Dear Harlan: I’ve been in a committed long-distance relationship with a woman I met on a dating app. We have been texting and sending videos to each other a couple times a day for the past three months. It’s as real at it gets. I’ve fallen in love. The problem is that every time we are supposed to get together something comes up. It’s happened three times. One time was a sick family member. The other times it was a work project. She is always apologetic, but it’s confusing to me. She says she wants to see me and stay together, but continues to cancel. I don’t know how long I can give this. I’m tired of the buildup and letdown. How patient should I be? I’m starting to question this relationship.
Dear Questioning: It’s a perfect relationship … for her. Why she doesn’t want to see you is anyone’s guess. Maybe if she visits you it will be hard to explain to her husband or boyfriend why she’s flying across the country to meet another man. I’m not saying she’s married, but we all know something is going on — you included. Your inner voice is screaming SOMETHING IS OFF. You can listen to this voice or just ignore it. Listening to it means investigating her reluctance and possibly ending this relationship. That would be painful. Ignoring it would mean living in a fantasy world and never getting what you want. That would be painful. The only solution is to bring up her reluctance to see you. Make it safe for her to share. Ask her what’s making her uncomfortable. Invite her to share the truth. Then come up with a time and place. If she cancels again, end it. If she can see you, move forward. But don’t just ignore the truth. You’re wasting time that could be invested in someone who can give you what you really want.