*David is a pseudonym.
Dear Love Guru,
My girlfriend of 3 years had feelings for another guy, but she doesn’t consider him to be boyfriend material. She told me that she needs time to make sure that she truly wants me, since falling for this guy has shown that something in our relationship isn’t working. As I’m still deeply in love with her, I respected her decision and I gave her some space. The thing is that she still comes talking to me all the time and this isn’t really helping me. I told her that once she’s 100% sure that she wants me, she can come and talk to me. She said that although she does want me, she wants to be 100% sure about it. To be honest, I don’t know what to do and the fact that she still talks to me is making me confused about whether she truly wants me or not.
Relationships are never easy and every couple passes through rough patches. It’s normal to feel confused, especially at the beginning of a relationship, however in your case the situation is different. You have been in a steady relationship for three years. This means that not only was your relationship grounded – as opposed to a casual fling or a puppy love affair – but that you probably are now at the stage where you and your partner are about to start looking at a future together. This means that this is a critical stage, since this is usually the point where a couple decides whether to talk about lifetime commitment, or not.
After three years, a person usually knows whether she or he is in love or not. Therefore, one must either assume that your girlfriend has realised she may not love you enough to start planning the future, or else, perhaps subconsciously, she may be feeling somewhat afraid of this, which is why she could have turned to someone else.
The fact that you gave her time and space to come to terms with it is very commendable, and it shows that you’re very patient and understanding. However, it takes two to tango. Your partner’s emotions and feelings are important, but so are yours. The fact that you’re being so understanding, whilst at the same time she continues to string you along, may also show that she’s not as caring towards you as you are towards her. She still talks to you regularly, which shows that she wants you to be part of her life, and yet she keeps her distance – giving mixed signals.
In your letter, you do not say for how long this has been going on, but it’s apparent that you’re not comfortable with it any longer. As such, it would be better to meet up face to face with your girlfriend, instead of chatting with her online or talking over the phone, and clarify the situation. I don’t believe in giving ultimatums, but something needs to be done in order to shake up the stasis you’re both in. Ask her what she really wants, if she’s afraid of commitment, and whether she loves you or not.
Hopefully, if you’re honest with yourselves, things will move forward, one way or another.