Psych Central

I’m Confused About my Relationship Status

By Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW

Hi. Before I start, I’d like to give some background. I’m 21, my “boyfriend” is 24, and I am/was in a long distance relationship. I met a young man through a cousin in January of 2010, and we kept in contact off and on until we saw each other again in July. After going on dates for about a month he asked me to be his girlfriend. It had been 5 years since he last had a girlfriend. At the end of August I went home. I only heard from him about five times after coming home, and in October communication stopped completely. My cousin told me that his phone was broke, which was true, but I didn’t see that as an excuse. My “boyfriend” and my brother were friends on a social internet site and I figured he could have emailed me or used my cousin’s phone.

In December, I sent him an email explaining to him how I was disappointed with the relationship since he didn’t communicate. I mentioned his last breakup in which he went to college, said he called his girlfriend one day, she told him she was at the movies with her boyfriend, and the relationship ended. I said from my interpretation the relationship ended because he wasn’t communicating with her, and I asked why was he allowing this to happen to him again. I never said “it’s over” or anything that said I was breaking up with him, but it was clear I wasn’t happy. He never responded.

Now it’s January 2011, and I’m still confused. I’ve learned recently that he has a new phone according to my cousin, but he still hasn’t contacted me since October. I also know that he hasn’t been seeing anyone. He’s been working and playing video games like he’s always done.

Just this past Monday, my brother sent him an email asking for advice on girls. I thought it was a short email, but the advice my “boyfriend” gave my brother was quite detailed. This bothered me because I figured he would respond out of respect, but it upset me to see them having a lengthy conversation and he not having the respect to respond to me. I can understand him talking to my cousin because they were friends before we dated, but him communicating with my brother really hurt me, especially since they barely know each other. They’ve only met twice, the second time being in passing, and the email my brother sent was only the third time he has contacted my “boyfriend” since September. The first email was a short “hi” and “bye”, the second email didn’t get a response, and the third email is the one I mentioned above.

I recently have tried talking to someone new, but I find it hard to move on when I don’t have closure on my last relationship. It’s especially hard because I would still like to be with him. If he would just communicate then he’d be perfect for me. I’m always confused because I honestly don’t know if I’m in a relationship or not. I ask friends and family, and some say “yes” while most say “no.” I’ve been saying “no” just because he hasn’t talked to me, but when things like my brother talking to him happens I wonder if we are still in a “relationship.” I want to contact him again to get a conversation started, but I’m afraid he’ll just not respond. I feel like if I keep waiting on him, contact will never happen. I wish he would officially break up with me because this relationship limbo is way worse than any end, yet I don’t want to be the one to break it off since I want to make it work.

I wish to know am I still in a relationship, why he is not talking to me, and how can I get him to talk to me?

I openly welcome all advice, and I look forward to hearing your valued opinion. Thank you,
Kasey

A. Dear Kasey, I appreciate your very detailed letter. The more information I have about an individual’s particular situation the better able I am to provide an informed response.

A relationship can only continue if both parties want it to. This means that each day both people have to say “yes” to continue the relationship. It only takes one person to say “no” and the relationship will end. Your partner has the ability to contact you and he doesn’t. I see this as his way of saying “no.” In your mind, you are not ready to end the relationship until you literally hear him say the word “no” but I believe the relationship is already over. You are delaying the inevitable. When you tried to discuss your concerns with him he had virtually no response. I see this as closure. In this case, actions speak louder than words.

I believe you and he are officially “broken up.” It is time to move on. You don’t need to hear it from him to know that it’s true. He has had the ability to contact you at any given day or time but he doesn’t and he hasn’t. What he doesn’t say or do speaks volumes. I understand that it might be difficult to move on but it is important to come to terms with the truth. It may be difficult now but the sooner you can see the reality of the situation, the better you will be. In addition, the sooner you can move on, the sooner you can find a better match for you. I wish you well. Please take care.

Dr. Kristina Randle

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 4 Feb 2011

APA Reference
Randle, K. (2011). I’m Confused About my Relationship Status. Psych Central. Retrieved on April 20, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2011/02/04/im-confused-about-my-relationship-status/