My guy is giving up on us due to timing, diff. in family background & mindset. What should I do?

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-10-2002
My guy is giving up on us due to timing, diff. in family background & mindset. What should I do?
Mon, 06-24-2013 - 3:00am

Hi everyone... it's a bit long!

I'm going through a break-up (which happened 4 weeks ago) with my guy due to 3 reasons - timing, difference in family background and difference in mindset. It seems he couldn't handle the situation and needed some time to figure things out/ or simply escaping from this...
Btw.. I'm Chinese.. so I might not be writing perfect English, hope you guys wouldn't mind :)

I'm 27 and he's 30 - been together for 5 months. I knew it's a young relationship but I could tell we were being super serious about it (met his parents and friends... everyone knows we're exclusive). However, our timing went wrong - he's agreed to work overseas (from Hong Kong to Australia, from Aug 13 to Aug 14, just a year) before we met so he had to go away 2 months later, our time was limited and we didn't make things right.

He's a very simple person, which I can't tell if it's his advantage or disadvantage. He was purely trying to pursue trust, confidence, common goals btw us in just  5 months. Of course we failed to do it - it was such a rush and he didn't understand too much about the difference btw us at the beginning....  it's later became a big part of his hesitation and caused all these results.  I've tried my very best to make things work. It's just impossible to pursue so much in such a short period anyway.
I believe everything could be worked out and make him understand me if we had more time to do it. He seemed to lose confidence in himself & hesitates if we should go long distance for a year/ if we should stop now and re-start when he returns.
More information about the backgrounds and mindset...
I'm the only child from a middle class family and I have a stable office job with reasonable career prospects. My parents are being quite strict about my behavior, and has high expectations on me. They always over-estimate what I can do and who I would date. Like, they  tried to break me and my ex(es) apart whenever I dated someone that they didn't like. They are expecting me to meet someone very decent and I kinda think my life is being controlled & I couldn't do anything on my own. I've stopped dating anyone for a year until I met this guy. I think he's a nice person to be with and we were so in love. More information... one of my ex came from a very wealthy family and my parents were still not satisfied about it, so, I'd decide to forget about what they say about my dates.....

He came from a bit of a grass root level family (parents divorced when he was very young, and he lived with his grandparents since then... they didn't let him goto college and asked him to move out when he turned 18 - so he could not find decent jobs. And for now, he's a salesperson in retail shops) He's a simple, optimistic person, treats me well, and he wants to settle down for me. He had a perfect picture in his mind, however, it's not possible to make it happen in just 5 months before his departure for the 1-year overseas job. And it seemed to scare him off by knowing more and more about me... I feel bad cos it's like I broke his simple plan - all he wanted is to go on with me happily but he's never imagined to face so many problems on the way, and he escaped.

There's kind of a big communication gap between as and I'm not sure if I am just struggling to keep writing him and to put us back together. I really don't know if I drove him away by all the differences. It was really happy to be with him. I'm not looking for a luxury life at all - I think we are good enough to be together in a reasonable lifestyle with what we got now but he seems to think I'm not satisfied and told me I could "find someone better, more suitable for you"....

I told him about my parents and my career prospects at the beginning. He didn't really understand what I do for a living (I'm a fashion buyer), it seems that he thoguht I'm a junior clerk with no prospects, and said I'd better look for a better job. I didn't further explain to him as I thought it was not important. He seemed confident at the beginning until two months later, he kept questioning about my career and asked if I could afford to move out together when he comes back next year, I said yes, of course, and explained to him what I really work at. Then, he seemed to be shocked and never talked about my work again.

Later he asked if he could meet my parents (as I said, parents were trying to control how I behave and control who I date). I told him that I needed some time to figure it out as my parents are difficult to deal with. He didn't understnad how difficult they are. I tried to explain for a few more times and he seemed to understand a little and stopped trying.

My parents knew about my relationship as I went on a 3 days overseas trip with this guy 2 months ago. My mom's gone mad ever since and started questioning about my life, my future, why would I choose this guy, what bad influences will he bring me etc etc. (she questioned every 2 or 3 days, even if I return home at midnight...) I was going under a lot of pressure and I kept them all to myself cos I don't wanna influence my relationship... I was being a little bit moody since 2 months ago and my mom was trying to talk me into breaking up with this guy. I felt like a mess but still trying to be a cheerful girlfriend to my guy, everything went okay till a month ago.

