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Absence makes the heart grow fonder?

Community Member

Hoping I can receive some advice, thoughts or positive words.

ive been in a relationship for over a year. The person I am seeing often needs time alone, time alone with her children and also time alone with friends.

She often tells me she ‘wants to miss me’. When i first heard this, it actually hurt. I couldnt understand why she needed so much distance. Why doesnt she want to be with me more, what is wrong with me etc etc.

why does not seeng me for days, make everything better for her between us? Im trying to understand why my absence makes her happier. Why does she need to be apart from me to realise how much she loves me. Am I that repulsive...or that difficult to be around, I just wish I understood.

This lovely lady does not want to get married, is happy dating and taking each day as it comes. Id marry her in a heartbeat if I could. I want to sleep beside her each night for the rest of my life, she wants to have some nights/mornings alone. And always feel guilty for wanting this.

I feel that our future is very much damaged by her past(prev bad marriage) and because of that my opportunities with her are very limited and restricted.

i feel so lonely without her, but I do not say anything as I sense its pressure she does not want. I miss her a lot when we are not together. But she doesnt seem to miss me or tell me so. She just is super happy to see me in small dosages.

please understand I do not write these words in spite, negativity or anger. I simply long to understand and perhaps many kind folks on here will get it and share with me what I fail to see here.

How can she love me, when she barely wants to see me? How can I stay important to her, without placing pressure of calls, texts to her etc?

Also struggle with how her phone is virtually her lifeline. Even in the time we are together she is mind deep in messages. I feel very bad when her friends call etc as she doesnt call them back because she is with me, she requires privacy always with her friends. As it pings, makes noises etc she will always say “ its just John “ ((whoever it is at the time) How can I make her feel as though thats Ok and also still feel acknowledged? She often tells me I seem sad when her friends are messaging her or calling her.

thank you for listening to me, i truly hope i have made some sense or someone will relate well to help me through this.🌸

57 Replies 57

white knight
Community Champion
Community Champion

Hi, welcome

Can you be in love with someone but be disconnected? Yes, I think so.

Can someone like you gf be in love with you at the same time but want time away from you? Possibly but not likely.

An ideal situation is when the sparks between a couple are so strong neither of you want time away from each other. It doesnt mean you are repulsive though...more likely she want to maintain her freedom and variety of the company she keeps. That perspective is important to have or you'll beat yourself up.

Based on your post I cant see you finding contentment as time goes by. We can fall in love with many people but that doesn't mean we are compatible with all of those.

Thats the hard part. Realising that, then not blaming yourself or her for not connecting enough then a break up. But it will drive you to find someone that fits in with your needs.

Only then will you realise how incompatible you were with this lady.

Ive been through that process 3 times all over 7 years duration. Now, married to a lady for 8 years and so very happy, relaxed and our love for each other is equal

All the best


Thank you for your time and reply TonyWK.

Does her need for freedom and varied company mean I am not important? I encourage her to spend time with her friends and children alone(without me) I remain supportive, truthfully it is hard for me, because I do long to be with her more. But I also respect she has boundaries and they are there for valid reasons. (Prev bad marriage) and because of that she is not ready to live together, not ready wanting anything further then dating, takes things one day at a time

Your right I am beating myself up over it all. I can not grasp why my absence brings her happiness and more freedom. Im unsure if this means I am second best or valued less.

How did you cope going through a similar experience, 3 times?

Blue Voices Member
Blue Voices Member
Dear Camellias,

I have a bit of a different take on it from Tony, and I may be way off, but:

My thoughts, as I read your post (and I am guessing, please forgive me if I am off track), are that it is possible that your partner may have had her boundaries violated in her previous relationship/marriage, and that she may still be in the process of rebuilding her sense of herself as an individual?

It could be that you and she are simply at different stages of readiness for merging together into true coupledom?

Her needing to have privacy when she talks to her friends could be that in the past, she wasn't afforded that space and freedom to be with and communicate with friends freely and even though you now encourage her to spend time alone with friends, this could all be a learning process for her, and also to learn to trust (her partner's good nature) again. If she has been domineered or controlled or "smothered" the past, this can be a slow process.

