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So, for the last year I have been talking to a wonderful woman. We are both the same age (41) and hit it off very well from the start. Las summer, we admitted that we had crushes on each other, and a few months later we admitted that it was more than that. We fell in love with each other. Sounds great, right? Well here is where it gets complicated.

 

She still lives with her ex. They own a house together, and they agreed to do some renovations on it before selling, and going their separate ways. Despite multiple setbacks, the renovations are ongoing.

 

It's sort of a long distance thing. We live about an hour and a half drive apart. We have met up a few times when our schedules have allowed it. We hit it off great in person, over the phone, in messages. We made a deeper connection than I've ever felt in my entire life....and I was married for a decade!

 

OK...get to the point! So, recently she told me that she feels like she is holding me back from happiness by being unavailable so much. I don't feel like I'm being held back from anything. This woman is the woman I have waited my entire life to meet. Now I've finally met her....and because of unusual circumstances...I'm losing her.

 

Also, I should add that despite telling each other we love each other, and exchanging birthday and Christmas gifts. We had to consider ourselves "unofficially official" for the time being. I don't know what I'm doing. I'm probably not explaining it very well. Any advice is welcome. Thanks for reading!

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"she told me that she feels like she is holding me back from happiness by being unavailable so much"

 

Through her lack of actions (still living with ex after a whole year) and her words, very telling that she's just not that into you (fly away, pretty bird. It's been kind of fun, but you're not the one), yes, you're wasting your time.

 

Other women, with whom you could share chemistry with, exist in your locality and you're bound to meet one who is free to date without excuses. Do the footwork and find her.

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She wants out because she can't get out of her situation any time soon. She isn't getting what she needs out of the relationship because of her situation....in other words it's not enough for her, she's not happy, and wants to take a break. And maybe due to the fact it's a year later and the honeymoon phase is over...the excitement isn't there anymore. She isn't truly free to take that next step so she has lost interest. The only thing I can suggest is have a discussion about how she sees things....don't over ride the discussion with begging or say it can work...just listen to what she tells you.

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I can't help but get the sense that you're putting her up on a pedestal a bit. Sounds like you've got a nice connection, but circumstances haven't allowed you to actually cultivate it, so the appeal—the thing that really excites you—is as much as potential as it is reality.

 

Which is okay. That's basically dating, rather than being in a relationship. That you've only actually met up a few times—well, again, you two are dating.

 

I will say that when I hear someone say something like she said—the bit about holding you back from happiness—what I hear is someone trying to express a few things: namely, the recognition that your feelings may not be aligned, that she's not in a spot to give you what you really need. It sucks when people express it this way, since it's passive, and it puts the onus on you to either stay or go.

 

But me? Whenever I hear something like that I take it as a sign to step back a bit or at least press pause. You have to listen to what people say to you, and that's her truth right now. You can't convince her to believe in or feel something else. That just happens, or doesn't.

 

She's got a lot going on, that's for sure. Living with an ex, renovating a house with an ex—not an ideal circumstance for getting into a serious relationship. In your shoes I'd probably be stepping back a bit to let that play out. Doesn't mean you have to press the off button and bolt, but that you have to be cool with things moving slowly while accepting that she might not be the source of your happiness. I wouldn't close the door to others, in short, because that would be a set up for pain and imbalance.

 

And I'm not sure you're cool with that, since you're already professing the big stuff. Sounds like you're ready to be all in and she's not.

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I feel like there is more to this story...

 

What prompted her to tell you that she feels like she is holding you back from happiness by being unavailable so much? Were you complaining about the current situation, were you pressuring her to move out?

 

I believe that this is a situation where the feelings are not aligned. You are way more invested in this than she is.

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I feel like there is more to this story...

 

What prompted her to tell you that she feels like she is holding you back from happiness by being unavailable so much? Were you complaining about the current situation, were you pressuring her to move out?

 

I believe that this is a situation where the feelings are not aligned. You are way more invested in this than she is.

