Adapted from a recent online discussion.
She feared boyfriend wanted to move on, and he did — literally
Pull the Trigger Again: (Two weeks after her first question — in Monday's column) I tried to reach him and got nothing. I became worried and swung by his apartment. The doorman said he had moved. Moved! Four days after the last time I saw him!
I'm beside myself. I can't imagine that he would have the capacity to do this. We had had the conversation about not seeing other people.
If he had told me he was moving I would've bought him a beer and congratulated him. Why lie about checking in when he got back?
Moving forward, how do I ever know someone is decent? I was nervous and anxious before and I don't date much because I have a hard time letting my guard down.
After you give yourself whatever time you need to stagger around feeling frying-panned, your next step has to be to figure out what you missed. Was he a really good liar? Or did your eagerness for a happy ending trump the facts?
I would also give some attention to holding your own balance, both with someone in your life and without. Your neediness was making you miserable. Remember, you wrote in knowing something was off. That means you're seeing enough; you're just short of the kind of confidence that can help you interpret what you're seeing.
The ability to be happy, truly happy, alone is the baseline by which you measure others, and a solid baseline helps you say, this isn't a relationship, it's empty suspense.
I'm sorry you were treated so badly.
Pull the Trigger: I am too comfortable being single. I know myself and there are no complications. Getting me into a relationship is usually difficult.
All he showed me, until the business trip, was kindness, support and involvement. Early on he had boundless enthusiasm about me and I was extremely cautious.
I am usually right on the money. This was out of nowhere.
Carolyn: You did say in your original question that "single is comfortable for me." But you also said, "I scare easily and he knows this." And now: "I was nervous and anxious . . . I have a hard time letting my guard down."
So pleasure-in-singledom isn't motivating you. Fear is driving this bus — trust issues specifically.
You may know yourself, but I don't think you trust yourself. It's like saying you'd rather cook your own meals — not because you prefer your own cooking, but to be sure you won't be poisoned. Is that the way you want to live?
Your need for reassurance from this guy suggests both that you want the pleasure of others' company, and that you're profoundly uncomfortable handing over any of the controls. That's the problem.
When you're jumpy and distrustful, it may seem as if you're better able to spot danger. In reality, looking too hard for one thing leaves you open to missing another.
Please concentrate on finding the internal strength and flexibility to take life more as it comes, and not as the quiet, uncomplicated thing you retreat into when you're scared. These grow from trust in yourself — to handle it when a dream winds up in a ditch.