Letting go, but not closing off

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    Hi all.
    I have fallen for a girl who is soon to go for an overseas working holiday for a year (possibly longer). She is very recently also single, after a very long term relationship. I have grappled with the idea of telling her how I feel, and decided that right now isn’t the best time for that. In all likelihood she doesn’t want a relationship so soon (or to do anything long distance), and if I’m honest with myself, I still have to learn to love myself more before jumping into anything serious. Recently I feel that our relationship (friendship) has deteriorated, largely from her side, with a distinct lack of effort. I have thought about addressing this with her, maybe in person if I have a chance, or in a letter just before she goes.

    As a friend, I want her to go, to live her dream, to enjoy everything she will experience. I want to let her go, and to let both of our lives move forward down the paths they will take. But that said, part of me still wants to leave the door open for us in the future. I will be going to the same country as her a couple of times while she is there, mainly for work, and have visions in my head of seeing her at those times. Also, there’s obviously other means of contact too these days, such as Skype, Facebook etc.
    I still have some time before she goes, and hope to see her a few more times (but that may not be possible).

    I don’t know how both of these are possible, because leaving the door open seems the opposite to letting her go. Any advice or guidance would be much appreciated. I just want to put my heart at rest, and be at peace when she does board that plane.



    I can relate to your situation, mine is slightly different. I ended a relationship with a recently divorced man because he wasn’t over his ex wife and needed to process the ending of his marriage, but I have made it very clear to him that I would like to keep the door open. This is tricky because when you leave the door open for people it makes you emotionally unavailable to other people. In my mind (a hopeless romantic) I want him to come back to me when he is ready to move forward in a relationship with me. I know that if I were to meet someone now that I wouldn’t be able to be in it with both feet as I am still hanging on to hope that he and I will get back together. At some point, though, I will have to let go if he doesn’t come back to me.

    Do you think it’s possible that she knows how you feel about her, and that is why she has distanced herself? She may have done this as a way to emotionally disconnect from you before leaving overseas. Or maybe she sees you as friend only and doesn’t want to send you mixed signals. I am a firm believer in getting to the bottom of things sooner than later because life is too short. Some would argue that you should just let things unfold naturally, maybe with time and distance she will be in a different place and want to pursue a relationship with you. If I were in your shoes I would tell her exactly what you put in paragraph 2. I think it conveys how you feel about her, that you aren’t asking her to commit to you before she leaves, but that you would like her to keep an open mind about the two of you being more than friends someday. I don’t think this would be over the top, and will hopefully give you some additional insight to how she is feeling about you. I would say that if she tells you not to wait for her, that she wants you in her life as a friend, and her feelings aren’t mutual, I say wish this woman well and cut contact for awhile. That way can let her go and then be ready for a relationship with another person, and be in a position to be present and available to that person.

    Keep us posted!

    • This reply was modified 11 years ago by kayak69.

    Right now I’m still betwixt & between in regards to telling her. In recent weeks she’s declined my invitations to go out, both times saying she’s busy, or it isn’t a good time. This week she did say maybe next week, but I’m still unsure if I keep persisting. When I do see her (at her work) she does give me attention, and we chat very freely. Though the fact that she uses the “I’m busy” line when I ask her out, and the very rare messages I send her go unresponded just leave me wondering if she’s trying to hint something. But then if that was the case, I would expect her to be much more closed off when I see her in person too. Part of me wonders if she just wants space, and that perhaps it would be best not to push things at this stage.

    I suppose at this stage, I have two choices. Let her go, leave her & if she would like to see me before she leaves then she can. Or, keep trying, and tell her if I can (either in person, or in a letter) but not expect anything to come from the situation.

    There another option, of letting her go, and seeing her (if I see her) in the country she’s going to. It’s my home country & do plan to make two visits there during the time she’ll be there. I’m trying not to get too far ahead of myself, to remain mindful, but that is another possibility I suppose.

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