As a counselor for couples, I get to hear some wonderful stories. Here is one that keeps coming up. Single woman tells me about going out on a couple dates and what happens in between the dates. She is working to improve her judgment and intuition when early in relationship. She is working on feeling securely attached and not jumping in too fast and not avoiding, hitting the balance.
They set up a time to get together (first meeting) and due to an emergency, verified and legit, they cancelled. She waited for him to reach out because he was the one who cancelled. A few weeks later, they met. It was unclear if this was a match or not, and they had a lot in common, there was the attraction and there were many commonalities.
Afterwards, they exchanged texts and each had a good time and agreed to meet again, but had a hard time finding a time. Both are busy professionals. She got the sense it was not a priority and felt some disappointment because it had some promise, but she wanted someone who really wants her and puts her as a priority.
Several times during the next week, they would be texting and he would just “disappear, mid-conversation,” she said. The next day, the conversation would not resume and there was no acknowledgment of the communication process.
“Let’s play it by ear,” was a new mantra and it didn’t land well with her. She heard it as she is not a priority, not that she expected to be a high priority this early on, but…
They got together again and had a good time, enjoyed conversation and company and some food. The next time they were to get together, he had to cancel. Another texting event where he just stopped texting without explanation.
They had a ton in common and it was not malicious but it unnerved her. She asked him a few questions and he didn’t really respond directly. There was no fear of another person in the picture, just questions as to why he stopped abruptly so often.
Then there was a possible get together that got nixed.
Another one was cancelled because of tiredness. Again, legit tired and should do self care, but it didn’t feel right and self care was not the chosen activity.
Another conversation via text, stopped mid conversation by him. He didn’t say goodbye or goodnight or what was happening.
Her story was that it was similar to being a kid. She’d ring the doorbell of the neighbor to come out and play. Sometimes the neighbor would say no and sometimes yes, as expected. After awhile, she would have to determine if it was worth it to keep asking. If they keep letting her down or hinting that they are not reliable as a playmate, she would feel discouraged, disappointed and sad. She would wonder what she had done wrong in the asking or approach. She would second guess herself. Then she would realize that it was not her issue. She was trying everything she could to connect, but not everyone wants to connect, can connect and sometimes it is simply bad timing coupled with poor communication.
My suggestion was to ask about the things that did not line up. She notes at this point, it feels like too late in the game to do that. There is already enough for her to back out. In the future, she notes she will confront the situation earlier, but there is no motivation to keep this alive.
He told her, “You give up too easily. You expect too much from people. Your standards are too high.”
If he were my client, I would advise him to focus on himself. Tell her what happened inside you when she ended it.
Tell her what was going on. Tell her about you, not tell her about her…
What happened that you stopped texting mid-conversation and did not address it? Why did you say it was a priority and then not act like it was a priority? Is this a common way of being in relationship for you?