My guy has requested to meet my parents up again last month (a few days before the break up) and I told him a little about what my mom did to me (not too much details). I guess it further broke his perfect picture apart. He told me he's not confident to go on a few days after.

It's been almost a month. I've been texting him 1-2 times a week to gently explain myself (that there's nothing to do about my parents, and told him how sincere I am to him) but he refused to talk about the problems.
As time goes by, I realized it might be better to go on a pause, NC for a little longer before I reach out to him again. So I've told him that I was gonna delete him off  phonebook / social media sites for real NC, and I might sound annoying to him if I keep struggling without giving him any space. (I've done that last weekend) 
I think he still cares about me as he still checks out my stuffs.. he's even changed his nickname to "Struggler".......................

It's a really difficult situation for me. I think I can never get any relationships work if I keep living under my parents' control. I can either choose to please my parents or to follow my heart in the future.
I'm 27 and I think I'm old enough to make a move - what I'm deciding is to move out, so everything can be easier.

I do not know how to deal with this relationship. It's obvious that we both still care about each others.
What I'm planning to do is to write him an e-mail (after a bit of NC) in mid July, to express how I feel about the relationship and what I would do in the future, make him trust that it can work (in details)

Is this just a dead end which I'm just struggling to try to get his response...? 
Is it really a good idea to write him again? Or just leave it?

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999

I think you should stop trying to contact him because you can't make someone want a relationship with you even if you want to be with him.  Most of the people I work with are Chinese or from Hong Kong, so I can understand that family relationships there are more "old fashioned" than most Americans would have now.  I think it's good for you to move out of your parents' home so they will stop controlling who you date.  I also think that you should be realistic about whether you will be happy if the man you want to be with has less of an education and makes less money than you do.  It sounds very romantic to say that you can live a simple lifestyle, but if you get married and have children, you also might regret it.  For now, since he's going to be gone for a year, maybe the most you can hope for is to be friendly and communicate by email, but not try to keep up the long distance relationship. Then when he comes back, you can see how things go--but you should date other people in the meantime.

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-20-2009

I see everything wrong about this "relationship" and nothing that's right.  First, it's only 5 months, and you two don't even know each other yet, and you even say that he doesn't understand what you do for a living.  Your parents are obviously not happy with ANYONE you date, so why are you even trying to please them.  You are a grown woman, and the time has come when you have to live your life the way you WANT to live it.  Are you still living at home?  If so, then it's time to move out and live on your own.  As Music lover said, you cannot FORCE this guy to want to be with you.  Again, in barely five months, not only does he not know you, you don't know him.  It takes a lot longer than that to decide if you're compatible......but it shows early if you're NOT compatible, and it has already shown that you're not......but you choose to ignore all the signs.  He's leaving in just over a month and will be gone for a year.....that's a good time for you to start looking at yourself and your priorities.  If he wanted to be with you, he would be.  You can explain yourself all you want, nothing is going to change.  As the old saying goes, you are "beating a dead horse"!  You can beat it all you want to, but it's not going to come back to life!!!  Since it seems impossible to please your parents, then stop trying to please them, and start living your life as an adult.

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-16-2008

Agree with both Music and Fissatore, except in the OP's defense (having worked and lived in Hong Kong), it is so insanely expensive to buy/rent (e.g. a 350 sq. ft. apartment in a moderately good location can cost around US$750,000), it is not uncommom for even grown people to live with their family.

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-10-2002

Thanks everyone!! I spent some time alone and reviewed everything yesterday night... my main problem is probably on my parents lol

Yes, I'm currently looking for my own flat, gonna move out no matter what. I just can't stand being over controlled by my parents anymore. They've kind of ruined my social life/ vacations/ relationships since my early 20's by doing all sort of crazy stuff to me. Looking back, I haven't really enjoyed anything in the past few years.

This time, there were probably signs that I was in a relationship so I failed to hide it and stay peaceful. My mom's gone mad and totally ignored my privacy by reading my un-opened letters (statements) back in April - that was how she found out about my trip and questioned about the relationship. She just kept questioning why was I the one to make the flights and hotel bookings. She might be right in some sort about the money (which l'll mention later...), however,  whatever she did gave me lots of unecessary pressure, and I got enough of that. She even kept track of my money and asked me to spend my savings by going back to school to avoid "hanging out with this unecessary guy"..... no matter what, she shouldn't say these since I'm not 16 anymore...

