Ask Nan, Can we survive this

Question: Can We Work Through This?

I started seeing a friend (of many years) right after my divorce. It’s a long-distance relationship. I love my friend and want to be with him, but he doesn’t want to be together at this time and says he is not ready for a “committed relationship.” After a year and a half, the most he says is, “I have very strong feelings for you.”

I was wondering if a relationship coach could help. Could a coach talk to us over the phone to help us resolve our differences? I am having a hard time focusing on my life in San Diego because when he calls from Chicago, I want to be with him so much that I get completely thrown off track in my life here.

If something doesn’t change, this has to end. I really want it to work.

What can I do?


You’re not hearing what he is saying to you. He says he’s not ready for a committed relationship. And, he doesn’t love you, he has strong feelings for you (the way that friends have very strong feelings for other friends). Of course, this has to end. You cannot make this situation work as it is. It’s not serving either of you in a healthy, fulfilling way. If you push any harder, you may lose a good friend.

Since you turned to this friend right after your divorce, you haven’t given yourself enough time to grieve the death of your marriage and explore/discover the “authentic you” that hasn’t yet had time to stretch, develop and grow.

Take time to get to know, like and respect the new “single” you.

A relationship coach could definitely help you identify your personal values system, your core requirements, needs and wants, and some strategies/tools for dating and finding the right life partner.

Once you feel comfortable and confident as a single, then take another look at your friend. You might just discover he’s not the answer to your prayers. And if he is, by that time your increased confidence and self-esteem might help shift his feelings for you from “strong” to “love”.

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