 

What prompted her to tell me this was a meeting with a mutual friend recently. Our mutual friend told us that she is moving from this area to be with her long distance BF and eventually marry him. My lady friend later told me that she isn't really into ideas like that.

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Does the ex know he is an ex?

 

When people are truly done with each other, they part ways and make it happen even if it's difficult. When you are looking at a year or more and many plausible sounding excuses for why nothing is changing, you really do need to consider that not all is kosher and either they aren't fully done with each other and their relationship yet...at best....or she is simply cheating at worst.

 

Are you wasting your time? Yes. Are you a little bit lost in the fantasy of who you image her to be? Yup. Truth is that you haven't spent enough time with her to know that she is the dream woman you think she is. When you have to hide and dance with words like unofficially official....you are fooling yourself....a lot.

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Are you wasting your time? Yes. Are you a little bit lost in the fantasy of who you image her to be? Yup. Truth is that you haven't spent enough time with her to know that she is the dream woman you think she is. When you have to hide and dance with words like unofficially official....you are fooling yourself....a lot.

 

Well put.

 

She is your dream woman, right now, because she is more dream than reality. You've seen her a handful of times, been seduced by some lofty professions.

 

But outside of that dream is a thorny reality that I think you're editing out a bit in favor of the fantasy. A lot of her energy right now—financial and emotional—is going into a home that she's living in and renovating with an ex. And, yes, a phrase like "unofficially official" isn't exactly the stuff of dreams after a year of knowing someone. And, well, if she's "not really into" the idea of people moving to be closer to cultivate an "officially official" romance, doesn't that leave you alone with a dream you'd prefer to share?

 

Bottom line? If what you want, right now, is a committed relationship, or even a relationship with someone committed to expanding and deepening a connection with you, she does not sound like she's in the head- and lifespace to offer that. I think she very much liked the crush, as crushes can be lovely salves during transitional moments. They're dreamlike, you could say, but they're not always preludes to a dreamy reality.

 

I'm around your age, so I certainly know that to date and connect at this juncture in life often means meeting people with some real life behind them. An ex-husband, a house, a child, and so on. But at the end of the day available is still available, and it's pretty easy to spot and feel, just as unavailable is pretty easy to spot and feel. What you're feeling right now, I think, is the latter.

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She has made it abundantly clear to me that he is an ex. No reconciliation
and yet
She still lives with her ex.

 

I don't know about you, but the last thing I would want to do with an ex would be renovate a home with them, never mind live there until it was done. I question whether he is as much of an ex as she says he is.

 

OP you are attracted to someone who is unavailable for a relationship... she has made no commitment to you, and has specifically told you she is unavailable. People don't change their minds and suddenly become available... this is where she is at right now and you can choose to continue floating along and being at her whim or you can choose to let it go, which will open the door for someone that does want to commit to being with you.

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Having been married before yourself I would think you would understand that the uncoupling of a marriage is typically a long and complex process.

 

They may be estranged somewhat and still in the same house, but they are still on some level working as team, running and fixing up a home and being roommates.

 

They may be emotionally separated, but they are still very much physically connected by being under the same roof. When it comes time to actually pull the trigger, it's rarely as easy as we think it's going to be.

 

It's been a year and there are no signs of her moving forward with you. Now with her second guessing the entire thing, I think you have no choice but to let go and move on.

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Yes. you are wasting your time. She is not separated. She is living with her ex. If they were separated and were getting the house ready to sell to settle the divorce, one or both would have moved out of the house. She very well could be lying to you. But even if she is not, you are lying to yourself. Find a never married woman or a woman who has been divorced for years

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People who value being available for a committed relationship do not let money/circumstances stand in their way. She would not be living there if she was ready to commit to someone else. The renovation excuse is just an excuse.

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I should clarify:

 

Her ex is an ex boyfriend, not ex husband. They were never married, but they do own the house together. Both of their names are on the mortgage.

