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Dr. Mark
Dr. Mark, Psychotherapist
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 5334
Experience:  Dr. Mark is a PhD in psychology helping with relationships
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Hello, I would be very grateful if I could get an advice

Resolved Question:

Hello,

I would be very grateful if I could get an advice from a psychologist.

I will try to summarize a long story as best as I can but if you think I've missed some important details, I'd rather you ask me for that extra information that you need to give me a better advice, rather than make assumptions.

The reason I am saying that is because I find it quite difficult to explain you the situation. I've started to write my question and realized that I am writing my whole life story, which I don't think is helpful.

So a few details and a question then.

I am 39 years old.
I know my own value.
I am very ambitious. I've been a top student at school and the university and always worked hard.
I moved to a foreign country on my own (when I was 34) and found an interesting but quite a demanding job in a prestigious company - it's not been a very easy journey.
I haven't yet realized all my professional ambitions though (still way to go). I'd like to one day.
I've never liked women whose only (or primary) ambition in life is to get married and have kids (i.e. everything else is secondary).
I've always wanted to have a family (with the right man, with whom I will be in love) and children.
I've always had men's attention and compliments.
I am 39 years old.
I decided a particular man could be a good husband for me and I want to have children with him.
We have known each other for more than 4 years.
The first two years we were just friends although he wanted more, but accepted that I only wanted to be friends with him (he was not exactly 'my type'). We met weekly and I liked his company. I felt he a good listener and cares about me.
He decided to move back to his country to pursue an excellent business opportunity. He's done very well so far and I like that he is an achiever. I like that he has a very proactive attitude to life and is entrepreneurial by nature.
Shortly before he moved back we somehow 'crossed the line'. It made things a bit complicated, nothing developed at that stage - maybe because I was not too sure yet. And I think he had a relationship (although he didn't tell me - he told me later).
We stayed in touch. I've realized that I was missing him.
I will skip the whole bit now and will only say that I went to visit him recently and asked: what's next? He basically said that he could not commit because we are in different countries and he can't promise me anything at this point that he could develop his business well enough to be able to come back to the UK etc.
He wants a family and children as well. But when I asked him directly whether he wants them with me, he said we need to see each other more often, 'as we agreed'. I said we've known each other for a long time but he said that it's different when you're friends with someone or when you live together. It's true - we spent very little time together as a couple so far.

My question: is there a potential in this relationship? Or should I move on?

I am really not in the dating mood. And I understand that it will take a few more years to find someone new who I would love (if I am lucky) and get to know them etc and I don't have that time at all if I want to have children!

What should I do?

Thank you.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Relationship
Expert:  Dr. Mark replied 3 years ago.

Dr. Mark :

Hi! I'll be glad to help you with this issue.


Type a hello when you join the chat and we'll get started, okay?

Customer:

Hello

Dr. Mark :

Hi. I can imagine how confusing this situation is for you.

Dr. Mark :

The first question we must address is this:

Customer:

Yes, I am completely confused now.

Dr. Mark :

he's not able to come to the UK for a few years, you wrote.

Dr. Mark :

If so,

Customer:

No, it is a possibility.

Dr. Mark :

are you prepared to move to where he is living?

Customer:

In fact, he has a joint venture with a big European company

Customer:

That's a very good question Mark.

Customer:

Long term - no

Customer:

I've visited him twice now

Customer:

a very nice warm country

Customer:

lovely house

Dr. Mark :

Is he prepared to move back to the UK? You implied that he feels his business will not allow it.

Customer:

but I like living in the UK - internally I feel it's not my country

Customer:

I am prepared to live there short term

Customer:

Yes

Dr. Mark :

Okay. So let's make sure this is not a deal breaker:

Customer:

he would not mind moving back. However, his business is quite new - he is doing well, however he needs to develop it a bit further

Dr. Mark :

You wrote in your original question: he can't promise me anything at this point that he could develop his business well enough to be able to come back to the UK etc.

Customer:

that's right

Dr. Mark :

It sounds as though he may be saying he would not mind moving back, but he has no intention of moving back.

Customer:

because he feels that's what I want

Dr. Mark :

So, this would mean you would be in his country for at least 5-10 years it sounds like.

Dr. Mark :

Is this okay with you?

Customer:

why 5-10 years?

Customer:

he said he would see how it goes until the end of the year and then he would re-evaluate

Dr. Mark :

Because in my experience when someone starts a business, and they say a little while, it hardly is never less than 5 years. What do you think his intentions are?

Customer:

His intentions in terms of?

Dr. Mark :

really coming back to the UK. Because you have to have a good sense of what his real intentions are if you aren't prepared to live in his country for more than a year. Agreed?

Customer:

From my point of view, the ideal scenario is for him to move back to the UK - where we would have 'the base', and going to South Africa (where he is from) on business as regularly as necessary

Customer:

He lived in the UK for 3 years

Customer:

that's where we met

Dr. Mark :

Okay. So this is something you two will decide together. Your question is if there is potential for the relationship and my concern is that he wants to spend a lot more time together and perhaps even live together for a while before deciding.

