Boyfriend stopped calling


Boyfriend stopped calling


your avatar   Sunshine (41 year-old woman)

Just when I thought everything was going right (compatible, no arguments, etc.), the man I was dating stopped calling and emailing out of the blue! He makes up excuses not to come see me with no good explanation. What is going on?


    Jef Gazley, M.S., LMFT, LPC, LISAC, DCC

Dear Sunshine,

Although men are often expert at this behavior, women also can run away with the best of them. The problem is that the way most of us are brought up tends to make this behavior common. It is simply a lack of individuation that occurs because of uneven parenting. It is also a hold over in my opinion to when men worked outside the home and women inside. This caused parents to be split and estranged from each other. It also meant that children often grew up with an abandoning father and an enmeshing or smothering mother who was left at home. That is often why women over pursue men and men often run away and have commitment issues.

It is a cliché that before you can be in a healthy love relationship you at first must be in love with yourself. This is a very true cliché. For someone to be loved they have to love themselves. But to love themselves they have to be first truly loved and cherished by their parents. Parents often feel love for their children, but it is much rarer to show the action of love. This means treating a child in a healthy, non-judgmental way. Often parents are too perfectionistic or have too many needs of their own to show that type of love. Even if they do, we live in such a perfectionistic culture that children often do not feel that they measure up.

Whenever a child feels abandonment from one or both of their parents, they internalize the hurt and the result is a feeling of not being good enough to be loved. This feeling is the feeling of shame. Even if parents are relatively healthy and loving, a child can feel tremendous abandonment if their parents get divorced, if a parent is alcoholic, or if they simply work too much and do not spend the amount of quality time a child needs. This often leads to a deep emotional belief that they are unlovable. Later, they might consciously realize that they are loveable and in turn desire real love. Consciously they look for healthy love, but subconsciously they search out just those people who are incapable of showing real love. This is called a repetition compulsion. This problem becomes worse if the child has been physically, emotionally, or sexually abused.

They find true love boring and yearn for people to treat them poorly, which confirms their feelings of being unlovable. They often become addicted to these abusive relationships and feel that they cannot live without them. They become intensity junkies instead of trying to experience true intimacy. Finding partners who cannot commit is just a variation on this theme. What I would suggest to you is to get into therapy yourself. Develop a loving relationship with yourself before looking for someone else. After that is done, then go very slow and look for a good relationship and a healthy partner.

After this part is done then you must learn how to tell health from immaturity. In general healthy people do not need much. They take care of themselves emotionally and in most other ways, but feel more than ready to get close to others. They are in touch with their feelings and can talk about them spontaneously. They focus on the other person a lot, but not to fulfill their needs. They seem genuinely in the moment and interested in the other. There is a sense of calm about them and they do not play games. You don't have to guess what they are thinking or feeling because they tell you. That is why it seems boring at first because people with intimacy issues both love and hate the games and see love as a desperate challenge. It confuses them that real mature, healthy love is so calm. That does not mean it isn't deep and passionate. It is, but still calm. It should build slowly; most people confuse love with overwhelming need at first and see the desperate type of love as real love.

Jef Gazley

This question was answered by Jef Gazley M.S. Jef has practiced psychotherapy for twenty-five years, specializing in Love Addiction, Hypnotherapy, Relationship Management, Dysfunctional Families, Co-Dependency, Professional Coaching, and Trauma Issues. He is a trained counselor in EMDR, NET, TFT, and Applied Kinesiology. He is dedicated to guiding individuals to achieving a life long commitment to mental health and relationship mastery. His private practice locations are Scottsdale and Tempe, Arizona. You can also visit Jef at the internettherapist, the first audiovisual mental health online counseling center on the net.For more information visit:


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Naomi Judd
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