Why did she end the relationship?

We chat at 1 p.m.

Dear Meredith,

I am a man in my late 30s, and I met a lovely woman in her early 30s. Things were great between us for the first few months, and we talked about the future. She saw my family many times and I went to visit hers. Things became a bit stressed with work changes and her studying for a PhD, which took up a lot of her time affected our intimacy for a while, but I knew it was a temporary period and that we'd adjust.

After eight months, she told me she had an eating disorder and that she was going for treatment. She said the disorder, which I had no idea about, was a burden and that she needed to do something. I said I supported her and wanted her to be healthy. She said she "doesn't do" vulnerability and hated talking about the problem. Then she said she wouldn't be surprised if I wanted to take a break because of it.

I didn't know what she meant by that, but assumed she felt bad about the condition, and I said I was there to give her support in any way I could. She also said it would be best for me to not to contact her as she does the program. After a while, we communicated normally while she was there. Before she left, she said I was wonderful. She wrote a card saying she was looking forward to our future. Days after returning, she ended the relationship saying we weren't a match. I am heartbroken. Can you explain what has happened here?

– Looking for answers


I can't tell you exactly what happened here, but she sort of did, didn't she? She thinks you're wonderful, but she doesn't believe you're a match. She's also showing you (even if she isn't telling you) that she wants to learn to be healthy on her own. She's gone through a lot, and tending to a relationship might be too much work right now.

All you can do is tell her that you respect her decision, and that you'd be happy to hear from her if she changes her mind. You can even tell her that she's wonderful, too. After that, walk away.

I know you're confused by her communication, but it is possible to care for someone and then realize they're not the right partner for you. It's also possible that in your relationship, that earlier moment of stress – the one that affected intimacy – was the first sign that things weren't meant to be. Allow yourself to be heartbroken, but believe that this woman knows what she wants.

– Meredith

Readers? What do you think?