Dear Dr. Frankie,
Dear Confused and in Love,
It sounds like you are interested in someone who has a pattern of dating women who are emotionally unavailable. By this I mean women who are unable to love and care for her in a healthy way. People repeat unhealthy patterns because they are familiar and comfortable, even in spite of their better judgment. It seems as if this woman does not feel that she deserves anything better than what’s she’s experienced. The fact that you treat her well is unfamiliar, which means less comfortable, to her even though it is the healthier choice.
People who seek a pattern of unhealthy relationships get used to receiving very little. Some also feel they have the ability to heal their abusers by showing them unconditional love. This of course comes at their own expense, and creates an imbalanced and unhealthy dynamic in the relationship. They accept crumbs of love and respect rather than enjoying their own pie.
This woman clearly has a lot on her plate right now. She’s dealing with being homeless and is staying with her ex. She also happens to be two hours away, and has recently been involved with at least one other woman. To me these are all signs that you should focus on yourself for the time being and engage in activities that are good for you. Give her space and a chance to recognize that you are better for her than the abusive women she is typically drawn to. I suggest maintaining a healthy distance; this does not mean you need to cut off contact with her, just move on with your own life. If she is able to be your friend through this then perhaps you have a chance of having a more significant relationship. From my experience, when people are so deeply entrenched in this pattern of unhealthy relationships, it takes professional guidance to effect lasting, positive change.
The one thing I know for sure is that waiting around and expecting to meet someone in a small gay community isn’t the way to go. Step out of your comfort zone and start making new connections and relationships outside of your area. If all else fails then consider relocating. It’s a huge decision but what better motivation than the real possibility of finding love and human companionship?