This time it was for 5 days just with him. I will have to be honest, he’s very warm, sweet, and inexperienced in the relationship dept. He wanted to make me happy, impress me, take me out on trips, etc. There was a lot of sex. I mean a lot. But also with other activities included. It was wonderful, but I was a little out of my comfort zone and started noticing him freezing up the last day, not wanting to hold my hand and not really expressing himself.

On my plane ride back he basically told me he wasn’t feeling it. That day a lot of drinking was done and I was a little edgy. When I came back, I was angry and hurt. He was basically trying to cut ties with me. Through the next three weeks, we ended up speaking again and he basically said to me that he had deep insecurities, and that I could do so much better than him, and he was in a different place in his life. That he hasn’t achieved much and he had un-resolved anger. That he could see me getting hurt down the road. The letter was heartfelt and sincere and I can see he has some issues to work through. I continued to talk to him for 45 days and tried to get close!

But the entire time has been push and pull. Hot and cold. He said he has feelings for me and doesn’t know what it is when he’s around me, but something makes him feel wonderful, he misses me, wants to see me. Then the next day he pulls back but continues to text, call late night. I get angry and start getting hurt but ask him to come visit again. He says we shall see… Never does, and always has an excuse. He just basically seems confused and back and forth and conflicted, yet won’t let go. I have decided to fly back out to San Francisco to visit a friend and he TRULY wants to see me, saying it would be a “dream” to have me and see me. Yada, Yada, How wonderful. Yet, he’s said  four days prior he’s not ready.

Ok, I am not ready to give up on him. But what is he doing? How should I go about this? What is he trying to say? I am very independent, pretty female that took a risk on someone that doesn’t do as well financially, nor quite mature in some regards but he carries such a warm space in my heart. I need to know how to win him and to get him on the track of this long distance thing in hopes for us to be together and come home to one another eventually. It’s not easy, but so far we are going on five months. It will be six by my next visit.

THANK YOU FOR listening. I’m trying to stick to actualities and facts. I do have very strong feelings for him or I wouldn’t be writing all of this, right?


Dear Jennifer,

Thanks for your question. We got to it as quickly as we could. Sorry for the delay.

We think you really need to look at his actions, not his words Jennifer. What you’re describing is a common pattern among men when it comes to long distance relationships. We’re not saying all men are like this, but certainly enough to label it as a pattern.

Here’s how it goes:

Before the actual visit the guy is excited for you to come. He texts. He calls. He romances. He’s involved. He’s present. All of these actions and feelings are genuine, but often misplaced. We say misplaced, because the origins of some of these actions are sex based. Meaning, the anticipation of the upcoming sex is enough to fuel much of his pre-visit actions. Is it all about sex? Not necessarily, but it’s a big factor for guys.

Now the actual visit. It starts off great. Lots of fun. Lots of sex. He’s excited. All is well. But as the visit goes on, it becomes less about sex, and more about a relationship, and so reality hits for the guy, and that’s when he starts thinking with his actual head. And for many guys, the reality is very different than the fantasy, so he begins to question if he wants it or not.

By the time the visit comes to an end, the guy is distant and he’s already trying to figure out his exit plan. He starts blaming it on himself. Telling you there’s something wrong with him, most likely because he doesn’t want to hurt you, or he doesn’t want any drama. By the time you leave, he’s already got one foot out the door, and he’s managed to confuse you beyond belief. You say, “How can he want me so much, but then not want me?” Our answer: He can. Trust us.

So then you leave, and for the next few weeks, he remains distant, uncommunicative, uninterested. Then he starts thinking about sex again, maybe two or three weeks after you leave, and he starts associating you with all the fun he had, and all of a sudden he starts reconsidering his previous actions. The next thing you know he’s calling again, texting you, and missing you.

Then the cycle begins again.

This is exactly what you’re describing Jennifer. It’s possible he could come around, but we’re just saying: Tread carefully here because we’re concerned you’re going to get hurt repeatedly based on what you’re describing.

Good luck and take care,


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