Dr. Mark :

But you two are very far away. How might you two resolve that issue?

Customer:

and started a similar business here but it was a better opportunity there which would have been silly to miss

Customer:

Your concern is correct

Customer:

that's what he is saying - he thinks that we should spend a lot more time together

Customer:

but don't you think that it's not a good sign when a man says this

Customer:

we've been friends for 2 years

Customer:

we haven't spent enough time as a couple but does it really matter?

Customer:

that's why I am confused....

Customer:

I have always thought he likes me, it's just me who didn't want a relationship with him at that time

Dr. Mark :

Yes, I understand.

Dr. Mark :

But now that he has been away

Dr. Mark :

it is no longer him "chasing" after you.

Dr. Mark :

That is, it is no longer you deciding if you want him.

Dr. Mark :

It is now him deciding if he wants you.

Dr. Mark :

That's how you posed the question: he is not sure any longer if it can work is how you put it.

Customer:

yes, but how has this changed all of a sudden?

Dr. Mark :

Let's take him at his word:

Dr. Mark :

he is now in a new country and building his success there

Customer:

yes, and it's going well

Customer:

but his uncertainty doesn't make me love him more

Dr. Mark :

and not so sure that you are willing to make your ambitions secondary to his needs

Customer:

that's true

Customer:

I want to be successful as well

Customer:

and I am - just differently :)

Dr. Mark :

He seems to be hesitant about this and it may be because he is unsure that you are willing to make your ambitions secondary to his needs

Customer:

but why should I make them secondary to his needs?

Dr. Mark :

Because what if his business is not ready to move to the UK in a year? And what if he wants to stay in South Africa?

Customer:

I could do that

Customer:

I could find a job for me in SA and live there temporarily

Customer:

the problem is that he is not telling me - I want to be with you 100%

Dr. Mark :

Yes. That is what I'm concerned with as well: he's not 100% invested any more.

Customer:

I would only move there if I know that we both want to be with each other

Dr. Mark :

That's why I'm concerned he's inching away.

Dr. Mark :

So, if you want to pursue the relationship, I think you need to spend a couple of weeks together and talk very seriously about whether he really wants to MARRY an ambitious woman and not just be FRIENDS with an ambitious woman. See the difference?

Dr. Mark :

He seems to have said this perhaps.

Customer:

Yes, I see the difference

Customer:

As I mentioned, I was there just recently and tried to have a 'serious' conversation

Dr. Mark :

I know this is emotionally a difficult discussion and along with being confusing, I'm concerned that it may be a little hard emotionally as well.

Customer:

in terms of - what's next?

Customer:

it didn't go particularly well...

Dr. Mark :

Because I'm concerned from what you wrote that he was "backing away" from his interest in being a couple with you.

Customer:

I am not very good at these conversations as well

Dr. Mark :

Right, hurtful in that way.

Dr. Mark :

I can imagine it was not an easy conversation. But it had to happen and I think you need to now move forward toward the future.

Dr. Mark :

that means:

Dr. Mark :

it's time to date other men, that's first.

Customer:

but he's been trying to maintain a relationship with me all this time (since he moved to the SA)

Dr. Mark :

Second, don't close the door to him.

Customer:

but what does it mean exactly - to not close the door

Dr. Mark :

But, you need to know if he is interested in you. And the best way to do that is to see if he is willing to try to win you again.

Customer:

I am so tired of dating Mark

Customer:

I have dated so many men - it's often a similar scenario - they like me, I don't like them

Dr. Mark :

It means not chasing after him, but seeing if he will try to win your affection. Because he is backing away and it is now you who are trying to chase him, okay?

Customer:

I am sorry - I sound very selfish

Customer:

but actually I am very sad

Customer:

yes, that's true but why can't he just tell me that Julia, I don't think it's going to work between us, please move on

Customer:

it would hurt but at least it's honest

Dr. Mark :

There are many reasons why a man doesn't just say that honestly. And the most common reason is that he's not sure himself. He's just not so excited any more now that he has won the woman over, so to speak. He may have moved on emotionally as well. After all, you two have been living far from each other for quite a while now.

Dr. Mark :

So, I know that dating is hard. It is very hard. For men as well. I see in therapy a man who is 37 years old; he is very tired of dating and very dejected. So I understand.

Dr. Mark :

But it is a necessary part of the process:

Dr. Mark :

And it gives this fellow in South Africa a chance to see if he really does want you. Because when a woman backs away, it gives the man a different view of things, agreed?

Customer:

So you don't that we should go on holiday together again

Customer:

yes, you are right

Dr. Mark :

No, I said above that you should take a couple of weeks together and discuss things seriously. You then said that you just did that and that it didn't go well. My strategy that I would want you to take is this: not to make compromises to chase after him, because

Customer:

I'd like the initiative to come from him

Dr. Mark :

you need to know what his real interest is. Right, the initiative should come from him.

