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PLEASE help - I don't know what to think!!

Bella Jordan

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I've been dating my boyfriend Caleb for 3 months. When we met, we had each just relocated to our hometowns (about an hour apart) to spend time with our families in between jobs. Caleb is an actor who has been living in NYC for the past 4 years and, having decided to move to LA this coming February, he opted to come back to Virginia in August in order to spend time with his family and save up cash for the move. I came back in July under similar circumstances - I left my job in Memphis in June and, with my lease about to expire, I opted to return to Virginia to visit my family until I could make a decision about a possible career change.


I met Caleb through a mutual friend/acquaintance 2 months ago. We fell in love instantly, and it was unlike anything either of us had experienced before. We've both been in just one long-term, committed relationship before, and they ended in a lot of heartache and bitterness for both of us. (Both of our ex's left us for other people.) After our first official date the next day, we stayed up talking the entire night. He told me that he had never had this feeling about someone before...that it just felt "right", and that I was someone he could see himself being with "for a really long time."From there on out, we continued to spend almost every day and night together. Two weeks into the relationship, he told me he loved me. A week later, he asked me to marry him. At the risk of sounding like a hopeless romantic, I felt like I'd finally met the man I could share my life with. And for a cynic like me, that says a lot!


The obvious rub was the fact that Caleb had already committed to moving to Los Angeles. This had come up several times in conversation, usually with him suggesting I consider moving out to LA with him to pursue my career. I didn't feel that this would be much of a sacrifice on my part as I had and have no interest in returning to Memphis and am completely open in terms of my career and a potential move. I told him I would consider it, but in the meantime we opted to drop the subject altogether in favor of spending as much time together as possible until the time came for one of us to make a decision.


Then, suddenly 2 weeks ago, Caleb and I fell into an argument about what would happen in February. Unfortunately, we'd been out with friends and had a bit too much to drink. He became angry and insisted that I shouldn't be spending so much time together because he felt responsible for me putting my career on the back burner - that I was prioritizing him too much and should instead be focusing on my own career. He said that he knew he needed to be focusing on his career more as well. He also brought up financial issues - Caleb works as a bartender in the town in which I live and, unfortunately, is pretty much living from paycheck to paycheck. This is nothing new for him, as his family has never supported him financially and, upon his graduation from high school 7 years ago, he became solely responsible for his own livelihood in every way. I, however, have had a very different family and financial experience and have never struggled in the manner that he has. (This resilience and determination, I should point out, is quite possibly his most attractive quality and the thing I admire most about him.) Despite growing up in towns just 60 miles apart, we come from very different backgrounds.


When we spoke a couple of days later, he apologized for the fight and told me he was just scared because he'd fallen so hard so fast and didn't know how everything was going to work out. I also found out he'd been trying to text and call me to talk to me, though I never received them due to technical difficulties. We talked for an hour and a half and finally came to a mutual decision - we would stop spending every waking moment together so that we would each have the opportunity to put the focus back on our careers for a bit. I knew this was something we both needed to do, but it proved to be far more difficult for me than I anticipated. Being the over-analyzer that I am and having come out of my previous relationship as the jilted lover, I began to wonder if this all was just some excuse to pull away from me slowly because he'd changed my mind. We continued to spend time together until this past Friday, when I ran into him at a bar with his co-workers. When I walked in, I saw him sitting beside a girl wearing the jacket I had given him for Christmas, at which point I proceeded to take out all my anger and frustration on him. Unfortunately, this is a bar that he works at on occasion, so everything was witnessed by his co-workers and even his boss. I later found out that the girl wearing the jacket was his boss's daughter, and that his boss had actually requested that he allow her to borrow it. He text me the next day to say that he was furious and that I'd really acted out, then informed me that he really couldn't talk to me at that time. He also stressed that I had embarrassed him in front of his co-workers and boss. Allowing for the inability of text messaging to accurately convey my sense of regret, I immediately wrote him a letter in which I apologized profusely, attempted to explain my uncharacteristic behavior and asked for his forgiveness. I called the next day but got no answer. He finally returned my call at 11:00 that night after he'd left work. We talked for half an hour, during which I discovered that he was still extremely angry and not yet ready to forgive. At this point, I decided to just give him his space and allow him time to cool down. He ended up drunk dialing me the following night at 3 in the morning. The conversation was very breezy, but of concern to me was the obvious level of inebriation. I drove to his place the next morning to check on him, but he refused to answer the door. He later called asking me why I came over and asked that I please leave him alone. I told him I was confused and that all the hot/cold behavior of his was giving me whiplash; apparently, he had no recollection of calling me the night before. He was unapologetically uncivil on the phone, at which point I informed him that he need not call or text me again, and that we were "done." At this point, I had resigned myself to the relationship - and the engagement - being over. To my surprise, he sent me a text message several hours later saying he really had no idea he had called the night before, but that he wanted "some time with no contact." I told him that I didn't need him to keep punishing me for what I'd said and done because I had punished myself enough and that I was just exhausted with apologizing over and over again, all the while knowing I can't make him forgive me. He replied that he "just need[ed] some time to just get over this." I told him I'd respect his wishes and that I'm here when and if he wants to talk.


