Has anyone used Tell me about it. Is it worth the time?

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My first question is: Has anyone used Tell me about it. Is it worth the time?.

My next question is: Hi everyone.  This is a really odd predicament and I'm hoping I can get some sound advice from a female perspective..

Background: I'm in mid 30's and she's almost 30, never been married, educated and professionals.  We've both been around the block with regard to relationships so we're not young and naive.  We met online a couple of months ago and I know this sounds cliche` but we really fell hard & fast for each other, which neither of us has ever experienced before..

Situation: 2.5 wks ago she flew to the West Coast to visit her bro who had wrecked on his bicycle while training for a triathalon.  It was pretty serious as he had a concussion, cracked ribs and broken leg.  She is "extremely" close to her brother and family so she was very stressed and worried.  We spoke every single day for hours at a time while she was out there at the hospital with her bro, her mom & dad and other bro's who came as well to help him out.  He regained conciousness 2 days after his accident and was to be released this past Wed (12/12).  I spoke to her Tuesday night a week ago and the expectation was that the family was going to stay with the injured son/bro until this past Friday and she was going to fly back home where I was to pick her up from the airport..

Thursday night rolled around and I'd not heard from her since the night before her bro was to be released from hospital.  Friday morning I got up and noticed she had sent me an email at 1am.  Much to my shock and dismay her bro suddenly took a terrible turn for the worse and passed away very quickly the day he was to be released.  Obviously she and her family were devastated and in her email to me she stated simply that he'd passed away suddenly, she was going to stay with family for a while and that she'd contact me in a few days and hoped that I understood...which I did.  That was 5 days ago.  While out there her cell phone broke so we could only communicate through email so I've got absolutely no way to contact her or do anything, nor do I know where she is other than the city SF..

So, here I am in limbo and I have no idea what I should do.  Some people have told me that I'm being selfish and mean because I'm hurt & frustrated by the fact that she's made no contact with me in any fashion.  They've said that what she and her family are going thru is just overwhelming and that I should just be patient and do nothing but let her know I'm there for her, which I've done as best as I can via email.  Others have said that you don't cut the people off that you care about and that she's the one being rude for not having contacted me or anything as it's been a 5 days since her last communication..

At this point I don't know what to do.  Part of me feels like I should just write her off because I feel like I'm not important enough in her life for her to even care to contact me because I am worried and I have been stressed and an emotional wreck since I don't know a thing.  The other part of me says I am being a selfish jerk for expecting her to take time to do anything other than grieve and be with her family and that I shouldn't expect her to contact me except when she's ready..

One part that does bother me most is that she's been checking her MySpace page as you can see when a person has logged in.  So, part of me says if she's got time to check that out she should have the decency to take 1 min and contact me..

For anyone not believing the validity about her bro's death and the entire story - it's true because she was taking pix of him in the hospital with her camera and sending me pix..

Again, I'm just fishing for advice because this truly is a very difficult situation and I just don't know what to do or how to act.  Should I keep sending her email letting her know I care for her and am there for her if she needs me, or should I send her an email telling her how I think she's being selfish & rude to me and just write her off?  I've not been able to sleep or eat for a week now....

Thank you for taking the time to read and respond..

I greatly appreciate your help & advice...

Comments (33)

Your question was: Has anyone used Tell me about it. Is it worth the time?.

I you honestly mean it....Send her 1 email... telling her you are there for her if she needs you you will be there. Then leave the girl alone for now.DO NOT send an email, stating how you think she is being selfish or rude. That would be very selfish and disrespectful on your part. And if someone I had just met or even knew for a long period of time sent me something like that after the death of a loved one I would tell them where to get off. She just lost a brother.

Have you ever lost someone that close to you? You have only known the girl for 2 months, that is too soon to decide if you are compatible or not. Its called the "honeymoon stage". Usually when it heats up that fast it burns out just as fast. You barely know the girl, and she barely knows you. It takes time to truely know someone.

Go on with your life just like before you met her. If she contacts you fine, if not then that is the way it was meant to be...

Comment #1

Because the relationship (thru is still new ( a couple of months ) she is leaning on her family more than you, as you cannot relate to her situation or her loss..

Since you are very smitten with her, why not email her and tell her you'd like to fly out to SF and be there for her?.

"One part that does bother me most is that she's been checking her MySpace page as you can see when a person has logged in.  So, part of me says if she's got time to check that out she should have the decency to take 1 min and contact me.".

I dont blame you for being annoyed with this.  I know people are telling you that you are behaving selfishly but you also feel you are losing her or losing touch with her and that is not a good feeling.  She could telephone you from her parents house. I'm sure that you would even take a collect call or two. Where there is a will there is a way.  I dont like it when people make excuses for not keeping in touch. .

Unfortunately, sometimes tragedy can break couples apart instead of bringing them closer together...

Comment #2

<< Should I keep sending her email letting her know I care for her and am there for her if she needs me, or should I send her an email telling her how I think she's being selfish & rude to me and just write her off? >>.

I don't think it hurts to email her ... perhaps a cute 'thinking of you' e-card.   Try to put yourself in her shoes and think what might (just might!) make you feel a bit better ... what *might* lighten your mood ... and try that ... a fun, bright card or message.  Send some words of inspiration (ie, a quote that you like) or something like that.  .

Frankly, it is very disconcerting that you'd even entertain the idea of sending an emailing telling her how you think she's being selfish and rude..

Dude, NEWS FLASH:   Her brother just died ... it's not about you..

Perhaps ask her to let you know what hotel or hospital she's at (so you can send her something). .

But, if you get no response ... don't persist.  Just let it lie.  .

Re:  << One part that does bother me most is that she's been checking her MySpace page as you can see when a person has logged in.  So, part of me says if she's got time to check that out she should have the decency to take 1 min and contact me.>>.

Really?  That bothers you.   Please do not take this the wrong way ... but, I wonder if you have the maturity to be in a relationship, if this truly bothers you.   (and let's not confuse age with maturity, they are not one in the same).

