She Trashed His Heart
Q: I had a girlfriend. We are the same age. She is a bit independent, but when she was down and out I was helping support her. We were once engaged to be married and that fell through for one reason or another. She came up with all kinds of excuses why, but none of them held water with me. She slowly started distancing herself from me and I finally approached her as to why. She said she did not see us being together, and she might be moving out of state for a job opportunity. I left her that day, we kissed and said we loved one another. I told her that I would not bother her again. Three weeks later she called me with some bogus excuse to talk. I kind of cut her short and said I had to run. This woman broke my heart and I don't want to be friends. I want to marry her and love her the rest of my life. Any advice on what would make her want to return to me? -- Dave, 48
Dr. Susan: Your first sentence says it all, Dave. You had a girlfriend. It's clearly over. She slowly pulled away, broke your engagement, said she didn't see you being together and that she might go out of state. The fact that you said you loved one another when parting? That's just something some people say without thinking it through. She didn't mean it as in "true love that knows no barriers." That she picked up the phone to make small talk doesn't mean anything. It merely stirs up feelings of yours which were better left unstirred. If she hasn't got the consideration to see what she's doing to you, in effect toying with your vulnerable heart, then you need to develop the wisdom to not let her continue doing it. I don't blame you for not wanting to be friends at this point. That just hurts too much. If she calls again, tell her either it's over or it's not, none of this wishy-washy in-between "friends" stuff. But no, the truth is that I have no good advice for getting her to come back. She took her time getting to know you, and then looked into her heart and decided this wasn't the relationship she wanted after all. Ouch.
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Advice for Her
Advice for Him
Susan K. Perry, Ph.D.
Susan K. Perry, Ph.D., is a social psychologist, relationship expert, and bestselling and award-winning author. Her books include Loving in Flow: How the Happiest Couples Get and Stay That Way, and Kylie's Heel, a novel for adults.
Pamela G. Chollet, Ph.D.
Dr. Pamela Chollet has a Ph.D. in clinical psychology and Master degrees in educational psychology and fine arts. Her passion has been helping people face and get through those times when they feel trapped and unable to move forward.
Anna Charbonneau, Ph.D.
Anna Charbonneau, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist, stress management expert, and author. If you're feeling overwhelmed, stressed out, or struggling to make changes in your life, Anna can help.