Ask Amy: Potential Flame Leads to a Ghost

By Amy Dickinson | April 30th, 2021

It's hard to admit, but it appears his crush is turning into an apparition


Man sad when he realizes potential flame is no longer Image

Dear Amy: I got divorced about a year ago after 20 years. Shortly after the divorce I started chatting with a woman who had gone to my high school. We’ve met quite a few times, we’ve have had coffee and lunch together, and some outdoor activities.

We have had a very good time every time we’ve met, even if it’s just for a few minutes. (I have to drive one hour from my town to hers.)

She warned me that she wasn’t looking for a relationship. She’s separated from her husband (but not divorced) for two years.

I had promised her I would be respectful and not try to take advantage or try to do something against her will, but after a few months, I realized I had fallen for her, and I told her so.

She replied that even though she knew what a good person I was, she had told me before she wasn’t looking for a relationship, and to just stay as we were, but that “maybe, after a seed that has been planted — who knows what can grow?”

That was five or six months ago. Things remained the same; I had that little bit of hope, but over the last month, the communication between us has diminished. If I don’t reach out to her, she will not proactively contact me. For the last few days, she’s gone “quiet.” She “likes” some of my social media posts, but that’s it.

I feel like she’s trying to get out of our relationship, for whatever reason, and that her silence is the best answer, so maybe I could talk to her and let her know I will no longer reach out to her because I can’t see her just as a friend.

At the same time, my heart tells me to just watch and listen, since the answers are evident, but to somehow keep the faith.

What do you think I should do?

– Lovelorn


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Dear Lovelorn: You’ve already done it all – and good for you. You were honest about your feelings. Your friend was honest about her own intentions. She should not have dangled any promise of a future with you, but she did, and you seized upon it.

You might assume that your friend is either reuniting with her husband or engaging in other relationships. Don’t contact her again unless you are willing to stay firmly in the friend zone.

I hope you will take this rookie relationship experience and apply its lessons toward your dating future.

Ask yourself: Am I always making the effort? Do I always initiate contact? Do I often feel off-kilter or unsure about this relationship?

When you meet the right person, they will find ways to signal that you two are on the same page. It’s a great feeling, and it’s one you deserve to have.


In the tradition of the great personal advice columnists, Chicago Tribune’s Amy Dickinson is a plainspoken straight shooter who relates to readers of all ages. She answers personal questions by addressing issues from both her head and her heart. A solid reporter, Dickinson researches her topics to provide readers with informed opinions and answers. Ask Amy, P.O. Box 194, Freeville, NY 13068

© 2021 by Amy Dickinson

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