Dear Neil: My common-law spouse of 10 years packed up and left last month. He was very emotional, said he missed our life together, that he thinks of me every day, misses me and loves me.
” The woman whose boyfriend seems detached and disengaged might ask: “What would you want in order to give our relationship a much greater priority — meaning that we see each other more often, we communicate much more frequently and you are willing to offer me much more time and effort than you do now? If he has an answer that seems genuine and sincere, and it is doable, would it be something you might consider offering him?
If his answer is: “There’s nothing you can do,” or “I’m already giving all I can,” he is saying no to a closer relationship with you.
I told him at the beginning that I was not ready for a relationship.
His response was fine, that he was willing to wait. For me, it’s hard to believe because he hasn’t really shown me that and we haven’t spent a lot of quality romantic time together. In fact, the answer doesn’t even matter IF you're not in love with him.
It is therefore unlikely that he will be talked back into a relationship with you. He tells me he loves me, but he hardly talks to me or texts me, and we don’t see each other often (once a week, if that).
He seldom makes plans with me — it’s me who is more frequently trying to get his attention.
It feels that we don’t have much of a chance for a more serious relationship.
He has also said that he doesn’t know if he will be head over heels for someone again (his ex-wife cheated on him), and that he doesn’t know if he will put 100 percent into a relationship again.
But a word of caution: You don’t want to talk him into anything. And you don’t want a man who doesn’t want you, because that’s going to hurt even more, and you’ll eventually be rejected anyway.
A love relationship has to be voluntary, and he has to feel there’s something wonderful in it for him.
—Unsure What To Do in Ontario Dear Unsure: It sure doesn’t sound like it.