Dear Stavroula

Ask Stavroula: My Boyfriend Disappears and Returns

Dear Stavroula,

I am divorced, 40 years old, and a while ago I had met through acquaintances a man a little older, who had persistently sought to go out with me to get to know each other better. When I agreed to go out with him, I had a lot of doubts, because from that first acquaintance I had the feeling that we were not a match. But he seemed to be excited about me and that continued the next time we met. Although I continued not to have similar feelings the 3-4 times we went out, I decided to give a chance to this relationship, maybe because I was fascinated by the way he treated me. He cared for me a lot, he made me feel special, he was extremely kind and generous and he kept telling me how happy he was to go out and how much he liked me from the first moment he saw me.

At some point, he started talking with great enthusiasm about the future of our relationship, about what we could do together and because I am more cautious by nature and do not like to take hasty steps, I explained to him that it is too early to talk about such ideas and issues. He made it clear to me that he was unhappy with my attitude and in the following days he avoided me, telling me that he was hurt and felt that I did not like him as much as he liked me. But on my birthday, we went out again and while everything was fine and nice, the next day he texted me that he wants us to break up and not communicate again, because he thought it over again and we are different people. He blocked me from his social media and, of course, he did not answer my phone calls. I could not understand why this happened, what I had done wrong and I felt frustrated and hurt, because I really thought I had found someone who cared about me. He called me again a few days later apologizing for his behavior and telling me that without realizing it I was telling him things that bothered him. But now I do not know what to do. If I start going out with him again will the same thing happen again and will he suddenly disappear again?


Dear Despina,

Many times people with great insecurity display this kind of behavior. At the beginning of a relationship they appear excited, deify their partner with their comments, and very quickly make plans for the future.

But in reality it is not the other person who causes them such feelings. It is an attempt to improve the image they have of themselves. Choosing an "excellent" partner, people who feel inadequate, temporarily recognize value in themselves. But this does not last long, because in a paradoxical way they will have to prove to themselves again that they are not worthy, and therefore their choices are not worthy either. And then they gradually begin to put down the partner they initially presented as ideal. At this stage they may disappear, try to make their partner feel bad or even blame her for their own unseemly behavior.

If something similar happens in your case, then there is a good chance that these behaviors will be repeated. However, regardless of the attitude of the person you are interested in, I would like to make two remarks.

First, you have a relationship with someone who made you feel special and not with someone who was special to you. What was behind your need to do this?

Secondly, you were disappointed and saddened when this person left your life, because you "lost" a person who cared about you and not because you lost a person important for your life, for whom you had deep feelings. Perhaps it would be good to reconsider your role in this relationship, as well as what this relationship can really offer you.

And perhaps it would help a great deal to rediscover your relationship with yourself, because that would help you understand what you are really looking for in a partner.


Dear Stavroula, I am married to a wonderful man, who was born in the United States to Greek parents.


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