Dear Thelma: I like her, but does she like me?

Dear Thelma: I like her, but does she like me?

Dear Thelma,

I got to know this woman through the Internet, but I haven't met her in person yet. I am in love with her and would like her to be the one in my life. She is very busy at work. I don't know whether she is sincere or not, as she has a lot of friends. How can I know whether she is loyal to me, as I only communicate with her through e-mail and phone?

Danny

It is difficult to ascertain from your letter what her feelings are for you. This is because there is no information on how long you have known each other. Also, you have not revealed why you love her. What aspects of her drew you to her? Out of all the profiles available on the Internet, why did you choose her? Have you shared your feelings about her and your thoughts about your future together?

Also, what are her feelings for you? Has she revealed this to you? What are her conversations with you like?

There is no doubt that you can fall in love with a person without meeting him or her. In fact, this kind of relationship may be more "sincere" as your feelings are not inspired or affected by physical attributes. Far too often, people confuse physical attraction for romantic love and the confusion leads to disastrous events.

But, what reasons do you have to doubt her loyalty? You say she has a lot of friends. What does this mean?

Do you expect her to be with you and you alone? Or, do you expect her to be close only to you? It is very important for you to be clear about this.

As much as people in love think that they are all each other needs, it is extremely unhealthy. There is no question that the two people concerned must be close. This means the ability to talk to each other freely without fear of repercussion. Closeness also means that in time, you will learn enough about each other's behaviour, tone of voice, use of language and small variations in body language to ascertain what that person's mood is. You cannot read the other person's mind; and neither can that person read yours. You can only hope for an educated guess.

A healthy relationship means that the two persons concerned are able to have healthy and meaningful relationships - friendships and family bonds - outside of the said relationship. There should be no jealousy or any reason to doubt the other person.

Developing this kind of relationship takes time, maturity and trust. But, to start it off, there needs to be communication. Talk to her - by e-mail or phone - and be open and honest with her about the way you feel. Share with her your hopes for the future. The best way to know if she feels the same way about you is to ask her.

It will be tempting to try and figure out what she is doing, who she is meeting, where she is going via Facebook or other forms of social media. Gather all your strength to make sure you do not do this. This is a sure fire way of sabotaging your relationship with her. It is a betrayal of her trust in you and your relationship.

And, despite your reasons for wanting to avoid it, you have to meet with her in person. No matter how good a person is at writing or communicating on the telephone, there is nothing like speaking to someone face to face. Their facial expressions and body language will speak volumes and often will tell you more than what mere words can.

If you do love her, you have to trust this relationship you have built with her and bite the bullet. You will never know until you find out.

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