I am so hurt I don’t know how to cope. I’ve been dating a man for one month, and in that month we have gotten really close. Two weeks ago, I felt he was ignoring me and emailed him my feelings.
To my dismay, he got turned off by my premature declaration. He said he wasn’t putting me off, he was very busy. He continued to call every day for one week after that, but I have not heard from him in a week and I miss him terribly.
During the week I texted him twice and he has not responded. I don’t understand how he can ignore me without an explanation. Is it possible for a man to turn his feelings off in one day, especially since he was the one who heavily pursued me from the get-go?
Now that I am not hearing from him, I realize how strong my feelings for him are.
Melinda, new pilots are taught to fly using the phrase “aviate, navigate, communicate.” What does the phrase mean? First, and above all, fly the plane. Second, figure out where you are and where you are going. Only then, third, communicate about peripheral matters.
In one famous incident, a cockpit crew was so focused on a console light that they flew their plane right into the ground, killing 101 of the 176 people aboard. They forgot that aviate always comes first.
Compare that to the crew that took off from New York, lost all engine power, and glided their Airbus A320 into the Hudson River, the only open space for miles. That crew largely ignored the chatter from air traffic control, and everyone survived.
There is a correct order to things.
Typically, people start dating for a superficial reason. I like the way she looks. He dresses nice, my friend thought he was cute, he’s got a cool line. If dating continues, the couple get to the point where they are truly themselves. That takes time.
You say you dated for a month, but it was only two weeks. Then you overwhelmed him with your emotions and demands, as if you were in a committed relationship. It repulsed him. What man would want to be saddled with your feelings of abandonment and neglect? He barely knew you.
But he’s a nice guy. Even though you cornered him, he contacted you for a week after that. You don’t get to turn it back on him by saying he pursued you. That early in the relationship, all he knew of you was superficial. And the same for you of him.
He had simply wanted to get to know a person he didn’t know a little better. But after two weeks, you went over the edge. It was not what he was looking for.
In one of the Godfather movies, Michael Corleone is thunderbolted when he sees Apollonia. But did he think that conferred rights to him over her? No. He asked her father for permission to court her, to see if she had feelings for him. Michael did not think, “Now you are mine.”
Knowing someone takes time. Learning to trust them takes time. Knowing how they act under stress takes time. What is dating in its essence? “I didn’t know this person, now I do. Now I know I am interested, or I know I am not.”
There is a correct order to things. The unfolding of that order takes time.
~ Wayne & Tamara
Direct Answers column for the week of August 26, 2019
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Wayne & Tamara answer as many letters as they possibly can.