Look ... you probably haven't lost a close family member.  So, you have no idea of the grief.    But, particularly when it's unexpected and you didn't have time to prepare, it can feel like you've died yourself.     Give this a rest. .

Often, when people are grieving, they want to be left alone ... they don't want to have to talk ... they don't want to answer questions ... they don't want to face the possiblity of breaking down over the phone.    But, in grief ... you can also appreciate a diversion.   Myspace is a diversion.   It doesn't require that she talk and it doesn't ask questions ... it doesn't have to do anything but let her log on and be diverted, ever so briefly.    It has NOTHING to do with time to check that but not having time to call you.  .

Please take this time to re-evaluate yourself and your expectations and whether you are ready for a relationship.   I know you didn't come her to be scolded ... but, I"m actually pretty floored that you'd even consider taking this personally and calling HER selfish and rude.     .

 Also, considering the length of the relationship (thru ... only 2 months ... it isn't yet that serious ... you aren't an integral part of each other's lives (yet) and honestly, after this ... when she comes home, she's going to be a different person ... your relationship (thru may not survive her grief ... and you cannot expect to just ever-so-lightly pick up where you left off.   .

If you want to handle this properly, do what you can to prepare yourself.   Read up on the grieving process, the 5 stages of grief, how to 'approach' and 'cope' with people who are grieving a loved one.   It is obvious that you haven't dealt with something like this yourself (lucky you!) ... but, given that, you are also not equipped to truly 'be there' for her.  .

Good luck.  ..

Comment #3

Ok - unless you have lost an immediate family member or someone extremely close to you - you cannot fully understand what it feels like. You go on remote control and adrenaline - there are tons of things to deal with outside of the emotional aspects. I cannot explain what this time feels like - I lost my Dad 2 years ago Thanksgiving.  There is a tendency to hole up - dealing with family, funeral arrangements - which are HELL to deal with even if prepared - so manythings that you cannot begin to grasp..

I understand that you want to know what's going on and to offer support - but her grief is NOT ABOUT YOUR OR HER FEELINGS FOR YOU. You don't know why she's been on myspace - maybe as a tool to share what's going on - maybe as a way to distract herself from the very hard feelings she's feeling. I know you want to talk to her - but have you considered that she 'can't' - talking is too hard for her right now? Its been a week and here it is Christmas. What do you expect - that she use you as her support? That would be nice, but she can't. and it's not about you AT ALL so stop making it about you..

Hon, you say she is rude for not calling you. Her brother JUST died. Try to understand her feelings and perspective - shock, denial, sadness, anger, you name it - and they are all very hard difficult feelings. Post on her page at the very least and tell her that you are here for her - and then allow her the space she needs to grieve and process some very hard raw devastating emotions..

Stop projecting shoulds and what you would do in that situation onto her - you aren't her. You don't know what she is feeling or having to face right now. You can choose to write her off if you wish - but that is the essence of selfish to me - you aren't getting to comfort her in the manner YOU want so you say goodbye?  YOu say you don't feel important enough to be called. You feel what you feel - but it doesn't make those feelings valid or real or something to act upon. 'Importance' is something we assign - right now - what is 'important' to her is to deal with a very difficult loss with family. She needs family right now and you haven't known each other long enough to be that yet.

If you truly care for her - you will do what you CAN do - accept that right now you aren't who she's choosign to lean on, that she needs time and space to process things, and offer her your support in a way that SHE needs - not how YOU need to give it to her. People deal with loss in different ways - they need to be comforted in teh way THEY need - not how others wish to give it..


Comment #4

Everyone, thank you so very much - this is exactly what I needed to hear..

I know it sounds very harsh of me and I don't mean for it to sound as though it's all about me, and I certainly have no idea what she's experiencing.  Call it insecurity on my behalf.  I guess I just had "hoped" she would lean on me and make me feel needed and wanted by her during these times.  We all want to feel needed and wanted by those we care for...and that's all I wanted really.  Again, I know it's not about me and I certainly didn't intend to sound that way..

That being said, she did send me an email this morning and I'll paraphrase.  She said she wanted to call me but didn't know what to say or how to put it into words, and that my continued email to her telling her I was there for her meant so much to her during these times, and that she was flying home to Boston to spend the remainder of the holidays with her mother/father but would be in touch with me..

Now that contact has been made I'll do nothing more than what I've continued to do - just be there for her for emotional support and I'll be patient.  I really do care for this person a great deal and I am afraid that something like this may negatively affect what we had going in a relationship.  I know how something like this can destroy a relationship (thru like ours in it's infancy, and yes it worries me greatly..

I know none of you can tell the future and what it holds but I'm hoping that we can slowly pick up the broken pieces and continue down the path of building a relationship (thru together at some point in time.  If there's any advice on what to expect as we move forward I would greatly appreciate it..

Thank you again everyone and Merry Christmas!..

Comment #5

I urge you to do some homework on grief - there are some great books out there that can give you some ideas of what to expect - but keep in mind that everyone is different and will handle things in different ways. this will be a time of extreme patience on your part.

The hardest thing for me was that others wanted me to 'hurry up' and get over it. they got where they couldn't handle my intense feelings and got frustrated with me. People don't mean to do this - but intense grief is hard and dark and lonely. and it takes as long as it takes. This doesn't mean you tiptoe around a person but that you treat them with compassion.

The reality is - I have never been the  same since Daddy died, my life is different because he is not here in a physical sense. He is however, a very prominent part of my life.  It was well over a year when I felt a true sense of normalcy.  Now, I miss him terribly but I can smile and laugh and remember all the things that made our life. She needs understanding and patience. Only time and space will heal her broken heart - and even then it will never be teh same. this isn't a 'bad' thing - but it is reality..


Comment #6

Kudos for taking the harsh words like a trooper ... if you can take the critique and the advice ... and apply it ... well, that means you're here for the right reasons.    Whether or not you can actually *handle* this is another story ... only time will tell.  .

