Updated: July 19, 2013 3:26PM
Dear Cheryl: I’ve been traveling around the world volunteering for nongovernmental organizations since 2010. During my travels, I met a very lovely girl who was also volunteering. She’s from Europe and 24 years old. I’m from the United States and 32. We have a lot in common and get along really well.
In the beginning, I was a little hesitant about building a relationship with her because of the distance between us, but when I realized I could live and work anywhere I wanted, I was open to it.
At the end of 2011, we separated to continue with our individual travel plans, but we kept in contact. During this time, we realized that we loved each other and our feelings grew. I visited her in her country for a few weeks before I headed home.
I pretty much expressed my love for her and told her that I was willing to do anything to make it work, but I don’t really know how she feels about me. She’s been expressing doubts about everything.
Instead of finding ways to see each other again, we’ve been somewhat arguing about what all this means. In the past, I’ve tried to end our relationship, but our feelings are so strong that we’re just not capable of letting it go.
At some point, she has to travel home to take a course she needs in order to write her thesis.
I said that I would love to follow her wherever she wants to go. I even got information on how to move to her country. But she’s still expressing doubts.
Right now, I’m living in a Caribbean country as a volunteer administrator. I asked her to come here and do her thesis. I didn’t ask her to come and live with me, but just to figure out if we can actually live together.
How do I deal with her doubts? Do her doubts actually mean no? Am I waiting around for nothing? I don’t really want to end our relationship, but at the same time, I want to know what she wants to do. I can manage now if we decide to part ways, even though I know in my heart that we very much love each other and don’t want to lose each other. Please help. — Lonely Traveler
Dear Lonely Traveler: I think you already know the answers to your questions.
Your friend doesn’t want to make a commitment to you. Whatever her feelings are toward you, she’s not ready to commit. She doesn’t want to marry you or live with you or even visit you or have you visit her.
Maybe it’s the age difference. She’s just 24 and obviously a very independent, adventure-loving woman. She probably has a lot of things she wants to do before she’s ready to settle down. At 32, you’re in a very different place in your life.
Quit pressuring her. Wish her well and get on with your life.
Got a problem? Send it to email@example.com. Check out my new website, askcheryl.net.