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Dr. Mark
Dr. Mark, Psychotherapist
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 5220
Experience:  Dr. Mark is a PhD in psychology helping with relationships
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Should I ask him to make up his mind please!

Customer Question

Hi Mark - I've tried the strategy you advised me on. We have exchanged texts on Monday (he texted me first saying he has got back from a scuba diving weekend which was great) and then I decided that I am not sending him any texts but will reply in a friendly manner if he texts me. On Wednesday I felt very tired and sad (it's been very stressful at work) and my close university friend said that perhaps I should just 'love him', and so I sent him a text on Wed evening, to which he hasn't even replied. I was very upset - I could make myself going to any social event (that's becoming an issue really as I am a very sociable person generally but I just don't have the energy). Anyway, I came home on Friday night and called him. He called me back and we chatted nicely for 40 mins and agreed to talk in the morning - I have overslept unfortunately and then he was already busy shopping, meeting with friends for lunch etc so it wasn't a good time for him to talk....that has made me feel down again. I wanted to go out tonight but I couldn't - I hate myself for this, I am becoming so unproductive...why can he continue enjoy his life, and I am being so sensitive (that's not anything new though). Anyway, so I called my dad who I respect hugely, and he said that this man needs to make a decision. He said that if he is saying that 'we need to spend more time together', that's not a good sign. He said that I need to explain to him that I need to ask him to make a decision, i.e. either he wants to be serious with me and then we make plans (since we are in different countries) and work as a team, or he is not ready/he doesn't, but that I need to be positive and explain what a woman he is potentially losing (that I like him, and what I can give to him etc). I said I like him and that potentially I am losing him and I find it difficult to find a man that I would really like and be prepared to spend my life with etc....but he (my dad) said that it's better to let him know earlier than later....that if he is a responsible person, he will make a decision...he will be forced to make it....


 


What do you think? I am confused again...But practically all my men friends and a couple of my girlfriend's husbands said that he is just not being serious and that I should let him know about it.


 


Thank you.


 

Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Relationship
Expert:  Dr. Mark replied 2 years ago.

Dr. Mark :

Hi! It's nice to hear from you again, though I'm sorry you're feeling down


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

Expert:  Dr. Mark replied 2 years ago.

Hi! Because you didn't reply in the chat, the system reverted to the question/answer format so I'll answer you here, okay?

I can imagine how frustrating this situation must be for you. My previous answer to you was based on being patient and waiting for when the two of you would be together again to have a serious discussion. Until then, the idea would be to be positive and "alluring" but not needy.

So we now have more information: you don't have the patience right now to wait till you two meet. You recognize in yourself that you are very sensitive and so you are reading into his enjoying himself and enjoying his life as a lack of needing you in his life and you are becoming less able to enjoy your own life. This is certainly not a good outcome.

Then, let's accept you as you are. You need to know if this is the relationship that will lead you to marriage and children or if you should move on. Okay. I accept this about you about you and you need to accept this about yourself as well.

And this is actually the key to my answer to you that you need to consider and think about. It's not a question of whether your father's approach is the best approach or not. It suits who you are as a person and therefore it may be the most appropriate approach.

You can't go on like this much longer not knowing. Then, asking him to make a decision as your father suggests gives you the opportunity to not wait. He will say what he says and you will decide if he is the right one or if you need to move on.

Your girlfriends' husbands' advice doesn't quite seem to match the circumstance: I recommend you ask him questions as your father suggests rather than tell him what he's doing. So, this is my advice for the discussion you have with him:

Stick to your father's agenda of getting clarity from him about his intentions. Resist telling him about himself as much as you can; rather, ask him what he wants and if there is anything here in this relationship in terms of the long term plans you and he had been looking for in the past. Your father's approach is the best, XXXXX XXXXX seem.

Okay, I wish you the very best!



My goal is for you to feel like you've gotten Great Service from me. If the answer has been helpful, please remember to give a rating of 5 (Great Service) or 4 (Informative and helpful), or even 3 (Got the job done) button. This will make sure that I am credited for the answer and you are not charged anything more than the deposit you already made by pressing any of these buttons. Bonuses are always appreciated! If we need to continue the discussion for that to happen, then please feel free to reply and we'll continue working on this. If I can be of further help with any issue now or in the future, just put "For Dr. Mark" in the front of your new question, and I'll be the one to answer it. All the best, XXXXX XXXXX

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Mark,


 


Thank you for your response. I am still not 100% sure about the strategy that my father advised me to pursue, and the one that you also think I should follow.


 


The more I think about it, the more I feel it is a little silly to require an answer from him, when he has already given me an answer (if you see my previous response - in our online chat), which is 'he thinks we need to spend more time together' and 'he cannot make any promises to me now'. However, he is not being very pro-active, i.e. he is not suggesting how exactly we are going to spend time together. As I mentioned yesterday, he doesn't even call me enough to talk to me (although he may not consider it as 'spending time together').


 


Anyway, I think I'll revert to your first advice and try to back off but can you please make your advice a bit more practical, i.e. if I don't hear from him for a few days (suppose) - should I continue to be silent or is it ok to send a little text? I am thinking of going on holiday in May - should I ask him whether he wants to join me (but I feel that it's not really backing off, is it! I'd rather him suggest that we go on holiday


 


I'd be grateful if you could clarify please.


