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[RUSH!] Long distance breakup

2.5 years ago began online dating with Ruslana from Kyiv. 4 x week email. Met in Kyiv. Again last July. Speaks English physician, bright personality sociable laughs easily. Before visit I sent gifts flowers she loved. During 2 years she would go on business trips be out of contact. She explained she avoided everyone during her work related trips. She did not want to reveal where she lived when I offered to mail her portrait I made of her. After July we agreed meet again. Later she refused flowers because she was busy. We continued warm as before. We still talked about meeting but only when she knew would not be traveling. She still refused gifts saying that she did not want deliveries only if I give them personally. Yet she could not agree on a time for visit.
She never asks for gifts money. Towards holidays she became warmer than ever writing every day giving hope. During holidays she changed. Cool not writing often being too busy to write. Yet she was on dating site almost every day. I asked what happened to her attitude towards me if she wanted to end things. She was surprised by question. I let it go until February I asked what she thought about our 2 years and 3 months where it was going. No reply. Secretly I learned her address because she was mysterious. I wanted to know who I was falling for if I will be hurt. Wrong.
When no reply to my question of our 2 years I wrote a nice goodbye letter I wanted more than penpal but wife & wish her well. No reply. Feeling resentful I used her address to return cup she gave me last July because she would always refuse my gifts. Mistake. I wrote heartfelt letter how I felt our times together how much I missed her apologizing for my mistakes & finding her address sending back the cup. This heartfelt letter was translated into Russian to catch all subtleties. I sent it online American Greetings & received notice. I offered travel to meet anytime.
Send the portrait with note telling her I had hoped to give it at next meeting? Should have offered her more for the future last July? She had given me romantic signals. Is there anything I can do that wont frighten disgust her? I am so sad that I hurt her.

Re: [RUSH!] Long distance breakup

I'm so sorry you're hurt after two and a half years of long-distance romance. It sounds like she isn't interested in the same thing you are -- she wants to keep the distance between the two of you without any "end game" in sight. You sound like you want more -- more intimacy, more closeness, more visits, and maybe even marriage. She likes the contact with you, but she isn't really interested in more. You have to admit, it's strange that she won't give you her home address after two and a half years of online dating. That doesn't sound like someone who's waiting to get to know a man before she opens up -- that sounds like someone who wants to control the distance and the boundaries, and who doesn't want to get closer to you than she is.

The problem with online relationships is that until you start meeting in person on a regular basis, you don't really know that very important part of a person. You don't know how they live, where they live, who they live with, what they really do with their days, etc. As much as you so sweetly want this to be real, unless she is willing to let you into her life beyond the emailing, calling and texting, this relationship isn't going to progress.

Don't beat yourself up about pushing to get her address to mail her gifts directly or to meet more often. You were absolutely doing the right thing. You were doing what people who want a real relationship do. Her push back is a sign that she doesn't want more. My advice is to get over the pain of the break up and get back out there to date someone else who will let you meet more often, and who is more open about their life. My long-distance relationship rule is that if you don't meet up after the first three months of online contact, move on. Someone who really wants to get close, will want to meet you sooner and more often. I'm sorry this is painful, but I think you've learned something important here.
April Masini is a relationship and etiquette expert, author of 4 books and the #1 relationship advice forum, blue-chip corporate spokesperson and preferred go-to source for the world’s most prominent media and news outlets.