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I am a twenty something, single guy who had been dating a woman for about 6 months until she recently moved to another country. Since she has been away, I have had time to really think about our relationship and I am plagued with feelings of insecurity and confusion.
She was the one to initiate an intimate relationship a short while after we had become friends. Things were really good between us until her behavior started to change. Suddenly, when we were together, she began staring at other guys and making comments about their attractiveness and attributes. One time, she pointed to a perfect stranger and told me he was her "type" and that he had the "look" that she liked. A few days later we walked by the same place where she had first seen him and she asked; "Where's my cutie pie?" Another time she asked me if I thought that a certain guy and girl were together. When I asked her why she wanted to know that, she replied, "he's hot." I didn't want to appear jealous, so I tried to ignore it, however, she continued with the stares and comments.
We were in email contact after she left, but when I expressed some of my feelings and concerns, she merely said she was sorry if I was offended and that she had not intended to be hurtful. I haven't heard from her since even though I have attempted contact in order to try and sort this out.
If I was not her type, why did she initiate a relationship? I would also like to know why she continued seeing me and then making a point of telling me that I don't have the look that she likes in a guy. How should I handle this situation?
I can certainly understand why you were confused at first. She initiated a romantic relationship, then made a point of letting you know what she liked and that you are not it. Where you loose me is when you share that she has moved away to another country and now has ceased all contact. I see this as a clear message.
There are a few possibilities for what happened here. The first one is obvious. This young woman lacks maturity and does not appear to be ready for a committed relationship. She has demonstrated this through her myopic focus on how guys look and her immaturity in how she has dealt with your feelings. The word clueless comes to mind.
I am going to give her the benefit of the doubt and assume that she really meant no harm. If this is true, then you should be thanking fate for her out of the country move. She is young and seems to be wanting to experience life and relationships. She is looking around at all the cute guys out there and thinking about what she would like to taste from the wide offerings on the male buffet. While there is nothing wrong with this, if it is not what you want, it is not right for you.
My gut tells me that she liked you and decided to taste a relationship with you. Perhaps the flavor wasn't quite right or she just decided she is more into Chinese and you are strictly American. When she realized this, she dealt with it in a childish fashion (see above) and attempted to drop hints and interact with you as though you were only her friend, and nothing more. When you didn't get the hint, she made a very strong statement by moving far away.
It's a good bet that the reasons I offer above hit strongly on the truth. However, they don't really matter anymore as she has taken herself completely out of your life. Without any relationship, there is nothing to handle but your own feelings and how you will get closure and move on. My advice is to treat this as a painful learning experience. When you begin down a path of intimacy with someone, consider whether that person wants what you want or if they are only interested in spending time with you and having fun. If you decide that this is all you want, then that would work. But if you are looking for more, make conscious and thought out choices and discuss your feelings and goals before rushing into an intimate relationship with the next interesting woman that comes along.
(from October 2005)
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Toni Coleman, LCSW
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