Dear Heart to Heart, I am 34 years old, working in Kampala. I have a feeling my partner is not opening up to me. He lives in Kisoro but whenever I want to travel to see him, he has an excuse; he’s very busy or has travelled. We can take a year without seeing each other and yet he is poor at communicating. It is always me who calls first. When we agree on meeting, he doesn’t pick my calls when I’m set to travel. So I just cancel the trip. I love this man but I think he is not into me. No relative or friend knows about our four-year relationship. I’m confused. Should I let go? Please help me.
Hello Joan, this world is full of ups and downs, and in relationships you can’t miss them. Do not think that the rest of the people in relationships are better off. It is just that they do not cry about their problems. Your situation is a common one these days, so lay down some guiding principles that you can follow. I can’t rule out the idea of him having another affair, but if he is yours, he will always be there. Pray to God to help you, because he is the best counsellor.
Dear Joan, I have walked that road and I know how it feels to always be the one initiating things in a relationship. Most times such partners find themselves in other relationships due to the distance. At this point, it is obvious there is a woman keeping him busy. What you need to do is to prepare yourself for anything that might happen and then pay him a surprise visit. You can find out where he lives through a friend, and if you find him with another woman, move on with your life. Men have a tendency of playing on our emotions but don’t let yourself be carried away. If someone truly loves you, they always look out for you. Communication is very key in a long distance relationship but once this is not falling in place, I can say this man does not love you that much. Listen to your heart [that other inner person in you] and see what you feel for him, you might think you love him yet you don’t, instincts don’t lie. Also take time to hang out with friends and open up to other men who are interested in you.
Dear Joan, for any relationship to progress, communication is very important - that act of conveying information for the purpose of creating a shared understanding. Clearly your boyfriend does not respect the principles of communication. What kind of person can’t even send a simple text to his beloved? It is dangerous to take a year without seeing each other, in fact it is inconsiderate. Four years is a long period, but why is your relationship a secret? It seems your boyfriend is in a relationship with another lady or he is now married. Why does he always have excuses every time you plan to meet? The only way a long-term relationship can survive is through communication, and if this man cannot communicate, how do you expect this relationship to continue? What makes him too busy to meet you or pick up your calls? It means there is something or someone more important than you. Pray to God to enable you meet a man meant for you, otherwise this one is not yours.
Dear Joan, I understand what you are going through but I would advise you to let go. To be sincere, a communication break among shy men like me, in most cases means I am no longer interested. Also, it’s better to always go for a man who loves you more, not the one you love most.
Dear Joan, a relationship of four years and no relative or friend knows about, isn’t good at all. Sorry to say but I don’t see any future for this kind of relationship where you take a full year without meeting, yet communication is very poor. When did he start living in Kisoro and for how long has he behaved that way? If he just started doing this to you recently, then try to find out why he is behaving that way. Perhaps his behaviour is due to your change of behaviour towards him or that he noticed something undesirable in you that he can’t cope with. What is your character like? If he can openly say what bothers him and it’s linked to your mannerism, then change your conduct or promise to do better. If on the other hand he has been doing this for the four years of the relationship, then drop him.
Dear Joan, you should stop living in self-denial. If your so-called partner has been running around in circles for about four years, it is evident that he lost interest in the relationship a long time ago. Open your eyes and move on. He probably met someone else while he was away. I am actually surprised that no one knows about your relationship. Why? It sounds rather shady. Some sisterly advice; cut your loss and look for someone else who will be more available.
Counsellor’s take : David Kavuma, psychologist Mildmay Uganda
Dear Joan, It is so unfortunate that you love your boyfriend so much but he seems not to care about your feelings regardless of the many years you have spent together. From your letter I realise that you wish to see your relationship progressing. However, for a relationship to progress smoothly, the efforts put in it should match. If you can spend a year apart and he still doesn’t bother to communicate, then I highly doubt he’s serious.
I advise you to call him and boldly ask whether he is still interested in this relationship. If he is, tell him how you feel about his conduct and encourage him to improve on his communication for it is the major foundation of a good and smooth relationship. If he says he is no longer interested, just let it go and life will move on. You said you are a bit confused because for the four years you have spent together, none of his relatives knows about your relationship, but please you need to know that this affair is to be built by just the two of you. The relatives just come in to seal what has already been built by you. It is not a guarantee for you to be known by them but what matters is the two of you seeing issues in your relationship from the same angle.
Compiled by Rose Rukundo