You asked what you could do to let her know it's ok to message/chat with her friends, in the past my partner and I have said things like "honey why don't you relax here with a wine, you can call (John) back, I'm just going to wash tidy up after dinner" or something similar. It gives her space to talk freely, and shows her that it's totally ok to have times yo your self whilst still being under the one roof. You sound like a very thoughtful, respectful and considerate partner and that can be a something to get used to as well, after not being treated well.

Wanting to be by herself some nights/mornings may be her way of getting back in touch with her lost self, or her lost identity, especially if she had been with someone narcissistic in the past. In my experience, these bad relationships can leave confusion around where one person starts and another begins, and it can take time to feel safe enough to know that you can be your individual self at the same time as being with the person you love (rather than merging into one entity, which is what can happen in a controlling or codependent relationship).

I am guessing at all of this, but it does remind me a little bit of the first year that I was with my partner, and years later when we talk about that time, those things I've mentioned to you were a big part of us not clicking perfectly at the very start. But once they clicked for us, they clicked beautifully and we are very happy and committed to each other, which is what I hope for you and your lady friend.

I am hoping this may make some sense to you or give you some hope.


Hi birdy

Thank you for your reply, it’s very thoughtful of you to go to so much trouble and I appreciate your outlook on my situation.

When reading what you had replied I actually became very worried(wondered if I was too detailed to) thinking you possibly were a friend of my partner, simply because you were very right in many ways. Of course this was just a fear of mine and nothing wrong on your part.

Yes I think your right Birdy, my partner has come from a very painful previous marriage(has had several relationships in between meeting me)her boundaries were violated and I do think she is trying to rebuild herself as an individual. For the longest time I kept thinking ‘what have I done wrong, why does she need so much time away from me’. What can I do to make it better for her, and found myself lost. Because of this one person who has damaged her so badly, my time with her is somewhat limited. Restricted and very much under the microscope.

Yes I believe we are at different stages of merging into a couple(she doesn’t even like that word, ‘couple’)But I am very happy to wait, to encourage her self worth and if possible help her to to trust again.

Her prev marriage did include such negativity from a very evil type of man(the word Narc, doesn’t seem to cut it). Unfortunately he is still a part of her life and it overwhelms her. I’ve been supporting her through this for over a year now, taken on the role of a step dad to her kids, tried to support her emotionally etc. I’m not able to support her financially but she has always known this.

You have hit the spot with each paragraph it’s been spot on and accurate. She is still very scared to call her friends when I am present, she often tells me not to take offence if she walks away, she does this for privacy, even from her children. I think your correct in that she is not used to this kindness or encouragement.She still becomes overwhelmed when I help whether its dishes washing tidying up, it seems to still unsettle her as she has never had help or kindness like this. I spend much of my time reassuring her it’s what people do when they care, it’s what a loving partner does.

I do think she is trying to get back her lost self, her identity. She will often become frightened and scared I am taking over, it’s not my intention to come across this way.

How do I make things click better, Im not sure she even wants to click better. She’s is very much wanting to keep her alone time, friends seperate from me.


A big part of me agrees with Birdy, that after enduring a restrictive or abusive relationship one wants to make up for lost time in ones life. However that need doesnt make for a strong relationship with a new companion.

If the companions need is more focussed on unity to build a strong couple and plan a future then the couple are out of sink with each other.

That is obvious in this case. The question is will you partner/gf every settle down again and if so when? Might it be possible she wont ever want to again?

As for coping with it regardless of the love I had for those three partners I used disyraction to cope. Jobbies, sports, even building a house myself was ways to move forward.

What worries me about you predicament is (seemingly ) her lack of care for your needs and how she isnt fulfilling them.


Just a follow on from my last comment

I had a friend from school. We are both 63yo now.

He came from a Catholuc family but he liked his playboy free single lifestyle. In his 30's he had a gf that his family liked, she was also strong catholic, went to the same church and only went out with him. However he had several other ladies he dated quietly.

When he reached 40yo and she 39yo (and she was desperately wanting children) and after 10 years of her pushing him to marry, he finally relented and got engaged. Then another delay which is when I decided to question him about his future.

