Dear Mark,


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Dear Mark,


I wanted to ask for advice on a situation concerning another man I have had romantic interest in for over two years.


I met this man named Bill (not his real name) from the moment I first met him I fell for him. This was the first time in my life that I have had strong feelings for another man – not a crush, but something different.


It took me almost one year and a half to meet with him privately for coffee (away from where we normally meet, which is quite public) I nervously told him after light conversation how I felt about him, my… attraction. He was flattered but I was so nervous I did not hear what he said back after the flattered part. I then told him I was afraid of rejection.


During the course of 2 and one half years, I speak with him but for the most part he ignores me. I seem to miscommunicate with him all the time where he gets defensive or irritated by me. I still adore him and have told him this many times. I don’t want to let this potential relationship go, but I get the impression that he does not want anything to do with me socially or romantically. I’m not sure what to do because of my strong attraction to him. Should I let amorous feelings for this guy go when my heart is telling me differently?


No more hugs? No more personal emails, only professional when he barely responds back? Please help me make sense of this.


Sincerely, Jonathon



Dear Jonathon,


Thanks for writing in. I can see you have given this situation a lot of thought and you have put a lot of time and energy into this man. When you say you have had a romantic interest, has this man ever reciprocated to you emotionally or physically? You said you had coffee one time after meeting him over a year and a half prior. How did this come about? How much did you have to pursue him to make this coffee date happen? You are very clear with your feelings for him, yet you seem to miss the clues that he is not interested in you. Has there been something that happened between you that tells you that, even though he pays you no attention, he is somehow interested in you? My guess is probably not.


It is hard when we meet someone that we know we would make a great couple with, especially if this is the first time you have ever experienced such intense emotions for another person. It can feel like there will never be another opportunity. The problem with successful relationships is that both people have to be on board for it to work. If one person is madly in love with someone and the other person has little or no interest in a relationship, it’s just not going to work out.


Give this some more thought. Would you really want it to work out? No matter how much “in love” with him you feel, do you really want to be in a relationship with someone who doesn’t want to be in a relationship with you? You told him you were afraid of rejection. He seems to have been clear with you that he has no interest. By continuing to try to form a connection with him, it seems to me that you are setting yourself up for the ultimate rejection.


Under the heading, “There are plenty of fish in the sea,” I say divert your energies elsewhere. Where have you met men in the past? Re-engage with friends and try going out and meeting other men. Try dating. Expand your horizons and begin to look for the same qualities you found so intoxicating in Bill in other guys. There will be other men who capture your attention. Maybe the next man will actually be open to a relationship with you. How amazing would that be? Best of luck to you.


Take Care,


Mark Rutherford LCSW


Mark Rutherford is a  licensed psychotherapist in private practice in West Palm Beach.  He can be reached at 561-835-6821 or at