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Hopeless and Confused

I met this man 9 years ago. At the time I was in a committed relationship and gave him a clear indication that nothing will happen between us. Throughout the first 2-3 years he continued to try to call me and see me - even though he knew that there was no chance of anything happening between us. Throughout the years he had always shown care and interest in my well being and career, and was of the opinion that I deserved more than the man I was with at the time. During those years I only met him once for a coffee - I was going through a hard time in my relationship and he was there to listen and offer advice. We talked on the phone once every 2-3 months. He moved to Europe 3-4 years ago and we lost touch with each other. Last year my relationship finally disintegrated completely and since I was single again I tried to get in touch with him. He happened to be in Toronto at the time for a week so we met up a couple of times. He was really happy to see me and talk to me on the first "date". The evening went great - there were no red flags, no awkward silences, etc. He even talked about making arrangements to come here more often. Things got pretty hot and heavy towards the end, but we didn't have sex. We had made plans to meet the next day - but I had mixed up my calendar and had to attend a dinner with my family instead. So, I told him that I won't be able to meet him and that I had to spend the evening with my family. I could feel that he was put off for some reason, but I couldn't figure out why. He continued to call me and we briefly talked evey day until our next "date" - which was four days later. Again, the "date" went fine and ended the same way. He was going to come by my office the next day and meet me for lunch. And we were going to spend most of the next day (Saturday) together. And this is where the confusion comes. All of a sudden he became very busy: I had called him at noon on Friday thinking I was returning his call on my cell - however, he told me that he was with a friend and couldn't meet me for lunch. We made plans to meet that evening - but he didn't call. Later he told me that his son had asked him to take him for dinner and spend that last night with his parents (he is divorced). He had left me a couple of messages in the office about that. We made again plans to meet on Saturday - he was to call me when he'd finished packing. Again, he didn't call, so we never met. He called from the airport to tell me that at the last minute he got busy with his lawyers - he was here to transfer a property to his son - etc. He asked me to meet him in Vienna the following month (he offered to pay for the ticket). I told him that I won't be able to as I had used up most of my vacation time. I felt like he was giving me a queue but I was missing it. Well, he then said that wished that he could turn this into a long term relationship, but it probably won't work out because I am all the way in Canada and he is in Europe. He also said that I'll probably find someone else and won't even give him the time of the day the next time he comes here again. Just wanted to tell you that the long distance wouldn't have been a problem - he comes here at least 2-3 times a year and has the ability to come more often if he wants to, and I also have family in Europe, very close to him, so this wouldn't have been an issue. It was clear that he was using this as an excuse but I can't figure out what happened and why. He said that he'll call and email but he never did. And I never did either. Do you have any idea why would he behave the way he did - this has been haunting me for a long time... It's time for him to come here again and I don't know what to do?
Hopeless & Confused

Mark's advice

Well hopeless and confused,
Talk about long distance relationships. To me, a long distance relationship is from Toronto to Mississauga. Canada to Europe is light-years away. Gee, you'd need to hitch a ride on the space shuttle. My honest opinion is if he were living within driving distance (and I don't mean driving a 747), you'd have a pretty solid relationship right now....but he doesn't. I think that you think that he thinks you are the one.
Well, I think you're right. I also think if you had dated this guy first, you'd still be in that relationship. He seems pretty committed to you. Ah, but that great big puddle that separates you and he. He wants a relationship with you, no doubt about that. I think he's acting funny because he doesn't think a long distance relationship
is going to work. A few times a year? That's not a real close relationship, is it? You have a few options here, but I'm going to go way out on a limb here and tell you what I would do if I were you.
Here goes:
The next time he comes over, sleep with him. Ask him how he feels about you and tell him how you feel about him. Tell him you would commit to a serious relationship with him if he were close by. Lay all your cards on the table and see where it takes you. It sounds to me, that if you let this slip through your fingers, it will haunt you for the rest of your life. I think it would be a mistake to let this fade away.

Sophie's advice

Dear Hopeless and Confused,
Mark sounds like he's been reading too many Harlequin Romance novels lately... We usually agree on things, but not this time!
Yes, I do have an idea as to why he behaved the way he did. This man likes the chase, not the catch. He likes the fantasy, not the reality. Is this really the kind of person you would even want a relationship with? It would be like having a relationship with a yo-yo. One day up, the next day down. One day in, the next day out. That is if you could get him in, in the first place. Let him go, get him out of your mind if you can and open yourself up to the possibilities of a relationship with someone who has his feet more solidly in reality, and actually likes the catch, not just the chase.

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