Dear Thelma: Why do girls ignore me after getting to know me?


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Dear Thelma,

I'm so hurt by someone whom I got to know through a mutual friend but we've never met in real life.

I've known this person for almost nine months now.

Recently, on my birthday, she surprised me by sending me a video to wish me a happy birthday. I was happy at first because we had a connection but somehow, after a while, things seemed so off.

We never talk on the phone but I already am too attached to her character and personality.

She's not in town so it's like a long-distance situation.

The point is she always says I don't understand what she is trying to say. I admit I'm slow to understand but I make an effort to try to understand and am always the one who keeps the conversation going. It drains my energy and my mental health when she suddenly gives me the silent treatment. This has happened many times. After one or two weeks, she would reach out to me.

I didn't push or whatever, and just assumed nothing happened because I didn't want to argue with her or create any drama. But I'm hurt and sad at the way she treats me, to be honest.

What should I do? It's hard for me to share this with our mutual friend since she did tell me she doesn't want to get involved. I'm stuck.

I've always faced this kind of situation where girls always ignored or dumped me once they get to know me and become bored with the way I treat them. Your advice is needed.

Stuck and stupid

Dear Stuck,

Sending a happy birthday video was a sweet thing to do, and I can see why it made you happy. It suggests you have a connection.

However, I'm wondering what you expect from this relationship.

You use the word "dump" which suggests romance. If that's the aim, then I suggest that nine months of texting without a voice call or actually meeting up is an issue. Relationships die when you don't take them to the next level.

But if you are looking for casual online friendships only, then that's different, and we should move on to the other points you make.

There are misunderstandings, you are afraid to be open about your feelings, you get the silent treatment, you are the one making all the effort, and you think this may be a bigger issue than just one woman.

Are all your friendships made and kept online? Because if they are, I'm wondering if the miscommunication is due to the method.

We text all the time, and therefore we forget that it's a lot harder to communicate in writing than it is face to face. We miss body language, mood, atmosphere – and even punctuation can impact hugely on the message.

How do you get along with girls when you meet them face to face? If that goes well, then either improve your texting or start video/voice chatting.

If you have misunderstandings in person too, is the issue that you don't communicate your expectations and your feelings?

In relationships, everyone needs to be on the same page. For example, I would talk to you quite differently if I knew if you were after friendship or romance. That's basic. So the girls you talk to may think you're being friends when you want romance, or the other way around. Always be clear about what you want.

In addition, talking about your emotions is vital. There are no mind-readers.

Most of us are happy talking about joy and satisfaction, but are a bit shy about discussing discomfort and hurt. It comes down to a choice: if you don't speak up, the difficulties continue. But if you bite the bullet, you have a chance of working it out and getting along better.

It does not need to be complex. A straightforward,"I'm happy about X" and "I'm worried about Y" is enough to open communication. Also, the more you do it, the easier it gets. So, embrace the learning curve!

Issues like feeling you're being punished by silence, and having to make all the running come under discussing your feelings and figuring out what you want from the relationship.

Boundaries are important. You aren't obliged to exhaust yourself. When you find it draining, stop. It is not solely your obligation to keep a relationship alive. It should be mutual effort.

This is tricky, though, because friendships are always evolving. We grow at different rates and in different directions, so sometimes we drift away from people.

Sometimes you're closer some months or years than at other times. Also, not all friendships last forever. If you find common ground disappearing, it's OK to call it a day and move on.

So, in short: always be honest and open about your expectations and feelings. If you are drained, take a break. And finally, if you want romance, then avoid stagnation and keep deepening the relationship.

I hope this helps you make effective change.

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