Inequality in Relationship Commitment Level

By Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW

I have been dating a woman for about 2.5 months and suddenly asked for “Time Alone” – “Space” to sort things out in her life, stating she was “emotionally, financially streesed” even on her Facebook page. I honored her request, although this is the second time this has happened thus far in our relationship. After the first time, she swore she would never put me through that again, but obviously it did. I love her and she has expressed the same feelings. She is attending college, works full time and has a young daughter she has 90% of the time. I know she has a full plate, but wonder where to go from here. There has been ZERO contact between us for 3 days, although it is hard for me not to want to, but as stated previously, I am honoring her request. We have been obviously been intimate and both enjoy these times. I get along great with her daughter and she also gets along great with my son (8 years old). It was obviously just Valentines Day and I gave her flowers, gifts and we had a nice dinner. She was divorced last summer and to my knowledge didn’t have any relationships other than an “affair” with a upper management co-worker that is married living away from his wife. I suspect (mildly to moderate) that he may be contacting her, especially after seeing roses delivered to her work and reading the greeting card where I stated I loved her. I need some guideance on how to proceed. I ahve driven by here house for the last few days and she hasn’t been home, I am very confused. I honestly put 100% into this relationship … honesty, time, caring etc. and don’t think it is something “I” have done, as she has told me, but I really don’t know how to proceed.

A. Relationships are a process of getting to know another individual, to determine if they are someone you want. Both parties go through this process. Both have to make this determination. When problems surface, most times it’s because one person wants the relationship and one does not. Most relationships, when dating, don’t last. Most people date many people before they find the one they want. That’s the nature of dating.

It may be that her “time alone” is a sign that she believes that you are not the right one. You have done everything you can. You’ve waited for her to contact you, which is what you should’ve done. You have respectfully given her the space that she has asked for.

In terms of how to proceed, you can either wait for her to contact you or you could speak to her about whether she is still interested in being in the relationship. If she decides that you are not a good match, then there’s little else you can do. That would be the end of the relationship. You can’t force someone to stay in a relationship. Unfortunately, when relationships end, there is usually one person who is hurt. It’s rare that both parties simultaneously want to separate.

I hope this situation will be resolved in a satisfactory way. If not, remember that there are many women looking for a partner who is ready for commitment. I wish you well. Please take care.

Dr. Kristina Randle
Mental Health & Criminal Justice Blog

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 22 Mar 2013

APA Reference
Randle, K. (2013). Inequality in Relationship Commitment Level. Psych Central. Retrieved on December 21, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2013/03/22/inequality-in-relationship-commitment-level/