You said << I know none of you can tell the future and what it holds but I'm hoping that we can slowly pick up the broken pieces and continue down the path of building a relationship (thru together at some point in time.  If there's any advice on what to expect as we move forward I would greatly appreciate it. >>.

Honestly, I think you need to not think of it in terms of a 'we' ... and allow her to come to you ... albeit, let her know that you are there for her ... but, don't expect ANYTHING in terms of picking up where you left off when she gets back.  It won't be the same.

Ie, << I'm hoping that we can slowly pick up the broken pieces >> ... the 'broken pieces' aren't about you and her.   What is feeling broken in her life is 100% about her and her family.    There is nothing 'broken' for you guys to pick up.   If anything, it will be all about a new direction in your relationship (thru ... one that is about adapting to new circumstances and a new world for her ... a world that doesn't include her brother, whom it sounds like she was very close to.

I'm not sure you're REALLY understanding the gravity here.   In terms of what to expect ... this new world of hers may be one where she's 'fine' one day and a complete wreck the next.  One where she may out of the blue say "I need to be alone" and not call you for days on end.   Are you prepared for that?    You see, when people are grieving, they often dont want to 'bring others down' ... so, what you might perceive as her pushing you away is her not wanting to involve you in the gravity of what she's experiencing.   The important thing, above all, to remember is this:  it's not about you!.

There is nothing to truly prepare you if you haven't gone thru something like this yourself.   That is why your chances (hate to say it) are slim of this relationship (thru growing ... right now at least.     Good things don't always happen at good times.   Such is life.

At the very least, do as much reading up as possible on how to 'cope' with someone who is grieving, the best ways to offer your support, etc.    But, you are going to have to remove any semblance of it being at all about you. ok?   You are going to have to be able to not take anything she does or says personally.  .

I wish you the best ......

Comment #7

Thank you again...really..

I do understand that it's not about me even remotely.  It's just difficult for me because things were moving along so well - then WHACK!  This is life though and it's something I'll deal with one way or another.  I'll continue to be there for her when she needs me and offer support as best I can.  For me, I want to be allowed "in" so badly, but I won't push at all and if/when she wants to allow me in I'll be glad..

I have begun reading how to cope with a friends loss of a loved one and the information thus far is pretty much what you all have shared with me.  Be patient, offer support, LISTEN, and don't make it about you..

I know things will be different going forward and that's the fear I have because we as humans want to control everything...and we can't.  I'll just let fate take it's course here, because what will be...will be.  That being said, I'm not going to take a backseat and do nothing as I really want this relationship (thru to work out..

She truly is a once in a lifetime woman..

Thank you everyone..

- Chris..

Comment #8

Tonitoons made a good suggestion by recommending you learn about grief.  Since she was very close to her brother it will take some time for her to work her way through all the stages of grief.  The main thing to remember about someone grieving is that eventually they will catch themselves smiling again, the days and nights will be less long and they will eventually accept that their lives are not going to be *happy* in the same way anymore, but that life is still worth living - it is simply *different*..

Listening is a good skill to have and I'm sure it will work for you in how you deal with the situation...

Comment #9

One thing to consider is that she will lean on the people she may not have to *give* to right now.  While everything was okay I'm sure she was happy to be supportive and give to you.  Because she doesnt have to express herself to her family members (because they are feeling her pain too) it is less taxing for her.  It could be one reason why she didnt call you for a while - but she should have told you that instead of leaving you hanging and feeling desperate.  I know she is hurting...we have all hurt from loss and death...but we do have to consider that relationships are fluid and are not going to stand still just because we are hurting..

I know the others took the position that you need to approach her from a perspective where it is not about "you" and not to be selfish...but this is why tragedy does break some couples apart.  It is impossible to be completely neutral and so giving that you forget that you have needs too.  I'm not advocating that you not be there for her...not at all...but if you dont see her responding to you like she once did after a while...then you should  start thinking about your needs too and addressing it..

I was dating (online dating with someone for about 2 months prior to my father dying.  His father died 4 days later.  The two of us just clung to each other for a long time. We didnt have to express ourselves and if we felt bad we didnt have to put on a happy face in fear of losing the other person.  I leaned on him more than my friends who I had known for about 5 years. They felt slighted but I told them that he understands what I am going through and they didnt'..

The fear you were feeling was that you saw yourself being shut out...and that is appropriate for your situation.  If you have someone you can talk to during this time then you might want to do that because I'm sure she is not in the mood for "we" conversations or "where the relationship (thru is going" conversations..


Comment #10

<<She truly is a once in a lifetime woman.>>.

If you believe this, then you will be part of her life in a way that is acceptable for her for now. don't disappear - I had a 'friend' do this and at the time I was unable to deal with his absence because I was dealing with so much - but once I was emotionally stronger I did deal with it and let him know that I felt very let down by him not even calling to check on me for months and months. At the same time, don't force someone to accept your offer of assistance.

It very well could be a good year before she is able to not push/pull on you. I had a similar situation when my Dad died - and my BF hasn't gone thorugh this yet so there was a lot he didn't understand and even more I couldn't explain. All of this caused us some difficulties which I hope we are finally working through..

Treat her like you would a close friend even if it means sitting on the sidelines for a long while - if you expect her to start acting ok within a certain timeframe, you will be disappointed.

Are you truly understanding - that the next year or so will be full of ups and downs at best. She is on an emotional rollercoaster that is out of control and will be for a while. It will be hard to not want to try to 'move on' but this changes the whole dynamic of your reltionship - truly. You have to be strong enough not to push her to be or feel what she isn;t able to be or feel and sensitive enough to know when to step back and when to stand close. Put your feelings about pursuing a relationship (thru on hold for a while - maybe along while. She's got a lot to deal with and process and unfortunately that is her journey and no one can help her with it no matter how much they may want to..


