I love him. Is there hope for us?

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Hi Maryjane!

I’m currently in a long distance relationship with a guy I’ve known half my life. He and I reconnected six months ago and immediately hit it off.

However, he is currently in the final stages of a long, contested divorce, plus a young child I’ve never met. I simply adore this man; he has all the wonderful qualities I’ve been looking for in someone and vice versa but it has been gut-wrenching to see him process the pain of the divorce alone from so far away, not being able to do much for him. I have stepped back for now to give him time and space to heal from the stress of the situation, slowing things down. It feels like I came into his life at the worst possible time. He took a break from contacting me as regularly as he used to which made me very sad because it felt as if I had done something wrong. I had no idea how to relate to a divorcing man and was hesitant of anything I told him- afraid it would all come out wrong. Lately though, I feel hopeful because he has been initiating calling, sending pictures and texting me a lot more than usual! He leaves sweet voicemails and confides so much of his life to me. I’d say I’m a very confident lady, sweet and loving, and I make taking care of myself a priority. I have a strong, supportive circle of friends and family whom I spend time with. I have many other interests and am in school right now too, finishing a degree.

So my question is, do you believe he has missed me and is starting to turn the corner? Does it sound as if there may be potential and hope for us after all despite his painful circumstances?

Hello Heather,

First of all, I ‘love, love, love’ hearing that you are enjoying life, pursuing your goals, and surrounded with support. YAY!

 I honour the connection you feel with this man- I have no doubt the feelings are real and it may even be love. Feelings aside, I had so many warning bells going off in my head reading your beautiful and vulnerable share. Please know my advice comes not only from personal experience but those of countless clients I’ve supported in exactly the same situation you find yourself in.

Nice Gal’s often feel passionately in love within relationships that are filled with uncertainty and longing. They get a just enough from a man to keep them hooked and hopeful, but not enough to feel truly secure and satisfied. This keeps them coming back for more, trying harder to support and please, and over-giving.

They feel good because they are needed and he feels good because he’s supported and validated. Both receive a temporary feeling of fulfillment. 

The Nice Gal doesn’t realize that being needed or desired isn’t the same thing as being loved.

Eventually the imbalance and disparity become evident when the NICE GAL (NG) realizes she’s not a priority, he’s not invested in her happiness and commitment is nowhere to be seen. 

Deep down she believes, if a man feels good with her and see’s how loving, caring, funny, sweet, kind, generous and talented she is, he’ll realize he can’t live without her. It’s devastating, confusing and heart wrenching when she realizes everything she did wasn’t ENOUGH. She concludes, “I’m not good enough” and assumes  she’s done something wrong.

She accepts all the blame for any failures in the relationship, believing she hasn’t done enough to make it work. Feeling inadequate, she TRIES HARDER, GIVES MORE, and STRIVES TO BE PERFECT so a man will choose her and love her.  

This is the definition of loving too much. 

Loving even when he doesn’t love you back.

Loving him when he’s incapable of committing (because he lives too far away and sweetie he’s still married, broken and needy. This is the definition of UNAVAILABLE.)

Trying to change him with your love.

“Yearning isn’t love. If you’re filled with emptiness and longing without him, you’re loving him while abandoning you.”

Inconsistent, unavailable, addicted and emotionally broken men are very appealing to Nice Gal’s. WHY?

Winning over the DAMAGED OR DISTANT MAN, proves we’re lovable. If we can change him into a warm, loving partner, we can finally relax and trust we’re good enough. Plus, chasing a hard to get man is addictive. His unavailability and the insurmountable circumstances ignite passion, both equal parts of frustration and longing (think 90% of romantic movies).

Coupled together, those two emotions create a strong attachment and compelling desire for what the NG doesn’t yet have, but believes is promised.

The more impossible the situation the more passion a Nice Gal feels. This HOOKS HER into investing more in the relationship, when all reason tells her to walk away.

IN TRUTH, Heather (and I say this with kindness because I AM you and you’re not alone, broken, stupid or flawed- so many women make this very same mistaken unknowingly) …

You’re attraction is based on the unconscious agreement that you’ll GIVE and he’ll take. (I’d say receive but because you’re giving comes from fear, unmet needs and unworthiness, you can’t emotionally afford it. It’s selfish on his part and manipulative on yours.)

You’re relationship is based on neediness. He needs you to fill him up and make him feel good. And you feel good because he needs you.

It’s that simple.

“Being needed is a poor substitute for real love.”

It’s not the kind of mature, real love, I know if possible for you.

It’s time to ‘kick the habit’ of being addicted to men and playing the Nice Gal role of over-giver.

 If you don’t UNHOOK from your Nice Gal Pattern one of two things will happen.

You keep the illusion that your love can overcome anything and continue to fix, help and support him in the hopes he’ll love you into wholeness in return, and he’ll either:

… stay insecure and broken you’ll exhaust yourself holding him up


… he’ll get better and drop you because he no longer needs you  (i.e. he won’t feel attracted anymore)

The passion that ignited out of a desperate desire to be loved will have long faded. You’ll feel empty, angry, heartbroken and exhausted. My goal is to support you to avoid an unhappy ending and the hopeless cycle of seeking external validation outside yourself.


If he’s the right man for you, he’ll get his SH*T together and fix his mess, make a move and include you in his life. Call it bad timing if you want but my suggestion is that you let him go and find a man who meets your needs: a secure, committed, high quality man whose got his life together.  What I call a ‘ready made cake’ no baking, fixing up or decorating required; a man who is exactly what you want and need now and forever (pick your flavor!).

And please, celebrating all your strength and magnificence, dedicate some time and energy to heal your Nice Gal stuff sweetie so you don’t attract another version of the same thing.

Remember, you’re worth being loved. 





 P.S. If you relate and what I’m sharing makes sense to you, I invite you to JOIN A COMMUNITY OF NICE GALS all dedicated to no longer being nice, so they can be kind and feel loved. 

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