 


Thank you very much Mark - I find your responses really helpful.


 


Kind regards,


Julia

Expert:  Dr. Mark replied 2 years ago.

Hi. You know, my first response was indeed the best approach I thought given his statements to you. So we are both agreed on that.


I have endorsed your father's approach because you have become more anxious about this and indicated that you are starting to not be able to enjoy yourself or your life because of the worry and apprehension about whether this relationship will work. You have been feeling super sensitive if he says he is having a good time (without you).


Because of that anxiousness, I said that it would then be better to have a decision made at this time rather than waiting, as your father urges. However, if you feel you can step back and recognize that you don't need to stop living and enjoying your life because of this relationship, then indeed, I would still recommend our original course of action. Yes.


In fact, I would think it would be most beneficial for you to also convey to him that you are having a good time and enjoying evenings with your friends, that you are busy and therefore not available to talk at any given time, just like he is conveying to you.


This is because our strategy was for you to be positive and alluring, inviting in that way rather than a needy way. And then when the two of you meet again, that would be the appropriate time to have a serious discussion.


But this approach is only relevant if you can indeed enjoy evenings with your friends. So, you need to allow yourself to enjoy yourself!! You need to actually recognize that you are a good and attractive woman who is living your life and you have one man who is a possibility of being Mr. Right. And if you meet someone else, then you'll consider that man as well. And if not, you'll enjoy the time you have right now to be with your friends and go out,, okay?


The key to this approach is patience and enjoying yourself....


Okay, I wish you the very best!



My goal is for you to feel like you've gotten Great Service from me. If the answer has been helpful, please remember to give a rating of 5 (Great Service) or 4 (Informative and helpful), or even 3 (Got the job done) button. This will make sure that I am credited for the answer and you are not charged anything more than the deposit you already made by pressing any of these buttons. Bonuses are always appreciated! If we need to continue the discussion for that to happen, then please feel free to reply and we'll continue working on this. If I can be of further help with any issue now or in the future, just put "For Dr. Mark" in the front of your new question, and I'll be the one to answer it. All the best, XXXXX XXXXX

Expert:  Dr. Mark replied 2 years ago.
Hi. Have you had a chance to consider my answer? Were my suggestions helpful? Or do we need to consider more options? Let me know,


Dr. Mark
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi Mark,


 


I have just re-read your latest answer - we need to talk about it again. I might be wrong but I think you imagine me as a fairly typical needy woman... I suppose I come across as one at the moment (in relation to that guy).. because I am desperately trying to keep this relationship as if it doesn't work, then I will have to have a baby on my own (don't want regrets here) as I don't have any more time really and I don't want to be with the wrong person, I think it's more depressing....I'd rather be on my own until I find the right one (if I am lucky).....I've never been like this (depressed, unhappy) before - I have always been happy with myself and had friends and men around me and my work and studies, I've always been hoping to find Mr Ideal....and I've been happy to have really interesting men in my life....but one day I've realized I would be 40 this summer - I really have no more time for a search, that's why I am experiencing a bit of a crisis. I never thought I would be in this situation. I hope I will have a daughter one day - I'll try to do all I can to ensure she realizes her potential but is also aware that time flies (sadly) and it is really important to focus on finding and keeping the right man with the same rigor (not more!) as one would focus on studying well, finding the right career and continuously learning and developing themselves.

Expert:  Dr. Mark replied 2 years ago.
I understand. You are saying that it is either going to be him or you're going to have a baby on your own because you're not ready to keep on searching for Mr. Ideal.


But this still leaves you in the situation we were facing above: he doesn't want to commit at this time. And you need to decide if to wait for him to be ready or to ask him what his intentions are.


We originally discussed together waiting until the two of you are together as he asked to do. But then you shared that this waiting was making you depressed ad that your father advised to ask him to make a statement. I agreed with that because you said you are getting depressed and waiting is not working for you.


If, however, you feel that you can indeed wait till you two have time together and then talk about commitment at that time, then this was our original conclusion and one that still makes sense. But again, if the idea of waiting still makes you depressed and act in depressive ways, then that is not an option.



I know how frustrating this is for you and I'm so sorry he is not committing as he seemed in previous years he would. This, then, would be the criterion you would use to decide if to wait until the two of you have time to be together and discuss your future or whether to ask him to commit now: your state of mind.


If you can wait, then that would be good, and plan a trip to be together as soon as possible and spend time with each other and renew the bond and talk. If you can't wait because it is too depressing, then I understand you need to ask him to make a decision now.


I wish you the very best!



My goal is for you to feel like you've gotten Great Service from me. If the answer has been helpful, please remember to give a rating of 5 (Great Service) or 4 (Informative and helpful), or even 3 (Got the job done) button. This will make sure that I am credited for the answer and you are not charged anything more than the deposit you already made by pressing any of these buttons. Bonuses are always appreciated! If we need to continue the discussion for that to happen, then please feel free to reply and we'll continue working on this. If I can be of further help with any issue now or in the future, just put "For Dr. Mark" in the front of your new question, and I'll be the one to answer it. All the best, Dr. Mark.


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