 

Also, I was understanding at first,, because my ex wife and I split very amicably and remained friendly afterwards. We did not own a home, we rented, so it was an easier situation although we did live together for a bit afterwards.

 

Also, my life is a mess. This should be a sitcom.

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What prompted her to tell me this was a meeting with a mutual friend recently. Our mutual friend told us that she is moving from this area to be with her long distance BF and eventually marry him. My lady friend later told me that she isn't really into ideas like that.

 

Then you should really listen to what she is saying. SHE IS NOT READY. You two are on different frequencies feelings wise...

 

A year is too long to be "separated" and renovating a home to sale... seriously you haven't been told the whole truth.

 

Do yourself a favor and take some of the great advice you have been given here, stop wasting your time

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If I've learned anything, it's that words mean jack squat if not followed up with solid action.

 

She "told" you he is an ex, but what do her actions tell you?

 

Still living together, renovating their house together?

 

Only being available to meet up a few times in an entire year?

 

Goodness gracious, one would think she lived on a different continent, she is only an hour and a half away!

 

That's a daily commute to work every day for some people!

 

Something's not jiving here, perhaps they decided to experiment w an open relationship, who knows, but it's quite obvious, at least to me, they are still together and very much entangled with each other.

 

This would not be ok with me on any level, but your call.

 

Jmo but I don't see this ending well, I hope I'm wrong, best of luck.

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I should clarify:

 

Her ex is an ex boyfriend, not ex husband. They were never married, but they do own the house together. Both of their names are on the mortgage.

 

Also, I was understanding at first,, because my ex wife and I split very amicably and remained friendly afterwards. We did not own a home, we rented, so it was an easier situation although we did live together for a bit afterwards.

 

Also, my life is a mess. This should be a sitcom.

 

Well then....get a bucket, grab a mop.....

 

All joking aside, life is a mess because you are making poor choices, so the serious message here is get a grip and start making different choices. Take action. This woman you got involved is not single, not available and you've known this for quite some time. Lesson learned - next time someone isn't fully separated, you walk immediately. Who care is she is hot, fun, whatever. This is where you exercise common sense sensibility, opt to look at things objectively and step away politely with "I'd love to get to know you more so please call me when you are fully separated from your ex and free to explore another relationship. If/when you get there, feel free to call me." and then you walk away and date others.

 

Whatever else is going on - same thing. Stop waiting and start making better decisions. Take action one step one day at a time to turn your life from mess to solidly good.

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I get that it was humor, but I don't think you were totally joking. This part of your life—well, it is a bit messy, and it takes two to make a mess.

 

I completely understand the urge to be, well, understanding. But there's a fine line between being understanding and projecting—or even using a new situation to make sense of a past situation.

 

You lived with your ex-wife for a bit after the divorce—cool, whatever. That worked however it worked, or didn't. Point being, that's where you once were, not where you are today, so why go backwards?

 

I've made a number of choices romantically to get me where I am today, some wiser than others, and all have informed a level of compassion for the choices others make, including some pretty awful ones. But just because I maybe strung someone along when I was, say, 27 doesn't mean I want to be "understanding" of someone stringing me along today at 39.

 

Sometimes we get involved with people who don't pan out but who open us up. My gut says that's what this sorta relationship might be for both of you—a bittersweet thing to consider, I know, but also a path toward real sweetness that you don't need to dream about because it's just happening in reality.

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You seem to be quite casual about your idea of what a total package means in a partner so I'm going to apply a casual standard to your scenario. It's not going to help if I come at you from a lock down/marriage perspective. You're single, ready to mingle, found someone fun and on the same wavelength at your age. I get it. Move cautiously and have your fun. Expecting anything more than that is beyond you at this point because it might not be what you're looking for.

 

For what it's worth, at the basic level that it's at, I'd say go ahead and have your fun. This isn't going to progress anywhere and neither of you are hurting anyone. You don't seem hurried or bothered about her living situation or her availability. So who cares what else anyone thinks? You're just wasting your time and debating what you're doing seems like just something to do when you're bored. Enjoy.

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