He told me he

  • Wasnt worried about her having children in her 40's as "technology fixes those complications now"
  • That he would omly marry her to satisfy his parents
  • When asked if he loved her he said "well...ummm, she is a good host"
  • That he wasnt attracted to her

Two years later they had married then were lucky to have two children.

I doubt he was happy though.

My point is, sometimes people wait and wait until their partner changes to their satisfaction. It doesnt always work.


Hi TonyWK

I appreciate your thoughts and input. It certainly does shine a light on things for me.

It is a hard place for me to be in. I love her so ofcourse I am a gentleman and would wait until she is ready to settle down. It’s possible she may never be ready, may never want to marry - can people still be happy together this way?

Im always putting others first. She doesn’t check in on me, ask how my day is, is good morning and good night that hard for a boyfriend? Does that really steal away her alone time, time from friends or her children?

She doesn’t seem interested in my needs or fulfilling whatever they maybe- it would certainly help if she asked me. Should I be brave and tell her, Do I have the right to do this or does it make me a bad person for even asking.

If she knows what she wants and ‘doesnt see anything wrong with wanting alone time, time alone with kids or seeing friends’ then are my needs just as valid or are they invalid because of the fragile nature of her past.

You raise some very fine points. Also thank you for telling me of your school friends situation, lucky you made the point at the end as I was struggling to grasp what you were getting at!

I’m struggling to keep busy and my health seems to leave me stuck at home often. Lack of finances restricts what I can do to keep busy.

Overall your opinion is that we are out of sink with one another and there isn’t much I can do to change this? So any interested parties that may love her won’t have any chance in the long run?

I admire strong independent women is it possible for me to be successful with forging a good relationship with one, where my feelings matter also... I just don’t know.


Hi Camellia’s

I’m sorry you aren’t getting what you need from her in the relationship. Your feelings matter just as much as hers. If she isn’t interested or want to be there for you, she may not be ready to be in a relationship.

You can wait but in my experience it’s just more hurt down the road and it ends.

I hope you can talk about it with her and be honest and say it’s ok if she isn’t ready for a relationship as of her past but she may be lonely and wanting just a part of the relationship not the whole of it?

Warm hugs

Dear Labs4life

Hello again 😇

Its so so hard as I can’t let go, too inlove, too invested, so many memories and two children whom I consider my own(I know they are hers but still..)

I wait all day for her to contact me, wonder is it wrong of me to call her, fb message her, etc it’s a very lonely feeling, makes me feel as though I am in the wrong for even doing it. If it were a friend of hers she would be beaming, smiling, responding as soon as she was able. Why am I the ‘ too difficult, it’s just too hard’ basket... I’m unsure.

What if I don’t wait and she becomes ready, I would have missed out on her entirely. And someone else will be given that opportunity when I have been the one who has made all the effort.

She has told me she will never truly let anyone see some parts of her soul, she is just too damaged. Regardless of how beautiful the person is(me etc) Is accepted this and have remained respectful of any boundaries.

Im not sure if she is lonely, I think her children, friends, pets keep her so busy that she finds it hard to breath...she hasn’t once admitted to loneliness. But you Maybe right in that she is just wanting just a part of the relationship, not all of it. As in just wanting me around when it suits her, or visitation for kids, watching her kids for her appointments, doing kid activities together, family birthdays/seasonal celebrations I have been apart of this and been called their family-spoken of as ‘ a step dad and better then their real dad’, Always invited and thanked for coming along to the special occasions...

But our relationship isn’t whole because she isn’t wanting to settle down, commit, be anything more then dating (bf and gf) Anything intense scares her into pushing me away, saying hurtful things to me and distancing herself to the extent she doesn’t want to see me.

This is confusing for me and the kids. When I am with the kids/her, it’s like walking on eggshells. Especially if something breaks or gets dirty, she just becomes a whole different person. We all try to help but at the end of the day, I can see she has trouble with things because of her very bad prev marriage.

She says she loves me and cares about me, but always tells me she feels guilty, when she doesn’t include me in events in her life. And actually blames me for this guilt and tells her close friends & so they tell her she isn’t happy.

what her friends don’t see is the happiness love and magic that passes between us as a family. Only the picture she paints