Comment #11

Thank you once again for the much needed advice and candor..

As mentioned earlier, today I finally heard from her and I was so relieved and elated at the same time.  She told me she was sorry for not having called me but just had a very difficult time this past week and couldn't seem to ever summon the right words, and that when I wrote her telling her I was there for her that it meant so much to her.  It made me feel good to know she's OK and that she knows I'm here for her..

That being said, please tell me if I'm being silly or whatever for what I'm about to ask.  As she summed up her quick & short email to me telling me she would be spending the holidays with her mom and dad she left it with "i'll be in touch".  That was it, nothing more.  It's just difficult for me and I'm trying to understand things.  Previously all email from her would start with something like "Hey baby" and end with something like "I love you", etc.  Now her communication just opens and ends sort of cold, abrupt and with no emotion at all..

Again, I'm open to any constructive criticism you want to give me.  If I'm being a jerk please tell me so, if I'm being shallow then say so.  I just really am leaning on anyone who'll listen to me right now to help guide me through this process also..

Please be kind and don't trash me.  If I didn't care I wouldn't be here seeking advice..

Thank you again so very much...

Comment #12

""Previously all email from her would start with something like "Hey baby" and end with something like "I love you", etc. Now her communication just opens and ends sort of cold, abrupt and with no emotion at all.""Please hear and do what Toni and Starbuck have told you....She is not the same as before, she just lost her brother, she will never be the same person. You can't understand what she is going through unless you have been through something like that. By doing some homework on grief you might be able to understand how to help deal with it for her and yourself (if you honestly want to try). You are still thinking this has to do with you...that is selfish... It doesn't have anything to do with YOU...Stop thinking that....

She will never have her brother back, she will never talk to him again, she will never get to hug him again, she will never be able to see him again.... but you do have a chance of seeing her, touching her, talking to her...

Comment #13

Hon - her communication is cold, abrupt and without emotion because she is emotionally paralyzed right now - going on remote control and in survival mode. Do you know what survival mode means? It means you do only what is necessary to survive - be it emotionally or physically. It means there is little emotion there..

YOu are still not getting just how dark and lonely and numbing grief is - this is it - there are few if any "hey baby's" or the usual niceties that come when someone is basically emotionally void. Think of what a black hole is - pretty much nothingness - most people retreat to the bare minimum of emotion after the death of a loved one. this is a self-protection mechanism - because by shutting down emotionally is the only way to be able to function at all otherwise those unbearable feelings overwhelm you and you simply curl up like a baby and do nothing. shutting down to what is for the moment too much to handle allows you to continue to function in society to a degree. Life doesn't stop because you are in pain - but the body and brain compensates to allow you to do what is necessary..

She is still in shock - this is what shock does - it shuts down part of the emotional center but not all of it so tht a person can still do what is required to survive. After the immininent trauma has passed, the brain will allow those shut down emotions to start to reactivate a little t a time - again as to not overwhelm the person.

Survival mode has no room for the endearments of dating (online dating with or even typical friendship and companionship - I'm sorry. This is why you've been advised to have NO EXPECTATIONS here. It seems that you still want and need her to show affection to you when she is emotionally shut down. She CAN'T say Hey baby because she is shut down.

She's told you she'll be in touch - accept that she will - WHEN she is in a frame of mind to do so. Also accept that it will NOT remotely be like it was before. Are you willing to accept that your relationship (thru for all intent and purposes is not necessary to her survival right now? Do you really understand this and what it means?.

Have NO expectations whatsoever - do not compare how she is behaving now to how she behaved previously - she is in emotional shutdown and survival - this is an extreme situation therefore, she is not going to behave like she has previously been. Stop wishing for what was - you have to deal with WHAT IS right now - a relationship (thru with you is not a priority.

Educate yourself on what you can do for a grieving friend - and find someone you can talk to about your own feelings here. You feel what you feel - but remember that feelings aren't facts or calls to action. You may feel neglected - but feeling neglected and being neglected are not the same things.

She isn't ignoring you or neglecting you - she simply has nothing to give to you right now.  and this has nothing to do with you, feelings for you, etc - You say you get this but I'm not sure that you really do - otherwise, you wouldn't want, need or expect her to act like she did before her brother died. .

This is what grief is - cold, emotional- less at times, excessively emotional at others, lonely, hard and unspeakable pain. I know you haven't felt this yet and I truly hope it's a long time before you do - but this is it. Accept it and her AS IS for an unforeseeable lenght of time - put your needs and your wants on teh back burner - they will not be met right now by her. This is required if you want any kind of future with her. If you can't accept this and be content with it - then yes, move on. But this is very likely how it will be for along while..

Edited 12/20/2007 9:33 am ET by tonitoons.


Comment #14 may not want to hear what I have to say but I'll throw it out there and what you wish to take from it...please do so..

She is choosing to not lean on you right now.  By saying "I'll be in touch" she is making it clear that she needs time away from this relationship.  That is why I mentioned that you need to attend to your needs too in my previous posts...some people choose to clear their lives of romance during times of trouble. .

What I would do if I were you is to email her back and ask her for a phone number where you can reach her, like her parents' house. If she chooses to not give you their number...then you have no choice but to ask her in an email if she would like a break from this relationship (thru because it seems like she needs the space right now and you do not want to put any added pressure on her. .

What you do from that point forward is your own business.  I wouldnt go out of my way to wait for this woman to finally come around and lean on you for support...which is what she should be doing right now if this were a solid relationship.  the other way to look at it is that she is scared to lean you because it might scare you away.  That is why you need to have a conversation with her to find out if she just wants *out* right now or if she is scared. If she is a mature person...she will handle this ...grief or no grief.  Plenty of people, including myself, have had to grieve and yet be held to the responsibilities of is a delicate balancing act and most people do lose touch with distant friends or aquaintances and just stick to the closest of friends and family during these times because they understand and care.  If she does not have the ability to grieve and yet love you at the same time...then that is a trait of hers that may or may not change with age..