Dr. Mark :

I would like you to date again and give other men a chance because you need to move forward, okay?

Customer:

We've been exchanging texts almost daily

Customer:

yes, I have a couple potential dates but - as I said - I am not really in the mood...

Customer:

plus I think all the good men are already married :(

Customer:

don't know how it happened

Dr. Mark :

Yes, it is hard to find "good" and "normal" men who are single.

Dr. Mark :

I hope that made you smile...

Dr. Mark :

The two of you text every day: is that a good thing?

Dr. Mark :

Is it helping him decide what he wants?

Dr. Mark :

Or is it keeping you two just "friends"?

Customer:

hmm

Customer:

when we were just friends, we didn't text each other daily

Dr. Mark :

The idea is: you want to know what his intentions are, you don't want to just be friends, which is what he says you two have been. So, you want to do what will help clarify the situation, right?

Customer:

ok, so you think that perhaps I should answer his texts but try to gradually reduce them...so that he feels that I am withdrawing....but not shutting the door completely :-)

Dr. Mark :

Right.

Dr. Mark :

And give other guys a chance!

Customer:

I'll try but remember Mark - I am 39 yo

Customer:

:)

Dr. Mark :

Right. But the journey toward marriage begins with a date...(I hope that made you smile also)...

Customer:

so I am finally starting to lose my illusions :)

Dr. Mark :

You're a good person.

Customer:

how do you know?

Customer:

thank you

Dr. Mark :

It is not easy to lose our illusions. But we have to...

Dr. Mark :

Because only good people are willing to be brave when we don't get things easily.

Dr. Mark :

And to keep trying even though life is not given to us on a silver platter...

Dr. Mark :

And you're a woman who keeps on the journey and that's admirable.

Dr. Mark :

Let him chase you, you date other men, and see who turns out to be Mr. Right, okay?

Customer:

Ok Mark, it's just taken me a while to actually look at him and see that he might be that Mr Right

Dr. Mark :

Right. But he now needs the "while" to see that you are Ms. Right, agreed?

Customer:

yes, it seems so

Customer:

as I said - it would have been easier if he could just told me - let's not waste each other time

Customer:

why can't he be sure

Customer:

that's what is really torturing me

Customer:

I always try to make it clear to men if I am not interested - rather than wasting their time

Dr. Mark :

Well, it took you a while to be sure after he chased you, right? So it's apparently going to take him a while after you chase him...

Customer:

:)

Customer:

Can I ask you the last question

Dr. Mark :

Yes.

Customer:

if he comes over to London

Dr. Mark :

yes?

Customer:

and he would do - he needs to travel on business. Last time he stayed at my place...

Customer:

what should I tell him? That he can't stay with me until he makes up his mind? :)

Dr. Mark :

No. I think you should let him stay with you. Just don't be too pressing. And he can know that you've been dating other men...and if he should ask (let's hope he does....), then you can tell him that you are taking him at his word that he's not that sure and you aren't trying to force him into anything...

Customer:

Okay...it's just I find it quite difficult to date other people and get more serious with them while I am not completely over with someone else

Dr. Mark :

Hey, you are an ambitious woman, right?

Dr. Mark :

And you know that in business, you don't wait till you are out of a job to keep your eyes open for a better job...

Dr. Mark :

Hope that made you smile...

Customer:

I am, fortunately or unfortunately :)

Customer:

it did :)

Dr. Mark :

Okay. So let's hope he gets the message that you're not just chasing him but that you're still seeking the "best" guy like you were when he was acting like you were the best for him, okay?

Customer:

okay - I was thinking of writing him a letter with my thoughts...

Customer:

you don't think it's a good idea, do you?

Dr. Mark :

Well, I think women have to be a little seductive to get the man...

Dr. Mark :

That means: not too much chasing after him, but inviting enough to make him want her....

Dr. Mark :

Romance is really not dead (smile?)

Customer:

I've been like this for him for 2 years :)

Dr. Mark :

Seduction.

Dr. Mark :

seduction....

Customer:

because I was not that interested - so it was easy for me

Dr. Mark :

Well, now it's getting closer to closing the deal. So play your hand well, okay?

Dr. Mark :

Date other guys, be genuinely interested, and let him know that you're a desired and desirable woman.

Dr. Mark :

Okay, I wish you the very best!


 


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Customer:

Okay Mark, thanks very much

Dr. Mark :

I truly wish you the very best!

Customer:

Thank you Mark - it seems very easy for some people. Anyway, that's another conversation :) Thank you for talking to me.

Dr. Mark :

All the best to you!

Dr. Mark :

If you could give a rating before leaving, I'd be most grateful.

Customer:

Thank you. Good bye for now.

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