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Some recent questions:
So, I reconnected with a guy from high school. He is in the Marine Corps. He Facebooked me and we ended up talking ALL NIGHT on the phone; it was amazing. He said, “I really hope this doesn’t stop.” And he told me he really liked me. Today I noticed there was something wrong. He called me and he just said, “I REALLY DO LIKE YOU and would love to be in a relationship but I am really insecure about it all.” He has been burned a lot in the past and being in the military is hard. He overthinks things and thinks that the worst will happen with us. He sounded really sad and kept saying he really does like me but he’s scared and said he doesn’t want to try “us” because he feels like he needs to find middle ground within himself. I know he is way overthinking it and we really did have an awesome connection. I talked to him about it and he said I really have to think …I need to get off the phone.
I let him hang up; he sounded so sad. I really like this guy….what do I do??
Thanks for writing to us.
Yes, this guy does seem confused and tormented, but possibly also practical. He knows how difficult it is to juggle his military service, and a committed relationship. Your recent connection reminded him of this fact.
It’s clear he likes you, and probably felt your connection was special, and now he’s afraid. This is ironic in some ways because here’s a guy who understands danger, and the fear associated with it. He’s probably learned throughout his military service how to deal with his fear and channel it to help him overcome whatever trials he’s faced with. But in the relationship department he seems inexperienced, or at least not clear on how to make them work.
So in this case the burden falls on you—if it’s what you really want of course— to help him see how different your connection is from his past relationships. It’s your job to hold his hand through the initial stages of your relationship, so he feels secure and confident and willing to move forward. This approach takes a strong and confident person, because in some ways you’re the one who’s taking all the risks.
Once the relationship gets to a solid place, it should begin to balance out. However, if the burden continues to fall on you as time goes on, you may need to rethink the relationship. You don’t want to commit to a relationship where you’re doing all the heavy lifting. At some point you’ll begin to feel resentful, and it only goes downhill from there.
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