Regarding the relationship with this guy. You're right. I might not want to be with someone that was not on the same page as I do. And I might not be generous enough to pay for his stuff in the future unless there's really a change money-wise.
He might notice such differences between us and he's done a lot to try to be in the same page as me in those months... I could see his efforts, however those things he did were plain shallow and not workable in my mind... like:

I do goto fancy restaurants but maybe just once or twice a month. He tried hard to please me by going to fancy restaurants on every date which made me feel uneasy (obviously, it was not where he could afford to go every few days)
And I do save up for a big 1-2 weeks overseas trip once or twice a year, everything is being planned, no ad-hoc trips are welcomed in my mind (I guess this is normal???). However, this guy thought I should go to Taiwan with him in May, and Thailand in August before his departure. And he worked his axs off (full time job plus an extra part time job) from March to May to earn money for the trip. I thought that was plain unecessary to go on trips if he hadn't got the money in hand lol. However, I didn't know he had to work part time for the money before I booked the Taiwan trip.

When it comes to money... as I said, I've made the bookings for hotels and flights to Taiwan for the both of us, we've talked about splitting the hotels, flights and expenditure in Taiwan evenly after the trip prior to booking (I guess it sounds fair?). I took care of hotels and flights, and he took care of the expenditure. He suggested to exchange cash that was equivant to the amount of hotels + flights and split the remaining cash evening right after the trip. I thought i was reasonable. At the end he's just exchanged much less cash than the confirmed amount and there was nothing left.

He's totally forgotten about the $ he kind of owed me after the trip... I thought it was normal to raise up the question about the money one week after the trip (he agreed to split the costs at the beginning) but he came back with a very bad reply "I do not know what you assume I'm doing, it just felt bad that you pushed me about it, just like I've forgotten about those $"

Such little miscommunication (actually, I didn't think I was wrong to ask about the $ afterall) led to his lose of confidence blahblahblah and broke up with me.

Yes, I gave up on continuting with a long distance relationship now and I decided to go with the flow.
I just wanted to write him an e-mail like a half month later telling him what I thought about the whole relationship, abut the good , and the bad.

I'm not even sure if I wanna be friends with him again. He just seemed too different from me. It just felt strange to totally disconnect from him and be strangers forever. I'm not sure what I want to do with it.

Community Leader
Registered: 05-14-2001

Funny how much different you can see things with a little time apart, isn't it?

I think you're right to let this guy go.  Anybody who agrees to pay half of travel expenditures then says you pushed and he's not paying afterward isn't someone you want to be with romantically or friends with, for that matter.  What kind of a person leaves a friend or a girlfriend paying the full cost?  I suspect if you'd been in the relationship longer more negative things would have emerged.

The problem with gaining the kind of trust, etc. you were trying to achieve in five months is that these things are gained by time alone.  There are no short cuts.

~ cl-2nd_life

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-10-2002

Thanks, ~ cl-2nd_life !

I've deleted off his number and contacts from social medias for 2 weeks already and I felt much better now. Maybe even ready to let go!

I wrote him an e-mail telling him what problems I've been facing these months (he knew a little about what my parents did to me, but he didn't know about all those "control freak actions" they've done to me), and that, IF he's never gone away like this, IF he could open up and communicate, I would have a chance to figure out what I can do while he's away for Australia in the coming year. I've also addressed that I was disappointed and confused about how he dealed with this, maybe it does sound like a difficult situation for him, but at least he could stay by my side and give me some time to figure things out. Now, I just sounded just like ANYONE to him that he could just leave me alone and go away when things are not going well. I thanked him for teaching me a lesson and I would work on improving myself. Since he closed his door to communicate with me, this might be the last letter I write to him for a closure.  

He's been checking my profile out in some of the medias after receiving my e-mail but never wrote back. I waited for 4 days and decided to block him from those medias.

I think this is the end of our story and he's never gonna see me in the entire life again.
Maybe we won't even greet when popped into each others on the street in the future, LOL.

Community Leader
Registered: 05-14-2001

Deleting him sounds like a good idea.  I'm glad you did it!

~ cl-2nd_life