Good luck...

Comment #15

<< That was it, nothing more.  It's just difficult for me and I'm trying to understand things.  Previously all email from her would start with something like "Hey baby" and end with something like "I love you", etc.  Now her communication just opens and ends sort of cold, abrupt and with no emotion at all. >>.

1) forget what you knew 'previously'.  She will be a different person now, at least for awhile ... she'll be in transitition.

Do you have siblings?  If so, are you close?   Are you close to your family, in general?   If not, think about losing the closest person in your world, and ask yourself "would I see the world thru the same lens?"  Probably not.    And at that, it's been what?  A week.  .

Here's the reality:  She's still in shock! .

So, if her communication is cold and abrupt, it's because well ... the loss of her brother was rather abrupt too, no?   .

Again, you cannot judge her current actions against previous actions or what you knew before.   At all.  .

And again, asking that question ... makes it about you.  And I get that you're not wanting to make it about you, but you are.  You're questioning why she's communicating differently.    With all due respect, it should be obvious why her communication is short and abrupt.   Because her world has just been turned upside down..

Please don't take this the wrong way, but I'm fairly convinced that you don't have the empathy to truly 'be there' for someone like her, in her position.  .

 Empathy isnt something you can learn.   Unlike sympathy, you can only offer empathy if you have been in position of being able to relate.    Which you haven't been.  So, at best, you can TRY to understand ... which is why you are here ... but, you truly cannot and will not be able to ... not if you're saying << Now her communication just opens and ends sort of cold, abrupt and with no emotion at all >> ... I mean, seriously ...  Do you seriously expect her to be all warm and lovey-dovey with you when her brother just died last week?   I don't get that.   I don't at all get how you could think that that would be possible for her right now.   .

Again, not trying to bash you ... but, it does seem like your head is in the sand (as the saying goes) and you're not really 'getting' the gravity of this.  ..

Comment #16

Thank you again everyone and this is exactly what I needed to hear..

Starbuck, it's true I cannot relate to what she's going through nor can many others; therefore, I believe none can be empathic towards her...but we can be sympathetic.  I'm doing my best and I really don't mind the harsh criticism at all; otherwise, I wouldn't be here..

This is new to me and I've never been in this situation and am in unfamiliar territory on how to deal with it.  I'm doing the best I can..

I have questions and don't understand things and I hope I never have to experience what she's going thru.  It does make sense to me that she's emotionally paralyzed now and void of emotion as she's in survival mode right now.  I accept that, but I needed to hear and understand it.  At first I couldn't understand how you are unable to tell someone you love them in an email or want to at least call them, but apparently our relationship (thru wasn't as sound as I'd hoped for and believed, which explains her attitude towards me now.  Of course I'm hurt but I'm still doing the best I can to put my feelings aside as I've not remotely allowed her to see how I'm feeling.  I have made it all about her as far as she's concerned, but I come here to vent and ask for guidance as it's my only outlet..

I'm sorry if this sounds selfish and cruel but I too have feelings and I'm effected by this as well.  It's something I don't believe any of you can understand or be "empathetic" about as you're not in my shoes.  Can you imagine falling hard for someone as we'd done and then this happening and you're shut out completely?  It hurts and you want to be there for that person but it's not happening.  I'm in limbo, but I'm holding it together as best I can and I just need advice on how to move forward as I'm faced with this challenge..

Again, if I did not truly care fo her I would have moved on immediately because I'm well aware of the fact there is going to be a tremendous amount of work here and emotional baggage.  I'm willing to bare that burden but I need help too..

Thank you again, I really mean it everyone...

Comment #17

Yes, I do understand that this is hard for you and I do know how it feels to be shut out - but also remember, your relationship (thru is still an infant - 2 months is not a lot of time at all.  Love can be there but the foundation that a solid relationship (thru is built upon is still under construction. Heck even good and long term relationships have difficulty with dealing with a partner's grief and some of those don't survive it intact. this is a fact of life.

<<At first I couldn't understand how you are unable to tell someone you love them in an email or want to at least call them, but apparently our relationship (thru wasn't as sound as I'd hoped for and believed, which explains her attitude towards me now>>.

Again - this is about you. Her 'attitude' has nothing to do with you! Your relationship (thru could have been sound - but it's still in it's infancy! the foundation of complete trust, strenght and reliance haven't had a chance to be formed - no matter how much love may be there - the foundation still has to be built properly.  Even thinking she has an 'attitude'makes it about you. Shock has no attitude. Numbness has no attitude or agenda. She isn't 'doing' anything to you or because of you or 'ignoring' you. All of those things imply thought and intent - her only thoughts are on the pain she feels, what is she going to do next and utter helplessness and rage.

I also know how hard being in 'limbo' is - but no one ever died from not knowing what will happen next.  All you can do is take it one day at a time and do your best - without expectations!  Take the helplessness and anger you are feeling now and magnify that a hundred times - this is where she is. Like it or not. She isn't doing or not doing something because of you. .

I think asking her if she wants to take a break is a really BAD idea. That will put additional pressure on her as well as feeling like another loss to handle.  That would indeed make it about you, JMHO.  I do think just taking a step back for a bit while keeping the door open to her is fine. She needs to know she has a safe haven - when SHE is prepared to use it (and she may not want to). Your job is to be a friend and offer compassion and understanding - even if it's something you'd rather not do. This is part of loving someone - giving them what THEY need without regard to what's in it for you.

HOn, death is a part of life and you WILL go through this at some point in time. This is reality that cannot be avoided. I do hope that it doesn't happen for along long while though.  Find a priest or someone older that you can talk to about this - because you don't get it. And because you don't get it, you keep looking at what you aren't getting right now. People often don't remember what others do in times such as this - but they do remember how you made them feel. Don't become part of the problem by adding stress to her life with unreasonable requests - because her current circumstances will eventually change..