At this venture, I am so completely and utterly confused and devastated. Upon learning of the break up, our friends have all expressed complete shock and surprise - that they can't imagine where all this is coming from because he "is so into me." I've considered the possibility of another woman but have been informed by our mutual friends that this is "definitely not the case." What's so difficult for me to understand is that we were discussing out hypothetical life together in LA just a day before the initial argument. I genuinely have no idea what to think nor what to do. I do want to give him the space he's requesting, as I feel like any attempt to contact him on my part might constitute his feeling pressure on mine. While I understand that I cannot force him to forgive me, I am still astonished that he remains this angry one week later, so much so that he cannot bring himself to talk to me on the phone or even utter one civil word.


I've tried to be as patient as possible - at least more so than I have been under similar circumstances in past relationships - and his circumstances with his family are a huge contributing factor. In short, Caleb has had no one he could count on throughout his entire life. His adopted parents are not the best of people, and his biological mother didn't reappear in his life until he was 18 years old. I know that he thought of me as someone who wouldn't let him down, and I feel terrible that I've done just that.


I have no idea what to expect. I can't eat. I can't sleep. And I've been sick to my stomach since this all happened. Most of all, I hate that I've become the girl that sits by her phone waiting for him to call. Though I'm trying to move forward with my life, the state of limbo in which I now find myself has become unbearable.

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I think we could provide more insight if you convey the actual extent of what you did in the bar. I don't really get the sense that anything else is going on, but I can say that such a quick proposal is a volatile thing and honestly believe that people need to get over the scientifically proven (lol) honeymoon phase (at LEAST) before they agree to marry eachother. What I am saying is that this type of relationship may involve some irrational behavior. He may have just been very turned off by your actions and assumptions at the bar.

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I think we could provide more insight if you convey the actual extent of what you did in the bar. I don't really get the sense that anything else is going on, but I can say that such a quick proposal is a volatile thing and honestly believe that people need to get over the scientifically proven (lol) honeymoon phase (at LEAST) before they agree to marry eachother. What I am saying is that this type of relationship may involve some irrational behavior. He may have just been very turned off by your actions and assumptions at the bar.


Unfortunately, I was dealing with some other painful issues with my family and had had far too much to drink that night. (Not that this is an excuse nor an efficient or safe means of coping with the issues, but I feel that this information is relevant to the situation.) I had no idea he would be at the bar when I arrived and, upon seeing him sitting beside the girl who was wearing his jacket, I proceeded to sit far away on the other side of the bar with my brother, who had accompanied me that night. Caleb tried to get my attention and began shaking his head, as if to say, "it's not what you think, and there's nothing going on with the girl who's wearing my jacket." I ignored him and proceeded to talk to my brother and some friends. After the bar closed, I went out to my car where I happened to run into Caleb. I don't remember much of what was said, but I do remember him telling me that I was misreading the situation and that I had a "hostile attitude." He later told me that I said some pretty awful things, and I have to bear in mind that Caleb is a very proud man and I know that it wouldn't have taken much to hurt his feelings.


I feel absolutely awful about my actions, especially because I know that this is such uncharacteristic behavior for me. I explained that I'd been internalizing a lot of feelings about a lot of the things going on in my life, and seeing her wearing his jacket (albeit, misinterpreting a situation that did NOT warrant my rage) was just the catalyst that set off my tantrum. I've apologized as best I can and tried to respect his need for time to get over his anger. I'm just completely terrified that I've ruined everything, and it's killing me.

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Hmmmm. Well, this is the bad thing about moving so quickly. If it ends, it's quite devestating considering the short length of the relationship.


I think it is understandable that you misinterpreted what was going on. It does not look good when you see some girl sitting next to your guy, wearing his jacket. But you should have given him a chance to speak a few words & set the story straight.


I would apologize again. It's an unfortunate misunderstanding in which you overreacted & he overreacted. He was probably embarrassed by your actions but it's only an occasional bar job after all, & he is moving in a month anyway. I would tell him you are willing to try again, if he is willing too. That is, if you want to try again.

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