General Dating Questions/Dating a broken man


I'm in a similar situation you were/are in.  I've been seeing a man for about 10 months.  9 months ago a woman he wasn't in a current relationship with but had future plans (once he finished grad school) and loved died in an automobile accident.

6 months into our relationship we made it official and considered each other boyfriend and girlfriend.  A few weeks after that he told me that he wasn't ready for that type of relationship, that he was still wounded and in pain from the loss of her, and that he didn't know if he'd ever be able to love again.  

We see each other every day.  We hang out almost every day and communicate by phone or text every day - all initiated by him.  I have backed off and the ball is in his court.  A week ago the issue came up again of him not knowing if he'll ever love again.  He's said that he's not allowing himself.  So, we're in limbo.  He knows I'm in love with him and he has said that he "has love for me" and that I am everything he has ever wanted in a woman.  He's said that under different circumstances, he would want to make the relationship serious and make serious promises about our future.  He also said that if we had started dating after her death, he would never have started things with me, or anyone else.  He has said that if it weren't me he was seeing, he wouldn't want to see anyone.  

We've both tried to break it off on several occasions then realized being apart was something we didn't want to do.  We aren't official but we have a mutual understanding that should either of us start to have interest in other people, we'll inform the other and stop things before we start something with someone new.  He is very respectful and trustworthy.  He was raised quite well, actually, and has a very low tolerance for dishonesty or infidelity.  

Have you backed off from the relationship you were in with the man that also suffered a loss?  Has your relationship with him improved or does it no longer exist?  Not knowing what will happen with our relationship is stressful for me.  Adding to the stress, we're both in a very demanding graduate program.  I often think I'd like to start dating again so that I can fall out of love with him - not because I want to leave him but because it's very difficult loving him when he doesn't love me back...not knowing if he'll ever love me.  He is literally the perfect man and the man of my dreams.  Should I cut my losses now or is there a chance that he'll love me back eventually?

even a "chance" that he'll one day love back, isn't sufficient reason to tie up your emotions around hope--life is too short to wait on a dream; stay friends if you choose, but focus on meeting/dating only those you perceive as emotionally available..

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expertise: over 7000 questions answered...B.A. Psychology Bates College;graduate study, Fordham Univ. School Social Work; technical editor, "dating for dummies", 2d edition, by dr joy browne; thoughtful consideration of your question, then insightful advice about love,romance and related issues given in an objective, non-judgmental manner...over 20 years of personal experience in both short and long term relationships...longer term consultations are available upon experience: personal involvement in many relationships where issues of love, sex, intimacy, trust, etc., had to be dealt with and resolved...just having "experiences", however, isn`t`s the thoughtful reflection upon and analysis of what happened and why, that leads to learning and tell me what`s on your mind and i`ll try to help, or tell you if i can`t...thanks


Over 20 years personal experience in dating, including both short and long-term relationships.Thoughtful reflection and analysis upon same, as well as providing imput relating to issues of love and romance to friends and acquaintances.

BA, Psychology, Bates College, Lewiston, Me. Graduate study at Fordham University School of Social Work.

Life experience can really be the only teacher in this area; however going through the experience is not enough. What is necessary is a real awareness, sensitivity to, and reflection upon what has happened, what has been lost, what has been gained. Getting beyond one's own insecurities and subjectivities, and seeing the experience in the context of the bigger picture, are essential stepping stones to learning and announces CT matchmaking service..for more, go to

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