Ask Lynn-Is Her Hesitation A Red Flag?

A widower willing to risk it all to be closer to his lady and his family wonders if his decision to move was made in haste now that her behavior has changed. Does Lynn think he's making a mistake? Read on...

By Lynn Harris

ear Lynn,
I'm involved in a long-distance relationship. I live in California and the girl I am seeing lives in Illinois. My wife passed away four years ago and I was introduced to "Sierra" a little over two years ago. We have been through a lot together, and I love her very much. She says that she loves me deeply, too, but here's where things get hairy. I've gone
We have been through a lot together, and I love her very much.
through some tough patches since we started seeing each other and I wonder if she is being honest with me. She says she loves me, but recently, every time we talk I end up calling her and she rarely calls me now. The past few nights I haven't even received as much a "good night" text message from her. I am in the middle of moving to another state in order for us to be closer (as well as my family) and it seems like the dynamic of our relationship is changing. I understand that this is normal, but I'm concerned that our relationship is faltering as the prospect of me being closer is becoming clearer to my girlfriend.

"Sierra" was previously married to a man that was emotionally distant and verbally abusive and hasn't been in a serious relationship for 10 years. She was my first serious relationship since my wife died, and I wonder if this is a relationship that's doomed to fail. I am laying a lot on the line in moving for love and I would love your input.
– Laying a Lot on the Line

Dear Laying a Lot on the Line,
Call the movers. Tear up the contract. Unpack your boxes. I hate to say that, but I feel that I must. You can't uproot your life and your family based only on how things used to be, or in hopes of how things might be on a new day in the future.

Sure, it's natural for such a move to trip some emotional and behavioral wires,
I am laying a lot on the line in moving for love
especially given both of your past traumas regarding relationships. But her pulling back from you so clearly, even before you get going down the road, is not a good sign — though it could be a helpful one, depending on your perspective. Meaning, this is your cue: do take it up with her and ask her why she's been so distant lately — and whether she really is ready to close the distance between you both and move forward in this relationship. If you can't have an honest, open and hopeful conversation about this together, then you really shouldn't move… at least, not yet. (Though after two years, it's probably the right time to make a move or cut the cord, either way.)

Look, love is risky; people should not always play it safe, because sometimes, playing it safe means finding no love at all. So give yourself credit for getting this close to taking that leap of faith in the name of love, and trust that there will be someone else who'll want to take it with you with all her heart in the future.

Lynn Harris ( is co-creator, with Chris Kalb (, of the award-winning website — you can visit BG's blog to discuss this letter! A longtime journalist, Lynn has written about dating, gender, and culture high and low for Glamour, Marie Claire, The New York Times,,, and many others. She is currently the communications strategist for Breakthrough, a transnational organization that creates pop culture to promote human rights. Submit your own dating questions for Ask Lynn via Your question may be answered in a future column.
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