Comment #18

<< At first I couldn't understand how you are unable to tell someone you love them in an email or want to at least call them, but apparently our relationship (thru wasn't as sound as I'd hoped for and believed, which explains her attitude towards me now.  >>.

You sound like a very sweet guy ... and it's obvious that you are very caring and want to help and be there ... but, DUDE!!!! ... I kinda feel like we're on broken-record-pattern here ... again, it ... is ...

About ... you..

You said (above) that apparently your relationship (thru isn't as sound as you'd hoped/believed ... and that explains her attitude toward you now..

No.  No.  Triple No.   (I thought you were kinda understanding, until again ... you brought up her feelings toward you).  .

That isn't what her attitude *toward you* is about right now at all.   If you think that "that explains it" then ... you are wildly off base.    Again, it isn't about you.   She would probably be shocked to know you felt this way.  .

Ie, imagine if she were reading these boards, reading your messages, and reading that you thought her "cold and abrubt" message had to do with her feelings/attitude toward you.    It has zero, zilch, nada to do with her attitude or feelings toward you.  Or toward anyone.    Basically, she's not FEELING much right now other than emptiness and loss.  .

<< I have questions and don't understand things and I hope I never have to experience what she's going thru.  >>.

You will.   Understand, someday that is.   .

Someday, you will lose a parent or a sibling or someone very close to you.   Death is part of life.    (that's a given, right!).

Being in your 30s and not having yet to experience the loss of someone very close to you ... IMO, that actually makes you more in the minority than not (in regard to << it's true I cannot relate to what she's going through nor can many others >>).   I had my first experience with death and grief when I was 9 y/o when my 13-y/o sister was killed in a car accident.    And my life was forever changed from that day forward.   (fwiw, it's something I do not discuss much, when people ask if I have siblings ... my response is only "I have an older brother" ... I no longer mention my sister who died some 28 years ago .... not in conversation ... only to those who know me very well ...

Its just one of those things that you just don't want to get into).  .

<< It's something I don't believe any of you can understand or be "empathetic" about as you're not in my shoes.    >>.

Really?  Don't be so sure.   My college BF lost his father and his favorite uncle within the same year.   I know what it's like to be 'shut out' and not able to help.   And, I was only 21 ... much younger than you are now ... but, because I had experienced death and grief (I'd also lost one of my best HS friends just 2 years before that when I was 19) ... I was able to give him the space he needed when his dad died ... it's a healthy level of detachment.   Its knowing that there isn't anything you can do to HELP ... that time and being present in your grief is the only thing that heals. .

Of course, it didn't help that BF at time had a drinking problem to boot ... which made my level of concern even higher b/c I was concerned that he might actually drink his sorrows to his OWN death ... so, while you may be worried about your GF ... at least you don't have to worry about the possiblity of her killing herself ... worried that she's grieving herself into a bottle and may never return.  Point being, my BF at the time had *issues* on top of his grief ... which made my level of worry and concern and ability to 'help' even more difficult ...

Imagine how you would feel if someone you'd been with for 2 years shut you out ... rather than just 2 months?!).

Again ... please do not think we cannot be empathetic to where you stand right now.   I'm sure many of us can.   Why?  Because death happens everyday ...its impacting people all around you and me and everyone here.     Instead of feeling sorry for yourself and hurt ... be grateful that you ARE in the shoes you are in ... and not in her shoes.  .

My best and final advice to in regard to how to move forward:  Do ... not ... make ... it ... about  .

Stop feeling sorry for yourself.  Sure, you are entitled to feel hurt are entitled feel however you want to feel ...  but, honestly, seriously ... you need to get over it.   Your feelings of hurt are minuscule in comparison to her hurt and sorrow ... just remember that.   .

Lastly, at 2 months of dating... no, your relationship (thru wasn't 'sound' ... b/c your relationship (thru hadn't been around long enough to have made a significant impact on her life ... or on yours.  Is your life that much different or significantly impacted now b/c she's in your life?  Have you made life changing decisions together?  Have you changed, grown as a person as a result of this relationship?    Or, would you be able to pick up and go back to your pre-October/November life tomorrow?   I'm presuming the latter ... b/c anything other than the latter woudl be a skewed perception of the reality/impact of a 2-month relationship.    At 2 months, it isn't love ... it's being 'in love' with the idea of who you think the other person is ...

But, at 2-months, you have barely scratched the surface in terms of knowing each other ... so, how can you LOVE someone you don't really know yet? .

Point being, it takes awhile for a relationship (thru to build a foundation ... to have had a signficant impact on a person's life.  .

Her brother had a lifetime impact on her ... and now he's gone.   And you want to feel hurt that her message to you was abrupt? Or that b/c she isn't reaching out to you ... at a mere week post his death that that has anything to do with you ... if you believe that, then ... that is your right ... you are entitled to that ... however, if you believe that, then I believe you have tremendous amount of maturing to do.  .

Again, my best to you ... I can tell your heart is in the right place ...but, your head has no idea where hers is at or even where yours really SHOULD be right now.    I cannot continue saying 'do not make it about you' ... but, again ... i'm a bit shocked that you read her message as one of her attitude toward you is changed.   Here's the reality:  right now, her attitude toward EVERYONE and EVERYTHING is probably changed.   Particularly when someone you love dies and you have zero warning or time to prepare.   Thus, it's not about you.  ..

Comment #19

Okay, I know my opinion is not the popular one here...but I have been in her shoes and was still able to connect with a guy who cared and since he also experienced a loss like that in the same week as me...he was also grieving also during that time and was able to be in a relationship.    And we only knew each other for 2 months, as well.  So I cannot excuse her behavior.  Whether or not she is emotionally paralyzed is not really the essence of what you need to take away.  I feel that she shouldnt be offered so many excuses for not being honest with you..

You were falling for someone who (due to life's circumstances) pulled all of that away.  I feel it is odd that she is not reaching out for you when she has expressed such endearing feelings to you.  I know you mentioned that the brother really did die so...obviously the thought had to cross your mind that she could be making something like this up.  It has happened..but not on a universal level.  If anyone ever did do that ... what a horrible person he or she would be...but a few of them do exist in the world..

