Dear Jewish Fairy Godmother:
I’m a 21 premed student. The moment I saw Abby I was in love. I
knew that this was the girl I wanted to spend my life with. Things went
well and progressed. We talked every day (we live an hour apart) and
were dating a month later. She is three years younger, and was
worried about her mother so we kept the relationship secret for a few
months. I made many romantic gestures (like leaving flowers on her
car). When I did meet her parents, they really liked me, enough to
invite me to their upcoming wedding anniversary dinner. Abby and I
spoke about a future together, kids and a life. She’s my Jewish
Then tragedy struck. A child she had grown up next door
died in a car wreck; two days later Abby fainted and started feeling ill.
She said she needed to take some time to focus on her. I have not
been able to sleep since this happened. I want her back I only have
one chance to do so. I am willing to do what ever it takes to try.
Desperate indeed. I understand you have fallen in love. But I am less
clear that she has. She is 18 and has suffered a shock plus is sick. Cut
her some slack. It is of course possible that she’s using these events
to create some distance from you beyond the hour that you live apart.
But assuming that she too took the relationship seriously, and
contemplated having a life with you, she is just getting out of high
school and you have med school and internship/residency ahead of
you. That’s a very long haul to adulthood for both of you, so it seems
premature to assume you’re going to mate for life and live happily
ever after based on a few months of dating.
Give Abby the space she’s clearly asking for. Showing her respect is a
necessary condition for a successful relationship. You can email or text
her regularly, and call when she says she’s receptive. You can mail
(yes old fashioned snail mail!) cards or small gifts. You should let her
clearly know the ball is in her court to initiate time together, but that you think about her and care about her. Ask her how you can best
help her with the various issues she’s grappling with. Then heed what
she says. Don’t become a pest or a stalker. You cannot will someone
to love you. You can only earn it by being the sincerely loving and
caring your man that you profess to be. If it’s right, she’ll come
around, and you’ll have plenty of time to make a go of it. Don’t rush
her or the process.