The Sex Column: ‘Do I give him another chance?’

Woman sitting on the office chair and using phone

‘Just as I started feeling better, he got in touch’ (Picture: Getty Images/iStockphoto)

I wonder if my last relationship ended too abruptly.

‘He moved to another city for work and although I would call at the agreed time, he would miss the call or be distracted by his housemates or others.

Eventually, we had a huge fight and decided to break up. I felt very sad then relieved.

Just as I started feeling better, he got in touch and said he had been overwhelmed with the new move and pointed out that I have rejection issues, which is true.

We are talking about reconciling and although I love him, I’m not looking forward to missing him again.

What is your advice?

Long-distance relationships require sincere commitment.

‘Not a commitment to make it work – that’s obvious,’ says James McConnachie. ‘But it works when you are committed to being together again, in time. It works if you share a feeling, a hope and, above all, a plan.’

When you listened to your instincts, you felt relief and a return to yourself.

‘Which leaves me wondering, what do you see in him?’ asks Rupert Smith.

‘He broke several basic relationship rules regarding communication and reliability, he was the one to leave but accused you of having rejection issues and then he waited until you were feeling OK about the split before barging back in, suggesting you give it another go.’

None of us is immune to the fear of being rejected because our survival once depended on being accepted and a part of a group.

‘While some people don’t fear rejection as much as others, no one actually enjoys it,’ says Dr Angharad Rudkin. ‘His comment about your “rejection issues” makes me wonder whether he is shifting the blame entirely on to you when both of you contributed to it, as is always the case.’

Perhaps he felt you were asking too much of him when he first moved. Perhaps he feels more able to give you what you desire now that he is settled.

‘But I would be cautious,’ Rudkin adds. ‘He seems to feel little responsibility towards making the relationship work and appears to only want to make a go of it on his terms and when he is ready.’

Do you believe on some level that you don’t deserve more? ‘Are you so frightened that people will walk out on you that you’re prepared to put up with any pain as long as they don’t leave permanently?’ asks Smith.

So discuss what you both see. Is it the same thing? Does it appear about equally far away for both of you? If it does, then you can consider building a road towards it on the basis that he is willing to commit to your very reasonable requirements for regular, predictable and open communication.

‘If it doesn’t, get ready for the exit because long-distance works when you feel confident about the future,’ says McConnachie. ‘Sometimes, that feeling of missing someone can really be a feeling of doubt.’

The experts

Rupert Smith is an author and counsellor

James McConnachie is the author of Sex (Rough Guides)

Dr Angharad Rudkin is a clinical psychologist

Got a sex and dating dilemma?

To get expert advice, send your problem to lisa.scott@metro.co.uk

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