I feel that it would be best for YOU now to grieve the loss of this relationship (thru and love because she doesnt seem to need you in her life at this point.  You could wait for her...but she gives you nothing to hold onto to encourage you to do so.  Like you said, she has shut you out completely.  Unless you want to fly to her parents house and confront her face to face...the best thing is to accept that she is no longer in your life..

I believe you are correct that the relationship (thru or her feelings for you werent so sound to begin with for her to just let you go like that..



Comment #20

Wow - I am hugely thankful that the people in my life showed compassion and kindness to me after my Dad died and didn't judge or criticize me because I didn't 'act' like they wanted me to.  I did the same thing teh OP's GF is doing - shut down and withdraw. And I was also just into a relatively new relationship (thru as well.  It was hard for my BF and my friends and family but they stuck with me even when not knowing what to do or say. there is one person who is no longer in my life because he did exactly what you suggest - he didn't know what to do so he just did nothing. that hurt me deeply and when I was able to, I let him know.

If I recall, you said your then BF had also lost someone so you clung together because you SHARED similar feelings and circumstnaces. These 2 are not connecting in that manner because they don't have the same experiences - he doesn't 'get' grief. So it's not reasonable to say what she 'should' be doing or not doing because that's what happened in your case. Nor is it reasonable to just assume things are over because she isn't behaving typically. There is NO 'typical' behavior during extreme grief. And some lattitude should be offered until some time has passed.

Just because one person does something doesn't mean someone else will do it the same way - 'shoulding' doesn't solve problems.  Compassion and understanding do. Giving a person time to find their way is offering understanding - confronting them about how badly they are acting during a time of great stress is just plain cold. JMHO.


Comment #21

Once again....thank you..

All three of you (toni, Starbuck, Snafu) make a lot of sense to me.  Obviously there are very different responses between you and obviously I'm torn.  Ironically I agree with all of you as well....

One part of me totally agrees with Toni/Starbuck and the other part of me agress with Snafu.  I have had someone extremely close to me pass away in my Grandfather.  To this day if I'm ever asked who the most influential person was in my life I still say my Grandfather.  He meant so much to me and I still miss him terribly..

That being said, I didn't shut people out that I cared for.  Yes, I was in a fairly new relationship (thru at the time and I did become withdrawn as I recall and to a certain extent emotionally void; however, I didn't shut her out completely like what's been done to me.  I at least communicate with her every other day letting her know how I was, not to worry and that I just needed some "me time".  She understood that, thanked me for letting her know where I was, she let me know she was there for me and she was when I needed her to vent, and we ended up dating (online dating with several years afterwards..

You all make great points and I've taken them all to heart.  My plan is to just continue as I'm doing, which is let her know I'm there for her.  I cannot say I'm going to continue down this path forever though as I am human and I need to know something.  I don't think it's fair to me to be left here with absolutely no idea what to expect or where to go..

That being said, how long should one wait to hear something?  Even if it was a quick email saying something I believe would be fair.  I know you're saying this is about me and it's not, but I do need to know something or give it some amount of time before something happens.  Yes, it's only been a week and I know that.  So, should I say give it 2 weeks, 3 weeks, a month, 2 months, etc?  When do you finally say to yourself that it's time to move on or that you deserve an answer???  Should I just sit here indefinitely waiting for her to come around?  Certainly not..

For me, it's the not knowing that's so bad.  I know some of you will continue to say I'm only thinking of me, and I really don't mean for it to be this way.  I just wish I knew something and what I should do with myself.  However, without any feedback whatsoever from her I'm just stuck in limbo not knowing whether to move on or hang on....

I think what I've determined is that this comes down to my own insecurity with our relationship.  If we'd been together for years and this happened I don't believe I'd be feeling this way at all.  I'd know that she would be back when she was ready and just needed time with family to grieve.  I'm sure the communication lines would be more open as well if that were true.  However, because our relationship (thru is in it's infancy I'm scared at the thought of losing her and I believe that's my real problem here and I'm just grasping for straws, trying to read her mind, etc..

If a week or two goes by and I'm still getting no feedback I do believe I'll take it as though I should move on, but I hope it doesn't come to that..

I'm sure you all feel as though you're beating a dead horse here and I don't expect any further responses but I do thank you for your words of wisdom and honest sincerity.  I really mean it as you don't realize how much help you've all been to me..

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year..

- Christopher..

Comment #22

Yes - not knowing is a killer - but we really don't know about a lot of things - we just think we do.  That said, I'd kind of hang loose until next week - and then try to email and just say to her "I know you have a lot to deal with and I'd like to help. I truly care about you and what you are going through but I have no idea whats happening or what to do here.".

No - you should not wait indefinitely for communication - but really, what is a couple of weeks going to hurt you? That will give time for the initial shock to wear off and get past the holidays. you've said she is a 'once in a lifetime woman'. YOu know what that means for you. What are you willing to do for a 'once in a lifetime' woman?.

Knowing when to let go and when to hang in there is part of maturity. No one can tell you what your heart knows. That is what you should be following - your heart - not your fears, your insecurities or what anyone else says should be going on. If your heart tells you your a fool for letting her go - believe it. if your heart tells you to walk now, do it..

And if you don't know what your heart is telling you - asking all the people in teh world will not help. this is in you - and the answer lies in the silence and stillness that comes when you shut off your brain and esp. your fears..

Your heart will never lead you astray. Do what you won't regret..


Comment #23

Apparently she that type of person who is overwhelmed by her grief.  Her brother died very suddenly and without any sign that he had been injured that badly..

If she doesn't contact you soon, is there some way you can contact her?  Tell her that you are sorry for her brother's death and hope to hear from her soon.  good luck..

