Cloudy Crystal Ball
Q: My girlfriend and I worked together for the past six months. I recently got terminated and now we are struggling. I never get to see her, nor hardly to talk to her. She said she needs some space, and I know she loves me to death. Both of us think we were meant to be, but we have hit a bumpy road. She wants to spend the rest of her life with me, but at times it doesn't seem that way. Will it work out for the both of us? -- Matt, 24
Dr. Susan: Hold on while I shine up my crystal ball. Hmm, it says "What do YOU think?" What I'm getting at, Matt, is that you can't ask me if things will work out until I (and you!) have more information. Both you and your girlfriend sound very mixed up at present. I hear all kinds of ambivalence from her. Now that she's not in daily contact with you, it seems she's having second thoughts. What I don't get is why you never get to see her or talk to her. Whatever happened to dating? Phone calls and e-mails if you don't live close enough to get together much, or calls via videocam, for Pete's sake? One thing I can guess is that she's not telling the whole truth. Anyone who truly wants to spend the rest of her life with a guy doesn't suddenly announce that she needs some space. That is, unless he's really suffocating her with too many demands to communicate. Too many might mean more than daily. To some couples, though, several calls or e-mails a day to touch base aren't too much. If she loves you as much as you think she does, or as much as you want her to, then the two of you have to sit down together and map out a way to keep this relationship thriving now that you're not working together. The reality is that you have to believe her actions, especially if they contradict her words.
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Advice for Her
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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.