Comment #24

The loss of a beloved family member can be devastating and all-consuming.  I feel for you in your loss and am glad you are healing from it..

Fathers are a treasure and when they leave us, it is a huge loss..

I lost mine when I four.  My mom said I sat in my little rocker and rocked and rocked.  When my father was alive, he had rocked me when he would come home from work.  I guess I needed that little rocker. ..

Comment #25

Chris I understand what you are going through.  You feel left out of her life right now.  How can you possibly understand something that you have never experienced?  I don't think that you are being selfish.  All you want to know is if she is still interested in you as you are in her..

In a way, you have experienced the loss of a dear friendship when she shut you out on her life for awhile.  You are grieving and hurting.  So don't think that you are being a bad person for wanting to know if you still figure in her life as you once did..

Hang in there, she will come back.  good luck..

Comment #26

<< he was also grieving also during that time and was able to be in a relationship.    And we only knew each other for 2 months, as well.  So I cannot excuse her behavior.  >>.

That's completely different.   You guys bonded in your grief.   You had common ground.   You had someone to turn to who was also going thru the same thing.   Universal law of attraction ... like attracts like.  ..

Comment #27

Thanks - I am doing very well. I am happy and looking to the future though I still wish I could talk to my Dad, in a way I still do. Its different but life goes on. I know I'll see him again.


Comment #28

<< If a week or two goes by and I'm still getting no feedback I do believe I'll take it as though I should move on, but I hope it doesn't come to that. >>.

Well there, I think you answered your own question (in regard to how long to wait).  ;-).

Here's what I do know:   you cannot go wrong by simply offering your support and letting things be.  .

If you have her family's address, send a christmas bouquet the house.   It's a nice gesture and sometimes, in times like this, those little things can really mean a lot.   You know, the little things in life type of stuff.

In hindsight, if she can look back and say ... "you know, he was there when I needed him but let me have that space to grieve and just be alone, wow ... that really shows that he respected me and respected that difficult time in my life" ... then, you will know that it was all worthwhile.    .

Believe me, if you can do that ... respect her grief ... you will 'have her at hello' all over again.   But, if you can't or choose not to ...  if you make it about you or get impatient with her ... well, you might as well consider it over today. .

Lastly, remember ... the pain and grief a person experiences cannot be measured or equated to another person's grief.   We are all different and we all process differently.  .

Also, the closeness or impact experienced is not always equal.    Ie, I was more grief stricken when my HS friend died than when I lost my grandma who I was very close to growing up.   Sure, one would think that I'd be more upset over grandma ... b/c she's family ... but, grandma lived a long full life and we expect our grandparents to pass.  I didn't shut my BF out when my grandma died a couple years ago.   It was simply her time.  But, we don't necessarily expect one of our best friends when we are 18/19 yrs old to die so young and tragically.   It really shook me up.    Are there levels of grief?  You bet!   And you better believe that if she was very close to her brother, that she will be experiencing this very deeply.    ..

Comment #29

I think it makes sense by setting a time frame for you to move on.  But it's just my personal opinion, each person grief in a different way.  For myself, when I lost my brother, I kept myself isolated for a month and I never ever mentioned to my close friends, except my immediate boss due to the need to apply bereavment leave. .

It didn't mean that I don't trust my friends, it was just the ways I did and I didn't want to talk about this feelings with anyone at all.  Until almost half a year later, some friends asking me about my brother, then, I told them that he passed away.  I didn't want to guess or make assumptions that they might think I didn't trust them or leaned on them.  But, remember, everyone is different. .

If she loves you and if you guys are really meant for each other, she will still come back to you.  Maybe it will take a couple of months or half a year or maybe more.  If you move on and meet someone else you really like, that might possibly the way it meant to be!  Anyway, hope you can find your true love!.

Merry X'mas!..

Comment #30

My first exhusband is the one who I referenced in terms of bonding in grief.  My father died before his.  But, I wouldnt have made it through that first week if it werent' for him.  I clung to him even though his father didnt die yet. He helped to even out my mood/feelings.  He drove my mother and I to where my father died and waited all of those hours with us for the coroner to arrive and then he drove my mother's friend somewhere to make the funeral arrangements.  He took care of everything for my mother and I. .

In regards to Chris I think she just wants "out" for now.  I think even the pressure of him waiting would be too much for her..

Who knows?  Maybe she hooked up with an old boyfriend when she went home..


Comment #31

I understand what you are saying in terms of no two people behaving alike during tough times.  I still feel that even if you are in grief you dont get a "do not wrong"  pass to disregard your BF's  feelings or emotions.  I can understand withdrawing because we have all done that at one time or another.  But to say that her phone "broke" is b.s. (JMHO) and he should have gotten more than "I'll be in touch".  She should have beenhonest and say that she needed a break to come to terms with what happened to her family.  Now the poor guy doenst know what to do.  It seems immature to me, regardless of grief..

Yes, you are lucky that the people in your life treated you nicely.  If you think what my friends did was father's friends couldnt wait to get their hands on his tools and machinery...they had the nerve to ask my mother if she would like to give those items to them.  they were like vultures.  After my father died my mother's friends stopped calling to invite her out...because she wasnt' part of a "couple" anymore. Some still stuck by her but others were too shallow. .

My father died before my first exhusbands' (same guy) but I didnt shut him out at all.  He was a huge help to my mother and I the day my father died and making all of the arrangements and after the fact too.  I just feel Chris's girl wants "out" and doesnt want to say it.  I mentioned to starbuck that maybe in all of this turmoil she could have even met up with an old boyfriend back home who she would rather be with right now...who really knows?  None of us do. .

I agree that he shouldnt confront her with her behavior.  That is why I suggested that he do email her and ask if she'd like a break right now because he doenst want to pressure her. ..

Comment #32

I agree - she's just had a heart breaking loss.  You need to have empathy and consideration, not make self absorbed demands at a time like this.


Comment #33

This question was taken from a support group/message board and re-posted here so others can learn from it.


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